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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What to do?

What to do today, what to do?  I got myself moving earlier than usual, already finished my iced coffee, showered and got dressed.  That puts me about 3 hours ahead of my usual Saturday morning.  The wife and daughter are off to the mall so I have all this free time right now.  I could:

Pop open a bottle of wine and relax the afternoon away

Or maybe go out to the pier and people watch while waiting for a nice storm to take some pictures of.  I love it when a storm brews over the bay like this

I am getting a little hungry.  I maybe could go out for a bite to eat as I am sure they'll be doing that somewhere around the mall
It used to say Joe C's before the last hurricane

I'm pretty sure tonight is gonna involve some cards at some point.  So I had best forgo the wine for now and save it for later.  That's cool.  Maybe I should do a little practice this afternoon or I could head over to the poker room early and play some NLHE to practice or even some Omaha Hi Lo as I haven't played that in a while.  Either way my day is wide open.

What else is going on?  I was reading one of the blogs online and the guy mentioned he wanted to re-read a book that had helped him a lot called "The Poker Tournament Formula" by Arnold Snyder.  It sounded like a good book and I'm always looking to increase my knowledge and strategies for poker, especially tourneys, so I found it at the library and checked it out.  Good idea.  It's the first book I've read that is specifically geared for lower limit tourneys like you find at the local poker rooms.  I've been spending the last month or 2 trying out some of the things the book suggested in the tourneys.  It has been up and down as I've taken more risk and had more problems to solve but I also have seen the results a couple of times too.  Last weekend it worked to perfection, I had a great table rep and didn't get unlucky more than once or twice.  And I had enough chips that I could afford to be unlucky when we got down to it. 

My biggest problem in tourneys is I too often get shortstacked and get knocked out a bit before the final table or reach the final table really short.  One of the consequences of this is that I have learned how to play short stacked pretty well.  But really it would be a lot easier to reach the final table as one of the bigger stacks, be able to selectively push people around, and afford to take a bad beat and still be in position to cash.  So many times I've gone in as a shorty and lose with AK or a pocket pair to some crap hand.  But last week I got to the final table as an average stack.  Took advantage of some really loose play by a biggie and a good flop with JJ against another.  My tight image also worked in my favor and since I wasn't a shorty, the big stacks didn't want to screw around with an all in on my part.  Once I got big, I made sure I wasn't playing too loosely against the shorties but I took advantage of 2 or 3 guys with medium stacks that I knew I could push around some.  To say I got some use out of the concepts in that book would be an understatement.

I liked the book so much I started to outline it.  I'll probably buy it (I looked for an electronic version of the book but they didn't have it, gonna look again shortly.) at some point in the near future but since I don't have too much time left on it now, I better renew it and finish that outline.  I found when I do an outline, I grasp whatever I read a lot more clearly.  Setting things to paper just makes it a lot clearer for me.

I like watching those shows where guys are buying storage units to make money on reselling the items or finding something really collectible.  One guy made a very cogent remark today.  He was talking about an Atari 2600 video game.  Now this game is OLD, maybe the first home video game system.  He found it in the original box and figured a value of $250 for it, probably a good bit more than it cost when new.  He said people in their 40s and such have a lot of disposable income now and are willing to spend big money to buy their childhood back.   I can understand that as most of us think life was better when we were younger than it is today.  For myself, I think life was simpler when I was young but not necessarily better.  There have always been crises in the world, the economy in the dumps, inflation, etc.  The players change but the problems don't. 

I'm not one of those guys who needs to rebuy and relive their childhood.  I like getting my entertainment a bit more up to date.  But I do admit I like to watch older movies, I like my oldies radio, and I'm definitely not one of those guys who needs to get the most up to date electronic gadgets (I do love my electronic corkscrew however) and gizmos whether its a computer, phone, or game system.  But I also realize that no matter how much we may not want it to, things change and you better be able to adapt or get left behind.

Well the PQ just called and asked me to run to the store and pick up a few things while she's at the mall.  So off I go.  I hope everyone else is having a relaxing and enjoyable Saturday.  Someone tell Lucky to make better baseball picks, I do like his Rays pick for today, and how about a gal in Rays gear on your site?  If anyone else plays cards today, get lucky and stay lucky.  That's all for now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday Night Poker

I mentioned I was going to play some poker last night.  We got to Derby Lane just in time for the 6pm tourney.  Not too many players, only 3 tables but it is a fun tourney.  You get 4K in chips and another 2K add on for $5.  Everyone pays the extra 5 for the add on.   Blind levels are 25 minutes so you get some play for your money.

The tourney did not start well for me.  I tried to bluff a guy who I thought was on a flush draw but instead he flopped 2 pair.  Ooops, my bad.  At the end of the first blind level I was down to about 3500 from my original 6K.  Then things turned a but.  I called from the button with 66 and flopped a 6.  I slow played and called the post flop bet along with 3 others.  I checked the turn but unfortunately no one bet.  The river was a low card and this time I led out.  Unfortunately no one hit much of anything and they all folded to my river bet.  Still I added 600 or so to my meager stack.  I had a pretty good read on a couple of weak players to my right, one was an older lady who played a lot of hands.  She was willing to make calls with very light holdings.  I saw her call down to the river and even bet out with 2nd and 3rd pair. 

A little later I get JJ in late position and raise to 400.  She had already called the blind and called my raise along with 1 other.  The flop was Queen 3 2 with 2 hearts and it was checked to me.  I bet out 800 and the lady called me.  Figured she was either on a flush or straight draw or possibly had a weakish queen.  She checked the turn 7 and I checked behind her.  River was an ace and she checked again.  I didn't think she liked the ace and might put me on one.  I also didn't want to check and lose JJ to a crappy Q6 or something so I bet 1600 and she folded it.  Now I'm back over 5K. 

A little later I flopped a K to my KQ off and my bet got called by 4 people.  When none of them could beat me I was suddenly over 7K.  Now we're talking.  About then the PQ came by and said she had been knocked out.  She had raised AK and an A9 went all in which she called.  He caught a 9 and she was in trouble.  A little later she pushed all in with AK and lost again and out she went.  She made the right plays but got bad results. 

At the first break I was sitting on over 9K and felt pretty good considering my starting point.  I went pretty card dead at that point but I paid closer attention to my opponents and found spots to take down pots.  I was getting some respect to my raises and though my stack wasn't increasing much, I wasn't losing.  Still as the blinds accelerated I was and I didn't want to get short stacked now.  My table got broken a little later so now I am at a new table with a not so big stack.  The table is full and my hands aren't so I watch my opponents.  Guy next to me has about the same size stack as I do but he keeps limping preflop.  A lot of hands then get raised and he dumps so he's getting shorter and shorter.  Before too long he is pushing all in with an Ace rag and losing to AJ.  I decided I would wait and only come in with preflop raises. 

It took awhile but I picked up AQ and raised it up over 2 limpers.  Because I hadn't been involved in any hands I got some looks but everyone folded.  After that I just picked my spots and kept getting respect.  It may have helped that the only hand I did take to showdown was a full house when my 88 flopped a set and turned a boat.  That got me up over 25K.  The shorties started falling pretty fast as the blinds kept rising and before we reached the 2nd break we were down to one table.  I was feeling pretty good sitting on a bit under 30K but 2 of the guys moved to the table were sitting around 45-50K.  I wanted some of that but knew I'd have to be a bit careful. 

It didn't take long for fireworks to start.  I was in seat 2.  The 2 big stacks were in 8 & 9 and the guy in seat 10 had started next to me at my first table and was really up and down early.   He played a lot of hands when first seated at my table.  He had an average stack by the time we got to the final table.  Early on the guy in seat 1 got knocked out.  After that the shorties kept doubling up.  The biggie in seat 9 tangled with the guy in seat 10 and pushed a marginal hand into him.  Next thing you know seat 10 is a biggie after doubling up and seat 9 is down to about 16K.  Another shortie doubles up through one of the medium stacks.  I took down a couple of pots with position raises over the guys on my right.  Next time around I get QQ on the button and raise to 4K.  Guy next to me pushes all in for about 11K and the big blind folds.  I was hoping he was just making a move on me figuring I was doing the same to him so I called and flipped over QQ.  He frowned and showed A8 but he smiled when he flopped an ace.  I was not so happy myself.  We hit the 2nd break and I'm down to 18K.   Blinds are up to 1K-2K so I got no time to fool around.  The guy who I doubled up then took a shortie out and he is over 40K so I'm really not too happy. 

I went to visit the PQ and her luck has transferred to the cash tables as she's getting a bit of a beat down. I talked to her a bit then ran into one of my favorite dealers.  She's actually the aunt of a girl I work with so we talk from time to time.  She was dealing another tourney that was also on break so we talked a little and she told me now was not the time to panic or push a weak hand as even with the high blinds I still had some time to wait to take my shot.  When the break ended I sat down determined to grind it out. 

Even losing with the QQ did a lot for the respect factor for me and I managed to take down some pots preflop.  Then I tangled with a biggie.  Seat 9 got big again when he tangled with seat 10.  He pushed all in preflop from the big blind after seat 10 and another guy had limped.  Seat 10 calls and flips over AQ to seat 9's A3.  A three on the flop got him the double up and then he started pushing some hands while seat 10 steamed.  Seat 9 had raised me up preflop a couple of times and I figured if he did it again I was coming over the top while I could still hurt him.  So everyone folds to the button and boom, 4500 raise.  The small blind folded and I waited a beat then went all in for 22K.  He thought for a minute and I new he wasn't very strong.  And the last hand he saw me show was QQ so he gave me some credit too.  Finally he folds and shows KJ.  I showed nothing but actually had 66.  KJ became a big thing with him a little later. 

I next got involved with the other big stack.  I woke up with JJ in late position.  Seat 8 raises to 5000.  He's sitting at almost 60K and has been pretty tight so far.  I had played with him for a bit on my second table and he was a pretty good player so I didn't want to go all whacko.  I figured him for anywhere from a big ace to a pocket pair.  I didn't want to go all in and have him call me with AK then river an ace or king so I thought I would be better off just calling and seeing a flop.  A small flop and I push to take it down then, a big flop and I can get away without losing too much of my stack.  I'd been playing pretty well to that point and didn't want to put my whole game in preflop.  Flop is J42.  Bingo.  Big stack leads out for 6K.  I made a show of cutting out my chips and counting my remaining stack then flat called.  Maybe I Hollywooded it too much.  The turn was another 4.  Biggie checks and I check behind.  River is a 10.  He checks again and I bet 6K at him but he folds pretty quickly.  Damn.  Should I have raised the flop or bet at the turn?  I wondered.  I know I screwed up a couple of hands with how I played them but that one I was unsure of.  I probably should have flipped over the full house for show there. 

Seat 9 then went nuts.  Seat 7 calls from UTG.  He was pretty short and I thought he was in push or fold territory so his call was very suspicious to me.  I read him as Aces or Kings. Seat 9 raises to 7K.  I fold, everyone else folds it back to the UTG shorty who pushes all in for another 11K.  Again, this is a position the biggie doesn't have to play.  He started the hand at over 60K, losing 7K is not that big, he can still bully guys.  But he calls and the UTG flips up AA against biggie's KJ.  He gets a jack but nothing else. 

The very next hand he raises again.  I thought about calling with A3 suited but figured I was over 35K and didn't need to get involved with a speculative piece of junk like that.  So I fold but the guy 2 seats to my left pushes all in over the top for 21K.  He had played a bit looser than the first guy but I gotta give him credit for something there.  Mr Formerly biggest stack did not and calls him.  This time he is in a race as the guy to my left has 99 against KJ again.  Neither of them catch a card and the ex biggie is now down to around 20K in two hands.  A couple of hands later I open raise under the gun with 10-10.  The guy next to me pushes in over the top to 20K or so.  It gets folded back to me and I'm not liking a call with 10s but after he pushed over my QQ with A8, I'm not necessarily putting him on a monster.  He'd gotten short again by tangling with Seat 9 earlier and giving up nearly 15K. 

I call and flip over the 10s.  He flips over a jack and I thought the second card was also a jack and I was drawing thin but the second card was an ace.  Flop has a 10 and I've taken him out to move up over 50K and get a little revenge for my queens.  Not to long after I get 99 and Mr ex-bigstack pushes all in before me.  Again I have to think a bit but he is now down under 15K and I can afford to lose this one not to mention he may have KJ again and it would be sweet to take him out with that.  So I call and he flips up Q8.  Neither of us improve and he hits the rail while I go over 60K.  We're down to 5 players and I'm the big stack.  Next the kid in seat 6 takes out the former small stack in seat 7 then seat 4 who took a nice chunk off the former big stack in 9, takes out seat 8 and we're in the money.  We play for a while and talk about chopping and determine a 3 way chop puts us all at a little over 2nd place money.  Stacks are pretty even, I'm leading with around 70K while the smallest stack is 50.  I'm getting tired so we chop it up.  $370 is ok with me and we all leave happy. 

I was pretty pleased with my play.  I made a couple of foolish bets and bluffs and misplayed a couple of big hands I thought but for the most part I had picked up pretty well on my opponents, avoided some trouble, and kept a strong table image.  I was able to use my image to bluff one of the guys who cashed off a pot when he had a weak King and a king flopped.  I also felt I made a good play at another pot (it failed) when the board came up 3-3-4-9-9.  I bet the 9 on the turn and got one caller and then bet the river 9 harder.  I got called but the guy didn't want to and thought he was beat.  He had pocket 4s and flopped 4s full of 3s and slowplayed them, right into a loss he thought.  I just had KQ that time but it paid off later when I flopped a K and he called on the river when his AQ hit a queenUnfortunately twice I made bad plays when I hit big hands.  Once at the final table I flopped a set of 8s on a 10-8-2 board.  3 checks to me and I probably should check here but I bet a bit less than half to try to induce someone to come over me (I didn't raise preflop) but they all folded.  Another time I hit a flop well and bet out again only to watch everyone fold.  I need to learn some patience sometimes.

If today is Sunday

It must be Two Egg.  Last Sunday morning dawned cloudy and rainy but I didn't care.  I'd had some fun playing cards the night before and then made good use of the jacuzzi tub in the hotel room (and a nice bottle of Reisling) to work out the kinks from a hard days driving and poker playing.  After a good night's sleep, we were not up particularly early but we had some places to go.  We were going to catch breakfast at a place a little south of our hotel that supposedly did a good Sunday breakfast however when we got there, the place was closed down.  I guess the economy over the past couple of years did in a lot of smaller places cuz we sure saw a number of closed up places in the towns we visited.  Another reason we tried to hit local business for food and drink.

The drive back from the poker room the night before was a real trip.  Small 2 lane highways in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.  Speed limits of 60-65.  With the trees on both sides of the highway and the clouds there was no moonlight or starlight to show you anything, just your headlights.  To say it was dark would be an understatement.  I remember my first night in Texas, traveling from the airport to my school and how dark it was that night.  I had grown up and always lived in highly populated areas where there was a lot of lights even on the darkest nights.  Never had experienced nights like that with just some starlight up above.  That was dark.  This was much darker.

I told the PQ to look for headlights reflecting off of eyes of deer (or bears, this was the first time I had ever seen Bear Crossing signs on the highways) while I ran the high beams as much as possible.  Never did see anything myself but she saw some deer on her side of the road.  Eventually we got to I-10 and took that back to the hotel.

Since breakfast was denied us at that time we decided to head toward Two Egg and figured on catching something on the way.  Uh no, that didn't turn out so well.  We got to Two Egg pretty quickly as it wasn't far from our hotel but we passed nothing on the way.  Two Egg was a tiny little crossroad that basically is a part of the state the world has forgotten about.  Apparently though the Two Egg city limit sign is the most stolen one in the state.  We did not feel the need to do this (a good thing too as a State Highway Patrol cruiser came down the road as we were pulling in) and once we took a couple of pics of the signs we headed east.  I checked the maps that morning and worked out some routes to head over the border into Georgia.  Two Egg is only a few miles from the Georgia state line and I figured we could hit some small towns over the border as well.  Since we hadn't had any breakfast still and were getting kinda hungry, I figured it would be good to hit someplace a little bigger too so that maybe we could get a bite. 

Uh oh time for another rant

GPS devices are just another proof to me that we as Americans are a stupid people.  I read an article this past week about how poorly American kids scored on geography tests.  I was not surprised.  Its the same as math.  When I went to school we didn't carry calculators to class.  We had to actually do addition and subtraction, learn the multiplication tables.  I remember how hard a time I had at first with long division.  But now even young kids carry calculators to elementary math classes.  And if they have to subtract 139 from 200 they're lost.  Try to get a kid at McDonalds to make change for a 10.00 without his register providing the amount for him.  Well geography is even worse.  Today if you gave a person a map and told him where you wanted to go, most of them couldn't navigate you to the same county. 

End of rant

After the PQ got a bit lost last year when heading over to Orlando to pick up our daughter, I got her a GPS for Christmas (or her birthday, both are in December and the gifts just kind of run together) to help her get where she wants to go.  Its a pretty good GPS, not the most expensive but not a cheapie either and has a 5 inch screen to view on.  All well and good if you don't know where you are and know you want to get somewhere in the most expedient manner but I find the GPS particularly frustrating when I want to find my own way.  I want the GPS to provide me with an overview of roads and let me choose the route I want to take.  I know how to read a map, I usually can get where I want without a map.  It's not that hard, you just gotta know which direction you want to go.  When I was a kid most of the local gas stations had free maps for travelers.  I looked at a lot of maps as a kid, not as many as my older brother (who went to work for the Defense Mapping Agency out of college) but still a lot of maps.  Maybe that's why I like to go to out of the way places like I do.  But all the GPS is trying to do is find the fastest route between 2 points.  So I'm driving along US 98 getting close to the Florida coast and the GPS wants me to go to the Interstate to get somewhere.  Dude if I wanted to ride the interstates, I wouldn't need a GPS.  So navigating by GPS meant you had to know what little towns were on the way for where you wanted to go.  So you could tell it to take you to the first town on your eventual route and go from there.  A little frustrating and if you just wanted to explore the middle of nowhere and didn't know exactly where you were but knew you eventually wanted to end up at someplace like say Tallahassee,  you really had to finagle the thing to keep it from sending you on all the main roads.

Anyway we were able to figure a route to a place called Steam Mill in Georgia.  Even smaller than Two Egg.   On the way I had seen a sign for Donalsonville so I figured that would be big enough to find a cafe, a truckstop, or somewhere for us to get a bite.  And I was right.  We got to beautiful downtown Donalsonville around 10:30 and saw off to our right a little place called the 3 Squares Diner.  It wasn't crowded so we pulled in.  Place looked like a converted Waffle House to me but it was bright and clean inside.  We got a table no problem and decided to order.  The PQ got french toast with eggs, bacon, and coffee.  I got an order of biscuits and gravy and a double portion of hash browns with onions.  The biscuits may have been the best I have ever eaten, the gravy was nearly perfect with just enough pepper in it.  Unlike so many other places I have been, the hash browns were crispy and done right not limp and greasy.  We both enjoyed our breakfast.  Total bill was $12.66.   I do like small town diners. 

From there we headed south to Tallahassee.  It was a nice drive, cloudy sometimes raining and sometimes the sun even peeked out.  I'd never been there before.  After going once, I don't know if I need to go back.  There was a nice old capitol building that is now a museum and behind it a newer concrete monstrosity that is particularly ugly.  This is supposed to inspire the citizens?  Why waste the money to build that thing?   I used to live in Texas and have been to Austin a few times.  The capitol is made of pink granite.  To say it stands out is an understatement.  I was born in Rhode Island.  The capitol there is made of all white Georgia marble and has the largest unsupported dome in the Western World (2nd only to the dome at St Peters in the Vatican).  It stands out like a beacon especially lit up at night.  Hell even Massachusetts has a nice golden dome on their capitol building.  Yet we build a new one and it looks like a middle school?  Have to rate Tallahassee as a bit disappointing. 

We headed home from there, still staying on the side roads down to Perry.  But we decided we wanted to hit Zaxbys (a great chicken chain that has not made it to Tampa Bay yet) in Gainesville for a late lunch.  Again the ride was enjoyable and the company good.   Zaxbys even had a strawberry cheesecake shake which I did partake in.  Leaving Gainesville I hopped on I75 south toward Tampa.  What an ugly way to go.  Trucks, cars, rvs all jamming the road traveling 70 then 55 then 80.  I hated it.  I got used to driving back roads with things to see and very few cars.  The sun shone the rest of the way home for the first sustained sunlight since we left.  I'd have rather have been in the rain on some little 2 lane road in the sticks.  As soon as we could we got off the road and headed down the tollway which was at least far less trafficked. 

And that was my birthday mini vacation.  Sorry for the boring parts of which I'm sure there were many.  For those of you who do travel a bit I urge you when you can to get off the interstates and maybe you'll see part of the country.  I'm glad I did.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So little to talk about,

So much to say.  I just realized my last post was number 100.  Wow.  Some people do that in a month, only took me 3 years. 

To continue my vacation saga, such as it is.  Saturday we were up bright and early.  We had a mission, to visit Pensacola.  Not for ourselves so much as we were going to visit the college our niece will be attending in a few months.  She and her family just got back from freshman orientation last night but we were there first.  So we drove on over to Univ of West Florida. 

What a beautiful campus.  Hilly, a lot of trees and located pretty close to Escambia Bay.  It's a pretty good sized campus but the enrollment is not much over 10,000 which for a state school in Fla is pretty low.  UF has about 50,000, USF has over 45,000 and UCF where my daughter is has over 55K.  I think my niece will really enjoy being away from home at a place like that.  And she'll get a good workout just traversing those hills around campus. 

After leaving the school we saw a Whataburger while heading toward the beach.  That was an automatic stop for us.  Yummm.  Got me a chocolate malt which you just can't get around here very much and for desert, a pineapple pie.  The PQ was very disappointed they didn't carry lemon pies anymore as she really had a hankering for one.  It's not nice to disappoint my wife like that but we forgave them since the chocolate malts were sooo good. 

While we were eating lunch the skies just opened up.  Rain poured down for a good while, so much so that the next day they posted flood warnings in Pensacola.  When the rain let up a bit, we started heading down to Pensacola Beach.  We crossed the Pensacola Bay Bridge over to Gulf Breeze.  Gulf Breeze sits on the western tip of a peninsula that extends westward in front of Pensacola creating 2 large bays, Pensacola and Escambia.  Gulf Breeze was pretty nice, kinda built up with shops and a marina and stuff, kinda like Clearwater Beach, except it's not directly on the Gulf.  There is a barrier island south of the peninsula and that is where Pensacola Beach is on Santa Rosa Island.  Santa Rosa Island is about 40 miles long from Ft Pickens state park on the far west tip to Ft Walton Beach on the eastern end.  Pensacola Beach is just east of the state park.  We really liked Pensacola Beach.  Not nearly as built up as the beach communities around here (or further east as it turns out) with a lot of single houses, small townhouses etc.  It looks like how the Sand Key area around here looked 25 years ago.  Now it's full of huge 15-20 story condos, some big houses, and hotels. 

We drove down Pensacola Beach to the east toward Ft Walton Beach.  A few miles east of Pensacola Beach the houses disappear and we entered Gulf Islands National Seashore.  The Seashore is on parts of barrier islands in Mississippi and Florida including about a 5 mile long stretch of Santa Rosa Island.  It's beautiful and the speed limits were temporarily lowered to 20 as there were thousands of nesting birds in a large section.  The beaches were near deserted due to the intermittent rain but there were parking areas every mile or so.  No other facilities, shops, etc, the place was meant for beachgoers and birdwatchers to enjoy nature.  It's too bad none of the communities around here did something like that but then again, empty land pays no taxes. 

The road headed into Navarre Beach and then ended at the bridge to Navarre on the mainland so we followed it across.  There was a bike path that continued down Santa Rosa Island but no cars were allowed down there.  Eglin AFB also owns a big chunk of the island east of there so we wouldn't have access to that anyway.  Eglin is huge basically surrounding the city of Ft Walton Beach on the North, West and South sides.  Eglin is where the members of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo first practiced short take offs to prepare for flying medium bombers of the Army Air Corps off of aircraft carrier decks.  No one had ever done anything like that previously and though the damage they inflicted was minimal, their impact to the morale of the American people cannot be overstated.  You also cannot fail to mention how they forced the Japanese to retain many more air units for home defense than they had previously, cannot be overstated.

It was another pretty drive down the coast until we got to Ft Walton Beach.  All of a sudden we are in bumper to bumper traffic heading toward our ultimate destination of Destin.  We roll through this for about 40 minutes getting maybe 4 miles until we get into Destin.  The road opens from 2 to 3 lanes in each direction there and though still busy, it's not gridlock at least.  Destin reminds me of what's wrong with so many beach communities around here.  It's like Clearwater Beach on steroids.  For one it's a lot bigger but they filled up  all that extra room with shops, restaurants, bars, outlet malls houses and golf courses.  All in an area that is maybe 2 miles or so wide and 6-8 miles long.  So on a Saturday afternoon it becomes party central to all of the tourists and many of the locals as well.  You can only come in from east or west along US 98 or bridge across Choctowatchee Bay on the Mid Bay Bridge. When a lot of people want to get there or (when a hurricane comes) get out, it ain't pretty.   Cars were everywhere and it was getting worse as the day went on. 

We stopped at the Bass Pro Shop there.  It's a huge outdoors shop catering to the hunting, camping, fishing and self defense folks.  And was it busy.  Checked out the fish tank and some guns as I am going to pick up one before too long.  PQ just kinda rolled her eyes at me but she has come to accept that I want to arm myself and get a concealed weapons permit. We had to cut short our visit though because all the traffic had slowed up our day and we had an appointment to get to that evening.  So we trooped out of there and grabbed the bridge across the bay.  Wow what a lot of traffic was backed up coming in to Destin that way.  I don't know where they were gonna put em all but it looked like a big party night was going on.

Our appointment involved cards and a dog track poker room in the little town of Ebro, Florida.  The ride from Destin was really nice.  Started out right along the shore of Choctawatchee Bay.  Again at times we were driving 15 feet or so from the water.  The land slopes up pretty well from the bay so unless your house is right on the water, it would take a pretty fearsome hurricane to flood most of the homes along there.  Of course there are always the idiots who have to be right on the damned water.  Saw a couple of homes built between the road and the water, some on stilts right over the water.  Now being a propenent of freedom choice I am all for people building homes and living where they want to live.  But having said that, how many of those people own those homes outright?  If they are mortgaged who insures those homes?  I can just about guarantee any mortgaged home near the water is not insured through any private insurance company.  Instead its covered by Citizens Property Insurance Corp which is a state backed insurance pool created by our wonderful state legislature in 2002.  So my tax money goes to insure homes on beaches that I have no chance of affording to buy.  I'll touch on this later or maybe in another post.  I have some rather pointed things to say about this.

Anyway we left the bay area and traveled through almost uninhabited north Fla.   Beautiful land and considering how many people are in this state, surprisingly lightly inhabited.  Then again, if you lived in Fla, how far from the coast would you live?  There was a fair amount of land for sale and I would love to buy some but doubt I can afford it.  Another eye roll from the PQ on that as well.  I would like to pass some land down to my kids at some point.  Even just a chunk of North Florida forest with out much value. 

About an hour from Destin we got to the dog track/poker room in the little town of Ebro.  In the middle of nowhere when you come down to it, at least an hour or two from every major city.  And yet it was busy as hell.  The poker room was pretty full.  There was a tourney at 7:30 that the PQ wanted to play.  3000 chips for $30 and 1500 for another $5.  Unfortunately blinds were pretty quick at 15 minutes.  Since we had an hour before the tourney we decided to grab a bite there.  Nice little restaurant and since I wasn't very hungry, I just had a salad.  The PQ had a cuban sandwich with a side of black beans and rice.  The service wasn't that great but the food was good.  And we passed the time until the tourney eating and betting the dogs a bit. 

The tourney did not go well for either of us.  I started well, pushing from position and picking up some chips.  I did get into one hand with the guy next to me when I had AA and flopped a set.  I put in a continuation bet on the flop and he folded so I showed the hand.  Which got me some play in some later hands.  Then I goofed a hand badly.  And with the escalating blinds it did cost me.  I was sitting on about 5K and blinds were 75-150.  I called from the small blind with A3 of clubs as do 2 people before me.  The big blind raises it up to 500 and I am the only caller.  The flop is 10-10-3 with one club.  Had to figure it missed the raiser unless he has a big pocket pair.  I bet about 1/3 the pot and he hesitated then called.  That should have been enough tip off for me to push but I'm an idiot and maybe a little tired too.  Turn is a 7.  Here is where I goofed.  I push hard here and he has to toss it.  I'm getting too invested in this pot as it is, this is push or check time and I do neither and make another smallish bet.  He calls, the river is a queen and I can tell it hit him so I check and he checks and flips over AQ.  I didn't lose too much but at that point, I needed not to lose that pot.

I lose another pot when my AK completely misses and the out of position caller bets out on the flop.  Blinds go up to 100-200 and I'm now sitting on 15 big blinds.  I get 7-7 in the cutoff and one person min raises in early position.  I got 3 opinions on this.  Some people do it for any raise at this point, some do it to not invest much with a marginally good hand like 55 or KJ.  And some have big hands.  Usually the big hands are people who aren't that great.  This guy is a pretty good player so I'm putting him on an ok hand.  I don't have time to screw around anyway so I push all in.  Everyone folds to him and he calls with of course AA.  Good bye to me.  I still think I played that hand right but I certainly screwed up before.

I went to play some 1-2 no limit while waiting on the PQ.  She was not doing well but was better off than I.  I started out pretty poorly there.  Dodged a couple of bullets when I decided to dump a flush draw to a good sized bet on the turn and though the flush hit on the river, the other caller had a much bigger one than I did.  I read that one right.  I made a mistake chasing another hand and lost another when I was outkicked.  As I was getting short I decided to come over the top with AK of spades over a small raise.  Got called by the a big stack across from me (with K10 off???)  and the original raiser.  Flop is king high.  Original raiser looks pissed especially when we both flip over a king and I rake the pot.  A few hands later I get JJ on the button.  I call a raise for Mr 88 as well as one other guy.  Flop is 7 high but suited.  I had the J so I felt even if one of them flushed, I'm probably good.  I bet out and one guy folds but the raiser comes over the top all in and I have to make a decision.  It's most of my chips but I just cannot put him on that big a hand unless he had 77 and if he did I still have a flush draw.  He flips over 10-10 and is PISSED when I flip up JJ.  Cleaned him out and got back to even. 

A little later the PQ comes by as she busted.  I had lost a little but was relatively happy I got back almost to even.  I enjoyed the poker room up there and the people were nice.  If I lived up there I would definitely be playing there.  The tourney was mostly soft at my table ( I had a great read on two of them) but I had the misfortune of going up against a good one when I went all in.  And he had a hand which also cannot be discounted.  I thought he was better than min raising a big pair like that.  Which is why I discounted that possibility when I went all in.  Oops.  

Wow just saw that Amy Winehouse died.  Not shocked but still she was only 27.  Then again her well documented drug issues led to me telling my wife last year I doubted she would make 30.  Sorry I was proven right.  Some DJ on BBC radio wrote "Can not believe the news"  Really dude???  All the drug issues, the rehab, the fact that she checked herself out of rehab, too drunk to sing in Serbia.  I mean how shocking is it?  I doubt too many are shocked though a number are saddened.  She never got the chance to hit rock bottom and come back but for some, they die before they hit rock bottom.  Then again maybe it wasn't drugs at all.  Maybe she had a freak aneurysm or heart problem.  Unusual in someone her age but not unheard of.  A guy I knew died of an embolism at 44.  Freak thing.  It does happen.

Anyway enough ranting for today.  Gonna hit the showers and get ready to play at Derby Lane.  Maybe I'll actually play well this time.  Hope everyone else does.  Stay lucky you nuts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

51 is just another number

Yeah, it's one more than 50 and one closer to 100.  Well I'm back from parts unknown even to a geography lover like myself.  Besides going to the not so thriving metropolis of Two Egg I also managed to get to such places as Steam Mill in Georgia and Watercolor and Panacea in Florida.  I just missed going to Sopchoppy as well.  All in all a very cosmopolitan kind of trip.

We did enjoy ourselves quite a bit though the weather was not very cooperative to say the least.  It rained every day and considering we stayed in the Sunshine State almost the entire time, there was a definitely lack of sunshine.  I really didn't see the sun come out for more than a half an hour until we were about 3 hours from home on our way back. 

Still the rainy weather did not dampen our trip.  For the most part it was more enjoyable as it kept the traffic down from most of the beach communities.  The drive was really nice, sometimes close to spectacular as the road at times had us within 15 or 20 feet of the waters edge.  Stopped at some little places for breakfast and lunch, we decided no chain restaurants this week except for Whataburger (no Whataburgers around here anymore) so we hit places like The Breakfast Nook, The 3 Squares Diner, Bobbies Waffle Iron, etc.  Contributed to the local economies and found some good food to boot. 

On the way out Friday we made it to Seaside where they filmed "The Truman Show".  I would consider that one of my disappointments of the trip.  I knew it wouldn't be like in the movie but I didn't expect it to be as touristy and commercialized.  There were stores and shops everywhere but what really threw me were all the food carts they had there.  I read how Seaside was a master planned community and figured if I lived in such a community, the last thing I would want is for tons of businesses to be opened up around my home.  Looked to me like the people running thing there decided to cash in on the fame the movie brought them and grab what they could.  Surprised me as I expected different.  Oh well what do I know? 

Down the road from Seaside was the Grayton Beach State Park.  What a nice beach.  Sugar sand with emerald green water.  With the weather as it was, the wave action was pretty good.  The beach wasn't crowded due to the weather and we got some nice pics there.  I'll post one that I liked later on.  As it was getting toward 6pm (actually 5 as we were in the Central Time Zone now) we decided to head to our hotel and check in.  It was about an hour from there to the hotel and the weather was turning rainy again so it seemed like a good time to get. 

Guess I better end here and finish up tomorrow.  Gotta get some sleep now.  Good night all.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do you know the way to

Two Egg? 

I'm taking a little time off work Friday and Monday and the PQ and I are going on our 2nd annual Search for Florida.  Last year around my birthday we took a little trip and visited such thriving metropolises (metropolii?) as Steinhatchee, Micanopy (Its pronounced Mick ah NO pee) Cedar Key, Yankeetown and Crackertown.  I realized I had lived in Florida for over 20 years and outside of Disney World, the Tampa St Pete area and a bit of Orlando, I really hadn't seen very much of the state, especially the old sections which show a lot of what Fla was like in the pre air conditioning era.   So last year we decided to hit up some out of the way areas and see what they were like. 

We really enjoyed it and so this year we are going a little further afield.  Which brings me back to the title of my post.  I was reading an article about weird named towns in the US and one of them that was mentioned was Two Egg, Florida.  So I looked it up (its near the Georgia border) and we made plans of places to visit and sights to see up in Northwest Florida.  I have always wanted to drive up US 98 along the coast and see what it was like heading toward Destin and Seaside (where The Truman Show was filmed) Panama City and Fort Walton Beach.  We might even go to Pensacola or into Alabama (or if I'm feeling really lucky, Biloxi though thats a bit far afield for us) just because we've never gone there.  It's a chance for us to visit some small towns, beach communities, little restaurants, and play a little poker at whatever local poker rooms they have.  Last year we went to the Ocala Jai Alai facility and played some (I took a bad cooler there) and this year we'll probably go to a dog track up in the northwest part of the state. 

Damn ESPN is showing live coverage of day 3 of the WSOP.  Too Cool.  Huck Seed just went bye bye when his queens got flushed.  Amazing the Phil Hellmuth is still in as he started day 2 with around 3000 chips.  I don't like him as he's an attention whore who gets his jollies sometimes by berating others but damn when he puts his mind to it, the man can play poker.

Well its late and I gotta get up early and do some travelling.  So its time for bed here.  Hope everyone has a good weekend and if you get to play a little poker, get lucky and stay lucky.  Don't know if I'll be doing any posting this weekend. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Consider it scratched

42 people signed up for the 6pm tourney last night.  Not a bad crowd as there was a charity tourney running when we got there and the normal 8pm tourney was scheduled that night as well.  We like the set up of this tourney, the buy in is only $50 with a starting stack of 4000 and a $5 add on gets you another 2000 chips.  Almost everybody starts with 6000 which gets you some play with blind levels at 25 minutes.  The WSOP it ain't but it's not a bad little tourney.

I start out as usual, getting crap for hands.  This pretty much was how it went for me all night.  I make a couple of position steals but otherwise I stay out of almost every hand.  A little while in I get AQ of diamonds in late position.  Guy a couple of seats to my right raises and I call along with one of the blinds.  Flop is A89 with one diamond.   Blind leads out for a 1/3 pot bet and the original raiser just calls.  So I pop them both 4x their bet and the blind goes away but the original raiser calls.  Turn is a 2 of diamonds.  Top pair, 2nd kicker with the flush draw.  Raiser checks so I put in a 3/4 pot bet.  He looks at his cards, thinks a bit, then says "For some reason I think you have AK so I'm folding AQ" and he folds it.  "Thats because you're smart" I said as I mucked.   Having a tight image can pay off I guess.

I wasn't getting much in the way of cards after that and not too many opportunities to steal but I did make a couple of hands with not so great hands but . By the first break I had taken my 6K up to 10.5K.  I felt pretty good about how I was playing, I took a couple of opportunities to steal, made some chips when my not so good hands flopped good, and most of all, avoided trouble.  I was careful when people called my raises and I wasn't strong and without much in cards, I wasn't involved in too many crazy pots. 

Talked to the PQ at the break and she had gotten knocked down to 3K early but was back up to 7.5 at the break so she was relatively satisfied as well.  After the break I stayed tight as my cards were not cooperating and took a couple of opportunities to steal on a couple of limpers in position.  I really payed a lot of attention to position when getting involved in a hand and used it to my advantage on bad flops.  Took down one flop in a limped pot in the big blind with 85 when the flop was 236.  Figured no one had any of that and just took a shot.  Pots that got folded to me in late position I went after even when I had nothing and that succeeded as well.  I showed down no hands except for an AJ that went to showdown and I won with.  So for the most part I got credit for actual hands.

Then came a pivotal hand for me.  We had lost some people and another table had broken and we had a few new people.  Guy next to me was new to the table as was the lady next to him.  I watched this guy and he loved to stay in on flush draws and actually hit a couple for some big pots.  Next time on the button a couple of people limp to me and I raise 4x to 1600 with complete air.  Guy next to me gives me a look and dumps it as does everyone else.   Next time around I'm on the button with 10h-10s and raise it up again.  This time he gives me a long look, goes back and forth and finally dumps it but the lady in the big blind on the short stack calls me.   Flop is Q 3 2 with 2 spades and she pushes in on me immediately for about 4k.  There's already 4k in the pot and I'm guessing she hit the queen or she has the spade draw but also feel as a short stack she may be pushing me off with nothing figuring the flop didn't help me.  I figure the odds are about 25% for a Q at best, 50% for a spade draw, and 25% with nothing so I call her.  She flips over Q7.  Offsuit.  No spades.  Q7??  Really, you're short stacked and you'll call a 4x raise with Q7?  I guess she put me on air and was planning on moving in on just about anything.  I flip over my 10s and hope for a miracle. 

The roof of the poker room opened like a retractable roofed dome and a ray of sunlight lit up my hand as the dealer turned and burned a 7 of spades and a jack of spades and I four flushed the lady's queens.  Funny thing was no one else saw the roof open or the sunlight.  Well the mind is a terrible thing to waste isn't it?  The old dude next to me was kicking himself as he tossed A6 of spades.  This guy really liked playing those flush draws which was why I always made sure I raised him up pretty good when I played a hand he was in.  That hand put me up to about 17K when the average stacks are 12 or so and I'm feeling pretty good. 

I then avoided getting into much for a couple of orbits.  Finally I called a 2x raise in the big blind with 5-6 of hearts.  Guy was pretty new to the table and had played a fair number of pots already.  3 others called him as well.  Flop was A34 with 2 hearts.  Everyone checks to the raiser who puts out a half pot bet.  I'm the only caller.   Turn is the Q of hearts.  I check to him again and he puts out another half pot bet.  I more than triple his bet and he takes a second and gives it up.  This pot puts me up over 20k at the second break and puts me close to the lead at my table. 

PQ had been struggling but also made it to the 2nd break as well.   We got down to 2 tables right after that and I was feeling pretty good about my chances of making it a lot further at that point.  I figured I had to get some better cards soon and if I did, I would really be able to make some noise.   Alas I was wrong.  Not too long after the break I get involved in a hand with a guy who just moved to my table.  He had a decent sized stack but I was bigger.  I raised in position with crap (again) and he was the only caller in early position.  I had to give him credit for having something there but he never raised preflop so I didn't think it was a great hand.  Flop is ugly with an Ace and Jack.  No help for my 7-8.  I bet out hoping he had a small/mid pair and would fold to my pair of aces but he immediately called.  Turn is a 10 making my position even worse.  He checked and I checked behind him.  I'm hoping for a 9 to make a straight as I know he has something, maybe even KQ for the straight in which case I can't win the hand.   River is a low card and I give up.  He puts a small bet in and I have to dump.  That cost me over 4K in chips.  I bit later I call a 3x raise by a small stack from the big blind with KQ of spades.  Flop is Q6 of diamonds and the 3 of clubs.  I check, small stack bets a couple of thousand leaving him 4500 more.  It's folded back to me and I raise him all in.  He calls and flips over KQ of clubs.  Turn and river are both clubs and now I'm hurting.  My over 21k stack is down to 10K in just a few hands.

Luckily a little later I get the best hand I had in the whole tourney when I get QQ in late position.  I raise 3x to 2400 and get 2 callers.  Flop is Jack high with 2 spades and it's checked to me.  I push in and take down the pot getting me up to 15k.      People are pushing in and going out and my hands are going from bad to worse after this.  I stole a pot but could not make any other moves due to all ins happening.  We were down to 12 people on 2 tables when a multi way all in happened.  QQ vs 88 vs AK.  The flop has nothing but an 8 hits the turn and a K on the river.  QQ is gone and AK is crippled and goes out the next hand and we're down to the final table. 

PQ is still there but is the shortest stack.  I'm about 3rd shortest by now as I just got nothing to play with and steal possibilities are slim due to the raises and all ins of the other shorties.  I got enough stack that I can make the larger stacks respect a raise all in as it would cut most of them down considerably if they lost.  First hand PQ is in the big blind for 1600 and pushes all in over a preflop raise and call.  Both other players call and the flop is Q high.  First guy with the biggest stack checks and the other guy pushes in causing the big stack to fold.  He flips over 66 to the PQ's K-10.  She doesn't improve and goes out in 10th. 

The cards just aren't coming for me, no aces, no pairs, no 2 high cards even and the hands are being raised preflop almost every time.  Then some crazy things start to happen.  We get down to 7 people.  I'm getting very short now and find 10-9 in the big blind.  There are 4 people with big stacks especially the guy on my right who is biggest of all.  Everyone folds to the big stack in the small blind and he doesn't raise at all.  If he did I was going to push all in as I had to at that point and 10-9 was about the best hand I had seen for 2 orbits.  But he just called which made me leery a bit.  He gave me some leeway as he had moved to my table a earlier in the tourney and raised my big blind in his first hand.  I decided I would come over the top of him and when I looked down in my hand and saw 9-9 it was a no brainer so I raised him up 4x and he folded it.  After that he treaded fairly lightly around me.  This time I'm wondering if he has a big hand and is trying to sucker me in or if he really is very weak.  So I just check figuring on seeing the flop and then deciding. 

Flop is 10-7-5 rainbow.  He bets 2/3 of my stack and I think for a second.  I suspect he either has nothing or a big hand like AK or AQ.  If he has a big pocket pair, so be it, but I suspect he got nothing on that flop.  I push in and get my answer when he starts debating a call or not.  He has enough of a stack that calling me would be a no brainer if he had anything or just about any draw or overcards but he thinks long and hard before finally calling.  He flips over 9-6 and needs an 8 for a straight to win.  The card gods reward me however and I get a key double up when I need it most.  That puts me up to 5th in chips and I feel I have some chance to cash at least.  Then it gets really outlandish.

A few hands later I fold under the gun.  It gets folded to the small blind who raises about 3x the big blind.  This guy has a good sized stack and he's a good player.  I tangled with him twice, once taking a piece of him but once he took a chunk of me.  The big blind is the biggest stack.  He tangled with the small blind a number of times at my old table and his stack has fluctuated a lot over the tourney but he's sitting on about 60k even after giving up 10k to me.  He is basically a lock to make the top 3 (4 get paid) but he calls the raise by the small blind.  Flop is K64 and the small blind puts out a healthy bet.  The big blind pushes all in!  The small blind thinks for a minute and makes the call for his tourney.  He flips over K9 for top pair and the big blind flips up A4 for bottom pair.  I couldn't believe he did that but he had shown he was willing to make big gambling bets earlier.  This time it cost him dearly knocking him down to 15K.  The next hand he pushed in and the internet kid across from me (he had a hard time dealing with chips but was a decent player) took him down when his AJ hit a J to beat the former big stack's 77.    Down to 6 and I'm barely 4th and still pretty short.  But the craziness wasn't at an end. 

The new big stack who is now directly to my right keeps tangling with the guy directly to his right who also has a good sized stack that he increases versus the big stack.  The guy to my left makes a button raise to take down the a pot and passes me and now I'm 5th and struggling.  The internet kid and the two guys to my right all have big stacks in relation to me and the old guy and lady to my left who is really short.  But the 2 guys to my right keep tangling and we get another all in situation.  Guy directly to my right is big blind and raises 3x getting called by the small blind.  Flop is A-10-5.  Big blind bets half the pot and the small blind smooth calls.  Turn is a jack.  Small blind bets and the big blind raises him all in which he thinks about for a minute and then calls.  He flips over A9 for top pair but the big blind has KQ for the Broadway straight and it's good bye to another big stack.  What is going on here.  Now we are down to 5.  We each pitch in $20 for the bubble person and get to it.  Finally the old lady to my left goes all in and is called by the internet kid.  She flips over A8 to his A5 but in true internet fashion, a 5 hits the river and she is gone in 5th.  A couple of hands later I get KJ of spades under the gun.  I push all in and the old guy to my left thinks about it and calls me.  He was pretty tight so I figured I was in trouble.  He flipped over 7-7, flopped a 7 and it was good night to me though I did get open ended on the turn to make him sweat.   I got $160 for my efforts though and the satisfaction of outlasting a couple of yahoos from earlier in the tourney.

I thought I played pretty well.  I was tighter than I had been but much of that was dictated by the cards and the preflop raises of some of the other players.  I was lucky in that the few times I made hands I got chips off of people.  I felt good that I didn't waste chips and was able to avoid trouble for the most part.  Maybe I'm feeling a bit better about my game.  I think of the actual good hands I got and they weren't much.  In a 4 hour plus tourney I got QQ once, 10-10 twice, 9s 7s and 3s once.  I got AQ, AJ, and A10 a couple of times but thats it.  Not much for that long.   Always thought it would turn and I'd start hauling some great hands for a while but it never did.  Still I outlasted 38 of 42 which is not so bad.  I shouldn't have as a couple of those big stacks got themselves knocked out when they didn't have to.  But that wasn't my concern, mine was making it to the cash.  Cuz that's what its all about.  Hope everyone else had a good Saturday night.  Probably won't play anymore poker live until sometime next weekend when we travel up to North Fla.  Until then stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I got an itch

And I don't think this will cure it.

Looks like poker is on tap again tonight.  That ought to scratch my itch.  I hope my play is better than it has been.  I have been playing a little online to some success though some bad beats keep hitting at the wrong times.  But that is beyond my control, if I get it in good I've done all I can.

This was a busy week at work.  I've learned some new processes which I will be doing next week plus I'm getting trained on a few other things.  Oh yay.  Still, the more I know, the more they need me.  Not a bad problem to have is it?  After all I don't have dirt on the company founder unlike some unnamed female accountant.  From Saugus.  Come to think of it I have family in Saugus as well.  My dad's parents came from that area.  My grandfather was a lifeguard at Revere Beach when he was young and my grandmother lived across the street from the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston. I remember visiting some of the family there when I was young.  Which was a long time ago.

Outside of the work, the only other thing I really did was watch some of the Casey Anthony trial last weekend and the decision this past week.  I commented the week before on another blog how I thought she would get off.  I also thought she was guilty as well but I just didn't see any way the state proved she did it.  I was hoping if the jury let her off that they would convict her of a lesser charge.  Problem was there never was an incidence of child abuse the state could tie to her and without even a cause of death for the baby, how do you convict of even manslaughter.  The state did a good job of pointing to Casey Anthony and making sure the jury knew who lied to the cops again and again but that is no proof of someone being a killer.  And since she never took the stand, there was no testimony in court that the state could point to and say "She lied again, she must have done it."  In the end the jury convicted her of the only thing they could, 4 counts of lying to the cops.  The judge imposed the strictest sentence he could of 1 year for each count to serve consecutively but with time served, gain time, and good behavior the 3+ years she's served is enough to get her out of jail on July 17.  Great, happy birthday to me.  My present is Casey Anthony goes free.   Unlike my friend Mr Lightning, I take no great pleasure in that one.

I love DVR.  I get to watch my shows when I want to, I don't have to stay up till 11 to see some of them, and I get to skip those annoying commecials.  I swear between most of those Progressive commercials (I just can't stand that Flo chick) and that AT&T commercial where the guy lays his phone on the table with a tarantula picture on it and the other guy takes off his shoe and slams it.  What is it with AT&T commercials?  That are generally some of the most annoying on tv.  Those Owen Wilson commercials naming all those people covered by AT&T?  Annoying as hell.  This latest one?  Even more annoying.  My wife says I get annoyed too easily, especially at stuff outside my control.  She's probably right. 

The last couple of weeks have been good to my stock portfolio at least.  All of my mining stocks were up nice but the biggest gainer was actually Cal-Maine Foods (symbol CALM).  I'm not sure why the stock went up so nicely but a 15% gain in about 3 weeks is nice.  Too bad all of my stocks haven't done that well.  I dumped a couple of losers and am looking to dump at least one or 2 more and I have a couple I am thinking of buying.  But I gotta do more homework on them first.

Well that's all for now.  Gotta hit the showers and then get ready to take down the tourney at Derby Lane.  So I'm outta here.  Tomorrow maybe I'll drive over to the Orange County Detention Center and drop your contact info off to Casey Anthony for ya Lightning.  Till then stay lucky you nuts

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

I hope everyone is having a fine 4th of July. Please remember all of the people who sacrificed so much so that we can have barbecue and fireworks today. It's a good day to reflect on what the 4th means. Watch 1776, read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, or just take a walk and breathe the air of freedom that so many others cannot do.   And remember the people who started the grand experiment of government by the people, for the people.

I have become an Eskimo

Because this my home. 

Yes I am still running bad on the poker front but right now I don't care (much) as I am sitting in my living room, watching the state's rebuttal to the closing arguments in the Casey Anthony trial, with a stomach full of eggs (mushroom, bacon, and cheddar omelet) potatoes, bacon and biscuits.  I was in a cooking mood this morning, much to my daughter and PQ's benefit as well as my own.

Back to poker.  Saturday evening, the dear wife and myself went to Derby Lane for another round of "coolers".  We got there about 5:30pm and were going to play some 1-1 NL for awhile and maybe play the 8pm tourney.  When we got there we noticed there was a $50 tourney at 6pm so we signed up for that instead of the later tourney.  This way we could be done earlier even if we made the money.  We decided to play a little NL until the tourney.  Nothing much happened for me at first.  I called one draw but missed and lost some chips.  Lost some more.   Then I got KK in mid position.  A couple of people called and I bumped it to $6 to narrow the field a little.  I failed miserable.  One guy calls, the small blind pushes all in for a little more than my raise, original limper calls and we see a 4 way flop.  Of course an ace flops.  I figure the all in for an ace but bet out to see if I can get something from someone else.  I get one caller.  Turn is a blank and I check.  Guy to my left makes a big bet and I dump those stupid kings.  He flips up A7 and the all in had AQ.  So I had the same odds of improving as those two but of course they did and I did not.  Story of my poker career lately, get it in bad and lose, get it in good and lose.

A few hands later I get A8 in the big blind.  No one raises and we see a flop 6 ways.  Flop is AA2.  Nice.  I check as does everyone else.  Turn is a 7, no flush draws or straights so I make a $4 bet.  Fold, fold then my wife raises me to $8.  I give her a dirty look as I just know she has something like A10 or A7 and has me beat.  Table cracks up with the see my dirty look.  I call her anyway as she could be on an A5 and trying to push me out still but I'm not happy.  River is a blank and I check.  I'm prepared to call just about any bet but PQ checks as well and flips up A8 as well so we split the pot.  Final hand before the tourney I call a small raise in the blinds with K10.  Flop is the bingo QJ9.  Oh yes!  I check, original raiser bets $4 and gets one caller.  It gets to me and I push all in for $14.  Both call.  Now we're talking.  I figure this puts me back over my starting stack.  Turn is a low blank.  Original raiser makes a big bet and the other guy folds.  He flips over KQ to my K10.  The river is of course, a 10 giving me another split pot and really really pissing me off. 

So I get to the tournament in a bad frame of mind.  Early on I played very conservatively and didn't get much to go on.  I did make a couple of position steals and lost some chips with top pair bad kicker from the big blind.  Then I get KK in late position.  Same dealer who dealt me the KK in cash game gave them to me again.  There were 3 limpers in front of me so I raised to 300 on the 25-50 blinds.  Get 2 callers.  Flop is a beautiful AQ10.  Oh yay, another ace on the flop when I have KK.  What did I expect, this dealer already did me that way once.  Small blind leads out kinda small and one guy calls as do I looking for my miracle jack to hit.   It does not (shocker) and I fold when the small blind makes a big bet.  He held AJ as it turns out.  I went up and down for a while but then made a bad raise on a small stack who pushed in with a big hand.  I am still missing things in the game, feeling rusty and out of sorts.  I missed a lot Saturday night.  And so I lost almost half my stack. 

I went out not very much later but at least I think I made the right play there, just ran into a bad situation.  Called a small suspicious raise with K of clubs, Q of spades.  Flop is Queen high, all clubs.  Original raiser bets about 1K and I raise all in for almost 4K.  I am afraid he has aces but he might have AK or a mid pair.  Have to figure the 3 clubs don't help him and if they do, I still have outs to the king.  With luck he'll dump a better hand or I'll suck out on the river.  Well he does have aces and if one wasn't the club ace, I think he dumps it cuz he waited awhile to decide on his call.  But he did have the club ace leaving me just 5 outs which of course did not hit, no draws seemed to hit for me Saturday night.  And out I go.

I decided to play some more 1-1 no limit holdem.  The poker room was running a promotion, any quads or better got paid $100 and the highest hand each hour got $500.  I'd like to say I got a big hand and made a mint but I never came close.  It SUCKED.  I did manage to get KK one more time and see an ace flop.  Just another hand mucked.  Never got much in the way of hands, JJ once, AK once, AQ twice and a few low pairs.  I made one bad fold when a guy pushed over the top of me when I had 99.  Turned out he had AK.  Thought he might and thought I should push over him all in after the flop but I didn't.  I chickened out but then I had a night where nothing much went right so I think I can be excused for that sometimes.  The wife busted  out about an hour later and of course hits quads about 15 minutes after sitting down. 

We called it a night about midnight.  I managed not to lose any more cash than what I started with so in that instance it was successful but not in any other way.  The wife walked out with her winnings so she was happy.  Probably no poker next weekend but the following weekend we will check out a poker room in North Fla while we are on vacation and celebrating my 51st.  Till then I hope all of you stay lucky.  I will keep plugging away.  Who knows, maybe I can get lucky too.