Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 A Banner Year?

I made a quick 4 1/2 hour trip up to my Grandmother's house Christmas Eve after work.  We ate and talked that evening then got up the next day, opened gifts, ate and made the short 4 1/2 hour trip back home so we could open a few gifts there and get ready for work the next day.  It went that quick.

This weekend I will probably just hang around the house making deer jerky, play with the kids new toys and play some poker.  Next week I am going to OKC for New Years Eve.  It's been a while since I have celebrated New Years.  This year I am.  2010 was a banner year for me and my family.  It's amazing what you can do with 25 days of vacation.  I am pushing for this year to be a better year than 2010 with only 10 days of vacation.

I was hoping to take a weekend trip to Las Vegas soon.  I have enough points for several free flights.  Now I'm running into a lack of time to do it.  I think I will just wait until the WSOP is going on, then go out.  That will give me some time to save up some money.  I have several fishing tournaments that I need to save up for now.  I'm looking at 2 - 3 thousand dollars between entry fees and expenses for the tournaments.

I would also like to take a family vacation this year with just my wife and the kids.  It looks like that isn't going to happen.  My wife's family wants to do a vacation.  I've been getting out of this for years, but this will be her sister's oldest son's last year at home, so it sounds like we're going to make it happen.  We'll just have to make it epic.

The thought of going on a cruise has been running through my head for a few years now as well.  My friend and his wife want us to go with them this year.  Take a number, it looks like we may already be booked for 2014.  I might want to grab a number as well.  There's just not enough time off to do everything I want to do.  Disneyland, Italy, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Appalachian Mountains, you'll all have to wait.  I'm losing control of the decision making in my household. 

Sports are already starting to take over, with the kids.  Basketball, soccer, baseball.  Next year we start football.  It's all fun to watch, and the kids enjoy it, but if your a traveler, it cuts into your free time greatly.

Then you have my job.  I'm required to be here Monday's and Friday's every other week.  That eliminates options for half the year.  I have to plan any travels during the other week.

2014 will just have to be banner in a different way.  I'm not sure what will make it so banner, but I will find a way to make it so.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Back On Track - I Have a Poker Goal For January

This weekend I missed Christmas with my wife's family.  There were some issues with the computer system at work that I needed to get through in order to finish my job.  It was taking a lot longer than anticipated.  I sent my wife and kids on their way and worked late into the night Friday and came back in on Saturday to finish up.

Since I was home alone, I thought it was a good idea to get in some poker on Sunday.  I loaded up a few tournaments and went out 2 before the money in 2 of them.  I was frustrated in the third and went from a top 15 stack to out in no time.  Dumb!  The last one was the 11.00 Sunday tournament and had I maintained my stack and played smart it could have been a big payday.  That's what I get for not playing online tournaments in forever. 

After the 11.00 tournament, I still wanted to play some poker but I didn't want to play cash or tournaments.  That doesn't leave much.  I loaded super turbo SNG's and played a couple hours loading as many 1.10 games as I could get into.  I didn't make any money.  Over the course of 38 SNG's I was down close to 4.00.  In order to profit at these I need to win.  I took a bunch of 2nds.  The thing that really hurt was the amount of times I got all in with the best hand and lost.  I would have players dominated and they would draw out on me.  That's all good.  It's poker.  If I run the session again and win half those battles that I have the other player dominated, or win a few of the times that I am behind, I turn a good profit.

I think I'm going to devote January to Super Turbo SNG's and see if I can turn a profit over the course of the month.  With the promotions and VIP's, I think if I put in at least a one hour sessions a night, I should be able to produce some kind of profit.  It probably won't be the kind of profit that would be worth the time I put into it, but, it sounds like a fun challenge for myself.  So, my goal for January is to play 750 1.10 SNG's and turn a profit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

POKER! What Poker?

The Cousins Playing in the Bleachers at a Basketball Game

This blog is getting less and less about poker as I am now playing less and less.  At some point that will change again, maybe.  I like all the time it has freed up for me not playing.  We have been going to basketball games, traveling to visit family and friends on the weekends, and I have been spending much needed time with the kids.  They may not like it as I'm not doing everything they want to do.

This last weekend I did not hunt or shoot like I had planned on.  Instead I cleaned a deer that somebody had shot and tagged and did not want.  That's just about as fun for me.  Dad and I got to work and spent most of Saturday goofing around with that.  We fried up some back straps for supper that night.  The boys couldn't get enough. 

This week has been bad for me as far as watching my weight.  It's been food week at work.  Each department has cooked a meal each day for them and the rest of the departments.  We all end up eating a ton of not so healthy food.  Tis the season. 

I'm going to have to keep some extra snacks on hand when we go up North this weekend.  My appetite is raging now that I have eaten so much all week.  To try to shut that down to smaller than normal sized meals now would be bad.  I've got to wean myself off of big meals.  Going cold turkey doesn't work.  Unless there's a lot of cold turkey.  Turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie.  Wait, I'm getting off subject.  See, food week has gotten me all crazy.

BEWARE:  Poker Content Follows: KIND OF

On top of eating all week at work we had a magnificent meal for our end of the year poker tournament.  We had a fillet with sauteed mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, potatoes, rolls, appetizers, and dessert.  It was gourmet.  To top off the fabulous meal I took 4th place and got back a little more than my buy in. 

We start out Christmas vacation tomorrow and will be Christmasing it up until Christmas.  Yes, that's a word.  I just made it up, and it's the correct use of the word, since I made it up for that use. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Last night there were out of town basketball games for High School and Jr. High.  I volunteered to stay home and take care of kids.  I had 6 of them total by the end of the night.  I was tired from staying up late the night before so I had them play in the basement if they were going to get rowdy or they could stay upstairs if they were going to watch t.v. or play xbox. 

The baby and I stayed in the living room.  I laid on the couch and she crawled around playing with toys.  Every once in a while she made a break for the family room and I would have to get up and grab her and play with her until she would forget about the other kids in the family room for a bit. 

Around 10:00 the extra three kids were picked up so I put the boys to bed.  The baby was already asleep.  She didn't make it much past supper before she was ready to call it a night.

Once the boys were in bed I grabbed my phone and loaded up a table of .02 .04 NL.  I started out getting pocket pairs over and over.  I was pot betting them and the other players kept folding.  Finally, one of them tried to 3 bet me at the wrong time.  I had just gotten pocket aces.  I called instead of my usual 4 bet, hoping that the flop would not be too bad.  It was a dry flop and the other player led out with a pot size bet.  I called.  He went all in on the turn.  I looked at the board again.  Did he have trips, or was he making a play at me since I had been playing the way I had.  His all in was about a pot size bet and I had already invested the other half of my stack into this pot.  I made a crying call.  He had JJ on a Q high board.  I swept the pot.

The rest of the game, I could tell the others were willing to gamble but I could not find a good spot to pick off another stack.  I finished being up more than a buy in after playing for about an hour.

This weekend I am traveling back North to my parents house with the 2 boys.  There's still more hunting and shooting to do.  My plans for working on vehicles and playing poker have been smashed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In Your Neighborhood

We got a night at home last night, and after posting yesterday I decided to jump on a tournament.  The problem was it was already 9:00 when I decided I wanted to play.  All of the tournaments running had over an hour of late registration left.  I got on anyway thinking that I would get knocked out before the late registration was over and go to bed.

That didn't work out.  I played overly aggressive in a 2.20 knockout game and started getting calls at the wrong times and building a massive stack.  We got down to 3 tables by the time late registration ended and I was 1st in chips by a mile.  My plans on sleeping were over ruled. 

I got moved to a table with several aggressive players, so I let them do all the work, while I waited on a hand to play back at them.  I got very few good starting hands and by the time we made 2 tables the players were catching up to my chip stack which was still over 100 BB's. 

I padded my stack a little more by the time we reached the final table and was now 2nd in chips.  I was looking for spots to play at the shorter stacks but I was 2 behind the chip leader.  He was raising every hand and I didn't have anything that I wanted to call to see the flop. 

It got down to 4 of us left.  Three of us had similar stacks and the aggressive guy had a massive stack. I had been patient long enough.  I came over the top of him with nothing.  I paired mid pair on the board and when he checked I bet.  He called.  River was a blank below my pair so I bet again, thinking he would fold.  He called again.  I thought I might be in trouble at this point and when an ace fell on the river I checked behind him.  He had low pair. 

With that little boost, he backed off and I was able to play at the small stacks for a couple rounds increasing my stack size and decreasing theirs.

The final table was lasting forever, almost 2 hours by the time we got down to the final 2.  He had a 2 to 1 chip stack against me.  I started getting aggressive again and it would work until he would catch, then I would go back to my original chip count when we began heads up.  We did this over and over for the next 45 minutes.  Finally he went all in and I had AKo.  He had A9.  3 9 9 hit on the flop.  Game over.

It was nearly 3:00 in the morning when I got to bed.  The game lasted way longer than I thought it would but I was not giving up.  I had put on my headphones, turned on some music, put my hoodie over my head and went about grinding all night and early morning.  It felt good.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

If There's Something Strange

It's getting ready to warm up this week and I'm ready.  I've been a trooper with the cold weather.  I can bundle up and stay o.k., but I have some vehicle work to do and I don't like to do it in freezing weather.  I'll be putting in a fan blower motor resistor on one of our vehicles and rotating the tires on another.  Neither jobs are real issues, but if it's going to be warmer, I might as well do it.

Last night we went to the High School basketball games.  It sucks being an adult.  I want to be out there playing again.  It does make it a little better that our high school team is playing really well this year and is a lot of fun to watch.  They play right on the line of out of control, they are moving so fast. 

I'm going to be coaching the 1st and 2nd grade basketball team this year.  That ought to be interesting. 

On our way to the game we stopped at the local pizza place to eat.  We eat at home a lot so this was a treat.  I got a salad, and was eating very healthy until the pizza came out.  Nobody wanted the last piece and I sure wasn't going to waste it or take home one piece so I did my duty and polished it off making that my 4th piece of the night.

After last weeks liquid diet, thanks to having my teeth taken out, I have been craving lots of solid food.  I am back down to 215 lbs for the first time since I left for Las Vegas.  I haven't been trying too hard, but am thinking that I should try to get down to 210 by Christmas and below 200 by March.  I just don't know if I have that kind of willpower right now.  I can eat healthy and light, but getting outside to exercise in the cold and dark may be a little more than I am willing to do.

We are staying home again this weekend.  It may be time to put in a little time playing tournaments on Sunday.  Then again, it could be a good time to make Christmas cookies and candy. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

There's Always Next Week

It's been six days since the last post and I only have one poker session to speak of.  My break continues.  I'm not sure what happened.  For a full year I played and played poker every chance I got.  Now it's a not even a second thought in the evenings. 

I'm not sure if it's burnout or just a shift in priorities.  I've taken extended breaks like this before, where I didn't touch the computer for months at a time.  I get tired of trying to find the time to play and wishing that I could play all the time.  I've been going to bed at 10:00 and getting full nights of sleep.  I feel better. 

Part of me feels I should get back to playing.  The rest of me knows that the time away from the table is precious.  My kids won't be young forever and I don't want to miss the time that they still like to hang out with me. 

I finally feel like I've struck a balance with my life and poker.  That balance is only playing 1 night a week for fun with friends.  It's scheduled.  Everybody knows I do it.  I am supported in playing this game.  I'm risking the same amount of money with better odds of a payout. 

The rest of the time I barely watch T.V.  I play on my phone a lot while I sit in the living room.  I can put my phone down and play with the kids if I want. 

In the foreseable future I plan to play at the local game once a week.  I may jump online from time to time to play a tournament if I find the time.  The rest of the time I will just hone my skills at the live table.  It's a lot more fun than being belittled for my style of play online when I win a hand.

In this weeks local game I started out ice cold.  I couldn't get a good starting hand so I played mediocre starting hands.  I would catch a pair and the other person would have the stone nutz.  I was very low stacked very early in the game and had to tighten way up.  I won a couple of crucial hands as the blind levels got bigger and finally got to above my beginning stack a little after break. 

The blinds started eating away at my stack and I was soon down to 1 bb left.  I found a playable hand and tripled up putting me in the top 3 in chips.  People were going to start dropping at any minute so I stayed really tight.  Within that blind level we lost a few people and only needed 1 more to go out to make the money.  She got low stacked and was put all in by the blind.  I called without looking at my cards.  I don't remember what I had but it caught and got me in the money.

From there I was looking to wait out for 3rd and start playing.  The low stack caught twice as they blinded down to all in putting me at the bottom of the pile with 1 bb left.  I made my move against the blinds with K7o.  BB had A10 and spiked an A on the first card of the flop.  I didn't improve and ended my night.  There's always next week.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Back in Action

After a long hiatus of not playing online I finally played a bit on my phone yesterday on the way home from the dentist on the hour and a half drive back home.  I had 2 wisdom teeth pulled.  The poker went well but once I got home I decided to play higher stakes and got sucked out on over and over again.  Cash games suck!  Probably just because I suck at cash games.  I'll play on the computer so I can play sng's and tournaments.  If they get those on my phone - Look Out Betty!

We had a pretty good Thanksgiving.  We traveled to my parents and then to my grandmother's.  My 9 month old daughter seemed to enjoy the food the most.  She was all about trying everything and a lot of it.  She was hitting up anybody with food all Thanksgiving.  Just like a puppy. 

The day after Thanksgiving we did some pheasant hunting and stopped at the gun store to look at a gun I have been eyeing for a while.  They had a .223 bolt action rifle.  I passed it up so that I could go research it more.  It had great reviews and I found it a couple other places for a lower cost.  The next morning I e-mailed the gun shop and asked if they would come down on the price.  He did, so we went and picked it up.  Later that afternoon we went out and sighted it in at 200 yards.  It was a lot of fun playing with guns.  My .22 rifle is still the most accurate gun I have ever shot.  I was hitting the bulls eye with it at 200 yards.  I had to aim high at that distance but once I got the height down it was nothing but bulls eyes.  My .223 needs a lot of sighting done yet.  I have a couple hundred rounds to play around with. 

The ammo shortage seems to be slowing down a little bit.  I was able to find reasonable priced ammo for all of my guns this weekend.

We walked several fields while we were hunting.  I should have turned on my runkeeper to see how far we walked and how many calories I burned. 

I weighed myself this morning and I am still at 217 lbs.  I went and bought new jeans and pants yesterday since everything I have now is too big.  I didn't buy a lot of cloths because I am still wanting to drop some more pounds.  It may help being on a liquid diet for a few days thanks to the teeth.

Dad bought the boys go carts since the last time we were home.  My oldest son was brave enough to try one out.  He went slow since we didn't have a helmet yet and was having fun until Dad talked him into trying to go a little faster.  He went past us and his eyes were so wide his eyeballs could have fallen out.  He got it to a stop and shut it off.  He was done.  We told him he had to pull it in the shop to park it.  It took some convincing and he finally rode it slowly to the shop. 

All in all it was an unbeatable weekend.  Lots of food, hunting, shooting and playing.  Can't beat that.  Now I just have to heal so I can eat a steak.  Now that I can't have one, I am craving one bad.