Thursday, December 16, 2010

Year of the Freakin Tiger

Around February 2010, before the Chinese New Year, there were lots of talk around Feng Shui, astrology, good luck, bad luck, 5 element temples and all.

They all said that I won't be lucky this 2010. I've never completely believed in them because I've been an advocate of forging your own path and that you have the power to change your own destiny. However my bankroll seemed to listen to the experts' advise more than I do because it kept slipping away.

So I decided to save a little money and not play poker until the Year of the Tiger is done. And maybe I'll start to listen a bit more to what the experts say about the coming Year of the Rabbit before I start to loosen my purse strings again.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FHM True Story

Exerpt from FHM Philippines Dec 2010, True Stories

"I was playing in a popular poker hub in Ortigas, seated at a 10/20 blinds table. Whenever I win, I get myself a beer, which was tad expensive compared to the bars outside. That time, I was already done with my seventh bottle and was looking for the waiter to order another one. The waiters in the place wear all black outfits so when I saw one, I waved at him violently and said, 'Psst! Halika dito!' He replied, 'Who me?' I nodded in agreement so he approached. I said, 'Isa pang beer!' The guy looked stunned and shouted back, 'Customer ako dito, gago!' He was fuming mad. I tried not to laugh as I apologized for the misunderstanding. When I peeked in the exclusive room for high rollers and VIPs, I saw the dude in black seated with a mountain of P10,000 chips in front of him. The guy was so filthy rich he could easily buy off a man to take me down. Had I pissed him off more, I would be in deep shit right now. -Christopher lee kimura, by email"

Moral lessons:
Don't wear black in The Metro
Don't mix poker and alcohol
Always be courteous to service people

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cheating at Poker

I just came home from a poker room. This is what happened.

I was playing 10/20. It was going fine and I was winning a bit. One hand, villain raised to 100+. Everyone folded to me. I had 55. I asked villain how much he had left, he showed 300+ total including his raise. I put him all in and he called. We were heads up so by my count, pot was 600+. He had KK which was fine. He took down the pot. So he had around 600.

A few hands later, I saw that he wasn't in his seat but chips in his place were just 330. He hadn't played any hand since his KK so I was wondering where his chips went. He came back and I saw that he had 300 in his hand. This was ok. Then after a few hands, I saw him stand in his place and put his hand in his pocket. After that, I can clearly see that he no longer has any chips in his hand and the only chips he was playing with was the 330 in front of him.

I wanted to be real sure that he kept the chips so I was waiting for him to play. Within the same orbit, he went all in (330) with JJ against an opponents QQ. (I'm not sure about the cards because by this time I was on tilt.) He had never played another hand so he should have more than 300 with him.

After I saw him go all in with only 300+, I stood and went to the floor manager on duty and told him about it. I'm not sure what happened after because they need to check the recording but I swear that he kept those chips. I would stop playing poker if I'm proven wrong.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ricardo Festejo

I was watching TV a couple of weeks ago and saw a player who looked Filipino playing in a World Poker Tour event. He placed second which was great but I was wondering why no one talked about him. Apparently because he just made 1 appearance in a big event.

It was an old tournament; 2005 Borgata Poker Open. Festejo placed 2nd after being crippled by this hand. Let's start at flop of K 7 2. I can't remember what the pre-flop action was but Festejo was ahead in chips by a small amount. Villain was first to act and checked his 32, bottom pair bottom kicker. Festejo raised with A2 around a little more than pot-size. Villain moved all-in. If Festejo folded, he would be behind in chips but it'd still be anybody's game. Anyway, after a few minutes in the tank, Festejo called. He called his freakin' bottom pair for almost all his money against an overbet which, well I won't even speculate what the reason was.

Whatever the reason was, it was great call. That is until a 3 came on the river which gave the villain 2 pair. No help on the river and that's all I know about Ricardo Festejo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plan B - Fail

I was going to grind at the 25/50 tables. So I... ground? grinded?

Anyway, I failed to get enough to buy in. I guess I won't be playing this FPT. Damnit!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Facebook Fan Page - Update

I've added a new widget on the right-side of this blog. It's for the Final Table Donkey Fan Page. Now it'll be easy for everyone to see updates on the Fan Page. This will come in handy when I'm posting live updates.

Don't forget to click on the like button below.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pokermanila Satellite to 5M tourney

I joined but it was a blur. Short-handed with 15-minute levels. I got one premium hand, KK, which won. I lost almost half my stack when I hit my straight against a flush. Then I was struggling until I went out with middle pair vs middle set.

I wanted to post updates through the Final Table Donkey Facebook fan page but I didn't have the time to do so. Maybe next time.

Plan B is to play 25/50 to get the buy-in for the 5 Million guaranteed tourney this coming weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Facebook Fan Page

Final Table Donkey now has a fan page. If you like Final Table Donkey, go to this link,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Midas Touch - Field Report

Yesterday, May 21, 2010, the new poker room in Henry Javier St., Oranbo, Pasig opened. This PAGCOR accredited poker room is called The Midas Touch and has the potential of being another alternative for poker players. However, it's hard to say this early on if poker players will actually like the new poker room. They're just in their soft opening and there's still some room for improvement.

  • It's very spacious. Tables are far away from each other that people can go through without disturbing the players at the tables.
  • Their tables include a built-in card shuffler which is pretty interesting. It's supposed to make the dealing faster but I can't tell if it actually is.
  • It being near a more stable poker room will make the competition a little bit better. If there's competition, the players get the better of it.
  • There's no ATM nearby. The nearest one is a 10-minute walk or 2-minute drive away. And when the player who needs to withdraw goes that far to do so, there's a possibility he won't return.
  • Lack in quorum. Of course I did go there on their first night when only a few people knew that it was open. We'll see in the future. For now, it's hard to play when employees outnumber the guests.
  • There's a line on the house rules which is a little disconcerting. "Fights are not permitted inside the house. Fights are only permissible at the parking area and only after all the side bets have been made." I mean, why should this even be on the list of house rules?!?!

I may be spending my time playing here. Just because it's literally just across the street from where I live. Maybe until they lose my confidence.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I entered Day 2 of the Labor Day Tournament with an average stack and I felt good. It was the first time that I reached the second day and I was ready.

But the strategy I had made in my head never materialized. It was one bad decision after another. I got a second chance when I was able to crack AA with my 99 but then I lost most of it a few hands after when I hero called a raise on a board of 33A2A.

I was short stacked with just a little more than 10x BB and the buzzer just signaled the end of another level, I needed to make a move. I was SB and everybody folded to me, I had A2o. I shoved hoping BB would fold or just have a smaller hand. He had A4. This was fine as there was a very big chance of a split pot. Flop comes 7-6-x. Turn shows a 5. It was already a split but then river showed a 3. Villain has a straight and that was that...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Labor Day Tournament Update

I made it through Day 1!!!

I think I've joined around 5 multi-day tournaments but this is the first time I reached Day 2! Next goal, I have to win.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Poker Room

A friend texted me about a new poker room. And lo and behold it's across the freaking street where I live. I stopped by earlier but they were still closed. The caretaker said they're going to have a sort of soft opening this coming Monday.

I guess I'll stop by again this Monday after I win the Labor Day Tournament this weekend.

Monday, April 19, 2010

PokerManila 40k guaranteed

PokerManila gives the best tournaments, in prize, price, and skill.

Yesterday was PokerManila's 40k guaranteed. For just Php 100-300 (depending on forum activity) a member can win some cash and a seat to either an APPT satellite or the Labor Day tournament at The Metro. The best thing about it is that the field is full of top players.

I won a seat to the Labor Day tournament and it looks like I'll be playing another multi-day tournament. I'll be going for the win. It's about time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poker Debt

Poker debt is part of poker though it's often kept between the people involved. I just feel that it's timely to bring it out in the open and talk about it a little.

It's common for poker players to lend and borrow from each other; maybe poker players just view poker money differently. This ranges from a few hundred to thousands of pesos. The reasons also vary from need (player needs to play but is short) to convenience (player has money but not at that particular time and place). I've heard of a few people who have borrowed money from other players for gambling. No one has heard from them after they've "gone into hiding" from not being able to pay. On the other hand, there are also some who seems to always be short and needs a helping hand, but they always pay and no one hesitates to lend them. There are some who would ask to borrow from strangers or acquaintances.

Here are some guidelines when it comes to poker debt:
  • Don't lend money to strangers.
  • Don't lend money if you can't stand to lose the amount.
  • Don't borrow money without a sure way of how to pay. (Don't assume that the money borrowed will win)
  • Don't borrow money from people you won't lend to.
  • All debts have to be paid.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Poker Break

I'm running bad again. And as usual, I'll be taking a break from poker. The thing is that my bankroll can't sustain a two-week losing streak. And I don't even play that often. This is becoming a routine which I definitely need to stop.

I don't want to start playing again only to find myself in the same situation. I'll only be playing invitational tournaments or if I'm staked. In the meantime, I'll be focusing on the other things like writing and painting. Not to mention my kid and my day job.

The thing is that I always here about people who don't have to worry about money winning at poker tournaments and cash games. I guess there really is that unquantifiable factor about playing scared. I can have a 50x buy-in bankroll and I'd still be a little scared only because I'm not rich. So first things first, I need to be rich before I start poker again. That can be a long time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Korean poker players

When poker started in the Philippines, people generalized Koreans as loose players with a lot of money to give away. They mostly played in the casinos and they were, in my opinion, instrumental in how popular poker is in the Philippines.

After a while, they started to learn how to play and there were less customers. But today, a Korean fish sat at my 10/20 table at The Metro.

Everyone's play instantly adapted. Players started playing tighter than a nun's... ummm... whispering eye. One didn't need to raise monster hands as they could just limp and the Korean player would more than likely raise to 30x BB. He raised 95% of the time and folded 5%. He never limped, called a raise or checked. And he'd always bet on the flop. I think he actually bet on all streets.

The main problem was that he was very lucky. His pockets would hold and draws would hit. There would be someone in the table who would rebuy after every other hand.

Needless to say, I lost 2 buyins and I called it a day. Last hand, I called his massive 40x BB preflop raise with my AKs which put me all in. I missed the board and his 66 held.

Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Skylounge Reunion

I wish the Metro people would create a Skylounge Reunion. It would be great to get to play with people who around five years ago when only a few played poker.

Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King

I just finished reading The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King by Michael Craig. I have to say, it's the best book I've read in a while. And I don't normally read books written by people who are still alive.

The book doesn't necessarily make one a better poker player but it made me think about being a professional poker player more than before. Maybe it doesn't sound so crazy after all. Everything he said about the characters were dead on as the way they are here. Poker does transcend race and age and everything else that keeps people apart. It doesn't matter if you're a pro playing in the Bellagio or a rounder playing in The Metro, everything's the same.


This month I'll be rebuilding my bank roll again. This time I'll do it right. I'll put 20k in the cage at The Metro and leave it there. That's only for poker and I won't take out anything from that except to play poker. I'll build it so I can move up.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fold AA?

It's been a while since I encountered a hand worth writing about and this ranks near the top of the list. It happened during a PokerManila satellite for the P3M tournament this coming March. There were around +/- 45 players who joined, 21 of which were initially set to have seats to the P5,000 buy-in main event.

This is how I remember the whole scenario. Pardon me for writing a very long post.

There were around 28 players left. I had a healthy stack of about 25,000 to 26,000. Blinds were 500/1000 with 100 ante. People were starting to tighten up as we were approaching the bubble. I was in middle position with AA. I raised to 3500. Everybody folded and I showed my aces. Ariel saw the aces and commented that if I had limped, he would have gone all-in and he would've been in trouble. I replied that if I had limped and he had gone all-in, I probably would've folded my aces as I would be risking too much of my chips as he almost the same amount of chips as me. Besides, if I did limp, I would only have 1000 invested and I didn't think it was worth it.

An orbit later with the blind still at 500/1000, I got AA again. I was again in middle position and I raised it again to 3500. Ariel was in late position pre-flop (button or SB, I can't remember) and he raised all-in. I had around 27,000 to 28,000 and I had him covered by a little more than 1000. I tanked.

My initial thought was he had KK or QQ. I didn't want to go against those. He could have low or middle pockets but with the cards that I've been advertising, I doubt that he'd re-raise against me with those cards. He could have nothing because I said that if he'd push all-in that I'd fold even AA. There's a chance that he has Ax but that's not too probable. And there's a smaller chance that he has AA as well. I decided that he has big pockets and I don't want to be chasing an ace if he hit his trips on the flop and be busted out with only a few people left.

I said "fold" and I showed my AA. I never thought I would ever say that I folded AA pre-flop, but I did. Ariel was a sport and he showed his AA. We both had the same cards and he won the hand without contest.

If I knew that he also had AA, I would've called in a heartbeat. Sklansky said that "Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain." Does this mean that since I would've played it differently, I actually lost?

Mathematically however, I really had way too much to lose if I had called. All 21 winners would get the same seat which has the same value. I wouldn't need to win 1st place; I just need to outlast 7 people. With my stack, it would be easy for me to do that. My stack wasn't enough to guarantee a seat because the blinds are going to increase but it won't be hard. With the bigger picture in mind, my decision can be seen as sound.

But since there's math involved, there's nothing better than AA and if I won't call with AA, what else would I call with? AA can play against any hand and it'll still be a favorite.

The argument can go both ways and there may not be a right or wrong in this particular case. But I think that just by thinking about it this much shows that my game has matured. I also don't have any reservations about my decision and I'd probably do it again in the same scenario. I won the seat and I think that it made folding aces the right decision for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Neil arce places 2nd in pokerstars

Neil Arce remains to be the most decorated Philippine-based poker player today. He just recently placed 2nd place in the PokerStars' Sunday Warm-up. You got to hand it to Neil. I don't think anyone in the country has accomplished what he has in the recent past.

I just can't wait for the Neil Arce Cup this March 2010.

Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Poker Income IPhone and iPod Touch App

I've been looking for a way to track my bankroll for a few years. Before, I tried to keep track of it through Microsoft Excel. But it proved to be too tedious. Recently, I've found an easier way. This is through an iPod application called Poker Income.

Poker Income can show hourly rate, which games are worth playing, it tells you how you're running, etc. Everything I was looking for in a bankroll tracker. And it's right in my pocket. No need to remember my playing details until I get home to my laptop.

I'd definitely recommend getting this app even if you're just a casual poker player. Get this at the App Store.

Monday, January 11, 2010

World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

This will be my 2nd time to join this PokerStars event. All bloggers are given a free pass to be a poker champion. I was able to make it to the main event the last time. I hope I'm able to win it this time.

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers, you too can take part by registering on WBCOOP

Registration code: 013659

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ad from the web...

Here's an ad i chanced upon on the web. The ad doesn't provide that much info so i decided to email them. I'll be posting their reply when they do reply.

Online Poker Player
(National Capital Reg)


Play of at least 15-30 games per employee during the work day. Limits to that based on losses and skill level. Maintaining play consistent with the strategy and performance guide we will provide, but also a moderate understanding of game play is a plus.


  • Candidate must possess at least a Bachelor's/College Degree , any field.
  • At least 4 year(s) of working experience in the related field is required for this position.
  • Preferably 1-4 Yrs Experienced Employees.
  • 4 Full-Time positions available.

Sent from my iPod

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Metro Ultimate BMW Freeroll

The Metro Card Club is going to have another freeroll for regular players. Players just need to complete 300 hours of play from Jan 1 to Mar 31, 2010. After completion, they will be registered to the freeroll for a chance to win part of the 1.5 Million guaranteed total pot and a brand new BMW.

This is definitely much more manageable than the 150 hours required last November.