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Archive for January, 2009

So I played in my new local home game, a Thursday 1-2NL which plays more like a 2-5NL, max 300 buy in.  There’s one very aggressive maniac player, but that may not describe him all that well.  He is actually a very good player, loose aggressive.  Many players dislike him because he seemingly gets very lucky.  Am starting to think this way as well after this evening.  I played immaculate poker tonight and still lost a large sum.

Mid evening, we move the game from 1-2NL to 5-5NL.  Maniac/villain straddles to 10 and I pick up QQ in mid position and make it 40.  Button calls and villain makes it 155.  I have about 350 left.  I elect to smooth call (should an A or K hit, I can get away).  Button folds.   Heads up and flop comes 8,5,3 all clubs.  Villain goes all in which puts me all in should I elect to call with around 200 left.  With 450 in the pot, I him/haw and after about one minute (and putting him on AK – instead of KK, AA, or XXclub) I decide to call.  He flips over AK, but it then goes runner runner K,K!!!  Ugh, nice 800 pot gone!  Made the right call, the right read and still lose!

Last hand of the night.  I have about 135 left and pick up 8,8 in the big blind. Villain makes it 35 pre-flop under the gun, button calls and I shove in the BB for another 100.  Villain calls as does button.  Flop 8,3,2.  Bingo for me…until teh river brings an Ace…yes, the villain had 5,4 offsuit for a straight?  You kidding me?  Button not reraising killed me. 

So I played immaculate poker and took a sizeable hit to my poker roll.  That sucked!

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I played in a smallish $80 tournament last night in Ossining – making my rounds in the suburbs of New York.  Took the nearly hour ride through suburbia and entered my first Moose Lodge.  What a treat!  Seemingly just a hang out for middle-aged folk, but there was an actual moose head on the wall.  Go figure.

Arrived about 10 minutes early and paid my entry fee and grabbled some watered down pasta and some sausage and peppers.  There were enough italians there to have a secondary Sopranoes series.  There was Paulie and Vinnie, etc.  Round 6′ tables with eight people per and self deal.  Suppose that cuts down on cost, I figured they ‘raked’ about 300 total from the tourney of 32 entry fees, or about $10 per, which is reasonable to pay for food and the room.  Started with 4,500 in chips, an odd amount, with blinds 50-100 to start along with 20 minute rounds.  A decent structure sprint tourney.  They set up one extra stack at each table should anyone bust, they could buy a new stack.  There were a maximum of four exta buy-ins…unfortunately, I was one of them after round 2.  I was surprised that with blinds of 100-200 and 2,500 in chips that in the BB which 3 limpers, a guy with 8,8 called my all in (I had AX suited).  Just surprised b/c he was on the button.  I’d later learn this guy was way conservative and didn’t raise premium hands really….but he called them.

So I rebuy and now I’m in for 160.  But it’s not all that expensive and didn’t want to wait an hour for a cash game to break out, especially one where they rake 5% with max 50….yes, max 50!   So I proceed to win a couple of smallish pots and am on my way.  Telling sign of the uber-conservative play is the following hand.  I’m on the SB with A,9 suited and there’s two limpers before me and the button who is short stacked, goes all in for a total of 1,200.  We’re in the 300-600 round, and I have about 7,000 in chips.  I elect to isolate and go all in.  Both limpers him/haw and fold.  All-in guy has Q,10 suited and he laughs at my A,9 saying he’d rather have his hand.  Ok, bud.  He flops two pair on a board of KQ10 and wins.  UTG limper scoffs saying he folded AJ.  All questioned my play…which I love.  They keep telling me to play that way…um, ok.  I realize at that point, very few know how to play tourneys.  Sure I lost that hand, but it didn’t cost me much and it’s a strong play.  Plus I was in the lead and the limper’s money was dead.  It’s a sprint tourney anyway.

I grind my way to the final table with about 14K in chips, with about $144K in play.  I hit a flurry of cards and now have 35K or about 25% of the chips in play.  They pay top 5.   Then I hit KK and unfortunately it ran into AA.  Had I run into QQ instead, I’d have had about 60K+ in chips, a dominating amount.  So I’m back to grinding.  I watch the other’s go out, one by one with poor play.  Guys didn’t know how to play the short stack and didn’t know how to play the big stack.  It was fun to watch.  When down to 3 players, I simply put on my aggressive hat and went from short stack to big stack in no time.  When on the BB with A,7, I folded to the all-in and call before me and mucked.  It was A,5 versus AJ.  AJ won and he and I wound up being about even heads up and chopped, each taking down 780. 

A nice quaint inexpensive (even at 160) tourney.  I’ll be back for their bigger tourneys.  Too beat at 1am to play in cash games, but can’t wait.

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The schedule for the 2009 World Series of Poker is out!  Several of us went out last year and had fun.  Unfortunately neither Arum or I placed in the 2K event last year, although kudos for him lasting longer than I, which wasn’t saying much honestly.  Hopefully we can get several more of us out there next year.  Tentative dates I see going out are:

Wednesday June 10 – Monday June 14th which would include ‘affordable’ events – Event 24, NL1500 (Thu), Event 28, NL1500 (Sat)

Wednesday June 17 – Monday June 21st which would include Event 36 (Thu) NL2000 which we played in last year, Event, Event 39, NL1500 (Sat).

Friday June 26-Tuesday June 30 – which would include, Events 51, NL1500 (Sat), and Event 54, NL1500 (Mon).

Likely to select my ‘events’ and airfare and hotel rooms within the coming weeks.  Also likely to do the Rio again, since it was nice being in the same place as the action.  That being said, the cash games at the Rio were good on the Thursday we arrived and by that Saturday, all the sharks were out infesting the waters.  May stay at the Rio and move over a weekend.  Not sure yet.

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So, it happens again.  People twice my size see me as an easy target.  Let’s seek out the smallest person to sit next to in order to obtain maximum seat space. 

But I am learning to stand my ground and claim my space.  I strategically put my bag on the floor (not taking up her floor space) but creating a dividing line of what space is mine vs hers. She asks if I want to move my bag to the top racks.  Oh, so kind for her to actually offer to help me.  But her real motivation is she wants the extra room to do the “spread eagle” on me.  And no sir re will I allow that.  I use the excuse I need my bag to pull out my work. 

She sits frustrated trying to eat her 1000 calorie fried breakfast sandwich and coffee.  She let’s out a sigh when my boot is too close to her pants as she tries to wipe whatever imaginable dirt that might get on her polyester size 20 stretch pants.  With little elbow room, she tries bending her arms but I ignore it.  I am pressed against the window enough as it is.  She realizes she is not getting anywhere and folds her arms over her belly and closes her eyes. I won.

Oh, the joys of the human beings.

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Local Poker

So played in my second local home game in Carmel two weeks ago and got absolutely pummelled.  Ugh.   First off I played just absolutely horrendous poker.  Second, I played just absolutely horrendous poker.  Third, I did get a little unlucky.  I overplayed top-top, both my A-10, and A-J when flopping top pair of 10’s and J’s respectively.  The good news is that it probably appeared I was sand-bagging since I wound up winning back everything I lost the previous week and then some. 

As badly as I played the previous week, is as good as I played this past Thursday.  I think the players around the table did a double take wondering who this guy was.  I quote un-quote stood up to the ‘bully’ at the table and simply dismantled him.  It was quite amusing.  No cockiness on my part, just good playing.  Tonight is day three to this particular game…we’ll see how it goes.

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Watching the entrances…it’s like I’m back in Hollywood watching the red carpet for the Oscars.  The hoopla the anticipation is crazy.  Of course I’m talking about the impending inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama.  The world seems in anticipation of this inauspicous occassion.  The markets don’t feel the love yet, touching 8,100, but we’ll see.  There is still accelerating unemployment, trillion dollar debt, failing companies left and right, bad mortgages, and people only parting with dollars for 80% off sales…heck, why pay full price (ie. 50% off).

There’s certainly an emotional upswing at this time and personally I hope that the hope that is out there turns to real progress, real significant anti-recessionary times for this country.  Undoubtedly however, we’ll be in this recession until deep into 2009 and likely it’ll be 12-15 months from now when we really start seeing tides turning.  Here’s hoping President Obama does the right thing and not give into simple ‘dreams’, and not mixing up the American dream with fairy tales many American wish for…you know like winning the lottery, or waking up one morning and realizing all their debt is gone.  It’ll be tough work, and will take hard work to right the ship.  Here’s my vote of confidence for this new President and my hope that he’ll do the right things.

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For anyone interested, I’ll be at the Wynn Thu. Feb. 26-Sun. Mar. 1st playing in the Wynn Classic, first event.  I played in this same event each of the last two years, unfortunately not placing, but it’s a well run event, 4,000 in chips, 45 minute rounds I believe.

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