(I had a full post ready to go, and then my web host decided to go offline. Joy. This post is a distilled version of what I had already written.)

I finished 153rd in the WBCOOP on PokerStars. I was doing well until about two hours into the tourney, when I went all in with Big Slick (ace & king of spades) and my opponent had a pocket pair of jacks

*********** # 117 **************
PokerStars Game #23130684510: Tournament #170000000, Freeroll Hold’em No Limit – Level XI (125/250) – 2008/12/21 16:53:08 ET
Table ‘170000000 26’ 9-max Seat #3 is the button

Seat 6: AllJyn92 (3077 in chips)
Seat 9: Lytspeed (9055 in chips)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Lytspeed [As Ks]

AllJyn92: raises 2797 to 3047 and is all-in
Lytspeed: calls 3047

*** FLOP *** [8c 9s 5c]
*** TURN *** [8c 9s 5c] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [8c 9s 5c 6s] [Td]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
AllJyn92: shows [Jh Js] (a pair of Jacks)
Lytspeed: shows [As Ks] (high card Ace)
AllJyn92 collected 6739 from pot
Lytspeed said, “nh”

After that, I was short stacked, and had to make a move. Twenty-two hands later, I followed two other players all in with 99, which was good until the flop. When we showed hole cards, both had Aces, and one had AK. The flop held two kings, giving the latter three of a kind (kings.) I hoped for another nine on the turn and river to make a full house, but I guess I didn’t hope hard enough. He caught an Ace on the river to make his own full house.

Ah well. That’s poker. At least I won a ticket to a Step 3 tournament in the qualifier. That’s worth about $82 overall, and gives me a chance to win real money without having spent a dime.

But next year … next year will be different.

WBCOOP — Qualified!

I played in my qualifying tournament for the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker today. Here are the results:

PokerStars Tournament #124189663, No Limit Hold’em
Freeroll Super Satellite
549 players
Target Tournament #170000000
72 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started 2008/12/20 15:00:00 ET

Dear Lytspeed,

You finished the tournament in 16th place.
You qualified to play in Tournament #170000000 and are automatically registered for it.

Yep, 16th out of 549, well within the top 72 to qualify for the Finals tomorrow. I also placed well enough to receive free entry into a $75 + $7 Step 3 tournament, but I haven’t received the registration ticket for that in e-mail yet. The chances of coming away with a prize of some kind in tomorrow’s finals are good. There are only 369 entrants at this point, and the payout table (near the bottom of the page) goes through 100 places.

Looking forward to it! If you have a PokerStars account, drop by and watch me play at 1:00 PM MST. You can find me through Requests | Find a Player in the PokerStars software, and my username is Lytspeed.

PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

It’s that time of year again. I’m registering for the WBCoOP, assuming the Powers That Be approve this entry. I entered 2007 and 2005, as well, but didn’t do so well either time. This year has been better for me in the world of play money tournaments; the highlight was one of the giant freerolls that PokerStars hosts, the Hubble No-Limit Tournament. Out of 12,000 people I took 5th place. Yow! Here’s a paste from the results e-mail (emphasis mine.)

PokerStars Tournament #95460789, No Limit Hold’em
Freeroll Super Satellite
12000 players
Target Tournament #95435810
99 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started – 2008/07/17 – 22:32:00 (ET)
Tournament finished – 2008/07/18 – 01:43:32 (ET)
1: SirKenin (Unmouse me heathen), (qualified for the target tournament)
2: edabbott (orlando ), (qualified for the target tournament)
3: aleman 72 (berisso), (qualified for the target tournament)
4: mariellexx (cornwall), (qualified for the target tournament)
5: Lytspeed (Federal Heights), (qualified for the target tournament)

I’m hopeful that the incoming Democratic presidential administration and Congress will repeal or at least revise the stupid law (link goes to PDF file) hindering online poker that were passed in October of 2006. I hear that Obama is a pretty good poker player himself. Here’s hoping the Poker Players Alliance, of which I am a member, will gain some traction in the next few years.


Mr. Jdimytai Damour has been on my mind lately. If you don’t recognize the name, you might recognize his story. Damour was the 34 year old temporary worker assigned to the maintenance department of a Wal*Mart in Valley Stream, New York, who was trampled to death as a mob of bargain shoppers broke down the doors in their intense desire to nab the deep discounts on Black Friday.

Doorbusters, all right.

I still hear radio commercials using that term in regard to holiday discount sales. The latest one I heard was a J.C. Penney ad. Is the irony lost on them? How can they continue to use that term in the wake of the Valley Stream trampling?

Wal*Mart calls the day after Thanksgiving “the Blitz.” Blitz means “lightning” in German (cf. “Blitzkrieg,” or “lightning war.”) I suspect the Wal*Mart term doesn’t actually refer to the meteorological event, but to the store assault staged by buyers.

Why do companies use images of violence to promote holiday sales, especially during a time we are encouraged to show gratitude and respect to others? What do Wal*Mart and J.C. Penney expect when they use these terms? Is it fair to say that retailers foster feelings of competition and violence in their holiday advertising?

Where does the retailer’s responsibility end and the consumer’s responsibility begin? I’m sure no one in that mob went to Wal*Mart intending to trample anyone to death. Certainly, people need to accept personal responsibility for their actions, but in a mob mentality, self-preservation comes first, and conscious protection of others is secondary at best.

Of course, because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to determine who delivered the killing blow to Damour, so Wal*Mart will be left holding the bag. Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be appropriate for Wal*Mart to offer some kind of voluntary compensation to Damour’s family; the company certainly could have taken better security measures to protect employees and customers alike. But I don’t think Wal*Mart bears the full responsibility for Damour’s death.

Feel free to share any thoughts and opinions below. I’m curious to get other perspectives.