Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Boy, I really never thought I'd make this game. First, I was so sick this past week. When I stayed in bed on Monday with the oppressive sinus migraine on top of the head cold from hell, I gave up the hope of Greg's game. Then by Tuesday it had passed and the hope was back again, until late that night when a short in the hot water tank kicked out every circuit serviced by the generator, including the deep freezer.
So I expected to spend the day getting that fixed.
Instead, a plumber electrician came and just disconnected the faulty element so we can limp along with one element for a while until we decide just what we want to install.
It is a good thing it all happened before we went to Florida. A week without electricity to the freezer would cost us plenty in spoiled food.
So I managed to make Greg's game.
And perhaps I'll make the other social events leading up to going to Florida.

Greg's game was fun, but initially I lost regularly in all-in bets where I was beat on the river.

Peter took me down one time when he called a huge bet (semi bluff really) with only a pair against my 2 pair and caught an ace on the river. Bruce called me with a 3-4 of spades and went on to catch a 3-4 for two pair.

Peter also successfully bluffed me on a couple occasions. We tend on rare but delightful occasions to bluff each other with nothing at all and then show in order to add to the other's annoyance.
One all-in I made early in the game when I was not bluffing. Peter went all in holding two spades for a jack high space flush (ace and king on the board) and yes, I also had two spades and one of mine was the nut queen.

However, things went bad for me for the first couple hours. I was $80 down when the game turned around. At about that time Bill lost a terrible all=in bet. He went all in after flopping a straight. Peter called with two pair that never developed. Greg called with a gut shot and caught it on the river to end up with just a bit higher straight. Bill was pretty deflated and just called it a day and went home.

I had pushed him out of a hand earlier when he had top pair (jacks) but a very low kicker after the flop and my aggressive bet made him think I had more than I really did. Had he stayed in that hand, he would have made a good bit of money because he would have had 4 jacks against my eventual full house.

So he was understandably frustrated.

Without Bill in the game, I seemed to do better. I caught some fine cards, won some hands and by the end of the day I had $108 profit and Peter had $124.
No one else had any money.
Peter had only bought in once. I had recovered after 8 buy ins and gone on to win almost as much as Peter for the day
Half way through the game, Greg had racked up quite a pile of chips, but slowly they slipped away. At the end of the afternoon, Peter and I took all he had.
He bought in a few more times, and we took that too.

The "Hill boys" took home all the money lost by anyone that day. This was a great psychological break for me. I have been on a losing streak and dropped over $500 in my last half a dozen sessions; session after session had left me down money.

Now I am back trying to pull myself out of my lifetime hole and get in the black.

I think the saddest hand of the day came when we were down to just three of us. Greg slow played his straight flush in hearts, just waiting for someone to bet in to him. But with only three of us, it was overkill. There was not much for Greg to do except show us the rare random event, smile, rake in a few paltry chips and shuffle up.

I remembered how often this happens in casino games when the players get down to five. Good cards come. No money is bet. And there the casino takes perhaps a third of the pot.
Avoiding that scenario is top on my list of things to improve.
It is hard to do. In Vegas it is easier as there is a game down the street. but at Turning Stone it means finding something else to do.
One more game at Greg's before we go to Florida for those games. I hope I can make the adjustment to ten people when I hit the Tampa games. Helpful may be another visit to Foxwoods with Jerry and his Mom on Monday. Foxwoods sent me 10 more free points for every week in June. Each of these coupons pays for almost half a Yankee Trails bus trip. Foxwoods certainly does a better job of taking care of the poker players than Turning Stone. Also they still spread a 4-8 game which I like.

Bruce announced that he had made the final tournament at Turning Stone, getting blinded out of any money. He was pleased to have gotten that far. I guess he played for 4 or more hours. That is what discouraged me about tournaments. Good hard play and a little luck may get a player close to the money, but too often those quick escalating blinds make the last half hour a game entirely of luck.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Foxwoods May 20

Bill and I went up to Foxwoods on the Yankee Trails bus. I lost again in both the morning 2-4 and the afternoon 4-8 sessions. I played badly a few times, but most of the loss was just getting drained with cards I bet and folded.

In fact, two bad bets won me pots. In one I caught a straight, but failed to notice that it also created a spade flush. I bet and was raised. I groaned and called. The fellow thought he had a flush, but he had only one spade. Lucky. Then I stole one pot when I bet against one opponent but only had J-Q overcards. He tossed away two little pair. he turned them up. Luckily, I just asked if it were a fold. I think he was hoping to see what I had and then bet with them up if he had me beat. With no money coming, the dealer mucked his cards. He pushed me about whether I had him beat, but I stepped around the question, claiming that I was confused by his unorthodox fold.
This is the technigue that the brush used at the Palms and there I was beat and just folded when I saw that I was beat. But the brush did not want another bet. I should have bet from the beat position to see if I could force him out.

I had trip kings and was beat by a full house by a fellow who flopped trip sixes and slow played them with a raise on the river.

I had trip jacks and was raised on the turn. I reraised because I had the ace kicker. My opponent did not raise again so I figured he had no full house. The river was a 7. I bet and he reraised. My opponent had beat me with J-7 offsuit.

I was dealt only one pocket pair all afternoon. Just one: Pocket kings in the big blind. Everyone folded and the small blind asked to chop. That also was the only chop all afternoon at that table.

Well, the damages equaled $214, a huge single day loss for limit poker. This brings my lifetime average loss up higher than it has been since the great Turning Stone $278 win on March 18. Roughly, I am at break even for April/May.

I hope the Tampa poker goes better in June.

Bill did well because he went up to the craps table and the shooter hit a fine run. He left ahead.

Except for the losses, it was a fine day. Foxwoods is just a better room than Turning Stone. They now have a bad beat, but it is just $1500 and they fund it with no rake. The tables were always filled. In the morning the 2-4 was the tightest game I've seen there in all my visits and the pots were very small. We should have left and looked for another table. My afternoon table 4-8 was perfect. I even managed to grab a seat to the right of one of two habitual raisers and the left of another, so I had good position. Just bad cards. I played well in the afternoon.

Foxwoods also gives a jacket for a royal. I remembered the turkey hunter at Turning Stone talking the guy in to a hat that happened to be there because of the East Coast Tournament Players.

And they give me some free Myer's rum.

Turning Stone mails me only advertisement. Foxwoods sent me 10 free player's points in the mail for each week in May. With those I will have enough for a free bus voucher after my next visit.

Also, the bus bonus is better at Foxwoods. I hit the keno for $5. I bet Bill I would beat him on that and I did. So he had to leave the buffet tip. That buffet tip bet was the best bet I made all day.

The buffet included duck. It was not done in the way I best like, so that things are crispy, but it was good nonetheless as was the deep fried cod.

And Bill as always was a fine companion. The bus was only 2/3 filled and I sat next to him for some good stories, and then moved to my own open seat for a bit of a nap or for the movie on the way back. The American President.
I have certainly seen it before, but I forget them almost as soon as I see them. It set up many of the characters as well as the paced chatter for the show West Wing.

Across the aisle was Beverly Jones who I taught in 7-8 grade at Livingston many years ago. We had a fine visit. She remembered me and Jerry and many of the teachers. She said she is an auditor now for the state now and the English I taught helps her in her job. it was a kind thing to say. She married a Goodbee. I also taught some of his family.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Greg's Guys and their Game

It was my first day out of the house in many days. I was tired. But I think I played well enough.
Peter, Jen and I went to the Dragon Buffet for lunch.
She and the baby seem well. She started maternity clothers.
Then Peter and I joined Phil, Bruce, Bill and Greg for a few hours of exciting poker.
I caught so many second best hands that it was not funny.
I got annoyed.
But once I had bought in $10 at a time for a record $110, my luck turned and I made some back.
My 4-5 suited yielded 4 fives with Bruce going all in on his river full house.
Other hands held up better. I ended up $64 behind.

Greg on two buy ins at one point had three racks of chips. He is hard to beat.

Peter's game was all over the charts. He is getting pretty aggressive. We now have two Gregs at the table. He won a good bit, lost it all back, and then recouped his losses.

It was a good day, but it did tire me out. I was in bed by 8 and slept until 8. Never had anything quite like this.
Bill and I are off to Foxwoods next week Tuesday on Yankee Trails. Bruce is off the Turning Stone. Greg and Ann head to Foxwoods on Wednesday. There will be some gambling stories to tell at our next game.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Turning Stone May 8

I stayed overnight at the Inn for the poker rate of $55 which is very good. Elizabeth took me up on her way to Rochester and my old Buffalo buddy Gary and family picked me up on his way to visit me the following day. We ate a buffet before heading out and I showed them the casino.
Early in the morning I had a fine hour long swim in the pool. I do like that.

However, I did not win. In fact, I lost the $267 right to the dollar that I had won earlier in the week at Turning Stone with Bill and Slink and at Greg's game. I played the higher level limit game 5-10, and just had too many second best cards. The worst was pocket aces that made trips on the flop. I bet them even then, but a fellow drew out on me for a straight on the turn and I did not get the Full House on the river.

The second morning I was up over a hundred for a while just in the two- four game but lost a good bit of it back.
So I came home down $202 for the those two days and up just $65 for the week.

I learned that late night at TS is nothing like Vegas. Perhaps the place fills up on weekends, but it was dead on this Thursday. I ended up playing tight guys with 7 or less and watched the rake eat us all up.
I won't do that again.
If I go over night, it will be a weekend and if I can't play a full table, I'll cash out and go to Rome for a few drinks.

Turning Stone also serves no alcohol, but I bring the playing card themed flask nephew Chris game me for my birthday with Myers rum in it and mix it with the free cokes they serve. I brought most of the rum home this trip. Just felt more like coffee.

I met one guy from Philly who was up turkey hunting and told me about an arrow that neatly slices the heads off turkeys, but only bounces off of them if it hits their bodies. Very sporting. The archer must have Robin hood accuracy and there are no wounded birds getting lost in the brush.

Now if I could get on for my fishing pole I'd catch fish and have some of the job of the cleaning done too.

Next week I think Bill and I are going to Foxwoods for a day of poker. I have done so well there. I hope that success is repeated.