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Archive for September, 2007

Played in the next series of tournaments at The Bike last night, a NL$225 tourney which had 382 players and paid out top 27.  Starting chips 2,000, 25-25 blinds, 30 minute levels.  I’d had had a tough 2007 in tourneys, 0-fer 5 until placing 30th out of 922 last month during a Legends event.  Busted out of a NL$335 event at Commerce last month so 1 for 7, not good.  Last year I was 2 for 7. 

Well, played a fairly solid tournament last night, usually putting my $ into the pot with the best hand.  Tough tough field.  I had 3 not that well known poker pro’s at my table, two of whom finished in the top 100 in the main event this year.  Four notable hands this tourney.

Hand 1 – Blinds 25-50, round two, player UTG limps for 50, next guy makes it 400, and I push with my AK off suit.  All fold to aformentioned raiser who calls and we both turn over AK.  First guy stated he’d folded AK also.  Sick, so chop pot right?  Nope.  Two spades for me on the flop, one on the turn, and one on the river to hit my flush with as Norman Chad would say, the ‘prettiest card in the deck’, the Ace of Spades!  Needless to say, the gentlemen eliminated was not all that pleased.

Hand 2 – mid tournament, probably the 300-600 level, 100 antes and I have about 28,000 in chips.  Three other players at the table have around the same number of chips as I with two of the three on my immediate left.  All fold to me in the SB and I limp and make the half-priced call with 9-7 off.  BB checks – two to the flop with only 2,200 in the pot.  Flop – 9,8,6 rainbow.  I check top pair with my open end straight draw and the guy on my left goes in for 17,000 in chips!?!?!  I virtually instacall.  He immediately states he’s on a draw and turns over his 7,3.  I tell him me too and turn over my cards much to his chagrin.  No chopped pot, I drag in a monster.

Hand 3 – A few hands later, I limp with 3,3.  Everyone’s weary since there’ve been a few pre-flop Aces not raised.  The SB with about 8,000 in chips looks me down and says he’s ‘not going to fall for ‘that”, and that he’d just out play me on the flop – yes, he actually says this.  Flop, Q,3,6.  Bingo.  He checks, BB check and I bet out the minimum.  He checks and the BB folds and the SB states he’s setting me up.  Turn, nada, and he checks and I say, ok, I check.  River he moves all in, and I instacall.  He states ‘gotcha’ and throws his Q3 (for two pair) down on the table hard…..and I state, ‘ok’ and schwack, table my set!  Table erupts in laughter.

Hand 4 – In the money now, I’m sitting solid down to final three tables and 2nd in chips at my table with about 48,000 in chips.  Blinds 1000-2000 (300 ante).  Guy moves all in early with 9,000 in chips and one off the cut-off I look down at QQ.  I push to protect my hand only to be instacalled by AA.  Argh!  First guy turns over AQ…even worse.  I’m dead to the case Q.  I lost virtually all my chips there (only had about 7,000) left.  I bust out 3-4 hands later.  Ah, what could’ve been.  I don’t really regret playing that hand that way.  Yes, I could’ve just called, but could I really?   Thoughts?

Anyway, 25th place out of 382 isn’t horrible.  Only netted $485, but at least I won another $450 in the cash games.  An ok night, but what could’a been.

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Happy Birthday Shane!

September 26, 2004 my life changed forever.  It was a day I knew would be spectacular, inspiring, and unbelievable and that’s exactly what it was.  For those that don’t know the story, Shane was born on the day of my first true baseball championship game. 

The team I managed had a great year and was in the midst of the best 2 of 3 series.  We split a double header on Saturday and were forced to play a 3rd and deciding game on Sunday.  Well Saturday night there was a ‘wet’ alarm and the doctors oddly enough said to go get a good night’s sleep and come in the morning.  I held out hope of still playing figuring ‘they’d have had us in that night right?’ if we were to give birth then.  Anyway, the story goes we went to the hospital that morning both bags packed and checked in and realized just the two of us weren’t leaving until we were three of us.

I can still recall as if it was yesterday him being born.  What I thought was cool was that we didn’t know if was going to be a boy or girl.  For about 20 seconds we did not know until they flipped him over.

It’s been a fun three years.  He’s grown to be a handsome chap, intelligent, fun and most of all healthy.  He’s given us more joy than anything else in life could ever have provided to us.

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Poker over the weekend

Played an eight-hour session Saturday evening at Commerce and did not have the same results as last time.  Lost 300 but could have been worse.  I could not find myself a ‘good’ table further emphasizing table selection.  The first time, a new one was tighter than my,…well, let’s just say it was tight and players were tentative.  Tried the uber-aggressive strategy but no one was taking the bait.  Moved after two hours of sheer boredom and a $1.00 loss.  Moved to another table which as a little better however so were the players.  Found myself looking for spots and simply just not finding them.  No cards with which to work with either.  Made a big mistake costing me 400 when I should know better.

I’m in early position with two black queens and raise to $25.  Player UTG calls and two to the flop of J,9,2 with two clubs.  He checks and I bet out $35.  He raises to $80.  I think and am just not certain what he has….flush draw, maybe AJ?  I call to see what falls.  Club (under a J).  He bets out $145 into the $210 pot.  I good bet.  I’m perplexed.  I don’t believe he’s got a set, so I rule that out.  Don’t put him on an overpair, so rule that out along with two pair.  Either he’s got the flush, at which point, I’d figure he’d value bet (maybe $80-100) or he’s got the AJ, with A of clubs.  I’ve got top pair, with flush draw (Q), but if he’s got AXclubs I’m drawing dead.  I ask him if he’d show if I folded and he smartly said no.  I’m perplexed and opted to pay for information (albeit expensive info), more curiosity.  Only way to see the river is to shove him in for $140 on top of that, so in goes $285.  He turns over KJ clubs for the made flush and I’m drawing dead!

No doubt I should have gotten away from this hand.  If I have AA with Ace of clubs, maybe I can make this move, but not with QQ.  My bad.  Other than that, played solid poker, but simply didn’t get any big hands.

Missed out on the championship event of the California State Poker Championship, but meandered upstairs to see Men the Master (26th), Amir Vahedi and James Woods duking it out later into the evening when they were down to 15 tables (362 started).  Just didn’t have the bankroll, or chutzpah to shell out that kind of cash ($2500) for an event.

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Hadn’t made a poker post in quite some time, mostly because I had not been playing much or there was nothing ‘spectacular’.  Just grinding it out.  Until this past weekend.

I played in some satellites at Commerce as they have the California State Poker Championships going on right now.  Won about $200 playing those then went downstairs to play in some cash games.  Bought in for the $200 and immediately started running over the table.  Although I was playing ‘good poker’, I was catching cards.  Cards definitely help.  By midnight, I was up $1k and by the morning (woops), I’d walked away with a net profit of over $2100.  Certainly one of my better nights.  Before my flight the other night to Atlanta, I played a short 3-hour session at Hollywood Park which netted me another $700+.  Then played last night in a house game in Atlanta, another $250.  Running good indeed. 

All in all up since moving to LA, but not a ‘significant’ amount.  Took a nose-dive around March through July, but have made back those losses and am getting back to my previous high.  A little more to go though.  One of my better hands is below:

I have 5,3 hearts in late position and I raise it in a 1-2NL game in Atlanta last night to $15.  The action was tight and I’d no problem giving action…just getting it was another.  Flop 5,4,2 two diamonds.  Guy on my right leads out with $20….I call with my open ended straight draw and top pair.  Turn, black ten.  Guy makes a $40 bet.  I call.  River, hearted King.  Immediately leads out with a $60 bet!  I could put him on a busted diamond draw, but he was betting fairly strong.  More likely could’ve had 4,5 for two pair.  That was more my immediate thought.  However, with the K and 10, his two pair may not be as good as he would have thought…would you have bet a small two pair that strong on the river?  If he puts me on a busted straight draw (which I had – although I still had a pair of 5’s), why bet so big if you have two pair.  Wouldn’t you make a value bet say of 30-40?  I put him on a 4 and busted straight draw.  I called and told him ‘nice hand’.  He sort of looked at me like “what?” wondering what I had.  I told him a pair of 5’s, he turned over his A4 diamonds for a pair of 4’s and busted straight flush draw.  Whew.  Got a lot of credit at the table for making that call, but more important it gave the perception of my being a ‘loose’ and wreckless player.  Perfect.  Tightened up later in the evening and wound up notching some nice pots at night’s end.

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So Mrs. S is off to the Emmys in a short bit.  Her and her division’s work has been nominated for an Emmy.  What an honor.  Her group was nominated for (something like) Outstanding Interactive Site, or something to that effect.  Either way it’s quite an accomplishment, one with which I’m proud of her for.  She’s taking a limo shortly to the event and will be hob-nobbin’ with all the elite that is the entertainment industry.  I’m sure she’ll have a blast and there’ll be plenty of star sitings.  She’s forgoing the Governor’s Ball afterwards to get home to Shane, even though I think she should have gone and had fun.

Me, I’m unfortunately off to Atlanta tonight on a good ol’ red-eye taking care of some business and personal items.

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Following up on Min’s night…apparantly star studded hob-nobbin’ with Sally Field, Paris Hilton, oh – and my favorite, and I’m sure yours….Ron Jeremie um ewww that was having a long conversation with her.

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Remembering 9/11

It’s been six years since the catastrophic events of 9/11/2001.  An horrific day, one of those one will never forget.  I’d imagine this could be more memorable than the ‘where were you when’ question of November 22, 1963.  I’ll never forget going into work that day and being informed by someone getting off the elevator as I was getting on, getting up to my floor and seeing CNN on.  I recall my boss telling everyone to get back to work and it’d be business as usual….and my packing my stuff up after 10 minutes on my laptop (checking out CNN.com) and stating I was leaving for the day.  She later told everyone to go home but only after about three hours and other offices were sending employees home.  I recall watching, eyes glued to the events, watching as both towers collapsed.  Watching and weeping. 

I was reading online today about a particular site http://mygooddeed.org/ that I thought would be worthwhile to mention.  Seems like a good idea…good deeds.  Huh…  Do people do those things anymore?  Hopefully so.

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Poker update

Played in a NL335 event last night and continued my poker ‘slump’ by busting out relatively early in the first event of the 2007 California State Poker Championship Series which began yesterday.  All started with 1500 in chips and 25-25 blinds.  My style of tourney play is typically slow and steady, and to survive but volatility ruled the day.

Five hands in I pick up A8 clubs and hit a flush draw on the flop and turn the flush.  Fortunately another player hit a lower flush and doubled me up early.  With over 3300 in chips still in the first round, I called a small raise with Q10 clubs with five to the flop.  I flopped a flush!  First guy goes all in for 1350 and I push the remainder of my chips in.  Guy on my left actually calls (only had 800 left) with the K of clubs.  First guy turns over his set of fives.  Turn, nada.  River……the last five…quad fives.  Ugh.  Up and down.  This was a huge hand more psychologically as I’d have been in phenominal shape with well over 6,000 in chips, quadruple of what I’d started with only 20 minutes into the tourney.  Instead, I was still ok with 2,000 but just mentally out of it.  I didn’t pick up any cards the next two rounds and wound up bluffing with my A10 on a board of K,J,8,2,5 after I’d raised him on the turn – he had QQ but he’d called me down on the river – a sizeable bet with second pair.  Good call I guess.

This makes me only 1 for 7 in 2007 tournaments after being 2 of 7 last year.  Last year I’d made two final tables.  This year I did finish 30th of over 900 in the Legends of Poker event but now need to cash at least once more in 2007 to feel that I had a good year.  Overall I’m up slightly for 2007, but not by much, maybe 1-2K tops, but at least up.  We’ll see what the rest of 2007 has in store.  Am considering playing in the main event of the California State Poker Championships in two weeks….NL$2500.  We’ll see.

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