Maybe I’m just bitter, but I think the Pacific Poker tournament structure is terrible. You only start with 800 chips, and blinds go up really, really fast. Plus, they don’t believe in filling tables, so the blinds eat you up even faster.

That said, I didn’t get much in the way of good cards either.

I won an early hand against Otis when my Big slothoki caught two Aces on the flop and a King on the turn. I couldn’t get much out of him, though.

From there, I couldn’t catch a thing. I played a few marginal hands and hit no flops. That combined with the blinds ate me up pretty fast.

At one point, I got KQs and raised pre-flop on the button with one call from the BB. The flop brought J-10-x, giving me a straight draw and two overcards, but no flush draw. I bet out and got raised. I should have folded or gone all-in, but I called. The turn brought another blank and I couldn’t call another big bet.

That knocked me pretty low with the blinds going higher and higher. I went all-in with A6o and got two callers. Thankfully, Otis folded A-10 from the BB and an Ace on the flop helped me triple up. But I only tripled up to 420T, with 50/100 blinds coming my way.

From there I got moved to another table… and after the blinds knocked me in half, I went all in pre-flop with pocket 9’s… and got called by pocket K’s. There was no help for me, and I went out 15th out of 30 players.

The only saving grace is that Otis is the chip leader at the break. I’m rooting for him!

My meanderings through the worlds of Omaha and Stud (briefly, very briefly) have not helped my poker game. For some reason I’ve been neglecting my bread and butter: No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.

That’s NLHE for the uninitiated (but why would the uninitiated be reading this blog?). NLHE is the New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies of poker games (in case you’re wondering, the Phillies are now the comparative standard for top-of-the-line). It’s the game by which all other games are to be measured.

And it’s now a lot like my front yard: thick with weeds and in need of some chopping. Reading that back to myself it makes little sense, but I digress. The bottom line is that my game needs sharpening. Sunday is the Iggy Invitational, and my NLHE has to be top notch if I hope to avoid embarrassment.

With that in mind, I jumped on Pcific Poker. I figured I should get used to the interface before the big tourney. It seems easy enough to use. I think blind levels go up too quickly, but that’s okay. At least the chat feature is easy to use, so trash talking should be simple.

Before I even dropped a dime on the game, Pacific gave me $10. For doing nothing. I love Pacific Poker, it’s the best ever! I also decided to deposit another $50 for which I received a 25% ($13) bonus. Pacific also covered the Neteller deposit fee, so that’s another $5.

To recap, I hadn’t played a hand yet, but Pacific had given me $28. Maybe they knew I’d be giving it back soon.

You see, staying away from NLHE for a long time can obviously be a bad thing. It’s like leaving your pudding out for too long. You won’t like the first few bites, but eventually it should taste good again. (Hmmm, reading that back I’m not sure anyone will understand that analogy. You see, pudding can develop a film on top if it’s sitting out and… bah… forget it.)

I’m apparently not through the filmy top layer of the pudding yet because I’ve busted out on the bubble of three consecutive SNG’s. I really have no one to blame but myself. Granted, I got rivered two out of those three times, but at that point in the game, I don’t think I was making the smart plays.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and there’s no use crying over spilled milk. That’s what I always say! (No Guinness was consumed during the composition of this post. God, I need a girlfriend…)