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Archive for May, 2006

No love from the Bike!

Played in the Bike's Annual American Poker Tournament earlier this evening.   It was a $225+$30 bounty tourney where everyone you knock out you get $25.  I played the first four rounds without having any real hands and stealing the blinds a few times.  But with the blinds now $100/200 and having about $2,200, the short stack went all in.  There were two limpers so I opted to go all in from the button with my 2,2 and isolated.  I figured the desperate sole with two overs and was correct; he had K,10.  Course he hit a 10 on the river.  Went all in with A,9 suited and was behind as my oppenent had QQ.  Fortunately I hit an ace on the flop but called it aloud after the turn, "queen to suck out"…wham…it hit and I was out.  No luck.

The cash game didn't get much better.  There are some good players at the Bike.  Folks are definitely not against "gambling"….unfortunely I ran into some poor luck.  I lost three times with Kings on the night totalling about $600 in losses…all to the same guy!!!!  Twice he flopped boats…and the last one, I had KK on the button, raised to $20 (3 limpers prior) and was called by four people including my adversary in the BB.  Flop, 7,4,2.  Checks around to me, I go all in, the BB calls with just 7,5.  Hits is his 5-outer and his 5 on the turn. 

Again, good players for the most part at the Bike, but tough on a night like this where you question your confidence in your game.  I do feel confident though I'm a good player, just not great.  Room for improvement especially in being aggressive, but I'll continue to play good cards and use position to my advantage. 

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Normally Memorial Day I'm used to playing baseball in Atlanta.  This year I opted not to play in Las Vegas where a national tournament is held every year to spend some quality time with the family.  We'll likely explore Los Angeles, maybe head to the beach, maybe picnic.  R&R with the family.  What are you doing for Memorial Day?  Anything interesting? 

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So, I had a conference this week in Vegas and opted to get in early to play the NL500 at Caesars.  I'd not played in that large an event having played in some NL300 events.  So I got into Vegas at 8:30 am and had registered by 9:30am for the 10am tourney.  There were 89 players so a decent prize pool over well over $40,000, paying nine places.  Start with 1500 in chips and 50 minute blinds.

It was a tough grind for ten hours!  After round three (50-100), I never made it past 15x the big bet.  However, for not getting any hands, I think I did a good job of surviving and not getting frustrated and pushing on marginal hands.

I grinded down the final table where 9 of the 10 would be paid.  Ninth place $1,222, tenth…zip.  So unless I had the goods, I was staying put.  Luckily with the blinds 400-800 (100 ante), and me with only 4,500 in chips, a guy that was chip leader with 30,000 in chips, down to 10,000 raised with his K,7 and was reraised all in by KK.  He called.  Next hand for the same guy JJ lost to AK.  Woo-hoo.

After the dinner break, I stole some blinds and with 7,500, I found myself in the SB and the chip leader raised to 3,000 with 7,7.  I pushed 7,500 with AK suited.  No ace, king, flush or straight came and I was out in ninth.  I liked my play at that juncture as if I spike and A or a K, I'm probably close to fourth in chips and actually have a chance of winning the thing!

Not horrible for my first big tournament.  For results go to http://www.pokerpages.com/tournament/result14542.htm

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After managing my team, the Georgia Cherokees for five+ years, I reluctantly left behind my team in Atlanta in very capable hands.  We had a solid machine of ball players, that fielded well, hit well and we had a ton of pitching.  So much of each that it warranted leaving behind a lot of playing time on my part.  With nagging small injuries and little time to stay in shape coupled with helping raise Shane and spending more time w/ him, I was happy mostly just managing.

But moving to LA has provided "more time".  With the "burden" of managing off my shoulders, I could just play again.  I found a team to play on which wasn't hard to do, simply posting I was a pitcher.  I latched on to the first team, the Malibu Mustangs.  They're a good group of guys, friendly, and out to have fun.  My competitive streak though has had a tough time settling for that though.  That being said, I'll stick out the year and make the best of it.  Again, they're a good group and have embraced my being there.  That being said, the team is probably in the bottom third of the 12 team American Division (second highest of the four 28+ divisions).

I'm enjoying being able to pitch again and actually hit.  The problem with the pitching is…well, they cannot catch the ball.  I've probabaly averaged five outs per inning pitched.  Which for anyone that knows me, knows I need my defense.  Seems the only "easy" outs I get are on strikeouts….and again for anyone that knows me…knows I don't strike out many.  But I'm 2-0, with an ERA under 3.50.  The team is 2-3 overall.

Hitting-wise….well, amusing, but I'm 2nd in the LEAGUE in hitting.  The league keeps immaculate statistics and I'm actually hitting .615.  I've known I could always hit, but .615?  I never try to crush the ball and pound the ball to right field like always.  The funny part is that no one out here knows me so they don't know to 'shift'.  I'm now among the league leaders in several categories…  go to www.lamsbl.com and go under "teams" and "leaders", American/Aluminum division, both hitting and pitching.  Stats won't last but fun for now.

Lastly, thought any reading would get a kick out of this….Mr. Jose Canseco and Mr. Bret Saberhagen both play in our league.  You can look them up at the same site at the www.lamsbl.com and type in their last name in the upper left hand corner of the screen.  I guess for me too.  Good stuff.  Play ball!!!!!

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I've heard stories,…I've always said, 'whew lucky, never really been me'…but then it happened.  The scenario – Hustler Club – Friday night.  I'd been playing most of the evening getting crap for cards but just waiting and waiting….and waiting.  And after a six hour session, grinded my way to about a $150 loss.  Certainly not horrible considering the poor cards I had been getting.  But then around 1:30…it happened.  The hands within 30 minutes…done.

Hand 1 – Playing 2/5NL, max 300 buy-in, a woman sits down and the dealer asks 'do you want to be dealt in'….the woman says "no, I'll wait".  Of course the dealer gives her cards.  She even says "no I didn't want cards" but then she looks down and says, sure I'll call.  She then says…"um….I'm 300 back…no, make it 140…no, 160".  This smells of disaster.  The button calls, I look down at K,10 diamonds.  I call and the small blind checks.  Four to the flop.  10,10,7.  Normally I bet this out, but knowing the players at the table, I check, checks to the button who bets out 15.  I smooth call, the BB folds, the the women (who just got her chips delivered to her 5 seconds prior) makes it 100.  Button folds and I feel this "ruh-roh" feeling, but go all in.  She's like uh-oh, but calls.  She turns over 10,8, I turn over my higher trips….and the turn brought nothing (as one of the other players said they folded an eight) and of course the river brought one of the last two 8's.  The crappy part is she wasn't even supposed to be in the hand!!!!

Hand 2 – Stack down to $180, again on the SB, calls all the way around, I call, and the BB goes all in for $38.  I know before the next player acted my move….but surprisingly three other callers!  I go 'all in' and figure everyone would fold and leave me heads up with the BB figuring at worst I'm a coin flip.  Problem was one of the callers on my right only had $50 left, so he called, turned over KQ, I turned over my AQ and the BB turned over 7,7.   Ace on the flop, Jack on the turn, 10 on the river!  I replayed in my head the move, and still feel good about it.  I could have just called and if an ace came on the flop, move in.  Problem with that is that any pocket pair could make a set.  If I do the latter scenario, I could have bet out the KQ.  Thoughts?

Hand 3 – Last of the evening with about $100 left.  Q,10 on the button (very next hand).  I call.  Flop Q,6,6.  BB bets $10, and tilting, I push with my top pair.  Course he had 2,6.  On the night – $600 loss. 

Oh well, tough night but even in losing, I felt I played well.  Looking forward to Vegas on Tuesday!  Caesar's Palace Tuesday morning NL500 event part of the WSOP Circuit Event.  Wish me luck!!!

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I ordinarily wouldn't play at Hollywood park from the reputation it has (seedy part of town – which is true) but I valeted my car and "took a chance".  I was dropping someone off at the airport and well, it's only 5 minutes from the airport.  Two mentionable hands.  The first was around 4am towards the end of my session.  I had come back from being down $400 to now up $200.  Dealt 9,9 UTG I called and was raised by second to last position to $20, a standard raise preflop.  Two callers.  Flop A,9,5 rainbow.  Perfect.  Started licking my chops and checked.  Pre flop raiser bets about $70 of his remaining $150 as did the button with about the same.  I go all in. The set held up and it was a nice quick $500 pot.  The last hand for me of the evening wasn't as good but I feel ok about my play.  Crazy action.

 Preflop I limp 4,6 spades for $5.  7 callers.  Wow.  Flop 3,5,8.  One spade two clubs.  First position bets out $25.  I take a chance and call.  Woman on my left calls, then the button with only $46 left, raises all in…ugh.  Call by SB and woman on my left asks, I'll raise.  Since it wasn't a full bet before the did not let her.  Which was good b/c I didn't want to be stuck for more.  So now it's cost me $51 thus far.  Next card 10….but a spade.  SB bets $30, I call…woman on my left goes all in for $75….SB goes all in now for $150 more.  Am I stuck?  I'm open ended, I've got four to a flush….I've got a ton of outs.  I figure there's $530 or so in the pot and it costs me another $150.  I'm getting about 3.5:1 on my money.  I figure I have 13 outs – nine spades and four non-spade non clubs – straight making cards (2s and 7s) althought if a club hit I would still take a nice side pot.  So 46/13 or 46/15 for side pot both just above 3:1.  Last card – 8 non spade.  Small blind had limped with Aces (cracked), woman on my left K,8 made trips, guy on button  A,10 clubs, last card gave him the flush. 

Thoughts?  Other than I shouldn't have been playing 4,6 spades?  It was 5:30am.  And I was up.  Summary – won $300.

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