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Archive for August, 2006

So today is my and Mindy’s eight year anniversary.  Although there have been some speedbumps and hurdles along the way, it’s been a great eight years producing alot of memories, one child, a great home in Atlanta, cross-country living, and a partridge in a pear tree.  For those not on the marriage train, enjoy your single days, but I’m just fine where I’m at.  Certainly helps finding the right girl.

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When in Rome…  I live in LA.  I reside in LA.  Whenever I’m asked ‘where you from?’, I cannot bring myself to say LA, nor Atlanta for that matter.  My answer is “I’m from NY, but I live in LA via Atlanta.  That pretty much sums it up.

Although I’m not ‘from’ LA, but certainly I’m all about taking advantage of this town while I reside here for as long as that is.  Tuesday starts the California State Poker Championships at the Commerce Casino.  I’ve probably played at the Commerce now more than any other casino out here…it’s largely been because of the loose tables and action.  The Bike just seems to eat me up with a lot of pro’s and Hollywood Park and Hustler are ok, but unpredictable.  So Tuesday starts the Cal State Poker Championships, a series of about 20 events over 3 weeks.  I’ve got six events on my agenda and hope to play in at least four of these six provided ‘I’m allowed’.

  • Tuesday September 5th – NL$300+$30
  • Wednesday September 6th – Limit $300+$30
  • Thursday September 7th – NL $300+$30
  • Monday September 11th – NL$300+$30
  • Thursday September 14th – NL$300+30
  • Tuesday September 19th – NL$300+30

Saturday September 23rd is the actual championship event, a $2,500+$80 event.  I’ll likely only play in this if I cash for at $3,000 or more in the events above or if I win a satellite.  Will post which events I play and results, and hopefully some good hands (for me).  Wish me luck!

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Ok, two weeks ago in Vegas I played a ridiculous amount of poker in a short period of time…this time, it was a little more tame as Mindy joined me in Sin City.  We took in two shows…Le Reve at the Wynn and Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian.  Both were excellent and entertaining.  Not inexpensive but worth it.  Tack on a wonderful steak dinner at Delmonico’s at the Venetian (my mouth’s watering just remembering the meal) and it was a great couple of days away for Mindy and I.  Of course I got about 10-hours of poker “to pass the time” while Mindy went to the spa and hung out at the pool.

Did well at The Wynn and dumped a little at The Venetian.  The Venetian just simply has not gotten its act together.  The service still stinks – my futile effort to get the floor to change one of the TVs in the back room to the Yankees/Sox game took 20 minutes and asking literally six times and then I get – they couldn’t figure out how to change the channel.  There was an almost fight at my table which was amusing as one older gent with a cowboy hat perhaps in his upper 50’s, younger 60’s asking a younger 50’s asian guy I’ve played with before (at the Wynn) if he had a set on a 10,6,2 board.  The asian gent says no, so the cowboy calls a large bet on the flop and loses about $300 total on the asian’s set of 10s.  The cowboy gets all in a tizzy and states how he ‘hates liars’.  Me being me, chimes in…”…sir, this is poker – last time I checked, lying is allowed.”  That probably didn’t earn me any points, but certainly added to the guy’s anger.  Within 20 more seconds, both were out of their chairs and virtually in each others faces (they were sitting side by side).  The cowboy’s threatening the asian got him booted.  Order was restored.  That was the best thing about playing at the Venetian this trip.  Unfortunately, the service there just isn’t quite up to par with the Wynn.

Back at the Wynn, I seemed to play great poker.  Getting a good night’s sleep night one, was I think a huge key.  We got to Vegas at 5pm, saw our 7pm show and were in bed by 10:30pm.  I got up at 6am and started playing.  Although I dumped $250 before our comped breakfast buffet (thank you Mr. Wynn), I came back to win about a grand before going over to the Venetian.  But saw a guy call a $1,000 bet on the river by another guy (which I was able to see was an OBVIOUS bluff), but the guy called the bet with just AK high….and WON!  I learned from that later in the day and profited greatly.

In the evening, I played 9,6 suited on the button and hit a good flop of 10,8,6.  A guy early bets $25, I raise to $75 putting him just on a diamond flush draw.  He calls.  We both check the turn.  A 2 on the river could not have helped him but he bets $100 on the river.  I just knew he missed his flush and put out my 20 stack of $5 chips – stating – ‘good bet, you win’.  But I really didn’t think he’d won.  I stated – “missed your flush draw huh?”. He coyly turned over his AK diamonds.

Anyway, good trip – $1600 in total.  About enough to pay for our flights, our hotel, our meals, our shows, Mindy’s spa treatment, and a small shopping spree Mindy went on.  Oh well.

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Boston Massacre!!!!!

I’ll post on my LV trip soon, but I’ve got to post regarding this amazing five-game series between the Yanks and SOX.  My new idea for a T-shirt — “2004 is the new 1918”.  Seems the Yanks have the SOX’ number.  Down 5-3 Sunday, then Bombers tie it up versus Papelbon and the Yanks go on to win 8-5 in 10 innings.  Yanks are now up 4-0 in this five game series.  Boy this is fun to watch!    Yanks playing some great ball right now. 

And Shane will get to see his first Yankees game next Saturday as we’re taking him to the Big “A”.  Should be interesting to see how he does at the game.  Go Yanks!

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Ok so I live only 3.5 hours from Sin City.  But why drive when you can fly?  Some will argue it’s the same time when you count in waiting at the airports, going through security.  That’s not true when you consider potty breaks, stopping for gas, and traffic which I believe the pilots usually try to avoid in the friendly skies. 

So heading out today, this time with the little woman to Vegas.  We’re going to do the domesticated trip and seeing two shows – Le Reve and Phantom at the Wynn and Venetian respectively.  We’re also staying at the Wynn so that’ll make going to show one easier and may also easily allow me to play some cards….just maybe.  I’m only there for about 45 hours, but I’ll put my over-under of number of hours at the table at 12.  We’ll see.  If I can eek out two 6-hour sessions, I’d be pleased while taking in some sun, some good food and quality time with my bride.

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Had to pick up my sisters-in-law at the airport yesterday (Monday) for a week long visit.  Mindy was working and so since I have the ability to get off work early, working east coast hours, I volunteered to pick them up by 7:12pm.  I didn’t want to get caught in the LA 405 traffic or be late so I left at 4:30, figuring I’d be at the airport by 6:30 honestly.  Well it took me only 30 minutes to get there….so since Hollywood Park was down the street…  For the first time in over three years I went to the ATM to play cards.  I normally keep my bankroll separate.

So just to pass the time I sat at the 2-3NL max $100 buy-in.  New table.  Boy, was that weird.  Chips flying all over the place….within 1/2 hour I was down $200!  Woops.  Boy, this was going to be an expensive wait.  But within the last 15 minutes before I had to leave, I turned a $200 loss into a $180 profit.  Set of sixes with two folks in the pot.  I just smoothe called my flopped set all the to the river with the non-threatening board, felting both.  And my KJ of clubs, hitting a great flop of J52, with two clubs.  UTG bets $20, next guy raises to $60, I push my $250 stack into the middle.  UTG reluctantly calls with his Q10 flush draw, and the guy with 2-pair (he claims) folded.  Bye guys, gotta go pick some folks up at the airport. 

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What a trip!  I meant to post sooner but I was thoroughly exhausted yesterday after a whirlwind 71-hour trip to Vegas.  From Thursday AM through Sunday AM – I was in Vegas for a grand total of 71 hours, played poker for 46.5 hours, slept for 11 hours….  The swings were down as much as $1200, up as much as $850…. 

I stayed at the Imperial Palace and did not place a single wager there.  I had comps so the stay cost me $11.63 and only because I had breakfast there one morning.  I hear they’re razing the hotel but not sure when to built another mega-hotel.  Prime real estate.  But my play was predominantly at the Wynn with three other sessions at the Rio (where the World Series was being held), the Alladin, and the Venetian. 

The Rio was tame although I won a little and no real hands to talk about, but I did get shut out of the $1k event 40 I was set to play in.  They capped it at 1100 since they ran out of chips.  Registration ended the day before.  Likely saved $1k there and a lot of time.  You’d only start with 1,000 in chips and a 25-25 blind structure.

The Venetian produced a modest win but only because I donkey’ed a big river win dragging a $750 pot with my K,10 clubs versus KK.  He pre-flopped raised (tight player) and I called in BB.  Flop came J,10,8 rainbow (one club).  I bet $25 into a $70 pot (yes, a weak bet as I’m out of position and only have 2nd pair), he makes it only like $60.  I just call.  Turn – a 9 of clubs.  So now I’ve got top pair and flush draw and a straight draw.  I check, he bets $75.  In my mind I put him on an overpair, but this is a drawing game…  I re-raise all in hoping he’d fold.  I was like another $250 more, so he was likely pot-committed, but he insta-called and I said ‘you got me’.  However the lucky club came on the river!  He threw down his Kings saying….I KNEW IT….I just dragged my $750 pot.  I’ll take it as the Wynn produced a much worse beat.

Sitting $2/5NL with approximately $500 in front of me, I bet $30 UTG with AA.  2 callers and the button (sitting with $1500 in front of him), makes it $120.  He’s been playing good cards, so I put him on 10,10 through KK, maybe even AK.  I go all in for another $360 for him to call.  He’s looking at me and they way my luck had been running, I didn’t want a call.  I even said ‘if you’re thinking about it, you’re likely a 4:1 dog at best’.  He had to know I had him but announced, ‘I know you’ve got me, but I’m gonna gamble’.  His gamble paid off big time as his JJ spiked a J on the flop – first card and I did not improve.  I’d have moved in my chips on the flop anyway with a J,5,2 board.  I think I took it well and rejuvinated myself with a good meal compliments of the Wynn.  Stuck for $1200, I an hour later, sat back down and within 2 hours produced a $1,450 win, playing well.  Jim M. recommended a massage they give table-side which must have worked – thanks Jim!

Up and down the rest of the trip and left Sunday morning exhausted.  I believe I improved my game and one of the most important things…I had fun.  Sunday was tough as I played in my 9am baseball game, took Shane to the zoo and crashed Sunday night.  Still a little groggy now, but tough life…I’ll recover.

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