Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waiving Goodbye to 2013

2013 was not a good year for Pete P. Peters at the poker tables.  My biggest issue was simply not playing enough hours.  The previous two years, I easily hit my goal of 200 hours of cash (which, admittedly, is still a very small sample size).  I also ended up each year in the black.  This year, not so much:

Sixty-six hours is pretty pathetic.  I thought the opening of Maryland Live! (a mere 35 minutes away) would dramatically increase my cash play.  However, given the current issues with crowds and waitlists, I've only played two sessions there so far.  Hopefully, once Caesars opens in Baltimore in August, this will be less of an issue.
In the meantime, I'm determined to put many more hours in in 2014, even if I have to start arriving at MDL! at 11:30 am on weekends to get a quick seat . . . or make trips to Charles Town. 
Hope everyone had a good year.  Onward and upward!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Trip Report

I've seen a lot of depressing things in casinos over the years.  But this scene took the proverbial cake:

American Idol has no doubt produced some stars over the years.  There's Kelly Clarkson (all 240 pounds of her) -- unquestionably a star.  Carrie Underwood - also a success.  There's that Daugherty dude.  He too seems to have turned his idol performance into a successful career.  I'm sure there are others I'm missing. 
Then there was the spectacle I witnessed Friday night . . . 
The scene -- The showboat . . . the House of Blues black jack pit.  There he was.  Former American Idol winner David Cook . . . performing what was, in essence, background noise.... nuisance for black jack and roulette players . . . I mean, he won the whole damn show -- and this is what he gets?  Free shows before 20 drunk chicks in a black jack pit?   The whole thing just depressed me.  It was the low point of what was otherwise a fantastic week  . . .
I got my vacation started early.  Friday afternoon, December 21st.  Three o'clock came and I hit the road.  The Borgata was calling, and I was listening . . .
I arrived around 8:00, whipped out my black label card, and was checked in to a room on the 28th floor within minutes.  First stop - B Bar for a few adult beverages and some sweet, sweet video poker.  Within half an hour, I hit my first big hand:
This was my third time hitting deuces this year after striking out on the hand for nearly three years.  I guess I'm just on a heater . . .
Over the 6 days I spent in AC, I monkey mashed a lot of buttons.  Like, a lot.  Some of the highlights included flopped quads on a ten-handed bonus poker game:
Quad aces for $200 at Bally's:
And this sweet five-of-a-kind on a double joker poker machine:
I spent four days at Borgata, mainly just donking machines, watching football and enjoying adult beverage and fine dinning.  I had dinner at Bobby Flay's once, and Izakaya twice during my stay.  I racked up nearly $200 comp dollars and, at 2:00 am Monday night (or, Tuesday morning, depending on your perspective), I was dead even.  A total success in my book.
Yet, at 2:00 am, I still wasn't tired.  Nor was I concerned that I had to get up relatively early in the morning to drive up to Strong Island for Christmas Eve with my family.  Maybe it was the Miller Lite(s) talking; but it felt like time to make a black jack run.  I sat down at a $25 table at Borgata, and bought in for $200.  Ten hands later, I had no more chips.  But, of course, a shoe can't run terribly for long.  It had to turn.  So, I bought in for another $200.  Ten minutes later, that too was gone.  While I had made it four days without losing a dollar, my late-night-last-ditch attempt to find a heater put me into the red for the first half of the trip.  It was time to call the clock on my trip to Borgata . . .
I spent Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Thursday with my family.  A respite from the degeneracy.  Friday morning, however, it was time to head back to the Jersey shore.  I left Smithtown, NY at 6:30 am.  By 9:30, I was rolling through the empty streets of Absecon on the outskirts of AC.  I was meeting up with my oldest friend, Zeen, for some weekend debauchery; but he wasn't getting into town until later in the evening.  And it was too early to check in to Showboat where we were comped for the weekend.  So I decided to make a pit stop at Harrah's for some 100-hand VP mashing.  Two hours later, my finger aching and my heart ready to explode from 3 cups of coffee, I was dead even and ready to leave.
I cashed out and drove over to Showboat where I was able to check in early.  The dude at the front desk recognized my diamond status and offered an upgrade to the premium tower.  I wondered if he had ever stepped foot in any of the rooms at the Boat.  There is nothing "premium" about anything there.   I told him I couldn't care less where he put me, and he promptly sent me on my way to one of the finest shit-boxes Caesars Corp. has to offer.  I opened the door and immediately regretted not having paid some year-end bonus cash to stay at Borgata again.  I mean, why am I working in the first place if not to be able to spend weekends at the Borgata?
Fully disgusted with my error in judgment, I immediately hit the boardwalk and walked the mile south to Toga Bar at Caesars to watch football and monkey mash some more.  Even . . . again.
Zeen showed up around 8:00 and I was already buzzing good.  A solid 5 hours of beer will do that to you . . . even Miller Lite . . .  We caught up and grabbed some adult beverage at the bar at Showboat.  It was then that the David Cook debacle went down.  My favorite moment:
David Cook:   [general pandering to the "crowd"]
Zeen:      [standing in the back . . . mockingly raises his beer and shouts something derogatory towards the former "Idol" . . . I forget his exact words . . . something about the shittyness of the music . . . or maybe the shittyness of David Cook's haircut . . .]
David Cook: [acknowledging Zeen and saying . . . "I can't hear exactly what that guy in the back is saying; but I see him lifting his beer up . . . Cheers, man!!!! I hope you are all also having a good time!!!"] 
Pete Peters[feeling pity . . .  wondering if David Cook ever saw his life ending up like this following an American Idol win . . . playing for free . . . being openly mocked and not even knowing it . . .]
After what Zeen and I both witnessed, there was only one thing left to do -- Patron shots.  20 minutes later, the natural post-Patron-shots-progression reached its zenith, and Zeen and I ended up a Johnny Rockets eating 2000 calories of fatty goodness:  
After burgers, we went back to the bar for one last mistake . . . Another round of Patron shots.  Zeen complained the shots weren't as big as the opening rounds . . . I suspect the bartender was trying to protect us from our own devices.  Within half an hour, we were donzo for the evening . . .
Saturday morning, I awoke at the crack of 11:00.  I decided to man-up and hit the boardwalk for a 5 mile run.  While the exertion helped a bit, I could tell it was going to be a sluggish day.  Zeen hit the racebook to bet some ponies;  I decided to finally play some poker.  I sat down at a "Super $1/2" table at the Boat and bought in for an un-super-sized $200.   I got aggressive from the start.  First orbit, after 5 limpers, I popped AQ to $16 from the big blind, and everyone folded.  10 minutes later, I looked down at AA from the button and again raised a bunch of limpers to $15.  Again, no callers.  OK.  Twenty minutes later I looked down at KK from the button.  After several limpers and an $8 raise, I re-pop to $25.  The big blind, who is sitting on about $150, tanks, and Re-Raises to $60.  It folds around and I snap-shove.  He calls and tables AQ.  Cowboys hold (eat it, Rob!!!).
About half hour later, I decide to limp in late position with A(d) T(h).  I flop middle pair on a Q(d) T(c) 3(d) board.  Early position agro bets out $15.  I call.  Turn is the T of diamonds giving me trips and the nut-flush redraw.  This time, agro splashes out $50, over-betting the pot.  I'm not going anywhere . . .  The river is the 2 of diamonds.   Agro checks to me and I bet $85.  He calls.  I table the flush and he starts bitching about how I called him down on the flop and turn with the Ace of Diamonds.  Perhaps in his disgust, he failed to see my Ten.  In any event . . . good game, sir.
I ended up getting KK again heads up against my agro friend.  He limped, and I raised to $12 and he called.  We saw a T44 flop.  He checked, I bet, and he called.  The turn blanked and we checked down.  River also blanked and I bet about pot ($50 or so).  He called.  Kings held again (suck it, Rob!!!).
In the end, I played less than two hours and walked with a healthy $330 profit:
Post poker, we headed over to the Irish Pub off the boardwalk for beverage.  That was followed by more beverage.  And finally, dinner over at Harrah's and additional beverage.  Zeen decided to call it a night.  I decided to take one more crack at black jack.  And drink a few more beverages.  After buying in for $200 and building my stack up to $500, I let it slip down to $300, and decided to cash out a moral victor . . . 
2:00 am Saturday . . . after 6 days in AC, I was done . . . 
Finally tally: ($300).   Not a bad result!
- Pete

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays

'Tis the season or some shit.  It's Friday morning and I'm trying to clear my calendar to take next week off.  The plan is to surround a few days of family fun and holiday cheer with some wholesome degenerate wagering.  In this regard, I'll be taking off this evening for 4 nights at The Borgata.  Tomorrow, beginning at noon, is 5X Slot Dollars.  Yes folks, that's right.  For every slot dolla earned between noon and 8:00 pm, you get $5.  Degenerate Christmas is coming early.  I plan on being rested and ready to monkey-mash (TM) dem buttons beginning at 11:59 am.  I will take sporadic breaks to sip refreshing Miller Lite, rest my fingers, and watch some college bowl games.  In short, I have a delightful day planned.
Sunday is still up in the air.  If I wake up with self-loathing, I may make the 2-hour drive up the Garden State Parkway and catch the Jets game.  If I don't feel like punishing myself, Sunday will be spent in the poker room and/or watching NFL from B-Bar.  Monday will be much the same.
I'll be home visiting my parents and family Tuesday through Thursday.  Then, assuming all is quiet in the office, the plan is to stop back at AC on the way home for a weekend at Harrah's. 
A truly degenerate Christmas!
Happy Holidays to the usual crowd and to any random readers.  Hope everyone has a safe and festive week.
-Pete P. Peters       

Monday, December 9, 2013

Skins Weekend

This weekend was my friend's 40th.  Yes, another one bites the dust . . . We spent Friday night at Ruth's Chris for some filets and good wine.  I got home late, and had to be up early for "the tile guys," who were making their second attempt at installing my kitchen tile.  They showed up and, despite everything that everyone else had told me, claimed they did not need to lay a subfloor because there was already a concrete subfloor in place.  So, they simply laid the tile and left . . .
That evening, my friend "Jimmy" came down from Jersey.  This weekend, instead of me driving up for the Jets game, he got the privilege of spending 8 hours on the road for the Chiefs / Skins game at Fed Ex Field.   We walked the 2.5 miles to my friend "Mr. Kim's" apartment for his birthday/holiday bash [Mr. Kim is not his name.  However, given his Korean heritage, I decided on a totally racist alias . . .].  Jimmy and I made it halfway to Mr. Kim's before making a pit stop for a few cold beers . . . and a few tacos . . . and some tequila.  It was cold.  The journey was treacherous.  It had to be done.  By the time we finished the journey, we were both feeling OK.  And, as I walked in the door, I saw Professor Kim -- Mr. Kim's mom.  I had not seen Professor Kim in several years.  We spoke for a while, and she told me about her current research on cancer and genetics and some lectures she was preparing.  I grinned like a dolt as the tequila and warm apartment air took their collaborative effect on my senses.  She then walked away, presumably wondering why her son was friends with a blustering idiot.  I do my best.  It's all I can do. 
After the party, Jimmy and I grabbed a few road colas and made the walk back to my place.  It was cold.  And windy.  And the walk sort of sucked.  But it beats ending up in jail on a DWI . . . Plus, the exercise is healthy.  At least that's what I tell myself.  We got back to my place at 1:00 am or so.
I was up at 7:30 Sunday morning, packing the car for the Chiefs / Skins game.  We made it to Fed Ex Field by 10:00.  The weather was delightful.  31 degrees and snowing.  Fortunately, Jimmy had brought the "Jets Tent" with him.  So, we set it up and just dealt with the barrage of "flattering"  comments from the locals (it's not like Skins fans can really say much about the Jets . . .).


We entered the stadium late in the 1st quarter with the score already 17-0.  Well done, Redskins. 
After enjoying the view for a few moments, Jimmy and I retreated to the Monte Cristo Lounge for a fine cigar, and ended up watching the rest of the game from there.  Nothing beats live football!
This morning, I awoke at 7:30 to a ringing phone.  My contractor.  Again.  He wanted to know if the flooring was done so he could proceed with the cabinets.  I gave him the thumbs up.  Then I went downstairs and walked on the tile.  It creaks.  Yes, the tile floor creaks.  The floor has always creaked in that spot; but I somehow assumed that once tiled, it would not creak.  I call back said contractor.  He says to call the tile guys and have them come out to look at it.  I call the tile guys and explain.  They show not the least bit of concern.  "Perfectly normal."  Um.  OK.       
So, the cabinet installation is ongoing as I write.  Hopefully, the flooring is actually OK and doesn't crack.  The only thing better than going through this process would be doing it twice . . .  I really should have just sold this condo and started fresh!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sometimes It's Personal

Tuesday night.  1:45 am.  Poker room at The Borgata.  I'm sitting on $300 or so.  Villain (young, Asian, LAG) has about $250 behind.  We've been playing together for about 2 hours.  We have one prior hand: I raised $10 with AQ, and he called.  Flop blank, I C-bet, he raises me to $35.  I fold.

The hand in question:  he limps early and another player comes along.  I look down at 22 and decide to play it like it's an actual pair.  I raise to $12.  LAGAttack comes along.  Flop is K37.  He checks.  I bet $18.  He raises to $40.  My read is he has nothing.  I think our previous hand lead to his action.  I call.

Turn blanks.  He checks.  I bet $65.  He tanks, and calls.  Interesting.

River is of no consequence.  He checks again.  I check back, in part because I think my ducks may actually be good.  LagAttack flips a 3 for flopped bottom pair.  Ouch.  He then comments that he was hoping I'd shove.  Not sure I believe him; but if true, his read was just a little bit better than mine.  Not sure what vibe I was giving off.  Perhaps it was the tears as he put his chips in on the flop and 4th street .... Or the barely audible mumbling ... "Don't call...Don't call...Don't call..."

From there on out, it was personal.  And that cost me another $50 or so when I called his raise with K8, flopped top pair, and called $15 on the flop, and $30 on the turn before folding to his river bet of $70.  Sadly, in retrospect, I may have actually been good in that spot.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Around the Horn (1 through 10)

Played a 5 hour session Saturday at Maryland Live! starting at 10:30 am.  The game nearly put me to sleep the first hour or so.  After a while, the table became a bit more lively.  But the game remained well within my grasp.  It was one of the few times I felt I had an edge over nearly every spot at the table.  And that, folks, don't happen often.
Seat One: There was one agro Asian kid in the 1 seat.  Standard Beats and sunglasses.  I admired his creative chip--stacking abilities.  He was very Tag.  Always opening to raises, and re-raising often.  I don't think I saw him lose a hand.  Early on in the session, I made up my mind to simply avoid the kid.  No reason to play against him given the remainder of the table. 
Seat Two: There was a somewhat passive kid in the two seat, who I've played with before.  Not a threat.  I remembered him because he loved to bet/fold the river.  I saw him do it last time we played together.  He'd lead the flop, turn and river . . . get raised on the river . . . tank, and fold.  He did it twice Saturday too.  There's something to be said for getting value out of your medium strength hands.  But, maybe he should think about check-calling the river on occasion.  It was hard to watch.  He burned through two $200 buy-ins in a few hours and was whittling away his third when I left.
Seat Three: The three seat was an old lady with a "Bally's AC" T-shirt on.  Apparently, she loves to gamble.  She loves Atlantic City . . . and she don't care who knows it.  A real shark at the table too.  I mean, when she raised pre flop I had no clue what her range was.  Was she raising suited one-gapers?  Pocket pairs?  Just trying to steal?  Working on her table image?  I'm use to looking over at this type of player at the $3/6 limit game; but to see one up close and personal at a no limit table was never before experienced by this fish.  Her meta-game rose to a level typically unseen at a $1/2 game.  Much like the Asian in the one seat, I avoided the old lady . . . unless, of course, I felt like playing whatever hand I had in front of me at the moment . . .  
The Four Seat: The four seat was a balding guy in his fifties, sitting on about $80 and apparently trying to make it last all day, lest he be forced to go home and spend time with his wife.  Indeed, this was my strongest read of the day.  There was no fucken way this guy was going home until his spouse-appointed curfew reached expiration; and he sure as fuck wasn't risking her money . . .  Hell, I saw this guy check the river in position with a straight.  He also checked the river with a set of 8's on a dry board.  He barely played more than 10 hands over the five hours I was at the table.  He limp-called a few of my preflop raises, and promptly folded when I c-bet my Ace-high.   I liked playing with him. 
The Five & Six Seats.  The five and six seats were a middle age Russian couple.  I've played with the guy before (although I couldn't for the life of me remember where).  He's competent, but must have been card dead because he too was short stacked and nearly silent except for a brief rush about 4 hours into the session.  His wife was wonderful. She raised QQ or better and bet and bet and bet post flop.  She limped AJ or better and check / folded post flop.  She also limp /folded small pocket pairs.  The phrase "playing the hand face up" came to mind . . . just a little bit.  I played against her twice, and she got the better of me both times.  The first hand, she limped, and I opened to $10 from the button with QJ spades (yes, I was bored).  The flop was 9K2 rainbow.  I bet the flop, and she called.  The turn blanked.  She checked.  Um.  Yeah.  Ma'am, might you have a King?  I check back.  The river is an Ace.  She leads out.  AK, perhaps?  I muck.  She flashes her big slick.  I act like I'm surprised: "Very nice hand, ma'am . . ."  The second time we went head to head, she raised two limpers to $15 and I looked down at 77.  She was sitting on less than $100.  She clearly has QQ+.  I end up calling, hoping the two limpers and perhaps one of the blinds will come along and I'll hit my first set in a month.  As I was hoping, we did get two more callers.  But, of course, my 7 did not fall.  She bet the flop, I folded.  However, some other jackass called two more streets and paid off her QQ.  Just amazing. 
The Seven Seat:  The seven seat was perpetually empty.  Some reg sat down there briefly, but, apparently, had just wondered in and sat down instead of signing up on the relatively long list for $1/2.  He got busted by the floor about 15 minutes in, and got "removed" from the room for the day (yes, they're not fucking around any more with line violators at Live!).  Later, a 30+ black dude sits down, puts his shit down on the table in front of the cup holder, and disappears for 20 minutes.  He comes back, buys the button, plays two hands, and gets back up for thirty minutes.  This prompts the eight seat to joke that he is playing two tables at once. . . . Poker humor.  Delicious.  The dealer asks if he is serious and looks like he is about to call the floor.  Apparently, keeping track of the rack and the bad beat drop is more than said dealer can handle . . . 
The Eight Seat.   As for the eight seat . . . he was a friendly guy, prolly about my age . . . Virginia accent.  Fairly bad player.  Limped a lot, played a lot of hands, paid off a lot of draws, and showed down second best a bunch of times (likely because he was calling small raises with hands like KT, A7, et cetera).  Around noon, he and the ten seat started pounded T n T's.  Surprisingly, this improved neither of their play.  Mr. Eight seat got into a hand with Mrs. Moscow at one point.  She opened preflop to $12 and he called.  The flop came down Q high.  She fired and he called.  He starts talking to her a lot about how he's scared of her and how he thinks he's crushed and on and on.  The turn blanks, she fires, and he calls.  And talks some more.  I'm thinking he's about to stack her with his set.  Then he flashes me his AQ and grins like a buffoon.  Silently, in my head: "dude, you ignorant fool.  Stop drinking the Tanq and Tonic's and start paying attention.  You are crushed . . ."  River blanks, she fires, he calls.  She flips her cowboys, he mucks and says, trying to laugh the hand off, "next time, just tell me you have kings . . ."  I can't resist -- this time, out loud:  "dude, she pretty much did . . ."  Mr. Virginia either doesn't understand my comment or just ignores me in disgust.  It always amuses me when someone can play their cards so straight forward, and, yet, still get paid off on their monsters by some jackass paying no attention to their play.  It makes me think that, perhaps, I over-complicate the $1/2 game sometimes...
The Nine Seat.  Smart.  Handsome.  Sophisticated.  Good sense of humor.  A subtle reach towards his chip stack was enough to induce fold after fold.  He didn't so much "soul read" as much as he harnessed some sort of telekinetic energy which caused others at the table to bet, fold or act otherwise based on his whims.           
The Ten Seat.  The ten seat was a nice enough guy . . . Married.  Thirties.  Pretty average at poker.   He didn't spill his chips away; but he also wasn't threatening in the least.  Several times, he got involved in a hand with a pre flop call of a raise.  Post flop, he'd give one of the following two speeches before making a call:  (1)  "OK, I'll do you a favor and make the call . . ." or (2) "OK, I'll donate a bit."  Each time, he was top pair or better.  About three hours in, I raised KJ from the cutoff and he called from the Button.  The flop came out KTJ.  I lead the flop, and he retorts with "OK, I'll do you a favor . . ." as his chips splash the pot.  I tell him, "thanks, but I've seen the kind of favors you do . . ." as I lead out again on the 7 turn card.  He again calls.  Perhaps he's more of a genius than I give him credit for, because his speech induces me to check the river to him.  He checks back and flips KT.  He jokingly complains that I'm taking all his chips.  I offer to flag down the waitress for him, suggesting that, perhaps, another gin and tonic will improve his game.  He agrees; and I'm pleasantly surprised to be sitting at a table that's turned somewhat fun at the early hour of 2:00 pm.
I was grossly card dead most of the afternoon and unable to take much advantage of the situation.  I was also forced to watch the Duke - Wake Forest game on the poker room TV's.  Biggest bad beat of the day.  In the end, I was able to scoop a few pots, and steal some hands that no one else seemed to want.  I walked away with a $145 profit on the session.

Next up -- Wednesday evening, Borgata . . . quick pit stop on the way up to Strong Island for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My New Identity

A while back I wrote about my experience living life as Pete P. Peters (Hi. My Name is Pete).  In case you don't recall, or don't have time to read the old post, here's the long and short of it:  I started using the name "Pete" at Starbucks.  After a while, the folks there got to know me.  They think my name is Pete.  Now, when I'm at Starbucks, I respond to "Pete."
There is a bagel shop in the ground floor of the office building where I work.  They have a "Bottomless Mug Club."  For $179 a year, you get all the coffee you can drink.  I've been a member for the past several years.  I stop at Starbucks when I leave my house in the morning.  Then, when I arrive at work, I get another cup at the bagel shop.  By 10:00 am, I'm shaking and my heart feels like it's going to explode.  I'm not addicted. 
The bagel shop recently got a new general manager.  After a week or so, he got to know my face, and remembered that I'm "Bottomless," i.e., no charge for my coffee.  Fast forward to yesterday morning.  I walk in and he looks at me, and, I think I hear him say, "Hi Adam."  He says it somewhat hesitantly . . . like he isn't quite certain that is my name (It's not).  Now, I've never given him my name.  Neither my actual name, nor Pete P. Peters.  And, I sure as hell never told him my name was Adam.  He hands me my coffee and, this time, clearly says, "have a nice day Adam."  Good times.  It's too early in the morning to address this issue.  I mean, I've only had 20 ounces of coffee at this point; not the forty ounces necessary for me to be ready to stop surfing the Internet and actually start working.  I let it slide.  I mean, maybe he'll forget my not-name by tomorrow, right?
Fast forward to this morning.  I'm still "Adam."  And, my failure to correct him yesterday has likely alleviated whatever doubt he may or may not have had about my identify, and reinforced in his mind that my name is, in fact, Adam.  So, apparently, unless he gets transferred, or until I get fired, I guess I'll also be responding to "Adam" from this point forward.
Frankly, it's all starting to become hard to keep track of.
- P3 a/k/a Adam  

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Non-Glorious Return to Tournament Poker

2012 was the year I swung from Cash to Tournament poker.  Between Delaware Park and the Golden Nugget in AC, there were plenty of reasonably priced tournaments with great structures.  And I found some success in the tournament game, cashing a handful over the course of the year, including several 4-figure chops.   
I began 2013 still focused on tournaments; however, I was mainly playing the Saturday tournaments at Showboat - $65 buy-ins, 20 minute levels and no antes.  And, the pay structures were awful.  A min cash was barely better than the buy-in, and you basically needed to make it to the chop to make it worth while.  I lost focus, and began playing these as a cheap way to spend 3 or 4 hours playing cards and drinking beer.  Aside from one $800 chop (on a day where I was supremely focused . . . and sober), I didn't cash a single tournament.  I didn't really even come close.  Suddenly, I was having a hard time motivating for tournaments.  The pendulum swung back to the cash game.  In fact, I hadn't played a tournament in nearly 6 months . . . until this weekend.
I was prepared to play cash Saturday at Maryland Live!  However, Friday, while in the office and avoiding actual work, I was skimming the 2+2 boards and saw that Delaware Park was holding a noon deep stack.  $150 buy-in, $30,000 chips, 25-minute levels.  I rediscovered my motivation to play, and took the drive up to Delaware Saturday morning.
It started out bad and only got worse.  My very first hand dealt was AK.  I raised the $25/$50 blinds to $125 (small ball, baby!) and got a grand total of no callers.  A few orbits later I looked down at AA and raised to $150 from early position.  This time, the big blind came along, but promptly folded to my flop bet.  Sometimes failing to get paid on your big hands seems only slightly worse than getting crushed on your big hands.  Heaters don't last forever...
I took my first big hit in the second level. Blinds were $50/$100.  UTG+1 opened to $300 and I re-raised to $1000 with JJ.  The button called, and the original raiser bowed out.  We go heads up to a 9-high monotone flop (spades).  I lead for $1,600.  He calls.  Turn bricks.  I again bet out for $2,600.  He repops to $8,000.  He's a very competent regular who was being hit over the head with the deck.  Yet, it's hard to give him QQ+ since he didn't four-bet.  Still, in the end, I feel like it's too early, and the structure is too good, to take a stand with JJ.  I fold.  Villain later claims he flopped the spades . . .
I made some of the loss back a few hands later when I turned the nut flush.  We were three-handed, in a limped pot.  UTG lead out the flop for about 1/3 and I called and hit the heart I was looking for.  He checked the turn, and I bet it.  After losing the cut-off, UTG called both turn and river bets.  A nice sized pot.
And then . . . nothing.  Like, literally nothing.  I didn't win a hand between the first and second breaks.  In fact, I only played a handful of hands during this hour-and-a-half.  I limped into a few pots with hands like 9T, QT, 76 and whiffed each flop.  Then I got 99 and raised two limpers 4x.  The flop was KJ3 and I continued with a decent sized bet only to get re-raised.  Fun times.
I entered the second break with $15,000 (half my starting stack).  Shortly thereafter, sitting on $13,000 or so and with blinds at $75/$400/$800, I looked down at AT clubs in middle position and open to $2,400.  I get one caller.  The flop is A56(two hearts).  I bet out $3,200 into approximately $6,600.  Dude thinks about it and shoves.   I'm almost positive I'm beat by a better ace.  This guy had been betting aggressively when he "had it," which he nearly always did.  If I was deeper; or if I gave more of a shit; or if the Georgia-Auburn game hadn't already started . . . I would have folded... But I only had 10 big blinds left and was sitting at a table of deep stacks . . . and had been card dead for almost two hours . . . and I really wanted to get back down to Maryland Live! to donk some sweet, sweet VP and watch football.  So I called and got up to leave (all in one motion) and was not at all surprised to see villain's AK hit the felt. 
At least I think I got my desire to play tournaments out of my system for a while.  Back to cash next Saturday. 
P.S.  Is Baylor the best team in the Nation?  And how much of a monster was Carlos Hyde on Saturday?  And how much must Aaron Murray want to step into traffic after watching that last pass get tipped from two defenders into the Auburn receivers hands in full stride and heading for the end zone?  And why is Alabama soooooo fucken boring to watch?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Power of Position

I spent this weekend playing poker.  Seriously.  I did.  I played a 5 hour session Saturday at Charles Town.  It was entirely uneventful.  There was barely a decision to be made all afternoon.  I left up $220.

Today was different.  I played 4 hours at Maryland Live and nothing came easy.  Today was a story about the power of position in poker.  Or, perhaps unbeknownst to me, the story was about how I just suck at poker.  Either way, I found myself in a handful of tough spots.

I got off to a good start with AQ. After a $5 straddle and two callers, I jacked AQ hearts to $35.  I got 3 callers.  Clearly, the old Charles Town crowd has taken their game to MDL!  The 4 of us see an Ace, 5 8 rainbow flop in an already bloated pot.  Action checks around.  I hate this spot.  There's $140 in the middle.  I opt to bet out $90 - between 1/2 and 3/4 pot.  It folds around and I scoop.  I felt like this was a potentially horrendous spot, due in part to my preflop raise.  Frankly, if I had gotten a call on the flop, I'm not sure what I would have done.  I really don't want to be playing for stacks with top pair, queen kicker.  Fortunately, I never had to make the decision.

After getting up a decent amount early, I pissed it all away, mainly calling small preflop raises with small pocket pairs, none of which hit on the flop.  In fact, as discussed a bit more below, over the course of the afternoon, I played 14 small pocket pairs, and couldn't hit a single set.

After draining back down to even, I looked down at AK.  I raised two limpers to $12 and ultimately end up with 4 callers.  The flop comes down 7 high.  It checks to me, and I bet $30.  Next to act shoves for $120 and gets a call.  I fold, and 67 wins the hand (against a draw).  Um.  OK.

And now for the hand of the day.  This is one where position killed me: I'm sitting on about $300, and look down at AK in the small blind.  After several limpers, I raise to $12.  Two callers.  Flop is K56 (2 spades).  I lead out for $20 with TPTK.  Both call.  There's $96 in the pot going to the turn.  A red 4.  I bet $35, trying not to give up the lead, but also trying to somewhat control the pot size.  Both players again call.

There's $200 in the pot going to the river.  The 2 spades.  This spot makes me throw up.   By way of background, the guy in middle position has barely played a hand.  I'm frankly having a hard time putting him on a range.  What did he limp call preflop, and then call flop and turn bets, with?  Did he flop a set?  A spade draw with two broadway cards?  I have no clue. The girl in late position has barely NOT played a hand.  She could have anything.   I consider betting out again.  But, ultimately, I check and finally give up control.  The tight guy in middle position bets out $70.  Woman folds.  Action is on me, and I tank.  What the hell am I beating here?   While I was tempted to call $70 (getting nearly 4-1), I ultimately fold.  Face up.  Guy in middle position punches me in the neck when he flips AK off.  Wow!  I assume he turned his hand into a bluff when I gave up control.  But that was a bold call with the LAG chick playing behind him.  And I certainly did not put him on AK.  He limp calls preflop in middle position with that hand?  In any event, perhaps my biggest mistake in the hand was showing my big slick.  I've really been trying not to show ANY HANDS, but my ego got the best of my this time, and I couldn't resist showing a decent lay down.  Of course, my ego got slammed when I was outplayed in front of the entire table.  Anyone play this hand differently?

Shortly thereafter, position made itself known again.  This time, I'm sitting on about $165 and get KK under the gun+1.  I raise to $12 and get two callers, including an older gentlemen in middle position who is also sitting on about $150 and has been invisible all day.  The flop is Q73 rainbow.  I lead out for $25.  Old guy min-raises to $65.  Ugh.  Other caller folds and action is back on me, heads up.  I don't think he is raising with top pair.  My gut tells me he flopped a set or thinks I'm full of shit and is betting air.  It's hard to give him QQ since he didn't 3-bet from middle position.  77 or 33 are obviously possible.  Again, being out of position sucks.  And sitting on $150 or so also doesn't help.  If I call here, I have $100 left.  I feel like I'm basically playing for stacks.  I consider folding.  But folding just feels to weak.  I call.

Turn is another 7.  Actually a good card in my view, because it makes 77 less likely.  As I'm thinking about my move, I realize the mistake in my flop play.  I think the call was awful.  I should have just shoved.  As it were, i realize that if I check, HE is shoving.  I decide the only play is to shove first and at least put pressure on him and take back control of the hand.  I shove, and he tanks.  I know I'm good.  He ends up folding.  He had nothing, and thought I had nothing, and was trying to steal the hand on the flop.  I feel like I butchered the hand on the flop; but realized my mistake in time to recover...

All afternoon, the kid directly to my right was a pain in my ass.  He raised every third hand.  And he'd barrel the flop, turn and, often, the river, getting fold after fold after fold.  He built his stack up to $700 quickly.  And, all afternoon, I was getting small pocket pairs.  He'd raise to $12 or to $15, and I'd call, just waiting for that set to hit the flop.  I knew if I could just hit a set, I'd take him for a few hundred.  Unfortunately, I defied the odds, and never hit my set.  Instead, I walked away after 4 hours down $45.  I could have been worse.

Friday, November 8, 2013

P3's Friday Afternoon Rant:

After the contractor left this morning, at around 11:00 am, I left for work, and decided to stop off for coffee on the way.  There is a high school a block from the coffee shop.  I must have rolled in right as lunch period began, because there were roaming hoards of teenage punks hanging out in the parking lot, in the coffee shop, and in the pizza joint across the way.  A fucken nightmare.  Perhaps the only thing worse than young kids are teenagers.  
I waited in line for a simple medium coffee, whilst these entitled fucks ordered a variety of drinks which basically amounted to caffeinated milkshakes, and each took about 5 minutes to make.  Hell, when I was in high school, you went to school, and you fucken stayed there until it was time to leave, and then took the bus home.  You didn't leave mid day and hang out at a coffee shop, or a pizza place, or a parking lot.  Hell, when I was in high school, I didn't have money to buy lunch in the cafeteria, let alone spring for a $6 beverage at Starbucks (presumably on top of lunch). 
So, all the while, I'm waiting on line, trying not to want to kill myself, and being forced to endure their insipid conversations. The only thing soothing my rage was the thought that, somewhere, were the parents of these bitch-ass-punks and, at some point, they were going to have to spend their weekend dealing with them.  I, on the other hand, would be drinking a single malt, watching football and playing poker . . .
Absorbing some of the conversation by osmosis, I could hardly understand half the words.  I was also trying not to stare too long (like, creepy long) at the 16 year olds in yoga pants.  I mean, when I was in high school, girls did not dress like this.  It would take 4 or 5 beers and a bit of good fortune on a Friday night to see what I saw today at 11:00 am in a coffee shop.  And, while perhaps I'm off base here, I'd assume if you are dressing like this for school, there must be some explicit cell-phone selfies lurking somewhere.  If I was these girls' father, I'd just fucken shoot myself now.  To all my friends with young daughters who will soon be of this age group, good-fucken-luck, sirs.  As for the guys . . . what a bunch of jokers.  I mean, if these kids are "cool," then I no longer know what "cool" is.
I eventually got my coffee, and decided to show these punks what "cool" is, hopping into my G37, rolling back the moonroof and the windows, and exiting the parking lot with haste, radio pumping at a 10 and some sweet, sweet Steve Winwood blasting from the Bose speakers.  Bring me some Higher Love, yo!  
-P3 out   

Monday, November 4, 2013

Don't F*ck with Vegas!

Vegas don't give free money away.  If something looks too easy, it prolly is.
Going into this weekend, I fully expected the Jets to get spanked . . . again.  Brees in East Rutherford isn't Brees in the dome.  Still, I was anticipating a solid 16 point Saints win.  Then I took a look at the line:  Saints -6.  Interesting.  Vegas was begging for Saints money.  I figured this would be closer than expected.  I did not, however, anticipate this:

It was a frosty Sunday in the swamp in Jersey.  One of those mornings where no one even wants to stick their hand into the icy cooler to pluck a cold breakfast beer.  Yet, Chris Ivory and company made it worth while.
At 5-4, the Jets remain in the AFC Wildcard hunt and have a somewhat favorable schedule the rest of the way.  I came in to this season expecting 3 wins.  Now, for the first time, my hopes are up.  Seems like the perfect spot for the Jets to once again be the Jets and crush my new-found spirit. 
After dealing with some renovation related deliveries Saturday morning, I hit the road for Atlantic City.  I arrived around 4:00 and, after checking in to Showboat, cabbed over to Caesars to hit up Toga bar for the Florida-Georgia game and grind some sweet, sweet video poker.  I had hardly racked up 20 tier credits and when I hit this:

I had gone three years without hitting deuces.  I've now hit it twice the past six months.  I think that qualifies as a heater!

I cashed out my profits and went over to Harry's Oyster Bar to focus on some college football.  An hour or so later, I went back to Caesars to grind a few more hands.   Within 5 minutes, I hit this:

I cashed out and grabbed dinner at Mortons.  Afterwards, I played a single shoe of black jack back at Showboat and cashed out up $280.  A solid finish to a profitable day.
Sunday morning began with an early wake up and a two hour drive up the Garden State Parkway to Met Life Stadium.  After the game, I went directly back to AC and checked in to a comped room at Borgata to grind a few more hours of sweet, sweet VP.  Borgata is one of the last places in AC that has 100 hand machines.  I took a seat and, after thirty minutes of play, got dealt the hand I was waiting for:
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the evening at Borgata, as I ended up giving a bit of Saturday's profits back.  In the end, I was, however, able to book a winning weekend. 
Because of time limitations, I wasn't able to play any poker.  Good thing its only 4 days until the next weekend.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goals & Traditions

As sadistic as it may sound, I enjoy running.  Especially during the afternoon when I use it as an excuse to get out of the office for an hour and get some fresh air.  Unfortunately, my history with jogging is checkered.  I've suffered knee injuries and other issues in the past.  And, the older I get, the slower these ailments heal.  In light of this, when I began running this year, I vowed to take it easy.  Nevertheless, I also set a goal -- to run 225 miles for the year.  Why 225 miles?  Because of this:

225 miles is the exact distance from my hometown (Bethesda, MD) to New York City.  Although jogging 3 or 4 miles every other day (in addition, of course, to lifting and other less strenuous cardio in the gym) doesn't seem like much, I found this to be a motivating visual.
It took nearly ten months, but the goal was reached this week. 

And, while I'm still typically running relatively short distances, my times have vastly improved since January when I was regularly huffing though 9:45 to 10:00 minute miles.  Most of the time, I'm now hitting 25's or even 24's for three miles:
My new goal is to clock a 5k in under 24 minutes.  I need to shave about 30 seconds off my best.  Something to shoot for.   
In other news, today is Halloween.  I seem to vaguely recall Halloween being a fun holiday growing up.  I recall shaving cream becoming contraband the weeks leading up to Halloween, with stores refusing to sell it to minors, and our efforts to acquire the same.  I seem to recall melting the tip down around a needle, turning the can into a foam-firing weapon, which we'd use to terrorize other kids.  Sometimes, eggs were also involved.  When we eventually got bored, or ran out of ammunition, we'd trick or treat.  In short, Halloween was an excuse to be a dick and collect free candy. 
Nowadays, my perspective is a bit different.   For the past ten years or so, I've maintained the same Halloween tradition: I work as late as possible.  Then, I head home, unscrew the light above my porch, and retreat inside my abode.  Once inside, I sit with the lights out and pretend I'm not home.  It's not festive; but it beats dealing with a bunch of punk kids in shitty costumes looking for handouts.
And, on that note, Happy Halloween.    

Friday, October 25, 2013

Incompetence and Frustration

As much as this blog may lead people to believe my life revolves around degeneracy and having a good time, that's not an entirely accurate portrait of Pete P. Peters III (yes, I just added the III.  If RG can do it, why can't I?).  I mean, I've been a lawyer for 15 years.  I clerked for two years; I then spent over a decade at one of the biggest firms in the world; and that transitioned into my current job.  Hell, even before law school, growing up on Strong Island, I worked pushing carts and stocking the dairy aisle at the local supermarket for 6 years during high school and throughout college.  I fucken hated that job; yet, I did it.  I've never been canned/laid-off from anything.  The fact of the matter is that, while I've certainly had a lot of fun over the years, when it's time to work, P3 III gets the job done. 
As a result, I sort of expect competence from others . . . And this leads to the source of my current frustration . . .
. . . As I mentioned previously, I'm in the process of renovating my condo.  The kitchen is first up on the list.  I've been dealing with this project for about 3 months now, from the design stage to where I am now -- awaiting delivery of appliances/cabinets, et cetera on Wednesday, with demolition to follow.  To get to this point, I had an initial design meeting.  I then had the contractor measure the kitchen.  I had two more design meetings to set up the layout.  I had another meeting to pick out appliances.  I had a flooring contractor come in to take measurements and provide an estimate on tile-work.  I then had another design meeting to pick out counters, colors, finishes, countertops, etc.  When it was all finished, I had yet another meeting with the contractor, who came by again to re-measure to ensure that the cabinets, counters, appliances, et cetera, would all fit the design scheme. 
This was followed by nearly a month of tying to schedule and coordinate deliveries . . . with demolition . . . with installation of the flooring . . . with installation of the kitchen. 
Finally, as mentioned above, everything is scheduled.  The cabinets/appliances have all come in from the manufacturer and are awaiting delivery, which is set for Wednesday.  The finish line is in site.
Last night, while watching Thursday Night Football, the thought occured to me -  I hope all this shit will fit through my front door.  My main concern was the center cabinet -- a rather large cabinet.  A silly thought.  Of course it will fit.  The contractor has been over to measure twice.  Surely he would have thought about this.
I get to work this morning, and this thought is still gnawing at me.  I call my design consultant, who's employed by a company I won't name (hint:  it rhymes with gnome repo).  I voice my concern.  She tells me the cabinet in question is 33x36 and says she'll contact the contractor just to verify all is OK.  Shortly thereafter, the contractor calls.  He says, "most front doors are 36 inches.  That's standard..."  That's great, but I'm pretty sure my door is NOT 36 inches.  I drive home during lunch and measure.  The doorway in question is 32.5 inches wide.  Good times.
Apparently, this potential issue simply escaped my hired professional contractor.  Indeed, rather than measure the opening to my place to make sure all the appliances/cabinets would fit without problem, the contractor assumed my door was a "standard" 36 inches.  Now, as a result, I'm looking at scheduled delivery Wednesday of cabinets that I can't even fit through my front door.  Better yet, I'm not sure what this means with respect to the design of the kitchen in general, and the remaining cabinets which have already been manufactured based on the design specs and are awaiting delivery.  I'm a lawyer, not a contractor.  But I assume that if one piece of the puzzle gets taken out of the game, it impacts all the remaining pieces to the puzzle.  In other words, I'm not sure the solution to this problem is as simple as just replacing the one corner cabinet.
I emailed both the designer and contractor to let them know that the current cabinets are not going to fit through the door.  Now, I await a solution from their end.  I mean, there is a reason I choose not to tackle this project on my own. 
I should have just sold my place as-is and bought something new . . .  Fucken incompetence. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Same Shit, Different Weekend

The title says it all.  It's a rough life; but someone has to live it.
I left work Friday afternoon at 1:30.  I waited for a minor diversion, and then bolted for the elevator to make a quick escape.  I was in AC by 6:00.  My buddy Jimmy C. was coming to town Saturday afternoon to watch the college games and enjoy adult beverage, so I figured I'd monkey mash as much as possible Friday night.  I immediately hit the 100-Hand Bonus Poker and ended up $280 after an hour or so.  Several flopped flushes and two flopped AAA within 10 minutes paved the way to a profitable session.  
Around 10:00 I hit the poker room.  First hand, barely in my seat, I look down at AQ UTG+1 and raise to $12.   I get 5 callers.  Of course.  The flop is KT4 (two diamonds).  I decide to check and see if I can get a free card.  Besides, with $75 in the pot, a C-Bet would have to be in the range of $50, and someone must have caught enough of that flop to call a bet.  Seemed like a bad spot for a semi-bluff.  So, I check and it checks around.  The turn is a J hearts (putting two hearts on the board as well).  Clean living.  I lead out for $65 and get two callers.  Praying for anything black.  River totally blanks.  I lead out for $150 (a little more than half the pot).  After a quick fold, the button tanks, but ultimately folds.  Up a quick $120 or so after a hand.  Nice start.
Ten minutes later, I flop another Broadway draw, this time with KQ.  This time, I'm in position, and continue my preflop raise with a healthy C-bet.  Both players call.  Fuck. Me.  However, the T on the turn completes my nut straight.  I barrel ahead, and after a fold, shortstack shoves for $35 or so on top, which I snap off and scoop another nice pot.  Up.  Nearly $300 in 15 minutes.  And then . . .
. . . the wheels fall off.  This time, my train wreck comes in the form of three flopped sets, each of which gets cracked by the biggest donkey at the table.
SET #1:  I'm sitting on just under $300 with TT.  I raise to $12 and old man numb-nutz calls.  He's sitting on about $80.  Flop is xTx (all hearts).  I bet $15.  He flats.  Turn blanks.  I bet $45, he shoves, I snap.  River blanks.  He shows the flopped flush.  Good game.
SET #2: I'm sitting on a little over $200.  I pull JJ and raise to $12.  Numb-nuts, having lost most of what he previously won from me, is sitting on about $100.  He flats.   Flop is xJx (all diamonds).  I lead, he flats.  Turn blanks, I bet, he shoves.  Yep, lets do this again . . . I call.  River blanks.  He shows J4 diamonds.  Well done.
I reload for another $100, and proceed to win a couple of decent pots . . .
SET #3:    Once again, its numbnuts and I.  I pick up 88 UTG and raise to $12.  Numbnuts flats.  Flop is AJ8 rainbow.  Wow.  Finally.  Good sign.  I'm so relieved, in fact, that I check to numbnuts, who bets $15.  I put him on an Ace, and figure he can't get away from any top pair here.  So, I check-raise to $40.  Numbnutz calls.  This is where I win it all back!!!! Turn is a K.  Yep, it's getting scary again.  I bet out $80.  Numbnuts shoves.  This again?  Really?  It's another $120 to me, and I call.  River is a Q.  Really?  AJ8KQ?  Really?  Numbnuts flips . . . you guessed it - AT.  Good game, sir.  Time for a shot of Patron.
I hit the bar, and then decide to call it a night.  Up $280 at Money-Mash-Party-Time.  Down $255 at a game of skill . . .  Story checks out.
Saturday morning, I get up around 9:30, grab an omelet at Sammy D's, and hit up some sweet, sweet VP.... and I win another $100 . . .  I'm unarguably talented at pressing buttons.
Jimmy arrives at 1:30, and we cab over to Toga Bar at Caesars for some college football.  From Toga, it was off to Harry's Oyster Bar at Bally's.  And from Harry's, it was off to the AC Irish Pub.  And from the Pub it was off to Land Shark Bar.  And from Land Shark Bar we went over to Showboat to catch the end of the Penn State game.  As an aside, Jimmy is a member of the Penn State Athletics Hall of fame.  I'll let you decide what sport this drunk fool (with beer dripping down his shirt) use to play:
                            [Jimmy at the Shandygaff, State College, PA, circa 1995]
After a 4-overtime win, it was off to Mortons for fillets and Cabernet (we went with a bottle of Silverado 2008).  After Mortons, it was off to Amada at Revel for some adult beverages (we were still thirsty).
After Amada shut down, we decided we were ready to get some gamble on.  Not wanting to walk very far, we settled for a single-deck game next door at Showboat After Dark.  We played an hour or so, had a few beers, and each won $100 or so.
Then it was back to Harrah's.  We both had to be up fairly early to make the 2-hour drive to the Meadowlands for the Jets-Steelers game at 1:00.  So, we intended on making it an early night.  And, after another hour or so of black jack (during which Jimmy made another $100 and P3 broke even), we heading back up to the room . . . at 3:00 am.
I woke up at 7:15 Sunday morning.  Thanks to a splitting headache, I didn't even need the alarm.  It took an hour or so to motivate and get out of the room.  We filled a laundry bag with ice from the ice-machine, and fled.  We hit the swamp at 12:30 and immediately cracked some cold beers.  Hair of the dog was my only hope at feeling human again.

After watching 52 minutes of Gino being Gino, we decided to split.  Jimmy was headed back home to the wife and kids.  I was heading back to Harrah's for one more night, having decided that the office must be deemed closed on Columbus Day. 
I arrived back in AC by 6:30 and tried to Rally.  But after dinner and the first half of the Cowboys game, I decided to pull a Demarco Murray and call it an early night...
Having taken it easy Sunday night, I found myself up by 7:00 am Monday morning and feeling great.  Not ready to leave, I went back down to the Casino to monkey mash a bit more.  I put $100 in the 10-handed VP machine and promptly lost it all.  I proceeded to the Platinum Hits machine, which has treated me well in the past:

I quickly hit 7 quick hits (sadly, not at full bet), and won $100. 

I went back to the 10-hand VP machine, figuring it must be ready to pay off.  I put in the $100 voucher, began pressing some buttons, and shortly thereafter, was out $100.

I moved back to a the Platinum Hits machine.  I put in $100, and started betting $1.25 a hand.  I got down my last $2.00, and hit the bonus - 15 free spins.  Timely.  I won $280.  Not looking to push my skill luck, I decided to call it a trip and hit the road.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cashing Tickets

During my Vegas trip in March for NCAA conference finals, I played four MLB season totals: 
  • Cards OVER 86.6
  • Braves OVER 87
  • Rays OVER 86
  • D-Backs OVER 82
The first three cashed easily.  The D-Backs kept it interesting all season, but ultimately came up a game short of a push (at 81 wins).   Over all, I'm happy with the results.  I'll prolly take a long weekend trip to the desert this fall and "free roll" some Mr. Cashman, a bit of Ms. Kitty and a whole lot of sweet, sweet video poker with the proceeds.  After all, found money is the best money to blow like a degenerate.
My first weekend at Fanduel was successful as well.  I played a total of ten "50/50" contests (where twenty players compete, and the top ten finishers double up), and cashed 8 of them (2-0 on college and 6-2 NFL).  I also joined three tournaments (for $2 each) and cashed one of them for $8 (finished $178 out of 2,784).  My initial $100 deposit is now $154.  It could be beginner's luck.  Or, maybe the average Joe betting Fanduel is a easy money.  Time will tell.  At the very least, it made two days straight watching football a whole lot more interesting.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Quitting Time

It's Friday.  6:00 pm.  I'm shutting it down, and officially starting the weekend.
It was a decent week.  Depositions got postponed, and I spent most of the week drafting a couple of mediation briefs.  No big thing . . .
In other news, after nearly two years, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued a published opinion yesterday affirming the trial court's award in favor of P3's client.  We litigated this case for over three years before the trial court.  It was brutal.  And, having to wait almost two more years to get some closure from the appellate court also sucked.  But, I guess that is the system we're stuck with.  It certainly would have been painful to have gotten a remand for the Court of Appeals and having to re-litigate below.  Fortunately, it's done.
And, in perhaps the most exciting news of the week, P3 discovered Fanduel.Com.  I mean, where has this been in my life?  It's like fantasy football.  But, with real money.  And with tournaments.  And daily drafts.   And fantasy college games . . .  I started out slow - I've only drafted 8 NFL teams and 2 college teams this week (sarcasm alert).
Anyway, I plan on spending Saturday at Maryland Live! getting my degeneracy on (after an 8:30 am appointment at Home Depot, of course . . . fuck. me . . .).   I may or may not play poker.  I may just hangout and watch college football . . . and monkey mash some sweet, sweet VP . . .  And, Sunday, of course, will be spent watching NFL and, hopefully, making some Fan-Duel-Dollars.
And with that, I'm out . . .

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Time Keeps Rolling . . .

6:30 am . . . Sunday . . . . sitting in Terminal E at Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport awaiting a flight back to DC.  Sadly, this was not a glorious return to the Westin Diplomat.  Instead, in perhaps an apt follow up on my last post, I was in town for a mere 30 hours for a funeral.... Time rolls on . . .

I land around 10:30.  Then I have to hustle to make a noon appointment to plunk down money on cabinets and counter tops.... With any luck, I'll be freed up in time to catch the Jets get smoked by the Bills at 4:00.  Glorious end to a fantastic weekend.  On the bright side, we were able to unload our 4 tickets (and 2 parking passes) to today's game at the Meadowlands on eBay for $315... Of course, face value for the tickets is $550....  Actually, I guess the true bright side is being able to laugh off such a hit . . .

I've got more depositions scheduled for this week, and a client who wants them called off.  Which means, at the very least, I get to fight with a bunch of pricks over scheduling issues and, maybe if I'm lucky, get hauled into court to have a judge sort it all out.  If I really run good, perhaps I'll go through with the fight AND STILL have to go forward with the depos.  Jackpot!!!

I swear, next weekend I return to degenerate form...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Revelations of a Middle Age Man

I don't think of myself as old.  Really, I don't.  It seems like just a few years ago I was a student tearing up Lulu's in D.C. on a Thursday night.  Of course, that was 17 years ago.  Lulu's doesn't exist anymore.  And the only thing I want to do now on Thursday night is get eight hours sleep...  While I still resist what I perceive as the monotony of adulthood, there are times like today when I realize my youth is most certainly over.  In no particular order:
(1) I discovered Quinoa (pronounced "keen-waa") today.  And I'm thrilled.  It's sort of like a grain; only it's not.  According to Wikipedia, "[a]s a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds."  I can't independently vouch for that.  But what I do know is that it's high in protein and, despite its carbohydrate content, it doesn't have much impact on my blood sugar.  It's another healthy food I can eat.  What a great day . . .
(2)  I burned through 4 miles in 32 minutes and 38 seconds during my afternoon run in Rock Creek Park (yes, for me, that's "burning") and was thrilled . . .  When I was twenty, I didn't run unless I was being chased.  I had no reason to.  When I was thirty, I had to exercise, and I ran 10-minute miles and was happy.  Now, at forty, I'm nearly two-minutes per mile faster than a decade before.  A decade ago I was still focused on finishing the "power hour."  Now I'm focused on improving my cardio.
(3)  I've met with designers/contractors two times already this week to discuss renovation of my condo.  And I have to meet with a flooring guy tomorrow morning.  And I have to meet with the kitchen designer again Sunday.  And I have an 11:30 appointment Monday morning to meet with the kitchen contractor . . .  I use to miss time from work to play golf . . . or go on road trips to football games . . . or to the casino . . .  Now I'm missing work to deal with home renovations.  Frankly, I'd rather be working...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Virgin Trip to Maryland Live!

I finally made it out to Maryland Live! Saturday afternoon.  After the 30 minute drive from my house, I arrived at 12:00 and was seated within 5 minutes after a new table opened.  I grabbed the 4 seat on table 37 upstairs and bought in for the full $300.  The room is nice.  Cool vibe; nice tables and chairs; good spacing between tables.  Many of the dealers and players were familiar from Charles Town.  Although the play was far less agro than the standard in West Virginia.

I won a couple of early hands by raising big aces and continuing on missed flops.  I was sitting on about $355 an hour or so in when this hand occurred:

A(s) T(s) in middle position.  I raise to $12 and get three callers.  Flop is K(s) Q(s) 3(d).  I continue for $25 and get two callers.

Turn is a red J giving me broadway and the redraw to the nut flush.  I again lead out, for $55.  I wanted two calls and was hoping I could price someone in if they were drawing.  Both villains call.

River blanks.  Pot is bloated.  Both players are very capable.  I thought about bombing the river to make it look bluffy.  But, in the end, decided to bet out $125 - a large bet on its face, but only about half the pot.  I was hoping that if villains had decent hands, they would recognize they were getting better than 3-1 and make the call.  Villain 1 tanks, but ultimately folds.  Villain two makes the call and tables T9 for the lower straight.  I scoop a nice pot.

An hour or so later I had another interesting hand.  I raise A(c) K(d) under the gun to $16.  Two callers, including villain 1 from the hand above.  The flop is J(s) A(d) 7(d).  I continue for $32 and villain 1 calls.  Turn is the 4(d).  I don't want to slow down and seem scared of the diamond.  Plus, I have the K(d) in my hand.  I lead for $58.  Villain calls.  Fuck.   The river blanks.  I'm pretty sure I'm beat.  But I know that if I check, I'm pretty much letting villain take this hand from me with a big river bet.  I consider a blocking bet, but ultimately opt against it.  If villain has a worse Ace, I expect him to check back.  Instead, he fires $85.  I fold.   My top pair, top kicker costs me $100+ and I don't even see a showdown.  Feel like I played it miserably.  A few minutes later, villain and I lock eyes and he says, "nice lay down."  Um.  For who?  Guess I'll never know.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pete Peters and the Metropolitan Police

I won't kid myself -- I'm sort of lazy.  And I procrastinate.  I mean, I tend to do what I have to do.  But if it doesn't have to get done, it might not get done.  At least not now.  And, even if something has to get done, it still might not.  And this has gotten me in trouble in the past. 
Around 1999, I bought my first car in D.C.  A Honda Civic.  It had D.C. tags.  Shortly thereafter, I moved to Maryland, just over the D.C. border.  I'm sure I was required to register my car in Maryland.  But I didn't.  I mean, who the hell wants to deal with the DMV?  So, fast forward five years.  It's 2004.  I still have the original D.C. tags.  There is a sticker on the plates indicating the registration expired in 2002.  I'm driving from work at around 10:00 pm on Connecticut Avenue, up near Woodley Park.  I get lit up by a Capital Police.  I pull over to the side of the road.  He sits in his vehicle.  Five minutes later, I'm surrounded by no less than 5 patrol cars with lights glaring.  What. The. Fuck?   Officers eventually come over and explain to me that my registration is several years expired and that I could be arrested and jailed for this offense.  Um, really?  You have nothing better to do than surround my car with 5 officers and threaten to detain me for an unregistered vehicle?  Thank god there is no real crime in D.C.  I plead ignorance.  The officer inquires whether I did not know that my car was unregistered or whether I did not know I had to register my car in the first place?  "I just didn't know."  Ultimately, I am not arrested.  Instead, I'm handed a rather expensive summons and told to drive directly home and to not drive again until my car is properly registered.
So, I get home and look into this whole registration nonsense.  What a pain in the ass.  And, given the amount of time my car had been unregistered, the process was also going to involve a large fine.  Fuck this.  The next day, I drove over to the local Hyundai dealership.  I went in and asked the salesman whether they would buy my car as a trade in "assuming it may or may not actually be registered?"  "Sure.  No problem."   An hour later, I rolled away with a new Hyundai Tucson . . . the dealer would take care of the registration and necessary paperwork.  And my old Civic was now their issue.  Problem solved . . .
Fast forward . . .
After a few years driving around in a Korean SUV, I came to realize that you can't impress the ladies with a Hyundai.  Thusly, in 1998, I ditched the Hyundai in favor of a G37:
Side Note:  after a few years driving around in a G37, I came to realize the only people who were impressed with the ride were middle age men.  Not exactly my target audience... Anyhow . . .
My G was properly registered.  Always. 
By 2011, after numerous trips to Jersey for Jets games and poker in AC, my G had approximately 60,000 miles on it.  And, after getting stuck on the Beltway in a snowstorm, I realized that a rear-wheel drive sports coup might not be the best choice for D.C.'s winters. 
Thus, I did the only sensible thing - I went back to the Infiniti dealership, and traded in the old G for a new G37x (all wheel drive).  The dealer simply transferred my tags from the old car to the new, and I was off . . .
A month or so later, I received the registration materials in the mail.  Along with the documentation was a sticker for the license plate, indicating the registration was valid until 2014.  This sticker was to be placed over the old sticker (which came when I registered the old car) which read 2010.  OK.  Let me get this straight -- you want me to peel off this sticker?  You want me to walk around to the back of my car?  You want me to place this new sticker on top of the old one?  That seems like at least 30 seconds of effort.  Fuck. That. Noise.  Instead, I stuck the documents in my glove box, where they remained until this morning...
Fast forward to this morning.  It's 9:20.  I'm stuck in traffic on 22nd Street heading to the office a block away.  The MPD SUV behind me suddenly lights me up.  Interesting.  I pull over into the bike line.  The female officer gets out, walks over, identifies herself, and says:
"You know your registration expired in 2010?"
PPP -- "No ma'am; I'm fairly certain the car is registered."
MPD: -- "Can I see your license and registration?"
PPP - "Sure; let me see if I can find it in this mess . . ."
I search the glove box, through the miscellaneous documents I've shoved in there over the past several years.  I don't find the actual registration card.  However, I do find the 2014 sticker, which I hand over to the officer . . .
MPD:  "You know this sticker is suppose to be on your license plate, right?"
PPP:  "Oh."
MPD: "Hand it over and I'll stick it on for you . . ."
PPP:  [In my head -- "for reals?"]  "That would be awesome . . ."
The MPD officer actually takes the sticker and puts it on my back tag for me.  She calls back, "you're good now."
PPP:  "Do you accept tips?"
MPD officer smiles and gets back in her car . . .
If there's a lesson to be learned here, I think it's this:  not all cops are dicks.  In the alternative, perhaps the lesson is that 30 seconds spent in 2011 would have saved me 5 minutes in 2013.  Or, maybe, the real lesson is that sometimes, laziness pays off with a semi-decent story . . .