Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Return of Pokerbluegill

I knew Greg's game this week would challenge me because I would go into it with very little rest. It would have been tiring enough to go into the city for an 8 AM eye doctor's appointment, but I woke up at 2 AM worrying about what my eye infection might be.

I then had a few hours of what my commanding officer, fighter pilot Captain Rennsler (fresh out of doing bomb raids in Vietnam) at Kincheloe Air Force Base called "stare time."

Along with remembering poor Janice Newkirk's early death from rare eye cancer, and thinking about our three friends now struggling with some form of cancer, I worried about leaking windows, Little Grey squirrel who may or may not be living in the upstairs couch, and even the struggles and terrible fates of some of the characters in Water For Elephants, the novel I just finished.

And I did not sleep.

Then sometime after 5 thirty I did doze off because the alarm clock woke me at seven.
I hear an alarm perhaps a half dozen times a year, and then rarely in the early morning darkness with just enough time to shower and then a dash into rush hour traffic.

The eye exam proved my irritation to be nothing but a localized infection. More hot packing and some antibiotics cream should do the trick.

I had a fine morning walking the leaf covered sidewalks in Albany Pine Hills and infusing myself in crowds of young people on the Saint Rose Campus where I read the New York Times and bits of 19th century American literature.


Peter and I had a fine lunch. I was a bit off my diet, and the rich dishes of the Pakistani buffet (across from the police station where Madison and Western meet) was such a treat.

It had been a great morning, but at noon I felt my energy drain away. I was ready for a nap, but it was time for poker. This is not a good thing.

At Greg's I explained that I would be slow and everyone said, " That's fine." and "No problem" until I really was a bit slow, and then they hurried me along with prompts to play or post a blind or check my cards, and so I got confused and more jittery.
They did not do it on purpose to throw me off my game (although perhaps they will next time after reading all this) They did it simply to keep the fast paced play going, but still it was disconcerting.

Luckily, late in life, I have discovered coffee, an insidious drug, but one that keeps naps away.

It was a full table. Silver took an afternoon off work and made a rare appearance; most of the regulars were all there: Bruce, Phil, Greg, Peter, and me.

It was a treat to have Silver dealing for everyone and others doing the shuffling. That took away two tasks. While I don't much notice the arthritis anymore, I do have to concentrate to shuffle cards or my stiffened finger gets in the way. If I let the automatic part of my brain take over, it assumes the fingers will work a certain way and when they don't oblige, before I know it, cards are scattered everywhere. Relieved of that task, I can concentrate solely on the poker.

Greg was not playing his usual loose, aggressive game.
So I assumed his role.
I bet my good cards aggressively, but the flops caused them to look more like recent American bank mortgages.
I bet some of my bad cards aggressively to steal a few pots, and always there was one stubborn person who did not believe me, who seemed to know I had taken a risky mortgage and that I could not meet the balloon payments. So I was called down into defeat.

Soon I was low chip guy with multiple buy-ins.
And I was still tired.

I had consumed an entire thermos of the coffee we had bought in Hawaii, and it was strong and good and soon it began to work.

Well, better late than never.

Yet even awake, I lost.

Coffee is fine for staying awake, but it leaves me jittery. So does losing with lousy flop after lousy flop after lousy flop forcing me to toss away pots I had built.

Greg started to rake in chips and reach for more racks.

I could see he was aggressive only rarely, probably only with his good cards, but I could not do anything about it. The others still remembered his bluffs of other games and paid him well.

Bruce has radically improved his game and shifted his style, so that he is making good money from the improvement. His would be the first of a one-two punch to take Bill out. His Ace-King beat Bill's Ace-Queen. Then Greg outdrew Bill for the rest of his chips, and Bill quietly called it a day.

Peter was smuckered from the get go and all afternoon. I helped by staking him, but it did not improve his winnings. He was often stuck with second best cards. The worst was flopping a straight, going all in, managing to avoid Silver's spade flush river draw only to have Greg with two pair, 8's and 10's, draw an 8 on the river and make the winning full house.

Everyone accumulated chips, but, as always, Greg accumulated more of them, in spite of the fact that this normally aggressive betting machine was letting us all limp into flops unpressured.

I just relaxed into the inevitable abyss, while the coffee slowly woke me up.

I drank an entire thermos and called for another.
Greg tried to talk me out of the second thermos. He wanted to conserve on the coffee. He did not think I would drink an entire second thermos, and he wanted some coffee to enjoy the rest of the week.
Now, I had brought the coffee, so it was an odd conservation argument. But that is what makes Greg the Pokermaster, his ability to leverage what isn't his.

At my last buy in I had $90 invested. This is an unconscionable amount in our little game. $90 should be enough money to buy in for three weeks and lose. I had lost it all in one rather short afternoon, and everyone was heading home.

"Would you like to re-buy for $10 and play a while?" Greg asked.
He had three racks of chips.
I had half a rack.

"I'll just play this off and head home," I answered, knowing that I was playing uphill against the larger chip stack, still tired and very jittery.

So we started.

There were three turning points I remember.

One was a mind game. I did not do it on purpose, but I will if I can in the future.

Greg was commenting on how Bill and Silver just head home when they lose a pile of chips.
"You and I are the only ones who have such passion for the game that we stay no matter what," he remarked.

Greg and I have this conversation often. I stress the wisdom of not trying to win an uphill battle with just twenty chips against a hundred. Greg asserts that he loves to come up from behind. To me his claim reminds me of a millionaire Republican calling for the poor to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. I remind him that he is never in a position of having to win from far, far behind.
"You can't really talk about coming up from nothing because you are never the low chip person."

The very next hand Greg looses almost all of the rest of his third rack to me, and he looks at the loss and says , "I probably should quit for the day."

I go for his jugular.

"You are Soooooooo full of bullshit! A minute ago you were talking about how much fun it is to come from behind, and now you want to quit rather than risk your remaining two trays of chips! Unbelievable!!"

And it works just fine. He is insulted and stubborn, so he keeps playing.
That is his biggest mistake of the day.
I wish I could claim that my taunting was a planned strategy, but I just stumbled into his stubborn ego. In fact, somehow Gregg has heard me call him a "piece of shit," or pretends he has heard that. I have not said that at all, but when I see how determined it makes him, I file the insult away so I can use it another day.

And I see more clearly how mental sparring is part of this game.
I have him. He is not on tilt, but he is determined now to wipe me out and that is the next best thing because we will play now until one of us wins it all. I have $90 invested and he has $20, but with over $100 still in front of him, his $20 investment does not seem as real as the three stacks of chips he had when we started out head to head battle.

As more chips dwindle, so does his confidence. He gets scared, and then I really have him.

I'm fully awake. I'm flying with the coffee.
And finally I get cards. Once I get pocket aces twice in a row. Greg folds healthy pots, but I show him the aces anyway each time. It is unnerving to see pocket aces twice in a row when playing head to head.

Once I go all-in with just a pair of 8's and a nine kicker and Greg folds his pocket jacks. I show him my bluff with, "Aw gee, all I had was a pair of eights."
"You outplayed me!!" he shouts, and what he means is I out "Gregged" him, getting him to fold when I had anything but the best hand.
Showing those cards costs me a pot later when I try a similar bluff, but it also worked to unnerve him more and set him on a stubborn edge.

However, it takes a long while for me to make any progress, and I am up and down a lot.

At one point I flop two pair (8-10) and push the hand only to have him with a straight on the turn. I am all-in nad our cards are up, so I am ready to go home, when the river brings me my full house 8, the same full house that Greg used to wipe out Peter's straight earlier in the day along with most of Pete's accumulated chips.
Ahhhhhhh....Hill Boy justice.

So I have money to play with and I am awake. I work hard at patience. I remember The Tao of Poker and remind myself of how often at this stage of the game I would get too loose, get too bored shuffling and shuffling and waiting and waiting, and make bad loose plays.

I wait.

Soon I grind it to a place where for the first time in hours I have more chips than Gregg does.
Now I just need one good hand.
That is the advantage of being even chipped.
Low chipped I would need three or four good hands without a loss to win everything. Even chipped, just one lucky break will do it.
Gregg comes out strong after one flop when I have an inside straight draw K-Q. I put him on a bluff. That is a mistake. He holds two pair (A-10) and he has me beat easily. The turn gives me a pair of kings and has me pot committed, so I call Greg's value bet thinking it is more bluff. The river gives me the jack for the nut straight.
I go all-in.
Gregg thinks a while.
He studies my lack of smile.
Perhaps he remembers laying down the pocket jacks earlier to my pair of eights. He puts me on a bluff, calls the bet, and the game is over.

I have all the chips!!!
I have all the money!!!!

My huge buy in reduces the amount of my winnings, but they cover what I lost last week as well. More important, this breaks a long losing streak in poker for me lately. And of quintessential importance, I have taken the Pokermaster down!! Me, my cards, and his stubborn ego.

Ahhh.... the joy of it!!!!!!!!!!

I have a long time to enjoy it too, because even after I drive home, the coffee does not let me sleep for hours and hours. Elizabeth holds me, and still I don't sleep, just listen to her snoring in my ear and wiggle my feet, trying not to review again how characters in the last novel died.

It is a rotten feeling.

Tea wakes me up to a mellow awake sense of calm reflection; coffee wires me into agitated jitters.
Alcohol soothes me or makes me talkative and a bit silly; coffee puts me on an anxiety edge.

So for the second night in a row, sleep eludes me for a long, long while.

But that has passed now, and I've slept a few hours and will nap more today. It will be a fine day. I have defeated the threats of eye infection and beaten the poker master all in the same day. And I have indulged and delighted in a bit of urban autumn with fine flashbacks to younger days. But those reflections are a topic for another blog:



Dear Dewey,
Having had 14 hours to sleep on, dream about and reflect upon the loss of my three story home -- I have decided that our head to head play after yesterday's game and your drubbing of me was
I hope you turn "my" money into a fortune at your next games.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Savage ravaging

Another teeth clenching defeat at the hands of Greg, poker master. I lost $60 after being down, then up, and then finally destroyed. Greg just seems unbeatable. Bill did well also. Bruce and Peter lost. It has been a hard week for Dewey and poker.

Early in the game, it was not Greg who took me down but Bruce with hand after hand just a little bit better than mine. I built my $60 buy in back to over $100 when Greg got his fingers in my eyes and blinded me until it all was gone.

Were there memorable hands?

Well, Bill was banker this week and sat in Greg's usual spot. At first it looked like he had inherited the luck also. Twice on the river he pulled a queen to come from far behind on large all- in pots. Greg was the loser in these contests, tasting the bitterness of his own river catches. The hardest was when Bill's river queen made a gut shot straight and destroyed what had been good cards for Greg.

I'll wait to see if Greg has other memories. I remember one in which his 4-5 offsuit flopped a full house, but I'd rather forget that hand and most of the rest of them too.

Isn't it time for my social security check to arrive soon?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Turning Stone and Foxwoods again

Chunkmonk Charlie and I went up to Turning Stone and Foxwoods this weekend. I drove to Turning Stone. We took the Yankee Trails to Foxwoods. I won $23 at TS and then lost $60 so it has not been a good run of poker for me.

Foxwoods was very dysfunctional. Due to some tournament (and probably recent layoffs) many of the dealers had not dealt poker in years and made mistake after mistake. It was very sad. They were worse than the new dealers at Mohegan Sun.
I played a tough 4-8 table in the morning and lost $166. After buffet lunch I went down to 2-4 but it was a tough table too and I lost another $50. So I changed to a new 4-8 table. There I could do well.

Most interesting hands:

I flopped trip jacks with a pocket pair. I lost on the river to a straight.
Ten minutes later I flopped trip sevens and the same thing happened. This time two people playing 9-6 offsuit split the pot.

On a raised big blind with everyone in I added my $2, holding a stupid 3-7. Trip sevens came on the flop. The river brought my 3.
The very next hand I tossed away a small blind holding 5-6. Trip fives came on the flop and a six on the turn.

My second last hand, with just enough time to catch my bus, I help 5-6 of spaces and 7-8 came on the flop. On the river I missed the straight flush, but a 4 came and game me the hand. Another fellow said that had the nine of spades come, we would have had a bad beat. At Foxwoods that is not tens of thousands, but it would have meant a few hundred. But it also might have meant that I failed to catch my bus.

Turning Stone on Saturday would have been the place to play late into the night. I was sorry that was not an option. It was packed due to some big drawing and a poker tournament.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Author John Blowers joins us at Greg's

The calm routine of Greg's weekly home poker game was energized yesterday when author John Blowers joined our game. John's novel, Life On Tilt: Confessions of a Poker Dad has been so successful that it will soon be released as a movie and Greg's wife Ann has just finished her second interview with him on her weekly Schenectady Today Show on Channel 16 Schenectady Public Access Television.

Greg invited him to play poker.

So we were treated to playing against a published poker author as well as to the details of what it means to have a published novel on the verge of becoming a movie. John even brought along some clips to give us a sense of the film.

It was very exciting.

I remembered being at a home party with neighbor Bill Kennedy just as his book Ironweed was becoming a movie and there was similar excitement today connected to the expectation of a coming film and similar talk about the process and frustrations on managing to make everything happen. It is one thing to have an idea worth developing in fiction; it is another to meet and solve all the problems that come up as a novel, and then a movie, move to completion. We heard a good bit of the story of those processes.

All this was quite a contrast to the mundane banter of old retired grumps at our weekly game, Replacing the same old tired cliches like, "Leave one chip out, and you won't have so many" were stories that reflected all the excitement of film making and writing.

I never really could seem to engage Bill Kennedy in much conversation, but John was so amiable and enthusiastic that there was no distance between any of us. He was delightful in every way, and as Nugent remarked, very "down to earth." It can be hard to be a successful author without going "on tilt" with the success. John was "on the real" as my students would say, totally engaging and personable. I sure hope the movie becomes a big hit.

Of course by the end of the game we had all managed to plan John's next three books and movies, all of them about us of course. We live such exciting lives. We even have a sound track in mind. Bruce can sing the old classic, "Gloom despair and agony on me" ending with the thrilling climax, "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." I hope John was paying attention. Stories like ours just don't come along every day.

John did give us a synopsis preview of a script idea for what may be his next film. It will certainly be very inspiring. It was a treat to be included in the process and asked for our feedback. I was reminded of Twain in his little pentagon shaped outdoor writing shed, calling in the children so they could listen to what he had written that day.

Of course, we are not children; we just act like children. And we weren't in Greg's poker shack down by the Lisha Kill, but in Ann's kitchen with a supper of sausage, pasta and appetizer. There is a certain romance about Greg's shed. But I better enjoy the comfort of Ann's kitchen, where Chica might lick my plate if I leave it on the floor, but she cannot not tip over the entire table, poker chips, cards and all.

My son Peter also played. He had given me John's novel for father's day and so there were three of us there who had enjoyed reading it. Hearing how the characters we encountered in the novel were morphing into film stars made the poker game into a bit of a literary/film workshop.

As well as discussion about the movie, John talked about his coming articles in Poker Pro magazine. He is going to Vegas tomorrow to work on interviewing for those articles. He also managed a place at the table in "The Best Damn Poker Show" and told us the story of those auditions.

John's novel explores classic tensions between an all consuming passion for poker and the demands of marriage and family. And yes there are encounters with "the other woman" and even with "another other woman."

Woven between the interpersonal conflicts are hands of poker where famous no limit players play against the protagonist Johnnoe Zandoken as he pursues his poker dream. So the book is part no limit poker and part chick flick. As "Cowboy" Kenna James writes in the Foreword, " When you reach the crossroad in life of whether to listen to your mind and hold true to your responsibilities or go on "tilt" and follow you dreams, which path do you choose?"

You can see how the movie will explore themes similar to those in "Rounders."

John also gave us lessons in computing outs, percentages, and pot odds. His mind worked quickly on the mathematics. I am hoping he did not teach Nugent too well. Right now none of us computes such information. I have given up all hope in learning to do it fast or accurately enough for it to be on any help to me. Bill, however, being a math teacher, may well have found some good new strategy.

All in all it was a delight game, Greg, and I did not even mind mind losing my $27. (Yeah, like that is ever gonna be true) Thanks for the treat.

And thanks for coming around to enliven our game John. I especially liked seeing Greg pushed to the wall. Delightful too was to see son Peter come back from defeat to win money. Especially since he then could pay me back what I staked him.

Twice Peter checked a nut flush and trapped John. That may take the edge off Peter's defeat this week. In a free online tournament Pete was one hand away from an all expenses paid trip to Vegas along with a free bankroll and a seat at a $20.000 tournament. going all in with his pocket sevens, Peter was called by A-6 with a 6 on the board.

Of course, the Ace showed on the river.

What a week of poker this has been. First 34 hours of poker in Connecticut and now an encounter with a published poker author. This retirement life ain't so bad, even if I can't seem to win money anywhere.


John Blowers sites of interest:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun


It was a losing trip. Only once was I ahead. Once more I came within eleven dollars of being even and then slumped back again. Overall I lost $414 at poker and $85 at slots and VP which I played just for fun and because it was my birthday.
I played 34 hours of poker so lost $14 an hour. This trip I could not recoup that in food and drink either. I drank about $60 in free drinks. Only one day did I eat for free (another $16) The loss drops my lifetime score to $4275 which is near my record low. Since May I have lost $1600. So I hope the score turns around soon. I don't want this hobby to actually cost me any money.

I played 34 hours of poker. So I lost about $15 an hour. Since most of my losses were just grinding, I can see why I do better when I play single blind games, especially that Laughlin game where the blind is only a third of what my first round bet will be when I have good cards. That difference alone accounts for a good bit of the losses. Also two blinds, especially in that small blind in the 2-4 games do tempt me to play "small blind specials."

I do think I played a bit too loose in the beginning. By the end I was as tight as a rock, hardly playing anything more than my blinds.


I loved the new Mohegan Sun room. The chairs were comfortable and the room bright and cheerful. It feels much different than the basement decor of Foxwoods. I liked that they dealt 3-6 and it seemed easy enough to move from table to table. I would move if I was ahead or thought the table was too tight or loose or simply because I had been playing tight too long to get callers when I bet. I am working on leaving most tables whenever I am up over $100 or the money seems to be draining even if I can't figure out where it is going.

One session of 4-8 was a real killer. It was one of those game where one guy bets crazy and wins over and over. He walked about up about $800 after betting and raising anything and everything, winning hands with just a pair on the river. Mostly he won because other people had poor hands. However, when he did have good cards he might check raise for added value. Without that one session I would not be down much. It cost me over $300.

Dealers were friendly. Some were very beautiful. One pretty Asian girl named Kelly's face took my attention off the game for half an hour. She was beautiful to watch and it made it easier to be patient.

Some of the floor were very good. Todd especially was aggressive about solving any issue. Cheerfully he helped people with any discomfort. One fellow seemed dysfunctional. Once there was a table spill and he came when called and did not seem able to see the spill or act to clean it up. I wanted to say,

"See that red stuff covering this fellow's chips and money and a good part of the table? Well, that is the spill." but I just waited.

At Foxwoods such a spill would cause the table to be shut down.

Many of the workers are new. I cashed in chips four times and three times they got the amount wrong. I'd be very careful to know exactly how much you have when you go up.

the 1-2 no limit had a $300 max so I only stayed a few minutes and never went back. I liked it that they had a $3-$6 game with $3 chips. That is my favorite game. I like the low dollar small blind and the larger pots. However, it did attract better players so I often moved back to the 2-4 where looser folks would pay me off.

I liked the feel of the silver snake skin styled padding around the table, but there were no places for drinks. They had a few plastic cup holders, but never very many. That is always frustrating. The chairs were very comfortable.

Both Mohegan and Foxwoods have swiping now at the table and keep track of people when they leave the table. This reduces the comps a bit, but it keeps players from leaving as often and I like that. In neither place did I experience very long waits until tables filled.

Because they are new, the dealers did not know the finer rules of the game and often made mistakes around issues like when someone could enter the game and how much they needed to post.

Still, I think that if I drive again, I will go to Mohegan rather than Foxwoods. The 4-8 at Foxwoods is just a bit too high stakes for hours of play and there are two blinds.

Mohegan bathrooms were much closer than Foxwoods although both places have good access.
Foxwoods had more established regulars. Mohegan draws in players better because it is close to the rest of the casino and people see it and decided to try a bit of poker.

However, most players could play well. There were very few maniacs. Even few Greg like aggressive bettors.


I did not have very many memorable hands. At one table I held pocket 6's which went to a full house on the river. Another player who was also named Dewey held a 3-8 and he caught 3's full on the river. He reraised me and I raised again to take a nice pot.

I folded pocket aces twice and pocket kings twice.

I made one fellow so mad he left the table because I raised my 8-9 on the button with everyone in and flopped a straight. He put me on high cards and paid me well based on my raise. I love that play. I told him, "I just felt lucky" but actually I find that it is a good play if everyone is in and there are no preflop reraisers especially after I have played a while and I am seen a tight. Rarely does the raise no get called for the one extra dollar all around, and when it catches, it pays. Often if I have a draw after the flop, I get a free card because folks with good cards are waiting for me to bet before they raise. If after four cards I have not caught my straight or flush I can usually throw the hand away having spent just $2 more for it. If I catch on the river, good players will bet their two pair in to my hand and be surprised when I raise and beat them. That is was happened to the fellow who got mad. Poker players often get mad when you don't play inside the box that they almost think of as rules of the game.

My worst fold was 5-3 on the river with 5-5-3 flopping. It would not have paid me much. I did not see too many of my folded rags develop into winners. In the 4-8 game I got rivered many times but players who should have been out of the hands. That cost me a good bit of my losses.

I don't think I played poorly too often. Most of the poor plays were simply one bet mistakes. For example, in the last game I had Q-10 for 2 pair against an opponent who had shown strength in first position before the flop. The river paired the board. He checked and I bet. He called with A-6 two pair. Had I better noted his position, I would have checked.

In the aggressive 4-8 game I might be in too long simply because the aggressors sometimes bluffed and the pot odds were very high. I bluffed four times, betting on the river with nothing after missing good draws. I won three of those and never showed. Twice the other fellow talked about what he had, and had me beat. Perhaps I need to bet out more often when I know I am beat but the other fellow seems weak.

My worst folded hand was an A-8 when betters looked strong on a flopped ace but no one had one.A guy bet into me and there were three behind me, so I folded. They all called and showed at the end. Most had kings.

Except for losing money, it was a fine trip.

More trip report narration and some great photos of places I ate in Groton where I stayed are posted on the Pokerbluegill board.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Slaughter in Schenectady

Well, Greg just must have Xray vision as he fleeced us all. He must have made a record amount of cash this week. My loses were $130 and there is no reason to think he did not take every cent.

Well, good game Greg.

I'll be back to get you next week.

I can't remember any of the hands, so I guess the other fellas were have to post details. I know generally I was not beat on the river, just beat. One river gut shot I drew against Bill raised the hackles on his old Delmar head, but for the rest of the afternoon I was just getting snookered and it was not from drawing for the gut shots either. The couple times I had good cards that would have won, most folded and it wasn't because I bet too much. They just did not have anything.
I took Greg down on only one decent hand when My A-9 two pair beat his smaller two pair.

We played until 3:30 and then folks cashed in, rebought and played again. I lost $80 in the first session and $50 in the second.


Greg reports the game after I left:

Nothing like good cards AND luck! You remember in the first couple of hands yesterday when Peter caught the 7 on the river and bested me -- that was lucky because all I had was $10. From there it was all uphill. With good cards coming it makes a bluffer like me even stronger.
Now, why I write: second to the last hand yesterday -- only me and Bill left -- he pushed a big bet in at the turn, I fold my pair of sevens and he shows that he's on an Ace "nut" flush only needing another heart on the river, which he missed. Next hand, me and Bill left, a lot of money in the pot, after the turn (the 8) he pushes in a very big bet -- the board shows 6, 8,9,10. One reason there's a lot of money in the pot is that I'm holding a 9,10. I think about it quite a while and finally decide, "it won't really hurt to make Bill's day" so I call. A 10 comes on the river! I push the rest of my money in saying, "I gotcha!" (Bill did have the 7!). Game ended!!!
Have a good (and lucky) day, Gregg

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Turning Stone with Chuckmonk

Charlie and I had a fine time at Turning Stone. I lost money. He made money.
His win was directly related to his patience and good play. He has been reading books about the game and unlike my reading, he is able to actually apply even the mathematics he reads to the game.

He did make some careless mistakes. Once he turned over his trip aces before the last opponent had decided to call and it may have cost him one bet. Another time he tossed in his big blind hand of J-2 but it did not muck, so the dealer gave it back to him. By the turn Charlie had trip jacks and won the hand. He gets caught in that mistake easily, but that won't last as he plays more times.

When we first go there, I could not get on a 3-6, so I played in the seat next to Charlie in the 2-4 game and caught plenty of great hands. I sat to the left of the dealer and the guy to his right was a habitual raiser so I started to reraise whenever that was in my advantage. After a while I did teach him not to just automatically raise, but in the reraised hands, I made money. My best hand was pocket sixes. He raised and I rereaised. It flopped a six, turned a queen and rivered yet another queen. One fellow called me with trips. I was full.

Before we went the the Savoy in Rome for supper I was ahead by $66.

When I go back there was a new 3-6 opening and charlie could not get on a 2-4 so he decided to play at the new table for a while. He liked it so well, he never went to the 2-4. Again he sat right to my left, so we could talk and have a good time.
I only know one hand that put us head to head at the turn. I folded so I don't know what he had.
In general, I may have played too loose, but I also just did not get cards, and when I did, I was really unlucky. My pair of deuces caught trips on the flop and two bettors. One bettor drew a gut shot straight. I raised my pocket pair of Aces after a regular raiser made the first raise with K-Q. Everyone folded. One guy turned over his cards by accident. One card was a king so the initial raiser then folded and did not call my reraise. I had managed to isolate him, but the exposure of the folded cards discouraged him.

Most of the players were fairly good. A couple were too loose. One guy called me twice when he should not have called. He surprised me both times. I had not put him on calling down.

My favorite hand was right after I lost with trip deuces. A guy with two pair complained bitterly about the other fellow calling and getting the gut shot wheel. The table was annoyed with him. He left. I had K-X diamonds and flop was A-X-X diamonds. I had flopped in middle position the nut flush. Now I had not played much in a while and I had been complaining a bit to Charlie. A guy before me raised. I had to either reraise or just call. Calling was the right move. Instead I pretended that I was totally annoyed with this hand and on tilt. I reraised. It worked and everyone in that hand called around. Most also called me on the turn and the river in spite of no more diamonds coming. I suspect they put me on a pair of kings.

However, most of the night I just got sucked dry with rag cards. And any good cards were quickly beaten.

Toward midnight I was quite a bit down, but the nut diamond flush hand and a couple others brought me back a bit. I think they were very surprised to see me win. I had become invisible at the table.