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, June 24, 2013

T Minus 20 and counting

Those of you who grew up in the 60s like I did (or gasp, those of you who were already grown then) probably remember the countdowns for the Apollo rocket launches.  As it went along they would announce "T minus 20 minutes and counting" all the way down to T minus 10 seconds then they would count it down from there.  Of course those rocket launches were a big thing back in then and all 3 networks carried the launches live.  Of course there were often delays and I remember whenever there was a delay and they would break to the newsroom and Walter Cronkite would come on with that deep voice and say  "Well the launch has been held at T minus 22 minutes and 20 seconds and we're waiting for word from NASA on when the countdown will continue or if it will be scrubbed".

Here in the Neophyte household the launch is at T minus 20 days, 3 hours etc.  It's getting closer and closer and I find it harder and harder to contain my excitement.  Unlike some people who can pick up and go to Vegas for the weekend on a whim or have a job that actually involves going to Vegas and telling stories about all the boobs he sees, Vegas to me and the PQ still holds mystery and excitement and the closer our trip gets, the more excited we are.  We have plans to see and do a lot outside of Vegas as well this time.  Though I'm not sure how much we will do when daytime temps average 110.  Still it's a dry heat I hear.

Friday night the PQ had determined we were going to take on the Hard Rock again so that she could beat down play some Video Poker.  I went along to but my budget precluded playing a lot of VP.  So I figured I would lose a few bucks on the machines then make my way to the poker room.  But instead I managed to hit quad kings early on and broke even on the VP before walking down the long hallway to the new poker room they put in.  Was second on the list for the 3-6 limit Omaha 8 and got seated in about 5 minutes.  Kind of a strange table.  One new guy was really a wild card.  He seemed to have never played the game live before and was also raising a lot of hands.  A couple of times he didn't understand about having to play 2 cards from his hand and 3 on the board and how he needed 3 unpaired cards under 8 on the board to make a low.  Still he hit some big pots too.  I'd made a few dollars on a couple of hands but nothing much, maybe 20 bucks then tangled with him in a big pot.  Cost me a chunk of my buyin when he raised preflop (with A368) and then pushed the pot all the way to the river.  Flop was 689 with 2 spades.   I'm on AJ102 with the AJ of spades.  Flush draw, open ended straight draw,  and nut low draw.  Turn is a red king, river another 6 and he scoops it.  I knew if I hung around he'd give it back and hopefully I could score some hands so he gives it back to me.  I was right in both respects though I didn't get as much as I had hoped from him. 

A little while later I was down about half my buyin when I picked up AKQ6 with AK of hearts in the big blind.  Not a great hand but I'm already in the hand.  Of course my buddy across the table throws in a raise so now its another bet to stay in but I call as about 4 others are in the hand.  Flop is 6-6-3.  Not bad now that I'm sitting on trip 6s.  I check and guy on my left bets out.  I immediately figured him for 6-3 or 3-3.  My nemesis raises.  I'm not sure what he has as he has shown all kinds of hands but I don't put him on 6-3 or 3-3.   Guy to my right calls as do I but the guy on my left raises again and my nemesis caps it.  Now I'm getting a little concerned.  But I feel much better when the turn is a queen.  Now my only concern is if someone had QQ in his hand and I didn't think that was the case.  I checked, the guy to my left bet out for 6,  my nemesis raised to 12, and guy to my right called while I bounced it up to 18.  Guy to my left was unhappy when I did that but he called.  My nemesis caps it again and we all call.  River is an 8 which puts a low on the board.  I would have preferred another queen and a scoop of the whole thing but it still wasn't bad.  I bet for 6, call, then my nemesis raises to 12.  Guy to my right calls, I put in my last 3 dollars to call hoping the guy didn't play something with 88 which I'm half expecting now.  Guy to my left calls and shows 6-3 as I expected.  My nemesis and the guy on my right both show A2 for the nut low and I take down the high side of the pot with my 6s full of queens.  Even though it was only half the pot I got over $150 pushed to me which took me from 50 down to 50 up in one hand. 

Wasn't too much memorable after that.  I had one weird hand, I was in the small blind and it was unraised to me.  I was gonna chuck the hand as I had a garbage 5-7-9-10 hand but 5 people had already called so for 2 bucks I figured why not.  Flop is 5-6-8.   Can you say bingo.  There is betting going on all over and I'm raising every level.  Kid sitting just on my right keeps betting and I keep raising him up.  Turn is a 3 and river is a king.  The way the betting is going I'm thinking I might have the high hand and 3 people are splitting the low hand but it turns out another guy played 7-9 (what a donk) and 2 of us got the high while the other 2 got the low.  Made about 4 bucks on the hand.  I took down a few smallish pots and by the time I left I was up 80 over my 100 buyin.  So it was a good night all in all.  The PQ did not do so well as she was not able to hit anything big on the video poker.   We played a little more after I finished but neither of us hit much.  Did catch a nice late meal at IHOP on the way home at least.  The PQ was quite disappointed in her results but even she can't win every time.  Besides she needs to save some luck for Vegas

Outside of the poker I did have a very nice massage on Saturday.  Did a little shopping as I needed some new tennis shoes.  And I refuse to spend 55-60 bucks for them.  Then I found a nice pair of Avia's on sale for 35 and jumped on those.  So it was a win win weekend all in all.  Didn't do much else this weekend but did do some searching for poker tourneys in Vegas and also planned out a little more what we would do.  It looks like we're gonna hit Zion and maybe go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Anyone been over there or are you all too busy playing poker? By the way it's now T minus 18 days and 22 hours.  But whose counting?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Just some Saturday odds and ends

It's Fathers Day weekend and I hope you dads are having a good one.  Mine has been pretty good so far.  The PQ brought me donuts and iced coffee this morning which is our normal Saturday morning routine and I got to watch a lot of the programs I put on the dvr over the week

I've been reading a number of bloggers and feeling jealous over the fun they are having in Vegas.  It makes it hard to wait another 28 days and 6 hours until I get to Vegas to have my own fun.  Of course none of those people will still be in Vegas when I get there with the possible exception of Rob who is almost always in Vegas hunting boobs.  What a lucky guy. 

On my end its just work and home.  Getting stuff ready for Vegas including buying some clothes.  Still need to get some new sneakers.  I have been playing some online poker to try and sharpen my skills a little.  Results have been ok but I don't know that it will carry over to live poker.  I'm trying to concentrate on placing my opponents on a hand range and make my decisions from there which has worked pretty well so far.  I just hope I'm improving. 

I'm thinking of going to play a little poker tonight but not sure I have the bankroll for it.  Or maybe whether I want to risk part of the cash I plan on taking to Vegas with me.  Maybe I will. I've also been doing a lot of reading and I think I need to put some more time back into some poker books I own to refresh my memory. 

We had an AC problem last weekend.  I am no electrician or HVAC guy so I had no clue why the AC had kicked off and the thermostat didn't read anything.  I called my buddy Chad and explained it to him and he thought it was some transistor thing that is on the air handler in the attic being burned out.  Unfortunately since it was Sunday afternoon it might not be fixable till the next day.  He said when that transistor kicks off the electronic thermostat goes blank unless you have battery back up in it which we didn't.  Then he talked to his dad who is an electrician and he explained it was more probably just water backing up in the system due to a clogged drain.  So I worked on the drain outside and got some slime out of the pipe.  Once the water back up went down the AC kicked back on.  We didn't see this happen as we were out at dinner at the time. When we checked the drain pan afterwards it was dry.  Cool, fixed the AC and didn't have to spend hundreds.

In talking to Chad he said the thing to do is to get a hose with a high pressure sprayer and connect that to the drain to clean out the crap that builds up.  Last week we picked up a hose and sprayer but never used it as the AC was on when we got back.  Today though it kicked off again.  I saw the thermostat was blank again and I immediately went outside and hooked up the new hose.  After once spraying all over myself, I managed to get the hose spraying up the pipe and letting it drain.  Man was there a lot of built up slime in the pipe.  This orangey crap just kept coming out.  And the AC kicked back on immediately so I guess its now clean out, at least to the best it can be.  Ideally I'd like to run some bleach down the drain pipe from the drain pan down but the AC is located so high up that I need a higher ladder to reach everything.  Until then we're gonna keep hosing out the drain every month and I think we'll be fine.  Considering we've lived here 2 years and that was the first time we had to do it, I think we won't need to do it all that often even.

Well I'm off to the shower now.  Gotta get some of this mess off of me and try not to stink up the poker room tonight.  Good luck to all of you gambling fools out there in Vegas.  I'll be there in 28 days, 3 hours, 12 minutes and 30, no 29, make that 28 seconds.  Or something close to that.  Man am I getting excited.  Stay lucky and happy Fathers Day all you Dads.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I need a vacation

You know how it gets sometimes, don't you?  You have a good job, you like what you're doing and almost everyone you work with (there's always someone no matter where you are who just gets under your skin), and you have no plans to work anywhere else.  But you need a break, some time off longer than a long weekend where you can get away from it all and not think about any of it for awhile.  Well that's where I am.

What's making it even worse is the PQ and I have been finalizing our Vegas plans.  Tickets are bought, rooms at Bally's and Green Valley Ranch are reserved, and the rental car has been booked.  Now comes the hardest part, waiting for the day.  It's already getting hard as the excitement keeps building.  Especially as I keep reading all these other blogs for people who have already gone to Vegas or are there now.  Unfortunately they will be long gone before I arrive. Big props to Lucki Duck for cashing in WSOP Event 7 and to Memphis Mojo for a 6th place finish in a Caesars Mega Stack event on the day he arrived in Vegas.   Setting the bar awfully high guys, well done indeed.

Last time in Vegas, the PQ and I hung out some with Lightning36 and we all had a great lunch with Lucki and the lovely Ms Duck.  Got to play a tourney with Mojo down here in St Pete a few months ago as well.  I'm sorry I won't get to spend anytime in Vegas with them this year.  

Things here have been going pretty well all in all.  Still working hard and racking up OT hours though less than last year at least.  I'm even up for a promotion which I should find out about in the next couple of weeks.  Still it's time I got out of town for a while.  The last few years the PQ and I have taken the opportunity around my birthday in July to go on the annual Neophyte pilgrimage.  I pick some small out of the way places and we drive there and spend time exploring the area.  It's really let us see some of the other parts of Florida, the non touristy, non Disney, less traveled parts of the state.  As populous as the state is, there are tons of areas that are pretty sparsely settled and I'm glad I've been to some of them.  If you ever get a chance to travel down here, I really recommend getting off the interstates and going exploring.  Unless of course all you want to do is sit on the beach and get some sun.  I also recommend that as well. 

This year I'll be in Vegas for the birthday so I hope to take that rental car out and travel around some sparsely settled areas of Nevada, Arizona and Utah.  I hear there are a lot of those areas out there as well.  I'm also planning on going west to cross over the border into California.  I don't plan on going anywhere in the state, I just want to say I've been to California.  Actually if memory serves me, there is a little restaurant over the border in California that Diners, Drive Ins and Dives went to.  Let me look that up and see if I can find it on the map.   Well I'm half right, there is a place just over the border in Cali but it's up near Reno, not down near Las Vegas.  Still there are plenty of places in Vegas to eat and we've already picked out a number of places to hit up. 

Originally we planned on arriving early in Vegas and breakfasting at Hash House a Go Go but the flight we are taking now doesn't get in until around 6pm so I'm not sure what we're going to do first when we get there.  I know we will be going to In and Out at some point as well as the Peppermill and of course Hash House.  Plus we always hit the Bellagio buffet and I hear we need to go to the buffet at the Cosmo as its supposed to be better than Bellagio's.  Now that I have to see.  And taste.  I'd also like to hit Binions steakhouse downtown at some point.  It's gonna be hard to hit all of the gastronomical delights we have planned.  We were thrilled to learn Hash House a Go Go opened up a location in Orlando.  Of course we've hit that.  And it was delicious.  I got a dinner plus 2 lunches out of one meal. 

I haven't played much poker, especially hold em tourneys lately.  We did hit one last weekend at Derby Lane.  We both did ok, the PQ went out about 18 and I final tabled but missed the money in 8th.  I thought I played pretty well, made mostly good decisions but let some opportunities go where I might have been able to get more chips.  Seemed like the times I did try to steal, someone always called me with a real hand.  Made it awfully hard to chip up much.  I did take some chips from one guy when he made a smallish raise in mid position with KK and I called him from the big blind with Q4 suited.  Flopped two pair and called his C bet.  I reraised his turn bet and he made a good decision to let it go.  Other than that I've been only playing Omaha 8.  I'd like to play some of that while in Vegas and I've been looking at the All Vegas Poker site to see what's available. 

Well I gotta get going.  Heading over to Derby Lane soon to bet the Belmont then down to the Trop to see the Rays and Orioles play.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.  Good luck to you tourney players.