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Archive for July, 2006

Was at home alone all week this week – just Shane and I.  Mindy was across the pond in London and I was here in slightly humid Los Angeles.  It was different than her being in NY for work.  An eight hour time difference and of course not having Shane’s mom around made me both dad and mom.  But it’s been a good week as it has made me appreciate her more…appreciate my family.  Being in Atlanta two weeks ago, made me also realize life goes on too. 

In that I think in one breath we have decided to return to Atlanta next July – I think in the other we need to live our next 12 months here taking advantage of LA and what it has to offer. 

I’ll still be back to Atlanta periodically for work and still miss everyone there.  Just still adjusting I guess to life out west.

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Mindy and I grabbed a baby sitter last night and went out on the town for a rare date.  I had forgotten how necessary this is not just being married, but being married with children, being thousands of miles away from what we call home and barely getting to see my wife while she works west coast and I east coast hours.

She selected a restaurant, some hoity-toity Italian restaurant, where we valeted (yes, I realize everything is valet here).  The menu was mostly in Italian for a meat and potatoes guy, it was a struggle finding something edible by my standards.  I settled on the chicken lasagna and figured I could pick through the stuff I didn’t want (ie. mushrooms).  The ambience was nice however and we had a good conversation…mostly about possibly returning to Atlanta.

I made her repeat herself twice…the quote?  “I don’t even like Los Angeles”.  Wow!  Maybe there is faith.  We spoke of our impending return to Atlanta in July ’07.  The house is rented through May ’07, we could replace the carpeting, paint and have the house cleaned in June, and could move back in July 1st.  Music to my ears.

But what will life be like in 1 year?  Shane will be going on three….who knows if we’d have one on the way or even here, no idea about where my career will take me (selling the business – building it bigger?) and lots of uncertainty about her career.  The constants though will be that it will be me, her and the lil guy.  And with that….I’m becoming content.  I’m learning.

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It was a decent trip back to the east coast.  A lot muggier…I really did notice the humidity a lot more, and life seemed pretty simple here.  I worked alot when I was here and slept little….I think 28 hours in 5 six nights…not good, but at least my evenings of poker seemed to pay off.  After netting +$700 Tuesday, I netted another $300 on Friday most of it coming from the Howell Mill/Collier game.  I did not get to see their regular dealer (‘t’yen’ – but not in the way you think)…but it’s a fun game and I enjoy seeing the guys there.  I hit a few flops but also stole a few pots with bluffs….one where I gave up out of position, missed everything and my opponent figuring I had top pair (aces) simply mucked….um…ok.

But the one hand that I had in question, perhaps JM can enlightem me just a little – with all the respect in the world – seriously speaking.  I’ve got pocket 10s on the button, my JM has what he later said was a big pair and raised the pot preflop to 15 I believe.  I think there were like 4 callers total.  Flop 10,8,7 rainbow.  Two checks and he bets out around 30.  I raise to 75.  He comes over top and makes it 175.  I don’t hesitate all that much and go ALL IN for another 200 or so.  He folds.  Granted a good fold. granted probably an easy fold.  But he asked me ‘if I was being nice’.  Gotta say…..I played all night tonight into the wee hours…and am about to catch a flight back to LA.  I’m still perplexed – about the question ‘was I being nice?’. 

I’m usually not vindictive at the poker table especially when playing in a home game where things tend to be a lot friendlier – plus I respected him for his normal play.  The casinos are something different.  I think I was sending a VERY clear signal – get out!  And was cool with him not calling – one because he could catch but moreso, I see so many others that DO make that call for another 200 at the California casinos…and figured he’d lay it down.    My play though was less about being nice than about me, I believe, making the right move based on the board (st8 draw) and not wanting to slow play or losing to a bigger set eventually.

Maybe he’s seen me mix my game up, maybe I have – at least I think so, but the play was, I think a good poker move (getting your chips in the with the best hand – and forcing out draws when you have a made hand.  Thoughts?

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In Atlanta this week for a few reasons….one is I have a conference Thursday in Hilton Head,…the other is sanity.  Working from home can get monotonous so to break that up, I’ll be in Atlanta every couple of months…and of course when I am, I like rotating between 2-3 games I know. 

One off Abernathy spreads a good 2-5 NL game and it’s good solid poker, run well.  That being said, they used to offer 3 rounds of Hold’em and one round of dealer’s choice.  The dealer’s choice round, you could call any casino poker game.  They have since altered that to include only Hold’em or Omaha games, thus getting rid of the option of my playing one of my favorite games….triple draw lowball.

For those unfamiliar, it’s a drawing game where you’re to make your best five card low hand where A-2-3-4-5 is the best hand.  Three draw and four betting rounds.  The key is knowing your opponents and more importantly knowing if they know how to play.  If they do not, they could draw to 8 or even 9 lows.  I have a nack for drawing well, but also don’t mind putting my chips in the pot.  Implied odds play a big role as does position.  Since I’m calling the game, I act last. 

Unfortunately for a poor sole on Tuesday night (very early on Wednesday), I snapped off a nearly $1,000 pot.  Thank you to the fine hosts that enabled another poor sole from California to play a game so near and dear to his heart!

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Went to Palm Springs for the weekend.  Yes the desert for vacation!  Um…113 degrees.  I swear it was the wife’s idea.  But played two uneventful nights at the Hot Water Casino – as the locals call is the Agua Caliente!  Quite boring honestly.  No action on the first night until about 4am when several asian players sat down but left up $200 for a modest win.  I over played AQ and ran into AK for a $600 loss but won it all back thanks to my friends from the Far East.  The second night was a yawner…they would not spread a NL game, so I sat at the $8-16 limit game and remembered why I liked NL.  One woman, literally played every flop for the 3 hours I played.  Sick.  Lost $300 after a having my Kings cracked 3x in a row.

But the BEST action I saw all weekend was at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon – on the way back to LA from Palm Springs.  http://www.morongocasinoresort.com/.  First, I was impressed with the casino.  The others I played at and seen in Palm Springs were run down and just plain.  This one was new clean, albeit smoky, but their poker room was pleasant.  AND full of ACTION!!!  Only one $2/5 NL table with no max buy in.  So I sat down and layed down four Ben’s and started to play.  One guy had about $1,500 in front all others ranged from $200-800.  I played my normal play but the pre-flop raises played more like a $5/10NL game.  $35-$50 pre-flop raises into a $7.00 pot!  But you’d get 4 callers.  Crazy.  And calling with A9, K,10, small pairs, just suited-non-connected cards.  And post flop, $100, $150 bets were common.  So I waited, and waited.  I was fine with that.  Limped in for $15 with 3,3 and the button raised to $60, 5 callers?  I had to call.  I missed. 

Had KK later on the button and just raised to $30.  Five callers.  Flop 8,6,2.  Checks around to me, I bet $75.  3 callers?  I smell a set.  Next card. J.  Checks around to me, I check.  River, a four.  UTG bets $60 into a nearly $400 pot.  One caller ahead of me (the big stack).  I just call.  Woman that bet sheepishly turns over a pair of 8s, the other guy mucks, I then sheepishly turn over my cowboys and drag a nearly $600 pot.  Took me a while and a few bad losses to figure out the table, but only played 2 hours. 

I had J,9 clubs with a board of 10,10,2, flop and turn an 8 (two clubs).  All 3 of us checked the flop.  Check, bet of $50 and I raised to $100.  UTG raises to $300.  Ah, so there’s the 10.  But do I have odds to call with only one card coming.  I have $400 left in front of me….probably not (I could be drawing dead if he already had the boat).  I layed it down and showed him…he showed me A,10.   10 minutes later when I was small blind, I had AQs (diamonds) and raised all 7 limpers to $50.  BB called.  Two to the flop – Q,7,5 – two clubs.  I go all in for my last $215.  She things for 10 seconds and calls.  another 7 and a five come.  She mucks.

I had my kings a few hands later and had to leave after only two hours due to the spouse and rugrat.  But man…I wish I could play there EVERY day!

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