Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kings Overthrown

After spending five hours in the office, I made the drive to Charles Town for some Saturday Pokers.  There were 46 on the wait list when I arrived, but I was seated within 30 minutes.  Which, it turns out, was longer than I played.

I bought in for $300.  Several hands in, a short stacker raises to $5.  A pony-tailed hillbilly re-raises to $12.  I'm in the Big Blind and look down at KK.  Jackpot.  I make it $37.  Both call.  Flop is Q-high, two clubs.  I check.  Short stack shoves for $99 and hillbilly calls.  I tank a bit.  Not worried about short stack who opened for $5.... Worried Hillbilly has QQ.  Ultimately, I can't fold.  And, not going to call.  So, I jam.  Hillbilly calls off his last $115.  Club on the turn . . . Hillbilly has A(c) J (c).  Good start.

I add on $200 and a few hands later, I call $7 seven ways with 22 and flop a set.  Hillbilly leads for $12.  One caller, and the rest fold before action gets to me.  I can obviously raise here.  But I decide to slow play it, ready to get way from the hand if the board gets scary.  Of course, Club on the turn.  But, Hillbilly only bets like $15.  So, I call. Fourth club comes on the river.  Of course.  Hillbilly bets $35.  I fold.  Meh.  Played it overly passive, but I can live with the result.

A few hands later, I get KK . . . again.  I'm in middle position.  Guy opens for $7.  I raise to $25.  Guy 4-bet min-raises.  I think about putting in a 5th bet; but just call.  Flop it 7-high.  I check and he bets  $60.  I only have like $150 or so left.  I jam.  He snaps with AA.  Done.

Perhaps I could have gotten away from the last hand. I spoke with Poker Meister on the drive home, and he suggested (a) a 4 bet is almost always AA at $1/2; and (b), had I 5 bet to like $90, I could have re-evaluated and perhaps gotten away from the hand pre flop.  I don't disagree.  But, I think, in my head, I figured, "really?  Poker gods are gonna do me like this?  Give me a set up KK against AA so I get stacked with cowboys TWICE in twenty minutes?"  Of course, I know that all of that is meaningless.  But, it was my mind set at the time.  I simply thought, "if I'm up against AA, then fuck it . . ."  

Anyway, I guess I should have worked more this afternoon . . .


Monday, February 22, 2016

A Tale of Two Dreams

I've had two relatively interesting dreams the past week.  The first was last Wednesday night.  I dreamt our firm went under.  We all were informed, unsuspectingly, that we no longer had jobs.  It was a shock.  I awoke shortly after the news came down.  Then, Friday, I learned that one of our attorneys was actually being let go.  Unlike my dream, we were not all out of jobs; but one of us was.  Coincidence?  Am I psychic?   Did I somehow, unknowingly hear something through the walls which, consciously, I was unaware, but manifested in my dream?  Who knows.  But, it was a strange turn of events.

Then, last night, I had another dream.  I was driving in a car.  The infamous Tony Bigcharles was in the back seat.  I'm not sure where we were going; we seemed to be somewhat lost; and the roads we were driving were becoming increasingly remote, and increasingly more narrow.  I became concerned the car would not be able to pass through the streets and we'd be stuck, of course.  At some point, we were forced to actually cut through someone's house.  The family was black, [yo]u see.  We made it from the back door off the kitchen through the front door and back on to the street.  And that's when I awoke.  I'm not sure what, if anything, this dream meant.  I'd be inclined to believe nothing, if not for the events that transpired following last week's dream.  I'm considering taking public transportation for the short term . . . you know, just in case.   

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Back to the Chuck

For the second time this month, Friday afternoon, I made it out for a few hours of poker.  Venue of choice?  Charles Town.  I had not played "The Chuck" in years.  Basically, since Maryland Live! and then The Shoe opened in Maryland.  But I can't say I love playing at either room.  Seems like MDL! still has long wait lists at prime times, and I just don't have the time or patience to show up at the casino and wait an hour to play.  I'll end up grabbing a few beers and smashing VP while I wait and, more often than not, my night goes off the rails before I ever even play a hand.  As for the Horseshoe . . . Often times, the $1/3 game plays outside my comfort zone.  Not because of the $3 big blind, but rather, the style of play.  There are many nights every other hand seems to be opened to $20 or $25 with 4 callers.  I know some people love these types of games.  But I have a hard time playing when I feel like I may end up playing for stacks every pot I enter.

Interestingly, the Chuck use to play this way as well.  But, lately it seems, the game has changed.  I played two sessions February 6th (surrounding an OAR show at the "events center"), and a three hour session Friday.  Each time, the games were relatively passive, and most definitely soft.  A few competent players, and lots of bad players.

My first session, February 6th, began around 3:00 pm.  It resulted in a small $29 loss.  I was largely card dead.  I finally got a big hand and, arguably, made the wrong play with it.  The hand was against two of the better players at the table.  I began the hand with approximately $300.  Both villains had me covered.  Villain 1 opens to $10.  Villain 2 flats. I look down at AA and raise to $26.  Both call.  Flop is K J T (rainbow, I believe).  It checks to me, and I opt to check.  My thought at the time was two-fold.  One, not a great flop.  Sure, there's a lot of hands villains could have played that I'm way ahead of; but there's also a fair amount that I'm crushed by.  KK likely would have four-bet, but JJ and TT could have flatted.  Some two pair hands hit that flop; and a bunch of strong draws that likely are not getting out of the way to a C-bet.  I felt like this was a good spot to exercise some pot control, and re-evaluate on the turn.  I check through.  The turn is an 8.  Villain 1 checks, Villain 2 bets $30.  I call.  Villain 1 bows out.  The river is a 4. Villain 2 bets out $70.   Certainly a reasonable bet into a $135 pot. Felt valuey to me.  Villain HAS TO KNOW I have a hand here.  I had not been active, and here I three bet.  What's my range?  And how does my range NOT smash that flop?  So, I figure villain is polarized here.  He's either got AA crushed or he's bluffing.  It was a really close call; but I opted to fold.  More of a gut play.  Villain shows 99. Nice hand.

I sat down for a second session later that night after the show.  This table was truly awful.  One decent player and 7 calling stations.  So, of course, I found myself down $200 the very first orbit.  My third hand dealt, I get "The Grump." 2-4.  I play it, of course, because I've never, ever, won a hand with The Grump, and I really want to experience the magic.  Flop is A 5 3.  Not bad.  We're 6 handed, so I bet it.  One caller.  An older, hillbillyish dude who's shortstacking.  He's already busted once since I've bee at the table and rebought.  Turn is a J.  I bet, he calls.  River is a 5.  Hillbilly shoves for like $65.  I call.  He flips J5 for the boat.  Nice.  Two hands later I raise KJ to $10, flop top 2, and get sucked out on the river to woman's flush.   But, as I said, the table was bad; and so, I added on, and eventually worked back to even and left at 2:00 or so with a $75 profit.  I would have played longer, but needed to get up early Sunday morning to crush some work product.

Friday's session was fantastic.  Began around 3:00.  New table.  Two older regulars (husband and wife), a couple of younger guys, a middle aged, competent reg, and a guy who admittedly had "never played in a casino before."    Guy in the 1-seat was a forty-ish, tatted up, black dude who fancied himself a solid player, but was truly, truly awful.  He bought in for $150 and got stacked 4 times in less than 2 hours.  All bad luck, of course.  The first time, he had AA on the button and raised 4 limpers . . . to $7.  I throw in an extra redbird, as did the other three folks.  Ultimately, of course, some dude played T 7 and flopped two pair to crack his aces.  The whining about "bad luck" thus began, even though he was quick to tell the table that he raised small "to get action on his hand."  Well done, sir.  Guy rebought, titled, and got stacked again by the same guy 5 minutes later when the guy sucked out with two pair on the river.  Dude continues his complaints: "AGAIN. Why do I ALWAYS get rivered?"  Well, sir . . . Not sure "once" is "always."  But, what ever.

For my part, let's just say I had a good session.  Won with QQ on a T-high flop.  I opened to $12 and got two callers.  Flop was T high, I bet and one call.  Turn was a low card.  I checked, hoping to look like I had C-bet the flop with a big Ace and get paid on the river.  Sure enough, river blanks, guy fires $65, I snap, and he mucks.  Won with KK. Opened to $12, got one caller, who folded before I could even cut out chips for a flop bet.  Won with AA against the dude in seat one.  He opened to $7.  I 3-bet to $26, and he calls.  Flop was 5T6 (two spades).  I bet the flop, and he calls.  The turn blanks, I bet $55 and he calls.  River is the queen of spades.  He has about $85 left.  I don't feel great about my hand.  Against a better player, I may try to get out of this hand cheaply.  But, against Seat 1, I feel good about trying for value.  So, I slide out a stack of red to put him all-in.  And, he tanks.  Starts talking aloud: "Did you hit your flush?  Did you really river me with the flush?"  Gulp.  From his talk, I assume he does, in fact, have AA beat.  I'm hoping for a fold.  But, after two minutes or so, he calls. I show AA and he just mucks, and continues railing about his bad luck.  Wow.  Um, what the hell did he have that he called off his stack with and could not beat a pair?  Was my three-bet not a clue that I had a big hand?  Anyhow, I'll take it . . .

Won, for like, the first time ever, with The Grump on an A 2 4 flop where I got three streets of value.

Meanwhile, one of the younger guys open shoves $175.  It folds around.  Dude shows AA and proclaims, "I refuse to get sucked out on with aces."  I can't help myself, and offer a "nice hand, sir."  Really?

Perhaps the most interesting hand of the day occurred mid-session.  By way of background, there is an hourly "high hand" of $250.  But, you need a players card to qualify.  I don't have one.  In know . . . I know . . .  But, any way . . .  I end up limp-calling a $7 raise with 8(d) T(d).  Six people see the flop, which is a  delightful T T 4.  Dude bets the flop, gets two callers.  I just call.  Turn is a T.  Quads.  The AA-shover bets $15 or so.  Gets one call, and I raise to $65.  Kid calls.  River is . . .  something.  Kid checks, and I bet $135.    Kid calls with a 4.  Yes, a 4.  He claims he thought I was bluffing because "no way would something raise the turn and risk not getting to the showdown with the high hand.  Um, he definitely would if he didn't have a players card!

I ended up walking after a quick three hour session, cashing out $734.  I'll continue to play Charles Town.  Games seem good . . .

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Nigerian Prince

Sometimes, when I'm bored at work, I'll respond to scam emails.  It's prolly a waste of time.  But I'd like to think that, every now-and-then, some jackass criminal from a third-world country actually takes the time to consider my response:

-----Original Message-----

From: Ester Williams [mailto:estywiliams@aol.com]

Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2016 5:26 PM

Subject: charity


May the good God bless you and you family as you read this note and respond. I have been touched to donate from what I have made from this World to charity through you for the good work of humanity, rather than allow my relatives to use my hard earned funds inappropriately after my death.

Please email me, so I can tell you what you need to do and also give you more details about myself and what I intend to accomplish.


Ester Williams

Ms. Williams:

I am pleased beyond that which I can express through written word to have received your correspondence.  And I am eager to benefit  from whatever assistance you may be willing to donate. 

By way of background, and in the event you are considering multiple beneficiaries, please note that I am both saddened and humbled to advise that times have recently been tough.   Though I work two-and-three/fourths jobs six-and-one/third days a week, I lack the resources to live more than the life of a meager pauper.  My greatest efforts are barely enough to avoid vagrancy.  Indeed, if not for my utter detest of vagrants, I might just decide to abandon my efforts and succumb to a life of self-loathing.  Yet, daily, I continue to persevere.  Often, at the end of a long thirteen-and-one/half hour day, I retreat to what I call my "home" and sit, silently,  in darkness.  Even the most rudimentary entertainment is a luxury I can no longer afford.  Specifically, three-and five/fourths months prior, I sold semen to purchase a third-and-one/fifth generation Atari game console; yet I arrived home only to find my electricity cut for what the electric company referred to as "recalcitrance in payment."  Now I eat franks and beans for supper most days of the week.  Not because I like franks; or beans; but because I cannot afford more delicious tubesteaks or legumes.  At the end of the evenings, which seem to last forever, I brush my teeth with my finger and rest my head on a pillow made from imagination.  Not surprisingly, I often I find it difficult to sleep.  Despite the solitude, I hear many voices.  They joke; they ridicule; they tell old-time stories; they sexually harass; they make false promises; they complain I overcooked the franks; and the beans.  They are both my only friends and my worst enemies.  Informally invited; yet always overstaying their welcome.  Morning finally comes; but nothing changes.  And so goes my life. 

Please note that I do not seek your pity.  Please further note that I do not feel at fault for my circumstances; yet I do not feel free of blame.  I regularly ponder the basis for my predicament.  Yet, every time I arrive at a reasonable explanation, the aforementioned voices are there to debunk my logic and ridicule my conclusions.  I don’t feel hopeless; but I don't believe there is any hope for me whatsoever.  In sum, I exist not because I want to; but because the voices advise that I have to.

Ms. Williams, in closing, I raise prayer that you will be a most gracious benefactor.  And I pray further that your decision is made with the utmost haste, as I cannot promise how much longer I shall be able to endure my predicament.  I mean, if I have to eat ONE MORE GODDAMN FRANK OR BEAN, I'M GONNA LOSE MY SHIT!!!   Sorry.  I really just hate franks and beans.  Anyway, regardless of your decision, you truly are God's most beautiful angel.       

Yours very truly,

Pete P. Peters