Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vegas Days 5 & 6

It's friday night.  Actually, Saturday morning.  Nearly 4:00 am.  The club next door at Paris is pumping.  In addition to the noise, I can actually feel the base vibrating.  No chance of sleeping until this ends at 5:00.  So, I figured I'd update. 

Yesterday, Thursday, I moved to Bally's . . . which, for the reason above, now looks like a bad move.   The view is nice, which is good, because I may be staring at it until sunrise:

I spent the day mashing VP all over the strip, and watching football with Coach over at the Mirage book.  Then  dinner at Ruths' Chris.  While the food is not near the top of the chain in Vegas, the atmosphere and view is hard to beat:

After taking a tour of Ruths' Chris' Cabernet selections, sometime around 2:00 am, I texted Rob and suggested we get together once more for some poker before my trip ends.  Rob suggested playing at Venetian so that TBC could join us.  And, with that, the TBC Venetian Invitational was born.

Day 5 ended still $700 in the black.

Day 6 began with a trip to Bellagio to get some NFL futures in:  

  • Tampa OVER 7
  • Steelers OVER 9
  • Colts OVER 9.5
  • Eagles OVER 9.5
As much as I wanted to take the Jets, I just don't see 8 wins on the schedule.

After getting my action in, I mashed some more, and then headed over to Yardhouse at the Linq to meet TBC and Coach for lunch.  Tony was on time and waiting for me when I arrived; and Coach was already inside at the bar.  At Tony's request, we got quiet table upstairs, away from the action, so that no one could overhear our conversation.  I had a salad; Coach had soup and sandwich.  Tony inquired about chicken fried steak and/or meatloaf with mashed potatoes, but these items were not in the cards.  He settled for some sort of chicken-fried chicken (if thats really a thing) and mash potatoes, and washed it down with two glasses of whole milk.  Tony gave us the rundown on his recent adventures and a glimpse of his future plans.  Apparently, Tony seems determined to try to mash a dealers angel with his new roll.  He thinks he can make a living doing this.  Coach and I both let Tony know our thoughts on the subject, but it was apparent our opinions were falling on deaf ears.  In any event, it was actually nice to catch up with Tony.    

After lunch, Tony headed over to the Venetian to play cards; Coach went back to the sports book; and P3 went to mash for a few hours before the Invitational.

Finally, at 8:00, Coach, Rob and I met up at the Venetian Poker Room.  Unfortunately, the floor was slightly less than accommodating of our plans, and the 4 of us were placed at different tables.  Rob attempted to play the "AVP" card (literally . . . he dropped the floor a note on his AVP business card) to get us together; but to no avail.  Because of the situation, a few other folks who stopped by (e.g., Herbie) decided not to play.

Ultimately, after 30 minutes or so, my table started to break up, and Rob, Coach and TBC were able to get seated.   Sometime thereafter, Dave (a frequent poster on TBC's sweet, sweet blog, and a Vegas local), grabbed the seat directly to my left, and I had the pleasure of getting to know him over the next few hours.  A very nice guy.

As for the poker . . . once again, Rob proved to be my hex.  Prior to Rob being seated at my table, I had made a quick $150 in half an hour.  I was running great.  Then Rob sits next to me and I don't win another hand for 5 hours.  My stack dwindles back down to even. Then, around 1:00 am, Rob leaves, and I immediately start winning some hands.   I ended up the night +$40.  Very unfulfilling.

Rob, for his part, did very well,  He even stacked a fairly cute chick who had just sat down.  The hand -- KK versus QQ.  Yet, I'm sure we'll all hear Rob complain about his "dreaded pocket kings."  Give me a break, sir....

Coach did alright too and looked to have made some money on the night.  He was also involved in a fairly memorable hand with TBC.  Both all in pre flop.  Coach was the original shover and Hero called with his KK.  Coach's hand?  KK as well.  I was able to capture the aftermath:

Sadly, we did get to witness a minor TBC blow up.  He was involved in a big hand.  While I was not paying too much attention, apparently, he reached out and tried to re-arrange Villain's chips because he didn't like the way the dealer had stacked them.  This got him a reprimand.  Then, some other sh*t happened, and, before I knew it, TBC was starting to get heated with the dealer and another player.  Fortunately, it did not escalate too far.  But it was the first time I've caught a glimpse of the TBC rage that has caused him so many problems in the past.  

Notably Tony did a lot of table talk . . . showing cards, etc.  At one point, he even taunted me about how easy it was for him to bluff me.  All in all, it was interesting to see Tony in action.  Not sure if his table talk helps him or hurts him. But it was sort of fun to witness.

Sometime after midnight, semi-professional poker guru, ggrouchie, showed up and proceeded to simply abuse the table.  I'm not sure why he even has a day job.  I mean, look at all dem chips:

Anyway, it was another fun night of poker.

End of day six, and P3 remains $700 in the black.  Still two days left, however, for me to lose my shirt.  Now, if only this damn music would stop so I could get some sleep!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Night - TBC Venetian Invitational

Attention all Vegas area poker players:  Tonight.  Friday.  The 29th day of Augustus. The year 2014 of our Lord and Savior, Jesus (pronounced hay-zues) Christ.  It is hereby proclaimed that on this evening, to be held at the Venetian poker room, Paradise, Nevada, shall be the first annual Tony Bigcharles Invitational $1/2 no limit poker game.  There will be poker bloggers.  There will be poker.  There will be booze.  There will be a special performance from the Blue Man Group (ok, one of these things may not be true).  This is really happening.  If interested, inquire herein for further details.

P.S.  Tony has specifically requested that the mysterious Alysia Chang appear.

PPS.  Tony has specifically requested that "poker kat" not appear, for fear he may kill Tony.

PPPS.  I have personally assured Tony that he will not be physically harmed during this event.  Don't make me look bad or I will be pissed.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vegas Day 4 -- the Mysterious Alysia Chang

Vegas. Day 4.  Begins with coffee and 100 hand VP.  Hit this:

Work out.  Pool. Lunch.  Back to Whiskey Down to see if I can get lucky two days in a row.  Turns out, I can.  Within 45 minutes, these hands:

Up a smooth $400 on the day.  Easy game.

I cash out, walk over to the book and, for a second night in a row, parlay $100 on the late MLB games - Dodgers/Giants to win $217.  And, for the second night in a row, walk-off magic.  Easy game.

Around 2:00, I walk over to the Monte Carlo to finally meet the man . . . the legend . . the Coach.  He was working on some free roll hours playing the $2-6 spread game. I had never played spread  before, but took a seat next to coach and tried to figure it out.  Not real complicated.  Sort of a strange game, though.  On one hand, a guy bet $4.  I raised to $10 with QQ and got two callers.  So, the pot is $32 on the flop.  I spike a set and bet out . . . and my max bet is $6 into $32?  Weird game.  I bet the turn and river too, and just felt like I was building a pot for the person who would ultimately suck out on me, of course.

Anyhow, after playing an hour of poker, Coach and I headed over to the sports book to talk some college football and get ready for tomorrow's (or, today's, as the case may be) games.  While there, my phone started blowing up with texts from Rob and Lightning, claiming that Tony Bigcharles was on a plane to Vegas.  Um.  Ok.  Nice joke, guys.  I mean, this was finally a trip where my phone would not be blowing up with texts from TBC trying to meet up at some casino where I have no desire to be and where he is yet to be banned and at some god awful hour of the night.  Clever, gentlemen.   Nice try.  Then I check my email and find this:

FML, as Lightning would say.  Sure Tony.  Sounds reasonable.  Ignore.

Also about this time, I heard from the mysterious Alysia Chang.  Who IS Alysia Chang?  According to TBC, Alysia is a man.  Could he be right?  Hell, does s/he even really exist?   S/he wanted to meet up.  Well, Coach and I were on our way to meet Rob for dinner.  Rob was taking us out to Tap at MGM, courtesy of his poker comps (rumor has it, Rob is actually a millionaire if you factor in his poker comps to his net worth).   Rob sent Alysia a message to meet up at MGM around 8:00.  And, with that, we were off to dinner.

After dinner, Rob, Coach and I got seated at the same $1/2 table.  I was card dead for much of the six hour session, and watched my stack dwindle to $125 or so.  In fact, I believe the only decent hand I won was against Coach when we got our money in the middle on a KcQc x flop.  I had the royal draw with Jc Tc . . . .  I ended up spiking a red ace on the river.  Ouch.  Sorry, Coach.

An hour or so in to the session, a person comes over to the table and asks, "are there any Inner Circle member here?"  Alysia Chang DOES exist.  S/he took a seat at our table as well.  S/he was a good player (much better than P3).  Can a woman play decent poker?  Was Tony right all along?  Alysia also spent some effort trying to talk the three of us guys into hitting up one of the local strip clubs.  Exhibit # 2 in TBC's case-in-chief.

In any event, after sheepishly denying the strip club idea, and with my stack down to $125, I finally got what I was waiting for.  I limped AT from UTG and saw a KQJ flop three ways.  I got my money in on the turn and got called.  Back to $300.  Easy game.  An hour later, I left broke.

The hand that nailed me was against a Villain in town for the Cisco convention.  He was sort of a dick.  Early 50's, I'd guess.  Made it known to the table that he loved to gamble.  Was trying to start up a $2/5 game because the $1/2 was too boring.  He played nearly every hand and kept talking about building a huge pot.   Earlier, he played a hand against Alysia.  He bet the flop to $15 or so, and s/he raised him to $60.   He called.   Alysia shoved the turn with his/her set of 9's and he folded.  I caught  a glimpse of his hand - A-high.   So, with that backdrop, here's the hand that did me in:

Villain is in the big blind.  Effective stacks $280.  I open to $13 with QQ.  Villain's buddy calls.  Action folds to Villain who proclaims, "I have a crap hand, but I just want to build a pot."  He calls.  

Flop is 94x.  Villain checks, I bet $22.  Friend folds.  Villain raises to $60.  I think about flatting; but this guy is not going to slow down. I'm sure of it.  I re-raise to $120 (basically committing myself to the hand).  He just calls.  Turn is a J.  He shoves.  I call and show.  He slow rolls . . . . 9-4.  and with that, my night comes to a disappointing end.   Perhaps I should stick to video poker . . .

End of day 4, and P3 remains up $900.     

And, in case anyone is wondering about the mysterious Alysia Chang, this photo that s/he took with Coach and I should clear things up:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vegas Day 3 - The Devil Becomes and Angel

Day three began, as usual, with coffee and mashing.  A couple of minutes in I was dealt 2228 on the hundred hander.  Nice.  Then, shortly thereafter, this hit:

Nice start to the day.

After 2 hours at the pool, it was time to mash some more.  Around 1:00, I decided to hit up Whiskey Down.  Note to self - do not START the day off with Cabernet.  Especially without eating first.  Things can get dicey . . .

Anyhow  . . . I figured I'd have just one comped glass of Cab.  I slipped a crisp $100 into the machine and started playing the 10-hander.  Then this hit:

I switched over to single DDB, and this hit:

$100 was $400 and I ordered another Cab.  The machine did not slow down.  Every time I needed a card for a full house or a flush, I got it.  Easy game. Then this hit:

Just shy of $500.  I figured I'd play the game down to an even $400 and walk away.  But it stayed hot. One more glass of comped Cab.  And then this hit:

$100 was $950 in just over an hour.  Nothing like a solid VP heater!

Afterward, I was looking for some bases action, but no games stood out.  Still, I needed something.  So, I parlayed the Royals and Giants for $100.  After a solid 9th inning comeback by KC, the giants made it look easy. Cash.

I also played 3 hours or so of unremarkable poker.  And I was buzzing pretty hard during the session. Still, I managed to book a $45 profit.

Finally, it was off to the Excal to hit up my favorite $10 3/2 black jack table.  And, for the second night in a row, I managed to get up a decent amount, only to have the dealer pull some magic out of his ass when I had a bunch of money on the table, and walked away dead even.

Solid end to day three.  $700 in the black rolling into day four ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vegas Day 2 -- Futile Double Barrel

Monday began like any day in Vegas should -- a venti coffee and some sweet, sweet devils game.  I played an hour and broke even when quad 9's hit on the double, double game for 250 quarters.  Big time.

I looked at my watch. It was still only 7:45.  F*ck you Pacific time!  I went back to my room and decided to go out for a run. After exiting out the front gate of Signature Tower 3, I made my way to LVB and headed south towards Mandalay Bay.  My GPS hit 2 miles just short of the Welcome sign.  I made it to the iconic spot, and then doubled back.  A smooth 4.3 miles before the sun got too hot.

And, from there, it was too the pool.  Despite the Vegas crowds, the private pools at Signature were as quiet as ever:

After some sun and a quick lunch, I bet the Nats/Phils OVER 7.5 for $100 and crushed a bit more VP.  The game did not come through, but the devils game scored:

Early afternoon, I took a seat in the MGM poker room an started grinding.  By early evening, I had built my $200 buying to about $450. Then Rob showed up....

If Rob claimed I brought him good luck Monday night (see comments from last entry), Rob definately did not pay me back. Rather, over the course of the several hours we sat next to each other at Table 8, my stack dwindled until, after hitting the 7 hour mark, I was up a mere $75.   My final hand saw my straight lose to a higher straight on a fairly tricky board.  It was time to call it a night.

Notably, twice during the 7 hours, I double barreled a big ace.  Once with AQ and once with AK.  Both out of position.  Both times, I had raised to $10 or $12 pre flop.  Both times the flop came out all under cards.  I think my bet sizing was strong both times as well.  Yet, on the first hand, Villain called me down confidently and showed no signs of concern.  Thus, I was forced to check the river and promptly mucked as villain started cutting out a large stack of redbirds for a river bet.

The second hand - AQ - occurred hours later. The table had turned over, so no one had seen my first play (assuming anyone at a $1/2 table would even be paying enough attention).  I raised AQ clubs to $12 and got two callers.  The flop was 4 9 J.   I bet $27 into approximately $38.  One guy called.  The turn was a K.  I bet $45 (into $90) and he called.  The river was a Q, actually hitting my hand.  But I checked, and villain checked back, and turned Q9 for two pair.  

All told, I dropped well over $100 barreling those two hands.  I brought up the topic of the 2x with Rob, and he seemed to suggest that the double barrel was largely ineffective.  I on the other hand, sort of thought it was a necessary weapon to have, given that nearly everyone C-bets nowadays and, presumably, expects that everyone else is c-betting.  Thus, for example, assume I call a pre flop raise with a hand like 88 and the flop comes down 36T.  Now, villain bets the flop.  Sure, he could have an over pair.  But, it's also likely he's continuing with a hand like AK.  Therefore, I call with my 8's. Now, if villain gives up control on the turn, I've got some confidence my 88 is OK.  If, however, he barrels the turn, I start feeling a little queazy with my 88.  Also, I know that it I call the turn bet, and if villain does have a made hand, the river is going to get expensive and I'm risking a large portion of my stack with a crapy pair of 8's.  Thus, while folding to a C-bet seems way to weak, calling a turn barrel with that type of hand seems somewhat reckless without a strong read.  And, switching the scenario around, when I'm the guy holding the AK, I sort of figure I'm going to shake out a lot of medium strength hands with that second bullet.  And, I'm also balancing my range a bit when I have QQ+.

Anyway, curious to hear some thoughts on the merits of the double barrel.

And finally, as I'm writing this, I'm getting emails from the office.  Apparently, in my haste to get things done last week before leaving town (a workload that caused me to cancel my Saturday morning fight to Napa, spend the day working, and pay an extra $400 to rearrange flights last minute), I forgot to make a phone call to a client.  Not an urgent matter or a particularly important call, mind you.  Yet, the powers that be figure the appropriate thing to do now is to send me passive aggressive emails, presumably in attempt to ruin my day.   What's 5 days away from the office without just a touch of bull sh*t to remind you what you have to come back to?    

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Trip Report - Day 1

P3 is posting from the balcony of his one bedroom suite at Signature. 1000 square feet.  Overlooking Wet Republic.  Plush.

I took off for vegas on the 8:35 am direct from DCA.  First class, of course . . .  Omelets, fresh fruit and cocktails for breakfast . . . A couple of Opie and Anthony Podcasts provided the entertainment. . . .

Whence I arrived around 11:00, there were no suites available.  So I checked my bags and headed to the casino to drop a couple hundred on the Padres at -108.  And, from there, it was off to Whiskey Down to grind some sweet, sweet, devils game over a few mild libations.    In the end, I dropped $150 playing video poker.  But cashed the Padres game.  Score.

Early evening, I bet $100 on the A's -140 and went over to Aria to see if Rob was still surviving in the Daily.  I did not see Rob.  But, I did find my old friend, Mr 100 hand VP machine.  I slipped a cool hundy in the machine and shortly thereafter, hit my hand -- AA5A . . . .  Quad AAAA hit 3 times . . . and Quad AAAA  with the sweet, sweet kicker hit twice.   A clean double up and P3 was zooooom.

From there, it was over to the Monte Carlo where P3 decided to check out the poker room.  The room was on life support at 5:00 pm.  One limit game, and two $1/2 NL . . . but both were shorthanded.  I took a seat next to a few kinds from London  They too had bet the A's, although neither had a clue what baseball was about. Sadly, I explained to them how the Ump was squeezing the strike zone on Scott Kazmir  . . . and how Sam Fulds center field defense was atrocious  . . . and how the game was basically a loss after the 3rd inning.

On the felt, I did manage to cash decent profit, despite the atrociousness of the game.  The key hand saw an UTG raise to $10 . . . and 7 callers . . .  I looked down in the blind at JJ . . . fantastic.   I popped to $120 and it folded around.  Easy $80 . . . .

Te game broke shortly thereafter and I headed back to MGM.  There, I stopped by the poker room to see if Rob was in action. Indeed, he was.  I stopped by to chat briefly and saw Rob take down several nice pots with flop C-bets.  I didn't see his hole card, so I don't know if he was value betting or bullying.  Either way, Rob scooped some decent chips while we talked.

From there, it was off to dinner.  Craftsteak at MGM.  After scallops to start . . . the filet . . . and the mushroom risotto . . . and two glasses of the Silver Oak 2009 . . .  suffice it to say . . . P3 needs to win some cash at the tables tomorrow.

Good night from Paradise . . .


Friday, August 22, 2014

P3 and Summer Vacation

Originally, P3 was booked on a 6:00am flight tomorrow (Saturday morning) to San Francisco.  The plan was to spend 3 days in the Napa area, drinking wine with friends and catching the DMB show Sunday night at the Greek Theater in Berkley, before flying out to Paradise Tuesday afternoon for 6 days at Caesars.  And then work got in the way.  It's as if every major client saved up their respective shit to dump it all on me this week.  And, every time I felt I started getting a handle on things, something new came up.  And it still hasn't ended.  Last night, at 11:55 pm, yet another email came in from a west coast client demanding that its needs be addressed today (Friday).  The bottom line is that there is no way I'm finishing up and getting out of town tomorrow morning.  Thusly, I'm ditching Napa altogether. 

Currently, I'm hopeful of getting out of town sometime Sunday.  And I've rearranged my Vegas plans as well.  At the moment, I'm planning on spending the first half of the trip at Signature and degening it up at the South-end MGM properties.  I still need a few points to hit MLIFE Gold status for the year, so I might as well take care of business.  Then, Thursday, I'll be heading North to Bally's.  I sort of like the poker room there.  And, there's always the chance of a celebrity appearance by grrouchie - always a plus.  I'm also sort of looking forward to mashing some VP over at Cromwell and watching this weekends football over by the Linq / Quad / O'Shea's. 

Hope to see some friends over the course of the week . . .


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Life is All About the Royal

Pete Peters is off on Vacation in less than a week.  But, why wait 6 days to have fun.  A wasted weekend is a sin, you see.  Especially in mid-August, with baseball season winding down. Thusly, Friday I opted to go an a quick two-day "stay-cation."   I picked up some Nats tickets, and pulled a suite at the W Hotel.  And the game was afoot.

I got over to National's Park Friday night in time to grab a few $6 pre-game beers (price goes to $9.50 at first pitch).  A great crowd assembled for the Nats-Pirates series, including a surprising amount of Bucs fans.  The visitors went home disappointed, however, as the Nats were able to hold off a late Pitt charge and win the series opener by a run.  And, with that, Pete P. Peters was 1 win closer to the Nats OVER 89.

After a post game filet at Del Frisco's on Pennsylvania Avenue and a night-cap of Don Julio and club at the W Bar, it was time to call it a night.

Saturday began by playing tourist.

I left the hotel and spent the afternoon at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History looking at bugs and rocks and shit.  And then walked over to the National Gallery -- perhaps my favorite of the many attractions in D.C.

One of my favorite paintings was still on display:  Skiffs by Gustave Caillebotte.  Not sure why I like this piece as much as I do.  But, I do.

After sucking up some culture, it was back to the ball park for game two.  The Bucco fans were again out in force and making some noise after the Pirates jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Gio Gonzales.  But the visitors left heartbroken after Adam Laroche tied the game in the 8th with a two run homer into the home bullpen, and Wilson Ramos sent the fans home with a walk-off double in the 9th scoring Bryce Harper.  One win closer to the money.

P3 cashed out Saturday with the ultimate tourists shot, before heading back to the W.

This morning Pete awoke (thank you, Jesus) and decided to play some cards.  After a 35 minute drive, P3 bought in full when a new game opened at MDL!

The three hour session was painfully dull.  In fact, I only really had two playable hands.  About 40 minutes in, I picked up AA in position.  After 3 limpers and a $15 raise, I popped to $40 and it folded around to a short stack who stuffed his last $20 into the middle.   The original raiser folded. I felt I had to 3-bet, because if I flat, we would have gone 5 to the flop.  Not  a position I want to be in with aces.  In fact, one of the limpers folded 89 and would have made a straight on the river (assuming I couldn't have pushed him out on the flop . . .).  

A few minutes later, a decent player raised the button to $15 and, after the limpers laid down, showed his KQ clubs.  This prompted an older gentlemen to impart some wisdom:  "You never want to raise that hand.  You could have flopped a royal flush.  In fact, you don't even need to flop it.  You'll get the jackpot.  You should have limped in."   This lead to the following comment from a decent reg:  "Yep.  The EV of trying for the high-hand is definitely higher than actually playing your cards."  The old man nodded in agreement.  Good lord  . . I love $1/2 no-limit . . . 

About 2 hours later, I actually played another hand.  I limped 33 after 3 callers.  The Cut-off made it $10.  Everybody called and we went 5 to the flop of 3(c) K(c) Q(h).  A gentlemen donked out $15 (huh?  Bet sizing, anyone?) and got a call.  I decided to charge to see the turn and raised to $40.  Sadly, it folded around.  I heard someone comment from the other side of the table:  "That [incredibly handsome young man] hasn't played a hand in two hours . . ."  Sadly, my image may have cost me some value there.  But, still, I think playing that board fast was the right move in that spot.  

After 3 hours, I felt my game slipping a bit (limping "The Grump" off suit . . . playing off suit one-gappers out of position, etc.).  Plus, Ding Dong was at the next table over and was in rare form (shout out to Poker Meister, Brian, Golf Pro and the other East Coast Regs).  So I decided to walk, up a mere $21.  

I've still only logged 30 hours of cash on the year.  But, after starting the year in a $700 hole, thanks largely to one drunken post steakhouse session with Lightning and Grouchie at Bally's Vegas in January (I'm pretty sure Lightning tried to get me drunk on purpose to steal my sweet, sweet roll at the table), I'm now only $75 in the red for the year.   However, if I filter my results and only count Sunday sessions at MDL! (which, Pokerdogg would agree I should do, you see), my hourly rate is $78 /hr. 

Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's the Story?

This is another tale of on-line micro stakes.  Once again, it's the .05/.10 game.  I'm sitting on a full 10, having yet to play a hand.  Villain's stack is 14, having just won when he three-bet shoved KQ off  for 9 after a .40 raise by a guy holding AK.  The original raiser called the shove, and 5th street gave villain the straight.  Well played, sir.  

So, here goes our hand:

I limp from the blind with T8 off.   We go three to the flop of 628 rainbow.  I bet .23, and after a fold, villain calls.  Turn is 2.  I check just for pot control, and villain bets .10.  Um.  OK.  I think about raising, but, again, want to keep the pot small in this spot, and just call.   River is a 5.  I check, hoping to get villain to fire/semi bluff  worse hand.  He shoves for 12 or so.  Um.  Really?  

Now, you tell me how Villain's story makes any sense whatsoever.  It begs the larger question whether you can even try to piece together an opponent's play at these levels.  

Now, I can fold here quit easily and simply move on to the next hand.  Indeed, under normal circumstances, top pair, shit kicker is an easy fold when playing for your stack.  But, this dude just shoved KQ off pre flop the last hand.  He could literally be shoving ANYTHING in this spot.   He could have complete junk and just be buying this pot, figuring based on my check call of .10 on the turn and my river check that there is no way I'm ever calling for my stack.  Or, he could have the nuts and be making it look like he's buying it to get me to call with a weak hand which I'd likely fold to a true value bet.

So, after thinking about it, I decide the dude's line makes no f*cken sense, and call with my pair of 8's. He turns over 62 for the boat.   And I feel, in the descriptive words of Tony Bigcharles, like a total donkey.  Was my opponent just some kid with no idea what he's doing? Or was his line the product of his poker genius?

Perhaps the moral of micro-stakes poker is this:  quit trying to think.  Play your made hands and strong draws.  Value bet.  Never bluff.  And, if in question, just fold . . .  But, if on-line micros is meant to be a learning experience, this sort of defeats the purpose.  Maybe it's not suppose to have a purpose . . . other than providing some cheap entertainment now and again.

ETA:  The variance on Seals is absurd.  As you may recall, when I first joined, I could not win a hand.  Ever.  Then I was able to quadruple the account over the next month or so.  I couldn't lose.  Now, I've lost 1/3 of the account over the past two weeks.  And most of it is on sick, sick beats.  I mean, I just can't win.  Over the past 30 minutes:

(1)  my QQ got rivered to an 8-high straight.  Kid open-raised to .27, I 3-bet to .85 and he calls.  Flop is 6 8 3.  I bet 3/4 pot and he calls.  Turn is an K.  I bet 3/4 pot, kid calls.  River is a 4.  I bet, he re-raises me all in.  I call.  Kid has 5 7.  Ugh.

I reload, and 5 minutes later . . .

(2)  Same kid raises .27.  I flat with AK diamonds.  Flop comes out 3(d) K(h) 7(d).  Kid checks, and I bet 2/3 pot.  He calls.  Turn is a 4(d).  Nice.  I bet about 2/3.  Kid calls.  River is 4(c).  kid checks, I bet, he raises me all in.  I call.  Kid tables 34.

 And that has been the past two weeks on Seals . . . over and over.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What's the Move

Micro-stakes game on Seals (.05/10).  6-ring.   Max buy-in is 10.  P3 is sitting on 13.50.  Villain has 9.5.  Villain min-raises pre-flop to .2 and PPP calls with 88.  Heads up to the flop:

7(d) 8 (d) 9 (c). 

[Pot: .35]

Villain checks.  P3 bets .23.  Villain raises to .68.  Hero re-raises to 2.1.  Villain raises to 4.2.  Action is on Pete.

What's the move?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Harrah's Trip Report

Friday morning, I awoke at 4:00 am and figured, "screw it" -- I went into the office to get some work done, and was able to bill a solid 6.5 hours and still bolt for AC at noon.   The drive took longer than expected, and I rolled into Harrah's around 5:00.  And then the losing began . . .

I started grinding 10-hand and 100-hand VP to rack up some sweet, sweet tier credits.  Every machine I tried was horrible.  Losing hand after losing hand after losing hand.   I was playing Double, Double Bonus on the hundred hander and dropped $200 before even being dealt 3-of-a-kind one time!  Then, when I finally got dealt KKK, I whiffed quads on all hundred hands.  Really?  Really?

I also found other creative ways to lose.   For instance, I somehow managed to slip a $65 voucher in between the gap between two VP machines.   For reals.  I was trying to slip the voucher in the machine, when it flipped out of my hand and managed to fall in the razor-thin gap between the machines. I couldn't do that on purpose if I tried 1000 times.  Not the way I wanted to beat the odds at the casino.

Eventually, I just gave up on the multi-hand machines and played some single hand games.  And, after a little while, I hit this sucker:

A nice $250 win.  Of course, I would have preferred the King of Spades for a cool two grand . . . but I was in no position to quibble...

Around 8:30, I decided to make my way over to Borgata to grab some sushi at Izakaya.   Perhaps it was the four miler lites I had drained at Harrah's, but, for some reason, I decided to drink sake with dinner.  And I am not a sake drinker.   I have no idea what a reasonable amount of sake is.  I opted for a half-bottle:

In retrospect, a half bottle of sake may not have been reasonable.  I left dinner blasted and decided to head back to Harrah's to play some sloppy black jack.   I actually went on a nice run over the course of 2 hours and turned a $200 buy-in to a purple chip.   I ended the day down a mere $100.  Not bad after digging a $600 hole directly out of the gate.

Saturday morning, I shook off the sake fog and started grinding the 100 hand machine again.  Different day, same results.  Found myself down $500 or so before noon.  Fun times.

There was, however, a brief bright spot.  I was playing the machine where I lost the voucher Friday, and decided to try and find it.  Using the flashlight app on my phone, I was able to see the voucher.  It was about 3 inches deep in the gap.  I couldn't reach it with my finger.  I tried.  I'm sure security got a good laugh.  Then, a waitress came by and I borrowed her pencil.  After a little work, I was able to pop the voucher out of the gap.  BINGO!  I then lost the $65 in five minutes in the very machine that had robbed me of the money the day before.  Easy come . . .

So, after getting crushed . . . again . . . I went back to the single hand game, and got lucky once more:

Around 6:30, I walked back over to Borgata and grabbed dinner at Bobby Flay:

After crab cakes, a filet (medium rare, of course) and some delightful Cabernet, I walked back to Harrah's and . . . get this . . . decided to play some actual poker!!!!

It was around 10:00 pm, and a new table was opening.  Four of the players were in town for a bachelor party.  Um, thank you?  I mean, it's hard to find a better table than one with 4 drunk guys in town to party.   I bought in for $200 and got to work.  After 25 minutes or so, I took a nice pot from the bachelor himself when my A9 clubs turned the nut flush after a K-high flop.  Dead Man Walking had a red AK and, after calling $10 on the flop, and check calling $35 on the turn, I led the river for  a $75 over bet and the bachelor snap called, only to see the bad news.  Had I known how strong he was, I would have probably check raised the turn.

I hit another nice hand with QQ. After a $10 raise and three callers, I three-bet to $35 and got 4 calls. The flop was Jack high and it checked to me.  I bet out $80 and it folded around.  One guy claimed he folded AJ.  He was a pretty decent player, so it's possible.  

Finally, I had a nice win with JJ.  Not sure I played the hand very well, though.  In fact, in retrospect, the hand could very easily have cost me my entire roll . . . um, stack.  I was sitting on $300 plus to start the hand.  An older (Lightning-age) guy (in the blue jacket below) opened to $10 (he too was deep at the time) and I three bet to $28.  He just called and we went heads up to a 9-high flop.  He led for $24 and I raised to $75.  He thought about it, and called.  He looked distressed, but I couldn't tell if he was really reluctant or whether he was shooting for an Oscar.  The turn whiffed and he checked to me.  I figure I can't check back here, given the aggression I've showed up to this point in the hand.    Plus, my read was that old-man was playing a big ace, and I didn't want to give a free card.  I slide out a stack of reds.  I think anything less would have looked weak.  Yet, with a $100 bet, I was only left with about $100, which is obviously not an ideal spot for the river.   While I really did not think I'd get a call, had he called (or shoved) and bet the river, it would be hard for me to get away from my jacks.  In any event, he didn't call.  In fact, he mucked, face up.  He did not have a big ace. Rather, he had . . . KK.  Wow!  I'm not sure I would have been able to make that lay down.  Given my pre-flop three bet, it would be hard to put me on a set.  I guess he gave me credit for aces?  In any event, by this point in the evening, it was around 1:00 am.  And I had had a few cocktails.  And, despite my better judgment (assuming I had any judgment left at that hour), I tabled my jacks.   Old dude did not look happy.  Sort of like in the shot below:

After 3 hours, I racked up a sweet $603, and called it a trip.

Sadly, despite winning $700 playing cards (between BJ and poker), I still ended the trip down $150.  Given the two big VP wins I had (totaling $500 or so), I must have dropped nearly $1,400 on the ten and hundred hand machines.  Good grief!  But, a baller has to earn those comped rooms somehow I guess . . .

Sunday, August 3, 2014


It was a good weekend.  Had friends in town.  Spent Saturday afternoon sipping cocktails and eating seafood here:

Then spent the evening here:

Then spent Sunday afternoon mashing devils game at Maryland Live!

Came home to watch the Royals game streaming on MLB.Com on the Samsung Smart TV, while grinding Seals and finishing a bottle of Stags Leap Cabernet (yes, the Artemis is for Paupers):

And, as soon as James Shield's perfect game is broken up, I'm heading to Morton's to close out the weekend with a bone-in filet.

#Roughlife . . . #5daystilAC