Friday, June 29, 2007


With the Dodgers winning three out of four in Arizona, they now have the mean o' San Diego Padres to contend with this weekend in the race for first place. Then another full week of games, so you may not here from me for a bit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fourth of Forty

I was lucky to even get to the final table last night. Some aggressive betters were eating away at my chip stack until I put on the sunglasses, found a good hand and re-raised right back. After that hand, one player turned to my opponent and said, uh-oh, you created a monster. A couple of buddies from the stadium club were also in the tourney. The one at my table won every hand I played against him, and the other got knocked out in the second hour from his table. Four hours into this thing and I start thinking about my alarm that's going to go off in five hours time. No worries, stick to my game plan and doubled up twice quickly at the final table to about middle chip position. Then just sat back and watched short stack after short stack start to get knocked out. With each person that goes out, the remaining get a raise in prize money. The top nine agreed that tenth place should be paid, and ten percent of the pool to the dealers, so there was no need to worry about those issues. Eighth, seventh, and sixth place finishers leave the table and I'm still here. Grinding up to third in chips with a steal thrown in from the button now and then. Fifth place finisher is knocked out and there is just four of us now. I look down from the big blind and look at two black queens. I should have raised right there, but just let the flop come out. The only other person in the pot was the small blind who limped called my blind. When the flop came, he grinned and checked. I bet half my stack and he re-raised all in. The board was a jack-four-nine and I did not put him on a set, but maybe a straight draw. He was the short stack so I would still have a couple of thousand left, and with blinds at three thousand and fifteen hundred, it was now or wait. Wait? This is the best hand I've had in an hour and I could knock out the fourth place player and get another raise to at least third place prize money. I call, he turns over jack-nine for two pair. No queen appears on the turn, nor the river, but the river does pair the board with another jack which gives him a full house. I'm crippled as I put up the ante and small blind. Fold to their raises on the next hand. On the next round I'm down to a single chip for five hundred. The ante amount. Chip leader to my left goes all in and the other two fold. It's a race for the antes, he pairs, I don't, and am out in fourth. Half past midnight I collect and cash in, say my goodbyes and wish one of the players remaining some luck. Didn't stick around to see who won, my alarm was going off in a few hours...

Monday, June 25, 2007


Sleep. I got a lot of it this last weekend. No chores to worry about. Bills and work all caught up. Watched 'Over the Hedge' after running disk doctor machine on the rental DVD. Way too many scratches on the darn thing to play through the movie. Once repaired, it played fine. I got that disk doctor 18 months ago as a Christmas present. I guess I can tell them it works now. I feel confident in using this noisy thing for cleaning disks now too. Maybe I'll curl up and take a nap now...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Twelth of Twenty

Not exactly what I expected last night. Only twenty on a Wednesday, and started late, as usual. Ten minutes before what was suppose to be the start time, the tournament director asks me for an opinion of his new format plan. Triple the buy-in, triple the starting chip stack, and start two hours sooner. 'Perfect for me', I tell him. Then he goes on that it would be a freeze-out. Meaning only the winner gets any prize money. Second and third place etc would have to negotiate a chopped prize pool or fight to come in first. The problem would be playing well enough to be in the top three every Wednesday. Instead I could set the alarm for three thirty every Friday and Sunday morning and play for a wee bit more money against a much larger field for payouts down to eighteenth place [if over one hundred players sign up]. I have every other Friday free, so it is possible. And I've been there before and done well enough to bring home a few Benjamin's. With this Wednesday night thing dying, and similar clubs in parts of town that I do not want to go to, I am thinking of letting it go and switching to Friday and Sunday mornings. Being recognized as a rock and having no one call my raises is not fun either. When the blinds were at one hundred and two hundred with a twenty five ante last night, I raised under-the-gun for six hundred. No callers. The director walks by and says 'now that's respect'. I shake my head and think no, it's them knowing I'm a rock and probably raising with a pair of aces whilst they hold nothing. I must have thought it out loud for the guy on my right who was in the big blind ask, 'so, you have aces?'. I just nod and ante up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Twenty sixth of forty or so

I did not go into the tournament last night with the right attitude. I went in as a cheapskate, and exited too early. I remember a couple of weeks before, when I won, that I had an attitude that I was going to do very well. Last night, instead, was full of wishes and draws that did not quite come to fruition. It's not that I was getting any worse cards than normal, just not betting aggressively enough when I did have a good hand. That, and folding to the over aggressive group that was there last night. I knew better, and tried to change during the second hour, but it was too late. The damage to my chip stack had already been done, and it would have taken a string of lucky miracles to get back into the action as a chip leader. They didn't come, and I went out with two high pair against a little three of a kind. Once more ace and I would have filled up against them and tripled up in chips, but no, out in twenty sixth with no prize, go I. Took a lesson with me though, go in with the right attitude.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sixth of Forty

After handing over my tickets to a co-worker who had a grandfather that had not been to a baseball game in years, I decided to head over to the local card club for their Wednesday night bounty tournament. Since the buy-in amount is so low, the first hour is un-limited re-buys. Single, Double, or for the last five minutes of the hour, Triple stacks of chips are available to help bump up the prize pool. They guy on my left did four single re-buys before giving up and going home. The cards he was playing were not that great, but he seemed to expect them to be. It took nearly four hours of folding through these twenty minute levels, with occasional large pots being won, to get down to the final ten players. I came to the final table third in chips, with about twenty thousand, and the antes were now at three hundred with the small blind at six hundred and the large blind at twelve hundred. The button started on my left and I felt good about my chances. The hand that crippled me went like this, I have ace-king in the cut-off and it is folded around to me. I raise to three thousand. The button and the small blind fold, the big blind calls. The flop comes queen-king-queen. I don't believe he has a queen as he checks, and I bet another three thousand. He raises all-in for five thousand. uh-oh, he must have a queen. I call the additional two thousand and he flips over king-queen t0 my ace-king. He flops a full house and proceeds to double up through me. The turn card came the case queen which gave me the same full house, but then he had four queens. I mocked a 'chop-chop' which got a small laugh until the new tournament director started to have the dealer start chopping the pot. I had to tell him I was kidding and to look at his four queens. It was his first time being in charge of tournaments there. The electronic board did not become active until the third level of blinds. When I finally did get knocked out in sixth place, he apologized for the way things were run. I told him he did fine under the circumstances of being left alone to run it on short notice and tipped ten percent of my winnings into the dealer bucket. An old man who never tips saw me and asked 'How come you do that?' I wasn't going to tell him that the dealers did a good job and deserved it, because he was getting a lot of bad cards before being knocked out in tenth place, so I just told him 'cause I'm silly' and left the building. Oh yeah, and I collected a bounty for knocking out one of the players with the bounty button before reaching the final table. All in all, a profitable night, whilst the Dodgers swept the Mets.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Five to Five

Quiet Weekend. Just the way I like it. Didn't have to yell, 'hey, you kids get off my lawn' once. Wait, I don't have a lawn. And I haven't ever yelled that. Maybe I'm just preparing for that eventual time when I, the one day curmudgeon shakes his finger at whipper-snappers. Have you ever even snapped a whip? I've played around with one a time or two. Got them to snap at just the right target, and then quit for another decade or so, only to try again. Starting to sound like my practice of the piano too. Saturday's game had a number of events preceding it. The photo here shows the end of the annual Hollywood stars charity game. Blue vs White. This year they tied five to five after a few innings of fun. The fences were also move back this year. In that last few years past, it was only about the one hundred and eighty foot mark or so. This year they pushed the crowd back nearly three hundred feet in the outfield to watch. Guess they didn't want any celebrities hitting a portable gate fence catching a near home run like last year. There were smiles all around as folk watched the pre-game game. After they cleared the field of the white gates, then a half a dozen teams of cheerleader camps performed cheers before the start of the game. Some of the players on both teams were trying to warm up and the girls were really in their way. There were about six hundred of them perform various tumbles and pyramids for about fifteen minutes before they got ushered away so Kevin and Bean of KROQ could throw out a ceremonial first pitch. For an alternative rock station, they sure play a lot of popular bands too. Whatever gets them ratings. It was a good pitch and a camera popped them on the big screen a time or two between innings of the game that followed. Derek Lowe pitched a great complete game for the third time this year, and lost for the third time. He just can't get the support from the Dodger bats like he should. I'm glad he's still pitching so well and not throwing a fit like some other players have. Losing one to nothing when your team had the bases loaded several times during the game, once with no outs, is not a happy way to lose. Sunday's game they scored a few runs, but the Blue Jays scored ten. Dropping from first to third in the standings in the tight national league west is not fun either. The Mets are in town Monday through Wednesday, and the Angels arrive Friday through Sunday before the team flys off to Toronto for a ten day road trip. Maybe I'll give away some tickets and get some poker in this week... nah.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sixth of Forty

With just barely filling up the fourth table by the end of the re-buy hour, their were nearly a hundred re-buys in last night's tournament. That bumped up the measly prize pool to a fun to play for amount. It also helped to go over the amount advertised as the guarantee that the prize pool would be. The card club did not take a loss on this one. It also fueled the very loose play by my table mates. So how do you play when the table is extremely loose? Tight! Early on when they are raising ten to fifteen times the big blind pre-flop, I'd only call or re-raise with the best of hands. And while they are shooting for two pair with their picture card and a rag, I'll be going for the full house, the straight, or the nut flush. Needless to say that I folded a lot of hands pre-flop. It was fun causing several of the re-buys that first hour, and seeing some amazing hands too. I did get my comeuppance a time or two. Like when quad eights destroyed my straight, or when a straight flush on the river card torpedoed my set that became a full house on the turn. When we finally got down to the last ten players at the final table, I was almost the shortest stack of the bunch. The two stacks smaller than me went out in desperate attempts with ace-rag that ran into solid pairs. I was almost looking forward to eighth place prize money when an amazing event happened, two gentlemen with stacks across the table from me, with twenty times my chips each, both went all-in pre-flop, I folded on the button and the chip leader who was in the big blind called! The best part was that the chip leader knocked them both out in one hand and I coasted into sixth place a few hands later. After making one re-buy early, and buying an add-on during the first break, financially I broke even, but I had a good time and felt good playing.