Monday, August 17, 2015

Poker is . . . Fun

Saturday and Sunday, I played my first sessions since Vegas in early June, in between Orioles games.  A total of 6 hours, for ($130). 

Saturday night's session, from about 12:00 to 3:00 am was a bore-fest.  I was card dead.  As a result, I think I butchered one hand, that cost me most of the $100 loss.  I had 55 and limped in middle position, 4 ways.  The flop was 4 6 7 all spades.  It checked to me, and I bet $15.  Late position called, and the other two folded.  The turn was a red 4, and I bet $25 or so.  Again, a call.  I missed the straight on the river -- a red 6, and gave up.  Villain shoved his remaining $35.  The board was 46746, with the flush on the flop.  There is absolutely nothing I'm beating.  There's $130 in the pot, so I am getting like 5-1.  But, there's nothing in the world my 55's beat.  Yet, after 8 miller lites at the Orioles game, (which cost like $70), donating another $35 seemed charitable.  So, I make the call, and villain flips 2 5 spades for the flopped straight flush.  Even though it was only $35, I was sort of pissed at myself for not letting the hand go on the river.  I could hear Poker Meister in my head yelling at me for donating . . .

Sunday I played another 3 hours or so post game.  This time, I got dealt JJ four times.  Three times, I opened to $15 and got 3 to 4 callers.  All three times, over cards hit.  Twice, multiple over cards hit, and I checked the flop and gave up to turn bets.  The 3rd time, only a queen hit the flop, so I took a crack at a  C-bet and was called in one spot.  I doubled barreled on the turn, and got called again, before giving up to a $75 lead on the river.  KQ / AQ good.

The fourth time, I opened my JJ to $15, got re-raised by the small blind to $55, and just let them go.  Of course, later on in the session, some dude opened with JJ, got repopped all in, and called.  Three-better had AA.  Jack hits the river and JJ rakes a huge pot.  Whatever.  Fun game.

I also got dealt KK somewhere in the midst of my run of pocket jacks.  Here too, I opened from middle position to $15.  This time, of course, it folds around and I make $5 from the blinds.  #Run_Good

At the three hour mark, I was up about $40, and had to leave soon.  Final hand played, I look down at JT.  Luck box, whose been rivering everybody,  opens to $10 and gets two callers. What the hell.  I come along.  Flop is A T 3.  Luckbox bets $10.  It folds to me.  I choose to see another card.  Turn is a J.  Checks to me, and I bet $40.  Luck box calls.  River is a 3.  It checks to me and I check back.  Luck box flips A 7.  Nice counterfeit.  Poker is a fun game.      

Monday, August 10, 2015

Capital Improvements

I spent this weekend Staycationing in D.C. . . . Watching baseball.  Being a tourist.  I was struck by how much the city has changed in the 15+ years I've lived here.  

I moved to D.C. in 1995, and spent three years at law school at George Washington University in "Foggy Bottom."  I lived in a studio apartment about 4 blocks from campus (interestingly, in a building across the street from my current office).  Back then, when one crossed Pennsylvania Avenue after, say, 7:00 pm, heading up New Hampshire towards the residential areas of the city, the streets were empty.  I could walk home from the library at night and barely see another soul.  I remember going out to the local bars on Thursday night (Buffalo Billiards . . . The Front Page, et cetera).  We had a friend -- we'll call him Eric (because, like, that was his name).  He lived on 15th and K Street.  When we left the bars late a night, he'd throw on his backpack and literally RUN the three blocks or so to his place, on the theory that no one would put the effort in to mugging him if they had to chase and catch him first.  And, god forbid you walked easterly down Pennsylvania avenue towards the capital.  At night, and especially on the weekends, anything east of, say, 15th street was a giant homeless shelter.  A good place to get hit over the head.  I can remember walking to the Macy's at Metro Center on the weekends and being virtually alone with the vagrants.  And Chinatown was no place for a reputable person to spend time.  And the area south of the capital, along the Anacostia river, was a barren and scary land.

Fast forward to 2015.  I feel like the entire city has pretty much transformed.  Eric would look like a fool running home from the bars to 15th/K Street nowadays.  Hell, the entire Mass Ave corridor has gentrified nearly down to Union Station.  And Chinatown is Disney Land, thanks, largely, to the Verizon Center which brought professional sports from Landover, Maryland to the center of the city, and, along with it, residences, businesses, restaurants, bars and everything else.  I grabbed dinner at around midnight, Saturday night, at a joint in the area, and walked back to the hotel afterwards without a care in the world.  That walk would have been a non-starter 15 years ago.  And the area south of the Capital, along the waterfront . . . thanks to National's park, the same type of redevelopment that transformed Chinatown is happening along the river.  What use to be industrial warehouses, dilapidated row homes and homeless is now new restaurants, $800,000 one-bedroom condos and parents pushing kids in strollers.   What use to be closed businesses and empty streets on the weekends is now bustling with sidewalks full of tourists and residents.   In short, this is not the same city I moved to in '95.

Anyway, I'll leave you with some photos of my weekend:

Friday Night Game

The W Hotel - my home base for the weekend

Doors of the Justice Department

National Gallery

Sculpture Garden

National Mall from afternoon run

Suprem Court from Capital Grounds

'86 World Series Hero (Ray Knight)

Rockies warming up

Great Night for a Ball Game

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dry Spell

It recently occurred to me that I've played a mere hour of poker ("poker, . . . I hardly know her") since returning from Vegas the second week of June.  I drove up to the Shoe to play on a Saturday about a month ago, but wasn't feeling great; and, when I sat down, it turns out it was a table of maniacs.  I had two decent hands -- AJ and TT.  I raised both, and got three bet both times.  In fact, the TT was eventually 4-bet shoved before action got back around to me (incidentally, I would have rivered a Ten-high straight to take a $600+ pot, but, that's besides the point).  I was otherwise card dead, and, after an hour, I left.  I haven't played a hand since.

My free time has basically been consumed by a combination of (a) working and (b) following America's pastime.    Earlier in the week, I was tempted to get up to AC this weekend to throw some chips around.  But, then, last night, I arrived home and found a package from FedEx awaiting my arrival -- my 2015 Jets season tickets.  And, it hit me, baseball will soon be coming to an end.  Indeed, August is generally the last month I catch live games (post season bases, aside, of course).  I mean, once September comes, it's hard to justify spending a Saturday or Sunday at a baseball game, when there is delicious football to be consumed.  So, ultimately, I opted to stay in town and catch the Nats - Rockies series at Nationals Park.  And, next week, I'll be driving up to The Yard for what may, perhaps, be my last Orioles game of the season.  Finally, the following week, I'll be in Denver for the Mets - Rockies series (before beginning a 7-day road trip through the Badlands, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons to get my mutha-fuck'n nature on!).  Anyhow, I'm sucking the life out of this bases season.  No regrets during the long winter off season.  And, of course, #LGM.