Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where Did I Go Wrong?

My son asked me to download some songs for his iPod. These are his choices:

So What - Pink
Hot and Cold - Katy Perry
I kissed A Girl - Katy Perry
Womanizer - Brittney Spears
Dangerous - Akon
What You Got - Akon
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
If I Were A Boy - Beyonce
Fergalicious - Fergie
Barracuda - Fergie
Ayer - Flo Rida
Low - Flo Rida
Gotta Be Somebody - Nickleback
Ruby - The Kaiser Chiefs

Straight diet of thrash for the boy coming right up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Without question. The reason is because I get to relax. I've decided that I love being relaxed and I spend far too little time in that state of mind. On Thanksgiving, my biggest duty is to drive my wife's grandmother from her assisted living home to my in-law's house. That's it.

I don't have to cook.
I don't have to clean.
I just have to eat.
And drink.
Then sleep.

I'd take a hefty pay cut if I could relax on a full-time basis. So, in the spirit of relaxation, here's a salute to my few-and-far-between opportunities to unwind from the stresses of my own making:

1. That first sip of Sapporo at the local Sushi joint on a Monday before poker.
2. That first sip of a dirty Grey Goose martini at PF Chang's on a Monday before poker. (See a pattern?)
3. An empty house, a drink, and an online table in front of me.
4. Massage therapy, even without a happy ending, after 3 months of good workouts.
5. Both kids out of the house, accounted for and a rare dinner with the Mrs. in an uncrowded restaurant.
6. Fully rested, David Gilmour's On An Island playing in my car on an empty stretch of highway, traveling to It Don't Matter City.
7. Sharing some one-on-one time with either kid doing just about anything with the caveat that they're well-behaved.
8. Beach. Tide. Sun. Margarita with salt.
9. Saturday afternoon nap.
10. Sip of Scotch on my front porch sitting in a rocking chair during sunset.

I'm really looking forward to the next two days. Relaxing on one, and most definitely NOT relaxing on the other. Have a safe day if you're traveling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Foldin' Ain't Easy

The first hand at last night's Monday night game was crazy. I hate going broke the first hand, it sets a bad tone for the evening. Regardless, when it's folded to me and I have pocket tens, I'm going to raise. DeanDeanTheDrawingMachine, who seems to be folding more often rather than drawing these days, re-raised my $10 bet to $35. I got the sense that I was immediately behind.

However, both GucciRick and Otis called, so I had an easier call with hopes to flop a set. I had Dean on a big pocket pair and Rick and Otis on big Aces. The flop was KdTdTh. I tried not to pee my pants. Otis checked, I checked (slow playin' my Quads 'cause I'm so good) and Dean fired out $75. Rick called and I thought there was no real need to raise at that point, so smooth call was my response.

The turn brought another K. I checked and Dean couldn't shove his chips into the pot fast enough. At first I thought to myself this is a sick beat if I just lost to a one-outer. But then Rick said, "I have to call." Sweet, I thought to myself, they both have a King. I ha' Quads, I can' lose!!!!

"I have to call too," I said, and triumphantly flipped over my pocket Tens only to see Dean flip up pocket Kings. As soon as Dean flipped his cards, I knew it was a setup. No way Rick calls all-in with that board when he has neither a Ten nor a King. Of course, he had QdJd and the Ad hit the river.

How sad is it that I felt more relief upon realizing that it was a setup and I didn't just lose my buy-in on the first hand than the excitement I felt for flopping quads and thinking I would double up?


Anway, with my adrenaline shot for the evening, I played decently, if only for a while.

I called a raise with Js9s and saw a flop 4-ways. I flopped nothing, but the action checked around. The turn brought a flush draw to me and I check-called a small bet that had a caller in one spot. Pot odds ya' know. The river gave me a J-hi flush. But because of the action on the turn, I felt no guarantee that it was good. The person that called the turn bet could have easily been on a spade draw as well. I checked, the person who lead the turn checked, and the person who called the turn bet led out for a 1/2 pot-sized bet. I just called.

But then the turn bettor check-raised for another $75. And then got called. I had a flush and knew immediately it was no good. I folded and watched a Q-hi flush take the pot down against a set. As you'll hear on the Cash Plays podcast all the time, given the action, there's no way my hand is anything but a bluff catcher. Good fold number one.

Later on, I'd raise with AQ from the button. Three to an AKx flop with two clubs. Dean, from early position led out small and FranktheTank smooth called. I raised there because at this point in time, I felt Dean's lead out was a blocking bet with a draw type hand. You know, TheDrawingMachine. My assessment was affirmed when Dean simply called my raise and Frank decided to fold.

The turn brought the Jc and again Dean led out, this time with a bigger bet. Sadly, I could beat nothing at this point and again folded. Dean showed AJ and I tallied up good fold number two.

Folding isn't fun. You're saving money, playing well, but it's not fun. And I got tired of it.

Finally, when I raised again with AQ and got re-popped once again by Dean, I made a bad play and called out of position. Dean had recently rebought so was somewhat short on chips. I check-raised the Q-hi flop and Dean shoved. It was only $53 more for me to call into a $300+ pot and I knew I was no good. But again, folding isn't fun, so I called to see Dean have me crushed with pocket Aces.

Two outta three ain't bad. It ain't good either because the one time I decide not to fold, I lose my profits for the evening.


I'd end up a winner for the evening, but only because someone else made a bad fold. My chip stack was dwindling and I was getting a bit annoyed at how my initial solid play had deteriorated into a pattern of sucking. I was dealt AA and raised. I got one caller out of position and a flop I absolutely hated: KdQh8d. My Aces were black, I had no draw, just a pair.

My opponent checked and I c-betted hoping that I was up against some random King. My opponent called. The turn brought the 9d completing every draw known to man. Now my opponent led out. Super-awesome. But damnit, I have Aces. I also knew it didn't matter and I also knew I was about to make a bad call. I did.

The river was garbage and my opponent put me all-in for my last $106. Frustrated as hell, I decided to do what all poker players do when they're frustrated. Put my opponent on a hand I can beat. Random King, that's what he has. Right? Of course. I called.

My opponent mucked. Wow, my hand was good, I showed AA to take down the pot.

TheMark, ever so kind to have shut the hell up during the hand, retrieved my opponents cards from the muck and said to him, you had the straight. Jack-Ten. I got shipped the pot, we all knew the rules about mucking your hand. I didn't know how to feel. I read my opponent for a bluff, was correct, but thanks to him mis-reading his hand (He was a bit distracted playing with his BlackBerry. Here's to you Research In Motion!), I was effectively wrong. I'd turn that oddly-won pot into a nice profit for the session, so I won't complain.

Foldin' ain't easy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unleash Carnage

I have a home game scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Anyone see any issues with this lineup?

1. BadBlood - The host, will have booze
2. G-Rob - The aggro-donk, will drink booze
3. Falstaff - The out-o-towner, will drive many miles
4. Heather - In town, heard there's a game, mainly coming to see the gun show
5. F-Train - 33rd best Razz player on the planet, coming to G-Vegas for the first time
6. CK - Black Widow of Poker, rumored to enjoy skillets at Denny's
7. Special K - Also known as Iraqii toilet seat tester
8. Craig Cunningham - Received approval to donate
9. Big Pirate - Last, but not least, of a table full of bloggers

I have several buy-ins, someone's getting an early Xmas present.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Run Goot

Funniest hand of the weekend for me:

It's a turbo, but it's still early. I raise w/QQ.

Before it gets back to me, 3 other players are all in. I call.

I'm up against 77, QTd, and AK. I came in last.

77 flopped a set.
QTd turned a flush.
AK rivered an Ace.

I have successfully torpedoed 50% of my yearly profit since July 1. Gugh?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Metal Monday Volume 2

Part of the reason I like the extreme side of metal is the vocals. I'd be hard pressed to call it singing, but the vocalists in my favorite genre are talented nonetheless. Nothing turns me off to music more than a whiny little lead singer, crying about something and ruining some otherwise fine metal song. Hear that Avenged Sevenfold?

Among the giants of this style is one Tomas Lindberg who rose to fame with the band At The Gates, pioneers of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal style. He's migrated from band to band ever since At The Gates disbanded, but you can find him on several classics.

I'd recommend the following:

At The Gates - Slaughter of the Soul (check YouTube for the Blinded By Fear video)
Nightrage - Sweet Vengeance
The Crown - Crowned In Terror


Some pokery fun.

8-game mix and we're playing PLO. Again, what follows is the classic berating from a guy who doesn't know much about the subtleties of PLO.

Berator raises pot pre-flop to $7 and I call from the button with 8TJQ, two hearts. Both blinds follow suit.

The flop is 579, two hearts. Hello flush draw, wrap draw. Both blinds check, Berator bets pot and I raise, effectively putting Berator all-in. Blinds fold, he calls and the board comes brick, and then T, giving me the nuts.

He shows KKTT, no hearts and says the following: "BS. Heeee-hawwww. Nice pre-flop call. Idiot." Then he leaves the table.

These are my favorite players. Those who have no idea they're favored to lose the hand and then complain when the odds work out against them. They are few and far between now adays, so enjoy them when you find them. I do.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Home Game?

I haven't hosted in ages it seems. But tonight, I managed to scrape together a few folks to join me in a session of pokery goodness. G-Rob's coming. Falstaff's coming. We'll have 7 total and right now my biggest worry is finding enough beer and vodka to last the night.

Work blows and the thought of a home game is all that's keeping me from flipping my badge in the trash on the way out.

Maybe they'll even be blog-worthy stuff going on tonight. Feel free to dial-a-shot the table.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Nevada Jacks

As long-time readers of the blog know, I'm kind of a poker chip fanatic. Not only do I have my own custom set, but I have a collection of casino chips in a frame in my poker "office." So when I received an opportunity to review some Nevada Jacks poker chips and their website, I accepted the offer.

The value in any poker chip company to me lies in their selection. Not everyone has $1000 to spend on a set of custom poker chips. There should be some low and mid-tier offerings as well. At Nevada Jacks, they do indeed have something to offer everyone.

At the lower end of the cost spectrum lie the composite chips. They come in two different types of materials, those with metal slugs in them and those without. My personal favorite is the Nevada Jack Skull design. In fact, during one of my Superstars Invitational tournaments, I used those exact chips at one of the tables. (See pic below, chips courtesy of Falstaff.)

Up one level in quality from the composite chips are the actual clay chips that you'd commonly find in a casino. These chips are of higher quality and based on the material used and manufacturing process are more expensive to make. My current custom set is a ceramic chip, but after playing with some casino-style clay chips I've thought about purchasing a 2nd set. There are definitely some clay chip fanatics out there and Nevada Jacks can definitely meet the needs of that crowd.

Lastly, are the custom chips themselves. Nevada Jacks has some stock ring designs within which you can place some custom artwork. This option definitely adds both a classy touch to the chips as well as some security to your game. With custom chips you won't have to worry about anyone sneaking in their own counterfeits.

If you're in the market for some new chips, Nevada Jacks should be on your list of websites to check out.