Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Drive

Woke up Sunday morning at Delaware Park and was committed to driving straight in to work for a few hours.  But then I thought about it.  And I decided that plan sucked.  It's Sunday.  Why bill hours if you can play some more poker.  So, it was off to Charles Town.

I pulled into the Chuck at 1:15 and got on "The List."  20 people were waiting on the $1/2, but they opened two new tables rather quickly, and I was seated within 15 minutes.  Determined not to give back my weekend winnings, I was focused on continuing to keep a tight opening range . . . playing good position . . . betting aggressively on the hands I played . . . and keeping any double (or triple barrel) bluffs in my pocket. 

After getting down $40 or so, I worked my way back to the black.  Nothing very interesting . . . just a couple of small pots here and there.  About an hour in, I was dealt A5d . . .  I limped from the botton and saw a flop of A, 9 8 (two diamonds) along with two other folks.  Early position lead the flop for $10.  One call, and I call.  Turn blanks and early position pots it for $35.  After a fold, I muck face up and get several comments: "how could you lay that down?"  Um.  Pretty easy.  I don't think my A is any good.  Aces up (should I hit a 5) may not even be good.  I'm 18% to catch the nut flush, and I have next to zero implied odds as the original bettor only has about $40 behind (assuming he'd even commit so much as a single chip if the diamond comes on the river).  Pretty standard lay down.

Session ultimately came down to one big hand.  After six limpers, the action gets to me on the button and I look down at Big Slick, suited . . . I raise to $12, content on seeing a flop and laying it down if I miss.  It's Charles Town, meaning a raise to $25 would still likely get 4 or 5 callers.  And a continuation bet would be lucky to narrow the field in half.  So, I make a modest raise and prepare to let the hand go.

Flop comes JQ7 rainbow.  It checks around and I check.  Turn is the T clubs (putting the second club out).  It checks around and I bet $35.  One caller - a middle-aged luck box who had sucked out no less than 3 times in two hours and had built a four-figure stack based on such poker savy.  River is a red 8.   Very hard to narrow down Villain's range.  He could have two pair or he could have as little as a Q.  Pot is approximately $120.  I decide the best way to get value here is to over bet the pot and make it look bluffy -- like a pair and a missed club draw.  I count out $150 and slide the stack foward.  Villain quickly calls and tables K9 for the lower straight.  I definately did not think he was that strong . . .   Given Villain's stack size, I prolly could have shoved my last $100 or so and still gotten snapped.  Still, a solid hand.  The result also confirmed my thought process all weekend long -- that playing marginal hands will lead to nothing but trouble.  Here, Villain limp-calls $12 out of position with K 9 off.  He ends up turning the straight and, as his reward, loses over $200 on the hand.... 

Overall, it was a very successful weekend.  I was down over $1,000 for the month heading into Friday evening.  I cut the deficit in half.  Played just under 40 hours for the Month . . .  On to February . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Results

Grinded 4 hours this afternoon and another 2.5 this evening. Finished the day a bit in the black for a solid weekend overall.

Lost $100 during the afternoon. Didn't run very well and prolly should have been stacked at least once. Most interesting hand of the session came right before I left. I called a $10 bet from the button with JT suited. Small blind, who I had become friendly with, three bet to $30. One caller and I folded. I jokingly thanked the SB for running me from the hand before I was able to get in a bad spot. Flop came JTT. I cursed the small blind in my head - three betting mutha fucker!!!. My friend in the small blind ended up getting it all in on the river and flipped JJ. Wow!!! Dodged a bullet!!

Evening session came down to one big hand, really. I had dropped about $70 a few hands before playing 99 against a young LAG kid when I three bet to $30 pre flop hoping to take it down and got called. Bet $40 on a K high flop and got called. I checked the T turn and folded to a $75 bet. Felt like I may have been run over. So, a few hands later, I have AQ and LAG limp calls $10. Flop comes Q73. Lag checks and I bet $15. Lag raises to 35. I three bet and slide out a stack of $100 redbirds. LAG shoves. HHhhmmm. I only have another $100 + behind, and I really feel like I'm being run over again. What is he limp-calling with and getting it all in on a Q high flop? This kid was raising with most pocket pairs, so even a set of 7's seems unlikely. I hate stacking off with a pair, but I feel I have to call. He turns KQ and I double up. Was this an easy call?

Went totally card dead for over an hour and just decided to call it a weekend. Nice to get back on track.

Finally, a Win at The Del

Played from 9:30 to midnight last night. First two hours I saw just about every combination of sh*t imaginable. Tried not to get too "creative" and to just wait for good spots. Really only took down one legitimate pot during this time - four people called a $4 button straddle and I repopped to $18 with KQ suited. 3 callers. Flop came J high and I fired $40 when it checked around and took it down. Easy game.

Then came my "rush"... I was sitting on $330 in the small blind when I looked at 66. UTG+2 made it $6 to go. Fate. I flat along with 4 others and see a flop of 7Q6 rainbow. This hand is clearly meant to be . . . I lead out for $10 and get min-raised by UTG+2. He has about $130 behind and I want all of it. I flat, the rest fold. Turn is a 4. I lead for $30. UTG+2 calls. River bricks and I shove out a stack of $150 to put Villain all in. He snaps and tables QT. Really? No complaints here (aside from the fact that he did not rebuy).

The very next hand, an old reg gets stacked by pocket rockets. He rebuys for $200. Chip runner is still in motion when the old reg opens the next pot for $12. It folds around and I look down at AQ off in the hijack. I had folded AQ my last trip to the small blind when the cutoff three bet to $18. This time I'll play. I flat. Flop comes AJ3. Old reg gets his new chips and bets $15. Call. Turn is 7. He bets $20. Call. River bricks. He bets $30. AK and AJ are certainly within his range, but there's no way I'm doing anything but calling here. He tables KK and I take it down. Another questionable play - were my Villains just trying to give me their chips? Not sure, don't care.

Two hands later I look down at AA on the button. My thoughts immediately turn to last Sunday morning. A raise to $10 and a call from the hijack. I'm not fooling around. Re-raise to $30. Blinds and two initial players fold and I take it without a flop. A $23 win beats a $180 loss when 54 hits running diamonds for the flush....

I walked shortly thereafter with a nice profit and my first win at Delaware Park.

It's now saturday morning. Heading out for a quick run (to counterbalance the 10 hours I plan to spend sitting tossing cards), and then it's back to the grind.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Closing in on the Bell

It's Friday.  Almost quitting time.  Time to (briefly) forget about discovery disputes . . . motions . . . status conferences . . . and trials set for May.   I've almost fully recovered from last Sunday morning's painful 25 minute stacking.  I'm ready for some poker.

This weekend, it's back to Delaware Park.  I figure, what better place to break my current downswing than the place where I've never - NEVER - turned a winning session (unless, of course, you count that one session last month where I got stacked for $300, rebought for $300, and cashed out $608 . . . I'm not counting that $8 as a win . . . a moral victory, perhaps . . .  but not a win).

My mind is focused - T.A.G. . . . Position . . . Pot Control . . . I think I'm ready.  We'll see....

Good luck to those hitting the tables this weekend!


Monday, January 23, 2012

IPAD 2 for Dummies

A brief respite from poker talk. 

This Christmas, I bought my mom an IPAD.  By way of background, she has a 10-year old desktop at her house in New York, which is essentially non-functioning, unless you are willing to wait ten minutes for any given program to open up, and even longer for said program to do anything you may want it to do.  Checking e-mail is a 30-minute endeavor. 

She also has a laptop which, for the past few years, she has brought with her to my parents condo in Florida where they spend most of the winter.  The laptop functions somewhat better than the desktop.  The laptop, however, cannot be used in New York to replace the desktop.  According to my mom, "[i]t's only for use in Florida."  Okay.  Seems reasonable ....  

This past December, I was struggling to come up with a Christmas gift.  How about an IPAD?  I figured the laptop could replace the non-functioning desktop, and the IPAD, in turn, could make the trip to Florida for the winter.  Seemed like a good idea . . . in theory . . .

This morning, I'm sitting at my desk, and the phone rings.  It's my mom.  She finally got wireless Internet turned on in Florida and has questions about the new IPAD.  Conversation goes as follows:

Mom:  how do I turn it off?

Me:  button on top right.  But, you don’t have to turn it off.  Just charge it when the battery gets low.

Mom: You have to charge this?

Me.  Yes. 

Mom:   I had no idea.

Me.  It don't run on magic.

Mom:  how do I sign out of my email?

Me:  you don’t have to.

Mom:  what if I want to?

Me:  why would you want to?

Mom:  I had to on my old computer.

Me:  This is much simpler than your computer.

Mom:  So, I don't have to log on to optonline to get my email

Me:  No.

Mom:  How would I get online to optonline in case I want to check it that way?

Me:  I don't understand the question and I refuse to answer.

Mom:  how come its showing emails that I deleted already.

Me:  maybe you are in your deleted email folder.

Mom:  I’m not

Me:  Ipad must be broken.

Mom:  I like to delete my emails after I read them.

Me.  Who wouldn't?   I'm at work.  Is there anything else?

Mom: I can't close out of my email.

Me: Just click the circle below the screen.

Mom: There is no circle. Only a picture of a square.

Me: Is the picture of the square on a circular indentation?

Mom: Yes.

Me:   Well, press it.

Mom:  That just sends me back to the main screen.

Me:  Good.  That means it's working.

Mom:  But what if I want to completely close out of a program . . . like on my computer.

Me:  Then double click the circle. Then, when the icons pop up, press the red circle on the corners.  That will close the applications.

Mom: Why would I want to do this?

Me:  I have no f'ing idea.  You asked me how to close out of a program and I'm telling you.

Mom:  Can I give my neighbor my wifi pass code?

Me:  Yes, if you want.

Mom:  So, if she comes over with her Ipad, I can just set it up on my Internet?

ME:  just give her your wifi pass code; she just has to enter the code.  She can do it from her condo.

Mom:  But, can she then see everything on my computer?

Me:  No.

Mom:  how come?

Me:  That’s not how the Internet works.   I'm somewhat busy here.  Anything else?

Mom:  I can’t type well on this keyboard.

Me:  How can I help you with that?

Mom:  I may buy a keyboard and attach it.  Have any of your friends done that?

Me:  No. 

Mom:  Really?  No one?

Me:  They probably just type on the Ipad.

Mom:  I can't type anywhere near as fast as I could on my computer.

Me:  Okay.

Mom:  I definately think I'm going to buy a keyboard for this.

Me:  Sounds good.  Think about adding a monitor as well.  Make your IPAD as non-mobile as possible. 

Mom:  Why do you have to be a wise ass . . .


Postscript:  IPAD 2 for Dummies will be arriving at her door Wednesday, thank you Amazon.  Best $20 I've spent in a long time.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Am I the Table ATM?

Yet another frustrating weekend.  I'm beginning to think I'm the table donkey.  For reals.  Yesterday I grinded a little under $200 profit over 6 hours, despite losing a large pot where I flopped top pair and a flush draw, and then rivered a K high flush on a K37 . . . Q . . Q board.  Villain had 33 and was ahead the whole time.  Bad river for me.  But, shit happens.

On to today.  I wake up at 9:30 and head over the the poker room at Charles Town.  Grab coffee, take a seat, and 20 minutes later, I'm stacked for a full buy-in.  Here's how it happened.

HAND 1:  Play along with this one and let me know your moves in the comment section:

It's my third hand dealt.  I'm UTG+2 with $295 behind and I look down at AA.  UTG limps and I raise to $12.  I get 5 callers, including UTG.

Flop ($75):  2h   6d  7c

UTG checks and I bet out $35.  It folds around to UTG who flats.

Turn ($145):  Qd

UTG checks and I bet $50.  UTG thinks a minute and flats.

River ($245).  Kd

UTG donk bets $85.

I tank.  I can't think of any hand I'm beating here, other than a bluff (busted str8t draw).  KK or QQ for a set doesn't make sense giving the preflop limp-call.  Back door flush makes no sense.  Maybe 66 or 77, but not sure he would have check called two streets with the straight draw out there.   Here's another example where I've created a bloated pot with nothing but a pair.  I find it hard to lay down to an $85 river bet with nearly $250 in the middle.  I call.  Villain turns 45 diamonds for the busted str8t draw / runner runner flush.   And just like that, I'm down $185.  Less than 10 minutes in, I'm on code red monkey tilt. 


Two hands later, sitting on $115 and on code red monkey tilt, I limp from the hijack with K8 spades.  We go 4 to the flop which comes Qs, 9h  3s.  I bet out $10 on the draw.  One caller.  Turn is 5c.  I bet out $20.  Villain calls.  River bricks.  I bet $45.  Villain tanks . . . and calls with 9 7.  Is my busted flush draw that obvious here?  Would I have taken a different line with QT of JQ off?  Or was I simply the victim of a fishy call?


$110 behind I limp from the button with 89 suited.  5 to the flop.

Flop comes Js Ts 3d.

I call $10 on the flop.

Turn is Qs.  I fold to a $35 bet and a call.   Long story short, original better had JQ and lost to broadway.  Good fold of my straight.  Still on full force tilt.


$100 behind.  I call $12 preflop in position with AT.  BB and UTG limp-call $12.  Flop comes K T 6.  Villain bets $20.  I call.  Turn blanks and Villain continues with $35.  I fold.

HAND 5 (le grande finale)

$60 behind.  I'm at the table for 20 minutes.  My jacket is still on and my coffee is still to hot too even drink.  I look down at TT in middle position.  I open for $15.  One caller.  Cutoff raises to $45.  Fuck it.  Money tilt shove for $45.  I mean, what the fuck's another $45 at this point, right?   After a fold, cutoff calls and tables QQ which turns into a set, which sends to to the door trying not to punch someone or something.

Another fun weekend of poker complete.   Played about 13 hours, and basically fell victim to two bad river calls (the AA above and the QQ from my prior post).  Both hands I was ahead until the river.  Both hands the Villains caught runner runner flushes.  Both hands, the Villains donk bet out big on the river.  Both hands, I knew I was beating nothing but a bluff.  But, both hands, the bloated pots and the fact that nothing in Villains range really made much sense, led me to bluff catch unsuccessfully.   End result, down $1,100 for the month and pretty discouraged.

Any comments are most welcome.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Brought my shovel to The Chuck

Dug the hole deeper tonight in a 7 hour session at Charlestown. Was down $100 or so most of the night, due to a few moves that did not work. Finally grinded back to even after about 5 hours. 6 hours in, I'm sitting on $305 when I look down at QQ in the small blind. Middle position (an older rock) bets it to $10. I re-raise my queens to $31. The big blind flats (young, Asian kid who had been making moves and some questionable calls...his stack was up to $1000 plus earlier when he was hitting everything. He was down under $300 at the start of this hand). Old rock comes along. Flop comes 2 clubs, 5 diamonds, 9 diamonds. I bet out $45. kid calls, rock folds. Pot is starting to get bloated ($180 or so). Turn is a club brick. I check and kid bets $55. I call. Pot is $300. River is the K clubs. Before I can even act, kid shoves out of turn. It costs me $151 to call. I have no real read, though a missed diamond draw feels about right. I tank and eventually call. Kid flips AQ clubs for the rivered flush. Makes sense. I mean, I'm playing TAG all night, so my three bet from the small blind couldn't possibly be a big pair. And, my $45 on a 9 high flop couldn't be an over pair. Surely, his call with two overs makes sense. Just the same, his $55 bet on the turn with the overs and a back door flush makes sense.

Finished the hand with 33 left. Tripled up a few hands later with TT all in pre flop. Left down $199.

Rough night all around. Had a run early on with AA, QQ and JJ in a 5 hand stretch. I got the AA on the botton... It folded around so I limped and the blinds came along. Flopped a set. It checked around. I bet $6 on the turn .... Fold... Fold.

Two hands later I bet $10 with QQ. Flop a set against one caller (two diamonds). I bet it and he folds.

Two hands later I raise to $10 with JJ and take the blinds. Made a solid $14 with JJ and flopped sets of AAA and QQQ. That kind of night.

Down just under $1,000 for the year with 20 hours played. Clearly running bad. Might also have to focus a bit more on pot control, as it seems like I've been losing lots of big pots.

Friday, January 20, 2012

MLK Weekend Recap

Back from 3 days in AC.  Two things I did little of over the long weekend -- win money & sleep. 

We rolled into town about 10:30 Friday night after the obligatory pitstop at Delaware Park to place some [losing] NFL teases.  After a swift check-in at Harrah's (thank you, Diamond card) and dinner at Bills Burger, I hit the blackjack tables along with my follow degenerates (I'll refer to them as "Chicago," "Boston" and "Buddy").  The session was relatively unremarkable.  Won a quick $300 . . . got up . . . took a quick break, during which I gave back $100 at the 100-hand joker poker machine . . . sat back down at the blackjack table and lost $200.  3 hours in and I was even.  Not a bad night . . . 

After several more drinks, Boston and Chicago retreated for the night, and Buddy and I decided to hit up the poker room at 3:00 am.  We were seated at the same table.  I bought in for $200 and was card dead for several hours.  Then, at 5:00am, as the sun was about to rise over the marina, and sitting on just under my starting stack, I called a $10 preflop raise in position with 66.  Heads up, we saw a flop of 6, T, 3 (two hearts).  Villain leads out for $15.  I call.  Turn is a blank.  Villain bets $25.  Even though the board is not very scary (I don't put Villain on a heart draw), I decide to play the hand a bit quicker and raise to $80.  Villain calls.  Turn is the A of hearts.  Villain says, "I'll put him all in . . ."  After a 5 minute dispute between the dealer, the player in the 6 seat (who was a dealer at Showboat) and Villain about whether that is a "bet" or not, I decided to get on with the show and gave a "call."  Sitting on $65 by the river, I'm not folding my set.  Villain, of course, triumphantly flips his rivered flush and I decide to call it a night (or, a morning, as the case may be).  As I walk away from the table, I hear Buddy in full defensive mode, commenting to no one in particular, "that's not how I play the game," presumably referring to Villain's turn-call of my raise with 9 outs.  I couldn't agree more . . .  Two weeks into the new year, I'm down about $700 and not running well at all.  I can't remember the last time I got my money in bad and rivered someone . . .  Yet, seems like it get the treatment nearly every week...  Whatever.  I guess that's just $1/2NL holdem . . .

Got up Saturday morning at 8:30am after a brief two and a half hours sleep.  Buddy (who I was sharing a room with) had gotten in an hour or so before and was still alseep.  I made my way down to the poker room and drank coffee and folded hands for an hour or so before Chicago came over and we decided to play some blackjack.  We each made a couple hundred.  Chicago was in for $500 and, after a bad back end of a shoe, was down to his last $100.  He dropped it all in the box, won the hand, and five minutes later, cashed out with $750.  Black jack is definately a game of runs.  Makes one wonder why you grind $1/2 NL hoping for $15 an hour . . .

Around noon, Chicago, Boston, Buddy and I walked the path by the marina over to the Borgata to get set up for the NFL playoff games.  Long Bar was the venue of choice.  We set up shop on some stools against the bar and order the first round.  A few minutes later, we noticed Buddy was gone.  Three hours, one NFL game, and a bunch of beers later, Buddy was still MIA.  Not picking up his phone; not answering texts.  Just MIA.  He could be playing poker or blackjack.  Or, he could be dead.  The latter, a far more likely scenario had Boston been the missing person.  In fact, a few years back, in Vegas, on a "getaway day," Boston went completely missing over the course of about 10 hours. . . As a brief aside, the story leading up to his disappearance goes like this:

It was March Madness in Vegas.  Buddy and Boston decided to start the day at a Champagne brunch at Paris.  Buddy's wife and a few of her friends were there, so it's not as gay as it sounds.  Four hours or so later, me, Chicago and a few other friends met up to play black jack at Luxor.  Buddy and Boston arive.  Boston is carrying an eighteen pack of miller lite.  We all sit down at two adjacent tables and start grinding.  Boston is, at first, drinking alone out of the eighteen pack . . .  Pit boss says nothing.  Boston is then tossing us beers from the eighteen pack.  Pit boss says nothing.  An hour later, a nice middle age couple call over the coctail waitress to place an order, to which Boston yells out, "hey, I got some Miller lite if you want . . ."  Apparently, that crossed the Luxor's invisible line.  Either the (now, near empty) Miller Lite pack, or Boston, must leave the pit.  They both do....

Several hours later, our relatively large group shows up for our dinner reservation at some swank joint at the Four Seasons near Mandalay Bay.  Boston is MIA.  Twenty minutes or so passes, and we begin to order.  Shortly thereafter, Boston shows up.  Dressed in a sports jacket and tie. . . . and, so drunk, he can barely speak.  The waiter asks him what he wants . . . Boston responds (in theory, at least .. . ) . . . Waiter asks again . . . Boston slurs something . . .  waiter looks to us for help . . . none found . . .  Somehow, Boston succeeds in ordering something and we all eventually eat . . .

After dinner, we make a quick stop at the bar on the floor at MB for a few more coctails.  Then I bail back to my room at The Hotel and decide to call it a night.  I've got a red eye back to DC the following evening and its my last real "night" in Vegas, but I have my limits . . . my liver has its limits . . . I'm done.  Boston and Buddy, however, venture out for more.  I know this because I awake to 7 missed calls (thank you, silent ringer . . .)

The next morning, folks start heading to McCarren.  Chicago and I still have ten hours or so to kill.  We start out in the Mandalay Bay sportsbook watching the Sunday morning NCAA games.  Boston does not join.  His flight, as we recall, is not until early afternoon.  He is, however, no where to be found.  When the early games end, Chicago and I head to a Mexican joint somewhere in either Mandalay Bay or Four Seasons to watch the middle games.  We call Boston . . . we text Boston . . . no response.  I can no longer recall which of the two of us first jokingly suggested, "perhaps he's dead."  But, when 2:00 rolled around and we still had not heard a word, the joke became marginally less funny.  And, when it was 9:00 pm and we were heading for McCarren for our red-eyes, still in the dark about Boston's wellfare, the humour had been completely drained.  We were both left wondering, at what point are you, as a friend, obligated to call the cops to report a missing 35 year old, last seen the night before playing "hooker or not"  at the casino bar in a voice loud enough to get us all killed . . . A question I'd rather not have to ponder again any time soon . . . 

Anyow, as you should be able to deduce based on his inclusion in the post at hand, Boston was not dead.  He had, however, slept right through checkout . . . and through his flight home.   I guess that's one way to secure an additional night in the desert.... 

[Back to MLK weekend, Long Bar, present day . . .]

I figure, if Boston survived his disappearance in Vegas, surely Buddy is still alive.  Nevertheless, after hour four, I decided I should prolly take a walk and see if he was around.  Indeed, he was.  I found him sitting at a black jack table, pounding Coronas and commenting far too loudly about how hot the waitresses were at Borgata as compared to Harrah's.  Proof of life secured, it was back to Long Bar for the Patriots-Broncos game  . . . By 10:30, however, I was done.  I can no longer function full speed on less than 3 hours sleep . . . Sunday was another day. . . .

Sunday began with a trip to Toga Bar at Caesars.  Game On at Caesars Pier use to be my venue of choice for sports viewing, but its closed down (yes, the AC economy is roaring right along . . .).  We sat at the bar for most of the afternoon, alternating trips to the black jack tables up the stairs, two at a time, while holding down our prime seats at the bar.  Then it was off to Mortons for dinner.  Nothing like a fine fillet and a couple of bottles of wine to get one in the mood for an impending black jack melt down . . .

And so, after dinner, we cabbed over to Showboat to play some black jack at the "after dark" area.  Showboat's attempt to attract more sub-60yr patrons is somewhat of a fail.  Despite a live band, go-go dancers and dealers dressed like whores, the place was still someone dead.  Especially for a holiday weekend night.  Nevertheless, we proceeded to get our black jack on.  My session was somewhat less successful than Buddy's and Chicago's.  I bought in for $300 and was broke within 10 minutes ($25 base bets).  It has to turn around, of course . . . so, I bought in for another $300.  That buy-in too lasted less than 20 minutes.  I got up, took a walk around, finally tried out Mr. Cashmen (WTF is with that game?), and then wandered back to the pit.  At this point, Buddy is still grinding with a stack of $500 or so . . . As for Chicago, he's now playing heads-up against a dealer at another table . . . betting all blacks . . . and winning (it's amazing how alcohol and casino-oxygenated air can lead a person to treat a stack of $2,500 in chips as if worth little more than the value of the clay they're made from . . .).  Apparently, I'm the lone loser.  Chicago talks me into sitting down with him....again  I buy in for another $200 . . . I start out by winning my first hand.  It's the only hand I win . . . and within 5 minutes, I'm broke once again.  Fun game.  Perhaps I see the merit in grinding $1/2 NL for $15 an hour . . .

It's now 4:00 am . . . again.  I'm down $800, and that's not even the worse beat of the night.  That occured when a very large, very drunk chick dragged me out on the dance floor by nearing ripping my arm out of its socket.  Once out there, I busted a half-ass move or two, and fled the first moment she turned her back . . . It was time to leave AC.  Clearly...

All in all, it was a fun degenerate weekend.  I lost a decent amount of cash; but no one died.  I guess that counts as a win.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back to the Desert

Labor Day was my last trip to the desert.  I'm very ready to head back out.  Booked Aria for President's Day Weekend (I think that's a real holiday?).  It will be a short (3 night) trip, but a good opportunity to play the daily tournament at Aria a few times and grind some touristy cash games.  The way Del Park has been treating me lately, I'm looking forward to the game at the PH . . .

Off to Harrah's AC tomorrow night for MLK weekend.  Should be one of those trips that earns future free rooms -- lots of black jack and other degening with the "gentlemen" . . .  Hoping to squeeze a bit of $1/2 NL in as well.

OK.  Back to the grind. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Monkey Tilt Sunday (Day Two)

Woke up this morning in Dover, with all intentions of heading to work for a few hours.   Quickly, I talked myself into trying to get right at the tables.  Where better to get back on track than Charles Town.  The Chuck.  After a three hour drive, I was sat almost immediately just before noon.

Got sat in the three seat at Table 22.  Immediately, I recalled why it had been 4 months since I had visited my "hometown" card room.  The room at Charles Town, for those who have never been, consists of two long rows of tables with a row of support beams inbetween.  Seat three at Table 22 backed into a support beam.  Like, directly.  I could not even sit directly behind the cupholder.  There was no room between the table and the column.  Well designed, Penn National . . . well designed (on the bright side, Charles Town will be opening a second poker room this summer, which will be in a much better location . . .).

Trying not to let my seat location put me on tilt before the cards do,  I focus on the felt.  40 minutes later, I'm stacked....

Several notworthy hands led to my demise:

HAND 1: I look down at QQ in the hijack.  I had taste-tested a few pots, but had not gotten involved in any real hands up to this point.  Sitting on appr. $280.  It limps around and I raise to $12.  Two callers.  Flop comes 596 rainbow.  Big blind checks, and I bet $25.  Two calls.  Here we go.  Turn is a 9.  BB checks.  I bet $45.  Button shoves for $130.  Big Bind calls.  I fold.  Button has A9 and BB has 9T . . . river is a T and BB sucks out.  I'm down $100 . . .

HAND 2:  I look don at Q8 spades and decide to get frisky.  I limp with 6 others.  Flop comes 62A, all spades.  Jackpot.  I lead for $5 . . . two callers.  Turn is 7 Diamonds.  I lead for $15 . . . two callers.  River is J spades.  Not the best card, but only the K spades has me beat.  I lead for $20.  Old man min-raises $40.  Of course, I'm not folding for $20.  I call.  Old man shows the K spades for the rivered nutz, and I'm down $160 twenty minutes in.

HAND 3:  AA under the gun.  I raise to $12.  4 calllers.  Welcome to Charles Town.  Flop comes 659, two clubs. I lead for $35.  Call, fold, fold . . . table big stack raises to $75.  I only have about $90 left.  Big Stack can easily be on a draw.  I shove.  Middle position calls and three of us see the turn.  Big Stack flips 78 for the flopped straight.  Stacked for $300 in 40 minutes with QQ, AA and a flopped Q-high flush.

Sunday morning monkey tilt in full force.  REBUY.

Won a few hands after the rebuy. JJ on an A high flop.  I showed no fear and lead out and took it down.  AQ in the cutoff.  A $5 under the gun straddle and six limpers.   I raise to $22 and get 6 callers.  Flop is AT9 rainbow.  It checks around, I bet $65 and take it down.  AQ in the big blind.  Cut off raises to $17.  I call with 3 others.  Flop is A56.  It check around to cutoff who bets out $55.  Bad spot.  Can't call $17 out of position and fold to a flop bet when you hit your card.  I figure a raise is best.  I pop to $130 and take it down.  Finally, something works !  Next hand I have KK, raise to $12 from the Button and get 6 callers.  Love Charles Town.  Flop is A6J.  Checks around.  Turn is a 6.  Old man bets $18.  Folds around.  He shows a 6.  Yeah; makes sense.

I bluff off $60 or so when the following hand takes place (COMMENTS WELCOME):
  • I look down at K9 diamonds.  About the 4th time this afternoon I find a suited K.  I limp from the cutoff and go three to the flop.  One of the three is the table Big Stack.  This is the same guy who cracked my AA with a flopped str8ght.  Also, he recently check-raised another player with a huge $175 bet with Quad 8888.  In short, when he has raised, he has had it.  Flop is QTT with two diamonds.  Table short stack bets $12 and I call along with Big Stack.  Turn the 9 of diamonds, giving me the flush.  Short stack shoves $30.  I call.  Big Stack repops to $125.  What do you do here???  I'll post the rest of the hand in the comment section . . .
Two and a half hours in, and I'm hovering on a $325 stack (down $275).  In the cutoff, I look down at KK.  Great.  Anxious to see how I can lose KK this time.  Two limpers and I raise to $12.  Button, who had just joined the table, re-raises to $30.  UTG and MP limp-call the $30.  LOVE CHARLES TOWN.  I tank.  I'm raising.  It's just a matter of how much.   At a poker room with rational players, I prolly repop to $150.   But its Charles Town.  After some thought, I decide a shove is best.  I move all in for $300 on top.  Button folds (I was worried most about him).  UTG thinks a bit (good . . . no rockets . . .), and eventually calls all-in for $270.  MP folds (she had QQ).  Pot is just under $700.  Flop comes QK7, two hearts.  So far, so good.  Turn is the A.  Here we go . . .  Mercifully, river blanks and my set of KKK beats villians AK, two pair.  Back in the black . . . .  I politely play a few more hands and rack it up.  I needed to book a win for my mental health.

Another losing weekend.  But, I prefer to think of myself as being on a heater . . .

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Full Blown Money Tilt

Posting from the Sheraton Bar after a brutal evening.

The day started out well enough. Got to Dover at 11:00 am and went straight to the poker room. Ran well and within an hour and fifteen minutes I had doubled up to $600 and was in the black for the new year. After watching the early NFL and grabbing dinner, I headed back to the poker room and bought in for $300. Two hours later, I was stacked and hadn't won so much as a hand. Everything I played was a loser.

1. Played J9 in position early on. Flop comes JTK. I call $15. Turn is a J. I call $20. River is a 3. Villain bets $20. I raise to $50. He calls and shows AQ for the flopped broadway. Dude limped with AQ from middle position. Ok.

2. I played AQ 5 times and lost each time. 0-5. My favorite went like this: middle position open raises to $15. My friend, the AQ limper, calls. I'm in the big blind and don't want to see a flop. I three bet to $65. Initial raiser calls. Mr. Limp tanks and then 4 bets $100 on top. I fold in disgust. Open raiser calls. Flop is J-high and limpy bets $200. After the fold, he shows KK.

3. My turn for Cowboys. I raise to $12 and get three callers. Flop comes A high. I continue for $25 and monster stack flats. I give up the lead and big stack bets $50. Fold.

4. AJ .... After three call $10 I flat in position. Flop comes TJK. It checks around and cutoff bets $35. I call with middle pair and the gunshot broadway draw. The turn blanks and we check. The river is a T and I shove for $112. Villain gives the speech about being beat and donating and, of course, calls with AK and I'm out kicked and stacked.

5. I rebuy and am sitting on $310 after another 35 minutes or so. I look down at Q9 clubs. UTG opens for $15 and gets 6 callers. Getting good odds, I call and hope for a miracle flop. Flop comes k99. Bingo. UTG leads out for $45. Cutoff calls and I call. Turn is an A. seems like a perfect card. Cutoff bets $50. I raise to $125. Cutoff shoves. I have him
covered by $78. I call, hoping he turned top 2. Instead, he shows K9. I grab my last $78 and bolt.

Dug the hole a bit deeper on the young year. Down about $500. I actually think I'm going to pick up in the morning and drive into work to bill a few hours. Sounds better than grinding again in the am.

Next weekend is the annual gentlemen's weekend to AC to celebrate MLK day. It will probably be more blackjack degeneracy than poker, which, at this point, is probably a good thing.

Well, pulling for a Saint's win by 9 or less (have the game middled). One week left of Delaware NFL betting. It's been a nice option this year. Hopefully the day will come when Jersey gets on board. Based on the turnout in Delaware for shitty teaser/parlay betting, full blown wagering in Jersey would be AC's savior

Friday, January 6, 2012

Poker Time

It's been a rough few weeks in the office.  Dealing with dispositive motions and preparing for a two week trial scheduled for May out in Denver has been cramping my [poker] lifestyle.  Was planning on spending 4 days at Harrah's in between Christmas and New Years, but ended up having to head back to D.C. to work most of the week.

Anyway, I think its time for a day or two away from the office.  Planning on heading out to Dover Downs tomorrow morning to grind a long session Saturday.  Will prolly then drive up to Del Park Sunday morning to play the noon guaranty (. . .unless I decide to be responsible and bill some hours Sunday afternoon. . . .).  Gave some quick thought to making the drive to Sands, PA tomorrow, but decided otherwise.  I love that place; but weekends there tend to get messy.

Good luck if you're playing some hands this weekend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, Fresh Start

Spent New Year's Eve weekend playing poker in Delaware.  I needed 10 hours of cash to hit my goal of 200 hours for the year.  Friday night, I played 4 hours and dropped $165.  Frankly, I don't even recall how I lost (I may or may not have began the evening at the local Appleby's Bar . . .).

Saturday morning, I got up and decided to drive to Dover Downs to play a few hours.  When I arrived, the room was dead - a lone $1/2 table and two tables for the noon tournament.  But, after about 30 minutes, they started a new $1/2 table 5 handed.  We were full within 20 minutes.  Walked away after 3.5 hours with a $141 profit and headed back to Del Park.

After a quick three mile run and dinner at Appleby's (if you've never been to Christiana, Delaware, dinning options are limited.  Also, I still find it sick that dinner and 3 "tall" beers costs less than $20 . . .), I played another 4 hours of $1/2.   Started out well enough . . . built up a quick $70 profit . . . and then lost my entire stack on a questionable hand.  I had AK out of position.  I opened the action with a raise to $10.  After one caller, middle position repopped to $25.  We both call.  Flop comes AKJ.  I checked, woman checked, and original three-bettor bets out $50.  I decide to play my two pair fast and repop to $150.  Woman folds and dude shoves without hesitation.  He has me covered.  There is $375 in the middle and it costs me another $185 to call.  I'm beating AJ and chopping AK.  Otherwise, there prolly is not much else that this dude is shoving with that I can beat.  I call.  Still not sure why, other than the fact that the pot was huge.  Not the best poker rationale.  Of course, villian flips JJ and I'm rebuying.

I built my rebuy back to about $480 and left down $120 for the night (slight profit for the day, factoring in Dover).

Finished the year with exactly 200 hours played and a meager $765 profit (after tips, rake, etc., of course . . .).  I guess it beats losing.  And it gives me a nice baseline for improvement in 2012....

Speaking of 2012 . . . started the year off with a quick drive up 295 to Chester, PA (outside Philly) to the Harrah's Chester.  My first trip there.  Casino is actually pretty nice (at least compared to the Delaware joints).  I had stopped by Del Park first thing in the morning to get some NFL action down, so I spent some time at Harrah's in the sports bar watching games.  F*ck you, Rex Ryan . . . F*ck you, Santonio Holmes . . . F*ck you, Mark Sanchez.  At least I have the Mets to look forward to in a few months (god, life is depressing . . .).   

Anyway, I didn't play any poker at Chester.  Instead, I spent a little while just crushing the Devil's Game.  Two monster hands -- one Dueces Wild, one Joker Poker -- had me up $500 in a matter of minutes:

Sunday night, I went back to Del Park for the first $1/2 session of the year and quickly dug a $200 hole.  Flopped a set of 99's early on, on a 9-high flop, two diamonds.  I decided to fast play it heads up - bet 3/4 pot on the flop . . . 3/4 pot bet on the turn . . . guys calls both.  River is the 4 of diamonds.  No way this old reg is calling me on the draw.  I bet out $75 and he shoves $85 on top.  Seriously?  I call, still refusing to believe he was drawing.  He shows KQ diamonds, drawing the entire time.  F*ck you, 2012.  Thirty minutes later I flop top pair with KQ on an 8, Q 3 flop.  Heads up, I bet the flop and get called . . . I bet the turn and get called.  The river is a 5 and we check it down.  Dude turns over 85 for a rivered two-pair.  I stuck it out another 2.5 hours, but could not get anything going.  Hate starting the year in the red.

After my Sunday losing session, I went back over my notes.  Over the past year and a half, I've never had a winning session at Delaware Park.  Zero for ten.  Not sure how to explain that.  There are some decent players there, and it's tougher than Charlestown, for sure.  But, there are usually some soft spots at the table as well.  It doesn't feel any tougher a game than Borgata or Harrah's AC.  Perhaps just a statistical anomoly.