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, January 21, 2013

Getting my Mojo on

Had a chance to play a little poker at Derby Lane last night and since this was the first time I had truly felt like I could stand the rigors of the poker table without my back bothering me so much that I couldn't concentrate.  I had started off the day with a 90 minute massage.  I explained to Hildy my masseuse how I'd managed to pull a muscle in my back coughing and how I still felt some pain there and in my ribs as well.    Hildy took that as a challenge and for the next 90 minutes she tore into my back and ribs.  It hurt so good.  And so bad. 

Afterwards I felt a bit more pain than I had before the massage but today I feel very little so I know she did some good inside me.  My range of motion now with my right arm is getting closer to normal without the pain I had been feeling.  I went to the doctor during the week and she told me to expect it to take another 3 weeks before my back feels right.  I'm not looking forward to it taking that long.  Hopefully it won't take quite that long.

Anyway I mentioned last night was a poker night.  That's because we had a special guest visiting Derby Lane.  Word around the campfire was that none other than Memphis Mojo would be paying a visit to our sleepy little burg.  Now I couldn't pass up a chance to see the world famous tourney player in action, besides which I had always wanted to meet the man, the myth, and the legend, so I made it a point to get down to Derby Lane in plenty of time for the 8pm tourney. 

Unbeknownst to me Mojo was already there when I arrived and had been playing limit poker for awhile.   So I signed up for the tourney and waited for him to appear while taking seat 3 at my table.  A little later I got a text from him saying he was at seat 1 on my table but I still hadn't seen him come in.  He came up to me shortly afterward and explained he had been playing some limit holdem while killing time before the tourney as he'd been there a couple of hours already.  We chatted some before the tourney then got right down to it.

Neither of us seemed to be getting much in the way of cards.  Mojo made a good raise early on I assume with a big pair, got one caller on every street but the river and made a few chips but otherwise he was the epitome of patience.  I thought I played it pretty tight but Mojo was much tighter than I was.  Which I should have taken to heart as I managed to lose a couple of fairly significant hands when I rivered a flush with J9 to lose to some guy who raised preflop with K5 suited.  Then I lost another chunk with A9 on an A55 flop when A8 rivered an 8.  I bluffed to pick up a couple of pots but I was bleeding chips pretty badly.  I was down to 1225 chips when I picked up 33 in the small blind.  A guy in early position raised to 1200 and 3 others called by the time it got to me.  I decided a quadruple up would be perfect so I pushed in. Another gal called as well so with a lot of luck I had a chance to get back into this a little.  The flop was 945.  The original raiser pushed all in and got one caller.  Original raiser flipped over KK.  Other guy flipped over J9 with a flush draw.  Turn was my magic 3.  No club or K on the river and I took my 1225 up to over 6500.  I managed to make a couple of more hands into some chips and even got to win with KK (I raised and got a walk which is the only way to win KK most days it seems).  It was my only premium hand of the tourney.

I managed to build my 1225 all the way up to near 25K when I pushed 64 of clubs in position.  Called by a big stack the flop was KQQ.  He checks so I push all in.  He thought for a while and I thought he would fold but he eventually calls with AJ.  Really?  No credit for even a pair there?  But it worked out when a 4 hit the turn and I got a big double up.  But with blinds at 800/1600 I was still pretty short so I was determined to stay aggressive and try to build up a big enough stack to final table with.  Which of course led to my undoing.  I raised preflop to 4200 with QJ suited and got one caller in early position.  Flop was 10-9-4.  It was checked to me and I bet out 7K which put almost half my stack into play.  Probably a mistake.  The caller then pushed all in for about my stack size.  I called with my draw and 2 overcards.  Unfortunately I didn't hit this draw and the guys 10s held up taking me out.  I probably got too aggressive there especially after recently pushing 6-4 I should have known I wouldn't get credit for a big hand.  Then again, big hands were very few and far between in that tourney.  I was very lucky to last as long as I did.  Mojo was the epitome of patience though taking some chips when he could including some off me on a blind vs blind and just waiting for his moment.  I should have imitated him a lot more when I got up over 20K.  But I just got impatient to score more chips and it was sayonara for me.  I went out around 22 and Mojo a bit short of the final table.  I was playing 1-1 no limit when he busted and he came over to say good bye.  It was great meeting and playing with him.  He wrote up his night here along with a couple of pictures.  Too bad our results weren't better.

My 1-1 game continued my luck from the tourney.  Early on I made a nice flush and lost to a full house.  Lost a straight to another full house.  Then my top pair and kicker got crushed by a set of 10s.  In a short time I was down 70 bucks from my 100 buyin.  But I stayed patient and it turned in a big way.  I got AA in early position and raised to 6 with 2 callers.  Flop was queen high and I pushed in my last 22.  Both folded and I got a little breathing space.  Probably should have played it a little slower but was hoping one had a queen and would play back and as short as I was, I didn't have much to push with.  That gave me a bit of breathing space.  The very next hand I have KK under the gun.  This time I just called as the table was pretty aggressive with many hands raised.  I figured I'd have a decent chance of reraising then.  I was right when a guy a few places to my left raised and a short stacked lady moved all in for about $18.  It came around to me and I moved all in which was called by the original raiser.  My kings held up against both hands and I was back to even in 2 hands. 

It was well after midnight and I was getting tired and thinking about calling it a day when I got JJ on the button.  UTG raised to 4 and the shorty I had busted with KK reraised to 8.  I figured there were some good hands but wanted to see what happened so I called with JJ.  After midnight, every time someone hits a hand with quads or better they get paid a bonus.  First hand gets $50 and every hand goes up by $50 until they reach $500.  They had paid the $250 bonus a little before this hand started.  The flop came down J45 with 2 clubs.  It was checked to the lady who bet $20 which was more than half her stack.  I figured she was committed so I decided to push all in.  Thinking back that may have been the wrong move.  A call and maybe the original raiser calls as well.  Or maybe not.  He folded but the lady called the all in with all her chips.  Turn was another J.  YES.  I wasn't even thinking about the bonus until that J fell.  River was the 5 of clubs so I actually could have lost that hand to a straight flush if the lady had been playing 23 or 78 of clubs.  But she actually had AA.   She flips it over and says I have 2 pair.  I flipped over the jacks and said I have quads.  I cleaned her out again plus get a $300 bonus to boot. 

I gave a good tip to the dealer and bought a round for the table.  Made it through another hour of play staying even until I just got too tired then packed it in with a nice profit for the night, even including my tourney loss.  It was a pretty good night after all.  Hopefully next weekend I'll play again.  Till then stay lucky folks.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wasted Youth

George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying "Youth is wasted on the young".  Oftentimes I think about this when I am seeing another episode of Scorned: Love Kills or Unusual Suspects and see some 20 year old go to jail for the rest of their lives for doing something stupid.  Or watching the evening news on the rare occasion I don't turn it off.  I've thought about this some during the week, thinking of my own wasted youth.  Not to say it was all wasted, in fact it wasn't terrible at all, but there are so many other things I could have done to have made my future better.  So I wasted some of my youth for sure. 

Still feeling the way I have all week with my back issues has casued me to reflect some on when I was a younger man.  I have also been comparing myself to some of my coworkers most of whom are 20-25 years my junior.  I'm afraid youth is wasted on most of them.  Not because they are a bunch of party animals or anything like that. On the contrary, most of them seem to be living rather sober lives.  And I am greatly disappointed.  After all, how do I live vicariously through them when my weekends (outside of the last two) are generally more exciting than theirs?  Some of them ask me how poker or sports betting went over the weekend because they are living vicariously through me.  Yeah that's right, I'm the life of the party.  Yeah got my own lampshade and everything.  So the last few weeks I have been letting them down.  And they are wasting their youth working hard and saving money for their retirements. 

This was a difficult week at work, after a difficult partial week the previous one.  I only worked 3 days last week after the New Years holiday and put in 36 hours in that time.  I was tired from not sleeping well at night - I'm still so uncomfortable I can't sleep in bed as my back just aches.  Sleeping upright in my recliner is easier on my back but not that conducive to sleeping particularly well or deeply.  This week I managed to work all 5 days but every day was painful and I gimp around like an old man whenever I get up from my desk.  I could barely use my right arm as it hurt everytime I lifted even something as light as my coffee cup.  Now that sucks.  It improved a bit on Thursday and Friday enough that I could carry a cup of coffee and even unzip my own pants without pain.  More than that is anywhere from discomfort to outright pain.  Sucks to be me huh?   Could be worse, my cough is almost gone at least. 

So today is just a sit back and watch football kinda day.  I actually put some money down on the Ravens getting 10 points in Denver.  At first I wasn't going to but really cold weather seems to be hard on old quarterbacks.  I figured Peyton Manning would not be his usual awesome self and the Ravens would have a chance.  Or Joe Flacco would throw a few picks and my bet would die a quick death by halftime.  With 11 minutes left in the game I'm looking ok.  Manning has not been great and in fact has almost given up on throwing anything but short stuff.  Flacco has been good actually.  If it wasn't for a punt and kickoff TD for Denver, they would be down 14.  So I'm liking my chances so far. 

Rest of my picks this weekend are GB over SF, Seattle over Atlanta, and NE over Houston.  We'll see how they go.  Not sure if NE covers tomorrow so I won't play that one but I am playing GB tonight.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Had a viscious cold last week causing me to miss out on some work.  I'm still not feeling great, especially when you factor in I worked 36 hours between Wednesday to Friday.  But I am much better than a week ago.  Or at least I was better until a few minutes ago.  I was planning on heading into work this morning as well.  There is a lot of work I need to do and some hours today will help a ton.  But all that is now changed.

I was just out of the shower and starting to get dressed when I felt the need to cough again.  I've been coughing a lot off and on trying to clear the fluid from my lungs.  I went through 2 bottles of cough medicine over the past week and all that expectorant still wasn't enough to keep my lungs clean.  I've coughed so much the muscles along my diaphragm are sore and it felt like I pulled some of the muscles along my ribs on the right side.  Needless to say sleeping has been a bit of a problem with this pain which has moved into my back on the right side a little as well.   Then today came the capper.  I started coughing again and felt this "sproing" in my back on the right side.  Next thing I  know someone had put a knife in my back and was twisting in time with every breath I took.  I was bent over gasping waiting for a pain to stop but it never did.  I'm not sure if I really pulled or tore a muscle or if maybe a group of muscles spasmed and are kind of locked up.  Maybe I should head over to Derby Lane and get my back massaged while I play cards.  It can't be worse than how I currently feel and it's closer to the hospital if something really goes wrong.  I took one of the prescription ibuprofen pills right after it happened but I don't feel the pain going down much.  I'm just falling to pieces it seems.

Not much else has been going on.  Hell just moving around is hard enough right now.  I have a Dr appointment set up for Tuesday morning already but I might head over to the clinic and see if they can give me something for my back.  Every cough is somewhere between ouch and OMG THAT REALLY HURTS.  The PQ rubbed some muscle rub into my back and there is definitely a knot there.  Whatever it is, it is really screwing up my plans for this weekend.  I really don't want to go through the rest of the weekend feeling like this, that's for sure.

Just back from the Drs office.  I pulled a muscle in my back coughing.  WTF.  This is as bad as Jose Canseco pulling a muscle swinging a bat in the on deck circle.  The doc called in a couple of prescriptions, one for coughing and one for a muscle relaxant.  I gotta call Walgreens and get them to have it ready tonight cuz I don't want to go through the night feeling like this.  Well guess I'll watch a little football as there is no way I'm going to play poker tonight.  Hope everyone stays lucky and healthier than me.