Monday, October 29, 2012

Birthday, bad beat jackpot history and a little life.

Greetings and Salutations,

I write because I like it, sometimes it becomes a labor and something that I do not like to do because of the time it can take.  I would rather be a-Playing Call of duty, b-Playing Borderlands 2, c-Watching TV, D-working out(just got back into this in July).  I used to LOVE to write but when I finish I have to fix what I wrote and that takes a lot of time.  You see I am the kind of writer that writes what he thinks, sometimes it comes out the wrong way so I have to go back and correct it and make sure it flows for a reader outside looking in.  Maybe, one day I could be an editor...NAH!  I suck.

Okay, so I had my 41st birthday this past 27th of October and I asked for two things, hamburgers on Saturday and taco salad on Sunday.  Two of the many favorite dishes that my wife makes.  Now I am about to bitch because I am very disappointed but I do not want to do so to my wife because I do not want to put anymore stress on her right now.  She is AWESOME!  She is the mother to my four kids and we took in our 14 year old niece, so she cooks for all of us, cleans this house, pays the bills (she is the CFO of the family, I make it she spends it, I have to ask for a stipend, but this works and we are happy) and is working on getting her college degree while still being an awesome wife and mother.  I want to say something but I do not think it is worth it.  So I will put in on here...I have to get it off my chest.  So, on Saturday we had Halloween in my subdivision, I am on our advisory board (pre-HOA) and we fought about having trick or treating for the kids on Saturday or Wednesday.  We finally settled on Saturday which allows the kids to get it, come home and eat it and be sick on Sunday.  Well my wife along with two other neighbors decide to have a block party when the trick or treating was over.  So last Monday she met with a couple of ladies and they are going to have a hay ride, bob for apples, and food for everyone.  My wife volunteered to make chilli, a couple of dips, cupcakes and who knows what else.  I got a great break feast, as I normally do on Saturdays got to hang out by myself as my wife went out to buy a few things to prep for the party Saturday night.  When she got back three pumpkins appeared and she asked me to work with the kids to help carve them.  I didn't want to carve pumpkins but as parents, you do so to make your kids happy.  I started with them and of course all three were gone running around before they were done so I finished them off as I sat in my garage with the candy to start passing that out at about 6 pm.
(I just had to face book a lot of my friends on the east coast, just to make sure they were okay, funny thing is, now they are going to experience something that I did, when Katrina hit.  I was like them, it's just rain and wind no big deal, I learned a lesson and learned it well.  I hope they all stay as dry as possible, stay out of harms way and do not freeze to death.)

Yes, I decided to let my wife take the kids around the neighborhood and I would take care of the candy.  It was cool, got complements on my kids pumpkins.  Check it out:
So at about 8pm nobody is left and I have a bowl full of candy left.  My subdivision is about four years old and most of the construction picked up in the last two years, we are at about 70% finished, 90% brings in the HOA and then we pay dues...weeeee!  Okay, so after that I go down to the block party that has become one house as it got cold,  but it was cool had a couple of birthday shots and drank my first moonshine.  Did I get my hamburgers?  NO!  I did get two hotdogs, a bowl of potato soup and some nacho chips.  Oh, I did get a birthday cake, carrot cake, it was good, but no happy birthday song. Not really bitter about it though.  So Sunday comes around and we go to church, I come home and lay in bed with my wife, she eventually boom boom for me.  HA!  But I got to sleep until the Cowboys game, but I was hoping to get either hamburgers or taco salad.  My wife tells me we are going to have gumbo.  For the love, now do not get me wrong, her gumbo is fantastic but my mind was set on burgers or taco salad.  I got nada.  So 41 was not as sweet as 40,  I know that I should not expect a lot but I did request two things, neither came through and I was put to work most of my birthday.  Alright, that is off my chest.
I got to go to the new casino in Baton Rouge, L'auberge, fantastic casino.

Nice poker room with seven tables, they spread, on the weekends that is not sure about the week, two 2-5 nl games, 3-1-2 nl games and 2-4-8 limit games.  All juicy!  Well I left because the list was monster long, came back at about 1am to play and later that morning they hit the bad beat jackpot, so I was part of history first day opening, of course technically, it was into the second day, but I was present when the very first jackpot was hit that day, check it:
Four of a kind, 10's, were beat by a heart royal flush!
I went a few more times, got snapped off, broken off in after a 10 hour session, felted in one hand...feel like it was my fault.  We are short handed, six people, I have 10-8 off, I limp under the gun.  Two more limp and lady, who I have some history with during this session, opens to $12.  Big calls, I call and one of the other two call.  Flop comes J, 9, Q, two clubs.  She LEADS out for $60 big folds, here is mistake one...maybe...I min-raise to $120, next guy folds she says, "Are you drawing for the club?"  She calls, turn card is a red Q.  She bets $100 into me.  HUH?  Now I know you don't have a full house, I know you don't have K-10...are you drawing to the club and trying to block me?  I think so, so I shove for another $280 on top.  I think it took her 10 minutes to call.  Then she says, I was priced in.  You didn't have enough to make me fold.  I think she is right as she showed the AK clubs for the win on the river as a club hit, but why did it take you 10 minutes to decide, maybe it was more like five but felt like 10.  Either way if that was an easy decision call quicker, right?  I do not like it when they try to reason like that, she had trouble calling because it would have left her with about $100, that was why it took her so long to call.  They must eat this lady up at the 2-5 game!  That one hurt only because I had been playing for so long, so yeah, maybe I should not have played it but I did and SNAPPAGE!  What do you think?
Finally, I got back into the gym in July, free monthly pass, hit it for about two weeks all together and decided to join.  Found out my insurance covers my membership at a lower rate so that was a cool bonus.  I have been working out consistently since late August and am stronger, getting tighter in places but still have a long way to go.
Overall, I have an awesome life.  To get pissed at not getting a burger or anything that I wanted that day is very selfish but I am in a place where I can afford to be, I've worked my butt off to get into a position where I can take care of my family, got my wife a beautiful home and she does not have to work right now.  So yes, life is good but...

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Belle of Baton Rouge

Took a drive over to the Belle of Baton Rouge to play a little poker.  I thought they would open a 2-5 NL game but they did not.  I sat in a 4-8 limit game and it was bonkers.  Everyone thinks it is okay to chase you down, it got so bad I started to do it.  I had to rebuy and that brought me back to reality.  This is what $500 looks like in a 4-8 limit game.

I got aces three times and won with them, I got kings once and lost with them, a pretty big pot, it looked like it ended up being about $180.  I got AK twice, and won, made a full house on the river on the last time I got it, but I didn't need it.  Guy raised me on the turn, where I make two pair, I popped it back and he just calls, then I river the king, he checks I bet, he calls.  He mucks. I have to be able to focus in on the hand I am in, I lost track and missed a couple of tells that would have told me I was in trouble but I did miss them.  I did pick up certain things as these folks did not know how to bet while in position, for example we had a flop that came K, J, 4 at one point, five of us were in the hand.  I was the small blind, I checked and it checked all the way around.  The turn is an 8, I bet I get two calls, hi-jack and the button, the river is another king, I check, hi-jack checks and the button bets...'huh'? You don't have a king or a jack, a missed straight, I call, the hi-jack folds, button shows me Q-9 as he folds, I show my A8.  Send me the pot.  Overall, I got hit in the face with the deck, I was blessed.  This was my best, low limit session ever!

The Belle has four tables, I think when the new casino opens at the end of August it is going to hurt them even more they might lose those tables.  I do understand that the Belle has a $50 NL hold 'em tournament on Sundays that starts at 10 am, 1000 in chips and 15 minute levels.  The dealers were okay, now there may have been one or two that take their time dealing, I believe one of the regulars counted SIX!

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I got most of our mezzanine lighting replaced today, pretty happy with myself, however I did not get the highest point, three light structures that had to be 18-19 feet up.  I would have had to get on the top of the 14' ladder to replace those not going to be this guy, plus it said not to get on the last step as it is unsafe, so I did not.  It was our month end and I believe we hit our numbers for the month, pretty exciting as I believe the company is doing much better than last year, whew!
The 14' ladder on my little Pontiac Vibe.

Finished the day off at about 12 noon and headed home.  Then I got to see this as I was heading down I-10.
It didn't end up being that bad, got underneath this storm and got out in about two minutes.  When I continued north on I-55 it got a little hairy, but we made it to the crib.
I was looking forward to playing a little poker this weekend but I had to make a decision and be a grown up about it, even at my age, outside of work, it is tough trying to be a mature adult!  One day I will grow up, I need to grow up.

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Iowa and all that CORN!

Recently I was in Iowa on business and found out that they have poker rooms all across that state.  I found myself at the poker room outside of Des Moines, Prairie Meadows.  I got there in the early afternoon and they had lists for the 3-6 limit game, a 1-2 no limit game and a 2-5 pot limit omaha hi/lo game.  It was not until 2pm that I sat down in a 3-6 game.  I made $40 in an hour.  I moved to the newly opened, and short (4 men) 1-2 no limit game and left three hours later up a buy in.
The dealers were pretty good, they moved the game quickly, the rake was max $4 a hand, there was not a time rake ( I was very happy to see that) and though there was every reason to deal slower than normal those dealers did not.
At one point I was playing with phone ring tones through the Zedge application and played a Samuel L. Jackson ring tone as the next dealer sat down, the ring tone said this, "Shut the F&%K up Fat man!" The dealer looked like Santa Clause, the white beard and large frame...I felt like crap for the round and tipped more than normal whenever I won.
The funny thing about this place was you knew who was good, who was average and who were the fish, and the locals did not tap on the fishbowl at all.  I made so many mistakes, I missed bets, I checked down with the best hands, I basically let the cards play and could have made another buy in.  One of the locals who sat down with $200, was sitting with over $1000 as I left.  He picked the right spots and the right fish to snap off and I will tell you those fish were not believers, they called down with the second best every time, chased the one outers and snapped off the average players only to give that money to two of the better players at the table.  I was not one of them, but I kept my distance as I was still trying to re-learn how to ride the bicycle.
Prairie Meadows only downfall is that the poker room is on the third floor.  They have about 12 tables, other than that, there is decent action, if you abc it you will win.  The dealers are excellent, but I did get a bit upset with one of the dealers who heard me playing the ring tones for most of his down but when one of the better regulars got in the game, "Sir, please don't do that during a hand in progress."  It pissed me off only because he should have said that the first time I did it when others were in the hand.  Was I the only black guy in the room, yes, but never felt like that was a problem and I won't say that this was why he did it but I think he got some back bone because he wanted to show out for that regular.
I played later at Riverside out side of Iowa City, much bigger poker room about 20 tables, only three were going when I got there, (a soon to be busted) 2-5 no limit, a must move 1-2 and a main 1-2 nl game.    I continued my streak of playing bad but it got worse.  I called a $112 bet with $74 in the pot with pocket 8's, with one card to come, the board had a 7, 9, 6, 2 on the board.  I had 10 outs, but did not fold. J on the river he tables aces.  Not a bad beat, me being a lunchbox and paying this kid off.  He played it well and got me to make a mistake, what upset me four hands later was how he played his pocket jacks.  So four hands later he is in middle position and there are two limpers to him, he pops it to 12 a 2-5 player from the broken game calls and another player in early position calls.  The flop is 664, early checks, he bets $25, late (2-5 player calls) so does the early position player.  Turn is a 5, early checks he bets...$25!  Late calls, so does the limper.  River is an 8.  Early checks, HE CHECKS, river bets $75, early folds, pocket jacks shoves for $225.  Late takes some time thinks it through and eventually calls, he hit a freaking straight on the river, of course this kid is upset because he thought is jacks should have won.  What happened to protecting that pot on the turn?  Any way, I make another bad call with AK suited on a paired board when my suit gets there on the river.  He had a full house.  My last mistake was to not price a kid out of an open ended straight on the turn, he hit the river against my set of jacks.  All mistakes by me, myself and I.  'nuff said.

Iowa was fun, and there is a heck of a lot of corn!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to Poker Monkey and an awesome finish in the WSOP main event, he gave me something to be excited about since I could not be there, checking on how he was doing while walking around with my cell phone this weekend.

Alright, you all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My first homegame

This past Saturday I hosted my first home game in my new home.  It was to be more of a social gathering for neighbors but we did have a $20 buy in tourney with 20 minute blinds.  My wife, who is AWESOME, cooked.  She made meatballs in bbq sauce, meatballs in marinara sauce, smoke sausages, dip, and Jambalaya. Then she left, with the kids, to hang out with the wives of the other fellas that showed up.  I am not an alcohol kind of guy, but usually during social gatherings I'll have some, so I picked up a bottle of seagram 7 and a case of bud light platinum.  Both would survive the night as the fellas came loaded with Crown Royal black and two other whiskeys I do not recall.

We got started and had nine players,  someone asked about re-buys (I smiled), yes, in the first four levels, you may re-buy.  We had three re-buys.  I split the purse and three spots would be paid, third started by getting their money back but after the rebuys that doubled.  We got four handed and I think I was second in chips when I limped with k 4 suited.  The big stack min raised, we were at 500-1000, I was last to act and called.  We took the flop of A 8 4, I had been playing with, Animal (his nickname), for a couple of hours and had a good read on him.  His read was he did not like this flop but with everyone else he would always bet if they showed weakness, so I checked in hopes of making a check-raise to represent the ace.  He checked behind.  The turn was a 2, I lead out with 5k, he thought about it and called.  The river was a 10, I bet 5k again, trying to make it look like I wanted a call and was extracting value, and maybe this bet would get him to fold.  Well he asks, how much do I have, I counted out 15k.  He takes a very long time to make a decision, I would say two minutes...he calls and turns over pocket sixes for the win.  I say good call.  He replies, if you would have bet more I would have folded but you only bet 25% of your stack so I figured you didn't want to lose anymore.  I nod, he's a guest and I didn't want to get into a deep conversation on that hand, but it gave me more information and how to get him to fold for now on.

Well he crushes the other two guys and has me out chipped 25-1.  We play 10 hands, six of those hands we gave up and sent the blind over, I went all in three times pre-flop just won the blinds and played hand number ten from under the gun with a limp, with AK.  I hit my king on the flop and check hoping for a bet, nope, he checks.  The turn is a 3, I push all in and he hesitates a bit and calls...he turns over 7-3 and says geez, I thought you were bluffing as a 7 hits the river. That hand would have gotten me even and then I think I would have crushed him from that point, but it was good that I didn't I don't want those guys thinking I am that good (believe me I'm not) and not want to come back.  So I, happily, take second place money and paid Animal his loot.  We then gambled and played "in between"  freaking fun card game, but if you can count cards you can crush it.

Wild Bill is in AC trying to get a "W", so good luck to and prayers to him.

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Headache, taxes, Obama Rant...but life is good!

I squeezed my eyes shut hoping that the burning sensation at the pinch points would dissipate and remove themselves from my eye lids.  After several attempts it started to work.  It is not often, no, I cannot remember the last time I had a headache that hurt this bad!  It is one of those pains that burn the temple and you are rubbing at it ineffectively but for some reason, you think it feels better...NOT!  I took some sinus medicine as I think it is a sinus issue and got some Excedrin from the store manager.  I am still walking around smiling but this really hurts!

Well we got our tax assessment back and we are not happy.  We bought a house last June and we are going to get less back than from 2010...maybe this is part of the headache effect?  I want to say this is because of the Obama administration, but I can't do that without any proof.  Speaking of Obama, what has he done to help better the country?  Obama care(mandatory healthcare), got Bin Laden(inevitable), won the Nobel Peace Prize, and...what else?  Sorry, just frustrated that people are okay with our government telling us what is good for us.  Seat belts, by now, it has been burned into us that we need to wear them, or else you go to jail.  Common sense tells us we should wear them for safety purposes.  Sometimes they get it right but is it right for them to tell us what we should do?  It will, promise you, get to a point where we will be run by the government and not running the government, because the government is for the people.  I cannot say that a republican is better than a democrat but I have two good examples...Reagan and Clinton.  Reagan got us back on our feet after Carter put us in a hole and Clinton made money as our President, heck the only bad thing I can remember about him was the Lewinsky issue.  Reagan worked with both sides and got things done.  Clinton did the same and balanced the budget.  Bush screwed up but Obama knew that, don't continue to blame, we know, FIX IT!  So seriously, what has he done?  Please don't say he is being obstructed, he had it all when he came in, that is why democrats lost all those seats, they got too big for their britches.  Argh! let me get off my soap box.

Now my return to the felt may be delayed as I was hoping to use some of this tax money to play, but according to the CFO, my wife, it ain't looking good.  No worries, I have some other things in the mix to make sure I get to that felt and it should and will be glorious!  E-bay anyone?  I got action figures, comic books, and sports cards to sell.
Bobba Fett and Stormtroopers at attention.
I really don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about life.  All my complaints are selfish because I want something.  My family is healthy, other than my four year old who has bronchitis, but she is getting well.  I have given my wife a beautiful home and things are good.  Of course we got a little stretched thin because we went crazy with credit but we accept that responsibility and will get it fixed.  I guess what I am saying is that this blog is for me, for me to put more of me out there to maybe...get it off my chest(as I shrug my shoulders), that I will have to continue to work hard, raise my children and be a great husband.  Even though wanting to play poker, more often, tugs at me.  Yes, I like to ramble.

Wild Bill made a final table in the 6-max in Tunica, SWEET!  I hope he hits another and hopefully does work in the main event.

Short and all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Superbowl weekend, a funny experience and Action shots!

Lots going on today and into the weekend!  We are hitting phase two of my warehouse Five "S" project which I had to recognize and react to and change it up a bit, but I'll get the same result in the end.  Hard work pays off folks!  I cannot say enough about the position I am in, I will continue to thank God for this daily and if it turns out to not work out, I'll thank God for the experience.
This weekend we have two carnivals going, one in Slidell and the other in Metairie, can't recall what the crews are but I think I am going to record a couple of them to re-live the experience and post them for those way outside of the New Orleans area, these parades are big time!
We also have the Super Bowl, as a guy who has played football for half his life, this is something I'll never be able to experience first hand but it is a good time to watch and enjoy, they really leave it on the field for this game.  I think the family will be heading to a neighbors house for a bit to socialize more than watch the game.
I had a very funny experience last night as I left work.  Let me start with some history.Right next door to our building a gymnastics training facility has opened and the place does not have a lot of parking.  I as a new business in the area and understanding that we will not have a lot of parking would make friends with your neighbors and visit with them to see if it would be a problem to utilize our parking lot, after hours.  They did not, they talked to one of our inside sales reps, who just told them what our hours were, well they took that as, we can use their parking lot after 5pm.  We had to correct that...quickly.
Shot from our door, my parking lot.
They had about five cars in our parking lot at 4pm last week and had filled up the businesses parking lot on the other side of them plus their own, so we had kids, parents and grand parents looking for parking and since we were next door, why not?  My store manager is VERY aggressive and did not want them parking there, good reason, it'll take spaces away from her customers and in our experience trash starts to build up and we did not want that to happen.  So she and I went next door and walked through the hundred or so gymnastic girls to get to the front desk to ask them to not park next door, my store manager noticed the sign on the door that they could park next door after 5 pm and she went off, in front of the kids.  I'm a big black guy...I was blushing.  I wanted to be very neutral and understanding of their situation and not be too aggressive but that went out the worked so we rarely have to tell folks not to park in our parking lot.  I am 100% sure that they are, they are doing it way after we leave, but don't let me find trash out there, then the PAIN TRAIN will be coming.
The neighbor, gymnastics and good loud music
So the picture shows how close they are, I've tried to open that door.  Okay, back to my story, I've given the history so yesterday at about 5:30 pm as I was leaving to go home and SUV pulls in and parks, now I really don't have a problem with this but I tell myself they should wait until I leave then I tell myself not to be a punk and let them park.  So I get out of my car and notice it is an older gentleman, "Excuse me sir, you are going to have to park at the facility next door, we really don't want anyone parking here after hours, thanks."
He looks at me, for a second, slowly turns back to his SUV and throws his hand at me like he was going to block my lay up and says, "Fooey!" and I think something else under his voice.  I laughed all the way home, fooey?  I can hear nincompoop from that same source.

I discovered a cool function on my Samsung Infuse Android phone, my camera has this action button and takes pictures like this:
My youngest running up a dirt pile and down it.
I think it's pretty cool, I was snapping shots of them swinging on the tire swing, all kinds of ACTION shots of them playing.

I believe I will be hitting the felt on the 17th of February, I have been brushing up by reading a couple of blogs Ed Millers and Mitchell Cogerts and re-reading Harrington on cash games, also re-read low stakes hold'em, which was all about beating low LIMIT hold'em, not no-limit, but the thought process was similar just need to adjust it a bit for no limit.  I'll be talking to a buddy of mine this weekend, I hope and talk through different situations and the metagame.  Just look forward to bringing more wins home than losses.

I know Wild Bill is in Tunica, good luck brother.  I think Gene-O will be heading out there as well good luck to you as well!  Prayers coming for both of you.

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Get my mind right!

I sit here wading through thought, restlessness and activity that must be achieved.  Very vague but true.  I am in a great position here and truly appreciate what I have been blessed with and every day I must challenge myself to be better.  I don't have a boss who has an office two doors down from me, he is in another city which is in another state!  I am the one who runs this and I must step up on a daily basis and make sure all of the ground work I started in September continues to this day.  There are days where team members make a mistake, now I have to look at that mistake and deem it a quick floor conversation or a "let's move to the office and talk" conversation.  I've had a few of the later but my goal is to set it up that I should rarely set foot on that floor, I want and need to work to the next level while I am currently running operations here for example our Operations Excellence director is working all the CI projects, I am a CI guy and could help with quality input, travel to get productive data, take some of the workload off and make it my own, to solidify my position and set myself up to move to the next level when promotions are considered.
I have several books on styles of management, I am currently reading a book that talks about how I got to where I am will not get me to the next level.  Very interesting stuff, of course there are a few other books I am reading at the same time along with my comic books and graphic novels.  Yes, I enjoy reading and wish it would better me around my writing skills.  A quote comes to mind, "You get out of it what you put into it,"...right?
So I sit here and thoughts of MW3 are streaming through my thoughts.  Fifth prestige, 1.03 k/d, just doing work!  Those thoughts are quickly followed by sitting at a poker table and felting a lunchbox who called my three beat with A 10 off and runs into my pocket aces.  All of these things take effort, I am an okay texas hold'em player and have been a gamer since rocking and rolling on my commodore 64 in the 80's!

The last couple of years have been unsuccessful in poker in the cash games,  it was so bad last year that I told my wife I'd have to take the rest of 2011 off and not play in a casino environment.  Why?  I had not put into it what I expected!  I have a library of poker books, a lot of friends who play much better than myself and blogs to read and I have not leveraged any of those resources.  I just went off of what I knew and told myself it was like riding a bicycle and  I sat down and played.  Of course I SKIMMED through a couple of my books looking at a few of the highlighted areas and told myself, "LET's DO IT!"
 It was not that easy, I remember sitting at the table, holding K Q suited in the cut off seat and this lady in the hi jack, right next to me raises after two had limped into the pot and I just called but something in the way back of my head told me I should raise here, but I was not sure.  I ended up winning the hand but after that indecision I continued to make bad decisions and eventually lost a buy in.  I have over 10 books about poker and am reading through one that has opened my eyes and has me salivating to get to the tables.  I plan on making a showing in late February and hope to play on Friday evenings going forward and look forward to documenting my WINS and how it was done.  I am putting a lot of research into getting back on the tables and will be talking to a few of my buddy's about random thought processes throughout a session.  I believe that putting the research time, the study in will pay off and it was something I did not do well before.  Yes, I talked about it and said I was going to do it but I actually am and it has been insightful.

Barry Sanders...THE MAN!

I love my family, I love my home, I love my life and I look at others who have children and wonder if my desire to play and take some time from my kids is bad?  What I mean is if I go play poker, I am not around my kids, sharing in those special moments.  For example, my three year old, Sienna, ran into the living room, jumped up next to me on the couch looked at me, smiled and said I love you daddy.  I said I loved her back.  She continued to sit there for a few more seconds and said "You love me enough to get me some milk?"  That was awesome!  She usually taps my hand and says Daddy get me some milk.  Then I have to say, What was that honey?  Then she says, Can you fix me some milk?  But this time it was special as she is learning to manipulate me!  LOL!  It'll only be an evening out of the week but maybe it's the way I am putting down that it seems and feels despicable.  Yet, I want and feel that I need to play and it worries me and I hope it does not worry me so much that I will play bad.  So as I stated in another post, I have to give up my x-box time and hang out with the kids during that time and the weekends are wide open for my little ones.  I have a 17 year old who wants to play football for the first time IN COLLEGE and has asked me to show him some stuff!  Color me excited!  The only things I force on my kids are learning how to respect others, discipline and making sure they are getting an education.  I envy my wife as she lives here life for my kids, not that I don't but it is much different in comparing how she is versus how I am with our kids.  What the heck just happened, now should I delete all this mopey stuff about my kids or should I leave it, hell, going to leave it!  We only live once folks, but we need to do what we want responsibly and hold ourselves accountable!  I know my kids love me to death and I them, so it won't hurt if I am a bit successful at the tables and it pays off when Santa comes...just saying!  Enough!  I have ranted enough, you all stay frosty!

Stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DEAD MONEY Last Chance table


I donned my Gulf coast hoodie, after parking in Harrah's garage, 8th floor.  Grabbed my satchel, put on my size 8 throwback fitted hat and proceeded to the Queen and Crescent hotel, home of the Dead Money tournament.  I arrived in a state of panic as I forgot that there are two entrances to the hotel and was hanging out in the wrong one, I had to cross the street to the main entrance and proceed to the Napoleon room.  I flopped down into a black painted, hard wood chair, quickly took off the hoodie and the throwback Dallas Cowboy hat in order to cool down as I began to slowly perspire, a very uncomfortable feeling.  Met Wild Bill, exchanged pleasantries, grabbed a card player and bluff magazine, have not seen any of these for about a year, good stuff to find out where the poker world is now.  Of course getting on-line, and hitting those sites would be comparable, however; I enjoy holding a magazine and leafing through the pages.  I started a conversation with Austin, another blogger on the site, who had a pretty good cash in the Choctaw Casinos Indian tournament series, (hope that's correct).  He was pictured along side the other final table members in the current Card Player Magazine, cashed for 17K, but we were talking about the rise and fall of  his poker website and then Gene D rumbled in and we started talking with him and he and Austin talked about his free roll in the million dollar event due to his tourney MVP at the recent IP circuit event.
There were some interesting characters, the three friends from Cleveland, Ryan is the one I remember and I believe he won himself into the Main Event this past Saturday.  Also, met Brian from Nantucket, Ma, he's a captain of a fishing boat and had some pretty cool stories.  He's also a pretty damn good poker player.
We had 18 players to try to win two seats to the main table the next day.  I looked forward to this as it would be the first time I have played in 11 months.  I did, lie, and say I have played in some home games but I didn't want to be perceived as weak due to my lack of current experience, one of the only things I regret about the night.  The turn out has to be the 2nd largest if not the largest since Wild Bill started this back in 2004.  That said a lot to me about where poker is today, not dead and growing, much slower but growing.

At my table I had, Brian from Nantucket on my left, followed by an older gentleman who, I believe, plays regularly at Harrahs, not sure.  Followed by a young Russian(I think so because I heard him talking to the other Russian on the other table earlier and I think they were speaking in Russian, so I should be right)  who plays at Harrahs, freaking highly aggressive as I saw him , later that night, put the older gentleman all in with an Ace on the board and the the old guy made a crying call with pocket queens, the young Russian said, "You called, you win," and insta mucked his hand.  WOW!  The old guy still turned his hand up.  Then we had Ryan from Cleveland, Wild Bill, Dave Anderson, and Gene D on my right.  I held my own, after starting in the big blind with 6 8 off and hitting my gutshot straight on the turn, while it completed a flush, I bet it and was called by only Wild Bill.  I bet the blank on the river and was raised by WB, of course I should fold, but I called and he showed K3 suited for the flush.

I opened from position with good hands, had pocket pairs pretty often, lowest being treys.  I had pocket Kings twice, pocket Aces twice, showed the pocket kings once and had a solid image at this table.  Got involved in a hand with Gene D, I was in the hi-jack, he limped in after another before had limped as well, I look down at wired 8's and raise it, I get them both to call.  Flop is A 7 6, they both check to me.  I bet c-bet, looking for a check raise, the other guy folds and Gene D goes into this monologue, "Yeah, guess that hits your range, hmm, yep, that had to hit your range, good hand sir," and mucks.  I was laughing inside, I guess he limped with K 9 or 10, or J.  Maybe QJ or the very least Q 10.  Another hand which had me feeling good about my self was towards the end of that first table, image has been established, so the old guy opens, Ryan from Cleveland flats, I'm in the cut-off and I see that Brian from Nantucket likes what he sees and I quickly think he wants to play so that helped my decision with pocket 4's, I re popped it.  Brian, gives me a slight, "ugh," and the Old guy takes a long time before he folds, it comes back to Ryan, he looks at me and eventually calls.  The flop is A 9 J, Ryan checks I c-bet half the pot and Ryan mucks, the old guy said he had pocket Jacks.

When we lost eight players we got together on one table, I did well at my table but when we combined I had to lay down once when I had AK,  I raised pre-flop and got called by two players.  The flop was babies, 7 5 2, Austin bet into us, fold and I folded.  During this time I was getting blinded out and anted out, did not get a good hand and just did not play my position correctly nor understood the table dynamics enough to make the appropriate moves to win some money, what I am saying is I got very passive and finished by pushing all in with A 4 off into a pre flop raiser and caller.  I hit a four on the flop but pre flop raiser hit a set with his pocket 10's and I was out in sixth place.  Parfait and the other Russian advanced to the next day's final table, Gene D hit the bubble.

Wild Bill ran a good tournament, the only issue was the air, got pretty stuffy in there.  A funny story that happened during the tournament was Ryan went out and picked up some Chinese food and about 20 minutes later we had Chinese delivered, no one ordered it but the fellas bought it anyway, I can remember Captain Ron wanting an egg roll.  Looking forward to next years meeting and hopefully be in a position of playing a New Orleans table in November, last chance if I have to and have the ability to buy into the final table if I have to.  Research and experience, and more conversation with better players are my key ingredients!

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Alabama, Mardi Gras and Bad Beat jackpots


Alabama showed everyone why they should have been in this game.  I am a University of Pittsburgh graduate so this is an impartial viewpoint (opinion).  First, it was not a fluke that Alabama did what they did to LSU there were several contributing reasons.  Defense-Alabama shut down LSU's option play, which allows LSU to open things up and do a lot out of this package, since it did not work for them Alabama was able to press their coverage and not worry to much about the deep ball.  We did get a glimpse of Alabama's secondary and it is not as strong as their front line.  That front line pressured, harassed and sacked LSU so much that the secondary did not have to worry too much about getting beat deep.  Running back-Alabama had the edge, due to Trent Richardson, but look out for Lacy next year going forward, he had a strong game.  Receivers and tight ends-Alabama's best receiver went down after a fantastic punt return and the receivers and tight ends stepped up.  There were deflected passes that were caught at crucial times, deep passes caught at crucial times.  Quarterback-not many, but the true Alabama fans, knew that McCarrion was as athletic as he showed us and he kept it under control while Jefferson looked confused and not in control.  Mental Game-Alabama wanted this more than LSU.  It felt like LSU thought that Alabama should roll over and hand them the win. Coaching-Alabama out coached LSU.  Les even admits this in post game interviews, he said he as surprised and did not know how to help his team.."WHAT! REALLY?!?" Score- Alabama SHUT OUT LSU, case closed they showed that they are the best in the nation and showed it in dramatic form. They proved that they, not Oklahoma State or anyone else should have been in this game. Just to put an exclamation point on this, LSU had one penetration of the 50 yard line into Alabama territory and less than 100 total offensive yards!
This was my brief take on the BCS game, I didn't think it was boring, I really enjoyed the watching how well coached BOTH defenses played, but LSU's defense was on the field for a long time and those boys got tired. 

Bird watchers have a blast waiting to see a particular bird and take great joy in watching all that they see and how those birds interact with their environment.  As a former player, I really enjoy the trench play, how well the defense would stay squared, watching offensive line and tight ends drive block on running plays.  How did the coaches teach them, what methods did they use?  Watching the best, really is interesting, if you watched me during my tenure, you would laugh at how undisciplined and foolish I looked on the field.

This February the 21st is FAT TUESDAY but I believe I'll be visiting friends in Missouri so I will not be around to take dat money at Harrahs. 
I believe that my first visit back to Harrahs will be on the 24th and I am eager!  I am going through my library and reading through some scenarios, refreshing myself around certain plays and situations, re-reading my book on tells but I think I'll be working on not giving away too much.  I have started my mantra, wait to play, wait to play, wait to play...because every time I take time off and get back to the tables, I usually play as soon as possible, out of position when someone has raised and the raiser gets called I look down at A9 suited and say, "yeah go for it you'll surprise 'em, they'll never see it coming," of course that has not worked ONCE!  There is a teaching format that I think I'll share if I can find it.  Helped me get my basics down.  

I was thinking about bad beat jackpots the other day and how hitting one of those could elevate someone's bankroll, quickly!  Well I have been involved in four at Harrahs and one in Biloxi, three at Harrahs were table stakes and the one in Biloxi was a table stake even though it was hit at another table!  Very cool.  The other that I was involved in was pretty special as I was the one who beat the guy for the bad beat, it was the beginning of my poker stint back in 2002, Harrahs poker room was in the back where the steak restaurant is, it had two levels and it was a great room!  We were isolated, not too noisy from the slots but visible enough for people to find.  This was before Moneymaker had hit it big and No Limit Texas Hold'em became "the" game.  Here in New Orleans before Moneymaker, omaha was the big game, especially 1-4-8-8 limit omaha/hold'em.   Well I was at the front table by the walk way towards the buffet.  There was this old guy who had pissed me off on the prior hand by chasing and catching on the river, we were working through the omaha round, every time the button got to the dealer the game would switch from hold'em to omaha back and forth.  I was in the 10 seat he was in the four seat, in the bad beat hand I had QJ suited 8 2, can't remember if it was hearts or diamonds.  I still remember the guy, about 6'4', always wore a baseball hat, white hair, mustache and trimmed beard and  had a look of "whatever" on his face at all times.  (SIDE NOTE-Little history, I used to play 7 card stud, at the treasure chest.  This is where I met Christy for the first time, she is an excellent dealer at Harrahs and usually deals the final table on the main events with Darrell.  I used to look at the half/half game back then and was very intimidated at the speed and the bets.  I finally start playing half/half and started to beat it eventually I would play during the week and the games would finish early so they told me about the room at Harrahs.  I make my way there and really enjoyed it.)  So we get a family pot, now I am steaming, this was during a time when my poker etiquette...SUCKED!  I was steaming and you could see it.  I think I was under the gun, yep, and the flop comes K, 10, 9 of hearts/diamonds.  I bet out, it was four bucks, two callers to the lunchbox and he raises and my buddy, Chris, calls, I call and another one of the earlier callers call as well.  The turn brings another heart/diamond like a 3 or 4, I check, check, lunchbox bets, Chris calls, I raise...yep...fold, lunchbox re-raises and Chris calls.  I look at Chris and he says to me, "Hope you got what I think you have!"  yes with three of us playing.  I simply call because I am confused.  I know that the lunchbox has the ace high flush so I am trying to get a lot of money from him, I just didn't know why Chris was still in it because a set should have let it go after the re-raise.  Well the river is a king, I don't care, I bet, lunchbox gets frustrated and folds, Chris says you do don't you!  He raises, I re-raise and he screams yes!  He calls and yells "JACKPOT!"  Now look, I haven't shown my cards yet, I could have been an idbot and raised with a full house or the ace high flush.  He turns his cards over with two black kings that match the two red ones on the board.  I scream and turn over my straight flush and the table erupts, even my nemesis.  It was a sizable jackpot as I took home $8k, he got over $20k and the table got a nice chunk.   I can't tell you what I did with that money but I promise you, bankroll management was not part of my vocabulary.  I hope that one day I can get snapped off for a jackpot but until then...
(similar but represented what happened)

You all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012: Resolutions, College Football Helmets.

What up? So what are your New Year's resolutions? I have a few, of course, one being to lose weight. That one is key because my kids are getting a little more active and I need to show them how it is done! My 10 year old thinks he can dribble a basketball. He can't, however, he can bounce the ball with his hand, but he cannot dribble...not yet, but it'll come. One of the many things I want to be able to do, losing weight will help with that. Another resolution is to get more poker time, that will mean a huge reduction in XBOX time unless I am playing with the kids, because I will have to move that time to hanging with the kids so that I don't miss a beat in that department. I do enjoy playing MW3!
Projects for this year work and home: Patio around our Oak tree to include a fire pit. Enclosing part of the living room to create a gameroom/guest bedroom. Finishing our Five S project in the warehouse. Getting the offices cleaned up. Moving my office to the bigger office. Cleaning my closet. Setting up an ebay sales account, gots things I want to sell. So I will have a lot to do and will not be very idle after this weekend. Looking forward to Pitt playing SMU this Saturday. I don't know much about SMU, lately, but the program looks to be rising again. SMU Mustangs had been more like burros or mules but they have started playing football and have taken a long time to recover from the death penalty they were dealt so long ago. Pitt needs to be focused and finsh the season with a winning record. We picked up a new head coach , Paul Chryst, former Wisconsin Offensive coordinator. New coach and new conference, I am uber excited for the 2012 season! I don't know who is coaching the team in the bowl game but I suggest they start the true freshman from Texas, if he isn't hurt. Their senior...I hate to say this...hate to do this but it seems like he chokes. If they can get the run game going, and just control the ball and grind it out, we should win. Flashy isn't bad either but if it doesn't work it'll make us look bad. Go get that "W" Pitt! So, HAIL TO PITT!

In talking about college football, I secretly love the Oregon Ducks uniforms, all of them especially what they wore in the Rose Bowl. Those mirrored helmets were "BUTTERY!" I heard that the commentators were upset because they were so reflective (not against the rules) and it was hard to see the players numbers. As a fan who was watching I loved the look and enjoyed watching the game. I think those helmets will look better with the white uniforms with the gray wings. Maybe we will see them? I am not going to pressure my kids to go to that school but that is the only way I can wear another schools, of like caliber, colors. That is a rule! I am a PITT grad and I only rock that schools name. I also understand that the NFL is opening up the uniform policy and it looks like they are going to allow NIKE to get in there, starting in April 2012, moving away from Reebok. I have to show you all some of the cool helmets that were out there in college football. Shoot when I played we had one helmet, two different jerseys, freaking Oregon (In a class by themselves) have about six different uniforms and helmets! GEEZ! That, folks, is how much money college football is making, those uniforms are not just for the teams they are for spectators, we who like coolness and difference and will tune in and catch whatever ads that may play during that game, that is another reason, in my opinion, on why these schools get these different uniforms and helmets. With that said there will be a few who will not get multiple uniforms, for example, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Penn State. Here are a few of the helmets that I liked: Baylor's flat green helmet (NICE!) Arizona States Firey Pitch Fork (Awesome!) and Southern Mississippi's Flat black helmets(OUTSTANDING!)

Of course I think the flat paint jobs are due to an inspiration from the hit MTV show Rob and Big when they "murdered" out the Tahoe in all flat black.
Of course The New Years was great, we had Mitai's and frozen Margaritas. We fired off $40 worth of fireworks which seemed like a lot but was nothing compared to my neighbor who went through $2000 worth and what a show that was. Getting ready to start grinding it out in February. My first stop should be in Biloxi and then I'll make stops in Harrahs on Friday nights, so look for me in Harrah's grinding it out, I'm looking to try to make 40 big blinds an hour in the 1-2 NL game. I'll need prayer.

Okay, you all stay nice as rice and mello as jello!