Friday, April 20, 2012

The End of Poker . . .

 . . . at least for a while . . .

Trial is now only a few short weeks away.  Heading to Denver May 7th for one last week of prep, followed by a two-week jury trial beginning the 14th.  Frankly, I'm looking forward to it.  Being a lawyer is typically nothing like its portrayed on TV.  It's not exciting.  It's a lot research and writing and sitting around an office for twelve hours a day.  So, opportunities to actually try a case come few and far between.  The downside, however, is that I will not have time for poker until Memorial Day.  I'll live.  Hopefully.

In non-poker news . . . it's been a busy week; but a good week.  Sunday, I made my first trip to National's Park:

National's Park is simply mediocre to me (much like Citi Field).  It's big; it's shiny; but it ain't special.  The best parts of the park are the various areas where you can stand against the rails and watch the game.  My favorite is along the first base line (where I took the above picture from).  I typically buy the cheapest seat possible, and just stand and watch the game from elsewhere.  More money to spend on $8.50 Coors Lites . . .

Monday morning brought an 8:00 am flight to Houston, Texas for depositions.  The best part about Houston is leaving.  And so, Tuesday night, I was happy to be on a flight once again to Colorado . . . for more depositions.  It was my first trip to Colorado Springs.  Cool, old, town tucked back against the Rockies.  It was hard to conduct a deposition with this view outside the window:

Depositions ended around 4:00 pm Wednesday, and I made haste for Denver, trying to catch 6:40 first pitch at Coors field:

Second week of the season; three ballparks visited.  Not a bad start to the season.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Night Straight Talk

The scene: Delaware Park, Saturday night.

The set up: the 10:00 pm deep stack turbo. $20,000 starting stacks; 15 minute levels

The situation: blinds $1,500 / $3,000. The Poker Barrister has chipped up to $90,000. Chip average is $42,000.

The hand: the Poker Barrister is in the cutoff. Small stack limps for $3,000 and gets called by the chip leader (sitting on over $200,000). The Poker Barrister RAISES to $10,000. Small stack calls. Chip leader re-raises to $40,000. The Poker Barrister shoves. Small stack folds. Chip leader calls. Hero and Chip Leader flip 'em:

Poker Barrister: AA
Chip leader: AJ off

The Flop: 8T9 rainbow.
The Turn: 7
The River: Q

Really? Fuck you, poker.


P.S. how about that Jon Niese? LET'S GO METS!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Revel AC

Arrived home from a week in Colorado / Wyoming Thursday night.  Or, more accurately, Friday morning.  It was a long week, capped off with a very long Thursday, which began with a 6:00am wake up in a hotel in Fort Collins . . . a drive up I-25 to Cheyenne, Wyoming . . . a deposition at 9:00 am . . . a second deposition at 1:00 . . . a drive back from Cheyenne to Denver International . . . a 7:56pm flight back east to Dulles . . . a two hour time change . . . and a 35 minute drive from the airport home.  Walked in the door at 3:00 am.  Otherwise, it was an uneventful day . . .

After a few hours sleep, I got up for work Friday morning.  But, before heading in, I checked out the rates for Harrah's AC for the weekend.  Comp Friday, and $38 Saturday.  Why does Harrah's do this to me?  I mean, as tired as I was, I could not pass up a weekend in AC at this price.  Particularly when the Delaware Lottery was shutting down all gaming at Midnight Saturday in observance of Easter.  Indeed, left without any choice, I was heading to AC Friday night . . .

I arrived around 7:00, after taking off work early.  Grabbed some dinner, played some video poker, had a few drinks, watched some baseball, and played some blackjack.  Around midnight, with second wind in full force, I hopped in a cab destined for Revel, the new casino on the boardwalk.

"Revel.  It's on another level." 

That's what the TV ad says.  In reality, Revel is everything it has been hyped to be . . . and then some.  It's Aria with a beach out back.  Seriously.  It's that nice.  More than ten high-end restaurants, multiple lounges and bars, a huge gaming floor, dealers that look like cocktail waitresses, and cocktail waitresses that look like models.  I guess you could say I sort of like the place.  In fact, it makes me sad to have a Harrah's diamond card.

The poker room is located a level above the gaming floor in an area unlikely to attract casual players.  No one is ever going to just stumble upon it.  That said, the room has a great vibe.

I played a three hour session from 3:00 am to 6:00am Friday night before finally running out of steam as the sun came up.  Conditions were less than ideal.  Most of the night, the table ran five-handed.  Three of the villains were dealers from neighboring Showboat.  The table was, however, friendly, and I somehow managed to double up.

Saturday was mainly spent recovering from Friday evening's excess.  Slept right through registration for the noon deep stack at the Nugget.  By 7:00 pm, I did find the energy to head to Showboat for the evening tournament, which drew 105 runners - a huge number for a tournament on the boardwalk (albeit far less than what Del Park draws on a daily basis).  The structure of the Showboat tournaments is laughable.  $53 +$12 . . . 20 minute levels . . . no antes . . . its a complete donk fest.  I busted out 35th, unable to get anything going all evening.  Ironically, I had flopped a set of Queens and taken a nice size pot the night before against the dealer who dealt me the hand which sent me to the rail.  Said dealer's comment as I left the tournament area reflected his satisfaction with the turn-a-bout.  All in the nature of good fun, of course . . .

Sunday morning was warm and sunny, particularly for April on the east coast.  How could I not stop by Camden Yards on the way home?

I've been to probably three-quarters of the parks around the country and have watched a lot of baseball over the years.  A lot.  My record for games attended in a single season stands at 68 - an "accomplishment" achieved the year the Nats first moved to DC.  I've seen a lot of nice parks.  PNC in Pittsburgh ranks high on my list.   Wrigley and Fenway are living history.  But, in my opinion, nothing tops Camden Yards.  It's a simple park.  There is not a bad seat in the place.  It's a ballpark, not a stadium.  And there is no better place to watch a game on a Sunday afternoon.  I'll always be a Mets fan first and foremost.  Sadly.  But the Orioles have become my adopted second favorite (sure; cue the accusations of me being a dirty "frontrunner" . . .).  While the O's may not win 60 games this year, on this particular Sunday, Jason Hammel took a no hitter into the eight innings, and the O's prevailed 3-1.  A nice way to finish out the weekend.

In other news, looks like a bunch of fellow bloggers will be heading to Vegas around the third week in June.  I'm close to pulling the trigger for June 22 - 30th.  Hope to see some people there.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Day in the Life of the Poker Barrister

Act 1: Take flight from Dulles to Denver.

Act 2: Rent car and drive from Denver to Fort Collins, Co.

Act 3: Arrive at Fort Collins and read email from opposing counsel re: "flights from Dallas cancelled due to tornadoes. Deposition cancelled."

Act 4: Drink a beer at hotel bar.

Act 5: Book 8:00 am flight back to DC in the morning...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend Review

Played about 16 hours of cash and a tournament this weekend and, generally, continued to run bad.  Friday night, I found myself down a little over half a buy-in and starting to get tilty.  Actually, I was totally on tilt.  I ended up playing A6 from middle position -- a totally tilt move -- and backed myself into a triple-up.  Flop was 4 A T (two diamonds) and I check-called $16 against two players.  Yes, fantastic move.  Turn was a 6 giving me "Aces Up."  I checked.  Initial aggressor bets bets $25 and gets a call.  I shove for my last $125 or so and get called in both spots -- A 4 and a flush draw.  River blanks and I stack my chips.  I wasn't proud; but I'll take the money.

Saturday saw some gross set-ups.  The first was during an afternoon session.  I get AA under the gun and raise to $12.  UTG+1 raises to $25 and gets a call from the hijack.  It comes back around to me and I repop to $100.  UTG+1 tanks and calls (hijack folds).  Flop comes K 6 T.  Fuck.  I check and Villain quickly shoves.  Could he make this play with QQ or AK?  Possibly.  But the way the hand played out, it really felt like KK.  I tank and muck my rockets face up.  Villain graciously shows his cowboys.  I guess this hand is a win for me . . .

I entered the 7:00pm donkament Saturday night.   $65 buy-in, $7,500 chips, twenty-minute levels . . .  During the second round (blinds $100 / $200), I'm down to $7,000 chips and get QQ in middle position.  I raise to $550.  Cutoff calls and big blind shoves for $4,500 or so.  I call.  Cutoff, who had just doubled up with AA against KK, shoves all in.  I call.   Big blind is making a move with his 78 hearts, and cut off called with K T off.  Yes, he called $7,000 in level two with K T off.   And, of course, anyone who's played a day's worth of poker knows how this story ends . . . with a K on the flop.  It's not even 7:40 and I'm headed back to the cash game . . .

My evening session was no better.  It started with another brutal set up.  I look down at QQ in the big blind.  It limps around 6 ways and I repop to $25.  Under the gun -- a young, aggressive, good player, who has his chips in a rack ready to cash out -- repops to $85.  He's a solid TAG player  . . . he's racked up and ready to roll . . . he sees me raise from the big blind . . . and he limp-raises to $85.  I'm not fooling for this at all.  I fold, again face up into the muck.  Young gun flashing me his cowboys and mucks . . .

I was hanging around, despite having generally bad luck.  In fact, I managed to get up over $100.  And then I threw my entire profit away on a triple barrel bluff with AQ.  I raised to $12 preflop and got one caller -- an older guy who couldn't shut the f*ck up about how he plays $2/5 normally and yada, yada, yada . . .  Flop comes down  2 7 3.  I lead out for $18.  He calls.  Turn is an 8.  I fire my second barrel ($32).  He calls.  River blanks and I fire my third bullet -- $56, trying to make it look valuey.  Villain calls.  I flip A-high.  He slow rolls his 8 T off.  What?  He floats the flop with 8 T off?  Then he catches his 8 and calls two streets with a pair of eights?  OK.  Good hand, I guess.

I ended up getting my money back from "Mr. $2/5" about twenty-minutes later, when I played JJ as an over pair to the flop in the exact same way I played the AQ hand.  Once again, villain called a preflop raise and three streets.  This time, he mucked when I tabled jacks. 

My downfall was flopping 4 open-ended str8t draws.  Each time, we went four or six to the flop.  Each time, someone made smallish $10 to $15 flop and turn bets, which were called in several spots.  So, I chased.  And failed to hit a single draw....  Just not my day.

In the end, I cashed out at around 1:00am down $100-ish (plus the $65 tourney buy-in).  An overall frustrating weekend at the hands of the poker gods.