Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend in the Desert

It's Monday morning and I'm back at the grind.  I got home last evening from a quick trip to Vegas -- my first since Labor Day weekend; and likely my only trip this year.  I have not been gambling much.  And that did not change this past weekend.
I was originally scheduled to fly out to the desert Thursday evening; late on an 8:00 pm flight.  However, on Tuesday I changed my mind, partly due to not wanting to leave work too early on Thursday to head to the airport; and also because the weather looked a bit sketchy.  Turns out, this was a good call and the flight I was booked for ended up being delayed almost three hours and not landing until nearly 2:00 am. 
I got in to Vegas at 12:20 Friday and was promptly long-hauled to Aria.  Wasn't even asked what route I wanted to take.  I guess I've got that newbie look or something.  After a quick salad at Todd English Public House, I mashed a bit of video poker before making my way over to Paris to pick up my "Diamond Celebration Dinner Voucher."  Then it was off to check out the Beer Garden at Paris -- a pretty cool outdoor spot.  From there, it was Gordon Ramsey Steak for dinner and, perhaps, one-too-many glasses of wine. 
I got out of dinner around 9:00, and went over to Bally's to sling some cards.  Suffice it to say, I was a bit in the bag by my arrival; and a handful of Coronas at the table did not help to sober up the situation.  I was self-aware enough to recognize most of the table was drooling for my chips.  Little did they know that I can still play relatively decent poker under the influence.  After getting down $100 or so, I doubled up when I raised 99 and spiked a set against a pair of aces.  A short while later (or, perhaps a short while prior . . . who knows), Coach showed up to play some hands.  Sadly, the table broke not too long thereafter (and just after I knocked a full Corona off  my side-table).  I had gotten up to use the rest room, and upon my return, the game was done.  Multiple people were trying to get me to stay and take a seat at another game, but I declined.  It was close to 4:00 am est and I had been up nearly 24 hours.  It was time to call it a night.      
I set my alarm for 7:00 am Saturday, intent on getting a prime spot at the pool at Aria.  However, as is often the case when in Vegas, I awoke on my own at 6:30.  After a few coffees, I made my way to the pool as planned.  Sun. Coronas.  A pleasant morning.  I left around 2:00 to take a short nap before heading over to Mandalay Bay to see Santana once again.  While I had originally planned to play some poker Saturday night, I ended up post show at Ri Ra watching the Black Donnelly's play.  In the end, I gambled zero dollars Saturday.
And Sunday was more of the same . . . I spent most of the day at the pool before heading down to Mandalay Bay to watch the Mets-Pirates game at the book and to have dinner at Strip Steak.  After dinner, I realized I'd have to be up at 6:00 am to catch my flight home and decided to do the responsible thing and call it an early night.  I was back in my room by 11:00 pm.
Not my typical Vegas getaway.  But, it was probably the best time I've had there in years. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


"A purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs"

  • The Director of the FBI is appointed to a ten-year term, the purpose of which is to avoid exertion of political pressure on the Nation's top law enforcement official.
  • In July 2016, the FBI begins investigation into Russian interference in 2016 election process.  
  • In 2016, during the Presidential Campaign, then candidate Trump criticized FBI Director Comey for not bringing charges against Hillary Clinton.  Later, in October 2016, Trump publically praised Comey:
"That was so bad what happened originally, and it took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution . . .  It took a lot of guts."
"What he did, he brought back his reputation — he brought it back . . .  He's got to hang tough because a lot of people want him to do the wrong thing. He did the right thing."

  • In January 2017, the Justice Department Inspector General launches internal investigation into Comey's handling of Clinton Probe.  This investigation is ongoing as of May 9.   
  • The week of May 1, 2017, Comey testifies before the Senate and, among other things, confirms that FBI investigation in to Russian meddling: 
    “[I]ncludes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts . . ."
  • May 9, Trump fires Comey, citing memorandum prepared by Deputy Attorney General (and signed off on by AG Sessions, who recused himself from Russia Inquiry), which points to Comey's handling of Clinton investigation in 2016 as basis for decision.
  • Trump, in Comey termination letter, writes:
"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
  • As of May 9, there remained an ongoing investigation by Justice into Jim Comey's handling of the Clinton probe.
  • There remains an ongoing investigation, led by the very agency Jim Comey was, until May 9, in charge of, into whether or not White House associates colluded with Russia to impact the 2016 Presidential Election.
If you believe that Trump abruptly fired Jim Comey on May 9 for his handling of the Clinton investigation in 2016, prior to Justice concluding the active investigation into Comey's handling of the that very inquiry, you are an idiot.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

One Hand

I had been itching to play some poker all week.  Initially, I booked a room at National Harbor Friday-Saturday, and planned to play all weekend at MGMNH.  But, as often happens, work got in the way and I had to cancel.   Then, Friday, mid-morning, I thought, "screw it," and decided I'd leave work around 2:00 and at least spend Friday night at MGMNH.  But, as often happens, work got in the way ... no less than 4 clients called / emailed with things they needed, like, immediately. Friday night was shot.

So, yesterday (Saturday) a woke up with intentions of working.  But then I realized Dylan Bundy was throwing at the Yard at 7:05 and decided to go. And then I figured, "if I'm going to Baltimore for the evening, I might as well just leave now and play some poker . . ."  And so, I did.  Of course, now, Sunday morning, I'm pretty fucked and need to figure out how to cram 10 hours or so of work into the day.  But, any way . . .

This hand occurred late in my session.  The set up: $1/3 NL.  My stack is about $450.  Villain -- an early 30's, married, black Uber driver / part-time pimp for white drug addicts -- had just sat down with a fresh $300.  He's in position.  

Botton straddles to $10. UTG+1 (an older gent) raises to $25.  It folds to me, and I look down at AA.  Straddler had been re-popping; but the UTG+1 raise looks strong and I decide I can't count on him to raise in this spot.  So, I make it $75.  To my surprise, villain tanks and flats.  Botton and UTG+1 let it go.

Flop: Q J 3.

My initial thought - "yuck."  I check, figuring I'm either way ahead or way behind.  Villain sticks in his last $225 in green chips without hesitation.  I make the call . . .  Turn is a K (double Yuck) and river blanks . . .

My thought process at the time -- There's $400 in the pot.  I'm not folding my AA.  If he flopped the set, good for him.

Soon after leaving, I texted Vegas Rob, who fired off a "Terrible call by you . . ."  Of course, I don't think this was based on any analysis of the hand.  More like Rob just trying to kick me in the nutz 😏...   But it prompted some post hoc analysis of the hand.   My three-bet to $75 screams monster, particularly since I had not gotten out of line all day.  AA or KK for sure.  Probably QQ.  Maybe TT to JJ.  So, when it folds around to Uber Driver, assuming he's a thinking player, what's his flatting range?  If I'm him, I'm mucking JJ.  I have to believe that I'm more than likely set mining, and at $75 with $300 effective, it does not make sense.  Moreover, if I'm Uber Driver and I have QQ, it makes it much less likely that the $75 three-bet is QQ.  So, again, what am I ahead of?  TT or JJ?  And both of those are at the very bottom of the three-better's range....  So, given the action and the stack size, isn't the flopped set somewhat unlikely?  Or, am I just trying to rationalize a terrible call?  

The King on the turn, of course, was particularly gross, but . . .

Oh, and by the way:  Villain's hand revealed below:

Villain flipped 77.  Speaking of terrible calls . . . .