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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Good Day to Stay In

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful day of family, food, fun, and much laughter. And for those with no family, a condition a number of people down here in Fla deal with, I hope you had a special and satisfying day as well. I had a full day myself, a full last 2 days when you come right down to it, and I'm pretty tired now. But it was definitely a good last 2 days.

I am kind of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas. I like opening presents on Christmas Day and not Christmas Eve, I like a cold Christmas, preferably snowy (fat chance of that here) and I like turkey for Christmas dinner. Struck out in all 3 this weekend.

David, my oldest had to work on Christmas as he's a 911 operator so holidays are just another day for him. Admittedly he gets paid quite well to work on a holiday, but still its a day where everyone else is out with family and he has to work. So because of this, we decided to have the boys over on Christmas Eve for dinner and to open presents. Being a traditionalist I thought a nice simple dinner like the early Americans would serve would be fitting dinner on Christmas Eve. So I made Chicken Parmigiana. Didn't the Pilgrims serve that at the first Thanksgiving? Maybe it was George Washington at Valley Forge. Something like that. Actually Chicken Parm is about the favorite meal for all the kids and one of the few meals all the kids liked a lot growing up.

After dinner we adjourned to the living room for presents. Even though everyone is grown we still do stockings for the kids and the wife and I do it for each other as well. The kids all got new wallets from a local leather manufacturer. They do some high end stuff for designers like Oscar De La Renta etc, using some really exotic skins. We knew about the place because it is owned by the father of a woman my wife used to work with. She quit working at the county to help out her dad as he got older. We visited there in November and picked up some wallets for the kids, one in lizard skin and the other in alligator for the boys and I'm not sure what the daughter's was. They also got some dvds and some candy including a big Reese's snowman. I got some Perry Ellis cologne which I have never worn before but is very nice along with a battery for my laptop as mine died. Some of my favorite chocolates, Mounds bars. For the wife, I got her some Chloe perfume, a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure, some Bailey's filled chocolates and some Godiva chocolates. I also got her a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons cd. She and the daughter both went to see Jersey Boys this past year and they really enjoyed it. My wife has always liked Frankie Valli and now the daughter does too.

For Christmas we got David the oldest boy a new Xbox 360. We also got him some clothes including some long sleeved henleys and polos as its almost always chilly in the 911 center where he works. The younger boy Patrick got a new motherboard and power supply for his computer along with a Ninja blender/food processor and some assorted clothes. Sarah my not so little girl got a couple of pair of boots, a yearly pass to Universal studios, some clothes and a set of cookware she wanted. Needless to say they did ok.

My wife got a nice digital camera, a gold and emerald bracelet, a Tom Tom for her car and a carrying case for it. I got some shirts, a gold tie tac, an electric corkscrew and in the funniest thing of the day, not one but 2 e readers. My boys got me one and the look my wife got on her face when I opened that told me she had gotten me one as well. Which she did. So she will probably get the one the boys got me.

We made it a relatively early night as David had to work today. He brought Patrick over to the house on his way into work this morning. Unfortunately I was up already. I woke up at 5 am with a massive headache. Not hungover or sick as I didn't drink but a couple of glasses of wine yesterday. I don't get headaches very often but this one ranked up there among bad ones. I took 2 naproxen (Aleve) tablets about 5:30 and they had almost no effect. I took another around 8:30 and it calmed the pain a bit but not completely. We went to my sis in law's house for brunch around 10. The young kids got gifts and we all had a good breakfast which I didn't have to cook. We got home around 1:30. Patrick took about a 3 hour nap and I tried to get some sleep too but only got about 45 minutes. The girls went over to my other sis in laws house to prepare a standing rib roast. Once I got up from my little nap I prepared some loaded mashed potatoes which turned out pretty damned good. We ate well, drank a bit, had some pies for dessert and made it home at a fairly early time. Everyone was pretty tired but for some reason I could not get to sleep early. I was up past 3 am. And then I slept till 11 am today. Latest I've slept in quite a while.

Christmas day was a nice day. I ate brunch outside on my sis in laws patio facing the water (she lives on the beach) wearing just slacks and a long sleeve shirt. As much as I enjoy a white Christmas, it did not suck. There was a good breeze blowing or I might have actually been hot instead of just comfortable. As the day wore on, it got cloudier and a little more breezy but stayed nice. I ate dinner on my other sis in laws screened in patio. A bit cooler, especially as the sun went down but still very nice. As the night went on though this front blew in. It rained pretty hard for a while last night and the wind was really blowing. Still is. And it got cooler. It was warmer at midnight last night than it is now and the temps are gonna fall to the 30s tonight. So my brother and sister (and Josie too) get a blizzard today and we get some chilly weather and some wind and rain. I do miss the snow.

Oh my, just looked at some web cams up in RI and it looks pretty nasty up there and getting worse. Definitely a good day to stay inside by the fire with a nice warm (possibly alcoholic) drink or two, both up there and down here. I don't envy anyone going to work tomorrow, the few that go anyway. I will be there bright and early myself. Doubt I will get too many calls from Financial Advisors in New England and NY.

There were so many other things I wanted to post about this weekend but I am just going on and on as it is so I think I will end here. Hope everyone is playing well, those of you in the virtual and real card rooms. Stay lucky you nuts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The weekend wrap up

Is just a little late. Went back to Derby Lane Saturday night to play a little more and register my wife to play in the 8pm tourney. She was attending the high school Xmas dinner with her sister and our niece and wanted to make sure she was registered for the tourney so I went over there early. So I signed her up out of my winnings the night before and sat down to play some cards.

They actually had an omaha hi/lo table going this time with a waiting list so I signed up while I killed some time playing 1/1 no limit holdem. Did not get a hand to play so I mostly folded the entire time I was at the table. Did get involved in one hand with A-10 suited where I flopped the flush draw but couldn't hit another card. Typical of my holdem luck lately it seems. No biggie. Thankfully I was soon called to the Omaha table.

I sat down and the first hand was a half kill pot. Normally I would have just waited for a normal hand to start because you have to posted an ante equal to the big blind when you sit at the table and I usually would rather not start paying $6 to play. But it seems lately a lot of hands have been kill pots so I figured I might as well play this hand. The guy to my right who is kind of a dick tries to convince me not to play. I've played against him before and don't care for him so I play. After I look at my hand I wished I had listened to him. K-10-7-6 unsuited. Yuck. It's called around to me in the middle of the table and I check. Further down the way some guy raises so now this hand is gonna cost me $12 just to see the flop on this hand. But I call anyway. Flop is so so - QJ8 giving me a bit of a straight draw with 2 clubs. It's checked to me and I check as does everyone else. Turn is a sweet little 9 of hearts. It's checked again and this time I bet out for $12. One guy raises to $24 and I put him on a set with maybe a flush draw. Surprisingly a couple of others call back to me and I call as well not wanting to push more money into a hand I have a decent chance of getting most of my cash in on the first hand and getting whacked on the river. But the river is an off suit 6. I bet out again and get 2 callers. I figure someone else probably has K-10 as well so I'm splitting the hand but no. One guy has a set of queens, the other has 10-7 for a smaller straight. Can you say scoop?? So I'm one hand in and up over a hundred already.

I play 3 of the next 4 hands and win or split all of them. Not great hands but I was in for the half kill for the first one, in the big blind for another and really had a good hand the third time. Deck just kept hitting me and I'm up about 200 in no time. Not only that I am wiping out the jerk to my right at the same time, which makes me even happier. Then of course the poker gods decided I had been lucky enough and the cards deserted me. I just kept dumping hand after hand after looking at crap cards time after time. I was lucky in the sense that I wasn't getting cards worth playing so I wasn't investing in the hands. The few times I did get good cards the flops were completely opposite what I wanted. But I keep plugging along biding my time cuz I know the cards will turn again if I give them enough time. You know when you're running good how the cards hit you even when you play shit or you'll go through a time of garbage cards but then it turns and you start raking again. That's how I felt. Not like some other times where nothing went right.

The wife came by on break from her tourney. She doubled up by cleaning out one gal and then hit quad sixes a couple of hands later for another decent pot. Later on she even catches a royal flush in diamonds - unfortunately in tourneys, only a spade royal pays a bonus - but didn't get paid off on that hand for much. She looks at my mini pyramid of chips and starts envisioning a trip to the mall or a pedicure and massage. I envision a couple of bottles of wine and a steak. Women are from Venus aren't they?

After she headed back to the tourney I managed to hit a couple of hands only to get rivered and losing. Fortunately a little while later I flop perfect right to my hand when 2-3-5 hits the board to my Ace 4 of clubs. Not only that 2 clubs are sitting there. I'm hoping for a high club to come on down to make this one a real winner but it doesn't hit. I bet every street and get called through the turn by 4 people. Lucklily even though the river isn't a club, it doesn't complete any other draws either as a 10 hits. I bet again and 2 people call me, one with a set and one with A-6 so I still scoop the pot.

I play a little while longer but don't make anything and just piss away some chips. The table breaks not long after and I stack up my $160 extra chips and go check on the wife. She's holding her own but not getting much in the tourney and the blinds are starting to climb. They get down to 2 tables and I go to play a bit more 1/1 holdem while she continues playing. I don't get to play for long before she busts. Since we're both a bit tired we decide to wrap it up and go home. She is very unhappy about busting out, not because of the hand she lost but a hand a little before that.

She is on the button with 9-9 and starting to feel the increasing blinds pressure her. She is planning on pushing in when it's her turn when the guy to her right who is slightly shorter stacked than she is pushes in. She knows he is a very tight player and that really makes her 9's shrivel up a bit, plus nines just kill the both of us more often than not. So she dumps the hand and the big blind calls the guy. He flips over AJ suited which made her unhappy as she read him a lot stronger but what really kicked her off was the flop was 995. The other guy takes this guy out with a small pocket pair. After that she couldn't buy a break and was soon gone. That might have been the maddest I've seen her after playing. And I didn't think her fold was that bad. I tried to convince her that she had the right read, at best she was 50/50 with the guy (which she was vs that AJ) and quite possibly she was down 4-1 preflop but after seeing those 2 nines she was so sure she screwed it up. What do you think? Would you have called for almost all your chips in that situation? She was down to about 16-17 big blinds so she couldn't wait around much longer but do you trust your read enough to dump a pretty good hand in that position? I thought she did the right thing but I'm pretty conservative so I wonder how everyone else would play that.

Sunday we went to the mall as we both had to pick up some stuff we ordered online and had delivered to the mall for pickup. Weather started turning nasty. Cool and rainy and and very windy. As the day went on it got cooler and Sunday night was downright chilly and windy. The mall on the other hand was HOT. Both Sears and JC Penneys were baking, especially Sears. I know they are not doing well but making all of the shoppers uncomfortable is not gonna help sales I think. Eventually my wife turned to me and said, I gotta leave, this place is making me sick I'm so hot. So we left. And went to Total Wine and Spirits (my favorite store). I picked up 4 bottles of wine and some beer along with a bottle of water for the wife and pepsi for the daughter all for $40. We got a call from my wife's sister inviting us over for dinner so we brought over a couple of bottles of wine and had a good dinner while we watched some football.

All in all a good weekend. Hope everyone else had a good one too. I'll write more soon. Till then stay lucky you nuts.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I love the taste of Riesling in the evening....

Tastes like.......victory. To paraphrase the immortal Lt Col Kilgore. Just got back from Derby Lane after a not so long session of poker. I'm eating a late dinner and enjoying a bit of wine with it. The wife and her sisters went to Orlando after work today to pick up our daughter from college. She just finished her first semester of college. I feel old. So after work today (Friday) I ventured down the street to Derby Lane to play some poker.

I wanted to play Omaha today but I was surprised to find no table going when I got there. They had an interest list which I signed up for but I was only the 5th or 6th person to sign up. So I went to play $1-1 no limit for awhile. Not much happened there, no big hands, hell not much in the way of hands at all. I played it much tighter than last week and managed to use my tight image to take down a couple of pots. But I was just breaking even while I waited for a big hand. They were running that special again where the top hand each half hour won $500 so I was hoping for something there. One time the best hand was Aces full of sixes, another was Aces full of 8s so it didn't take a monster to win most half hours. Unfortunately, it was all I could do to have 2 suited cards or an Ace and a face card. I played for about an hour and a half and was dealt one pocket pair, 7-7. Next best hand was Ace Jack offsuit. Not a great day at the table but I kept it cool and collected and stayed away from trouble. Finally they called the Omaha table.

I really didn't think we would get it started. Only about 4 people showed up at first but a couple of more people wandered over and we started with 6 people. Nothing good happened at first, I wasn't getting much in the way of cards so I just observed the other people around me. Older guy across the table was very aggressive. He was pushing a lot of draws and bad hands but I wasn't getting any kind of hands to dispute him with. But I watched. Lady near me was pretty tight and played solid. Couple of other people around the table were pretty loose but mostly passive too. So I watched my stack dwindle a bit and took mental notes while I waited for a hand. A few more people joined the table and we actually filled it up. Then it started to turn.

I was in the big blind with K-10-8-2. Normal crap I had been seeing. 5 limpers to me and I check my blind. Flop is 10-6-4. Not great but the loose aggressive guy bets of course. Gets folded to me and I know he could have anything so I call with top pair. Two others call as well. Turn is nice when a king falls and I figure I'm ahead with top 2 pair. He bets again and I thought about raising him but I kinda wanted to keep the other 2 people in the hand as well. If I make it $16 I figure they will probably fold unless one of them is sitting on a set. Probably should have raised anyway since there was a low draw out there as well. River is another beautiful king and of course he bets again. This time I do raise him up. Oh did he give me a look but he called and was very unhappy when I showed the nuts. He shows his cards to the guy next to him and starts going off how he had me on the flop. Yeah you did cuz you played another shitty hand and flopped bottom 2 pair. Unfortunately, bottom 2 in Omaha SUCKS. After that he gave me a very wide berth and just folded when I reraised him a couple of other times. He also folded a couple of times when I led out. Usually I even had a hand when I bet into him.

I won a big pot later on when I picked up AAJ9 and flopped an ace. Usually thats just a prelude to getting whacked on the turn or river and thats what I half expected this time. Especially since 2 hearts hit the flop and I didn't have any. I expected the dealer to turn a heart to screw me but instead he turned the fourth ace. Now we're talking. I bet every round and 4 people kept calling me all the way down. Once guy reraised me as he made deuces full of aces. Boy he didn't like my quads at all. It was a big pot but unfortunately a low made it on the river so I had to split the pot. Still that put me up about $100 by then. I made a couple of other hands and then went completely card dead for about an hour. I played next to no hands except when I was in the blinds and even then I was usually dumping them after the flop as nothing connected. Thats ok, as long as I kept my head I knew it would turn back. And it did.

But it turned around again. I was in early position with KQJ10 with the QJ suited hearts. The flop was AQ4 with 2 hearts. I have a great draw for the straight along with the 2nd best flush draw. The turn was a 9 which helped but didn't make anything. It was checked to me and I bet. I was hoping for a king to make my straight or a heart, especially the king of hearts to make the flush for me. Neither came but the river was an 8 which made me a straight to the queen. I had to check twice to make sure it was good but after figuring I made the nuts I got ready to bet. Then the tight lady near me bets out after the river. I just couldn't put her as betting out on a made low in that situation. I thought for a second and figured I'm splitting the high end with her. There were just too many people in the hand for her to figure she was the only one with the low so instead of raising her up I just called her. A couple of others called. She shocked me when she turned over A2 for the nut low. I flipped over J10 for the nut straight and the other 2 guys had 2 pair and A3. I really was surprised that woman didn't have J10 for the straight as well. I wouldn't have been surprised if 2 people had the high and the other 2 had the low. Still it was a nice pot, even for half of it.

I'm getting too sleepy to finish this so I'll pick up in the morning

Back again. I scooped another hand a little later and the pot was just big enough for the half kill to be in play so I was in the big blind for $6 for the next hand. I looked at a crappy 4-5-8-10 with the 8-10 being spades. It was raised preflop to me but since I was in for $6 already I put in another 6 to see the flop. The flop was ok, 3-4-5 with the 4-5 in spades. I checked then called the bet by my old nemesis across the table for 6 bucks along with 4 others. I thought I might be ahead with top two pair though someone could have flopped the the wheel straight with A2. No one pushed hard though so I felt ok. The turn was bingo, another 5. Now I know I have the lead and I bet out for $12 and get 4 callers. I know I'm pretty vulnerable and it's probably a split pot so I was hoping everyone else either had a straight or flush draw or had a low. The river was another 3 but not the 3 of spades. I bet out, one guy thinks for a bit about raising but just calls, another calls and 2 others fold including my nemesis. I turn over the 45 hoping no one has 33 for quads. They don't and not only do I have the high, no one has a low. The other 2 guys had 34 for a lower boat and a A5 for trips. Often times trips will win in Omaha when there are 2 pair on the board but not this time. Not only that, no one had a valid low so I scooped the whole pot. That was sweet. Put me up to about $240 at that point.

By then I was getting hungry and tired. It was about 10:30 and it had been a long day and long week at work. Some of us did not go to Vegas this week to party and play. Work has been very busy with a lot of phone calls to boot. Not only that, we are in the middle of testing a new system we will be deploying this year. So a number of my peers were doing testing most of the week which meant they weren't available to handle phones or workflow or anything. That was bad enough but the people doing the testing were all experienced people, none of the newer folks were doing the testing. So there was a serious drain of qualified people who could handle a lot of different things. Mainly myself and a couple of others were the only people in the department with more than a year's experience. I was a little surprised they didn't take a couple of the newer folks to do the testing. That way they would get an idea of what the more inexperienced people could do with the new system and also leave a little more experience in the department. After all it's been busy for the past month so they know we are under the gun a bit. But I am just another cog in the machine so I don't get paid to make those decisions. Now enough of my bitching. Anyway I was tired by then so I called it a night and booked a nice win. Victory is sweet, like a nice wine.

When I posted my last missive, I was about to head to the company Xmas party. Now that was a good time. About 45 of us or so got together for a major meat fest. It was at this Brazilian steakhouse named Boizao in Tampa. I had never heard of it before but some of my co workers had been there and said I would enjoy it. Man were they right. We got there at 8 pm and were seated shortly thereafter. I introduced my wife to some of my coworkers she hadn't met and we were seated at one of 4 tables in a separate room. Then the food. First we hit the salad bar. Not your typical Ruby Tuesday bar. There was prosciutto and cheese, huge portobello mushrooms and a number of items I didn't recognize right off. It was good. After the salad we got back to our room and they starting bringing around meats. There were potatoes and also fried bananas. I am no banana fan except in a banana split so no big thrill to me. But the meats, now that was a thrill. They bring these meats that have been roasting by an open fire out on huge skewers. Then they would slice off a piece for you right at your plate and you'd grab it with these small tongs, kind of like sugar tongs, while they sliced it. And oh was it tasty and there was a large variety. I started with some delicious top sirloin, maybe the best sirloin I ever ate. Then there was some flank steak, filet mignon, steak roasted in garlic, parmesan pork loin, linguica, garlic chicken and bacon wrapped chicken. They also had ribs and lamb chops but I don't eat lamb. Everything was good to excellent starting with a few surprises. Unsurprisingly I loved the bacon wrapped chicken. Hell, you could wrapped bacon around fried uranium and I'd eat it and probably love it. As I said the top sirloin was great as was the flank steak and the parmesan pork. The others were all really good, especially the linguica. What was surprising was the filet wasn't that great. It was good, don't get me wrong, but compared to most of the other meats, I expected it to be better. Still we ate our fill and then had dessert to boot. My wife had this chocolate lava cake which was soo chocolatey it was impossible to eat it all. I had a piece of raspberry cheesecake which did not suck at all. The whole time we're eating were talking it up with my coworkers and their spouses/girlfriends or boyfriends. The husband of one of my coworkers is a major poker player. He plays stakes a lot higher than I can afford. And does very very well at it to boot. So of course we were talking poker a lot of the time. He plays at the $5-10 no limit tables or even $10-20 when they have it going. Way too rich for me but it was fun to talk about. Afterwards my wife told me how much she enjoyed dinner and my coworkers.

When dinner wrapped up at almost 11 we talked about what we wanted to do. The wife wanted to play poker but didn't want to go to the Hard Rock because it would be a long ride home from there so we opted to go to Derby Lane. They have a midnight tourney she likes to play in and I figured I would play some 1-1 no limit. When we got there about 11:30 I was shocked to see they had an Omaha table going with a waiting list. So I signed up for the waiting list and for $1-1 no limit holdem while I waited. The wife signed up for the tourney and I gave her another $40 to play some 1-1 while she waited.

I decided to play pretty loose on the holdem table and try to hit some big hands. So I called and raised some hands pretty weakly. It worked out once when I hit a full house with J9 but on other hands I couldn't get people off of weak pairs the times I bluffed. I didn't play well and I knew it. Gotta work on the holdem game. I was forcing it too instead of waiting until I hit a good hand or 2 and then letting people believe I had big hands later on. So it cost me about 100 bucks to play like an idiot. I was called to Omaha after about an hour. Like I said I was really surprised it was going so late. Usually the omaha table is populated by nitty old guys and it doesn't go on after 9 or 10 at night. But it was going strong at midnight.

I really tightened up my play on Omaha. I didn't want to toss another hundred or two after my first one from holdem. My hands were garbage for awhile but since I was folding everything preflop it wasn't costing me much. Most of the hands are not being split as not enough low cards are hitting the board. I get to work on a half kill hand with QQJ10 and flop top set on a Q 7 2 board. I bet and get raised by a guy. I call him along with a couple of others. Turn is ok with a 10 though it puts a flush draw on the board. I bet and get 3 callers including the original raiser. Another 10 comes on the river and I lead out again. No low and I know I'm scooping this one. The guy raises me again as everyone else folds. I look at him and reraise him again. He caps it and shows 7-7 for a lower full house than my QQ holds. He did not like that as I nearly broke him. That hand alone makes up all of my losses in holdem. I make a couple of more hands for smaller pots and when my wife walks up at 2:30. I'm up about 40 bucks. She is happy because she finished 3rd in her tourney. it was only a 30 person tourney so she only got back a little more than her buy in but it beat a stick in the eye. So we both walked out ahead and that was fine by me, especially considering how I started.

Well that's enough for now. Gotta hit the showers. Going back to Derby Lane tonight as the wife wants to play in their ladies tourney tonight. Hell twist my arm baby. So I'm off and until I write again, stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Party Time

Tonight is the company Christmas party. Well actually it's not the party for the whole company as I don't know too many places short of the Dunkin Donuts Center or the Boston Garden (the Fleet Center now?) where the whole company could be in one place. After all take 4 or 5 thousand people and their guests and you're starting to talk some serious numbers. So it's a party for my department (which numbers about 25) and their guests. It's at this Brazilian steak house in Tampa. Supposed to be a really great place for dinner and drinks and the like. I hope so.

Going off on a tangent, I have always loved how the Providence Civic Center is now the Dunkin Donuts Center. When I grew up in Rhode Island there were 4 or 5 Dunkin Donuts within a couple of miles of my home. So it's only fitting they named the civic center. It's where Providence College plays their home basketball games. And to show what an old fart I am, when I was young, Providence College played in a small arena on campus I think called Alumni Hall. The Civic Center was built in the early 70s and they were the primary tenant there outside of the occasional Elvis Concert and the Ice Capades. I even remember going to see the Providence Reds AHL hockey team when I was a tyke in a place called The Arena (yes that was the name) before the Civic Center was built. I remember when I was in high school someone bought The Arena and turned it into a Racquetball and indoor Tennis Club. Wonder if its still there.

Back to our regularly scheduled program. Since we will be over in Tampa anyway, I wonder if the wife wants to pay a visit over to the Hard Rock casino there for a little gambolling tonight after the party. Or maybe come back to Derby Lane for some poker. We both got up very early this morning so maybe we won't be up to it but we'll see. She is kinda broke with Xmas shopping and all but since I got paid for refereeing this past monday and then got my bonus from work yesterday, I've got a bit of extra cash left over even after doing most of my shopping as well.

So we'll play it by ear and see what happens. I'm sure some of the guys will want to continue to party after the party and may want to go over to the Hard Rock. Thing is, I live in Pinellas County which is west of Tampa across Tampa Bay. The restaurant is just a little ways over the bridge near Tampa Int'l Airport so it's on the west side of Tampa but the Hard Rock is across the city on the east side of Tampa. Its not like its a hugely long drive but the wife may not want to go out there late at night and if we're tired, I would much rather be driving back from Derby Lane, right down the street aways, than all the way across the bay and across Tampa

I'm kinda tired now so I think I'll try for a nap. For all you gamblers and for all of you looking for love types, stay lucky you nuts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Here comes that train......

Guilty pleasures are sometimes the best kind. A couple of months back the wife and I are watching TV and Jersey Shore comes on. She flips to it cuz nothing was on and next thing I know we're watching these complete morons whose only claim to fame is that they are so enthralled with themselves they can't see how silly their lives really are. The guys are totally into partying and getting laid, the girls are into partying and getting laid. None of them works or seems to do anything productive with their life except they do try to keep the economy going by consuming every drink in sight. And we keep watching the damned show!! It was like a train wreck. You see the tractor trailer stuck on the tracks. You can't do anything to move it or stop the train and you can't stop watching cuz you know it's gonna be a site to see. And these are the people who get tv shows. Oh if I only had known. I too would have had 18 kids or 6 wives or something. Maybe both. Now that would be a show wouldn't it?

What is it with Americans today that we want to watch shows with the most outlandish, most abnormal people around. I know normal is boring and all but come on. 18 kids and counting. 3 different shows about little people. Kate (no Jon anymore) plus 8. etc. Is this what we're coming to? If so count me out. I got a lot better things to do than watch that. Like live my own life. Personally I think this goes back 25 years or so to Robin Leach and his Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I never understood why that was popular. Why do I want to watch someone with more money than sense show me this house that's worth more than I will make in my lifetime? I have nothing in common with them. And when I do hit the lottery, I'll use my own ideas on how to spend money, I don't need to see some fancy place in California to figure out what I want.

And from there we now have Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and the like who's only claim to fame is that they like to party and spend money. Which leads me back to Jersey Shore as these people are just as talent less as the Kardashians, the Hiltons et al without their inheritances. But they sure can act the part. And we stupid Americans all want to watch. Otherwise there would be no need for the People magazines, all the papparazzi, and the looney tunes we see on tv today. And I am as guilty as anyone if I am going to watch Jersey Shore, train wreck that it is. Should I quit? I probably should. My brain is going bad enough as it is without the impetus of Jersey Shore.

Saturday night the wife and I visited Derby Lane again. She wanted to play in the 8 pm tourney and I just wanted to play some Omaha. Got a seat immediately at the Omaha table. And I found out why. Nothing went right for me. Most hands were just crap and the good ones all seemed to flop horribly. I could not make a hand. The best thing I did was avoid playing most of them. It kept me going but didn't get me anything. I was down about $100 before it finally turned. I was hoping it would before the table broke. I was sitting under the gun and open up AA79. Not a great hand for Hi/Lo but they were at least double suited as it was A7 of clubs and A9 of hearts. We were playing 4-8 with a half kill. To explain to the uninitiated, 4-8 means the blinds are $2 and $4 and the bets are $4 preflop and post flop and $8 after the turn and river. The half kill changes the betting level to $6 and $12 after any hand where someone wins an unsplit pot worth more than $60. If you win the hand you have to post the half kill for $6 in the next hand. Kind of an extra blind. Doesn't affect your betting position or anything, just you have to play if you win a moderately big hand by yourself.

Anyway this hand is on a half kill hand and some guy across the table is straddling for $12 before any action occurs. By the time the betting gets to me, it's raised to $18. I thought about raising to $24 and capping the betting but didn't want to advertise a big hand in that situation, especially without a low draw. Anyway the flop is perfect for me, 27J all hearts. Flopped the nut flush. Of course in Omaha, that usually doesn't mean too much as it all can change in the turn of a card. I bet and get 5 callers. Turn is great, the 9 of spades which means we still don't have a valid low and my flush is looking better and better. I bet for $12 and get 2 callers. I am wondering what they are holding, hoping one is drawing to a low and the other has a worse flush than me. I am hoping nobody is sitting with JJ in their hand hoping to pair up. River kills me I think as the 7 of clubs hits pairing the board. I bet out anyway and get one caller. I flip over my flush but then see I'm holding the 7-9 for a full house as well. Other guy mucks, think he had the King high flush, and I scoop the entire pot for about $140 which put me back to even. After that I hit a few more hands though nothing too big and when the table breaks I'm up about 60 bucks. Beats the hell out of being down a hundred.

I then played a little 1-1 no limit. Unremarkable except I managed to flop a gorgeous set on the flop and got flushed on the turn. Lady to my right was a good tight player but a couple of players across the table were complete maniacs who played second or third pair like they had the nuts. Maniac raises to $5 preflop and 4 people call including me and the lady to my right. Flop was 8-5-2 with 2 diamonds. Loved the flop, didn't like the diamonds all that much. Of course the maniac leads out for $4. Both the lady and myself call as well as maniac #2 next to the original bettor. I thought about raising post flop but felt anyone with 2 diamonds will call or reraise all in where as if I wait till the turn and a diamond doesn't hit, I can push them off their draw.

Of course the turn is the Jack of diamonds. Maniac 1 bets another 4 bucks and maniac 2 folds. Now I KNOW he doesn't have the flush but probably has a jack. So I'm all set to reraise him good because I know he'll also call a reraise with almost any pair. Unfortunately the lady to my right had other plans. She reraises him to $10. This puts me in a quandary. I feel pretty sure pretty sure she has either a flush or AJ with possibly the Ace of diamonds for the flush redraw. The more I think about it the more I see this as a valid possibility especially since she called a raise with this. But I still see the flush as at least a 50% possibility as well. So I'm stuck. I want to take down the maniac but I got a decent player to my right in this who might have me beat. So I call and the maniac calls too.

The river is a black king. No help unfortunately. I'm wondering how I'm going to play if the lady bets into me. The maniac checks and the lady checks too. I'm now wondering if she's waiting to check raise me or was she surprised I called her raise. I think about pushing in but figure even a low flush will call me so I chicken out and check too. Maniac has an 8, lady shows a queen -3 of diamonds for the flush and I show my 55. I talked to the lady afterward and she was afraid I had the higher flush which was why she didn't push the river. So I didn't lose a ton but it hurt all the same. That's about all that happened for me and when my wife got knocked out of the tourney I picked up to go.

The wife was disappointed she could never get anything going in the tourney and wanted to play in the midnight tourney but didn't have the cash. So I fronted her into the tourney even though I was getting pretty tired. I still had some extra cash from Omaha so I was ok with it. I went back to play 1-1 at a different table since my last seat had been given up. I took an early hit when my AK lost to AJ but kept it together and managed to make a small profit. Had to drink some coffee to keep myself together as I really felt fatigued. The wife went all the way to the final table but got knocked out a little before the money. She was much happier with the way she played however and I was fairly satisfied with how I played as well.

This all happened last weekend as I started this on Sunday and it's now the following Saturday. Sorry about that, busy week with work and such. Really busy. And unlike most of you, I actually had to work on Friday. If the stock market is open, so are we. It was a short day at least since the market closed at 1pm. One guy was recently let go and another left to take a new job so we are a little shorthanded as well. Monday thru Wednesday were very busy but Friday was very quiet. Needed that as I over-indulged a bit on Thanksgiving with the vino. No poker this weekend as both the girl is home and the money went for Xmas shopping this week. The wife was out the door at 4:30am Friday morning with her sisters. She got some good deals but not as good as last year she said.

Well let's post this disjointed ramble. Tomorrow I'll try to write something more coherent. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I did. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Heroes have not always been Cowboys

Well my football season ended last night most probably. It was a pretty good game, a nice way to finish the season. Unlike the last game, the weather was near perfect. Game time was about 65 degrees and no wind. It was comfortable out there. The game was hard played and mostly clean. We kept a real tight rein on the ticky tack stuff and I think that helped a lot. Near the end of the game I took a pretty good shot to the elbow and side so I'm a little sore today. Good thing the kid who hit me wasn't a little bigger or they'd have had to scrape me up off the field. A couple of umpires seem to get wiped out fairly often. I was never knocked down all year though I did take my share of hits during the year (every umpire does, it's unavoidable where we are positioned) but last night was probably the hardest hit all year.

After the game we went out to a local establishment for some adult beverages. Had a philly cheesesteak and some Stella. The group I worked with was the same guys (and one lady doing the clock) that I worked with the week before. Fun group of guys and do they know how to pick on each other. I know a couple of them pretty well from working with them other times so it was a good time. Most of us went out last week after the game and a couple of them told me to ask the scheduler to put me back with them for this game since they knew their umpire would be out again. I guess I did a pretty fair job with them and they didn't want to take a chance on getting someone else. Fine by me, as I said I really enjoyed working with them and did again last night. Anyway we spent a couple of hours out eating, drinking and laughing it up. An excellent way to close out the season if I don't do any kids games next weekend. I didn't have any this weekend and next weekend will be the youth championship games.

It's been a good season but it does wear on you by the end of the year. A lot of refs get banged up quite a bit during the year, occasionally pretty badly, most of us don't get to the end of the year without aches and pains. The back judge from last night partially tore his meniscus a few weeks ago and by the end of the game last night he was limping pretty good. Last year a head linesman I was working with couldn't get out of the way of a play coming to the sidelines and got run over. Left the game in an ambulance with a broken ankle. Definitely not the way you want your season to end. I've been lucky that way, been hit, cut and bruised a bit, but never anything serious.

Thursday night I went over to Derby Lane to play a little. My wife was playing in a satellite tourney to get an entry to a big tourney down here. Top 3 got entries, 4th got some cash. She went out 7th. She played pretty well but couldn't get a hand to put her over the top. I went to play some 1-1 no limit while she was playing. Not a great night for me. I played pretty well all in all, avoided a lot of problems and laid down a couple of hands at the right time. But lady luck killed me all the same. Worst hand I was on the button and raised to $5 after 3 people limped. One of the blinds called along with all the limpers. I had KK. Flop was magic K88. Big blind checks but then guy across the table bets $4. Guy next to me called. I'm really hoping each one has an 8 and I call while the blind folds. Next card is the killer 8 of spades. God damn. Everybody checks. River is an Ace. Same guy bets 4, guy next to me calls, and I'm weighing my options. Option one is one guy with a pocket pair and another with an Ace or King. Option 2 is an Ace King in one hand and a king in the other. Both seem unlikely though the first is at least possible. Worst possibility is some yahoo called me with an 8 and got extremely lucky. Bingo. I decided to call anyway as the bet was small compared to the pot size. Guy next to me has the 8. I guess he hoped I had KK or AA and would push over the top on the river so he could clean me out. Sorry to deny you lucktard. Calls a 5x raise with 7-8 off suit and makes his 22-1 shot

And thats how the night went. Every good hand getting shot down, no draws hitting, etc. I did well to keep my self out of losing a ton but it never got good. Amazing to me how I never once even flopped a flush draw though I had suited connectors a ton of times and hands like AJ and A10 suited. Even had AK suited once. Never caught shit. The only hand I caught on was the one that should have broken me. Must have pissed off the poker gods that time. Idiot 2 seats to my left said I should have pushed all in after the flop. Of course he is lucking into full houses with 6-3 off and straights with J7 so he must be the poker master. I just ignored him. As bad as it was it was still a good night. I made myself be patient, not push out of position, and picked off a couple of bluffs. Also made a couple of good bluffs because they knew I played the goods. Got the moron to my right to call my top pair all in with second pair and no draw. Unfortunately that still left me behind but it was good to take back some chips at least.

Today I have no real plans. Maybe a little shopping and possibly some more poker but I haven't made any decisions. Wife is coming back from Orlando today. She had the day off Thursday for Veterans Day and then took yesterday off. She took my nieces and a nephew to Universal Studios to go to Harry Potter world and other things. She bought them all (well I bought one) season passes to Universal as an early Christmas gift. They went by and picked up our daughter and all seemed to be enjoying it quite a bit based on the call I had last night and this morning. So maybe I'll go have a little adult fun while they are out and about. And on that note it's time to go cuz I need a shower and some lunch. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

That'll be a cold day in hell....

Or at least in Florida. Had to ref a game last night and man it was chillllllllllly out there. First time I've worn long sleeves to do a high school game ..... ever. Of course I don't do playoff games most years and I heard last year's first round games were COLD. Refs wearing gloves, cold weather gear, etc. Not a fun scene for guys whose blood has been warmed by the sun all year. I'm sure you northerners would laugh at temps in the high 40s and 15 mile an hour winds but to us, that's nearly mid winter weather.

Luckily the game wasn't one of those grind it out, 3 yards and a cloud of dust, stand around games. That would have just left us out in the cold. Instead there was a lot of action, big plays, etc. The home team, Seminole, had a chance to go to the playoffs with a victory. That would be the first time in a good number of years for them. Unfortunately they were denied. Gibbs had some close losses early in the year which left them out of the playoff picture. Too bad because later in the year they put it together. And they did again last night. Seminole was a grind it out run the ball on you team all year. But they couldn't stay with Gibbs' speed and that was the end of that. 3 bombs for touchdowns, the last one on a 3rd and 20 play did the trick. Final score was 40-9.

Other than that, not much is going on. Went to pick up the girl at school on Thursday after work. She was feeling homesick and wanted to spend the weekend at home. Only played a little online poker with a bit of success as I won an Omaha tourney and placed ok in a couple of holdem tourneys. Not sure what I will be doing the rest of the weekend except for the kitchen floor once I post this. I do have to ref a couple of youth playoff games on Sunday afternoon/evening. Since it will be after the time change, it will probably be pretty cool again as this cold front should be sticking around a few days. First game is at 5 and second at 6:30. It will be dark completely for the second game and possibly in the first game. Assuming I get through these games ok, this will probably be my last of the season. Maybe another kids game the following weekend and it is possible I'll work a game Friday with the same guys I did last night as their umpire is out for the rest of the season, which is one more week anyway. We'll see. Still it's been a good season and I'm pretty satisfied all in all.

Well the kitchen floor is calling. I'll wrap up this exciting post and get to work. Hope everyone is having an exciting weekend too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Its in the Cards

It must be going around. I see Josie had a nice score this weekend and though mine took a lot longer session to achieve, it also was a good bit larger score so it all works out in the end.

This is the city, St Petersburg Florida. Friday was a warm day in St Pete, the kind of day the Chamber of Commerce uses to attract more visitors. We were working the night shift out of Derby Lane. There was an 8pm tournament my wife wanted to play in as she had done well in it before. The buy in was only $50 with a $47 rebuy/addon. We got there about an hour before the tourney. I wasn't sure if I wanted to play in the tourney or not so I decided to join the 4-8 Omaha hi/lo game and see how that went. If I was doing well when the tourney rolled around I would probably keep playing omaha or some hold em while the wife played the tourney.

Fortunately Omaha was not kind to me. Every good hand got crapped on when the flop came and I got a fair number of good hands. Had the goods a few times by the turn only to get killed on the river. Before I knew it I was down 75 bucks in 45 minutes. I decided enough was enough and went to try my hand at the tourney.

The tourney started much like the Omaha game ended. Early on I got into a hand in an unraised pot from the big blind with J9. Flop was 9 high and I put out a bet only to get called by the guy to my left who had played every hand so far. He had already played some crappy connectors into a couple of bad beats on some other players. I was hoping it wasn't my turn. Turn was an 8 which made a straight and brought a possible flush to the board. I bet again and he called again. River was another 9. Unfortunately it was a club putting both a straight and flush possibility on the board. I checked wondering what kind of bet I'd be facing next but he checked too. Then flipped over Q9 to out kick me for the pot.

After that though, I was the one doing the outkicking. I went at it a few times with better hands than some people who overvalued Ace 3 against my Ace 10 and King 9 against my King Queen when we both flopped top pair. I was up over 2 grand on my 4000 starting stack when I got JJ in the big blind. 4 limpers to me but I made a healthy raise and 3 of them dropped out. Unfortunately one limper decided to call. Flop had an ugly Ace with a 9 and 6. I wondered if he was playing ace rag but put in a 2/3 pot bet and he gave me a disgusted look and folded. Table was playing pretty passive loose with a lot of pre flop calling and showing down some weak hands so I got a little more aggressive and pushed some hands in position. By the time we broke I was up over 10 grand and near the leader at my table. I was undecided whether to take the add on then but remembered an article I read which suggested if the add on was for more than 1/3 your stack you should do it. 4K against the 10,600 I was holding added up to me making a reluctant add on. Didn't want to spend another 47 bucks on top of what I had already put in today but my wife said she had already rebought herself and I probably should as well. So I did.
Let me break in here with 2 other hands I forgot. First one I caught pocket queens in early position. I made a standard raise and guy across the table jams all in for about half my stack. I didn't put him on AA or KK (I could be wrong of course) and called him. Flop is a Q and turn is another for quads and good night Irene to him. Only person I busted the whole tourney. Other one was ugly. I checked in the big blind with J2 of diamonds with 5 limpers. Flop was nice, J hearts, 4 clubs & 2 of spades. I put a pot sized bet out as I knew I was vulnerable. Lady across the table was a real calling station though she generally played good cards, she would stay with just about any pair. She pushed all in for about 3K, about 750 more than my bet. I was sitting at 11 at the time and was sure she only had a jack. Guy to my right calls her all in and I can't reraise him because of her all in bet size so I have to call. Turn is 8 of hearts. I push in and the guy to my right folds. Lady flips over QJ of hearts, about what I expected but didn't like the hearts with the 2 on the board. River is of course a heart and I lose. The lady then gets on a heater and whacks a few people before I was moved off the table. She ended up busting 14th, about 50 places later than she should have. Ok end of break

Good thing I did as the cards went pretty blank after the break. I got a few chips busting a short stack when my pocket 3s flopped a set against AK. I was surprised he didn't make a big preflop raise but I guess he didn't want to commit himself preflop which he would have done with any substantial raise. Thing is I probably dump the pair if he does push unless a couple of others call and when the flop came A34 he was a cooked goose. He wasn't too happy. After that more deadness. Another table was broken taking us down from the original 7 to 4. Soon after that I was moved to my wife's old table (she got knocked out shortly after the break was over) but my bad card run kept going.

I didn't want to wait until I got too short stacked to do anything but I was getting junk. Best hand was A10 suited. I raised and the guy to my left pushed all in. We had about the same stack size and he had been playing tight. I figured him for either AK or a pocket pair between KK and 88. Most of those hands I am a dog to a big dog so I tossed it. Only other hand I tried anything on was reraised by another guy at the end of the table. He had been playing a fair amount of hands but since I was on a pure steal I tossed that. Before I know it my 14 K is down to 8K and the blinds are heating up. With blinds at 3oo 600 and a 50 ante I pick up AJ in the big blind. Folded to the button who raises to 2k. I push all in and she calls with 77. Flop had a jack and I double up and am back in business again.

I picked up a couple of small pots but still wasn't getting much. Blinds kept going up and we are up to 800-1600 with a 200 ante. I'm sitting at 19K in the big blind when the guy 2 seats to my left raises to 4k. Not a big raise for the blind level but he has raised my blind 3 of the last 4 times and I had already seen him suckout a huge pot against another guy when he made Broadway with KQ and cracked a guys set of aces so I didn't give him credence for huge hand but I look at my hand and see 10-8 of spades. Flop is J53 all spades. Can you say BINGO? I check and he checks behind me. Turn is a queen of clubs and I bet 6K. He pushes all in and I can't say call fast enough. "You got a flush?" he asks as he turns over KK, no spades. "Why yes I do" as I start stacking up a big chunk of his chips. Thank you very much.

Now I'm sitting at 40K in chips which is about twice the average stack. Our table breaks soon after and we're down to 2 tables. I keep it tight, make a couple of position raises to take down some blinds until I get AA. Kid to my right calls preflop then calls my raise. Flop is J43 rainbow and he makes a bet. I figure he has crap but caught part of the flop. Hoping he puts me on AK I push back and he eventually folds his 4-2 power hand. I show him the aces to set up my next confrontation with him cuz I'm sure we'll meet again as much as he is playing. Next hour is pretty blah and so are my hands. We get down to one table and I'm average stacked at about 50K. Top 7 are in the money so I am working my ass off to get there now.

Couple of shorties get knocked out and we're on the bubble. I'm down a bit from raising AK and dumping it after the flop and turn were no help and my opponents were both staying in. I'm grinding it and get AA again. A couple of people limp but fold to my button raise unfortunately. Finally a guy gets knocked out when he runs JJ into KK and we are in the money. I'm close to the shortest stack now but not getting much. Chips start flying around the table and the guy in seat 1 is flying the most. He takes a hit then eliminates 2 guys first when his AJ out draws 88 then his KK beats AQ.

We get down to 4 and its the guy in seat 1 with the biggest stack, gal next to me in seat 4 with a decent stack, the 4-2 kid in seat 10 with about 70 K and I'm bringing up the rear with 30K. I'm looking at $512 for 4th place and thats fine by me. We play a few hands and I'm now with a little over 20K with A7 in the big blind. The kid and big stack fold and the gal next to me raises me all in. I got no choice here and I call. I figure her for a small pair or a decent ace but she has Q-10. Not bad though it seems I lose these a lot. Not this time as a 7 flops and an Ace turns. I double up to a little over 50K. Then it gets surreal. Two hands later on the button I fold and the kid raises to 30K (blinds are 3k-6k with a 600 ante). Big stack reraises all in and he calls with A9. I guess he felt some pressure since I doubled up and wanted to get some more chips. Unfortunately the big stack has 66 and it holds up. Yes up to 3rd! Very next hand the gal next to me pushes all in with QQ and big stack calls with AK sooted. Flops a king and she's gone.

I've got no illusions trailing 50K to 400K but I'm hoping to get close to even and then split the 1st and 2nd money. But no. First hand I get 10-8 of spades again and big stack pushes in. I call but he has A-10 and gets an ace. No flush for me though it's close, and I'm out second. $1170 and I'll take that any day. I look at my watch and its 2:45am.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Winning isn't everything.....

it's much more important than that.

So when last I posted I had just made $100 for sitting next to the luckiest poker player in Florida. Hitting Quad queens and winning $500 didn't make him the luckiest guy yet. Later on he did more. The poker room was running a new promotion after midnight. Each person who hit quads or better got paid off. The first guy got $50, the next $100 right up to $500. Didn't have to be the best for a half hour or anything, just needed to catch the hand.

Well Mr Luck certainly earned his name then. 2 guys had already won that promotion when he calls a raise in the small blind. Flop comes out K Q 10, all clubs. This guy pushes all in immediately. Everyone had the good sense to fold after that. He flips over his cards and there for all to see is AJ of clubs. Yup the man flops a royal. He went all in just to force everyone out as he didn't want to take someone else's chipstack away from them. So he wins $150 for the hand plus another $250 since he hit a royal and all royals get paid 250. So in the space of a little over 2 hours, Mr Lucky has won $900 from promotions at the poker room. He was also up about 300 from chips won from his opponents. He wasn't only lucky with promotions, he also played pretty aggressively with some pretty shall we say marginal holdings that hit big.

While he was doing this I was playing my normal tight self though a bit more aggressive than usual. Most of the players seemed to be pretty loose. I was surprised at some of the raises. But that's how it goes, some tables are really tight and some really loose. This one was pretty loose. I got some hands that somehow held up, hit a couple of nice draws, and some people just didn't believe me when I bet. So I had to prove it to them. And got some more chips. Before I knew it I was up about $300. A little later on I raised on the button with QQ. Flop is A-8-5 rainbow. Everyone checks and I make a 2/3 pot bet. Fold, fold, fold. Guy to my left said he had A rag so I showed him my queens. Surprised him a lot but since I had only shown down big hands he put me on a big ace. Which was just what I had hoped he would.

I then got into a pot with Mr Lucky on my right and a short stack on my left. Short stack raises to $8, Mr Lucky calls and I look at KK in my hand. I thought about pushing then and there but wanted to make sure the short stack stayed in the hand, tho I thought he would call a reraise, but I was also a little concerned with Mr Lucky. I knew he could be playing just about anything and he would probably call a reraise with any ace. So I wanted to see the flop and see if I was up against an ace.

Flop comes down 8 5 2. Short stack pushes in the rest of the way for about $25 and Mr Lucky calls him. I'm wondering if he played some crap like 8 5 so I just call. Turn and river are garbage. He checks both times and I bet him out. He folds and the short stack flips over JJ. He is unthrilled by my KK and I take down another $100 or so putting me over 400. The wife does well in the tourney but bubbles off the money at the end. They all put money into the pot when they reached the bubble so that the bubble boy (or girl in this case) got their buy in back. She was really unlucky too as her KK got cracked by QQ. She comes by my table and goggles at my Hellmuthian towers of chips. I was being my meticulous (anal) self and creating a pyramid of 2 and 5 dollar chips. She couldn't see the 25s as they were out in front of my other chips. She tells me her story and says she is too tired to play anymore. It is 2 am after all. So we go to cash out. I fill one rack with chips and then start handing her some stacks to help me carry them to the cashier. Then she sees the 25s. Damn. I cash out for $462. Not too shabby for a $60 buy in. Best night of non tourney poker I ever had.

Saturday I refereed a couple of games. The wife slept most of the afternoon away while I reffed. After I got home and showered I was starved as I hadn't had anything to eat since about 10 am and it was now after 6:30. I am never hungry while I referee and usually it takes an hour or so afterwards for my appetite to come back but once it does, I'll eat leaded paint chips for dinner. So we hit a local mexican place and fill up on enchiladas and such. It was just what the doctor ordered as far as my stomach was concerned. I asked my wife what she wanted to do. We had talked about going to see that new movie Red earlier in the day. She turns to me and says "You know what I want to do." I say "Poker again?" and she just nods. So we end up hitting the tables again. I did manage to play omaha this time. It was not nearly as profitable a night though I did end up plus about $40. Well actually I broke even, the $40 went to the wife when she got a bit low on the 1-1 no limit table. Still a fun night though we were out even later this time.

We woke up Sunday morning and decided we were now a bit too old to spend 2 nights in a row out until the wee hours. Still it was a good weekend all in all, in fact a very good weekend. We even had the boys over to dinner tonight for steaks. A tasty way to finish up the weekend. I was planning on getting to bed early tonight as I could use a good night's sleep now but of course, the poker gods are still in a giving mood it seems. I got into a tourney with about 350 players at 9 pm. Figured to play for an hour or so if I was lucky and get to bed. It was only a $3 buying but the winner gets over 700 clams. It's a little after midnight now and there are 19 left. I am sitting 9th now. Well I was 9th. I just ran 8-8 into aces and it's good night Irene. Still I made $27 which beats a stick in the eye. Sharp or dull. So good night all, gotta get some sleep before I turn into a pumpkin. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back In The Game

I have been very remiss lately in not making any new posts. I apologize to my many readers, all 5 or 10 of you and countless others who depend on me for entertainment. In my own defense I have been pretty busy over the past month and a half or so and when I'm taking some down time, blog posting has not been on the top of my list. I need to do a bit better than that.

So what have I been doing that's so important you ask? Actually what I've mostly been doing with my free time is refereeing football. I have been a local football referee for the past 8 years doing everything from little kids up through high school. Even did some semi pro ball one year which I enjoyed but had to take a break from for my own knee health. This year has been a busier year for me than any previous year. I have had JV and Varsity high school games every week except last week along with youth games every Saturday since the end of August.

When I haven't been refereeing I just haven't had much desire to go online a lot. When I have gone online it's mostly been to look things up and do a little mindless goofing off. I haven't even done much poker online. I was running so badly for so long it took a lot of my desire to play though last week I did have some success mostly playing Omaha Hi Lo which is my favorite game. Made 2 nice cashes last week and since then I have hardly played.

When I last wrote we had just taken my daughter to college. The house has just been myself, my wife, and the dog since then. I know my wife misses our little girl quite a bit and they talk on the phone quite often. The girl has been home twice since school started, once my sister in law went out to Orlando and picked her up and more recently my wife picked her up and brought her back. Every year my wife takes a few days off and goes to Universal Studios with some friends from work and spends a couple of days in Orlando. They go to Halloween Horror Nights and visit all the haunted houses, drink, and do girl type things. This time the daughter joined them and they all came back home for the weekend. She visited with some friends, had some fun etc. I had football on Thursday and Friday nights that week. Saturday I had a bunch of kids games to do so I didn't see too much of the little girl. She is doing well in school and really enjoying herself. She and her roommates are all getting along well and she's been making other friends etc.

OMG what in the hell happened to Tom Brady? I just saw an ad on the NFL network for an interview with him and I finally saw his hair. WTF. This is gotta be Giselle's influence. Of course if I were married to her she could do whatever she wanted with my hair too. Still, Tom you're a pro football player, multiple time Super Bowl champ. Try to look the part. Peyton Manning is probably laughing every time he sees your hair.

Ok station break over. So that Sunday the wife asked if I wanted to go with her and bring the girl back to school. Since I hadn't seen her that much I decided to go rather than rest after Saturday's exertions and so I drove back to Orlando. They both talked me into stopping at Wal Mart near the school and getting the girl a crock pot since I had all this extra cash from refereeing (youth games pay us right after the games, high school games get paid off at end of season) so they were able to talk me into it. Besides we're not talking one of these programmable pots, just a standard crock pot. So I figure to spend 20 or 30 bucks max. Or so I thought.

We actually find a nice big crockpot for $18. Cool, daddy gets out cheap. Then my wife starts food shopping. I forgot about the mother effect. You see guys, mothers equate food with love. Remember how your mom always tried to feed you. Every time they say "Eat this" they're really saying "I love you". So my wife decides to spread a little love around. She picks her up a pork loin, some cereal, some other things the girl thinks she needs and by the time we get to checkout, I'm in for 81 bucks. WHAT? I was only there to buy her a crock pot. Did someone reverse the price tag on the crock pot? Yeah right.

So I left Orlando a lot poorer than I arrived, especially after you factor in the lunch tab for all of us, but hey I only have one daughter and I won't be on the hook for her every need (I hope). I did get a bit of revenge last week as the boys joined us for dinner one night. I had mentioned to my oldest son about his sister's 81 dollar crockpot and somehow the conversation got to what all the kids were like when they were young. We talked about how my middle child was a scorekeeper when they were younger. If one kid got something he kept track of it so he made sure he got his. Well as the talk went my oldest son turns to my wife and says "What about my sister's 81 dollar crockpot?" I cracked up. Of course I got a dirty look from my wife. And of course I enjoyed it.

This week the public schools in the county were all off on Friday so I had to work a JV game on Wednesday night and a Varsity game on Thursday night. Which meant I was a little tired and sore when I went to work yesterday. I called up the wife and asked her what she wanted to do after work last night. I figured I'd take her out to dinner and maybe a movie since we hadn't been to one in a while. She decided she wanted to play in a poker tourney at Derby Lane. Since I am usually reffing on Friday nights, this sounded like a good deal to me. I figured to play some Omaha while she played in the tourney as I wasn't in a tourney mood last night.

We get there a little before 8 and she signs up for the tourney. I check the registration desk and no Omaha game. There is always an Omaha game on Fridays, often lasting past midnight, but not last night. There was an interest list with 7 or 8 people listed so I signed up for that. While I was waiting I asked the guy to put me on a 1-1 no limit holdem table. I used to play $2 or 2-4 limit holdem but came to hate that more and more as you can't bet anyone off of a draw or make them pay enough not to draw at it. With the no limit, you can bet enough to make it unprofitable but still get called often times. If they hit you lose but if not you can take a nice chunk off them.

You know when you've been in a bad streak and your luck finally turns. Well it turned for me last night. It started when I called a $4 raise with A-9 suited. The guy who raised had raised before with A-6 and K-J so I felt I was at least 50-50 with him. 3 of us saw the flop of A 8 J. The original raiser bets $6. I call as does the other guy. Turn is a bingo 9. I was all set to put a big bet out when the original guy bets $12. I remembered how he checked the turn the two times he hadn't hit so I just called instead of reraising him. River is a K which I don't particularly like. I am afraid he may have started with bigger hand like AK now and he has me beaten. He surprises me by checking so I check back. I was really surprised when turns over 8-8 for a flopped set. I lost about 1/3 of my stack on the hand but it could have been so much worse if I had reraised or pushed the river.

After that a series of hands develop and I start making a run. I get a couple of draws to actually hit and make a good call with top pair low kicker against 2nd pair. Then the guy to my right gets into it with the guy on my left. The guy on my left was talking about leaving with his profits but didn't. I took some chips from him and then he gets AK and raises. the guy to my left calls. Flop is Q K Q. Guy to my left bets, guy to my right raises, left goes all in and gets called. Guy to my right has QQ for flopped quads. Turn and river are a blank and an Ace so he makes four queens with an ace kicker. The poker room is paying out $500 for the high hand among all the holdem tables every half an hour. This guy is now leading with about 15 minutes left. It actually holds up and he gets $500. He then picks a card from a set of cards and the seat that card corresponds to gets $100. Well he picks a 7 for seat 7 which is where yours truly is sitting. So from being down a bit I am not up about $150 for the day and its not over yet. All I want to make sure is to not give it all away later.

I guess I better quit now as I have to get ready to referee. I'll post again tonight or tomorrow and finish it all up. It might even have a happy ending.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sorry for the delay

Well it's been about 3 weeks since I last wrote. I apologize for my silence but I just haven't had much to talk about. Poker has been on a major downturn, the big hands are few and the suckouts against me are many. Big pairs stand almost no chance in my hands and my draws never seem to get there. So enough of that depressing business.

Not much else has been going on personally. It's been all work, some Dr appointments, and losing poker. Took the daughter out to play some poker when she turned 18 2 weeks ago. I enjoyed that and though it wasn't profitable, it didn't cost much either. She has much to learn about over valueing her hands but it was a good time. Managed to get my aces cracked twice in 30 minutes. So my online luck carried over.

Just got back from Orlando last night. The wife and I took our youngest to college. Oh that was a trying experience. First off, her dorm is nicer than my first apartment. It's a four bedroom apartment basically. She has 3 roommates and they each have a separate bedroom, share 2 bathrooms and a kitchen and living room. Are you kidding me??? If my college dorm was that nice, I never would have left college. In fact I thought that was why they made dorms so austere was to convince you that drunken partying, late night bull sessions, coeds, cards, and grass (for most, not me) wasn't all it was cracked up to be and to get you to move on with your life. Instead, she's set up and if she wants to take the ten year route to get a degree what's the drawback?

It was a bit of a rough weekend especially for the mama hen. She always has this thing about letting go of her chicks. But this is her last chick. That probably hurts the most but she was very good and only cried a little bit when we left for the last time yesterday. Still I could tell she was a bit down and upset last night. She kind of is today as well. Have to expect that. Seems this is just another difference between guys and gals. I'm all for kicking them out of the house, she would be happy if they all lived with us forever. I'd like to think it's because I realize it's best for the kids to have a chance to grow and they need freedom to do so whereas she wants to smother them but I'd be lying to say that. It's more like a want some peace and quiet after all this time and she wants the liveliness and fun of having them around. And they are a lot of fun, especially now as adults. They are very good at picking out my idiosyncracies and pointing them out to me.

I know I'm gonna miss having the girl around sometimes, especially when she was in the cookie baking mood. But my word is she messy too. Everything she plays with stays behind when she is done with it. Picking up after her is a full time job. I am looking forward to putting a bunch of things away and knowing they won't be wandering back out when my back is turned. But it's just not the same without some young voices around. I'm a crotchety old man or at least I'm well on my way there. They make me feel young. I am afraid without them around I'll just become ever more set in my ways than I already am. And I'm practically stone as it is.

Still I look forward to seeing how the next few years go, and how much my daughter changes. She is getting so grown up but she has so much more to do and college is her first big chance to get out in the world alone. I remember how it was for me to get away and have to depend on myself. I hope she does well, doesn't get her heart broken (much) by people, by the world, by boyfriends. She is not naive I suppose but maybe unworldly? She sees the good in everybody and has not learned yet that some people have no good. I fear she will find that out the very hard way. Still she is a wonderful girl and I am proud she is my daughter. Her mother did a great job raising her, many times without much help from me. I can't wait to see how she turns out now.

I'll write more on a poker theme later. For now, stay lucky you nuts. And give the kids a hug.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

And that's the way it is

Well folks, I am glad this work week is over. I am beat and I'm not sure why. Well outside of the fact I haven't slept particularly well all week. And I still have a cough, especially at night. I take the cough stuff the doc prescribed and though it doesn't seem to make me especially sleepy, I wake up pretty groggy the next morning. Oh well, it beats not waking up or waking up coughing in the middle of the night.

Outside of my cough, things were all right this week. Unfortunately they haven't been that great. Poker has kinda sucked online and I'm too broke to play live. After my last live session that may be a good thing. Online I just keep getting my aces cracked. 4 times in a row now. Against K9 who made a straight, K10 who made a boat, K8 suited who made a flush, and last against 55 who made a boat. And I always raise them preflop. I am just running on such a bad streak with them.

You would think I would even out by sucking out on these other yahoos but it's not to be. I don't suck out and I seem to be losing most of my races as well. If I have a pair against overcards, overcards hit the board. If I have overcards against a pair, nothing hits for me. Well enough of that shit. I'm gonna keep playing and not get too paranoid. Eventually I'll start holding up and then I will clean a couple of these people out. And make some real cash.

Just watched the movie Zombieland this week. Now that's a funny movie. Outside of the fact that the electricity still works everywhere, I just enjoyed the hell out of that movie. All the little rules, the Zombie Kill of the Week, the unfortunate killing of Bill Murray. No academy award winner but it doesn't pretend to be. It was just a fun movie. Woody Harrelson looked like he had fun making that one. Even the wife enjoyed it and she usually hates movies with a lot of violence.

Well time to go clean the kitchen floor. Hope everyone has a good weekend. Stay lucky you nuts. And don't forget rule 32 - enjoy the little things.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and of course The Ugly

It was a good weekend all in all but there were moments of badness and one of just pure ugliness that I hope not to see repeated anytime soon. As my last post mentioned, I woke up Friday coughing up a lung. Took the medications the doc gave me, the Zpack and the cough syrup and rested. That cough syrup with the hydrocodone didn't make me sleepy as much as dizzy so no operating heavy machinery last weekend.

We drove out to Steinhatchee on Friday afternoon/evening. It was a nice ride as we stayed off the Interstate. We did take the Suncoast Parkway which let us avoid a ton of traffic and red lights like US 19 has. Once we got up by the Crystal River nuke plant, we cut over to US 19 and kept heading north. Went through such metropolises (metropolii?) as Chiefland, Fanning Springs, and Hardeetown (no Hardees in Hardeetown but 2 are pretty close). Neat little towns. Finally we took the turn off to Steinhatchee. Saw a lot of land, not much in the way of civilization, unlike Pinellas County where we live. Just before night fell we arrived in the city of Steinhatchee. It certainly did not rival Rome or Paris for things to see, I will admit that. However I will also admit that the seafood was pretty kickass there. We dined at a place called Fiddlers that night. Had broiled flounder and broiled shrimp. O that was gooooood. We sat out on the deck, listening to the music, eating our dinner along with a fried mushroom appetizer, and watching the boats on the Steinhatchee River.

We drove around town a bit, unfortunately there is no way to go all the way to the Gulf as the town is a little inland up the river. Then we headed to our hotel in Gainesville which was fairly central to where we wanted to go. Nice hotel, especially for $49 a night. We were pretty beat so after looking up things we wanted to do the next day, we passed out kinda early.

The next morning we grabbed our free breakfast in the lobby and then decided to hit the road early. I wanted to go by Micanopy and the wife wanted to check out the Ocala Poker Room for their early afternoon tournament. Micanopy was cool. Really small town, the buildings all looked like the came out of the late 1800s and early 1900s. A number of antique shops, a few cafes, bookstores and a really neat stained glass place. I could have looked around in there for a long time. From there we continued south toward the poker room. Unfortunately, the address I had for the place and the info I pulled online made me turn right on 318 when I shoulda turned left. We got to see a lot of boonies lol. Eventually we worked it out and went to play some cards.

Nice little room they have there in Ocala. It's a jai alai fronton that only seems to have jai alai going 2 months of the year but at least they have poker for the entire year. Too bad they didn't have jai alai going then, I do enjoy watching it and placing the occasional short term investment on it. I have not seen it played live since the Tampa fronton closed about 15 years ago. Anyway we both sign up for the 1pm tourney. For $100 you get 10K in chips and for only $10 more they give you another 5K. That's a lot of chips and the blind structure is good with 30 minute levels and 2 levels of 100-200 blinds, one without an ante and one with a 25 ante. So you can afford to wait for some hands and whack the aggros with a little luck. Unfortunately luck was in short supply for me. If I could have gotten anything worth playing, I would have been fine. I saw so many hands of 9-4, 10-3 and 5-2 that it was sickening. At the end of the first hour I had played 2 hands that weren't my blinds and both were folded after the flop . After 2 hours I still hadn't won a hand. I also had only seen one pocket pair and they were 3s. Still hadn't seen A with anything better than a 7. Never even got KQ. Watched these other clowns getting AA, KK, etc but I could not get squat. Lost 2 hands to this yahoo off to my left. I watched him win 2 hands with Q6 suited and J7 off but the two hands I get involved with and tried to steal postflop he shows up with AK and AA. Both hands he didn't raise preflop from early position. He deserved to get whacked, especially with the Aces since he had 5 callers and yet no one catches anything on a 455 flop. I had 33 and tried to pick it up from the button but he calls postflop and then post turn with a 6. Now I feel pretty good about my hand but have to give him credit for something since he had AK last time we tangled and didn't raise. I'm looking for a 2 or 7 on the river but of course it's an Ace. He checks again but I just check and he turns over AA for the boat. No justice at all. He played like crap but gets rescued on the river. I wonder if no ace hits if he lays it down to my river bet but I doubt it. Of course I get no help on the river anyway.

And that's the way the whole tourney went. After 3 hours I have won a grand total of one hand with A-8 when I raised preflop then raised the one caller off the hand after the flop. I'm down to about 8K. Blinds are 300-600 so it's getting critical. My wife is two places to my right. She started out pretty well but is not getting anything much either now. She gets it all in a little later with K-10 but gets called by the guy next to me with KQ and another guy with AJ. Ace flops and she's gone. The next hand I finally get AK. I push all in for my last 3K and the guy next to me calls and shows KQ again. This time I get 2 pair and win my second hand of the day. Only took almost 4 hours. Next hand I dump and the guy next to me wins with AQ. So in 3 hands this guy has KQ, KQ, AQ which is better than my entire day. Very next hand I am UTG with 10-10. I'm leery of pushing too hard in that seat and losing to someone with KK or something in a later position, so I just call. Guy next to me calls as do the 2 blinds. Flop is nice, 8 5 2 rainbow. Checked to me and I bet half the pot. Guy next to me calls and the blinds fold. Next is a 3. I was gonna bet but I don't have enough behind to push someone out if I do so I just push in for my last 4K. Guy calls and turns over QQ. I don't suck out on the river (of course) and it's bye bye.

I wasn't upset, it was the way the day had gone. Amazing another clown doesn't raise his big pair and still wins against 3 other people. When you ain't got it, you ain't got it. What was most disappointing was in 4 hours you figure the luck will even out some and you'll catch something but it wasn't meant to be. It was bad but at least not ugly. That came a bit later.

Wife was playing 1-1 no limit holdem. I like this level as max buy in is 60 so you don't have to have a massive amount of cash to play some no limit holdem unlike the higher limits like 1-2, 2-5 and 5-10. I got put at the wife's table about a half hour after I busted. She was doing decently, up about 25 bucks. I got 2 good hands off the go, AK where I flop a K and end up splitting the pot with another guy who had AK, then AJ where I flopped nothing and folded. After that I got pretty much crapped on. Got a good read on the two guys to my right. Both were pretty fishy. My wife beat up on the guy just to my right like he was her personal ATM for a while and I couldn't wait to tangle with him when I had a hand. The guy to his right was way too aggressive and I figured I could take him for some big chips. He did win a really nice pot when he called a guys 5X raise from the big blind with 43 and flopped two 4s to bust the guys AA. That had to hurt.

Unfortunately my tourney luck found me at this table too. I got no end of crap hands again. 9-4 and 10-3 kept showing up. I just kept waiting for some carsd to play. Wife on the other hand won a nice pot when her pocket 8s got quadded up on the flop. Room was paying a high hand bonus of 300 bucks every hour and she was sitting with it after the first 10 minutes that hour. Had a good chance of holding up too but 50 minutes is a long time to wait. Unfortunately about 8 mins before the hour was up some clown in the next table plays AK and gets KKK on the board to take the high hand. The dealers moved and the one who dealt the high hand comes to our table. She dealt me absolute crap in the tourney so I expected nothing, especially the way my luck was running. So the yahoo who got high hand gets paid off and comes over to our table to tip his dealer and thanks her then says to my wife "I'm sorry you didn't get it, well no I'm not". What a classless thing to say. I realize you're happy and all but that was just bullshit in my book. My wife gives him a look then says, "Good for you buddy, but karma's a bitch" Loved that.

Couple of hands later, The Ugly came to town. I am none too happy at this point, especially after my wife lost the jackpot. I get dealt A4 of spades. The ATM 2 seats to my right raises to $4 and with a bunch of people who called preflop I figured why not call this raise from the small blind. So do 3 others. Flop is A 4 2 with 2 clubs and one spade. Unless someone has 3-5 this is a really good flop for me. I check my stack and since I only have $14 left I decide to push all in. I don't have enough to bet anything now and be able to push anyone off the hand after the turn so I figure my best move is to bet $14 into a $17 pot and try to take it down now. Everyone else folds except the original raiser. He looks at his cards, looks back, sighs and finally calls. I figure he either has a big ace or 2 clubs. I flip up my cards hoping he doesn't have 2 clubs as I know I'll lose to a flush draw. I am shocked when he flips over a red QJ. I mean he has no pairs, no draws, and even if he just puts me on an ace, he knows he needs runner runner to beat me. With 2 pair, he is almost drawing dead. Needs a runner runner set or straight. I figured his odds at that point and I put him at 2%. Of course it goes K-10 and he wins. I am livid but I just say "I cannot believe this" and walk out.

How do you call that hand with that holding. I mean you have absolutely nothing and you're gonna call that bet? That was all the proof I needed that poker was not my game that day. I sat down and worked on a crossword and just let my steam drain from my head. My wife cashed out plus a bit a little later and we went to get some dinner. Found a really good mexican place and had a great inexpensive dinner. No booze for me as I was gonna be taking the cough medicine in a little while but still a terrific dinner.

Satisfied in our stomachs, if not our wallets, we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I woke up way too early Sunday morning. The wife was a little later. We wanted to head out to Cedar Key which is on the coast southwest of Gainesville. We had found a Grandy's riding around on Saturday and were thinking of going to breakfast there but since it was the opposite direction from where we wanted to head I thought we'd hit a local place in one of the little towns on the way to Cedar Key. We hadn't been to a Grandys in many years as all the ones around here closed down years ago. Got the names of a few restaurants online and figured we'd hit one of them on the way to Cedar Key. Went through such famous towns as Archer and Bronson where we tried to find the Lady Luck Cafe. Apparently it had not been too lucky as it was no where to be found. So we pushed on to Cedar Key. Drove down what had to be the flattest straightest road in America. If it hadn't been for all the tall trees around you would swear you were driving through Kansas or something. Very few cars on the road, almost no homes or towns for the last 20 miles or so to Cedar Key. Just a whole lot of nothing.

We finally make it to Cedar Key. Not that it was a great long drive or anything cuz it wasn't. It was actually kinda nice drive, just not much going on. At least the traffic was next to nil. We stopped at this little cafe called Cooks Cafe. I got me some biscuits and gravy. I may have been raised up north but I learned when I lived in Texas that cream gravy makes almost everything better. Cooks sausage cream gravy was very good, a little thinner than I usually see but nice and peppery just the way I love it. Their home fries were excellent as well. My wife had a waffle and bacon, liked the bacon but the waffle was so/so. We then walked and drove around Cedar Key a bit. Nice little slice of old Florida on the Gulf. Main St was a quaint look at another time. It was quiet there and not a lot of people were around but I bet in the winter the place is packed.

Once we had our fill of Cedar Key we started heading back home. It was a nice day to travel, no rain and not much traffic. We also dropped by Yankeetown on the way back, I rather insisted on that. There is not much of anything there to speak of. On the way out of Yankeetown we came to a sign that we were now entering historic Crackertown. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of that, Yankeetown and Crackertown next to each other.

Made it back home a few hours later and vegged out for the rest of Sunday. My cold or respiratory infection or whatever was much better. At least I am not coughing uncontrollably but I am still coughing some, especially at night. So to wrap up, the good would have to include these small towns, especially Micanopy and Cedar Key. Just neat little places like a slice of old Florida. Also the poker room at Ocala, especially the staff was very good. The weather was nice, the food was very good for the most part. We made a special effort not to eat at chain restaurants while we traveled to support the local businesses as much as possible. Outside of a quicky lunch at Burger King we pretty much did that. The motel was definitely a good as well especially for 49 a nite.

The bad includes getting sick right before I left. Also my poor luck at the poker room didn't help. Two other things I noticed were a lot of these small towns had a lot of closed up businesses. It looks like the bad economy has really impacted some of these small towns a lot. Also these are not well to do areas anyway. Most of the money made in these areas are related to fishing, clams, scallops, etc as well as lumber. Not high profit industries for the workers. Saw a ton of manufactured homes out in the boonies and not that many regular ones. Steinhatchee looked to be 60 - 70 % manufactured homes.

The only thing I would classify as ugly was my last hand of poker. That beat down was just ugly. Well this post has taken long enough. Time to post. Stay lucky my friends, luckier than me at least.