online poker

Throwdown Thursday: Online Poker Duel

We are now eight months deep into this current pokerless void, and something must be done. As we have mentioned before, we were very fortunate to be on a poker trip to Tampa Bay when the world stopped spinning. I believe we got in exactly one tournament back home in early March before the world REALLY shut down. And since… crickets. While our neighboring New Hampshire opened their poker rooms over the summer, we have not been in a position to enjoy the live game, and likely won’t be for months yet. Which brings us to online poker.

Paul and I both played online poker before Black Friday, and Paul recently wrote a heartfelt plea for all states to make it legal once again. Recently, we have had some opportunities to play on the Pokerstars home game site. Paul is so happy to get back to some form of poker (any form of poker) that he would play daily if he could. I, frankly, hate it. So we thought, what better topic for a Throwdown Thursday. Online poker: love it or hate it?

First up is Paul, lover of all things digital.

Paul: Playing vs. not playing at all seems like a no-brainer. Live or online: you play your cards, track your opponents’ tendencies, and come up with the best strategy to win. Seems like the same process to me, absent the occasional political discussion that makes me put my headphones on.

Read More

Throwdown Thursday: Diet or Die. Surviving the Sugar Detox

As we prepare for our poker pilgrimage, Paul and I know we need to shed some pounds.  Being in shape will be critical to fully enjoying our poker travel lifestyle. We’ve spent a lot of time in the past year talking about losing weight, but pretty much no time actually losing it. Enter the sugar detox diet.

We were both in great shape about four years ago. However, fitness rapidly wanes when your primary forms of entertainment consist of poker playing, TV watching, and wine drinking. After the fish tank epiphany on our summer cruise, we decided it was time to get serious about shaping back up. Last month I happened to come across an article about a sugar detox, which led me to Mark Hyman’s, book The Blood Sugar Solution. Which led us straight into hell.

Paul: Maybe gorging ourselves on my birthday weekend with every bagel, piece of cake, croissant, bottle of wine, etc. that we could get our hands on was not the kind of prep we should have been doing. Following that with a week of no carbs, no sugars, (even fruit is out), no wine, and no caffeine is no picnic.  With only water, tea, meats, vegetables, nuts and a waning will to live to subsist on – our house wasn’t pretty.

Read More

Cruising sunset

Throwdown Thursday: Trivial Thoughts on Cruising

Heather’s mother recently treated us, along with Heather’s kids and brother, to a mid-summer cruising vacation. Originally, the main event was to be a two day stay in Havana, but a Presidential edict quashed that plan. Thus, our family Cuba excursion morphed into a day in Key West, a day at sea, and a day in Nassau, Bahamas.  This was Paul’s second cruising vacation, while Heather is a relative long-term cruise veteran with a whopping four cruises under her life jacket.

We are now back from our cruise and have some thoughts:

Heather:  Oh, thankfully that is over. I’m ready for a full human being detox. Jeezus, but those cruise lines can pack them in.

Paul:  Eh, we were waited on hand-and-foot and never had to wash a dish for 5 days. I’ll take a few crowded elevators and faux Las Vegas shows in order not to touch a sponge for a week.

Heather:  I think I’d rather wash dishes. But then, you tolerate people better than I do.

I also walked off that ship feeling like a goose that had been prepared for the slaughter. I think I gained five pounds in five days.

Read More

Tag Team Switch Poker Tournament

Throwdown Thursday: Will We Survive a Poker Tag Team Switch?

A few months ago, Heather and I debated the merits of playing in the World Series of Poker Tag Team event. We ended up deciding that the costs and risks didn’t make sense.  But as we were planning our Las Vegas trip and the poker tournaments we would consider, we stumbled upon a much less expensive tag team tournament at Planet Hollywood.

The significantly lower cost and “switch” element had Heather intrigued once more and me returning to a foetal position pleading “don’t make me!”.  Instead of playing one stack of chips and alternating players at will, the “switch” aspect means we each get a stack. When the tournament director announces “switch,” we trade seats and play the other’s existing stack. Basically this now doubles the chance that Heather will view me as a moron by tournament end.

So, of course, we’re signing up for this, because why not; except for all the reasons I listed in January. So the following is our live throwdown of this event.

Pre-Game Jitters

Paul: I am very concerned that we will not be speaking to each other by this evening.

Heather: It’s simple.  Just don’t blow off my stack.

Paul: Even when playing my brilliant, sophisticated game, bad luck happens. AA gets cracked. Which by the way will be my story no matter how I bust out. I may pay off my table-mates to confirm this.

Heather: If anyone tells me that my husband lost my stack playing 7-10 suited, you’d better run for the hills.

Read More

Play Poker at the WSOP

Throwdown Thursday: Tag Team Poker Trouble

This summer, Paul and I are going to be in Las Vegas to do some work for Advanced Poker Training at the same time that the WSOP tag team event is running. For $1,000, teams of 2 to 4 players can enter this event and each participant can play as much or as little as they like. I think that the tag team poker event would be a great way for us to enter a WSOP bracelet event. Last summer when we were in Vegas we played a couple of Daily Deepstack events, but the bracelet event buy-ins (mostly over $1,000 per person) are generally a bit too rich for our blood. Instead, we played a few of the wealth of other tournaments across the city that piggyback on the WSOP’s popularity.

I think the thrill of working together to play a WSOP bracelet event would be incredible. Paul doesn’t quite see it that way, and has taken to referring to the tag team poker event as “The Divorcemaker.”

Paul: You can’t even stand being at the same table as me when we play as individuals! Watching me play 4-7 suited hands causes you involuntary neck spasms. And apparently brings on some sort of Sudden Onset Tourette’s Syndrome.

Heather: I certainly don’t plan to watch you play. That’s for sure. I figure you can play the early hands where a wider range is appropriate and I can take over when the real poker starts.

Read More