Monday, December 29, 2014

Coaching Basketball

I'm back from a busy Christmas weekend.  We traveled to Grandma's in Colby, KS, then to Mom and Dad's on Christmas Day.  The next day we went to Kearney, NE to spend time at Holiday Inn with my wife's family for a couple of days.  We made it back home yesterday. 

I am more tired than before we left.  It's nice to be back in our own bed's. 

Basketball practice started last week.  I am coaching the 1st and 2nd grade team here.  The kids show a lot of promise this year.  We have a lot to learn and they are learning quickly.  When my boys first got into sports, I was asked to coach and reluctantly did it.  As my kids are getting older, I find myself volunteering when we sign them up.  I really love coaching.  I ask my kids every time if they want me to be their coach and so far they have said yes.  If they did not want me to be, I would step aside. 

Basketball is really fun to coach.  There is so much to the game and these boys are just learning.  Every basket made is like winning a championship.  Even in practice.  Last week we executed a play (passing to the post and shooting) and made a basket.  The kids were jumping up and down and high fiving.  If we take that kind of energy into a game, I will be one happy coach.

Last year was rough.  We didn't win a game.  We barely ever scored.  I learned a lot, the kids learned a lot.  This year I have a few players returning.  That will make a huge difference.  Last year was our first year in this league that allows 1st and 2nd graders to play.  We had all newbie's playing against kids that had played the year prior.  That may not help us win this year, but it will not hurt our chances. 

I have been working with the boys on a lot of things we didn't or couldn't last year because we had to learn the fundamentals.  We have a few kids that we work with on the side on the fundamentals, but we are able to focus a lot of our practice time on drills and play that will help us in the game.

Last Monday was the next to last game of the year for Monday Night Muck Em.  I got there late due to basketball practice.  I was the last one there and the first one out.  The players right behind me in points standing did not do well either.  The players ahead of me did o.k.  I still have a shot at 1st or 2nd in points for the year tonight depending on if they take a dive and I pull out a win.  I have 3rd locked in even if I am the first one out.  After tonight I will have 1 to 3 extra Benjamin's in my pocket.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Time For Change

This weekend I decided I was going to try to win my way into America's Card Room's 1 million dollar event.  First I had to take care of some things around the house, then I was going to win my way into the game, run hot, and take down the whole thing.

I ran into a problem.  The site froze as I started to play.  It stayed frozen all night into the next day.  I never did finish the tournaments I was in to win a seat.  I'm not sure if it is working yet today or if they refunded my entry fees.  All I know is that I am not $200,000.00 richer.  I guess I will have to way for the holiday millions lottery raffle to pay off.

Monday night I was able to make it to the game and even finished 2nd.  It's been a while since I had a high finish.  That should secure my 3rd place spot for the next 2 weeks.  It also put me in a spot I could contend for 1st if I could pull out a couple last of the year wins. 

I will be coaching my boys in basketball again this year.  We start practice next week and play until the end of January.  As if that will not keep me busy enough, I am also looking into buying a business.  I have been working with the economic development department for the state to get cash flow projections, a business plan put together and look at loan options.  On top of that I have been traveling back and forth across the state, and getting ready for Christmas.

I am looking into buying a marina.  I would be fulfilling a life long dream of mine in doing so.  I would be giving up a lot in doing so as well.  Things that I have become accustomed to, like time off, travel, family time.  The marina has a lot to offer and is set up truly turn key.  They have it running like a top now and making a good profit. 

It's amazing how all of the different jobs I have had will play a role in operating this business.  I have had experience in Marketing, bookkeeping, management, H.R., payroll, purchasing, customer service as well as restraint, housekeeping, maintenance etc.  It feels like I have been doing all of these things for a reason and this is supposed to be my reason.

There's still a lot of hard work to be able to pull this off and a short timeframe to do so.  I may not post a lot in the near future while I am trying to pull everything together.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Good News for Poker Players

Update From Poker Players Alliance
Weekly Update from Rich Muny, VP of Player Relations

 I have terrific news to share with you. Following a major fight on Capitol Hill, the last “must pass” bill moved forward without Sheldon Adelson’s online poker ban attached! Chances of Adelson succeeding in the lame duck had been estimated to be as high as 50/50 by former Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV), so it is clear the poker community won a major battle for our game this week.

I wish to thank you and everyone who stood strong and refused to allow Sheldon Adelson and his cronies to usurp our rights.

That being said, a victory lap is premature. After all, the lame duck session is not quite over. We all still need to remain vigilant while continuing to let our lawmakers know that we oppose this bill and that we are paying attention. And, as 2015 will see a tenacious fight at the state and federal levels for our game, the action we all take now will help lay the foundation for next year.

I was excited to see this news when I looked to see if there was an update on the poker players alliance homepage.  I still like to play online every once in a while.  My hopes of the good ole days of playing with people across the world have all but vanished.  There is still hope that some day there will be a poker boom again in the United States where I can play more than just a few tables at a time.  I don't need 3 screens now for the few games I can get going. 

There was no Monday Night Muck Em for me this week.  My kids had a Christmas program at school that night so I skipped the poker.  There were quite a few others that did as well, so I should still be ranked in the top 3 for the year.

I am considering playing a local game tonight that I rarely go to.  We are out of town a lot on the weekends or have something going on Friday nights.  I have no plans and I have not played at all this week.  It may be time for some pokerz.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monday Night Muck Em

This last week I have spent time with family, giving online poker players a break.  Last night was our Monday night Muck Em game.  As the game started I played quite a few hands and tightened up as the blinds went up.  Partially because I stopped getting good looking cards.  They turned ugly.

Finally I got 2 face cards and ended up almost all in with them when the board hit middle of the road.  The other player called on the flop with 22.  The board double paired counterfeiting her pair and giving me a decent chip stack.  I took advantage of the blinds once, when they both commented how they got blind hands.  I was on the button so I raised and took advantage of their comments.

With 6 players left I was late position when I looked down at pocket Q's.  I raised the pot 3X to 6000 chips.  I got 2 reluctant callers, one of which was all in.  The first card out was an ace.  I was able to check it down with the other player who had pocket J's.  The all in player had AK.  Two weeks in a row I have been slobbered with high pocket pairs by an ace hitting first thing on the flop. 

Again I started to bounce back until I decided it was a good idea to call an all in with K7 for another half a blind when I was the big blind.  He had Q 10.  I caught my K on the river but it was the 4th diamond that fell and I did not have one.  He did.  The next hand I was all in, in the small blind with A9.  Only the button and big blind were in the hand.  The big blind was all in as well.  I had A9c.  The flop missed me but paired the BB's 6.

With 4 weeks left for points this year, I am still in 3rd.  I have a lot of players on my tail now as the three of us on top have not been finishing great.

I'm getting myself where I want to be towards the end of the game.  I just need to close out.  K's and Q's are killing me.

For the year I have been ahead money wise for a few months now in the Muck Em game.  Each time I place in the top, is profit.  It would be nice to have a few more scores before the end of the year to increase that profit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Caution! Pair of Suited Aces

Last week we were having some internet connection issues while I was playing.  I raised on this current hand on the button only to see this flop.  A flush draw with a pair of suited aces.  That's gotta be a winner right?  Apparently the internet failed a couple hands before and A3 was the hand I had the previous hand.  When I looked at the hand history, I apparently raised with J4o. 
This weekend I traveled North to visit family and friends at Dad's 60th birthday party.  Mom and Dad had hired a band and turned their shop into party central.  It was a lot of fun.  I had a 2 day hangover.
Monday night we had our Muck Em game.  I was playing tight again, trying to get points.  At the final table I was sitting with a decent chip stack.  I could fold to the bubble easily.  I was in the big blind and a decent stack from the other side of the table raised.  I look down at pocket K's.  I push and get a reserved call.  I have him slightly covered.  He turns over AQ.  First card out is an ace.  Crapsickles.  With one blind left I made it 3 more orbits and got a little life back.  Unfortunately nobody else was going out. 
On the last hand I was sitting in late position and nobody had bet.  I go all in for 3 1/2 bb's with K9o.  The big blind insta called.  She had pocket 7's.  I hit a 9 out of the gate, but the turn brought a 7.  No points for me.  One player slightly under me and one person over me in points had good finishes.  I'm still sitting in 3rd in points for the year.  I will need points to hold on now.
Last night I played quite a few double or nothings and a couple of tournaments.  No luck.  Every time somebody pushed with an ace they caught it.  Every time I needed one it never came.  No fair.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flopped Royal

This weekend I got my third Royal Flush.  It was in a double or nothing game and I did not win a lot with it, but I did win the game eventually.  I got my first ever royal in a tournament at the Riviera in Las Vegas.  We were on the bubble.  I had nut flush on the turn and called an all in bet.  He had hit his boat.  I thought I was crushed until someone out of the hand calls for my royal flush card and it hits on the river.  I ended up getting a 2nd place finish.  It was my 2nd tournament cash in Vegas and was awesome to say the least.  Had I been in the cash game I would have gotten 1000.00 for hitting a royal flush.  No matter what, it was special to me.
The second royal flush I had was on pokerstars.  I don't remember any specifics other than I hit one again.  
This hand did not help the rest of my day.  I ended up a loser for the day after playing a bunch of 1 and 2 dollar tournaments mixed with a couple 5.50 and 11.00 tournaments.  I only had 1 final table and finished 9th in the 2.20 nightly.  The 2.20 nightly seems to be my game lately.
Monday night I went into the game feeling a little more confident after playing so many hands over the weekend.  It was pretty slow going at the start.  I won one big hand with a 10 8 when 1 player went all in and 2 others called on my big blind.  With a 10 high flop I shoved the rest of my chips out and was called by pocket 7's.  The all in player had AQ and did not hit.  I held against the 7's and scooped a big pot.
From there I tried to get in a couple of pots but they were raised dramatically and I would have to fold and wait for my opening.  That opening never came.  With 5 left and 4 getting paid I had to make a move.  Finally I got an AK.  I went all in and was called.  I caught and doubled up keeping me alive a little longer.  It didn't take long to get down to 3 players.  With 3 players left, I got cards any time I needed them and came back from being down to 1 chip to being in contention to win. 
Chips moved around the table over and over again.  Nobody would go out.  Then it happened.  The low stack went all in and both of us called.  I lost the hand but so did the small stack.  I was crippled at that point.  I won the next 3 hands and was back to even.  The last hand I had K6 and moved all in again.  This time he had A5.  He won the hand with A high. 
With 6 weeks left in the points race I am still in third.  I made a move though as the 2 players below me and the 2 above me did not end up in the points.  There is still some room to win this thing with a little luck and some solid play.   

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Midweek Play

We are in between sports and running around right now.  Last night I took advantage of it getting dark early.  Once I got supper fixed I dusted off the laptop.  Set me up a gaming station and fired up 6 games.  I had 3 1.00 games, a 2.00 game, and 2 5.00 games. 
In each of the games I started out on fire, building imaginary chip stacks.  I min cashed in the first 5.00 game for 9.00.  I then won an 11.00 ticket in one of the 1.00 games.  It automatically put me into the 11.00 nightly game that had been running for an hour and a half.  Not cool.  I was placed at a table with a bunch of chip stacks. 
I lost one of the 1.00 games a ways from the money and min cashed the other.  I was doing well and was still in the 2.20 nightly, the 5.50 nightly and the 11.00 nightly tournaments.  I broke the money bubble in good condition in the 2.20 game.  I was doing really well with 9 players until money in the 11.00 game.  I got pocket Kings and raised 3X bb.  Larger stack across the table goes all in.  I call.  He has K2d and hit 3 diamonds on the flop.  I tried to keep my composure but I'm sure that affected my play in the 5.50 nightly game on the way through the bubble.
I got through the bubble on the 5.50 game and ended up min cashing in it.  The last game going was my 2.20 nightly game.  It was a long battle and I made it all the way to 14th place before I busted out with KQ offsuit.  I was getting low on chips.  Caller had JJ.  I was sad to go as it was a really fun table.  I rarely get a really fun table on an online tournament.  Everybody was chatting and having a good time. 
So close to a final table.  I did have to play down to 12 for an 11.00 ticket.  It was a pretty good night until I decided to play cash games above my bankroll.  I got beat on a couple of hands that should have held.  I ended up down 5.00 for the night instead of up by 25.00.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday Night Muck Em

Sticking with the plan this week, I played a tight game waiting on hands.  My first hand came in the second level.  Blinds 50 100.  I was in early position and was dealt KK.  Play had been pretty loose by a couple of players at the table so I thought I could bump up the bet a little and still get called.  I made it 200 and had 3 callers.  The flop came out with 2 suited cards and 2 connected cards all low.  I bet out 500 and had 2 callers.  The turn brought a medium card that did not help a straight or flush draw.  I bet 600 and only had 1 caller.  The river dropped another card that could complete a straight.  I bet 800.  He hesitated for a while then folded.  The player that folded on the turn said he would have hit his straight.

From that point on I was pretty card dead.  I tried to get in a hand with K 10 suited.  The flop completely whiffed and I folded post flop.  I was dealt J6 of spades 3 times.  Spades were hitting so I called a non raised pot with it the last time.  The flop completely missed me again.

By the time I got to break I had only won the 1 hand.  After break I was ready to make my run.  Unfortunately I never got a hand.  We got to the final table and my chip stack kept dwindling.  With 7 of us left I was needing to make a move.  Still no cards.  Slowly 2 players went out.  I was on the bubble with a little over 2 bb's.  The ante's ate up 1 bb by the time the blinds came around to me again.  I was all in.  My BB J7 caught 2 more jacks and I doubled up. 

In the next round the bubble busted and I was in the money.  The blinds were getting ready to jump again and I had 2 hands left.  There were 2 other players in dire straights like I was.  I look down at KQ diamonds in the small blind.  It folded to me and I put all my chips out to make the call.  He turned over J2.  The flop had a 2 and 2 diamonds.  The turn and river brought nothing and I finished in 4th place for a little more than my money back plus some points for the end of the year prize.

With 7 weeks left I am still in 3rd place in points.  It will be very hard to overtake 2nd or 1st place.  There are a couple of people trying to sneak up and knock me off the top 3.  I need to keep playing solid poker and collecting points. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Paying It Forward

Sometimes people amaze me.  A lot of times it is not the greatest of amazements.  For example, I see the driver of a car blowing through town at 50 mph in a 30 mph zone with children around - amazed.  Sometimes though, it is somebody showing an act of kindness, like a kid opening a door for a group of people entering or exiting a building. 
This weekend I was hit with a random act of kindness. 
Friday afternoon we were driving up to my parents house to go pheasant hunting the next day.  We had contemplated not going since we would be making the trip again in 2 weeks for Dad's birthday party and didn't know if we could afford 2 trips this month.  We have been getting hit with a lot of additional expenses lately.  It has us watching our budget closely right now.
We decided that we could do a few things to cut down on the cost of this trip.  On the way up we stopped at dollar general to get snacks and drinks instead of stopping at a convenience store.  We couldn't cut out everything!  That saved us a little bit.  We also drove our vehicle that gets the best gas mileage.  The tire pressure and air filter were checked before we hit the road.  We also drove a little under the speed limit in sections of the drive to increase mpg and checked gas buddy for the best gas prices along the way.  Needless to say we were trying to spend a little less money than usual on this trip.
We reached Great Bend around 8:00 and everybody was starting to get hungry.  We decided to hit the Burger King drive through. 
I ordered the kids each a dollar item and a value fries as well as my wife.  I ordered myself a dollar sandwich.  The total came to right around $10.00.  I was pleased.  We had just filled up the tank with gas, had drinks and snacks and now food for our 4 hour trip for less than 50.00.  I was hoping to make the whole trip for $100.00 or less. 
As we pull around the drive through, there is a pickup at the window and 3 employees in the window talking to him.  I hear him say "That guy behind me won't mind."  I didn't know what he was talking about, but figured if it was about waiting for my food, I really didn't mind.  He could talk for a bit.  It looked like he might have ordered something else because he paid again and then got a drink.  "No problem, " I thought.  Then he drove off.
The three employees were all still standing in the drive through window when I pulled up.  I thought about joking with them about giving me a free pie or something for taking so long, but didn't want to offend them, or have them take it the wrong way, so I decided not to say anything.  As I got close they handed my food out to me and said, "It's your lucky day.  That guy just paid for your food."  I was shocked, and if it had not been for the shock, I probably would have broken my budget for the trip and paid for the car behind me.
We graciously grabbed the food and headed on our way.  I know my sandwich tasted a whole lot better than I thought it was going to taste after spending another $10.00.  The act of kindness couldn't have hit at a better time for me.  I have been feeling down about how rotten my luck has been lately and wondering if or when it will get better.  Well it did.  Right then and there.
Thank you to everyone that goes out of there way to show an act of kindness, whether it be buying something for somebody you don't know without wanting any recognition for it, helping somebody carry groceries to their car, or an infinite number of other kindnesses.  You are truly paying it forward.
This specific act of kindness really touched me.  I can't wait until the next time I am in a drive through line and can make somebody else's day.
We made it to Mom and Dad's that night.  The next day the boys went hunting and the girls went shopping.  Well my wife and daughter went along with my Mother who did all the shopping.  My wife, staying true to the budget, didn't buy anything.
We walked 15 miles through fields the next 2 days - hunting.  Dad had all the fun, knocking down 3 birds.  I shot at 1 the same time he did.  Apparently that was one tough bird.  Even though he had taken 2 shotgun blasts at close range and hit the ground with a thud, he was able to get away.  Dad turned and shot another bird that jumped right afterwards that we did recover. 
We made the trip back home for less than $50.00, bringing us in under budget.  It will be a little tight the rest of the month, but I am glad we made the trip.  It was a lot of fun.  The weather was about perfect.  It looks like that may be our last decent weekend this fall, so I am glad we spent it outdoors.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Monday Night Muck Em - Opening Weekend of Pheasant Season

Last years hunt

It's easy.  I have been playing way to loose.  All I need to do is tighten up my play and win a Monday Night Muck Em.

This Monday the plan was made.  I was going to wait for hands and collect chips.  First hand.  Fold.  Second hand my plan fell apart.  I don't remember what I had but it wasn't exceptional.  I played the hand and bet a middle pair as I had suited cards and there were 2 of my suit on the flop.  The flush never came and I showed down a winner on the river with 3rd best pair to their low pair. 

From then on I tried to play against that player and they had trips or better every time we got to showdown, which was only twice as I couldn't get past the rest of the players to get a shot at them again.

I was the very first one out of the game.  I didn't think about it at the time, but when I got home my wife asked if I had won.  I looked at the clock and it was pretty close to the time I would have walked in had I been in the money.  Everybody was playing their A game this week. 

The last hand I was in the bb with 3 bb's left behind.  I had a 2h 4h.  Three callers, nobody raised.  The flop came out Ah Kc 8h.  I thought a 3 blind could chase the players in the hand off.  The way they had been playing I figured that none of them even had an ace, and if they did I had a heart draw. 

All three players called.  Wow!  I had misjudged badly.  Still I could quadruple up if a heart falls.  The turn was an A.  I figured that hurt me.  The river was a K no heart.  I tossed my cards in the muck.  The winner had 88 for a set on the flop and a boat on the river.  The other 2 players did not have an ace or a king.  Maybe I hadn't misjudged my play so poorly after all.  Had the board not paired and a heart fell - you know the story.  Next time.

This weekend I head north.  It's opening weekend of pheasant season.  This has always felt like a holiday to me.  I'm sure deer hunters feel the same way the first day they can get out deer hunting.  Opening weekend is a tradition for my family.  We used to get together as a family, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, grandpa.  Everybody brought friends and we would all have fun the night before the big day and get up before the sun to go hunting.

One year my head was hurting extremely bad in the morning.  I had a bird jump up right in front of me.  I pulled the shotgun to my shoulder, sighted the bird in and cringed, I couldn't shoot.  I looked at my buddy and he had his gun up to his shoulder and lowered it back down without taking a shot.  He looked at me, looking at him, and we both knew we had drank too much of the homemade peppermint schnapps the night before.  We started laughing and before long were laughing so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks.

It's not so much about making memories for myself any longer.  I'm sure I will look back and realize hunting with my boys will be better than any experience I have had previous.  We don't have huge family gatherings like we used to have.  Now it's about getting my boys out there to experience the outdoors and build memories for them.  I cannot recreate the great times I had for them to experience, but hopefully they will develop their own fond memories of hunting with their Grandpa and their Dad. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


On March 27th, I for some reason, felt the need to place a 1.00 bet that the San Francisco Giants would win the 2014 World Series. 
I remembered placing a bet on the world series but had forgotten who I had picked to win it all.  The other day I had an extra 20.00 in my account, so this weekend I did some digging to see what I won.  I don't feel quite so bad about the Royals not winning now.
Since we did not have plans this weekend I decided that I would watch football and play poker on Saturday.  I loaded 6 - 1 and 2 dollar tournaments and got to work.  I lost a couple fairly quick and decided to try to get into the Sunday 215.00 game through an 11.00 satellite. 
Over the course of the evening I ended up min cashing in a couple games, scoring an entry to the 215.00 game and coming close to a final table in another.  Without the 215.00 ticket I was a small loser on the day.
Sunday I loaded up the 215.00 game, the 11.00 Sunday game, a good 5.00 game and the 2.20 Sunday game.
One thing stuck out like a sore thumb yesterday.  Pocket Kings SUCK!  I lost with them 4 times in the Sunday 215.00 game.  The 4th time was for my tournament life, before the rebuy period even ended.  I would win a hand, get pocket kings, lose, win a hand, get pocket kings, lose.  I never could get any traction.
Later in the evening I lost the 11.00 game shortly before the money.  I didn't have much luck in the 2.20 game and even tried rebuying once in it before losing again.  In the 5.50 game I was having some success.  I was wading deep in the tournament and was starting to get excited about my chances, when I see pocket Kings.  I raised from early position and was not surprised when I saw a re-raise all in, by one of the big stacks.  That was his only move.  I called and saw that I was up against a Q 10 offsuit.  The flop fell nicely K J 5 giving him an open ended straight draw.  The turn was a blank and the river brought the 9.  I finished around 30th place for 32.00. 
At the very least, I had a fun 2 days of poker, football watching, jerky making and staycationing.  It's been a long time since I have stayed home for a full weekend.  I'll be looking forward to the next staycation.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

The last couple of nights I have been able to get off work at the regular time.  We had a tree branch fall down in our yard so I got it cut up the night before last.  We left one limb untouched so we could make a ghost tree off the front porch. 
Last night we carved the pumpkin.  All three kids got their hands slimy pulling out pumpkin guts.  We don't have a carving kit, but the ole buck knife did the trick just fine. 
For candy we got some plastic jars filled with gummy insects surrounded by gummy liquid.  It's pretty gross looking, but some boys around town should get a kick out of them.  For the kids that are hesitant we have chocolate.
Football is now over so I don't have any plans this weekend.  I am hoping to get a poker tournament or two in online.  I logged on last night and saw that I had an extra 20.00 on there.  One of my pre-season sports bets has apparently paid off.  I'm not sure which one yet.  I made quite a few bets on team wins, # of yards for receivers, running backs and quarterbacks, etc.  I will check this weekend to see how those bets are coming along.
Next weekend I will be traveling to my parents for opening weekend of pheasant season.  Depending on the weather, we may end up at the lake instead of the field. 
Two weeks after that I will be traveling there again.  I have been talking to my wife about trading in 2 of our older vehicles on a newer higher gas mileage vehicle.  We just bought the pickup, but I am tired of working on those other vehicles, and as much as we travel for sports and family, it would be nice to have a fuel efficient vehicle.  Another reason is that my wife works 30 minutes away.
Have a happy safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two Monday Night Muck Em's

It must be time to catch up.  I have played 2 Monday Night Muck Em games now that I have been in and have not posted. 

The first one came after my horrific showing of 6 hands with 2 rebuys, felted, and out of there.  My plan was to last longer in this tournament.  I made it until right after break when I ran low on chips and made the painful all in.  I don't remember what I lost to.  I finished as the 3rd one out.  Not a good showing.

Last night I had to try to redeem all of my bad play the last several weeks.  The game started out slow for me.  I tightened my range and waited for playable hands.  Lately I have been playing very loose early in the game.  This time I was going to wait on my hands and catch them off guard.  Around the 2nd level I was dealt A6 in the BB.  There were no raiser's, but several callers.  Flop came out 9 6 6 two spades.  I checked and a late position player bet min.  I called as well as 2 others.  Turn was a J.  I checked.  The late position  player bet min again.  I called.  So did the 2 others.  The river was a 4.  No flushes hit.  This time I bet 2x min.  Only the original bettor called.  I showed my hand and he turned over his to show he had the 9. 

I loosened up a little and tried to steal a few pots.  It worked a couple times on some scary looking boards.  One time the other player checked and I bet all the way to the river.  He had it the whole time.  I showed my nothing hand.

A while later I had QQ as the dealer.  There was a bet and a raise before me.  I raised and both players folded. 

We made it to the final 5 with 4 getting paid.  I had a decent chip stack for the table.  There were a couple short stacks.  One of them went all in.  I looked down at A6 in the BB.  It was another blind to call so I did.  He had 7 9 and hit a 9 on the turn.  A couple hands later the blinds went up as they were getting back to me.  There was only one short stack, I only had a little over 4 bb's as an average stack.  In the BB I had to fold to a raise.  The next hand I get dealt QJo.  It was looking pretty good when everybody folded before me.  I went all in and the BB called with, of course, A6.  An ace on the flop and the turn sealed my fate.  I was bubble boy for the first time this year in the Monday Night Muck Em.

At least bubble boy gets a few valuable points.  I am still sitting in 3rd for the points.  1st and 2nd are pulling ahead.  I am still a little ways ahead of 4th so I need to keep putting up good numbers in order to take some end of the year money.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Regional Tournament Experience Sam Rayburn

My buddy Mizike and his wife came up on Friday night to visit and throw back some beverages.  Dad was coming in Saturday afternoon to spend the evening and night so we could hit the road on our way to Sam Rayburn lake in Texas to pre-fish for the regional tournament.
We had a few drinks at home before heading to the local watering hole on Friday night.  Once there, the three of us ran up a pretty good tab before heading home for the night.  There was a little shot bottle of dill pickle flavored Vodka on the fridge.  Before we left Mizike said that if somebody got sick they would have to immediately drink the bottle afterwards.  This was not good for me.  Of all the times I have partied with Mizike, I rarely remember him getting sick and if he did it was always after me.
We got back from the bar and walked into the house.  For some reason Mizike walked over to the sink and got sick a little.  Next thing I knew, he was grabbing the pickle vodka and downing it.  He raced to the bathroom and proceeded to unleash.  It was quite funny.  A few days later I was flipping through pictures on my phone to show somebody a picture of my daughter and realized I had video'd some of the late evening activities.  It was quite comical to watch how annoyingly obnoxious we all were.  I'm glad we were at home.
The next day was rough.  I had to change the brakes on my pick-up and get the boat and my gear ready to go.  I mustered through the hangover and got things done. 
Dad showed up and we went out to eat pizza.  I drank a few beers that evening while we sat outside and shot the bull.
Sunday morning we got up and were on the road by 8:00 AM.  It was a long drive through Oklahoma and Texas.  We made it to Jasper about 12 hours later.  We ate at Jack in the box after we got into our hotel room and I was ready to fall asleep in the chair.
The next day we got up and looked at the weather.  A big storm was coming in with a chance of tornadoes, hail, lots of rain, high winds and lightning.  We decided to just drive out to the lake to check it out instead of trying to get a couple of hours of fishing in, and chance getting stuck in the storm.  It took the storm longer than expected to reach us.  When it did I was glad we were not in a boat.  We would not have been able to get back to the boat ramp.  Several anglers had to pull up to shore and wait it out.
There were several people struck by lightning in the local area we were at.
That afternoon the storm blew over and we headed out to try the fishing.  We found a grass bed pretty quick and caught quite a few fish before moving on up the lake.  The wind was picking up and we tucked in behind a point to fish.  As the sun was lowering in the sky we started to make our way back to the ramp.  The waves had grown to 3 or 4 footers in the short time we had been out.  It was a rough ride back to the ramp, and a little scary. 
As I started to pull the boat on the trailer I gave it some throttle, nothing.  My throttle cable had broken.  We were very fortunate this had not happened out on the main lake. 
Tuesday we got the boat into the shop to have the throttle cable replaced.  We fished off the bank a little more.  That afternoon they got our cable fixed so we headed up to fish on one of the lakes bayou's.  It was awesome scenery and fishing.  We caught quite a few fish once again. 
Wednesday we had all morning and early afternoon to fish.  We started out at the Northern end of the lake and worked it pretty hard.  We found quite a few fish once again.  It was looking like I was going to have a good tournament.  A lot of other anglers were saying they were struggling.
Thursday was the first day of the tournament.  I liked my boater draw.  It sounded like he was fishing the same way I was having luck all week.  In the first couple hours of the tournament I had a lot of bites.  They were biting light, so I was missing a lot of fish and a couple came unhooked before I was able to get them in.  I still landed 3 pretty decent keepers and one that was so fat I could not get it to measure.  It was a shame having to throw it back.  The rest of the day I pulled in short fish after short fish.
The day finally winded down and I only had 3 decent fish to take into weigh in.  I was a little disappointed.  When I got to weigh in, I heard dock talk that a lot of co-anglers and boaters had not had much luck.  At the stage my three fish weighed almost 8 pounds and had me sitting in 6th place at the time.  At the end of the weigh in I was in 10th out of 134.  I was in good shape to make a run at winning a new bass boat. 
Then I got a call from my day 2 partner.  He said he did not catch a bass on the first day.  He figured he didn't have a chance to win so he wasn't going to burn much gas.  We were going to fish grass in a cove close to the ramp the next day.  No big deal I thought, I had found fish in grass and figured out how to catch them. 
The next day we went to our spot.  It was tea leaf grass, different from the grass that I had found all over the lake and found all the fish in up to this point.  He kept telling me this is where the fish were.  I caught 1 fish that came really close to being a keeper all day, and had another really big fish pull free.  The rest were all short.  With about 5 minutes left neither of us had a fish in the boat to take to weigh in.  Then I saw one surface.  I cast out and he hit.  I got him in and it was 14 1/4 inches.  Barely a keeper.  I had another hit right after that that got off.
At weigh in I fell to 33rd place, missing the money by 9 places.  After seeing me catch fish all week Dad was disappointed when I came in with only one bass.  He told me that if I had been the boater I would have came in with 5 fish each day and done really good on the boater side, after what we found pre-fishing.  I had a few keeper fish come off on day 1 that really could have turned my tournament around.  That could have still happened if I was a boater.  I more than likely would have had a lot better 2nd day. 
After 3 years of fishing these tournaments as a co-angler, I feel like I'm ready to get a bass boat and fish on the boater side.  Then I can fish my strengths, be the first one to cast to a good spot, and not have a boater get mad at me when I out fish them.  That happened a couple times in the few years I have been fishing, and they have went to great lengths to keep me from catching another fish.  One took out to the middle of the lake and sat down and ate a sandwich for a really long time, then re-tied all of his rods, and eventually went to the crappiest looking bank we could find and sat in one spot the rest of the day.  Another took me in to weigh in 45 minutes early after he broke off the only fish he got to bite all day. 
Most of the time boaters are happy for you when you catch fish.  Sure they don't like to be out fished, but most of them want you to do well fishing out of their boat.  Neither of my partners in this tournament were like that.  They both wanted me to catch fish, and went out of their way to make sure I had a chance to do that.
Today I filled out paperwork to acquire a loan to purchase a bass boat.  Hopefully by next spring I will find a deal that is too good to pass up and I can fish as a boater next year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Monday Night Muck Em - 6 Hands and Out 3 times

Is it too soon to think about returning?
This last weekend after I returned from the promise land, I started preparations for my upcoming regional fishing tournament.  The weather Saturday was perfect.  My son had a football game and afterwards my wife didn't want to go home.  I needed to drive to Alva to pick up a wiring harness to go from my boat to the new pickup so we headed to town.
It was around lunch time when we got done shopping and I asked the kids what they wanted to eat.  At that time we were passing the bowling alley so they said they wanted to go bowling.  The bowling alley has a diner in it so I made them suffer through eating while the anticipation built to go bowling.
We bowled a couple of games then came home.  The kids had a blast. 
My plans were to drag the boat out of the garage and tinker with it all day, enjoying the nice weather.  One of my goals was to install a GPS/fish finder I had gotten a couple years ago that I have not been able to get working. 
The liquor store is right behind our house so I walked over and got some drinks and got to work.  Five hours later I had the unit installed and working.  I had to change out some wiring but it appeared that it was going to be just fine. 
In the midst of working on the boat my youngest son asked if we were going to go fishing the next day.  The wife said it would be o.k.  I needed to test out the GPS/Fishfinder unit anyway.  We went fishing on Sunday. 
Monday night we had our regular game.  This time I would be showing up late due to parent teachers conference.  It ran longer than expected and by the time I got to the game they were on the 3rd level. 
First hand I had an AK.  I came out of the gate with a decent raise.  4 callers.  Crap.  Ace on flop.  Yeah!  Big bet.  4 callers.  Crap.  Turn brings 3rd suited card.  Crap.  Bet ahead of me.  Crap.  I look at cards.  King is the right suit.  Yeah!  Call.  2 more callers.  River pairs the board.  Check to me.  Wait!  Is this a set up.  No he would bet there.  Bet by me.  Fold Fold Raise.  Crap.  He knows I would normally fold to him there.  Is he making a play.  He's the type of player that might.  Call.  Nope he has the goods.  Full boat.  Crap.
Next hand AK.  Action gets to me with no raises.  All In.  Two callers.  I don't remember what the other guy had but the winner of the hand had KQ.
Have 1 foldable hand. 
Next hand have 3 5 in BB.  No raises, I check.  Flop comes out low 2 3 9.  Big bet.  I think, then get out of the way to maybe an over pair.  Couple of other callers.  Turn is a 3.  Crap, why didn't I stay in.  River is a 4.  There is a big bet and call.  Bettor has A5 for straight.  Glad I got out but crap how can you bet that way for a wheel draw.
Next hand nothing.
Next hand I have AQ.  Big bet before me.  I go all in.  2 calls.  Man, what did I just do.  Flop was Q high.  Betting on the side.  Oh great, dig money out of my pocket.  I lose to KQ when a K hits on the river. 
Next hand AK.  It's raised before me.  I go all in.  He calls and tables AA. New record for early dismissal at the friendly Monday Night Muck Em.  I didn't even make it to the level before break.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day 5 The final Day

It was difficult sleeping throughout the night with my face hurting.  I kept taking ibuprofen and Tylenol but it only lessened the pain.  I put a warm cloth on my face and it would feel good for a little bit then the pain would come back, it would seem like it was twice as bad.

Finally morning arrived.  We went over to check our keno ticket out.  Nothing.  We didn't even hit for a dollar.  I decided to try my luck on a 4 spot for 40 games.  I watched one of the first games and saw it hit 3 numbers for 5.00 then we took off. 

My face was feeling a little better by this point.  The swelling was still there.  I had taken some Tylenol when I got up.  I was starting to get hungry.  We didn't eat much the night before due to the buffet.  We decided to go back to the buffet again.  This time I took it easy.  I had a few glasses of orange juice and only a couple plates of soft food.

We got finished and went back by Harrah's and stopped in to see another draw on my 4 spot ticket.  As we watched 3 of my numbers hit again.  They were still calling numbers.  I started calling for 19 to hit.  The last number they called was 19.  I had just hit for 120.00.  I asked my buddy if he wanted to try one more time.  He said he did, so we got a 7 spot ticket for 40 games.

Back to the Quad for another shot at winning their poker tournament.  I sat down for about 3 hands when I get dealt QQ.  There was a raise before me and I popped it to 1/3 of our stacks, 30 X the big blind.  The original raiser calls.  The flop was 10 8 4 rainbow.  Perfect.  I bet the same bet, and they go all in.  Instant call by me.  He turns over 8 4.  Turn and River don't help.  I could rebuy, but decided against it.

On to the 50 hand poker machine.  They have the whole area roped off, moving machines around.  Great!  I figured my friend would be in the game for a while so I went back to Harrah's to cash in my Keno ticket.  I had hit for 130.00 total. 

On the way back through the Quad to check on my friend I see a Willy Wonka machine.  I had tried it a little at a couple other places but had not tried this one.  I sat down at a machine and was fumbling for my card when a couple of ladies walk up.  One sits at the machine beside me and the other is looking at the machine on the other side of me.  I tell the one I will move if she wants to sit by her friend.  She says o.k. but for me not to watch in case she hits.  I watched and on her 3rd spin she hits for 137.00.  Right after that, I hit a bonus.  I cashed out about 40.00 up.  I was happy for both of us.

When I got back to check the poker room, my buddy was not at the table.  I text him and he said he would meet me by the elevator.  He had gotten knocked out not long after I did.  He suggested getting a bottle of captain morgan and doing some shots in the room, so that's what we did. 

As it was getting dark out, I suggested we go check our keno ticket, then go over to Casino Royal for 1.00 beers.  We didn't hit anything on our 7 spot.  On the way out of Harrah's we walked by the Dueling Piano bar.  He said we should stop in there one of these times.  I told him I would pay, so we stopped in for a couple of drinks and had a great time.

We made it over to Casino Royal a little later and drank a few of those 1.00 Michelob's.  I played a couple slots, min betting to pass the time.  I got up about 15.00 and was watching a couple play the Green Machine.  They didn't hit about 4 times in a row and were leaving.  I looked at my buddy and he shakes his head no.  I had to try a couple spins.  It's too fun.  On the first spin, first line, a 100 hit.  Nice.  This is how Vegas should treat me all the time.  I cashed out 115.00 ahead.  The lady that had just left shook her head at me.  I shrugged my shoulders with a sheepish looking grin, a swollen sheepish looking grin.

On to the Riviera to play my 100.00 free slot play.  I had 4 machines picked out and was going to max bet what I needed to on all of them, then call it a night.  We had to be up early the next morning to get to the airport.  We took the bus to the Riviera and had to goof around a few minutes until my free play became active.  I got on the first machine and hit a bonus on the 3rd spin.  45.00.  I won a little more over the next 7 spins.  The next 2 machines were just tiny cashes.  I had 1 more machine.  I walked over to it and hit for 85.00.  I end up with around 150.00 from the free plays. 

The day was over and I was taking a little over 600.00 back with me.  I had brought out a little over 2000.00.  I felt fortunate to have gambled, drank, ate, and lost as much as I did, and still was going home with money.  Only in Vegas!

The swelling has gone down a little in my face.  I went to the clinic once I got back. They felt that it was a tooth problem.  I called my dentist and they got me in on Monday morning.  After some xray's, they saw that I have an abscess at the root of my top Molar and scheduled me to have a root canal the next day.  Yesterday was my root canal.  $1050.00!  Insurance covered $300.00 of it.  I have maxed out my dental insurance for the 2nd year in a row.  Braces suck.  Now my face is swollen again and I feel about like I did in Vegas, without all the fun going on around me.

In the back of my head another trip is brewing.  For now, I have to get focused on fishing again.  I made Regionals in the series I fish, and will be traveling to Texas all next week to fish Sam Rayburn Lake for a shot at a new boat and an entry into the All American Bass Tournament.

I will be pre fishing for 3 days then fishing the tournament for at least 2, hopefully 3 days. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day 4 Deep Fried Oreo's?

We stayed up a little later on day 3 so we slept in a little bit on day 4.  When I woke up I decided this would be a good day to hit the buffet at the Mirage.  My friend agreed.  We were a little slow getting ready.  Both of us were getting low on funds and were not in a great big hurry to go spend more. 

On the way, we were going to go check my keno ticket from the night before.  As I walked up to the window I was hoping deep down that my luck had changed.  The cashier read the ticket and says, "That's a good one."  a feeling of hope ran through me.  Then I saw on the screen that I had hit for 309.00.  Nice.  I had hit 7 out of 9 numbers on 1 game.

We bought another 8 spot ticket and went to lunch feeling a lot better.  At the buffet we ate way too much.  I didn't try anything that wasn't great.  I also had a few beers.  By the time I finished I had gone through 7 plates or bowls of food.  It was like I hadn't eaten the whole trip.  I wasn't miserable, but I was full.  I probably didn't need to eat that much, but I didn't even try a lot of things they had out.  For the price, I vote this the best buffet I have ever been to.

While we were eating one of my teeth or jaw started hurting. 

We had to go back to the room to take a nap afterwards.  The left side of my face was in major pain when we got back to the room.  I took some ibuprofen and laid down.  We lounged around until it was time to go pick up our tickets for Jubilee.  I wasn't sure what I was going to think of the show.  I figured it would be pretty good and kind of Nostalgic to see a showgirl Vegas show.  I took some Tylenol this time and we headed out.

We got our tickets and played around min betting slots until the show was ready to start.  I actually won a little bit. 

The show was outstanding!  It started out pretty basic and got better and better.  I had been to some small time productions and plays, but this was professional.  Constant stage changes, awesome performers, topless girls.  It was way more than I could have ever anticipated.  The best part was we had gotten the show passes free with our free room.

When we walked out of the show my buddy looked at me.  His eyes got big and he said, "WHOA!"  He said the whole side of my face was swollen.  The ibuprofen and Tylenol worked a little to alleviate some of the pain, so I thought I was in the clear.  I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  It looked like I had taken a right hook from Mike Tyson.

On the walk back to the Quad, my face started hurting again.  It felt like my jaw was broken, or a tooth was shattered.  It was bad.  I stopped and bought some Advil to take. 

I didn't feel up to sitting on a bus to get to Freemont Street while I was in that much pain.  Sorry Anger!  Next trip fried oreo's will be on the list for 1st night quest. 

Back to the room to lay down and wait for the painkillers to kick back in.  It was a rough night.  I tried cold rags, warm rags, more Tylenol, more ibuprofen.  I couldn't kick the pain.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 3 The Move and Poker

We were up fairly early on day 3 watching the highlights on ESPN and getting ready for our move to the Quad.  Before we got going strong for the day it was time for some orange juice and breakfast.  I headed across the street to McDonalds.  I walked in and was surprised to see only 1 item on the dollar menu.  Breakfast Burrito's.  I heard something but was standing there looking at the 3.29 they wanted for a Sausage McMuffin.  Then I hear somebody saying, "Can I help you sir?"  "No Thanks!", and I walked back out the door. 

The night before we had grabbed a bite from the McDonald's inside Circus Circus.  They had a dollar menu.  I went around the corner and went into Circus Circus to check it out.  Sure enough they had a dollar menu.  We were back in business. 

With breakfast inhaled, we finished packing up and decided to hang around the Riviera for a while, since it would be a while before we could check in at the Quad.  We goofed around on some slots and I ended up winning a little bit by the time we were thinking of leaving. 

Then I remembered that I had 40.00 credit at the Tavern.  I mentioned that to my friend and he got excited.  We got right in and were sat at the bar.  We ordered some beers and a ribeye steak and fries.  While we were there, a couple of girls in crown royal skirt outfits approached us and said that if we ordered a $3.00 shot of crown we would get a free hat.  It didn't take us long to get our shots ordered.  I had started with a Blue Moon, but switched to a Guinness to drink with my steak.  We watched the end of the Buccaneers - Steelers game while we were eating. 

We were feeling pretty good when we left Wicked Vicky's.  We caught a cab to the Quad and got right into our room.  It was quite small, compared to the Riviera's room.  It was also a little musty and a lot noisier.  The floor was kind of gross.  On a good note the beds were really comfortable.  I've stayed at a lot worse.  We could make due for 3 nights. 

It wasn't long before we hit the poker tables.  I sat down at the 1-1 nl game.  Everybody was pretty short stacked and really friendly.  I played for a couple hours until the first tournament started and moved to the tournament.  I was down a little bit, the few hands I had gotten into kept me alive.

In the tournament, I played my normal game.  The blinds were going up quickly, every 15 minutes.  I was looking for my spot to make a move.  Finally, I found it.  I had QJ and called a smallish raise from late position.  The flop was QJrag.  I bet about 1/2 pot and the other player pushed all in.  They had me covered.  I turned my 2 pair and they showed AQ for 1 pair.  The inevitable Ace on the river sent me packing. 

I moved back to the cash game and started making a run there.  Then I ran into a big decision hand with AdKc.  I was about to get up and go to the room.  My friend had just finished 3rd.  The tournament of 18 players paid top 2.  I raised and had 1 caller.  The flop came out King high all diamonds.  What a flop for me.  Top pair with a diamond draw.  I bet and the other player raises.  An alarm went off in my head.  This player has something.  I knew I was on a draw at this point but re-popped it all in.  I couldn't see his chip stack as he was hiding it, but he only had a little left and called.  He turned over his set.  I did not improve.  I played a couple more hands and put the rest of the chips I had out with a pocket pair of 8's.  I was called by one other player.  He had 9's.  Back to the room.

We chilled out for just a little bit until the next tournament was about to start and headed back down to the poker room.  I made a little better run in this tournament, but ended up pushing with A5 with 6 left from the small blind, thinking I would take the big blind.  The big blind called with AQ.  I had AA and QQ busted already in this tournament so when I saw one of each of them I knew I was in trouble.  A 5 hit on the flop, but a queen hit on the turn.  The dealer giveth then he takeths away.

After that game I walked around and found a 50 hand poker machine.  I sat down for a while and tried my luck.  After about a half hour I was about break even after being down, so I cashed out.  From there I walked over to Harrah's to buy a Chipotle Burrito and a keno ticket.  I decided on a 9 spot for 50 games.  That was all the money I had left for the day, but I was ready for bed.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 2 Finally Playing Poker

After Losing Money On Day One, I woke up feeling a little bummed.  Here is a link to the ATM incident from the previous year.  My plans were to do some sports betting in the morning and watch football all afternoon.  No big deal.  I could skip the sports betting.  Watching football is free. 
I grabbed some money saved for Day Three and headed downstairs for breakfast.  I wasn't missing out on the orange juice that I had been looking forward to having every morning.  The little things can change one's day.  I ordered a chicken fried steak, eggs, potatoes and orange juice at the cafĂ©.  The food was amazing and only cost 12.00.  My orange juice was great, but when I got the bill and saw the 7.00 charge for the small glass of o.j. I decided I would not be eating there every morning.
We watched football all afternoon and even got some pizza and wings to take up to the room to eat while we watched some exciting games of football.  That evening my plans were to try to play the 200.00 mega satellite to the 1600.00 Deep Stack game at the Venetian.  In order to do this I would need to cut down my spending money per day the rest of the week.  Still, I had to give it a shot.  Next to drinking orange juice every morning, and getting a fried oreo, this was something I really wanted to do.
The table that I drew had a ton of wreckless players.  We had 5 people go out in the first hour.  I think the rest of the field of 60 players only had 1 or 2 players go out from the other 5 tables.  I got tied up in a couple hands that flopped or turned badly for me and I had to bail.  My stack was getting shorter each blind level.  I finally got QQ and raised preflop.  There was a raise after me, that put me all in.  It was just him and I, so I called.  He turned over pocket K's.  GG!
We left the Venetian and went to check out the place we would be calling home the next few nights - The Quad.  We walked around a little bit and headed back to the Riviera, calling it an early night again.
The next day we would be looking forward to making a move to the Quad and being around some poker action.  The day after that we would be looking forward to some more poker action, a show, and a trip to Freemont Street.  Will we get to play more poker?  Do we make it to Freemont Street to gorge our faces in fried oreo's and twinkies?  Only time will tell.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Highs and Lows! My First Night In Vegas

I'm back!  It was a good trip filled with poker, lots of eating, some slot play, a show, more eating and a little pain and swelling. 
Friday morning I had to get the kids to school and daycare and figured I would take off for the airport after that for my 1 1/2 hour drive and flight at 11:50.  My wife dropped the kids off to let me pack.  I got sidetracked and tried unplugging a drain in the bathroom.  Then I could not find my lucky K-State visor.  Then I couldn't find my case with my casino cards.  I found the K-State visor, but did not find my cards.  I went ahead and left so I could get to the airport early so I didn't have such a high anxiety.
As I'm driving out of town I get behind a line of slow moving traffic after a bridge construction zone backed us up.  Great!  I was going to be cutting it close but figured I would fill the tank at the next town so I wouldn't have to worry about gas when I returned home.  I filled up quickly and got back on the road.  A couple miles later I was stuck at more road construction.  This time I was in the front of the line.  I had to wait about 25 minutes for the pilot car to return.  My nerves were on edge.  I was going to be cutting this close.  I had to get to the airport, park the car, catch a shuttle to the terminal, check my bag, get through security and load the plane.  It was looking like at the very least if everything went well I could still catch the plane, but it was looking like I would lose my early place in line.
For the first time in quite a few years, I purposely sped once I got out of the construction zone.  It may not have saved me much time, but as I parked the shuttle was coming by.  He waited a couple seconds as I scrambled to grab all of my stuff.  WIN!  At the airport the check in line was longer than I have ever seen it.  This was it.  I was going to have to carry on my bag.  It's small enough, I just hate carrying on a suitcase.  Then the lady at the desk asked, "Is anyone in line going to Vegas?"  I got called to the front and had my bag checked.  WIN! 
The security line was a breeze and I got to the gate just in time to step into line A40 and claim my seat.  WIN Again. 
I met a guy at the gate that said he was trying to get home to Salt Lake City and had been rerouted several times do to the Chicago fire.  I wasn't sure what he was talking about, but found out later.  It was his 70th birthday and he had a big party planned for that evening.  He wasn't sure if he was going to make it on time.  I didn't have much, but I gave him one of my free drink coupons for the flight.
During the flight the stewardess brought me several corona's.  I used a free ticket on the first one, but she did not charge me or take my free tickets for the rest!  WIN WIN WIN!
The plane landed around noon on Friday.  I was anxious to get to the hotel so I jumped in line for a taxi.  I've always taken a shuttle from the airport and when I saw how long the line was I almost turned around to catch a shuttle.  The line moved fast though and I was on my way to the Riviera in a jiffy. 
I called my friend who had arrived that morning and told him to meet me at the check in.  There was a long line.  I saw the check in machines and saw they were available.  I stepped up and had the room keys in no time.  My friend hadn't even made it to the check in area yet.  I caught him on the way to the elevator and we headed up to the room to check it out.
We were finally in Las Vegas.  We headed back downstairs for him to get his luggage while I grabbed a bottle of fireball and met back up at the room.  After a couple of quick shots we were ready to go do a little gambling.
After a few slot pulls my lack of eating was eating away at me and I had to grab some Chinese to take back to the room.  I ate and we drank some more before heading back downstairs.  Through the rest of the evening I mashed a lot of buttons with absolutely no luck. 
I wouldn't have wanted to keep track of the amount I spent on drinks and slots.  It would probably be sickening, but at one point I reached into my pocket to grab some more cash and my pocket was empty.  It either fell out somewhere or somebody else helped themselves to it.  That was sickening.  I had the next days money in with my first days money.  I hadn't touched the 2nd days money as it was all hundreds.  I went back to the room to sulk and go to bed around 10:00 P.M. my first night in Vegas, down $800.00 already. 
I've always left what money I wasn't planning on spending in the room.  I was careless this time and it bit me in the arse.  Lesson learned.  I made somebody's night!  The crappy thing is I wouldn't have had that much cash at all if I hadn't had the ATM incident last year when I was in Vegas.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday Night Muck Em - 2 Days Until Vegas

After getting 3rd Friday night, 1st last Monday, and a couple more 1sts and 2nds before that I was feeling pretty good going into Monday night.  Could I be double bounty when I get back from Vegas?
As we started out we had 13 players.  We started playing and for some reason, everybody was in a light mood, joking around and having a lot of fun.  At least I was. 
We lost 1 player before break.  My chip stack got low early as I was struggling just to win a hand.  I had to add on in order to be able to play without having to shove.  I tightened my range.  A couple players found out the hard way, as I won a couple monster stacks.  By break I had a massive stack. 
After break my hands weren't holding until the river.  I was betting large enough to get folds but they were still calling.  That works good until they catch on the river every time, or are ahead of you the whole way.  I had JJ and lost a huge pot on a 9 high board to QQ.  At the final table, I watched as some low chip stacks grew and large chip stacks got smaller. 
We finally made it to the bubble.  I took a couple stabs at the low stacks and lost.  I was now one of the low stacks.  I made it past the bubble bust and into what is usually the final level.  I was all in due to the blinds in the first hand of the level.  What a time to look down at AJ.  The small blind called and my A high wins. 
A couple hands later I see KQ and go all in.  This time I get a call from the BB that had slightly more chips than me.  She had A6 and hit an A out of the gate.  This is the first time I have gotten the min cash this year.  It was still good for some needed points and was slightly more than my buy in and add on.  With that 4th place finish I will be tied for 2nd in points for the year.  The first place points leader took 2nd this game so he pulled away even more.
This week is going quick with trying to get everything done at work to be able to take time off, as well as my after work activities.  Only 2 days left and I will be in the air.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Crazy Non Routine Weekend

Friday night I got off work and did not have any plans for the evening.  I checked with the wife and she said I could go play poker.  She gets 10% of my winnings and socks it away for mad money.  With the way I have been running lately she practically pushed me out the door.
I arrived for the game early and sat down to relax for a little bit before the game.  When the game started we only had around 14 players.  This is football season, and there were some other things going on in town so I thought that we might have a small crowd.  Over the next 2 hours of the buy in period I was surprised to see people keep coming in.
By the break we had 31 buy ins, this includes rebuys. 
Before break, I was running o.k.  I got a few hands that caught and took them down like I knew what I was doing.  Then I called a raise with pocket aces.  The flop came 10 high with two suited cards.  I bet big.  Call.  Turn was another low card.  I bet big.  Call.  River was a King.  This guy apparently caught a piece of the flop.  I checked the river and he goes all in.  My gut instinct cried out K10.  I called my entire stack to see K3.  He had a pair of threes on the flop and called down to the river.  I was going to end up getting some chips from this guy.  I rebought.  The next hand I look down at AA again.  There was a raise and a call ahead of me.  This time I bump it up.  A short stack called all in, and I scoop a decent pot.
By the time we got to break, I had doubled my stack.  After break another player started gunning for me.  This was good news for me.  I had chips and could wait on a hand.  Then it came.  I had AKs and raised.  He called and another player goes all in for double my raise.  I call and the guy that is out to get me goes all in.  This would about cripple me.  If he had any pair we would be flipping.  I folded.  I would still get to see his hand and have plenty of chips to find a better spot.  He turned over A9o and won the pot with A high.  Fiddlestix!
I saw him start to go all in any time he had an ace.  Then I get AQ.  I made a small raise and he goes all in.  I call for about half my stack.  He has AJ and hits a J on the river.  A couple hands later I get AK and raise again.  He goes all in.  I call and he has A7.  I double up to a pretty good stack again.  I get JJ shortly after that and raise.  This time he goes all in and I have him covered.  I call.  He has K3o.  This is a different guy than the one who got me earlier.  K3 is apparently the powerhand I have overlooked for years.  I spike a J out of the gate and now have a monster stack and my chip man is out of the game.
As we were nearing the final table, I stole a few blinds to maintain my stack.  We finally reached the final table and reached the money bubble quickly after that.  On one hand, a player went all in for the BB.  I hadn't looked at my cards yet, so I just checked it down with another player.  There was an ace on the board.  The all in player turned pocket K's over and I turned my cards over.  I had the Ace.
The playing got tough when we reached the final 3.  One player was about out and we tripled him up.  I couldn't get any hand that was higher than 8 high.  I stole a couple of blinds but knew I was going to get called soon.  Then I get Q5d.  Not a great hand, but I went for the steal again.  This time I got a call.  Flop was 2 diamonds on a non scary board.  I go all in.  He thinks about it for a while and says he is on a draw but had to call me.  He turned over 10 8 for an inside straight draw hand.  He hit a 10 on the turn and I didn't improve.  I was pleased to take 3rd. 
In the middle of the game I had called an all in with top two pair.  Other guy had a mid pocket pair.  There were two suited cards on the flop matching one of his pair.  Another of the suited card hits the turn.  Some player that was not in the hand calls out the suited card right as the dealer turns over the card.  There it is.  He wasn't in the hand but called for a card that kept a player in as we are getting close to the final table.  I started to wonder what his significant other looked like.  I got a smile on my face and told the other guy nice hand.  My mood lightened thanks to Rob's proposed rule.  See here
I ended up taking this guy out.  He had used his only call a card on a hand he was not in.
That night I got home around 1:00 AM.  That's pretty late for me anymore.  The next morning I needed to be up and out of the house by 7:00 A.M. to get on the road for my 2nd grader son's football game that was 2 hours away.  Everything is a long ways away when you live out here.
We got back that afternoon and I took a nap.  When I woke up I started watching season 4 of Breaking Bad.  I felt the need for a marathon, so I finished the season at 4:00 in the morning.  Really late for me.  My wife let me sleep in Sunday.  She's the best.  I got up, made lunch and then went into work to make up for Friday's hours that I will miss.
I needed a crazy non routine weekend. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

One Week Until Vegas

Next week at this time I will be on my way to Las Vegas.  It's going to be hard getting through my day to day routine knowing that I will be living large in just 1 week. 
I'm excited about waking up, hitting the ABC store for some OJ, mashing some buttons for a little while, figuring out where to go play for the day.  I'm excited to play a lot of poker, and make some sports bets, and eat wings and pizza while we watch some football.
We are even going to see a show this time.  In all of my trips, I have never made it to a show.  Harrah's had an offer for two free passes to Jubilee along with my room.
One more week!