June Poker Roll Continues, with a Twist :-)

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So, I last posted on June 4th, and things were going swimmingly. I played a bit on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th as well. On all but the 10th, I lost. This was predicted. I lost every single Omaha Hi-Lo game I entered on those days (not including the 10th). I came 3rd two times in Hold’Em SnG’s, which were my only 2 cashes in those 4 days of playing.

I was actually quite pleased with my play in the Omaha games, even though none of them worked out. In one, I was knocked out in 11th place, and they paid top 10, so that was frustratingly close, but still a good statistical result…

I was making some tough decisions, that ended up (mostly) being correct (decisions), even though the results weren’t always the ones I would have hoped for. When you get outdrawn as a big favorite, most often, you made the right decision to get your chips in. Not always, but most often.

Total for the 4-day down period: -$126.55 🙁

Then we come to yesterday. I played in 4 tournaments in total. First one was an $11 Hold’Em multi-table with 68 entrants, paying top 8. I rarely play in these types of tourneys. I ran into possibly the biggest maniac I have ever played against, and he was two to my left (which isn’t a bad place to have a maniac playing, as you can be sure they’ll raise you with crap, and call your raises with crap).

He was hitting the craziest hands. On one, he went all-in with 23 off suit (yes, that’s a 2 and a 3, not suited). He was called, and on the flop there was a 3, and the river was another 3, giving him three of a kind, and the win. Just one example of many. So, when I got AA, I didn’t hesitate to raise. Very astute players would have noticed that this was the first hand I raised all tournament, and might have folded. All the other players at the table folded, but the maniac called.

Flop came 689 rainbow. A touch scary for me, given the kind of hands he’s called with already. But, I was committed, knowing he was an idiot, that if he got lucky, that was my bad luck. I bet, he raised, I re-raised all-in, he called. He had Q6 off suit. So, he raised me with bottom pair. Of course, a Q or a 6 on the turn or river, and I was toast. Neither came, and I doubled up.

He continued his wild play, and continued to mow people down with insanely bad hands. At one point he was up to 15000 chips, when the second place player had 7000. In other words, he had a monster chip lead. Unfortunately, before I could double through him again, he was moved to another table. I had one opportunity to double through him (and even wipe another player out, nearly tripling) but I chickened out when an A came on the flop to my pair of 10’s in the hole, he had 5’s and overplayed them, surprise!

I had a strong suspicion that he wouldn’t finish in the money, but it seemed inconceivable, given his massive chip lead. I’ve already spent way too much time on this story, since it isn’t the great one of the day, so I’ll cut to the chase. He finished 11th. That was 3 out of the money, but 1 away from the final table. Poor guy…

I finished 7th, one better than last in the money. I got back $40 for my $11. Not too shabby, and very happy to get a cash in a multi-table Hold’Em against strong competition. It had been a while!

Simultaneous to this, I played in a $1.10 tourney which was a qualifier for the nightly $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. In other words, the top prizes in this tourney paid the entry fee for you into the nightly tournament. I rarely get to play in these qualifiers, since they are during the day (when I am often pretending to work) 😉 but this being a weekend, I gave it a shot.

I rarely win these qualifiers, because they are unlimited rebuy and add-on tourneys. I refuse to rebuy too many times because that defeats the purpose of trying to win a cheap entry fee, and others don’t mind rebuying many times, so they can play ultra aggressive poker, since they have no fear of busting out. Eventually, they get lucky, apparently usually against me. 😉

This time, I didn’t rebuy at all, but did a double add-on, so I invested a total of $3.10 in the tourney. I came in 3rd, and the top 7 all got free entries into the nightly tourney.

Before the nightly tourney, I played in a $5.50 Omaha Hi-Lo with 82 entrants, paying top 10. I played well, but fizzled in the end. I finished 10th, and got back $10.25. No complaints, a cash is a cash. 🙂

Now the biggie, my free $22 Omaha Hi-Lo, my regular tourney, in which my nemesis was also playing. 🙂

In the second hand of the tourney, I was faced with a decision for all of my chips! Two guys before me were all-in after the turn. The board was 3-4-J-Q with 2 diamonds. I had the A and 8 of diamonds, so I had the nut flush draw. I also had a 2 in my hands, so I had the nut low draw as well. Also, if a 5 came, not only would I have the nut low, but I’d have a straight and would likely have the high as well. Finally, my fourth card was a K, so a 10 would give me the nut straight for a high as well. In other words, I had a monster draw.

Typically, this early in a tournament, especially a big one, with big prizes, I would fold like a little girl (no offense to little girls). 😉 Given the decisions I have been making lately (even though most haven’t worked out), I thought for a while, and I called the all-in. The river card was the 6 of diamonds, giving me the nut low and the nut high. One of the guys was out, and the other was left with 485 chips. I had 3795 chips and was in second place.

Needless to say, the guy with 485 chips berated me for being an idiot, and that this had to be my first tourney ever, etc. He had a few people chime in sympathetically agreeing with him that I didn’t know what I was doing, etc. Unfortunately for him, two hands later, he was out of the tourney, and he bitched a little more as an observer before shutting up and packing it in.

I stayed in the 3200-3800 range forever, drifting from 2nd to 10th along the way as others accumulated chips and passed me. Eventually, we got down from 82 players (top 10 get paid) to 30. This is where it gets really serious. Low stacks either play scared, hoping for 10th, or ultra-aggressive, realizing that this is their only serious chance. It’s important to notice which type each player is. Until pretty recently, I was the former, always trying to squeak in to the money rather than playing boldly.

This time, I wasn’t a short stack. In fact, when there were 20 players left, I had roughly 9000 chips, and was in 8th place. I certainly couldn’t guarantee getting into the money, but if I didn’t take stupid chances, it was more than likely I’d make it.

The guy two to my right for quite a while was the chip leader for a good portion of the tourney, and was reasonably aggressive. He was making a classic mistake of some chip leaders, and that is playing nearly every hand. They figure that if no one is raising pre-flop, they may as well see as many flops as they can, since they have the chips to do so, and if they get lucky, they have the chips to push people around.

Unfortunately, in Omaha Hi-Lo, it’s really easy to get second best hands which look good, and when you’ve got the chips, it’s a lot harder to lay them down, since you want people to know you can’t be bullied. So, his chips started to slide. In a 10 minute period, he went for over 12000 chips, to roughly 6200. At that time, I had 7500 chips.

We ended up in a hand heads up. I had A28T. At the turn the board was 34QK. He raised the max, which left him with 385 chips. I had him covered, so that if I lost, after his final bet on the river, I’d have only 1300 chips left (not a great amount at this point in the tourney). There were 17 of us left. I was still in a good spot to get into the money, but if I folded here, I would have had about 5200 chips left (in other words, I already had about 2300 chips in this pot). I thought for a while, and figured that he had to have a high hand already. Given his previous betting patterns, I didn’t think he even had a low draw.

It was a tough position to be in, given that if I didn’t hit my low, or a J for a straight, I would need extraordinary luck to make the money. On the other hand, if I won, I would have a shot at winning the tourney, and we all know that I rarely make those decisions in favor of going for it. This time, I decided to call. The miracle river card of a 5 gave me the nut low and a straight, so I scooped the pot, and I had over 13500 chips, and he was out in 17th. I read him correctly, as he had QQJ9, for a set of Q’s with no low draw.

While people at the table chuckled at his misfortune, at this stage of the tournament, people understand the type of call I made a little better, and I didn’t get any personal grief. The point of reporting it here is that I am never unaware of all of the good luck I get when I get it. I don’t attribute those two rivers in this tournament (the early 6 of diamonds, and the 5 in this hand) to my brilliancy, but rather to great luck. I am just pleased that I had the guts to risk my tournament life (for a change) in both those situations.

I was now in 4th place with 16 left. The rest of the tourney was interesting as well, and a real battle of ups and downs. In the end, I came 3rd, and got pretty darn unlucky (with no complaints about luck in this tourney!) to lose my last hand. 3rd was worth $245! That meant that I was 4 for 4 in tourneys yesterday in terms of cashing. Also, I ended up only paying $3 to win that $245, since I got in to this one from the earlier qualifier.

Revised total for June is now: +$493.07

Once again, I don’t have any illusions that this can’t be lost back, but, now that we’re down at Zope for 2 weeks, I won’t have quite as much time on my hands to shovel it back in as quickly as if I was home. 🙂

Change of plans today…

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On a nice day today, our power up at the house went out about at about 11:50am. If it was going to happen, the timing turned out to be not so bad.

I was playing a little poker a little earlier, and was the short stack with 7 people left in a 1-table SnG. I was dealt a pair of 7’s and pushed all 415 of my chips in the middle. The button called, and the blinds both folded. The button had K8 of spades. Basically, a really stupid call on his part, but he definitely had the chips to afford it, so he did it.

He caught an 8 on the river, of course, and I was out. The power went out 2 minutes later. So, had I hit the hand, and had 920 chips, I would have been much more annoyed at losing by being cut off, than by losing to bad luck, seriously.

After checking with a neighbor, whose power was out too, I called ConEd. After reporting the problem, I received an automated call that the power would be back on by 4pm. What to do without any Internet connectivity? 😉

We both started reading for a while (how quaint). But, given that we’re both always exhausted, we both ended up napping for a while. I never do that (even when I know I will enjoy it), but Lois often can’t keep her head up on weekends, since she sleeps even more poorly than I do.

The power came on at 3:50pm, 10 minutes before predicted, and exactly 4 hours after it went off…

I have two 18-year-old APC UPS devices. They each weigh something like 3 tons (OK, not quite that much, but you wouldn’t want to lift either one). One of them barely holds a charge when the power goes out, but nothing critical is connected to it. The other one still works well, this many years later. I have my Asterisk machine connected to it. Basically, most of our power outages last a few minutes at most, and I don’t want the machine to reboot unnecessarily.

Here’s the part that I can’t explain. The machine stayed up the entire 4 hours. However, after the power came back up, and I was able to make a call (so the machine was in a good state!), it somehow lost it’s mind. It was still up, but no longer serving up anything (not even pingable). It rebooted cleanly, and is working perfectly again, but I can’t explain the behavior. I run it headless, so I couldn’t easily see any error messages, and didn’t care enough to connect a monitor, etc.

Anyway, we’re back to normal, and thankful for the little things, like a fan and a microwave. 🙂

June Poker Roll Continues :-)

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OK, like I said, I can’t resist sharing while the good times are rolling.

I started the day with a $1 (OK, those are really $1.10, but I’ve been rounding in my previous reports) 😉 Omaha Hi-Lo. I play those for fun, since even first place is under $100. Prizes are just as good percentage-wise, just not in absolute value.

What I like about these is that it’s a good time to hone skills against bad players. What I mean is that most people are playing like it’s a freeroll, so they play much more loosely. After all, who is afraid to lose $1. I try hard to treat it as a very expensive tourney, and see if I can adjust my style to work against that loose play. It rarely works, but it’s fun. I have come in the money at least once, but like I said, it’s rare…

Then I played in the $11 Omaha Hi-Lo that I won on Saturday. I finished 30th out of 80. Not that good in other words…

Then I played in another $1.10 Omaha Hi-Lo, which was a qualifier for the nightly $22 one. I rarely play in that one, but I had a chance to today. I was doing fine, then I got unlucky and it was all over. No complaints.

Then I entered a $5.50 Omaha Hi-Lo. I was doing really well. There were 20 players left, and I was in 7th. I ended up in a hand where I flopped a set, the other guy bet, and I called. On the turn, I improved to a full house. He bet, and I called. River looked like it might end up giving us a split, making a possible low for him. He went all-in, I called. The river gave him a higher full house, so I lost. A few hands later, I was out in 20th. They only paid the top 10. Oh well…

Then I entered the regular $22 Omaha Hi-Lo evening tourney. Ironically, my nemesis didn’t enter tonight, which is pretty rare, and he did log on later on, so he was likely just running a little late.

79 players, top 10 got paid. I had solid cards and played them reasonably well tonight. When I built a nice stack I got a little too conservative. It didn’t hurt me tonight, but it could easily have done so. On one hand, I chose not to risk my stack after I limped and someone with a much smaller stack raised big, and another one called. I would have flopped a set of J’s, and improved to 4 Jacks, and knocked them both out and had a monster stack. Like I said, tonight it didn’t hurt me.

Long story short, I finished 4th. Since there were fewer players than yesterday, I didn’t make substantially more than I did for my 6th yesterday, but I’m not complaining. I got back $158 for my $22. Woo hoo.

Winnings for the day: +$116.04. Winnings for the month: +$342.15

If the roll ends, or I don’t get to play for any reason, I likely won’t write about it. Not because of any shame, but rather I’ve learned that no one likes bad beat stories, and certainly no one wants to hear didn’t get to play stories either. 😉

More Early June Poker Success :-)

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This one is very long, so if Poker stories aren’t of interest to you, quit now! 🙂

I can feel myself getting sucked in to more “frequent” poker updates, oh oh… I think it’s only because I’m in NY for a decent stretch, and finding a little more playing time than when we’re at Zope. One more week to go on this home stretch.

OK, so after I reported my nice win on Saturday night, I played in two additional tourneys that night. The first was my regular $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney, and I didn’t make the money there. Then I played in one Hold’Em SnG (Sit ‘N Go, which are the one-table tourneys) and lost $11. So, I gave back $32.40 of my previous winnings, as predicted. 😉

Yesterday, I started off playing in an Omaha Hi-Lo one-table tourney (they just introduced them on this site, and they were my favorite on my old site which stopped permitting US players). I bombed out there as well. Then I played in a $5.50 Omaha Hi-Lo. 81 entrants, paying top 10, and I bombed out in 14th. I honestly thought I’d make the money in that one, oh well…

Then I entered the regular $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. 104 entrants, paying top 20. Before going into this specific tourney, permit me a little meandering on a side topic. There is a guy who regularly plays in this tournament (in fact, there are a lot of regulars). I consider him my nemesis. He has busted me out of three tournaments on or close to the bubble (very close to the money, in my case, missing by 1-3 places…).

I consider him to be a terrible player, and worse, he’s so slow as to be maddening. That said, I’ve learned that many players who I consider to be terrible, and often lucky, are actually not that bad, and maybe even good, they just have a style that doesn’t work for me personally. To be specific, some players are more than willing to bomb out frequently, as long as the same strategy produces top three finishes with some regularity. On that score, he can’t be a bad player, because he finishes in the money more often than any random measure would predict.

OK, back to our tourney from last night. Since we play in the same one together often, I usually keep his table open at the same time that I’m playing mine, so I can get a feel for how he’s playing and doing at the moment. Last night, he doubled up on the first or second hand, and remained strong for quite a while.

I started off a little slowly, because there were two maniacs at my table. They can be a great source of chips, but can also easily be the source of a very early exit. After settling in, I caught a few good hands, and was able to triple my chips from the original 1500 to 4700. What some people call all-in bets with is just incredible.

I then did something that is completely uncharacteristic for me. I limped in with A25J off suit. The maniac to my immediate left raised to 225. Given my chip stack, I fully intended to call that. The guy to his left went all-in for a total of 545. I intended to call that too. The second maniac called the 545, and so did I. The maniac to my left raised all-in, to 1445, instead of just calling. The second maniac went all-in for a total of 2140. Previous to Saturday’s win, and if I didn’t have a nice big chip stack, I definitely would have folded. Instead, I called. I figured that unless I got really lucky, I would perhaps get a quarter of the pot by splitting the low. Unfortunately, there was no low, and the second maniac scooped the entire pot, and ended up with over 6000 chips. I ended up at 2800 (still a nice stack, but nothing like the 9000 I would have had if I had been the scooper of the pot).

The first maniac who started it all was out. The guy who won the pot (with a very lucky hand, since he had no shot at a low if it materialized!) ended up winning a bunch more pots and was the overwhelming chip leader for much of the tournament. He made the money (which surprised me a drop), but ended up 18th or 19th, which basically got him his money back.

I ended up drifting in the 2400-2800 range for a very long time. Meanwhile, at the other table, my nemesis was drifting between 4000-5000, so he was doing better than me.

We finally got down to 30 players, and were 10 away from the money. The prize structure in most tournaments is highly skewed toward the top three payoffs (as it should be), and when they pay more than 10 places, payoffs above 10 are often barely more than you put in to begin with. This one was no different. Prizes for 11-20 were $24.20, for an original investment of $22. Better than losing, but nothing to crow about.

I was in a position where making the money was not guaranteed, but I had a good shot. I think I was in 14th when there were 30 of us. Not safe enough to be aggressive, or, ironically, too passive, but enough to be able to play cautiously and wait for some good hands. I ended up making the money reasonably easily. My nemesis did too, but he had some scares along the way, and was no longer in a strong chip position.

When we were down to 14 players, I was in 12th, and was pretty darn weak (in terms of chips). I really didn’t think I would make the next cut. 10th paid $48, so nearly twice what 11th paid. Lucky for me, the two times that I had hands that might have held up with my all-in bets, everyone folded, and that gave me enough chips to survive another couple of rounds of blinds.

Finally, someone bombed out in 11th, and I was at the final table. I think I was in 9th at the time. If I could survive one position, I would get $73 instead of $48. A few hands later, that happened. Then one other guy bombed out and I was in 7th (second to last) chip position, but now I was guaranteed at least $97. Then I got a very nice hand. My nemesis was in last position (his luck in making the final table was exceptional, again, but at least not against me this time!). He was in the big blind. I decided to limp in, under the gun (UTG).

Everyone folded, which was surprising given how few chips I had (I couldn’t have busted any of them), but I guess that I had played so tight for a while that it was a suspicious limp. My nemesis called. Flop wasn’t great for me, but it wasn’t awful either. The turn card appeared to be good for me. He went all-in, and I thought that I had him for sure. I called. It turned out that my good card was his great card, in that it gave him a straight. There was no low (I ended up with three Aces, not bad either), but I lost. Now he was “healthy”, and I had $2115 left, and the big blind was $2000. Oops.

Anyway, when I was the big blind, only the small blind raised, and I called, and won. Then I won two more in a row (in all three cases, I had the best hand before the flop, and after, so I was lucky in that I was dealt good cards, but not lucky that I won hands where I was an underdog). A few hands later, I won one more, and I was in 4th place with 8 still left!

Now I’ll cut to the chase, I got a little unlucky, but I can’t complain whatsoever (obviously), and I finished in 6th, and got $146.40 back. The guy who was in 8th with 8 left ended up winning the tourney, as he won something like 8 hands in a row to climb into third. He won $652, to put the skew into perspective!

Again, I am not complaining. It was a very satisfying tournament, and I think elevated my game a drop. Oh yeah, and I also finished 2 places ahead of my nemesis, so no complaints there either. 😉

New total for June is: +$226.11. Again, no illusions that this will last, but enjoying it while I can. 🙂

Early June Poker Success :-)

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OK, I really can’t wait until the end of the month to write this report. Not so much because I want to brag, but more because I have every expectation that I will lose it back, and the drama won’t be there when all is said and done. 😉

So, June has only had two days so far, but I’ve had a lot of play already. I was up late last night, and I have played a number of tourneys today as well. Here’s the rundown.

Started off with a $1 Omaha Hi Lo and lost. Darn. Played an $11 Omaha Hi Lo and lost. $11 Hold’Em tourney and lost. Great start to the month, as I was now down $22.68. Then I entered a $6.50 Omaha Hi Lo last night with 303 people in it. I finished 21st, and got back $12.19 for it. Not a big return, but an excellent finish percentage-wise. End of “first day” total: -$16.99.

First tourney this morning was a $5.50 Hold’Em that I lost. Second was a $5.50 tourney that was a qualifier for a $200K tourney tomorrow. Only top spot paid the entry fee, but they also paid prizes for the next seven places. There were 25 players, but it was a “rebuy” and “add-on” tourney, so when people bust out, they can buy more chips and stay in. So, it’s like playing against a lot more people. I didn’t rebuy (meaning, I played just with my original chips, then I did the one add-on). So, my total investment was $10.50. Most other players put in more, some much more. I finished 4th, and got back $31.50. Not too shabby.

Then I noticed an Omaha tourney starting in two minutes, which had an $11 buy-in. I quickly registered. On the second hand, I had the nut low, and ended up all in. Oops, it turned out to be an Omaha High Only tournament, so my low was worthless! So much for rushing to register. I was out in 3 minutes, and lost my $11, all due to my own stupidity…

Now the good one. 🙂

Entered an Omaha Hi Lo (yes, I verified the “Lo” part this time). 54 entrants, each paying $11. Prize money to top 8. Long story, but it was a little bit of a struggle, because one guy hit practically every single river, one with a miracle card, and I ended up staying out of his way, even when I had hands that likely would have beaten him. It was hard to lay some of those hands down, but he was a real luck box.

Long story short, he was an overwhelming chip leader, but eventually busted out in 4th. I ended up winning the tourney! It’s been a very long time since I’ve had this kind of result. I’ve won this much money recently (twice in fact), but in higher entry fee tourneys, where I came 3rd and 4th respectively. Today, I came first, and got back $162.00 for my $11. 🙂

I am now up $149.91 for the month. As you might recall from my most recent entry, I was up $140 last month as well, so I am not bragging that this will be a good month, simply sharing that I had some good results yesterday and today (even though I lost money yesterday!).

May Poker Results

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Wow, May was not a good month. At least not economically.

Let’s lead off with the bottom line, because it’s ugly, and I want to get it out of the way: -$74.09.

Whew. I could go on and on about how many unlucky hands I had, and it would be true, but it would be completely meaningless. That happens all the time. I continually put myself in positions where outdraws were possible. In Hold’Em, that’s exactly what you want to do. In Omaha, the number of draws is often crazy, and you can easily get sliced up overbetting decent flops, even though the people who are calling are risking their tournament lives…

OK, I’m over it.

First, the highlights. I had a really good streak mid-month, and was up about $140 for the month at that time. Now you can appreciate the slide that I’ve been on since then…

I had two straight-flushes this month, and one royal flush. The royal came in Omaha, and there was no low, and I was called down, so I actually cashed in on it. It’s rare to get called if you hit one in Hold’Em, so it was a particularly sweet moment. On the other hand, it was in a “Limit” game, so I didn’t clean up. In fact, I finished 4th in that tourney, one out of the money. 🙁

On to the breakdown. I played in 24 Hold’Em one-table tourneys. That’s an investment of $264. I collected $180. I lost the last 8 in a row, so I was ahead a few dollars until the last week.

I played in 12 multi-table Omaha 8/b (Hi Lo) tourneys for $22 buy-ins, total invested $264. Three in-the-money finishes, for a return of $278.00, for a minor win. Considering that I lost the last 7 in a row, that’s were my early profits were, which I gave back too easily.

The rest, an amalgam of multi-table stuff (including a few $5 Omahas, but mostly Hold’Em). There were 18 of those, ranging from $1 to $15 in buy-in size. Total invested $139.30. Only three cashes out of the 18 tourneys 🙁 and they were all in $5 Omaha games, for a total of $83.07. So, I made a decent return on my Omaha ones, but blew 100% of my multi-table Hold’Em ones this month. I should have played nothing but Omaha. 😉

So, a bad result for the month, with some bright spots. I got to up my play a bit (nice long weekend on Memorial Day), but finished the month really poorly after a great start!

See you next month 🙂

DKIM and Thunderbird 2.0

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In an effort to get a handle on who is signing messages with DKIM, I just added a message filter which automatically tags and stars any message that has been signed. I can now visually see which domains/users are DKIM-enabled, and get a sense for whether the mass is coming, and how quickly, etc.

This will also let me write better spam filters against DKIM messages, because I’ll have more data to analyze without have to waste time opening headers that aren’t appropriately tagged.

If I learn anything useful (which is doubtful), I’ll report back…

DKIM now installed

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DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is now running on my server. I don’t think there are enough sites using it yet for it to have been worth my effort (it was more effort than I expected it to be), but now it’s done, so we’ll see.

Of course, if everyone else also said “It’s not worth the effort, and I’ll wait to see if it gets adopted”, then it will never reach critical mass.

For now, the only really useful thing is that I can now credibly (and easily) toss all email that purports to be from any of my originating domains to us. My spam filters did a reasonably good job tossing those, but now I should be 100% sure that an email claiming to be from a domain that I control, actually is from there.

I had hoped that another benefit would be verifying that any email from was legitimate (since that’s such a popular spamming return path). Unfortunately, while Yahoo! definitely supports DKIM (and the original DomainKeys), many legitimate users don’t send their emails through the Yahoo! smtp servers, so their emails don’t get signed. Oh well.

In any event, I’m now an enabler of the future of anti-spam measures, rather than a laggard. 😉

Next step on this train is likely to be greylisting. There is a lot to like about it, but a lot to be wary of from a business perspective. I didn’t give a link because I’ll do that if I install it and get it running.

So close, and yet, so far…

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Well, the semi-final started at 8pm. 1931 entrants, top 100 move on to the final, so roughly 5% make it…

When there were 184 left, I was in 82nd, so it was looking possible, if not probable. Then I went card dead. When there were 113 left, I was in 113th.

Still, I got A3 offsuit (a horrible hand, but better than nothing), and shoved all my chips in. Everyone folded except the big blind, who had to call, because it was only 400 more chips for him (which is the problem with having a very short stack). Anyway, he had J8 offsuit. The first card off the deck was an A, so I was looking great. No J and no 8 on the flop, yippee! Unfortunately, both the turn and the river were 8’s (what a joke), and I was out in 113th.

Like I said in the title, so close and yet so far.

Still, I played for free for 8 hours in total, and had a blast.

One hand worth mentioning, just for fun. Early on, I had roughly 1700 chips. I had JT of hearts. The flop came 9h Jc Qh, so I flopped an open-ended straight flush. One guy bets 200, and I call, and one other calls too. The turn is the 8h, so I make the straight flush. Now I’m praying someone has the A high flush, and the other has a straight. 😉

First guy bets 200 again, I call, third guy calls again.

River is a another Q. First guy checks, I bet, third guy raises, first guy folds, I re-raise all-in, and he calls. I assume he has a flush, or possibly even a full-house, or at the very least, a straight. Nope, he has three Q’s. Go figure. Anyway, I had over 4000 chips after that hand, and was able to sustain that through another 1200 people, before finally busting out. Nice hand, bad overall result…

Temporary success against the odds ;-)

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I’ll save the normal monthly poker update for the end of the month, where it belongs. 😉

In the meantime, I’ll report on an interim success story, which might not have a happy ending, but at least had a happy beginning. 🙂

Today, I played in a tournament in the morning, and did OK, but didn’t make the money. When I finished, it was 1:56pm. I glanced at the tournament schedule, and noticed that there was a freeroll at 2pm (in 4 minutes), where the top 50 players got a free entry into tonight’s weekly semi-final tournament to win a free seat to a big tournament played in Aruba!

A freeroll is a site’s way of giving back (or sucking in, depending on your perspective), where you pay nothing to play in a particular tournament. Sometimes, they restrict the number of players, sometimes not.

I registered, and when the tournament started, there were 3500 entrants. That meant that the top 1.4% of the entrants would move on to the semi-final. Note that the semi-final doesn’t get you a seat in Aruba, it just gets you an entry in the final, which is the one that can get you in to Aruba.

Tourney started at 2:01pm, and at 6:23pm, I finished in 34th. First place and 50th are worth the same, so 34th doesn’t matter. In fact, once you’re safe, it’s idiotic to risk your chips against a bigger stack, because the only thing that matters in this type of tournament is finishing in the top 50.

Anyway, at 8pm, I’ll be in the semi-final. I have no expectations of moving on, but I’ll do my best. The fun part is that I got to play in a meaningful tournament, without risking a penny, got 4.5 hours of enjoyment and experience, and now get to try and repeat that feat. Cool. 🙂