Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm A Groupie Too

Spent some time on Monday being a huge fan boy. Took a trip to Randy Couture's gym in Las Vegas. When first meeting me, Forrest said, "You are by far the most talented mixed martial artist that's never been trained in any discipline." Well, he didn't say that really. But I'm pretty sure he was thinking it. 'cause it's TRUE!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Minutes To Midnight

"Always play two-six suited," said Kirk. He was bald, like me, so maybe that's why I listened. If there's one thing I do well at the poker table, it's look for a way to win a hand. Turns out I was dealt two-six offsuit. "Close enough," I thought. I called a raise in position.

I normally fold two-six. Shouldn't we all? But I looked down at the clock on my iPod. It said 11:56. I needed to be in a hand exactly at midnight. Exactly as my biological clock ticked past a meaningless milestone. Meaningless to most everyone but me.

"Re-raise," said the small blind. He made it $35 to go. The original raiser called the raise, but I folded. There went my big opportunity. Sometimes, my conservative self takes over and guides my actions. I still have a tough time letting go.

The flop came down T34. Rainbow. The small blind fired off a $50 continuation bet that was called by the original raiser. "Don't put a five out there Kurt," I pleaded. It's bad poker to pay 25 big blinds to catch a gutshot. He didn't know I folded his favorite hand.

The turn was a 5.

I could have tripled up off of pocket Aces and some other random hand. But I didn't, because I folded. It's proper poker to fold that hand in that spot. But maybe once in a while, it's OK to gamble. I'm only turning 40 once.


I had met TheTrooper in the deli prior to sitting down. He's an Iron Maiden fan and that's a positive in my mind. His nickname comes from a song made famous by them. It's the only song I could beat TheMark on in Guitar Hero. There's a poker hand that also goes by the same name. It's nine-seven.

I was a bit disappointed after folding my two-six. But sometimes, we're given second chances.

Officially, it wasn't yet my birthday. The previous hand only took two minutes. It was 11:58. And I was dealt nine-seven off suit.

I limped.


Prior to playing poker that night, the wife and I took our first beating at blackjack. She was running well, I was playing profitably too. But we got hit hard in our last session and when TheTrooper arrived at MGM, we closed the session down.

Right after I limped, the Mrs. tapped me on my shoulder. She had lost some more money at blackjack and needed more cash. I didn't mind, we're here to spend money and have a good time. Stop losses are for people who can't let go.

I fished out another hundred dollar bill from my pocket just as the flop came out. 987. Two spades.

With her re-buy in hand, the Mrs. didn't wait around to see the outcome of the hand. Perhaps that's why when it was checked to me, I bet at the pot. I was called in three places. I immediately put people on either draws on top pair. I felt I was ahead.

The turn paired the 7. I'm pretty sure the clock struck midnight exactly at that moment.


Of course, someone had flopped the straight. And when I fired the turn after the board paired, that guy felt it would be good to go all-in. Call when ahead, raise when behind. I was apologetic after I stacked him.

"I got lucky there on the turn," I offered.

"Yeah, ya think."

Luckily for me, someone else said it.

"Hey man, it's his birthday."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Wife, The Poker Groupie

First some comments. Gavin remembered me from Al's bash. Cool. Patrick, yeah, whatever. I look like him. Except he's taller.

Hey I Brought A Laptop

Random quick updates since it's 1:33 AM local time and the Mrs and I just had to order room service because we haven't eaten in over 9 hours. It's no wonder why I lose weight in Vegas. Forgetting to eat FTW!

Met up with Uncle Ted Friday night.
At the Excalibur Sherwood Forest Bar.
It had to be there.
I dropped $100 at video poker. The Mrs. dropped $20. She's better.

Played drunken Pai Gow at the Excalibur because it was lower limit heaven for us.
The Mrs. lost $5.
I lost $200. Because my last $100 bet pulled a Q-hi Pai Gow.
The Mrs. is better than me.


Woke up way too early and had a way too expensive bagel.

Was OK with waking up because the Mrs. wanted to play poker. Say no more.

We sat at the same 1/2NL table. I lost $14. She lost $116. I'm better. But not by much.

Met the Armbrusters's at Planet Hollywood for lunch. He's a GucciGame regular. Lunch was superb, great company, great food, great drinks. Tony the Tiger approved.

Walked back to MGM realizing we hadn't won shit all vacation. Figured we'd change it up.

Blackjack. Because Bobby Bracelet plays it.

I won $150. The Mrs. won $100. Felt good.

Cabbed it to Treasure Island for Mystere. First Cirque show. Really was fantastic and worth the money. Had some popcorn, thinking that might be dinner. It was.

Convinced the Mrs. to play the 10pm Treasure Island tournament for $65. She busted. Odd tournament. They limit it to 2 tables, 20 players. But wait. Alternates too. No rebuys, but re-starts are allowed in the 1st hour if no more alternates are waiting.

I won some hands. Pushed a couple of times and didn't get called. Flopped the nuts once. Never got AA, but got KK twice.

Final table.

Only 4 pay though.

Got 6-handed and I doubled up a guy just so I could get short-stacked and make my decisions easier. Well, that wasn't really my reason. It was because I felt pot committed after raising with KQ.

Pushed when needed to.

5-handed, shortest stack open pushes. I wake up with AJ suited. Monster. We all know that.

I over push.

Folds around.

He shows ATo. Not a monster. But it's the Gooch. Six people know what that means.

I'm ready to bubble.

But this is live, not online. I flop an Ace. Brick, brick. In the money!

Stacks even - 4-way chop suggested. I don't mess with karma and agree.

$324 which I'll happily take.

But where'd the Mrs. go?


To play more blackjack.

Great. (sarcasm)

"How you doing?"

"I'm up $200!"

Great. (no sarcasm)

Ship it holla!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Returning the Favor

It had been quite a while since my last (and only) visit to casa de Falstaff. Two weekends ago, he and his crew made the trek down to G-Vegas and collectively crushed the tournament and cash games. Word on the street was that Bobby Bracelet was hanging near Charlotte, NC for the weekend and would be a guest of honor at their weekly poker game. That was all the motivation I needed to drive up there for an evening; that, and to take back a little bit of G-Vegas pride from those pesky North Carolinians.

I arrived a bit early and found the afore-linked duo playing some Chinese poker. I joined in and promptly lost 4 points in about 4 deals. With the exception of the first hand, it was as if I were playing Pai Gow. I show 9-hi, Q-hi and a low flush. Yay.

SpecialK would join us as would Jimmy The Knife.

No need to bore you with poker hands, it was a night of fun. My pocket Aces did actually hold up both times, once against Q-hi and once against A-hi. I run goot.

The worst part? Unequivocally, the drive back to G-Vegas from 2am to 3:30am. If I didn't have such allergies to cat hair, I'd have crashed there. But still, it was absolutely worth it, especially with the Bracelet's attendance. Word on the street is that he may be moving to the Charlotte area, so future renditions of Saturday night are sure to occur.

Would G-Vegas ever recover from a visit from the Bracelet? We hope to find out soon.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tower of Piza

I'm on such life tilt that I can't even think straight.

Some days at work are non-stop I-need-help-from-you-fests. Granted, I'm responsible for many things and many people here at Imaginary Company. But some days, when it's a barrage of questions directed to me by people from all over the world with no break in between, I become slightly peeved. There are times I get up from my chair to go to the bathroom only to come back to more I-need-help-from-you emails, phone messages and the best of them all, instant messages. Because people need help from me NOW. Not later. But now.

Yesterday when the work day ended, I drove my rental car (yes, rental car) to the Honda dealership to pick up our mini-van. It needed a new alternator and some fluids replaced. Hell, I need some fluids replaced right now. Or at least lovingly extracted. Or not even so lovingly.

Where was I?

Oh yes. On I-need-your-help tilt.

I finally get home and relieve my mother-in-law from babysitting duties while the Mrs. is at class. No time to unwind there - the kids need help with dinner. Then they need help with homework. And after that they need help getting snacks before bedtime.

So finally, FINALLY, TheBlood sits down to a couple of SNG's on the poker machine in a what will become very futile attempt to forget all about the previous 12 hours.

It doesn't work.

MrsBlood gets home and immediately asks for help getting pictures off the digital camera onto her laptop. All the while, I'm 2-tabling with headphones on trying my best to escape into the world of calm and relaxation. Right after I told her I was on I-need-your-help-tilt. But guess what?

Cue Shannon Sharpe: "It don't matter!"

Well, hellfire. Some days, my needs don't matter one single bit. Sure I yelled, and sure I was a jerk (aren't we always dear readers who happen to be husbands?), but I HELPED everyone who needed it yesterday.

Beyond my normal capacity to withstand aggravation, I left the house and drove to my favorite dealer's choice Thursday night donkey game.

Wherein I got my Aces cracked two hands in a row by the same player.

I need help.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Let me say this: I had a great time Saturday and was excited to see everyone who could make it. The North Carolina contingent showed up in full force and even though Jim the Knife took me out of my own tournament, it was still worth every second.

We had 21 players Saturday and thanks to a very surprising and generous gesture, I would be free-rolling my own tournament. Otis had managed to gather up enough scratch from everyone else to fund my buy-in. Thanks to TheMark, a few two-dollar bills from G-Vegas' primary exotic establishment found their way into the prize pool. Not that I needed any additional motivation to win, but there it was.

My tournament performance, however, was just a matter of bad timing. I flopped the nuts once early and didn't get paid. I flopped a set later, but someone flopped a higher set. Only a 4-straight on board saved me my remaining chips. Finally, with an M of near 3, I pushed my big blind with ATo. The aforementioned Jim called after he had limped with JTs. Based on previous tourneys with Jim, I knew I stood no chance. Thankfully, just like he did at Caesar's last winter, he took my chips to a money finish. So I feel I contributed in some small way.

Good 'ole Shep was there and brought a signature 4 ft. sandwich. Some folks brought some wine, but most importantly, many others brought some vodka. I believe I'm covered for the rest of the year after Otis, GucciRick, and B-roc all supplied me with plenty of Grey Goose and Kettle One.

I managed to win in the subsequent cash game, a .25/.50 affair with Falstaff's absolute kick-ass, envy-inducing, ASM hourglass mold Black Sands chipset. However, in order to continue to have fun with a kid-less house, I had to fund Mrs_Blood's poker experience for the day. That didn't go so well, but as Shannon Sharpe likes to say with his mouth full of marbles, "It don't matter!"

I was having too much fun.

So much so, that I didn't want anybody to leave. But sadly, the NC crew had to drive back, which must not have been too bad since Falstaff and Jim took 1st/2nd in the tourney and their buddy Brian did well in the cash game. We tried to keep going 6-handed with Me, Mrs_Blood, TheMark, MrsAllIn, GucciRick and Otis; but after a brutal set over set hand destroyed the mood, we all felt it was time to pack it in.

I really can't say thank you enough to everyone, you guys made my Saturday one of the best days I've had in a while. We'll have to do it again.


Friday, April 04, 2008


If you've been paying any attention whatsoever to this blog, you'd realize that I'm about to turn the magical age of 40. And by magical, I mean Gandalf-like old. Sometimes I hesitate to mention it because I'm not a big fan of drawing attention to myself. Still, mention it I do; but I'm always leery that I bring it up far too often.

Because really, people get tired of those who constantly do that.

So this should be the last time I mention it.

Because I'll be in Vegas on my birthday proper, tomorrow a few friends are coming over the house for a poker tournament. I'll probably put a bounty on my head so that I'll have less fold equity. Who needs that to win a donkament? Cash games will hopefully ensue afterwards and my wish is that everyone who shows up has a great time, regardless of the bad beats I'll lay on you. (You reading this Falstaff????)

I'll take pictures and put them up for posterity. To a person, every one who's coming to the house tomorrow I've met through either poker or blogging about poker. This post is just meant to be a preemptive "Thanks" to those who can make it.

I'm getting the sense throughout the other poker blogs that some of the A-List, Inner Circle rockstars are finding that the true measure of their poker winnings is the friends they've made from the game and not the financial net to their poker bankroll.

Here's a secret: I knew it long ago. But I forgot about it last year. Thanks again to everyone who helped me remember.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Quien es Less Macho

With rumor being truth and G-Rob officially coming back to the Gucci game, we actually had a wait-list to play at the Monday night game. Granted, it was only 1 deep, but there were eleven folks ready to play cards with one of G-Vegas' old school heroes.

TheMark, not one to let an opportunity to swing dicks with G-Rob go to waste, showed up promptly at start time, costing me $10 in a prop-bet that I still need to pay. In fact, several prop bets were placed prior to last night's game, several of which hit.

1. TheMark shows up because G-Rob is playing.
2. G-Rob loses a buy-in before building his stack.
3. BadBlood mis-reads G-Rob and doubles him up at some point.

To say the poker was more intense this week would be an understatement. There were more pre-flop re-raises this week than the previous four combined. Things on many occasions got interesting.

But back to the title of this post...

Without naming names, you tell me which scenario is weaker. And by weaker, I mean a serious lack of cajones. I think the Rooster can translate that word for you if you need help.

Scenario 1: You are all in on the turn for an $1800 pot with pocket Kings. Your opponent flips up Ac4c on a XcXc4X board, i.e. pair and flush draw. You are a 30:14 favorite and your opponent wants to make a deal. You agree to split most of the pot and leave only $200 up for grabs with one card to come.

Scenario 2: You've flopped a set of 10's in position against a somewhat tricky player. The board reads AT4. The action goes check, continuation bet of $50, call. The turn brings a K and it goes check-call for $75. The river pairs the King and now the check-caller fires out $100. You have about $250 left in your stack. And you just flat call. You don't raise/push for your remaining $150 or so.

Which move deserves the most ire?