Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Skillz

Wow…two weeks in a row I cash in a skillz game. Now this doesn’t show that I have any skill at all other then ran into some hands at the right time.

I hit my first semi big hand of the tourney after floundering between 2900 and 3700 chips. I made a call with suited connectors in the bb vs. a raise from middle position. I flopped a gut shot and check raised the continuation bet that came and induced a fold. My second big hand came when I turned a double belly buster and a flush draw and induced a fold when I bet out. I think it was a steal gone bad on his part or he didn’t want to lose all his chips on 2nd or 3rd pair. The next hand I get AT and raise it up from the button. I had raised the bb a few times and he finally got tired of it. He used up most of his time bank before coming all in over top of my raise. I was getting a little better then 2-1 so I make the call. I did think about his range of hands and put him on ATC as a re-steal and was right when he turned over 83 off suit. My hand held up and I move to 7.4K. A bit later I look down to see AAKJ suited diamonds and raise it up. Both blinds call and the flop comes Qc 3s Td. The sb checks and the BB fires out a pot sized bet. I have any AK or J giving me a straight so I figure I have 8 outs twice if I’m behind 2 pair plus any 3 threes gives me two pair so I re bump it to isolate. Sb folds and the BB calls. He flopped 2 pair but I hit my straight with the nut re-draw to a flush and it holds up to get me to over 14K. I finally took a hit when I my QQ into AK and a river K almost crippled me. Down to 3K I hit a hand and moved back to 8K and waited for the final table bubble to burst.

When it burst I had 1K left but more then doubled up and then tripled up to move to 6K. Another double and I’m back to 13K but I give some away and continue to go up and down. With 8K left I raise it up and get all in with Donkette. We had the same hand but she caught better and sent me home in 8th. It was a lot of fun and I think I played well. I may have been a bit to passive in PLO but I like to see flops and try to out play players after the flop by having the nut draw.

Prolly no Mookie for me tonight but maybe the Dookie. The Riverchasers is next on my list so I’ll see you there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Such Skillz

I have no idea how I did it but I did this last night.

3rd place isn’t bad but I had the chip lead for a good part of the final table and was in great position with 4 players left. But it was a long journey.

Early on I stayed very tight. As players like Surflexus gained huge stacks with aggressive play, I lost ground. I finally got a nice starting hand with three diamonds and had the flush on 5th street. Two opponents were hanging with me and one hit a 4 outer to catch a boat. So some unlucky cards early put me in a bad spot. After losing a few more chips, down to 946, I more then doubled with a set but still had a short stack of around 2K. Eventually we arrived at the first break with me holding 2.5K.

So I’m a little below starting stack when we get back from break but I know a couple of good hands will get me higher on the leader board. This is about the time I missed everything and slowly chipped down. Sitting with 622 chips I find 7AA and get them all in the middle. I hit two pair and move to 2.4K but still need to catch a couple of hands soon. I chipped up a little until I find a spot to make a move. I get involved with a player who I know is chasing a low when I have a big pair. I kept the pressure on and he had to fold when his low missed. This about the time I started getting more involved. I had played very tight but now that the antes were getting large I could start using my image a little. I had 5.5K and ready to get lucky…or make my own luck.

After winning a couple of smaller pots I hit a straight for a scoop and moved to 10K. I folded xKK at some point a bit later after I raised and got two more raises behind me. One of the players ended up have rolled up Qs and would have busted me. So I have given away about 3K at this point but hit a big flush and get it back plus some to 12K. We are on the final three tables and I have a very solid stack but just about everyone can go bust in two hands with the huge bets. When we were down to 19 players I went on a small self created rush when I stole about 5 times in 9 hands. This was huge as I realized I could you my image to take down some hands. In all I went from 12K to 22 K in about 15 hands after busting a short stack. I stayed between 22K and 25K until I hit a nice one to move up to 30K. Can you think of a better time to get rolled up aces? So I look down and see three beautiful aces and get involved with the chip leader who is calling with a low draw. I put pressure on every street and we misses his low put hit two pair so I even got the last bet out of him. 44K and I can rock the house as we hit the final table.

I was in 1st or 2nd much of the final table and had a 20K lead on the 2nd place player. But, then things started to change a little as Hoy, CK and TJ chipped up. This put four of us at a big advantage. Then it was time for me to look at 333 and I eliminated Iwantitall and regain my 20K advantage with 61K.

Seat 1: ck31 (34,686)
Seat 2: hoyazo (40,252)
Seat 4: Tom Jefferson (41,654)
Seat 5: RecessRampage (17,880)
Seat 7: Bone_Daddy84 (14,311)
Seat 8: pokerenthusiast (61,217)

A bit later Hoy knocks out CK and we are down to five players. At this point I am getting some walks here and there and a random steal. I still have the cjip lead with Hoy close behind. Hoy then knocks out Bone_Daddy84 to take the a small lead. Then the hand that hurts me.

Full Tilt Poker Game #6053570660: Skill Series (40521504), Table 4 - 4000/8000 Ante 700 - Limit Stud H/L - 1:23:04 ET - 2008/04/16
Seat 2: hoyazo (77,199)
Seat 4: Tom Jefferson (27,704)
Seat 5: RecessRampage (31,180)
Seat 8: pokerenthusiast (73,917)
hoyazo antes 700
Tom Jefferson antes 700
RecessRampage antes 700
pokerenthusiast antes 700
RecessRampage: gg eric
*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to hoyazo [2s]
Dealt to Tom Jefferson [Js]
Dealt to RecessRampage [3d]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [Qc Qs] [8c]
hoyazo is low with [2s]
Tom Jefferson: gg
pokerenthusiast: gg
hoyazo: gg
hoyazo brings in for 1,000
Tom Jefferson folds
RecessRampage completes it to 4,000
pokerenthusiast calls 4,000
ck31 (Observer): gg
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
Bone_Daddy84 (Observer): good luck all, i have to say, if i dont bust hoy,he bust me
hoyazo calls 3,000

I won’t be able to push RecessRampage out so I only call. I put Hoy on the low draw for value.
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to hoyazo [2s] [9s]
Dealt to RecessRampage [3d] [7d]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [Qc Qs 8c] [5c]
hoyazo checks
RecessRampage bets 4,000
pokerenthusiast calls 4,000
hoyazo calls 4,000

Both still drawing.
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to hoyazo [2s 9s] [Td]
Dealt to RecessRampage [3d 7d] [4s]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [Qc Qs 8c 5c] [Ah]
pokerenthusiast checks
hoyazo checks
RecessRampage bets 8,000
pokerenthusiast raises to 16,000
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo calls 16,000
ck31 (Observer): nice to see you BD
roochie m (Observer): gl all
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME
Bone_Daddy84 (Observer): you too ck
RecessRampage folds

I try to isolate RR here and hoy calls. He is drawing to a straight or flush. Not happy that RR folded cuz I want his money in the middle also.

*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to hoyazo [2s 9s Td] [Ks]
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [Qc Qs 8c 5c Ah] [Qh]
pokerenthusiast bets 8,000
hoyazo raises to 16,000
pokerenthusiast calls 8,000

I hit my set and bet to see where he is at. He might be representing the flush but probably hit it. I can’t fold with 10 outs…not at this point.

*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to pokerenthusiast [Qc Qs 8c 5c Ah Qh] [6s]
pokerenthusiast checks
hoyazo bets 8,000
pokerenthusiast calls 8,000

I have seen 7 spades up so I figure a split pot. He had 3 more spades for the nut flush. Ugh…Not sure how to get away from this hand or if I should.

*** SHOW DOWN ***
hoyazo shows [As Ts 2s 9s Td Ks 3s] a flush, Ace high, for high
pokerenthusiast mucks
hoyazo wins the pot (114,800) with a flush, Ace high
No low hand qualified
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 114,800 | Rake 0
Seat 2: hoyazo showed [As Ts 2s 9s Td Ks 3s] and won (114,800) with HI: a flush, Ace high
Seat 4: Tom Jefferson folded on 3rd St.
Seat 5: RecessRampage folded on 5th St.
Seat 8: pokerenthusiast mucked [Qs Qc 8c 5c Ah Qh 6s] - HI: three of a kind, Queens

Now I hit the aggression button and start to steal more and fluctuate a little. I don’t care about anything other then getting my chips back or going home. I want a chance for the seat. I eventually knock out RR when I hit a boat when I was priced in to call with a pocket pair. It continued to apply as much pressure as my little stack had and moved back into 2nd for a bit and back to 76K…about 20K behind Hoy when I won with HI: a pair of Sixes; LO: 7,6,5,3,2. I have such skills. But I had to fold 2 pair on a boar of AKJT and I was all but done. TJ ended my night two hands later for my 3rd place finish.

I’m not unhappy with how I played. I used some Razz thinking in the later stages in that players tend to call less because the bets are so big. What could have been didn’t happen.

Congrates Hoy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Going to the Game

Throughout life, there are things that fathers and sons do together that signify manhood. It isn’t smoking cigars or playing poker or any other so called manly thing we do. It is going to a ball game.

My first game was back in 1972 around the time of my 5th birthday. My dad took me to see the White Sox in a double header vs. Cleveland on a Sunday afternoon. We sat in the upper deck and I think the sox won both games. The sun was shinning and I had crackerjacks as I tried to follow the action on the field from the upper deck. I didn’t really know anything about the game considering I was only 5 at the time but I was there with my dad…and that’s all that mattered.

I think I only went to two major league ball games with my dad but I’ve already been to six with my son. The first one was two years ago in Tampa while we were down the on vacation. It was the home opener and with their fan base, tickets were easy to get. The Devil Rays played the O’s and my son fell asleep some time in the late innings of the game. That year we also saw games at Wrigley Field, US Cellular and Miller Park in Milwaukee. Traveling is fun but traveling to see ball games is about as good as it gets in my opinion and we saw eight different teams play that year.

One of the things I always looked forward to was trying to catch a foul ball. It really didn’t have to be a foul…it could be a ball flipped to me by the first baseman or an outfielder. But getting that ball is like making a connection with that player. He doesn’t know you but for that one instant you are together in a moment that has a profound affect on the one receiving the ball. To me, as a child, ball players were my god. I looked to them as roll models and emulated them because I wanted to be them.

My son got his first ball when we were at Wrigley Field. The Cubs sucked that year so getting a good seat wasn’t very hard. We where six rows behind the visitors dugout and found three balls come our way that day. Each of the kids walked away with their first ball and everyone was full of smiles. To this day I still have not gotten a ball for my self.

I still like to go to a game whenever possible so when the opportunity came along on Friday I jumped on the chance. You see, we had some guests from Japan who wanted to go to a game while they were here so I was more then happy to be the host. I convinced my boss that my son should go and we were on our way.

The weather sucked. It was in the low 40s and a drizzle came down the whole time we drove to the ballpark. As we walked to the stadium the rain came down a little harder and I feared a cancellation but in the end the game start only a few minutes late. We stopped and bought some hot dogs and beverages of choice on the way to our seats and settled in for a cold night at the ball game.

At some point during the night people started to leave. The bars where open and much more inviting to many of the fair weather fans so my son and I moved down closer to the dugout. Between inning he would stand there waiting for a player to flip up a ball or for a coach to see him and do the same. Time and time again he came back to sit by me and waited for his next chance. Eventually the game ended and we went back up to the dugout in hopes of getting the ball we cherished. The kids were standing around, five or six of them ranging from 6-9 years old. Suddenly a ball comes from within the dugout bouncing on the roof and lands in a seat right behind my son. The throng of children converge on the spot as little hands search for the prize. After a few seconds a hand comes out of the pile with the ball and my son walks away empty handed. The I notice the person walking away with the ball is a 30 something year old guy. He walked up behind the kids and literally took the ball out of one of the hands of a young boy.

What kind of grown man would take away something like this from a child? The group of fathers start giving this guy crap. It takes a real man to take a ball away from a 6 year old kid. Anyway, I told the guy how classy I thought he was and he made the funniest comment ever. You see, this guy was from Detroit and he says” I’m glad I don’t live in Chicago” Now I have nothing against Michigan people in general but I’ve been to Detroit and to say that it is the arm pit of America gives arm pits a bad name.

So as we walk back up the stairs, dejected and alone, I thought about the moment I had with my son. I was there for him and even though we didn’t get the prize, we had already won the night by being there together.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hell Has Frozen Over

Way to go Waffles

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas was nothing special. Either was getting there.

I landed at McCarran at a little after 9:00 Monday morning. You would think I would be ready to go except for one problem. I was just passing through on my way to Long Beach for a business trip. I walked by a bunch of slot machines that were there to entice that last of the money held by people returning home from a long weekend of degenerate fun. After waiting maybe 30 minutes, I jumped onto a plane headed for Orange County.

One the way back home I was think I would be on a non-stop flight back to Chicago but was fooled when we landed the mostly empty plan back in Las Vegas. Four of us were left on board and we were forced to leave the plane as the next flight crew wasn’t ready yet. I moved my stuff up to the front row so I could get off quickly when we returned to Chicago and made my way back to the gate area. I watched as an elderly woman told her husband time and again that it was no wonder he lost at joker poker because he didn’t know how to play. This was after she ran out of money. Anyway, I went to the bathroom and waited to return to my seat.

The trip home was full of people coming down from a day of partying and started with me sitting next to one of the weirdest people I have ever met. I can’t tell you why I thought this other than I think he might be the next Jeffrey Dahmer. I eventually returned home about 22 hours after I had left on Monday, realizing that I had made two trips to Vegas in one day and didn’t even throw a quarter into a slot machine.