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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hope you got everything you wanted

Its the day after Christmas and I hope everyone got all they wanted today.  Or at least their kids did.  My kids were spoiled again, especially the girl but hey if I can't spoil them, who can I spoil?  But they're good kids, their mother did a great job raising them ( I missed a lot of time working odd hours when they were young) and their aunts and uncles helped a lot too.  I had a good day as well though Santa did not bring me the winning lottery numbers.  I'm sure he will next year or maybe the Easter Bunny will come through this spring. 

On Christmas morning we had brunch at my sis in laws place.  We made some sausage balls and a sausage/egg bake dish as well and brought it over with us.  There was a lot of people with in laws, nieces, nephews, girlfriends, etc there but we managed to have a fair amount of food left over still.  The kids (except for old ones like my boys and my nephew Jay) all got presents from their aunts and uncles while we oldsters ate and gabbed and caught up from our last visit.  A good time all around. 

Last night dinner was at my house.  We made a 10 lb standing rib roast, about 6 lbs of loaded mashed potatoes (including cheese, garlic, butter, bacon, and cheese), green bean casserole, corn, brussel sprouts, plus appetizers.  Oh and the ham from brunch made a second appearance as well.  It was another major food fest.  At the end of the meal there were 2 pies and a birthday cake (my son's girlfriend had her birthday on Dec 25 as well lucky girl) to finish it off.   The house was fit to burst with 16 people in it but we managed to feed them all.  Not so much on the leftovers though as we only had a some corn, less than a pound of the rib roast and some ham left at the end of the day.  But no one left hungry either. 

After that I was one tired puppy.  So was the PQ as she made a lot of the food.  Luckily the roast itself was very simple.  Most everything else was too, probably the most work went into the potatoes and I did the work on that.  Still it was a good bit of effort involved in preparing and getting ready.  And we both were falling asleep by 9 last night.  I slept pretty good too until I woke up with pretty bad heartburn.  I forgot to take my Omeprazol pill in the morning and paid for it that night.  So my sleep was interrupted at 3 am and though I managed to get more sleep later, I'm still pretty tired.  But all in all, a pretty good Christmas with friends and family. 

This morning I made breakfast for the daughter and myself.  I cut up a few potatoes and made home fries for us.  While they were cooking I cut up some of the left over roast and heated it up in a little butter and garlic then made omelets with the beef and some cheese.  Prime rib omelets with cheese and homefries.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  The rest of the day I've spent relaxing and and doing a little reading.  The PQ went out with our girl to do a little Post Xmas shopping.  The last thing I want to do is shop right now.  I do need to read up on some of my new games to play but maybe I'll do that tomorrow. 

I still have to buy 2 things though and I want to do that in the next week or so.  I was reading the best time to get furniture is after Christmas and we need a new mattress so I imagine we'll be buying one this week or next weekend.  Also, I am planning to buy a handgun in the next few weeks as well.  Now I know some of you will look upon this with undisguised revulsion and disdain, others will shrug it off and still others may actually applaud.  We all have our reasons for how we think of guns and private gun ownership.  My view has been espoused before but to some it up, I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

It's not like I live in a high crime area or go to areas that are high crime, though some of the areas I referee in are not the nicest parts of town.  Still I cannot bring a gun with me onto school property so I won't be armed and dangerous while I'm refereeing.  Thank God for gun free zones like schools.  They disarm the law abiding but provide a bunch of disarmed victims to the criminals who do not obey the law.  But the thing is, I don't want to be at the mercy of some criminal who may decide his best chance of not going to jail for robbery or something is to leave no witnesses. 

When I was a much younger man, the general thought was "give the robber what they want and they will leave you alone."   This also extended over to rape as ladies were told it was best not to resist and get it over with.  Back then, states offering concealed weapons permits were few and far between.  Now many states have rethought this issue.  While it is true that usually a robber is not interested in harming you and just wants your money, victims were injured or killed enough times that people got fed up and demanded the right to protect themselves.   Think back to this past June when a guy robbed a pharmacy up in NY and killed the 4 people inside.  The pharmacist gave the guy drugs but that wasn't enough for him and he killed all the witnesses.  That is a statistic I don't want to be a part of.  I've been at the wrong end of a gun twice, once I was lucky not to be shot while another guy there was wounded. 

Studies have proven that areas that allow the citizens to carry weapons have less violent crime than areas with strict gun control.  The main reason is, most criminals want to get their money, drugs, etc in the least dangerous way.  Can you blame them?  They don't want to go to "work" with a good chance of dying when they do their "job".  That's why places with more liberal gun laws tend to have less violent crime.  Arm the victims and the criminals don't want to work so hard for their money.   And for women, I would think it a no brainer to be armed if at all possible.  After all, many criminals target women specifically because most are not armed and most are at an extreme physical disadvantage in a confrontation with a man.  But enough preaching from me.  Just keep in mind that I am not a gun nut in any sense of the word, in fact guns still scare me a little.  They are tools, but they are tools that can seriously harm or kill a person who takes them lightly.  Still I think gun ownership is for me. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scoring Big

I got to play poker twice in just over a week?  Say it ain't so, Joe.  Back on the 10th the PQ and I hit the company Xmas party at Raymond James Stadium with about 200 other people from all of Security Operations.  I introduced her to some people in my department she hadn't met before as well as some people from other departments.  It was my duty I felt since she has done the same to me on countless occasions for different County functions and outside of the Clerk of the Court and a few others, I couldn't tell the difference between Sally and Darlene and Sue if you paid me.  Of course she is better at names than I am anyway.  That's why she makes the big bucks.

So after the party which we left around 10 or so, we headed down the road to the Tampa Hard Rock Casino.  We hadn't been there in quite a while and had never played in their new poker room so it was almost like the first time for us both there. 

We both sat down at a 1-2 NL table while I was waiting for a seat at 3-6 Omaha Hi/Lo to open.  I played for a while folding almost every hand and losing a couple I did play as nothing was hitting for me and my cards were nothing to write home about.  Fortunately my Omaha seat was called before too much damage occurred and I headed there.  Omaha did not start well as my hands were still not so hot and the ones I did play would not come through for me.  But after losing half my original stack in the first hour or so, I finally made a hand stick and even though I only got half the pot, it got me started back on the road to plus ville. 

A little while later I get into a hand with QQJ9.  Flop comes down 998 and I bet my trips with both a flush and straight draw as 3 people calling me.  Turn makes me golden when a queen hits.  I check this time and a guy bets, another calls and I check raise them both.  They call.  River is a 7 and I bet out with one guy calling me.  His straight doesn't beat my boat and I scoop a decent pot to put me a little over even for the day.  Later on I scoop a pot when my 2347 flops trip 2's and turns quads.  2 hands later I call down a guy with a with trip aces even though I think I'm beat,  He has trip aces too but I outkick him and scoop another.  After that it's pretty slow for me, I mostly fold stuff pre and postflop but I'm not losing much.  I played for about 4 hours and came away up by almost a buyout while having a really good time.  The PQ on the other hand lost some but not too badly then decided to play video poker for a while.

Once the clock struck 2 am I went and found her and played a little video poker with the PQ.  She lost a bit more but I managed to pull quad Queens and won a little cash.  It was a good night for me, not so good for her, but we had a fun night all the way around. 

This week I've not been feeling too well, I came down with another cold somehow.  Seems a little soon to get another one after I just got over one, especially since they've had very similar effects, all in my lungs.  I was coughing a bit last Saturday and Sunday but felt ok on Monday.  Then Tuesday I started coughing again for some reason.  Tuesday night I had a scary moment as I woke up choking at about 2am.  My lungs had built up fluid as I slept I guess and I was coughing so hard I thought I was going to vomit.  After that, sleep did not come easily for me and when I did sleep, I woke up really groggy on Wednesday.   I almost didn't go into work but decided I had to as I had a lot of stuff on my calendar that was due.  I managed to work 7-1 and went home to nap.

I probably should have stayed at work.  I'm just falling asleep and a delivery truck pulls up outside.  My daughter was home for a few days but wasn't in the house so I got up and brought in a couple of Christmas packages for my sons.  I get back down and nap for almost an hour while my daughter goes to get the dog from my sis in laws house.  She came home then went to my mother in law's place next door to make sure she ate and took her pills only to find her gone.  She comes back home and wakes me up.  I tell her to drive the neighborhood to see if she is walking around then she goes to the convenience store to see if she walked down there.  While she's doing this my sister in law is heading over to look as well and stops at the grocery store near the house.  And that's where she is, sitting outside resting after walking there.  She apparently wanted some ice cream.  We all breathed a sigh of relief. 

The rest of the week was just muddling through to the weekend.  I managed to put in 7 hours overtime even though I took time off on Wednesday.  Friday night I took the PQ out for Chinese food then we both came home and crashed before 10pm.  We're getting old it seems.  Saturday we didn't do a whole lot but went to play poker last night.  I again got into an Omaha Hi/Lo game while the PQ played a small tourney.  The tourney didn't go well for her but I was doing pretty good in Omaha about doubling my buy in within 2 hours.  She was thinking of playing the 8 pm tourney so I gave her some cash to play it while I continued playing. 

I'd have been better off quitting and putting my money in the tourney.  Omaha went real bad.  I just kept getting bad cards and mostly folding.  When I got good cards, flops completely missed me.  Low cards got all high flops.  High cards got all low flops.  I watched this guy get AA four or five times and I can't get one ace most of the time, never mind AA.  I never got a really premium hand like A23x or AA24 the entire time I played, which was about 6 hours.  I still managed to keep my stack up there until I got into 2 big pots in a very short time.  I was winning them both comfortably until the river managed to completely screw me.  Guys kept calling down on so/so draws and getting the magical card but every draw for me died on the vine.  First I got AA57 double suited.  Flopped a set of aces and a flush draw.  Board had another low card.  I pushed the betting but couldn't get a couple of guys off.  Of course the river screwed me putting a wheel draw in which is what I lost to.  Never got my flush.  All I was looking for on the river was a card over 5 or one to complete the flush but of course not.  Same thing happens 2 hands later when I'm sitting on 2334 and flopped a set of 3s on a 359 board.  No one has much I can tell so I push the 3s.  I would love to see an Ace or 6 hit for the straight or the board to pair but river is a 2 and I'm screwed again.  It was ugly.  I lost a big chunk of chips in those 2 hands pushing winning hands that became losers and after that it was a matter of time.  By the time the table broke I was down 40 bucks after being up over 100.  I was not thrilled. 

The PQ on the other hand was killing it at the 8pm tourney.  First off she knocks out the tourney host to score club level tickets to the Lightning vs Bruins in January.  She called his limp on the button with 4-5 and got the bingo when the flop came out A23.  He bets, she pushes in over the top and he calls with A9.  Good bye Fisher, hello tickets.  I go and see her and she is rocking a pretty big stack.  I talked to her on her next break but she doesn't need much advice from me, she is doing fine without it.  When my Omaha table broke I sweated her for a little bit then went to play a little 1-1 no limit hold em with the 40 bucks I had left from Omaha.  Should have just sweated her.  Again I lose on the river, this time with a set of 6s.  I pushed all in on the turn for about a pot sized bet and got called down by an open end straight draw.  3 on the river and that's that.   I was a bit pissed because I felt I played it right, especially waiting for the turn to push.  I knew then I'm only giving one card and the wrong odds for the guy to draw with and yet he calls anyway, which is fine as his odds are over 5-1 against, and still here comes his magical card.   Some days it doesn't pay to play

So I sweat the PQ some more at the final table.  8 are left when I get there and she is 6th in chips.  Action is pretty tight for a while but 2 gals a few places to her right are starting to push a bit, one of them really started building her stack while the other went up and down some.  Finally one gal pushes the PQ when she gets some decent cards to push back - K10 suited - and she goes all in over the top.  The gal thinks for a bit but calls with A7 off.  PQ flops the flush draw and gets there on the river to double up.  A bit later the other gal to her right really builds a big stack and knocks out one of the guys to get to 6 and the PQ takes out the guy to her left when he pushes A8 into her AQ and she flops QQ.  Four of them have pretty close to equal stacks and the one gal has about twice what everyone else has so they make a 5 way split of the cash with the big stack getting a little over $900 and everyone else dragging $700.  Can you say cash??   So at least one of us had a good run that night and actually since I staked her for part, I did ok too. 

I started this post a week ago and just am getting around to finish it now.  Sorry about that folks, it's just work is really putting it to me and I come home late every night and tired out of my mind.  Most nights I start to nod off in my chair as well.  Concentrating enough to write is just beyond me then.  Still it's Christmas Eve.  Got all your shopping done??  Mine was pretty pain free all in all.  Just like the last few years, I did almost all of my shopping online.  As long as you do it early, its not usually a big deal and a lot of place provide free shipping.   I get to miss out on the lines, the pushing, the traffic, the parking lots, and lining up at 4 am.  I feel so deprived and depriving the rest of the world of my company at such a time is also just mean of me.  Not much holiday spirit for me huh?  Anyway, outside of a few odds and ends for the PQs stocking, I am all set for tomorrow.

Well let me end this hear.  I got more to say but I ought to do it in a separate post.  I suppose this time I'll get it done in less than a week or 2 as well.  Merry Christmas everyone.  Enjoy some family time, some food time, and don't forget those not as fortunate as yourself as well. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just not feeling it

Sorry about my dearth of posts of late.  You know when you're playing poker sometimes and you can almost read exactly what you're opponent has everytime you get into a hand.  You're just feeling it and it feels so good.  And other times, your reads are all wrong, things aren't going right and even when you make a right play, it turns out bad.  You just aren't feeling it and you really can't trust your reads at all. Well that's me, just not feeling it lately. 

Normally I enjoy the time around Thanksgiving a lot.  And I have much to be thankful for.  My boys are happy, healthy, have good jobs, girlfriends, and they're not out occupying Wall St, or Tampa, or even my house.  My daughter is doing well in college and is far enough away that her hand isn't in my pocket looking for spare change.  Hell she even has a job now so she's almost self sufficient.  The PQ is doing well and so is the dog.  Life should be sweet and easy shouldn't it?

It actually is quite good.  Just got my year end bonus which was pretty nice.  We had a good year this past year.  Also just got paid for my high school football games.  another nice little check.  Tonight is our company Christmas party.  Well actually our division, Customer Operations, is having a party.  We don't do a company wide party as it's not easy to find a place to seat 4000 people plus guests in one place.  Of course we could do it at the site of our party, Raymond James stadium.  After all what's the use in having the naming rights to a stadium if you don't make use of it.  Still outside of putting everyone on the field for dinner or taking over a few sections of stands, I don't see how we could do it as a whole.  So we break down into divisions or even departments. 

Last year my department was a new addition to Customer Ops and so we just did a department party.  We went to a Brazilian steakhouse here.  I recommend it highly.  Everyone had a great time and we were hoping to do the same thing again this year but instead we are going as a whole division so there will be 200 or 300 people in the club section of the stadium where it will all be set up for a party.  My first year with the company we were part of Security Ops and the division party was at the stadium as well.  We had a good time then and hopefully a good time tonight.  After the party the plan is for the PQ and myself to hit the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa and play some cards.  After all besides a party today, its the PQ's birthday.  So if she wants to play cards, we're playing cards.

I've come down with another cold and am pretty pissed about that.  It's similar to my last one which wasn't long ago.  Has me a bit worried, I shouldn't be catching a cold this soon after the last one.  I'm not coughing as much or feel as poorly but still.  The PQ is just getting over this one so by Monday I ought to be ok but I am still not happy. 

Well time to sign off.  I'm trying to track down what happened to one of my online orders and I gotta get a few things done still.  Hope everyone is doing well.  Stay lucky boys and girls.