Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hollywood, Brotha!

Hollywood, Florida, that is.... Late night post from my balcony at the Westin, overlooking the ocean. Cold Jack and Ginger in hand. Not a bad set up. Played 5 hours this evening over at Gulfstream Park. Gulfstream is a nice complex - numerous shops and restaurants (including a Yard House - one of my favorites) - but the casino is awful. It's basically a small slot parlor with a poker room. And the poker was piss poor at best. The play is horrendous. My favorite hand of the night: old guy open shoves for $56 and gets called from the big blind. Old man tables 77 (ok, I've seen worse); woman in big blind tables K6 suited... And, if you're reading this blog, you know how it ends ... Dealers were bad, room was bad, chips were bad. Actually, chips were beyond bad (I've never complained about chips before). The chips were a weird shade of color. The dollar chips were green with a white rim. The quarters were also green with a white rim. Although, according to the dealer, the quarters were some how greener. I know because I called what I thought was a $4 bet with a nickel, only to be told it was a $28 bet. Looking at the pot, I insisted there was $4 in the middle. Dealer says its a quarter and 3 ones and calls the floor over. Sure enough, one of the chips is a quarter. I mean, there's no need to be playing the game with such shitty chips. Anywhoo... Ended up banking a small profit after getting down $140. Although I knew the way to win at this game was to simply peddle the nuts, I was card dead and had a hard time maintaining patience. Ultimately, I made a questionable call with KQ (King of diamonds) on a three-diamond flop (with the A on the board). I raised $10 preflop from the cut off and had 5 limpers call the $10. I then lead for $25 on the flop with my draw, and had old man shove $80 on top. I thought he was drawing as well. I called and spiked the 4 of diamonds on the turn. Later, I got paid off with AA. After a $5 button straddle and 4 callers, I popped to $25 and got two callers. Flop was K 33 and I continued for $60. Got one caller. We checked the turn and when he checked the river to me, I put him on a K and value bet $75. He called and showed KJ. I may try out Mardi GRAS casino tomorrow, which is also a mile or two from the beach. Can't be worse than gulfstream. -ppp

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back at Sea Level

After three weeks mile-high, the Poker Barrister is back home . . .

Trial went as well as could be expected.  In fact, we crushed the Villain.  Both parties waived their right to a jury; thus, the decision is in the judge's hands and we expect a ruling within the next week or two.  Despite how well everything went, we could still lose on several potentially fatal legal issues.  But, if we lose, we'll rest well knowing we did the best we could.

Trial aside, it was great to spend so much time in Denver - a truly first class city.  Great restaurants and bars and incredible outdoor activities:

I got home Friday evening, slept 13 hours, and drove to Dover Saturday to play some hands.  When I arrived, the room was dead.  Accordingly, called the audible, and drive north to Wilmington to play the 7:00 pm tournament at Del Park.  Pretty much got run over and was out shortly after first break. 

The next morning, Dover was still dead.  Again, drove to Del Park and played cash for 3 hours or so.  Didn't fair much better.  Was largely card dead.  Flopped two decent hands and lost both.  The first was AT on an AdTd3d.  I called flop and turn bets and was able to check down the river, only to see Villain's flopped flush.   The second hand saw me turn a str8t with KJ on a Qd9d7d flop when I hit the gutshot on 4th Street.  I check-raised the turn and we check/checked the river when a 7 paired the board.  Once again, Villain (the SAME villain as last hand) flopped the diamond flush.  Good times.

In the end, I lost half my buy-in over the course of the afternoon and left feeling thankful I had not gotten stacked....

Still up a few buy-ins on the year.  And, as summer is here, I'm looking forward to picking up my volume.  In fact, heading down to Florida Thursday night for some cocktails and sun, and will definitely be playing poker in the evenings.  I believe Gulfstream Park is a few miles from the hotel, and will likely be the venue of choice. 

Shortly thereafter, it's off to Vegas for 9 days.  I'll be in town for the TBC Classic (or, should I say, the Koala Aussie Open) at the Riviera on the 24th . . . .  Looking forward to meeting up with some fellow bloggers / readers at the event . . .


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Greetings From Denver

Day 17 of the Poker Barrister's Denver foray.  Still in the midst of trial . . . The good guys closed their case early this afternoon; Villain was unprepared to call its first witness.  The judge showed mercy and, as a result, we got out of Court at 2:00.   Dead tired, but still lots of work to be done.  Witness cross to prepare, as well as closings (tentatively set for Friday).  If all goes per plan, we'll all be home sometime late Friday night /early Saturday morning.  In theory, I'd love to spend the holiday weekend playing poker; but, I'm not sure I'll be ready to hit the road so soon.

Speaking of poker . . . last Friday, the rest of the team decided to fly back east to spend the weekend with their families.  I had other ideas.  Vegas is a mere hour and a half flight away, and Southwest flies direct.  It would be unreasonable to NOT head to the desert for a quickie.  So, at 4:50 Friday evening, I found myself at DIA in the Southwest cattle call, resisting the urge to beat the fuck out of the hundred or so other passengers jockeying for boarding position.  I had spent the extra $16 to "upgrade" to a priority A boarding pass.  A-9, to be precise.  When the A group lined up, I took a spot somewhere in the line.  I was not 9th.  More like 30th.  And I couldn't of cared less.  However, based on the number of folks who proceeded to walk the line asking, "what number do you have?  What number are you?" . . . I started to think I was missing something.  I wasn't.  We all got seats.  Even the folks in Groups B and C.  Yes, flying aggravates me.

Anyway, I digress . . .

I arrived in Vegas and was checked in to NY, NY by 8:00.  After some dinner, drinks and blackjack degeneracy, I eventually made my way across the street to the MGM Poker Room.  Or, should I say, the temporary space where the MGM has, for the moment, located its poker tables.  I played from 1:00 am to just shy of 4:30am, and banked a nice profit.

The next "morning" I headed over to Aria for the 1:00 Daily:

121 runners paid the $125 entry fee.  I was card dead the entire time.  Yet, somehow, like a cockroach at The Plaza, I refused to leave.  I was all in 5 times and doubled up on each occasion.  On one, I shoved a bit light with AT from middle position and got called by AK, only to turn trip tens.  Clean living, brotha.  Eventually, after the 4th break, as the field narrowed to 27, I built up enough chips to not have to play "shove or fold."  With $23,000, I looked down at 88 from the hijack and opened for $5,000.  The cutoff shoved.  I can probably fold in this spot.  However, when the big blind shoves over the top, I have to call.  Cutoff tables AJ, big blind shows KQ, and I have to avoid all paint.  A Queen on the flop finally ends my day.

After dinner at the Public House and an hour or so of video poker, it was back to trial mode . . .

It's been a cool experience in Denver.  Hopefully, within the next day or so, I can draft a quick blog about the city and the trial experience so far.  But, for know, it's back to work . . .


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Derby Day at Dover Downs

Back from a successful trip to Dover.  Started out the evening with a brilliant bet on the Derby.  I began considering the field with my first beer.  Things came into focus sometime during the second and third beers.  By the fourth, the winner was obvious.  $25 on the #19 (and the #4 just in case):

 $25 paid $400 and change.  Yes, I'm very solid at racing.  I mean, it doesn't even seem like gambling . . .   If any one wants hot tips on next weekends horses, just give me the track and race number in the comment section below.   In the meantime, I'll be working on getting my 1-800 number up and running . . .

After the race, I hit the poker room -- freerolling with my race winnings. 

The first four hours went something like this:  fold, fold, fold, check my big blind, complete my small blind, fold, fold, fold, make a move from the hi-jack with 76 off and get caught, fold, fold, fold . . . .  I just kept hearing ggrouchie's advice in the back of my head: "you haven't played in a while, so don't go all LAG...."   I tried.  I really did.  But, by 11:00, I finally started forcing it, including bluffing off $75 or so trying to represent trip T's against the woman who actually had the third T.   Four-plus hours in and I was down $100.

Then I began catching some cards.  With $185 behind, I raised pre-flop with QQ and got called by an older women who was sitting on $1600 (a stack she had apparently luck-boxed her way into with a series of caught flushes and straights over the course of ten hours . . . at least according to some disgruntled folks at the far end of the table).  Flop was Q93 rainbow.  Jack. Pot.  I check and Old Lady Luck Box checks.  Turn blanks.  I bet $25.  OLLB raises to $75.  I smooth call.  River binks.  I check.  OLLB bets $100.  I shove what's left.  She calls and tables Q9.  Easy double up. 

Over the next 30 minutes I flop trip 3's . . .  limp from the small blind with 83 and turn 2 pair . . . and turn trip T's with T9 and get paid off by Villain's T8 when my 9 plays . . .   My chip stack starts to grow:

I continue to catch cards.  AA in position.  Villain opens to $10, gets a call, and I three-bet to $32.  Called in both spots.  Flop. is K 4 8 rainbow.  It checks to me and I check.  Turn is a T.  Villain shoves for $125.  Weird.  I call and he shows 99.  I guess he had somewhere to be.

Shortly thereafter, I get caught making a move from the small blind with 24 off.  After 5 limpers, I pop to $22.  The button calls.  Flop comes J 7 2.  I lead out for $35.  Call.  Turn blanks and I continue with my story -- $55.  Villain calls.  River blanks.  I consider a third barrel, but, in the end, wave the white flag and check.  Villain checks back and tables J8.   I had been playing TAG, showing down winners, and not getting out of line.  I raise from the small blind, and Villain decides it makes sense to go heads up to the flop with me holding J8 off?  OK.  Nice hand, sir.

A bit later a flop a straight flush draw with 46 hearts on a 53(h) A board.  I bet my draw and get called in two spots.  Turn is a black 7.  I'll take it.  I lead out again and again get called in two spots.  I  over bet the river trying to make it look bluffy.  Villain 1 folds; villain 2 tanks and finally says, "my kicker is no good," and folds.  No, sir . . . your kicker was the least of your problems.  I muck face down and scoop the pot.  Chip stack continues to grow:

At 1:30 am, after 6.5 hours, I call it quits and cash out.  An all around solid evening.

In other news, my summer travel schedule is filling out.  Following trial, I'm off for 5 days of sun and cocktails on the beach in Florida.  Apparently, Gulf Stream is close by, so I'm sure I'll squeeze some poker into the mix.

Next up - nine days at Aria beginning June 22.  Still debating whether to play some WSOP events that week.  It's almost hard to justify the $1,500 buy-ins and $4,000 starting stacks, when you can just play the Aria Daily or the Deepstacks at the Venetian.  The tournament schedule may end up being a game time decision. 

Finally, heading out to AT&T for the Mets-Giants series in early August, with a stop off in Vegas on the way home for 4 days at the PH (one of my favorite poker "rooms" in Vegas).  Should be a solid summer.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Still Breathing

Yes, the Poker Barrister is still alive.  Barely. 

It's been two weeks filled with motions in limine, oppositions to motions in limine, trial briefs, exhibit lists, deposition designations and other random shit.  And, of course, other clients who think that their work should also, somehow, get done.  I'm beginning to think 15 hour workdays are bad for the soul.  I'm jealous of TBC, the Legend, and his random poker travels -- train rides . . . Diamond Lounges . . . tier points . . . VBJ . . . a new town every day . . . a sock full of $100's . . . dreams of a big score . . .  But I digress . . .

 . . . and back in the land of reality, the plane leaves for Denver at 8:00 am Monday . . . return ticket dated May 25th . . .  At the moment, Villain shows no signs of settling.  Much like Poker, I believe this is an example of a weak Villain acting strong.  It's a bluff.  But, maybe, this Villain intends to roll the dice . . . to shove "all in" and hope to "suck out" with a poor jury decision on the river.  Time will tell.

All these poker analogies are making me shake with withdrawal.  The only reasonable (and medically sound) course of action is to head out for one last night of cards before trial.  Weather should be good tomorrow.  A drive out over the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore seems appropriate.  Next stop, Dover Downs.  But first, an 11:00am conference call.