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.