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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Laydowns

Ouch. The Poker Barrister is hungover as hell. Painful to type. This post will be brief.

Played a few hours yesterday afternoon at MGM. It was a total nit-fest, even for a Monday afternoon. A $15 pot was HUGE! It was so bad, I almost left after 30 minutes. Ultimately, I played two hours in a session marked by two Laydowns. One good. One exceedingly bad. Here's how it happened: [for both hands, I had a little over $300 and villains had me covered. Both were young and capable players].

HAND 1: limps around 6 way and I limp in with ducks. Flop is 7 2 8 rainbow. Guy bets $5 and 4 callers. Turn is a 5. Still no flush draw. Guy bets $10. Board getting str8ty, so I pop to $25. Third player - villain - repops to $90. I tank. 64 certainly possible given limped pot. I don't think this particular villain is 3 betting light in this spot. I lay down bottom set and villain turns over middle set.

HAND 2: twenty minutes later I raise 3 limpers to $10 with 88. UTG limp calls $10 and we go three way to a 678 rainbow flop. It checks to me and I bet $15. UTG raises to $30. I three-bet to $90. Villain 4-bets to $180. Realistically, 9T is the only hand I expect to see that I am behind. Not sure this Villain limp-calls $10 with 54, but maybe. Does anyone fold here? I tanked for a good 5 minutes. Stared down villain who looked very, very calm. Well, of course, I suck at poker, and folded.

After the hand, I got up and took a walk. I was steaming... at myself for being such a fucken nit. When I got back, villain had left. And, apparently, when I was gone, he told the table he had top pair. Bullshit. He's ready to stack off with top pair? The case 8? Bullshit. Anyway, still made at myself a day later for making such a weak decision. Ended up $54 for the short session. At least I live to suck at poker another day. -PPP

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vegas - Day 2 Quicky

Day 2 in the desert was spent almost entirely playing poker. After a quick stint at the pool, I a sent a text to Tony Bigcharles a/k/a TBC a/k/a sevencard2003. We decided to meet at the Flamingo to play some cash before heading over to the tournament being held later in the evening in his honor at 8:00 at the Riviera.

When I arrived, they were just opening a third $1/2 table, and I grabbed the three seat. Tony arrived shortly thereafter and, after a table change, grabbed the four seat. I ended up running well, and made back most of my losses from the night before... I hit quads twice, which tends to make the game easier... A couple of hours in, fellow bloggers Lightning and Rob showed up. Rob, who had a car, left with Tony and drove downtown to the Four Queens to watch Mexican porn for an hour or so in Tony's room (although, I suspect both "gentlemen" will deny this...). Lightning ended up taking Tony's seat. Around 7:00, right as we were planning to leave to head to the Riv, lightning gets dealt pocket AA and..... Well, I'm sure he'll write about the hand at www.lightning36.blogspot.com when he's ready...

The TCB tournament was a great time.... Eighteen people showed up, and I succeeded in my goal of not busting out first. It was cool to finally meet many of the folks who have been participating on this blog and others... Stump, Josie, Poker Grump, Stack and others. Special thanks to Koala and the folks at the Riviera for setting up the event. It was a great evening which even Josie's uncalled for aggression and bullying could not ruin...

Well, off to the tables . . . Again.

-PPP

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Poker Barrister Goes to Vegas - Day 1

The first bit of luck of the trip - dodging thunderstorms in DC Friday night.  The plane took off nearly on time, and, several cocktails and 5 hours later, I landed in the desert at 11:00pm.

After checking in at Aria, I decided to head over to Planet Hollywood (hereinafter, the "PH"), mainly because I was starving and figured I could grab a sandwich at The Earl. But, first things first - a degenerate is gonna degen. So, I sat down at the Hundred Hand VP machine, $6 a pull, and ran through a quick $100 on Joker Poker. I found nothing funny about the game. Undeterred, I switched to Dueces Wild. A fresh one hundred in the machine.  I was quickly down to $19. Then it happened. I press deal and my 5 hole cards appear: 2....2....2....2....5. Yes, dealt (DEALT!!!) four Dueces... Four Dueces for all 100 hands. And just like that, the Poker Barrister has got some walking around money in his pocket!

Too tired to play poker, i decide to head over to Bally's to try and loose a bit of my recent hand pay jackpot at the blackjack tables at the Party Pit. For some reason, I absolutely love the Party Pit at Bally's. Sure, black jack pays 6/5 on a table with a continuous shuffler. But, they also give you a set of three-cent party beads for your triumph. A solid deal by any idiots standards. I mean, I could probably buy A LOT of plastic beads with the extra $20 I should have been paid at 3/2, but where does one even buy plastic party beads?

Anyway, while at Bally's I spun by the poker "room" and saw some familiar faces - fellow bloggers Lightening, Pokergrump and Josie were playing $1/2, so I stopped by to say a quick hello.... Then I went and won a couple more bills (but no beads) and decided to call in a night at  3:00 am. ... 6:00am east coast. 

Woke up early Saturday. Too early. 8:00am. Not yet adjusted. Time to hit the Pool at Aria. The pool deck is beautiful at Aria. Scenery is good too. Realization that I am old and out of shape, not so good.

From the pool, I headed to the sportsbook to place some MLB action. Philly on the ML at +115. Thank you, Jim Thome....

As afternoon threatened to become evening, the 4 hours sleep from the night before began to take its toll. I hadn't taken a nap in probably a decade. This seemed like a good spot for one. [WARNING - ACTUAL POKER CONTENT BELOW!!!!] So, after 4 hours of sleep, I headed over to PH at 10 pm... Wide awake . . . sober . . . Ready to fleece the Saturday night drunks. First hand played, and I'm rebuying. Yes, stacked for $300 first hand. Here's how:

I look down at AJ in the big blind. It limps 6 ways to me and I check my option (I usually don't raise the blind without JJ+.... A Sunday regular at Harrah's AC once told me it was "rude" to raise your blind without the nuts... Maybe he was a lieing old nit. Nevertheless, I generally abide by his words). Flop comes AT6 (2 clubs). I check and it checks around to the cutoff who bets $15. Basically a pot-sized bullet. Scared of the clubs, EH? I flat and everyone else folds. Turn is the A of clubs. Interesting. I check and villain fires. $25. I don't think he has the flush based on his pot bet. I think I'm good, but would like to end the hand here. I raise to $75. Villain stares me down, tanks... And re-raises to $125. Ok. Interesting. It's another $50 to call. While it's hard to fold to $50 on top with nearly $200 in the pot, I also know that Villain is most likey shoving the river. Yet, for some reason, I think I'm good here. AT is the hand I'm worried about. But, Villain didn't raise from the cutoff, so I somewhat discount AT. I think he's got a smaller A. A6? Possibly. I call. River bricks. I check. Villain shoves. I have $140 and there is $300 in the pot. Perhaps I can get off this hand. But, for some reason, I really think villain is overplaying trips. I mean, it's the PH on a Saturday night... Fish love trip AAA. Well, I'm the fish in this tale. I call, and villain flips AT. Not sure how I feel about this hand, particularly given my read on the flop (which was somewhat correct). I think my biggest mistake was the turn call. I should have shoved, knowing the money was going in on the river anyway. Of course, would not have made a difference on this hand.... [curious whether most of you get away from this hand with your stack intact. Thoughts?]

Ultimately, I rebought and folded junk for a few more hours before quitting.... . It's Sunday morning as I write this. Another night of 4 hours sleep. I've got to adjust eventually, right? Anyway, time to hit the pool... Tonight is the TBC / Koala open bloggerfest tournament at the Riviera. Hoping not to embarrass myself. And, for those playing, I was totally just kidding about my raising range from the blinds... -PPP

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Poker Barrister Will Keep His Day Job

It's nearly the end of June - halfway through the year.  My goal of finishing 2012 with a double-digit hourly win-rate at $1/2 needs some work . . .  The results thus far:



I started out the year in a $1,000+ hole a mere two weeks into January.  I tried to tighten up my game and plug some leaks, and pulled back to even shortly thereafter.  Still, I'm marginally better than a break even player, which is disappointing.

In addition to cash, I've played a bunch of tournaments thus far this year, mainly at Del Park.  While I haven't kept track of the results, I've probably played at least ten and cashed three.   All in all, while I feel like my MTT game is improving, I think my time would be better spent grinding cash.   

So . . . . for the second half of the year, the plan is to stick more to cash games.  I'm aiming for 250+ hours total for 2012, and still shooting for $10 to $14 hourly.

I'll be in Vegas for 9 days starting Friday evening.  In addition to much general debauchery (pool, black jack, VP, adult beverages, etc.), I'll be grinding the $1/2 games at MGM and Planet Hollywood in effort to pad the stats . . .  I may also mix in a bit of $1/3 at Aria, which will be home base for the trip.     

-PPP

Monday, June 18, 2012

Face Up Gaming

My initial foray into the world of online poker took place sometime in 2010.  For years previous, I had been "investing" in the "offshore alternative equities market" . . . otherwise known as online sports wagering.  When Pinnacle Sports decided to abide by the law, my action went to Mysportsbook - a far less reputable site, but one which would still take my money.  One day, I decided to download the site's poker skin, and the grinding began . . . Ultimately, however, waiting 20 minutes for a seat to open up on a $25 NL virtual table and playing the occasional 40 runner MTT's, lost its luster.  I needed more . . .

And so, sometime in January 2011, I decided to take my on-line poker game to the next level.  I bought a new laptop dedicated solely to online poker.  I registered for Full Tilt and Pokerstars and funded accounts on both.  I bought and downloaded Hold'em Manager - a program which tracks every hand played and maintains statistics on everything relevant to a serious online grinder.  "PFR" and "VPIP" suddenly had meaning.  I was a student of the game . . . and then, on April 15, 2011, it all ended.

For a while, I maintained some money on mysportsbook and reverted back to its vitrual tables.  But, after the Jets run to the AFC Championship two years ago, the account ran dry (as a Jets fan, I was compelled to bet AGAINST them on the ML for every playoff game - if the Jets were gonna crap out, as always, I was determined to make some cash in the process . . . Of course, this strategy virtually ensured two consecutive AFC championship games and the insolvency of my account . . . Indeed, the win at Foxboro was both incredible AND expensive . . .).  Being a Maryland resident, even sketchy sites like sportsbook.com no longer allow reloads.  F*ck you, government!!!

Which brings me to this - Face Up Gaming (http://players.faceupgaming.com/home.aspx).  I first learned about the site on Al Can't Hang's blog.  After a quick run through, I signed up.  Basically, you pay $24 a month and have access to tournaments (MTT's and SNG's).  It appears as if the site provides cash and non-cash prizes.  If anyone has experience with Face Up and can provide a review, please let me know in the comment section below.

-PPP

Back to the Grind . . . briefly


Monday.  Work.  Awesome.

Saturday was DMB at Nissan.  The day began with a marathon session at a local brewery and ended with a rack of ribs back at the hotel at 1:30 am . . .  In between, there was a concert . . . allegedly . . .

The show itself was adequate, at best. In fact, one of the worst set lists I've ever seen.  But, the combination of excessive alcohol and great tickets saved the evening (who says you don't need booze to have fun?)






Sunday was spent in recovery mode - a few hours at the pool followed by fourteen hours of sleep.  Yes, 14.

The challenge now is motivating to bill a few hours this week before Friday evening's late night flight back to the desert.  Looking forward to the bloggers' tournament at Riviera next Sunday . . .

-PPP

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Poker Barrister, an Embarrassing Reveal, and a Tale of Debauchery

I've never said this out loud before.  I'm not particularly proud of it.  And, yes, you can laugh if you want.  But . . . anyway . . .  here it is: 

Tomorrow night will be my 30th Dave Matthews Band show

There.  I said it.  Yes, I've seen DMB a lot.  And, actually, I don't care who knows.

I've seen a lot of shows in a lot of places, including:
  • Fenway Park, Boston
  • Busch Stadium, St. Louis
  • Peidmont Park, Atlanta
  • Citi Field, Flushing
  • MGM Grand, Vegas
  • Joe Lewis Arena, Detroit
  • RFK Stadium, WDC
  • Madison Square Garden, NY
  • Randall's Island, NY
  • Some random minor league ballpark in Charleston, SC
In fact, if you count the times I've seen Dave perform with Tim Reynolds (including multiple shows at the Theater at Planet Hollywood the past few years), the above number goes up by five....

Tomorrow's show is "local" ... at Nissan Pavilion, about 40 miles west of DC.  The Poker Barrister's friend from grade school, "zeen," is coming into town for the festivities.  The scene is set for debauchery: general admission "pit" tickets in hand . . . hotel secured within walking distance of the venue . . . local bars scoped out . . . The plan is as follows:  pregame beverages . . . walk to show . . . in-game beverages . . . walk back from show . . . post game beverages . . . sleep . . . wake up . . . try and remember what we saw the night before . . .

Indeed, the last time DMB played Nissan Pavilion, a similar game plan was put into effect.  However, as is often the case, the plan ran into some roadblocks. 

***

As I recall, the evening began innocently enough, with a few beers at a local restaurant while watching the FOX Saturday baseball game of the week.  Sometime thereafter, things began to devolve, beginning with the decision to abscond with a glass of Redbull vodka -- a "road cola" -- for the walk.  I make it past the outdoor patio and to the parking lot before being chased down and nearly tackled by an over-zealous waiter.  Really?  You can't just look the other way? 

Undeterred, I stop back at the hotel to reload and holster a few Coors lights for the walk.  Nothing tastes better than a beer you should not be drinking . . . 

Now, Nissan Pavilion is sort of in the middle of nowhere - basically farmland with the occasional random shopping center.  It's near Manassas Battlefield, as a point of reference.  I don't know the area well. But I have a Blackberry and can pull up a map.  I begin the 1 mile walk to the venue.  Forty minutes later, I'm cursing RIM's mapping / GPS technology.  Lost.  No idea where I am or where the venue is.  Show starting in little over an hour.  I make the decision to head back to the hotel to grab a cab.

Eventually, I'm let off at the entrance.  Lights set to go down in less than 5 minutes.  I get through the gate and make a dash for my seat near the front of the stage.  No time to even stop for a beer.  Next thing I know, I'm face down on the concrete.  Fucken legs!   Still, I feel no pain.  Just the trickling sensation of blood rivering from the source at my knee and down my left shin.  Whatever. 

Lights go down, band takes the stage, and I'm fifth row.  About as close as I've ever been.  Later, a few songs in, people crowd the aisle and I'm able to slip even farther towards the front.  The show is watched practically leaning on the stage, just a few feet from Boyd Tinsley.  Not a bad evening.

Show ends and I'm determined not to repeat the mistake made on the way.  No way I can get lost again.  Hotel is a mile a way . . . and it's basically just down one road.  No worries...

30 minutes later, it's nearly pitch dark, I'm surrounded by farm land and lost as shit.  No buildings to use as reference.  I walk some more, not sure whether I'm moving closer to the hotel or further away.  I come across a gas station.  Lots of people are there filling up their cars and buying drinks and snacks, presumably on their way home from the show.  I can't be far from where I'm suppose to be.  I go inside to ask for directions back to the hotel.  I approach the kid at the counter.  I open my mouth to speak.  Words, however, do not come out.  Just some strange, slurred sounds.  It's funny, because my mind is working fine.  The mind knows what it's trying to ask.  The mind is fully cognizant that directions to the Hampton Inn are necessary.  The mouth, however, refuses to cooperate.  The mind KNOWS that kid behind the counter is staring at me like I'm an idiot.  The mind is now thinking: "wow . . . you sir are fucked !!!"  The mind curses the mouth.

I leave the gas station convenience store with no more information than I arrived with.  For the first time, I consider that I may be forced to sleep in a field and attempt to complete the journey home the next morning when the sun comes up.  But, the thought of spending another night in a field seems unpalatable (yes, another night . . . the first occurred about eight months early in State College, PA, on a Saturday night after the Little Brown Jug . . . perhaps a story for another time . . .).  I push on.  Blackberry GPS of no help.  Not sure I could read it even if it worked. 

Somehow, as if by some miracle, a cluster of stores and restaurants appears in the distance.  I walk towards . . . Then, I see it.  The Hampton Inn.  It's glorious.  As glorious as a two-and-a-half star hotel can be.  I've made it.  I look at my watch.  Twelve thirty.  Hell, I can still make last call.  I head toward the Pizzeria Uno, wondering whether they'll recognize me from the Redbull Vodka incident earlier in the evening.  Then, I look down and notice my blood-covered left leg.  I doubt I'm adequately presentable for a joint of this caliber . . . Plus, the mind recalls that the mouth is out on disability.  My last call has apparently already come and gone.  Indeed, it's time to put this tale of debauchery to bed.

***
                     
I'm confidently going on record now that I will not get lost tomorrow.  I've got an iphone.  And I've got zeen as a co-pilot.  I've got no worries at all . . . The Poker Barrister learns from his mistakes.  Hell, I'm even bringing my own Red Bull and Vodka this time . . . 

-PPP

      

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pete Peters, TBC & The Revel AC

Made it up to Atlantic City this weekend.  The plan was to play the noon tournament at the Nugget, grind a little cash, catch some of the subway series, and hit the O's - Phillies game at The Yard on the way home.   Three out of four ain't bad . . .

Rolled into AC Friday evening, played a little joker poker, and then grabbed a few pomegranate margaritas at Dos Caminos while watching baseball.  At around 10:00, I sent a text to Tony Bigcharles to see if he wanted to meet up and play some $1/2 NL.  Now, if you are reading this blog, chances are you're familiar with Tony, or TBC, or Sevencard2003 as he's known on the Internet.  Tony is a fascinating story.  Formerly homeless (or, as some would argue, currently homeless . . .) . . . and autistic . . .  TBC has sustained himself playing poker for many years, living from casino to casino, mainly in Vegas.  About a month ago, Tony went on a road trip -- Louisiana . . .St. Louis . . . Chicago . . . Philadelphia -- and is currently in AC.   Tony's new blog/forum can be found here: sevencard2003.proboards.com

I first played at the same table with Tony at the Imperial Palace in Vegas several years ago.  While I knew who he was, I did not introduce myself.  I ran into him in the Caesars Diamond lounge in Vegas a year or so later, and had seen him around the Strip on various trips over the years, but again, never introduced myself.  Anyway, Friday, I sent Tony a text to see if he wanted to head over to Revel.  Tony was at the Golden Nugget and I agreed to walk over and meet him there, and then cab over to Revel together.

We arrived at Revel around 11:00 and got seated at the same table. 

   

The seven and eight seats were open.  I gave Tony first choice and he took the eight.  I sat to his immediate right.

 
Tony bought in short for $100, and I bought in for $200.  My first hand of the night - AA.  Nice start.  I ended up going on a three hour heater.  It was one of those nights were the cards essentially played themselves, and big hands held up. 

I had one interesting hand, which involved Tony.  UTG limped in for $2.  Middle position limped.  I looked down at AKdd and raise to $10.  Tony snap shoves his stack of about $90.  Now, if you've read Tony's blog, you basically know his hand.  I knew his hand.  UTG CALLS!!!!  Yes, limp calls $90 or so.  MP folds.  Perhaps it was in part the libations at Dos Caminos . . . but I just wanted to get out of Tony's way . . . I flash TBC my Big Slick suited (keep it clean, folks . . .) and muck it.  UTG flips AJ (...Um.  Good call, sir...) and, of course, spikes a J on the flop.  Tony is rebuying.  Tough break. 

People give crap to Tony for overplaying AK preflop in cash games.  I really have no opinion on the matter.  But, in this instance, on this night, TBC got his money in good (after I folded, of course), and got a fishy call, and just got unlucky . . . 

I left at around 2:30 or 3:00 am so as not to miss out on the Nugget nooner a second trip in a row . . . All in all, it was nice to finally meet Tony in person, and was a pleasure playing some cards with him.

I made it to the Nugget Saturday for the deepstack.  The GN really does have a beautiful room:


Once again, my tournament luck continued.  Card dead.  For hours.  And hours.  Finally, I got bored and impatient about 5 hours in, and donked off my stack with K8 suited.  I started the hand with about $15,000 in chips, with blinds at $50/200/400 . . . plenty of time to still play cards.  Hand was limped three-ways preflop.  Flop was 2 8 T rainbow.  Guy lead for $2,500.  I did not think he was very strong.  Villain had doubled up about 5 hands in when some idiot over-played KK and got stacked to a set of QQQ (how you let that happen in the first level of a $25,000 deepstack with 30 minute blinds is beyond me . . .).  Villain had been donk betting a bunch of flops and folding to aggression.   I thought about raising . . . made it obvious that I was thinking about raising . . . but flatted.  Turn blanked.  I played with my last $12,000 or so, making it clear I was ready to get my chips in the middle.  Villain stared me down and checked.  I put villain on a fairly weak T.  I'm bored, tired of folding, and looking to pick up the $8,000 or so chips in the middle.  I shove my last $12,000.  Villain tanks and ends up making the call with QT and I'm on the rail . . .

I've been having difficulty maintaining patience in these well-structured tournaments.  By the 4th or 5th hour, I become ancy, particularly when the cards are not falling my way.  I end up making a poorly timed move.  A definite leak I need to address (or I need to stop playing tournaments).

After a good weekend in AC, I hit the road home around 10:00 am . . . perfect time to hit Camden Yards for 1:35 first pitch.  However, when I emerged from the harbor tunnel in Baltimore, the line of cars for Exit 53 was nearly two miles long - despicable Philly fans making the trip.  I hate Philly fans.  And I didn't feel like waiting in traffic and then on the will-call line for 2 hours, especially in 90 degree heat.  So, it was home early to catch the subway series on MLB First Pitch . . .  Nice way to finish up the weekend . . . watching a bunch of no-names in Mets uniforms losing to the Evil Empire . . . I hate baseball . . .

-PPP

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Super Awesome Classy Homemade Poker Bling

I briefly mentioned the dude with the $100-bill rings in a previous post.  Guy was prolly 60-ish . . . Al Pacino wannabe.  As promised, here is the picture I snapped:


That is all for now.

-PPP

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The State of South Florida Poker

After three days of poker in the Fort Lauderdale area, I'm beginning to form an opinion on poker in south Florida. And it ain't good. Thus far, I've played at Gulfstream Park and Mardi GRAS. I won't be heading back to Gulfstream. Mardi GRAS, however, has a decent room. If only the players weren't the most miserable collection of fucks I've every met... Seriously, over the past three nights, I've heard more arguments over wait lists, table changes, people refusing to show hands, and allegations of collusion, than I've heard in two years playing elsewhere. It boarders on unpleasant to even play. And, speaking of play . . . Again, miserable. At least half of every table is shortstacking with $50 to $70.... And the shortstacks LOVE to shove. They'll shove pocket 66... They'll shove KJ off... They'll shove 89 suited... And, they will ALWAYS find at least one other shortstack who will call them down. It's just gambling... It ain't poker. Feeding the misery are the numerous high-hand promotions at these casinos. Half the table seems like they just want to sit on $30 and wait for a high hand. This, as you can imagine, does not lead to good poker. I'm still not quite sure how to play here. I've been playing super TAG and waiting for my spots. I've been refusing to gamble with these folks. The results have been three winning sessions - all relatively small wins, though ($163 last night was the biggest). Also playing short sessions because I get bored after just a few hours of this crap. Last night, I made most of my profit off two hands - first, after an UTG limp, I raised to $7 from middle position with 33 and got a call from UTG and the big blind. Flop was AT3. Big blind donk bets $10, UTG (who has about $200) raises to $25, and I three-bet to $65. Big blind only has about $70 and shoves. UTG folds. I call the couple extra bucks. Big blind tables AT and the board runs out KQ.... Second hand I three-bet an $8 open to $26 with KK and get a call from the button. Flop is K92 rainbow. I'm out of position on the flop and try to get trappie . . . We check the flop.... We check the turn . . . Finally, I over bet the river -$65 - and get called. Villain mucks. I had KK a second time. I opened to $10 and got called by one of the high-hand chasers. He's sitting on about $50. Flop brings an A. I check. He fires $25. I fold. He proudly shows his AT. An Ace? I'm SHOCKED!!! Well played, sir.... By far the most awesome thing about S.Fla poker was the Al Pacino wannabe whom I sat next to Friday. He had three rings on his fingers, each of which was an actual hundred dollar bill which he had folded into a ring. It was classy, yet full of win. I took pictures of his hands. How could I not? I'll post when I get back to DC... PPP

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Johan and Triple P versus the Roach

First off, congrats to Johan! As you may know, PPP has had the misfortune of growing up a Mets / Jets fan from the mean streets of Long Island (yes, unfortunate on several levels .... I am aware....). It's always been amazing given the great pitchers that have thrown for Mets over the years (Seaver, Ryan, Gooden, Cone, to name a few) that there has never been a no hitter. And, of course, so many ex-Mets have gone on to throw no hitters just to rub salt in the wound. And let's not even talk about Phil Humber.... Anyway, this morning, I can push the bitterness aside... Finally. It took half a century and 134 pitches, but last night, the Mets finally made history. Thank you, Johan! In other news, last night, shortly after the 134th pitch was thrown, The Poker Barrister found himself in an epic battle . . . With a giant roach. It's been over a decade since I moved from downtown DC where roaches (and rats) were abundant, to the plushness that is Bethesda, Maryland. I had forgotten what it was like to flip on the lights and see a roach scurry across the counter... Or wall... Or floor. So, last night, when the bathroom light lit up to reveal the biggest roach I've ever seen (they apparently grow them big in the south . . .), I was a bit off my game. But, there it was. On the counter. Indignant. Fearless. An intruder. At the Westin, no less. I needed something to smash him with. But nothing suitable was within reach. And, I Knew I could not risk turning my back on him to grab a shoe or something else appropriate from the other room. I thought. Knowing I was not quicker than the roach; nor perhaps as fearless as the roach; I believed I had a good shot at outsmarting the roach. I picked up the bathroom glass. I would capture the roach underneath the glass and, once trapped, retreat for a weapon to finish the job.... As I feared, the Roach was indeed quick. And my first several attempts to glass-house him were thwarted. Before I knew what had happened, the Roach (now clearly in full defensive mode) had retreated to the underside of the counter. Fuck. I'd lost visual. Advantage Roach. I stepped back and rethought my attack. Surrender was not an option. Indeed, if not victorious in this fight, I may leave Florida early. No way I'm sleeping a wink knowing this beast is loose in my room. I plug in the blow dryer and try to blow dry him out from hiding. No luck. Heat has no impact. Damn southern roach. I need a visual. I take the portable mirror off the counter and place it on the floor. A few adjustments later and I spy the villain. I need to someone knock him off the underside of the counter and onto the floor (without him accidentally hitting me on the way down. That would be gross...). Then I need to trap him. I may have one shot at this. I need to make it count. I close the bathroom door and towel up the crack. No escape. Only one of us leaves the room. I grab the glass and cautiously approach, mirror as my guide. Within striking distance, and using the edge of the glass, I flick him off the counter. He hits the floor and scrambles. But Pete Peters is up for the task. With one fluid motion, the glass crashes down on top of Roach. He is trapped. I too fall to the floor - relieved; exhausted. I look at my prisoner. He knows he's completely fucked. And I know there's more work to be done. I return with a My weapon of choice - A Johnston and Murphy size 8.5 (don't judge me!). The trick will be to lift the glass, and rain down the death blow with the level heal of the shoe. Not necessarily an easy task. With my left hand I lift the glass, and with my right, almost simultaneously, a drop a crushing blow. Guts spread out on the floor. I hear a tiny scream (that could have been me . . .). And just like that, it's over...