Archive for the ‘PokaPaloma’ Category

CrossFit Northeast Regionals

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Spent the last 2 days attending the CrossFit Games Regional Competition, Northeast region at Reebok HQ in Canton, MA.  Each day opened with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and was immediately followed by wildly enthusiastic cheers and shouts. LOTs of energy.

Here’s some snapshots in time.


2013 CrossFit Northeast Regionals at Reebok set up

The calm before the storm Friday (click to enlarge)


CrossFit Northest Regionals Womens individual competition

Sat. Women's Individual competition (click to enlarge)

CrossFit Northeast  Regionals Saturday Spectators

Sat. spectators in sea of color and T's (click to enlarge)

CrossFit Northeast Regionals Men Individual competition

Sat. Men's Individual competition (click to enlarge)

PokaPaloma Prepares for EPTs $30K Championship

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I haven’t blogged since August 10th. Why? Because during August, I devoted twice as much time as I normally do to playing the Eastern Poker Tour’s (EPT) no limit hold em poker tournaments in preparation for playing in its $30K Championships being held Aug. 28th and Aug. 29th.  I had worked hard throughout the year to earn points and to win no limit hold em tournaments in order to qualify to play in the $30K Championships. I had played in both the Central Mass and Framingham regions, and qualified for Points and Wins in both regions. The best way that I could think of to prepare for the $30K Championships and maintain (hopefully improve 🙂 ) my rank was to practice, practice, practice.

That extra time cut into time I normally spend working on projects for clients, so, when I was back in the office, I chose to complete work for clients, and then there was no time to blog…either I was off to play another no limit hold em tournament or it was time to go to bed.  

So, did my efforts pay off?

PokaPaloma’s August Stats
Out of
Top 16
7th Place 9th Place 13th Place 14th Place Total Tourna
Top 10 Finishes Top 16 Finishes
5 2 3 1 2 13 5 8


PokaPaloma’s All-Time Performance
  8/29 8/10
Events Attended: 52 44
Top 16 Finishes: 31 24
Total Points: 3042 2488
Average / Event: 58.50 56.55
PokaPaloma’s Rank with EPT All-Time
  8/29 8/10
Wall Of Champions 485 of 1979 479 0f 1954
Current Top 100 (Past Six Months) 133 of 100 193 of 100
Central Mass – Top 200 126 of 400 134 of 400
Framingham – Top 200 52 of 400 63 of 361

Why was I so jazzed about these tournaments?
Because they are only played a couple of times per year, you have to qualify (can’t buy your way in), and the grand prize is a WSOP Main Event package worth $12,000! Who doesn’t want to play in the WSOP?


August Eastern Poker Tour Season Standing

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

PokaPaloma’s current standings in the Eastern Poker Tour

Events Attended: 44
Top 16 Finishes: 24
Total Points: 2488
Average / Event: 56.55

EPT All-Time
Wall Of Champions 479 of 1954
Current Top 100 (Past Six Months) 193 of 100
Central Mass – Top 200 134 of 400
Framingham – Top 200 63 of 361

July 7th, I wrote about the satellite no limit hold em tournaments the Eastern Poker Tour is hosting for its players who have reached a certain level in tournament wins and in tournament points. I reported that I had qualified for both tournaments and noted that I need to keep an eye on the player rankings for the points-qualifying no limit hold em tournament.

July 7th, there were 12 players between me and the cut off for the “points” satellite. During the month of July, that number declined to 5 players. As of today, there are 8 players between me and the cut off for the “points” satellite.

During July, I played only twice – BUT – I placed second in one of those no limit hold em tournaments and earned 116 extra points, so, my qualifying rank for “points” satellite was shored up a bit.

No Limit Hold Em Satellites Training
I see August 1 – 25 as my training period for the end of the month satellites. My plan is to crank the volume of tournaments that I play. I am accustomed to playing twice per week. During August, I will play a minimum of 4 times per week, and, more if I can find the opportunities.

August Recap to Date
So far I have played 5 of the nightly no limit hold em tournaments. I’ve earned ZERO extra points to help secure my eligibility as a player representing the Central Mass region. I’ve earned 72 points in the Framingham Region, but, representing Framingham is not my goal. My goal is to practice as frequently as possible, and practicing with players who are unfamiliar to me is best for training.

PokaPaloma Busts Out of Three Satellites

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Today I played in three satellites at an Eastern Poker Tour event in Taunton, Mass. The main event was a charity no limit hold em tournment that began later in the day. One-table no limit hold em satellites where the top 2 advanced to the main event started at noon. Each satellite started with 10 players.

I used a $30 voucher that I had won May 3, 2010 (Why do we call when we know we are beat?) to get into the first satellite. Not really much to say about that one. Didn’t get any cards and couldn’t get any momentum going. Basically, got blinded off.

Second satellite, I paid $30 cash. Got one decent hand every round, and, that was one-upped by another player’s hand. When there were still 7 or 8 players at the table, I was the Small Blind. A player out of position, say under-the-gun +2, had raised it 2x the Big Blind. Action folded around to me. I had pocket 5s. I flat called the raise as did the Big Blind. The Flop came something like 5 K 2. A 5 right in the door! I’m breathing easy and choking back an ear-to-ear smile.

P-e-r-r-r-f-e-c-t, I’m thinking! Time to go All In. The under-the-gun +2 had been timid and didn’t mix it up much. He acted like he was more afraid of losing than he was interested in winning, so, he’d fold. The Big Blind was a more experienced player, had a ton of chips, and I knew that he would call with whatevah. BUT…and this is a BIG BUT – when he called, He said, ‘Sorry…I have to call.” Okay, so there’s the kiss of death. You know he’s got pocket Ks or pocket Aces.

Sure enough, under-the-gun +2 folds, and I’m heads up with the Big Blind. He turns over a pair of Aces. Fingers Crossed Gulp… I’m ahead with trip 5s and crossing my fingers that an Ace doesn’t hit the board. And my hopes are dashed immediately. A big fat Ace comes on the Turn. Now that its set over set, I’ve got one more card to survive… Can I suck out with the case 5? Nope. The 3 of hearts comes on the River. Wasn’t meant to be, and I hit the rails with the bemoans of the remaining players fading in the air as I walk away.

Third satellite, I paid $30 cash. Players were good and the action was at a good pace. When we were down to three, I was short stacked. The chip leader (on my left) had about 50% of the chips in play and the other player (on my right) had about 35%. I was determined to fight my way into the top 2 so that I could play the main event at 4:00. While I didn’t have so many chips, I believed that I could recover. The player to my right was not a good player, probably a beginner. The player to my left was a very good player with lots of experience. He appeared to be mentoring the player on my right, and they had played together the night before.

One obstacle I had is that they were playing together to get me out – and pretty obviously so. So, it wasn’t one brain against another. It was always two brains against mine because they would signal without overtly signalling and talk without talking. After each hand played between me and just the inexperienced player, the mentor would explain to the inexperienced one what he should have done…If you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. Two people from the same region.  Naturally, they want to advance to the main event together.

Anyways, I knew that my skills were better than the player to my right. I hacked away at him mostly when he was the Small Blind. I made some smart plays and he made some blunders and my chip stack started to be even with his. So much so that his buddy on my left remarked that he didn’t like the way things were going…”I’m not liking this”, he said. And shortly after that, I had just a slight edge on the player on my right.

I’m in the Big Blind. Player to my left is on the Button. Player to my right is the Small Blind. The Button folds. The Small Blind flat calls. I move All In with A K offsuit. The Small Blind thinks for a long time. Fiddles with his chips as if he is going to move them in. Brings them back to his torso. Fiddles some more with the chips. Finally, he calls with K 10 off suit. And we are off to the races!

I was feeling good. Thinking…When I win the hand, he’ll be down to the felt and unable to recover… and I’ll advance to the main event. I will coyly smile at the two of them and… Screechhhhh. Hear the brakes on the train…fingernails across the chalk board. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

Sure enough, by the time the Turn comes, he’s made a K-high straight – and – I need a ten on the River to survive. Nope. Adios amigos!

Okay so that’s a wrap. I invested $90 to win a seat in the $125 main event. After three stikes, I figured I was out!

My biggest frustration on the results of the last satellite is that I would have been able to last so much longer than the newbie who knocked me out. Oh well, guess I was that player one day…

No Limit Hold em Tournament Champion ClinkTo work off my frustration, I came home, got on PokerStars and placed fifth in a $6.50 45-player no limit hold em tournament. There…I recovered $24 on the day.

PokaPaloma Eastern Poker Tour Season Standing

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

At the end of the season, the Eastern Poker Tour will hold a Championship No Limit Hold Em Tournament for its top 27 players. The prizes for the tournament are cash and, for first place, $9,000 cash or a $12,000 2011 WSOP Main Event package. The Championship No Limit Hold Em Tournament is televised on Comcast SportsNet NE.

Championship No Limit Hold Em Tournament Eligibility
To qualify for the Championship No Limit Hold Em Tournament, you need to have advanced from one of two satellite tournaments.

Satellite Eligibility
To qualify to play in the satellite tournaments, you have to have either won at least one tournament during the season, or, have earned enough points to place you in the top 15% of your region.

The two satellites are run on separate days: The August 28th tournament is for those who qualify by points and the August 29th tournament is for winners of the no limit hold em tournaments played throughout the season.

PokaPaloma’s 2010 performance on the Eastern Poker Tour

No Limit Hold em Tournament Champion ClinkI qualify to play in both satellites!  So I have TWO chances to make the final 27.

Prior to playing last Friday, I was eligible for both, but, with regard to the points (top 15%) satellite, there were only three players between me and the cut off amount. Placing second on Friday, put 12 players between me and the cut off amount; meaning that I probably don’t have to sweat the next 8 weeks.

Learn more about the Eastern Poker Tour’s Championship No Limit Hold Em Tournament

PokaPaloma Eastern Poker Tour June 2010 Results

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Playing stats for PokaPaloma on the Eastern Poker Tour for June 2010

Total no limit hold’em tournaments played: 6
Total Top Ten Finishes: 0
Top Five Finishes: 0

First Place finishes: 0
Eleventh place finishes: 1
Donut finishes: 5

PokaPaloma Takes 2nd Place in No Limit Hold Em Tournament

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Last night I played in a no limit hold em tournament in Hopedale, MA. Placed second to a good player, one I had not played with before. In fact, I have a lot of respect for all the players at the final table – minus one drunken dunce that lucked his way to the final table. 
Symbolizing Drunken Poker PlayerIf you’ve been playing poker for a while, you know the type—and—the frustration you feel as each player tries to take him out and he keeps lucking out on every hand he plays. You know him…You flop a flush and a fourth card of that suits falls on the Turn or the River, and he turns over the Ace.

Anyways, in celebration of the Fourth of July Holiday, the payouts were doubled and we recieved 5K more chips (15K) than usual. So it was kind of deepstack, but, the blind levels were the same as usual (15 minutes).  

It was a new venue for me. Same ‘ol Eastern Poker Tour poker players with the exception of a handfull of unknowns. $20 Buy in. Buffet.

Heads Up

Blinds were $20K/$40k. I was outchipped 2.5-to-1 (485k to 190k). I was not discouraged by being down that much. I knew that I could recover, and, indeed, had on several occasions recovered to emerge the victor. Given the hour of the day (11:45 pm), I did feel that my opponent would be shoving All In as frequently as possible.

First hand…

I am the Small Blind. Hole cards are 5s 3c.

Five of Spades Three of Clubs
Nothing to defend. I folded.

Second hand…

I am the Big Blind. The Small Blind limps in.

Five of Hearts Four of Hearts
I check my option with a whispy, “At least they’re suited.”
Flop: Nothing special. Two clubs and one red. We both checked.
Turn: 4c. I shove All In with the pair of fours. The Small Blind turns over 2 clubs. I’m drawing dead against his flush. .
River: Doesn’t matter.

Playing Q J Out of Position

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I played an Eastern Poker Tour no limit hold’em tournament last night. Got busted out on the 2nd hand. It took me 5 times longer to drive to the venue than it took to play.

This is the second hand of the night. Eight-handed table. I am in the Big Blind. Blinds are $100/$200. My hole cards are KK.


  1. Under the Gun (UTG) folds
  2. UTG + 1 limps in
  3. UTG + 2 limps in
  4. UTG + 3 folds
  5. Hi Jack limps in
  6. Cut Off folds
  7. Small Blind limps in
  8. I raise to $800

UTG + 2 and the Small Blind call. UTG + 2 called so easily that I had him on a decent pair, J’s or higher. Small Blind has a habit of speculating so I thought he just wanted to see the Flop.  

Flop: K 9 10 rainbow
Woo Hoo – I’ve got trip Kings. Now what are the chances that either has QJ to make the straight? UTG + 2 I figured definitely not, Small Blind maybe.

  1. I bet out a small $800 to see the response
  2. UTG + 2 raises to $1600 – So now I put him on a pair of Aces or trip 9s or 10s; and, actually, I considered it a bet correction. I had not bet enough.
  3. Small Blind folds.
  4. I push All In
  5. UTG +2 thinks a minute and calls

I turn over my Kings and he turns over QJ unsuited. So I need the board to pair to make a boat. Got about 10 outs – because Quad Kings win it as well.

Turn and River are blank cards and I’m out. That’s when I heard Mike Sexton saying,

I don’t like the bet, Vince…You can get the same information – betting less and not putting your tournament life on the line.

Yep. I thought of that one during the drive home. Thanks, Mike. I agree with you. Maybe next time, I’ll remember before I bet.
Of course, I talked to myself the whole way home. Shoulda…Woulda…Coulda. And…Who plays Q J offsuit out of position? Who calls a 4 times Big Blind bet pre-flop with Q J out of position?  It’s not like he was running hot. It was only the second hand of the night. Shaking head…I cannot control what others do. Okay – focus on my play. Next time bet an amount that will keep me in the tournament.

Interesting that I got a pair of Kings in my first Big Blind. My goal for the tournament was to practice defending my blinds. In the past, I have let them go too easily. Last week, I was lucky to be at a table with Andre. He’s a master at defending his blinds and I paid attention. So, the plan was to raise every Big Blind. I thought 4 times the Big Blind would be enough. I learned that it is not.

How about you? Are you good at defending your blinds? What is your strategy? Do you do it for all hands, including the 9 2 offsuits?

Big Blind Hand Gets Counterfeited

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Played No Limit Hold’em tournament in Milford tonight. Couldn’t get anything going and wasn’t getting any cards that would stand up if I bluffed. Basically a waiting game and I lost the wait.

Final Hand
Blinds $600/$1200. I was in the Big Blind. For the last 1/2 hour I had been waiting for a hand to go All In. Now, I’m sitting in the Big Blind, $1200 in the pot with $2300 behind, the short stack at the table – and – I’ve got Jc 3s. Not really the hand I want to go All In with.

Seven handed at the table. Under the Gun plus One (UTG+1) calls $1200. Small Blind calls $1200. I check my option.


UTG+1 checks. Small Blind bets $1200. I rasie All In for $2300.
UTG+1 folds. Small Blind calls for another $1100.



My two pair (J 3) get counterfeited by the Ks. I have a small glimmer of hope ’cause I’ve got a J – BUT – the Small Blind has Jh 10h. The 10 plays, and I’m out!

Lousy photo of the lousy board on my Final No Limit Hold'em Hand June 14, 2010

I think I’ll go chew on sand.

Poker Players Alliance T-Shirt Prize

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Poker Players Alliance Announcing the Win!

Over the weekend, I received a prize from the Poker Players Alliance for having correctly answered one of their trivia questions about the 2010 WSOP last week. 

A great XL (how’d they know?) Black PPA t-shirt. Front has the PPA logo.

Poker Players Alliance Logo on Front of T-Shirt


Poker Players Alliance back of T-shirt

I look forward to wearing it tonight at the Eastern Poker Tour No Limit Hold’em tournament in Milford, MA.

Not yet a member of the PPA? Click  “Join Here” on the banner in the sidebar on the right (no reimbursement to me) to go to the PPA’s website and sign up!

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