Thursday, May 17, 2007

Turning Stone


Well, yesterday I got my butt kicked. Lost $263. The Foxwoods trip canceled so I switched to a Turning Stone trip at the last minute. As before the game was mostly local regulars in the morning. They know and play with one another often. They are not any better players than I am, but when I get poor cards over a period of time at such tables, I can�t make much on the good cards.

I started with good cards. I made two preflop raises in the first four hands and was called around and then had to toss them when the flop came to nothing. Still, that gave me a loose table image. But that only lasted a while. Then I went into rock mode.

The game stayed fairly easy. One raise preflop perhaps but hardly ever a reraise. I liked the game. Just not my cards. Acting two places before me was one fellow who liked preflop raises a little too much for my blinds. Especially hard was to toss one 4-6 off suit blind, see two pair on the flop and then a full house on the river. It probably would not have been much of a pot. I�d have won on a two pair bet. But still.

I got to watch people�s faces more than I do when I am actually playing hands. I saw one of the best I ever remember. The flop came 10-10-5 and a fellow at the far offered a very tiny wince and followed with a half hearted call. I told myself to watch for that as I was certain he did not have a ten. Then he played poker faced and on the river surprised the table with a full house that he had on the flop. I never remember being so subtly fooled and was happy to have been out of the action.

After the buffet I had my own time to act. I was to the right of a fellow who raised often. He was on the button. I had pocket kings. Forcing anyone out was going to be impossible with a raise, but if he raised, they would call him and then if I reraised the pot would be nice and big. No raises. So my pockets were invisible. The flop was lots of unconnected trash. It checked to me and I bet. Half called. The turn was a king. It checked to me again and I said, �Well, someone has to bet� and half heartedly threw in the bet. Three called me. By the river there was no hand possible. I bet again and one guy called me. My trip kings received the kind of surprise from others that let me know I had fooled all of them. Of course, it did not help me in future hands.

Diamonds killed me. Once on the small blind I had 5-8 and it flopped with a 3 of diamonds. The big blind bet, I raised. On the river the big blind had turned his 5-8 into a runner, runner flush.

I reraised preflop with A-K and it was capped. Three diamonds came on the flop. Everyone checked. Nothing on the turn, and the capper bet. I folded. Others called. He had capped the bet with A-K of diamonds and flopped the nut flush.

The buffet was good but the chocolate fountain where you can dip strawberries was not working.

My free craps rolls got me $10. On the last paper bet the dice were mine and I rolled box cars. My three keno bets with coupons yielded zero. I tried the pull tabs. My $5 gets me $7 worth. I won back $2.50.

But on the way home the movie was fine. Fools Rush In. That Salma Hayek is one of my favorite fantasies and movies with Spanish and Vegas are perfect for a day of poor poker.

The rest of my life is all winning. We are going to Hawaii after all. Today we make last minute plane reservations. So no Vegas in July. but remember that I am still going in June and going solo, so if anyone wants to pick up some of my poker losses there, think about it. June 20 - July 5. I�ll see Vegas on the 4th. $22 average room rates. Binions right now on i4Vegas has $25 rooms weekdays and $50 rooms weekends. Center of downtown. Pool. Hard to beat that.

The fishing has been wonderful. The lake is empty and the fish are biting. I cleaned over 75 this week. My neighbor Ron brought Lu Ann, his cute blond, date out in the boat for a day of big perch and I showed them how to cook them over the grill and bone them for eating. She is a gambler, so in between screaming when she caught a fish, she told gambling stories. It can�t get better than that.

In the money for food on line poker games, Greg is losing, finally. I am 78% of the way to a free lunch next week.

Today we are off to Chicago to see son Frank graduate from law school. It will be a fine celebration. The final tickets on DING ended up $25 each way. Not bad airfare.
Well, get lucky and win big. See you next week.


"I'd give you advice on how to play poker Son, but I've only been playing the game for fifty years, so I'm still learning the game.
--VP Pappy

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mike's poker news

Hi, Dewey. Played till 1 a.m. the other night and won a whopping $8.00. I
suppose I shouldn't quibble as at one point I was down $70.00. That night,
the theme of the table was "River City" as I never saw so many hands made on
the river. In fact, guys were apologizing to one another, it happened so
much. My hand of the evening:

I have pocket 3's and the flop comes with another 3, so now I have a set. I
bet and many stay with me, and the turn card is something or other, but I
notice that the board now has two spades. I bet again and a couple of guys
stay with me. The river card comes and turns out to be a "good news-bad
news" joke for this one guy. The good news for him is that it's another
spade, which makes his flush. The bad news is that it's the THREE of spades,
which gives me quads! I bet, he raises, I re-raise, and he just calls and I
turn over the hand. The guy sitting next to him, who's a biker, says "It's
kinda like running into a wall on your bike, ya know?" Very funny. I rivered
this guy again later to pick up the nut flush and he busted out. I never
stay with ace-low card. I always fold it, unless I'm on the blind, which I
was in this one hand. I have ace of hearts and 3 of diamonds. So I stay on
the big blind and the flop is junk--all numbers, so I still have high card,
and from the betting, I didn't get the impression that anyone had an ace or
pair. But I also notice that two of the cards are hearts. So everyone
checks so I check. The turn is another heart, everyone checks, so I say,
what the hell, and I bet. The river is ANOTHER HEART so now I have the nut
flush and bet and a bunch of people call including this guy who goes all in.
So I win again. I shook his hand before he left and he said, "I've never
seen rivers like this game!"

Other trends: Big Slick and pocket aces ALWAYS won. Pocket kings, queens,
and jacks ALWAYS lost. It got so that the guys who got these latter hands
NEVER raised pre-flop, they felt so snake-bit. I lost with pocket queens
THREE times and pocket kings ONCE. It never failed that after I pre-flopped
raised with these cards, I was ALWAYS dominated with an overcard on the flop
that gave someone else a higher pair. I just started to fold on the turn or
before the river card. It was just getting too expensive to chase.

It's amazing how different this game can be from one session to another.