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Archive for October, 2006

shane_lifesaver5.jpgI’ve never been into Halloween.  Going around begging for candy from strangers, throwing eggs at houses and blowing up mailboxes.  Gets a little old when you’re in your mid-30s, but not so much when you have a two-year old.  Mr. Shane heading into his third Halloween (a crayon for his first and Superman for his second) is now going to be a lifesaver.  Original at least.  His Aunt Arlene was kind enough to make him a pretty neat outfit.  My childhood as a trick or treater was actually fun.  I recall going house to house and coming home to piles of cavity causing sugar.  Mom never really checked the candy as those were different times.

Doubtful Mr. Shane will even get more than one or two pieces to eat.  This Halloween is all about proud mommy and daddy parading him around and teaching him the finer points of begging and saying ‘trick or treat’ – like he’d give them a trick if they said ‘no’. 

On Sunday we went to the pumpkin patch and festival and he thoroughly loved it.  Enjoyed playing in the  patch, petting the animals (the kid’s fearless), going through a maze of maize, and climbing these 25′ tall stacks of bails of hay.  Made for a nice day.  On the way back we passed by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and it was absolutely breathtaking, the structure and the view.  We couldn’t go in b/c Shane was asleep, but we’ll have to go back.

Happy Halloween y’all.

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If you play this game long enough, you’ll continue learning (hopefully) and if you learn from your mistakes, you ‘should’ improve.  Well, anytime I make a mistake in this game, I take it as an opportunity improve upon my game.  Well, I have two such opportunities ‘to learn’ from my play last night – one, perhaps moreso than the other.  Let me know what you think.

NL $500+$50 Tournament – I only decided to play in this tournament because of my showing last weekend in the NL $300+$40 where I finished 9th out of 278.  This go around there were only about 98 player and they’d be paying just the final table of nine.  Another James Woods siting albeit brief as he was at the table next to mine, but busted out maybe 10 minutes into the event.  So at least I lasted longer than he.  Started with 2,500 in chips and 25-25 blinds.  Accumlated some chips early – flopped 3’s full of Kings early and stole some other blinds to get to approximately 4,800.  Blinds up to 50-100 (round 3) and midway through the round on the SB I pick up AA.  Folded around to me and I raise to 300.  BB (chip leader at our table with about 8,000) calls.  Flop, 2,9,Q.  Safe, and I bet out 500 (into a pot of 600), and BB calls (1,600 in pot).  Turn comes K.  I check (figuring if all he has was a K, I’d be in good shape – he doesn’t have KQ, doubful K9, maybe a set of 9s but not QQ.  He goes ‘all in’.  Figuring him for a just a K, I call and am stunned when he flips over J,10 for the nut straight!  Ugh.  I win that pot, I likely become the chip leader of the tournament, yet instead, I’m out.  I suppose I could have gotten away from just one pair, but again, my mistake for not putting him on a lot.  He had been playing crap cards, better aggressively with 2nd and 3rd pair, and draws.  Argh!

Playing the cash game, I drop about $400 early and into my last $300 down to $150 but work it back up to $675 late in the evening (ahem – morning).  Small raise in mid position to $15 and five callers.  I have 9,10 hearts.  Flop, 9,10, Q.  First position actually goes all in for $175!  Loose player who is in for probably $1400, but has about $1,000 in front of him calls.  He mentions to the first player “I have a pair”.  Dealer reprimands him for talking about his hand while there are others to act.  All others fold to me.  I have only two real choices, fold or go all in.  All I have is bottom two pair, which isn’t bad, but I can only beat AQ or a draw.  So yeah…what do I do?  I go all in for my remaining $660!  After about 60 seconds, I get called with top two (Q,10).  I don’t get my miracle 9 (which would have allowed me to drag $1,800.  So I take my donkey tail between my legs and I go home.

I’m ticked I made that play, because I wasn’t invested in the pot and really the only hand that calls me beats me.  (First guy flopped a straight).  But now (hopefully) I’ve learned a lesson.  Bottom two with two huge bets in front of me…not so good.

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Phoenix – Baseball

So I finally was able to attend my first ‘world series’ in Phoenix.  As most of you know, I always go to Tampa for the Fall Classic, a men’s baseball tournament every November.  The equivalent to that is the World Series in Arizona.  Way to far from Atlanta, but living in LA, it’s only a 90 minute flight.  Flew there Wednesday morning and pitched Wednesday afternoon.  The complex was nice – The Seattle Mariners complex in Peoria.  I threw just ‘ok’, but walked a few more than I would have liked.  Oh well. 

Played some cards (shocker) at one of the cardrooms near there – Wildhorse I believe it was where they didn’t have any no-limit so I found myself sitting at a 4-8 limit game where I won a couple hundred until finally moving to the 8-16 game, which was the highest they had.  Won just like $50 there but the play was very loose.  Nothing eventful other than a promotion they have – Aces and Faces.  Between 8pm and midnight, at the beginning of every hour, if you’re dealt either aces or JJ, QQ or KK and they are cracked, you get $200.  Sure enough, right at 8pm, like the 4th or 5th hand, I pick up hooks.  The board shows AAK and I’m virtually guaranteed of having them cracked.  So I lost about $40 on the hand, but netted about $160.  Neat promotion.  Netted $430 on the night.

Maybe I should just give up baseball.   Um, no.  Tampa up next late next week.  Hollywood Park NL$500 event tomorrow night.

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Life in Los Angeles as temporary or permanent as this may be, has had a way of accentuating my age.  I go to the gym and there’s typically the young pups getting themselves into shape.  We go to a nice restaurant, and it’s peppered with old money and older people behind it.  Atlanta is a young town, but a town where you can live well beyond your means because of the low cost of living.  It’s interesting out here how ‘the business’ separates the haves and have nots.

So I turned 36 today.  Not a big deal.  At times I feel old, at times I feel young.  Working from home doesn’t help the feeling young part, but at times living in Los Angeles does.  The weather is nice and I no longer even have to dress business casual at the office, not that many of my co-workers do, but when in Atlanta, I suppose I feel I need to dress the role.  But out here it’s typically shorts and a thermal or long sleeve T.  Why not be comfortable.  The weather’s been beautiful out here.  At 36, I’ve got a great wife, an awesome son, a solid business, good friends, a great family, and I’m kind of able to see the forest through the trees on an early retirement (saying this well before paying for any of Shane’s education) but a nice thought none-the-less.  Would like to work later in life because I want to work, rather than having to work.

I still play baseball which I hope to do until my wheelchair runs out of energy.  At 36, I have lots to look forward to and have had a great first third of my life thus far.  The next decade will see me sell my business and start another, perhaps add to the Stockfield family, see Shane head into his school and into middle school, perhaps taking us back to Atlanta, and then who knows where.  I’d like to do some international travel and see the rest of the US.  Vacation has been something that’s avoided Mindy and I since the addition of Mr. Shane, but as he gets older maybe it will be easier to leave him for some short vacations and also have him enjoy some family vacations to Cooperstown, Syracuse, Disney World, Grand Canyon, etc.

Yes, 36 is what you make of it.  I’m thinking I’m 36 years young.  Tis only a mind-set.

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Well, played in my seventh poker tournament of 2006 and fared well, placing ninth in the $300 + $40 event at Hollywood Park Casino (click here).  The event had 278 participants and each started with 2,000 in chips, 40 minute rounds (25-25) start. 

By round three, I was short stacked and down to 550 in chips after playing J-8 suited, flopping trips on a board of JJ7 only to have J7 double up through me.  Most would just shove their chips in with any Ace afterwards, but I opted to pick my spots, steal some blinds in position and build my chips stack back to 1200 when I picke up KK on the BB when the SB who only had 1000 picked up 10, 10.  So by the end of the 3rd round I wound up getting back up to over 3,000 in chips.  I played solid tight aggressive poker and took advantage of short stacks later as well as my position.  Down to about 32 players (they pay top 27), I pick up K,J suited in the SB having about 16,000 in chips and blinds are 1,000-2,000 (200 ante).  I opt to call the min-raise the button makes and call the extra 3,000.  Flop A,Q,8.  Check-check.  Turn 2, check-check.  River nothing, I bet out 3,000 into the nearly 10k pot trying to steal it and the pocket fives on the button actually calls!  But I wind up picking up 8,8 and double up and then my 6,6 all-in survives (when we were down to 15 player against AJ after the flop puts a J and I turn a 6 to stay alive and put my in great position to make the final table.   10th-18th place paid $810, while 9th started the escalation of pay netting $1,290.    We get to the final table and there’s a proposal to chop which is great for me.  I would have been short stacked, and although I feel solid I could have moved up a few spots to maybe 6th, 7th, I would have to have made it to 4th place to have done better than the chop.  My portion of the chop was $4,250!  It was unanimous since it was 3:30 in the morning.  So I netted nearly an additional $3,000 so why wouldn’t I want to chop.

I feel solid in that this was only my seventh tourney of the year and yet my second final table.

April – Hollywood Park – 35th place – $0; May – Bicycle Club – $225 – DNP; May – WSOP Circuit – $500 event – 9th place – $1,222; September – three events at Commerce all three $300 – DNP; October – Hollywood Park NCP – $300 event – 9th place – $4250.

I feel good about my play and how I’ve done thus far in my tournament play.  But over the last week and a half adding nearly $5700 to my bankroll, I’m feeling good about my play so far.  I’ll likely play now in either the NL500 or NL1000 event next week.

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At the airport now ready to head back to LA.  The good news is that we only live 4 miles from the Burbank airport.  Makes it easy.  Plus book it ahead of time and with taxes I believe it’s only a $117 round trip flight!

Got in last night and enjoyed a nice dinner at Delmonico’s Steakhouse at the Venetian!  I highly recommend it although a little pricey, but well worth it.  Saw Penn & Teller and honestly, it was a big disappointment.  Short (1:15) and not that funny.  They do 6-8 tricks and that’s it.  $ for $, not worth it.  Played some cards late last night at Treasure Island and grinded my way to a $350 win (included in there was 20 minute playing at the Rio where Penn & Teller were showing and I had recovered set over set to book a $100 win). 

Today played the Venetian for about five hours and booked a $600 win for  total of a +$955 trip.  Not shabby.  One hand in particular was a guy flopping 2 pair, not betting the flop and I bet on the turn (6 to the flop of $20 each), with my 5,4 heart with a a board of 3,6,A, 2 hearts (so I was open ended and had a flush draw).  Next guy called my$100 bet, and the next guy (2 pair) goes all in for $155 total.  Hit K of hearts on the river and of course bitches and moans.  I love that, lol.  He was even still wearing his conference credentials around his neck.  Hey, it is a drawing game.

Tomorrow – Hollywood Park – NL$300+$40.

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Business partner there and what kind of friend would I be if I let him go-it alone?

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