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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Caution, blind man walking

Slightly late but here is the recap of my poker tourney last Saturday night.  Cards were in the air at 8pm and we had almost 100 runners.  Starting stacks were 10K with 25 minute blinds.  You get some play in this tourney.  I was looking to build a stack for a change so I was working on being much more aggressive.  Unfortunately the cards did not treat me too nice.  Every position raise was called.  Every flop hit the guy in the hand.  Never hit me.  It was ugly.  I was bleeding chips like mad, down 2k in the first 2 blind levels.  That wasn't how I wanted to start.  I got AK under the gun and raise it up 4x.  Flop is K87 with 2 hearts.  With 800 in the pot I bet out 1000.  Guy 2 seats to my left pushes all in for a bit more than I have left.  Everyone folds and I tank.  He hasn't played a lot of hands and his bet is peculiar.  I figure he had to put me on at least KQ.  I was deciding between AK or KQ for him but I don't think he pushes it that hard.  Then again he might.  He could have 2 hearts and want to try to take it down.  That is where I was leaning.  But what 2 hearts would he call a 4x raise with in early position when he's played pretty tight.  The more I thought about it the more I became convinced he had either flopped a set or 7s or 8s or he'd gotten lucky playing 78 and flopped bottom 2 pair.  Much as I wanted to call him, I finally decided to dump it.  Never found out what he had but I think I made the right move.  Or maybe not.  At least I was still in it though now I'm down to 7K.

Finally it turned around some.  In the small blind I called a small raise with 8-5 suited.  Flop was 559.  Can you say bingo.  I check it as does the big blind and the initial raiser. Next card is a queen.  I almost bet but decided to check again and the raiser puts in a bet.  I raise him up and he calls.  River is a 2.  I'm hoping he has AQ or KQ so I put in a pot sized bet hoping he will push in over me but he folds instead.  At least I got back some chips though I was still below my starting stack. 

The next few rounds were more of the same.  Decent cards catching nothing, I did get AA once and everyone folds to my raise.  Then I finally hit a hand.  I'm in the big blind with 6-7 of diamonds and 4 people call the blind as I check it.  Flop is 2-3-4 rainbow with one diamond.  Close.  Guy across from me makes a smallish bet and it's folded to me.  I decide to see another card and see if I can get another diamond or even better, a 5.  Turn is the 5 of clubs.  Can you say Eureka?  I check again and call my opponent's half pot bet.  River is a nothing 9 of hearts.  For a moment I thought of checking the river but decided it would be better to put in a bet.  So I put out about a 2/3 pot bet and my opponent looks at me and shoves all in.  I instacall and he flips over 65 for a flopped straight and I flop over the nuts.  He was not happy giving me 3/4 of his stack but he took a chance and didn't bet hard on the flop and it hurt him bad.  For me I finally caught a big hand. 

It looked like the card gods had turned for me then.  I was able to make a couple of bets and push people off pots.  Then I get AA in middle position.  Guy under the gun limps and I raise him 3.5 times.  He had been pretty aggressive and got called down for a big chunk of his stack on complete air so I figured for him to play a hand he had a little something at least.  Everyone folds it back to him and he pushes all in for about half my stack.  Well Ok, I'll call an all in with AA.  He groans and flips over pocket 10s.  Of course the poker gods reward fools who push 10's into Aces and he hit's his two outer right on the flop.  Back grinding again instead of having the chip lead at my table. 

A few hands later I'm in the small blind with KJ off.  2 people limp and I call the big blind who checks.  Lady in the big blind had played a lot of hands but didn't raise much.  She called a lot of preflop raises but usually waited to the turn or river to really get crazy.  She lost a bunch of chips chasing a draw and had a bit less than me now.  Flop is KJ5.  Nice.  I check and it gets checked all the way around.  Turn is a 2.  No flush draw, no straight draw.  I bet half the pot and she pushes all in over the top of me.  Not sure what to put her on as her play was all over the place.  I figured her for maybe K2 and called her all in.  She flips over 22 and I figure it's time to go home.  But no, the poker gods changed their minds and the river is another king.  What a strange day at the poker table.  I win hands when I should lose and lose when I should win.   Just that kind of ugly. 

This puts me up a little over my starting stack and I keep grinding.  I drag a good pot when I flop a set of 7s and get 2 people to call me down.  I build my stack up over 20K but the blinds and antes are now accelerating pretty hard and I only have about 30 big blinds.  The PQ gets moved to my table and she's in worse shape.  She raises preflop with AJ and 2 people push all in for less than her stack but a large chunk of it still.  There's so many chips in the pot that I figure she has to call but she ends up dumping it.  Man is she pissed when they turn over K8 and 76.  And she would have taken them both out.  She got knocked out not long after and I am struggling trying to keep the chips coming but it's going ok as I have a good table image and have been picking my spots. 

Unfortunately the table was broken and I went to a table that was a bit wild.  I raised with some garbage hand and got 2 callers.  Again the flop doesn't hit me but it's a pretty innocuous 9 high flop and I push it.  One guy calls me down on every street with Q9 and takes a big chunk out of me.  Now I'm on death watch and I eventually push in with K8 suited.  I don't improve and lose to J10 when he flops a jack.  Good bye to me, out in 25th out of 96.

The good, I was much more aggressive especially early and moved people off of some pots when I had basically nothing.  I also played my position much more and though it didn't really pay off for me this time, it was due to some bad luck in that much of the time people called me with crap and hit and my crap mostly didn't.  The bad, I caught a couple of bad breaks (I also caught a couple of good ones as well) that kept me from really increasing my stack early when I could have done some damage.  My reads were fair at best.  I pushed chips in more than once when I shouldn't have, not reading my opponents well.  That is a major problem with not playing very much.  My feel for the game was very off and on. More off than on I fear.  Sometimes I read it very well, more often I didn't.  It was difficult. Unfortunately after getting a car for the girl and some other things, money is not gonna be floating all around for me to play much I think. 

So thats the my night in a nutshell.  I'm not sure how long before I'll play again.  Until then, stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Living for the weekend

Well I got through another long week this week.  It was busy but it wasn't too bad.  Unfortunately next week appears to be a lot more involved.  My boss is on vacation until after the 4th which means I'm going to be doing a few more reports this week.  It won't be as bad as a last week when a number of people were in training for the new system but I expect it won't be too much fun either.  We also have a new employee that I helped train last week and will be working with again next week.  Oh well, it could be worse, I could be unemployed.

We bought a car this week.  Not a new one but a used Jeep Liberty.  Never had a Jeep before but with the daughter needing a car to drive at school and us needing her to earn some money as well, it seemed like the best idea.  At least we got a good deal on the car and on the loan.  3.75% for a used car loan.  Now that is low.  I have been reading that the major banks have been unable to increase their loan portfolios because of all of those homes that are not being paid for and people not wanting to take out new loans and the fact that they now are actually setting standards (besides a warm body with a pulse) before they loan people money.  Which means a lot of banks are competing for the same loan business and they only way they can compete is to lower interest rates on the loans.  So even though we used the county employee credit union, the lower rates filter down to everyone.  Supply and demand at work for me for a change baby.

Time for a little investment info.  Not that my investments are doing all that great at the moment.  Well let me rephrase that, some of my investments are not doing all that great.  Some are doing pretty well still and some are only ok.  But first I want to say, avoid the big bank stocks.  The worst of them being Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C).  That's not to say I think either of them are going to fail sometime soon, or even later in the future, but they both have so many problem home loans to work through that it is going to be quite a while before they start to provide the kind of returns they used to.  They both have gotten through the worst times pretty much intact and in the case of BAC, they added Merrill Lynch to their stable which can only help them at sometime.  However this isn't the same Merrill Lynch you or your parents grew up with.  They were holding a lot of bad paper when they merged with BAC otherwise they wouldn't have merged.  Add in the merger with Countrywide Financial and all of their toxic loans that BAC did a couple of years before and you have a mess of ugliness that BAC has to wade through.  Citigroup was in even worse shape during the financial crisis.  They were this close to not making it.  They still have a lot of issues.  Both banks along with Wells Fargo (WFC) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) who both came out better than BAC and C are reducing their reserves against bad loans which does help the bottom line but they are all suffering from the slow economic recovery here in the US as well as their lack of exposure to growing markets.  In fact the worst of the bunch, Citigroup, has the best foreign exposure and is getting some help there.  They did sell some of their foreign stakes to raise cash over the past few years but they just bought a part of a Russian bank to regain some of that.  None of the other banks have nearly as much foreign exposure.

The biggest problems for the big banks are their lack of loan growth.  Oh in BAC's case, their incredibly stupid handling of a number of foreclosures has meant that a number of homes they thought they could take over and sell are still in doubt and in some cases, they are going to have to give them up.  In the words of the immortal Jay G. gun nut extraordinaire, "play stupid games, win stupid prizes".  Or in BAC's case, hire stupid/crooked lawyers, lose stupid court cases.  Both JPM and WFC got through the crisis much better with less bad loans though WFC ate a bunch when they bought out Wachovia (who had bought out Golden West financial of California at the top of the market, the west coast version of Countrywide)  but they all face the same problem, lack of new loans.  Since they make money (usually) but taking in deposits and paying a low rate of interest for them and then loaning the money out at a higher rate of interest, they need loans to make money.  Especially since the volume of mortgages is much lower today than it was a few years ago.  So what I'm trying to say is, I would avoid most very large US banks as investments today.  Their earnings are not really improving and they don't pay the kind of dividend I would want while I wait for earnings to improve. The only large one I feel confident in recommending is US Bank (USB) as they have a decent dividend that will probably increase and they are actually increasing their loans.  They took very little TARP money (compared to say C or BAC, 6 billion is still a lot to me and you)  and that was only because the government made them.  They paid it back as soon as they were allowed.  I imagine they probably had it set aside to pay back they whole time.  Now they are maybe 1/10th the size of JPM and BAC but they are still very large.  And unlike many of their brethren, a solid and safe bank. 

Another very interesting bank that could be a good one to invest in is PNC Financial.  Excellent earnings that are growing nicely and a small increase in total loans for the year.  Also a decent dividend that I believe will increase.  They are about the same size as USB and have just signed an interesting deal to buy the US branches of Royal Bank of Canada.  They become much bigger by branch count and get into a number of areas they had little or no presence.  I also think they are worth a look. 

Finally one that I do have a chunk of that has been good to me is NY Community Bank (NYB) who primarily focuses in multifamily residential lending in the NY area, especially around the city.  Their earnings have dropped some over the past year and their loans have fallen a little bit but they got me through the financial crisis intact and they pay a very nice dividend.  I got into them a little under $11/share and rode them up to $19 where I sold out of half my shares.  They have a very nice dividend of .25 per share per quarter (9%) where I bought them and they were never in any danger and never took any TARP money.  Even though the stock is back down to $15 now, they made some nice purchases of bankrupt banks last year and should show a nice pop in the future.  I am debating buying more shares here while I keep reinvesting my dividends.  Either way, I'm playing with the house's money in this stock now. 

One area I have done well in and am buying more of at the right time are mining stocks, especially gold miners.  I've had shares of Yamana Gold (AUY) for about 3 years.  I bought some, sold half when it got high, bought more when it went back down and now am holding for the long haul.  It pays a good dividend for a gold miner, not great compared to many others, but it has increased the dividend substantially over the past year.  I think they have a very good future especially with the price of gold at $1500 an ounce.  I also bought into a few of junior miners that have some really good prospects.  As long as one of them is a home run, and I think 2 of them will be based on results, I will be fine.  They are my way of speculating and also ensuring if inflation really increases in the future, and I think it's bound to, I will have some upside to match it.  The ones I am in are Brigus Gold (BRD) who seem to be on a huge strike right now, Rubicon Minerals (RBY) who also has a large strike they are developing and Aurico Gold (AUQ)  who may have the best near term prospects of all.  I expect BRD and RBY will take a couple or 3 years to pay off but I think AUQ will be a quicker return.  I have time to wait and I doubt gold will fall below $1000 an ounce in the near future, or even further out.  Unless some major changes happen in our government and with the Fed, I don't see how it can go down much.  So like the silver bears say, buy the *&%#ing dips.  Which is what I have done. 

Sorry about that, I know I enjoy talking investing and markets but most people, my dear wife included, get glazed eyes whenever I start talking.  I am fascinated by some of the stuff that's gone on in the business sector but most people could care less.   Then again, I have been called a little strange before so that wouldn't surprise me.  So what else is happening out here.  Well for one, it looks like the PQ and I will play some live poker today.  She wants to play in the 8pm tourney again.  So looks like thats a go.  I have played some online stuff in small buy in tourneys and had a little success,  In fact I took down a Stud Hi/lo tourney this week.  It was only $1.10 buy in with about 70 runners.  I got $33.00 for my first place finish.  Lost on the river a few times when I knew I was ahead but also hit quad 3s to take down one hand and a straight flush to beat up a guy's full house.  Stud hi/lo is hardly my best game and I doubt it prepares me too much for playing NLHE tourneys but it did get my mind in the groove thinking about how to win hands, when to bluff, who might be bluffing me, etc.  I also took 3rd last night in a small buy in Hold em/Omaha8 tourney.  I like that mix of games.  There were 40 players and it paid top 5.  I ran well early then took a couple of bad beats when the blinds went up.  I got short but kept plugging away and took down an all in pot against the table chip leader and a short stack who got all in preflop when I flopped a set with 66 and he liked his top pair medium kicker way too much.

I got to the final table as a medium stack and then improved immediately in an Omaha hand when I flopped a straight with Q8 of diamonds on a J-10-9 flop .  No chance of a low hand and though I worried about someone sitting with KQ a little, I thought the flush redraw with an inside straight flush draw made this a hand to go to war with.  So I bet a bit over half the pot and get two callers, a big stack and a shorty.  Turn is a 6 of hearts and I make an almost pot sized bet which puts the shorty all in if he calls.  I want to see if someone is sitting on KQ or a flush draw.  I figured a KQ would have come over the top already and I like my chances against a flush draw as if they have and Ace or King of diamonds in it, I got 2 of their outs cutting down their chances and anything less and I have them.  I also have the chance of a straight flush and even if they do have KQ, I have outs still.  The big stack thinks for a while and dumps it making me think he had a King high flush draw.  I think with the Ace he stays.  The small stack immediately calls and I think "damn he has the KQ"  Turns out he didn't, he had top two pair.  What?  You're staking your tourney on top 2 pair, no flush or straight draws, and are willing to call all in with that flop?  I was shocked.  He didn't hit his 4 outer and I was  3rd in chips with 8 to go. 

After that nothing much happened and I had to dump the 2 steal attempts I made when the flops and bettors did not cooperate.  We get down to 6 and I am 5th but not too far from the other 4 who are pretty close.  In the big blind I get AJ suited.  The small blind pushes all in and everyone folds to me.  I thought and figured I was at least 50/50 and maybe a big favorite as he could be pushing Ace rag.  So I call and he flips over K6 off.  What?   You wait this long and then push K6?  But it works for him as he flops a king and I get crapped on.  He doubles and I'm now the shorty instead of being almost even with the other 4.  The very next hand Mr K6 pushes all in again UTG.  I want to call with 4-2 but dump it and the big stack in the big blind calls him with AQ.  This time he flips over KJ and goes out when an A hits the flop.  Buh bye, thanks for giving away my chips. 

Once in the money, things got strange.  I am still shortest by a good bit but 2 hands later the big stack gets it in with the guy in 4th and takes him out.  Why he felt he had to push when I was as short as I was is beyond me but maybe he felt the big stack was on a steal (he wasn't) and felt his A-10 was good.  I'm sure he hated to see AK in the big stacks hand.   I got a walk in the big blind and then pushed all on the next hand for a complete steal.  I had a little breathing room but not much when the guy in 3rd tangles with the guy in 2nd and gets whacked.  Next hand I get 3-3 and push all in.  Get called by guy with A9 and he flops an ace.  Good bye to me but 3rd was nice all the same and after losing that hand to K6, I was struggling to stay in.  So we'll see how the tourney goes tonight.  I wouldn't say I'm ready but I'm not completely out of sorts either.  I'll let y'all know how it goes tomorrow.   Till then, stay lucky you nuts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Goodbye to a Very Big Man

Good morning everyone and Happy Fathers Day to all you daddys - even you sugar daddys.  I'm sure Memphis Mojo is having a nice Fathers Day after his excellent cash last night (or early this morning depending on where you live) in the Seniors event at the WSOP.  I only realized last night that I am qualified to play in this event myself.  I'm not sure that's an accomplishment but I'll take it.  Maybe next year the PQ will go play the ladies event and I'll play the seniors event.  Or not since the ladies event is a good bit later than the seniors tourney.  May have to wait until we both retire.  Or we can wait a few years and both play the seniors event.  That would be a good year.  But don't tell the PQ she's getting close to being eligible to play, she might get upset.

Unfortunately I found out on Fathers Day that E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemmons died yesterday.  I had heard he had a stroke a day or two before.  Not a great Fathers Day for his kids or for all of the fans.  The commonly told story is that on a stormy and very windy night, Clarence went to a joint where Bruce Springsteen was playing.   According to the story, when he opened the door, a gust of wind caught it and ripped the door off its hinges.  Bruce heard the noise and all he could see was this huge figure - Clarence was a former college football player and stood 6' 4" - silhouetted in the doorway.  When Clarence came to the stage and wanted to jam with him, he was afraid to tell him no.  And so began a beautiful friendship that lasted almost 40 years.  Clarence being black in an all white rock and roll band (not quite all white as keyboardist Dave Sancious played with them until just before they hit it big) in the early 70s was a very different animal on the music scene.  You didn't have too many groups that were mixed black and white and in an area like New Jersey I'm sure it cost them some gigs.  But the affection between Clarence and Bruce was obvious to all.  I don't know what the band will do without Clarence but I know he will be missed greatly by both the fans and his band mates.  RIP Big Man. 

This weekend has been pretty relaxing for me.  I went shopping with the PQ and her sister along with my daughter and my niece.  We looked like a bigmist family trooping through the mall.  I got a couple of pairs of shorts and a polo shirt while there.  I looked at some nice cookware in Macy's but the last thing I have room for now is more pots and pans.  But I do love to look.  I do want to get a small santoku knife and a big cutting board someday soon.  We got some new bamboo cutting boards a few weeks back and I'd like to get a really big one with a channel for juice runoff on it.  We got rid of a bunch of old cutting boards before we moved recently.  I don't want to say these boards were old or anything but one of them we picked up at the State Fair of Texas in 1986. 

Whilst I've been writing this today, my daughter made me breakfast.  Happy Father's Day to ME.  Bacon, cheese and onion omelet, home fries, bacon, oj, and coffee.  Oh and lets not forget the english muffin as well.  Now that's a fine breakfast.  Thank you Sarah and thank you my dear wife for making the coffee, I needed it.  Last night I was beat, fell asleep in my chair even before my wife sent me off to bed.  I slept pretty well and even the dog was nice to me by waiting until 7 to get me up to take her out.  I'd say its been a good day so far.  Tonight we are getting together with my boys who are taking me out to a comedy club.  I just wish I had won the lottery last night as well.  Would have completed the weekend on a real high note.   As if. 

I haven't been playing much poker at all lately.  A little online at a site thats still open though who knows if I'll be able to take the money out from there.  Not that I have a lot in it, I mainly used this site for sports betting and since they had a poker room as well, I play there sometimes.  I've been too broke since moving to play live poker much so since poker isn't happening I've been working on getting into better shape.  A lot of Wii Tennis lately.  I play it pretty hard for 45 minutes to an hour and really work up a sweat.  After that, it's shower time.  Well time to plan out my mini vacation next month.  Last year we went went to the great metropolises (metropolii?) of Steinhatchee, Micanopy, Yankeetown, Crackertown (right next door to each other) and Cedar Key.  Beautiful scenery, good food, even some poker in Ocala one night.  Fun times.  This year we are going further up the west coast up by Ft Walton Beach and Panama City.  Might get as far as Pensacola.  I am definitely going to a small town named Two Egg.  We'll also get to Destin and Seaside (where The Truman Show was filmed) along with a couple of state parks that are on barrier islands near there.  Its supposed to be some of the most beautiful beach in the world.  I love to find the unvisited, relatively unknown areas of Florida.  I've been here 23+ years and there's a lot I haven't seen.  Gotta get it all in before I move to Montana.  Yeah like the PQ will go for that. 

Well enough for today.  I hope all you dads have a great Father's Day.  Good luck on your Vegas visit  Lightning.  Congrats to Mojo and good luck permanent resident Poker Grump.  Wish I were there as well.  Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I wonder if the Feds are looking for him?

Or maybe the mob?? 

Last night I attended the graduation of my niece from high school.  The same one my boys and daughter graduated from.  Every year they did the graduation in the morning on the high school football field.  Which is a pretty good idea if you're doing an outdoor graduation in Florida since it rains quite often in the late afternoon and early evening at this time of year.  It's also rather warm too.  Well this year was different. 

They decided to hold the graduation at a local baseball stadium instead.  More room so there was no limit on how many could attend and they would have fireworks after the graduation was over.  They also were holding it at 7:30 pm.  Ummm  you guys are aware of where we are and what the weather can be like this time of year aren't you?  Before we left for the graduation we heard some thunder and I checked the local weather.  There was a small thunderstorm cell to our east that was moving north west toward the stadium.  Judging by the movement I figured it would either hit us at the field or skirt a little to the east of us. 

When we got to the field a little before 7 it was a bit warm, like 86 and though there was a breeze you couldn't feel it sitting in the stands where we were.  We had good seats and were pretty shaded.  Graduation went off quite well all in all and did not take as long as I figured it would.  They started right on time and finished in 90 minutes.  One of the speakers was the alumni association representative who was a rookie in the NFL last year and had a pretty good year.  His name is Dexter McCluster and his cousin was in this graduation class.  He was a damned good player in high school as an undersized running back who set county records for yards and touchdowns but he was a long shot to play significantly in college at least on offense I thought, never mind the NFL.  But he proved desire and willpower not to mention working harder than the next guy can get you far and he had a fine career at Ole Miss culminating in being named the Cotton Bowl MVP and then was drafted in the 2nd round by KC.  He gave a good speech off the cuff as he says he never writes out speeches, he wants to speak from the heart.  Pretty confident for a 22 year old I thought.

The clouds rolled in about half way through the graduation ceremony but passed just to the east of us.  I saw a little lightning but nothing too bad.  It was a good graduation all in all.  Just a few days ago my niece also found out she was accepted at Univ of West Florida.  She wanted to attend Central Florida with my daughter but was not accepted there.  She also wanted to get away from home.  She'll get the chance to do that as UWF is in Pensacola, about a 7 or 8 hour drive from here.  Good for her.  I also wanted to get away when it was time for college.  I went a bit further than she is going but she will still have to depend on herself for just about everything.

All this leads me back to the title of my post.  I'm sure some of you old farts saw a movie called "Hiding Out" starring Jon Cryer (now in 2 and 1/2  Men) and maybe you even remember it.  He plays a young stockbroker who is supposed to testify against the mob and then when they try to kill him he goes into hiding as a high school student.  So when he registers in the school he uses the name of Max Hauser from the can of Maxwell House coffee in the office.  Imagine my surprise when one of the graduates was named Maxwell Houser last night.  Did his parents hate him?  48 hours of labor?  Maybe they went to that movie as a first date?   Hard to say but I did get a chuckle from that one. 

Tonight the PQ and I plan on playing a little poker.  First time for me in quite a while except for a little online fooling around.  So rust is apt to be a factor.  I have been doing some reading so I will try to put some of that into play.  I will try to put a bet or 2 down on the Belmont as well, if I get there early enough.  Hopefully I am richer tomorrow than I am today.  Hope you all make some cash as well.  Stay lucky you nuts.


Well the horses were more profitable for me than the poker.  Played in a tourney last night as did the PQ.  Every time I made a move it seemed things went backward for me.  Well not every time.  I did have a nice score with 2-2 on an A 10 J flop and another time with 3-2 suited when I flopped a flush.  But I had some horrible luck on a couple of hands which cost me a good bit and made a couple of stupid plays.  I also made a big mistake on one hand late in my tourney that cost myself a possible double up.  My end came when I was in the big blind with 10-6 suited.  Flop was 10 high and I led out at it.  A big stack across the table raised at me.  It almost put me all in to call.  I thought about it.  Possible he had a draw as it was a draw heavy flop with both straight and flush draws.  I had a backdoor shot at a straight and flush.  So I pushed in and he called for another 500.  He unfortunately had Q-10 and neither of us improved.  Out I go.  I thought I had a decent read on him that tipped me off that he wasn't that strong (and he wasn't, if I was sitting on K10 or better lol) and I couldn't afford not to go in.  After watching him play I knew it was very possible he had a draw only. 

My big disappointment was screwing up 2 hands a bit earlier.  One of them I had called a raise preflop with 6-6.  Flop was 8-8-6.  Everyone checked to the gal just to my right.  She had shown a lot of propensity to gamble and it had paid off 3 or 4 times.  She bet 1000.  Everyone else folded and it came back to me.  I thought about flat calling but thought that would look suspicious.  Also I only had about 6K more.   As much as she gambled, and the way the hand went I thought she would be suspicious if I pushed it instead.  So I did.  She thought for a while but eventually let it go.  Afterwards I thought about it and decided I goofed.  If I just check and call, maybe she pushes on me instead.   Another hand I didn't bet at on the river when I was sitting with trips that were pretty well disguised.  If I bet, one of the guys after me probably calls and I pick up a couple K more. 

On the horse side, late in the afternoon I was reading an update on the Belmont that says the track is really sloppy and muddy.  Only 1 horse had ever run in the mud (and he had won) and seemed to be worth taking a flyer on.  That horse was Ruler On Ice who went on to win as a 24-1 longshot.  Paid my entry fee for the poker.  So the day wasn't a total loss at least.