Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weekend Wrap up

The wife and I get started in the 7 pm tourney. I'm sitting in seat 1 at table 31. I love seat 1 and 10 usually but I hate table 31 as its always first to break. Sometimes I end up playing at 4 or 5 tables and it makes it hard to get a rhythm going when you're constantly moving. Unfortunately there was only about 70 people in the tourney, usually there is 100-110 people and they pay top 10 or so. This time only top 7 get paid.

I take a hit early and lose almost half my stack when I raise with a pair of jacks and a queen kicker and get pushed off the pot. Almost called the all in but it didn't feel right. Guy had been fairly tight and he pushed hard. Either he bluffed me or he had me, think he had 2 pair. Either way I don't want to make that decision that early. After that I catch nothing for a while. After the first break I'm the big blind. I have 100 in the pot and 950 left. Guy under the gun raises to 350 and gets 1 caller when I go over the top of him all in for 1050. I'm sure at least one has a real hand but both have been playing a lot of hands and I didn't think either had a big pair. I had 8s. I figure one will call me but both of them call without hesitation. Now I figure I'm gone but the flop comes out 8 K 7 and I catch a set. First guy immediately pushes all in and second guy immediately calls. Both flip over AK so now I'm really happy. Last 2 cards are blanks and I more than triple up.

They broke the table soon after that and I got moved to a really loose table. That was sweet cuz I started catching some cards for a while and I made a few people pay for loose raises and calls. I doubled up on one guy who loved his KQ against my pocket Kings then took a huge amount off a guy with K-5 when I had K-9. A small stack pushed all in with a straight draw after he bet and then I went over the top of them both and he called me with top pair - lousy kicker and my 9 played and I won a massive pot. Next thing I know I am sitting on 14 K and am one of the chip leaders with 3 tables to go.

That's when I decided to start giving chips back. I made a dumb call with just a flush draw against an all in short stack which cost me a few thousand and then another one with top pair against 2 smaller pair which cost a little more. Suddenly no cards are coming my way and I am just folding every hand. I did make a couple of steals to keep some chips coming and the people kept falling by the wayside. Before I know it we have 11 left and are just waiting for someone to go busto to make it to the final table. I am still not getting much to play but because I have been playing solidly, people don't want to tangle with me when I do bet. However I am still bleeding more chips than I'm making due to the accelerating blinds. I really need to steal more often later in tournaments. Finally 1 guy goes out on each table on the same hand and we move 9 people to the final table. I am 8th in chips and know I will need to make some moves to get into the money.

The 2 guys sitting to my right both have big stacks and have been playing pretty solid poker so I am giving them some leeway when they bet. Good thing too as the guy right next to me becomes an Ace magnet. Twice I pick up AQ, which I generally hate playing as it's just good enough to lose with for me. Guy to my right raises a fair amount both times and I reluctantly fold. The first time he gets a guy all in then flips over AA and busts the guy putting us down to 8. I make an all in raise over 2 limpers with QQ and get a walk from the big blind which puts me in a lot safer territory as some of the others are just bleeding away their stacks. I steal again from the button and I'm still getting a fair amount of respect because no one is tangling with me when I raise but I'm also making sure to avoid the 2 big stacks to my right and the asshat across the table who is the biggest jerk in the room. Finally one of the big stacks busts the guy to my left in 8th place who really called on a marginal hand. We had taken up a collection for the bubble boy and everyone put in 5-10 bucks so he actually made a few dollars over his buy in for going bust.

Now that we got down to the money, play really loosened up but the best part about it was the asshat pushed all in from early position with AK and the Ace magnet to my right instacalled and turned over AA of course. Goodbye jerkoff, enjoy that 7th place money. He had a fair sized stack too, was 3rd in chips and didn't need to push that big a raise but he did and it's sayonara. I am still playing patiently and not getting much for cards. I luck out when I push all in on a flush draw with 5-8 of clubs on a flop of J -6 of clubs and 3 of diamonds. Guy on the button thinks for a minute and calls turning over AJ offsuit. Next two cards are both diamonds but they are the 4 and 7 completing my straight. Boy he was not happy about that but I sure was. Took me out of the bottom in chips. Guy went bust shortly after that. I folded AQ of spades a couple of hands later, very reluctantly, to a big raise from the Ace magnet and when we talked later he told me he was making a pure steal on crap but I just hate hate hate going bust on AQ. And I've done it often enough thats for sure. We get down to 4 players when I flop 2 pair with 10-8 on a K-10-8 board. Guy to my left bets out, folded to me and I raise to put him all in. He calls with KQ and I sweat the last 2 cards which are blanks and bust him. Guy 2 seats to my right busts the guy in 4th place and we're down to last 3. I have about 25K in chips and the guy to my right about 60K while the guy to his right has 55K so I am at a decided disadvantage. Blinds are now 2-4K so I don't have a lot of time left. I pick up AJ on the button and take both their blinds when they fold to my raise. Next hand the guy 2 places to the right raises and the guy next to me raises him back. They both get all in and Ace magnet takes it down, though not with Aces, I think it was KK actually but can't remember now. I was really surprised the other guy was willing to risk his whole stack at this time when he could have waited for me to go bust and been in at worst 2nd place and he was close to him in chips. But thats how it goes sometimes.

Now the guy to my right has 110K to my 30. He tells me he doesn't want to chop since he has such a big lead, and hell I understand that for sure, but he is willing to talk about it if I come back on him. Thing is, if I come back, I might not want to chop because maybe he finally is going card dead and I can take him out. I hold my own for a while but he calls my all in raise when I make top pair with a Q4 and of course turns over AA. Good night to me lol. I had a feeling too but I couldn't throw it away when I flopped the Q. Still I made over $400 on a $45 buying so I was not complaining. It was fun and profitable.

Since it was Memorial Day weekend and I had Monday off I decided to play in the Sunday night Omaha Hi tourney at the Tampa dog track. But I'll make that a later post.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pardon the Interruption

God, has it been well over a month since I last posted. Even though it took me about a week to finish my last post, that's still like April 9th and today is May 28. Sorry about that chief.

It has been a hectic time at work and home over the past month. At least work is now slowing down, tax time is over and the phones are not ringing off the hook. I have been working on one problem though for well over a week now and it's still not done. I have about 30 copies of handwritten pages from one of our clients with a bunch, but not all, of her stock purchases and sales since 1969 and I'm trying to get the cost for all these stocks. There is about 50 of them in her account now. The bad thing is, she bought AT&T before the break up in 1984 and held it all the way up to now. So there are numerous shares of AT&T along with all of the spin offs that have not merged back with AT&T (Lucent, Verizon, Idearc, Fairpoint, LSI, NCR, Teradata, and Vodaphone and I'm probably forgetting some too) not to mention having to figure out how many shares of Bell South became AT&T and SBC (Southwestern Bell) also. Some of the Baby Bells even merged with each other and then with AT&T. Needless to say it's quite a mess and since I am sure there are some purchases missing, not to mention all the splits, spin offs, reverse splits, and mergers, I cannot come up with a number for many of the stocks that agrees with the number of shares the lady transferred into us in 2006. I did manage to get a couple of them to come out right, but most of them are not right. But enough work talk

Outside of work, I have been spending a fair amount of time playing poker. I did manage to referee a spring football game last week and had a lot of fun, but most weekends I have been playing poker. My main game when I am not in a tournament is Omaha Hi/Lo. It is rare when I play that and don't make money, especially if I play at the Hard Rock in Tampa. That is one loose game. I refuse to play low limit hold em anymore except when I am waiting to play Omaha because I feel you just cannot consistently win at it. Due to the rules of the state of Fla, you generally cannot play in a limit game with a high enough betting structure to raise people with totally inferior hands out of the pot usually. Thats not an issue in Omaha because you know no matter what your hand is, you need help from the board to win anyway. But in Holdem, no matter how good your hand is, you can lose it to anyone if enough people stay in the pot. And most of these yahoos do it very often.

Anyway this past weekend was poker nirvana for me. Saturday afternoon I started playing at Derby Lane which is the closest place to my house to play. The spousal unit and I were gonna play in the 7pm tourney that night but I went to play some Omaha in the afternoon while waiting for the tourney. Before going to play ( the place doesn't open till 2 on Friday and Sat) the wife and I, along with the money pit, err teenaged daughter, went to see Indiana Jones. After the movie, which I will get into in more detail either later on or in another post, they wanted lunch but I wasn't hungry at all as I have had a cold since last Thursday and my appetite is way down. So they dropped me at the track to play poker while they went to eat and shop. I got there about 15 mins after they opened and the only Omaha table was full with 4 people waiting so I put myself on the list. While I was waiting I decided to play $2 limit holdem. I could have played 2-4 or even 1-2 no limit but I don't carry enough of a bankroll for the latter and I was just wanting to kill time till I played omaha so the 2-4 could have gotten expensive (though I usually do not lose much playing at that level either)

The poker room was running a couple of promotions, one if you got pocket 3s and played them to showdown and won, you got $100, and if you lost you got $50. You had to take them all the way to showdown though, you couldn't bet everyone out of the pot and then show them. I hit that twice in a row a couple of months ago and even though I lost both times, the extra hunny was nice. My buddy Dan hit them like 4 times in one sitting and won a couple of them so he got an extra 300 one day. Nice. So I'm playing for a while and I'm not playing too many hands because I don't want to just blow a chunk of change before I play the game I am best at. I win a hand after being down a bit to get myself close to even. Then I pull pocket Js. I was on the button and the pot wasn't raised when it got to me so I didn't raise it like I should have. Still it all worked out lol. Flop comes K J 8 with 2 diamonds. Lady in first seat bets, one other guy calls her, and I raise which they both call. Next card is a black 2. Lady bets again, guy calls, I raise again and they both call again. I'm wondering what they both are holding to bet into me and then call my raises. I am just hoping for one of the low cards to pair and make my boat when that beautiful final jack hits the river and I got quads. Again the lady bets, the guy calls her, I raise and they both call. I think the guy was just flabbergasted when I showed quad Jacks. He couldn't believe I had the goods. I said to him "Hey, I raised on every street, I had to have something"

That qualified me for the 2nd promotion, which is the high hand on all the holdem tables each hour gets a free entry into the WSOP tourney this coming weekend. It's a 200 dollar buy in tourney and the top 4 finishers win a seat in the WSOP main event plus a week of hotel, airline tickets, and 2 grand cash. NICE. Unfortunately my Jacks were beaten when someone made quad Aces but I didn't care. I won a nice pot and I already qualified for the tourney a few weeks ago. I HIT A ROYAL FLUSH for the top hand one hour. And you can only win once so I couldn't win again with the Jacks and sell the other seat anyway. The bad thing about the royal is they no longer give cash bonuses for royals. I missed it by about 10 days. Sucks to be me, prolly would have gotten 3 grand for the royal if I had done it earlier. The other bad thing is the guy who had the high hand before I got my royal, had a King high straight flush. How would you like to get a hand like that and NOT get the hourly high hand lol.

Not long after that I got called to play omaha so left the table with a profit of about 20 bucks which for low limit hold em is a huge amount for me. I played for a couple of hours and couldn't get it going. Not much in the way of hands and when I got a good hand, the flop never seemed to agree with me. So I was busy pissing all my holdem winnings right down the drain lol. But slowly as I folded a lot of hands. I started getting hungry right before 6 and since I was gonna play in the holdem tourney at 7 I decided to quit soon. Finally picked up a playable hand. Flopped the nut flush and it held up and even though it was a split pot, I still made a nice amount, enough to put me ahead for my time there too. Had a quick dinner, the wife met me while I ate, and we went to play the tourney. Think I'll pick up from here a little later.