Friday, August 31, 2007
Sports, biscuits and oil
I was wearing my red Mirage T-shirt mainly for high visibility as I walked down the busy Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to the diner from the dealership and the friendly service clerk always strikes up a conversation about Vegas when I come in.
This time he had been to the Mirage and had done pretty well at some table games so decided to play $10 slots. I believe he said he lost money.
Was able to catch the last two Taylor Caby Cardrunners videos yesterday and I really put it to work last night in 3 tables. In one, a toaster was unwilling to part with his last $5.61 for a $42 pot that was a total river bluff by me. In another, I had TP and was raised. I 3-bet it to $30 and that was that.
I'll be like Fuel here and say that if you're not a Cardrunners subscriber and watching the videos regularly, you're way behind in the knowledge of the game and are hurting yourself when it comes to moving up in limits because you can see good strategies to play and how higher limit players act. The CR offense should be in your toolbox. (Referral is "kurokitty" btw, lololololol).
With football, it's time for the SEC Seer, a pretty astute assemblage of SEC football picks. The seer last year was 61 percent against the spread, which anyone will tell you ranks up there with the pros (the Seer doesn't bet on his picks).
I'm pretty interested in the Tennessee-California game and Oklahoma State-Georgia.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Cat is my co-pilot
I had a busy day and a short window to meet him, so I drove out to the pet crematory in Decatur, Ga., to pick up ol' kitty and then drove directly out OTP to meet up with Surf. I felt more centered with the cat with me again. (He later was placed with the remains of his littermate, Lahaina, in a special box on my bookshelf, I'm not still driving around with him. lol)
At least then the weather was perfect for driving. A really nice driving day. (Right now i'ts pretty dark and rainy out).
I hope he does well -- I have a piece of his action when he'll play in a few WSOP Circuit tournaments.
I'm constantly debating whether it's better to just stay at home and play online or travel distances to play in Vegas or Tunica. Right now, at least, I'm content with playing at home.
I can play anytime and don't have to worry about taking time to get to a particular place and don't have the overhead of hotel rooms, plane tickets, gasoline, rental cars, etc.
That said, it's exciting to play in new venues and collect chips, or to meet up with old pals.
With cards, without cat
I get a sick feeling in my stomach but I have KK88 and have to call.
Josh turns over a straight, giving me a nice win on the last hand in tonight's game and the Lookout shirt brings home a win (4-0).
It was a nice evening with some good turnout but judging by the bottles, we didn't drink as much as we usually do. LOL.
My other noteworthy hand was being dealt 9, 7, 5, 3, 2 in 2-7 Triple Draw early in play. I raised from the beginning and stayed pat. Doug had a nice drawing hand and ended up being all in -- with a 9-7-6. I would have scooped the entire pot but Josh had an 8-5 for the smaller main pot.
I played a few hands on the new Bodog site during our live, $5 game and it's just as fishy as always. I had to make a decision for all my chips in a hand where I had QQ and board was 893x7. I kept betting it out, the toaster kept calling and tried to bluff re-raise me all in on the river. There were too many chips in the pot so I called, only to see his A3 for ace-high and my queens held up. LOL.
It was nice to have people around the place and I'm pretty sure Clonie always enjoys the human company. The second day without Kuro hasn't been as hard as the first but I kept looking around as if I'd see the rascally kitty somewhere around here.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Kitty cat ressurection
kewlakdude: go kitty!!!
kewlakdude: okay, now we're talking!!!
kewlakdude: nice hand
kurokitty: tx kewl
kewlakdude: u folks from atlanta know how to play it
kewlakdude: r u sure it isn't atlantic city
kewlakdude: instead of atlanta, lol
Cat had 25o on button
Brazil, it's your turn. You have 10 seconds to act
HowCreative, it's your turn. You have 10 seconds to act
HowCreative, it's your turn. You have 5 seconds to act
callmeplze, it's your turn. You have 10 seconds to act
callmeplze, it's your turn. You have 5 seconds to act
$16.75 is not called, return back to HowCreative
callmeplze shows a Pair, Aces
HowCreative shows High Card, Queen
HowCreative shows a Pair, Fours
kurokitty shows a Straight, Six high
callmeplze shows Two Pair, Aces and Fours
kurokitty wins side pot($44.52)
kurokitty wins main pot($235.48)
callmeplze is sitting out
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Breaking news (Bodog)
We are currently experiencing difficulties with our domain name and I wanted to let you know that until the issue is resolved we are directing all customers to an alternate site with little or no interruption to Bodog services.
Bottom line: you can play at Bodog right now. Everything you see will be the same as what you are used to and well resolve any minor glitches shortly.
The problem is the direct result of a dispute over the ownership of the Bodog.com domain name. We are doing everything we can to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. In the meantime, other than the change in URL, it is business as usual.
I dont want anything to interrupt your play so please visit www.newbodog.com and continue to play hard. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
Calvin Ayre, Bodog Founder
Monday, August 27, 2007
Dodging bullets in early
Hard to let this go, but when you're beat, you're beat.
-Jennifer Harman, in Full Tilt Poker commercial
My win in Tunica easily could have been a result way in the loss column, especially when I had AA and KK cracked twice.
Most of those times involved a cat out of position and that really shows how hard it is to act correctly when there is a player behind you.
At the Horseshoe, I raised with KK to $15 in early position at a NL$1/3 table and immediately got it jacked up to $65 by a young guy who was breathing heavily.
I totally wanted to fold but couldn't fold KK preflop. So I called.
I checked in the dark. A Q-high flop came out.
"I'm all-in. I don't need the flop," he said.
So it was an easy fold. I winced when he turned over the cards because I was sure I would be looking at AK. But two aces were on the table.
Dude just saved me a bunch of money.
Something similar happened at the Gold Strike. I raised in the big blind with AA and got called by a solid player behind the button. Flop was 9QQ and I continuation bet it. He called but put out a $100 stack on the turn when I checked.
There's really nothing I can do here. A queen is not out of line here. A bluff is not out of line here. You're not in good position, so you can't really play.
Sham mentioned he hit a set against me at the Gold Strike. It was a weird play for me because I raised with AA in early and on the flop when I fired out the continuation bet, he comes over the top with a 3x bet on what seemed to me was an uncoordinated board.
I felt like he was trying to be nice to tell me he had a big hand but a cat in the same shoes would have called the flop bet and then maybe raised on the turn after the preflop raiser fires out the second bullet. And an aggressive cat will always fire out a second bullet if he feels like he still has the best hand. It's the CR offense.
Good hands can turn to dust easily, especially in early position. Don't be surprised, though. The money I saved by not calling meant money I didn't have to make up later on and allowed me to leave Tunica with profit for the seventh time out of nine trips.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Mega Millions update
It's the first time in 16 $1 tries dating back to Feb. 24, 2006 ($203M drawing) that I've actually won anything.
Has anyone ever looked at the Mega Millions odds? It's such highway robbery.
To win $3, your chances are 1 in 141. To win $150, your chances are 1 in 13,781. To win $10K, you have a 1 in 689,065 chance.
Those odds may drive people to casino gambling, like Blackjack (.05 percent house edge), or Pai Gow Poker (2.73 percent house edge).
Back from Tunica
Cat is happy to report that the trip was a profitable one (5-2) this year, up more than 6 buy-ins in 7 trips (Tunica 2-0, Las Vegas 2-2, Kansas City 1-0). The SPAM shirt put up some good numbers but was rated No Decision because I didn't play enough to count for a win last night.
Sham's initial trip report is here.
Unhappy to report that we got significant grief from the poker room supervisor at the Horseshoe(Dark Side Harrah's) before we left. We both played there the night before and asked for a meal comp and she told us that she wanted to see us play first for the day. We explained that we had played the night before and got gruffness.
I can understand them wanting to make sure people play before doling out freebies. But Sham and I ALWAYS play there. And when I wasn't playing at the poker room, I was gambling it up at Paigow poker.
So we went to the AWESOME competitor, Gold Strike (MGM Mirage) and got our meal with no problem.
I mean, we played at both places and previously asked and received comps at both places.
But if you ask me, go play at the Gold Strike. Give them some love. lololololololol
POKER CATS NOTEBOOK: I went running this morning over to Bally's Tunica and found out that they have two of the electronic table poker machines and spread .50/$1 NLHE. So if anyone's looking for a smaller NL game than the typical NL$1/2 at the Gold Strike. (I forget what the Horseshoe spreads since they were rude). lolololol
Saturday, August 25, 2007
NEXT UP: SPAM (1-2)
Tunica -- Guessers are losers
But I'm not so sure she was.
She was making a habit of betting big pre-flop -- $25, then $30 and finally even $40 in the cutoff when this big burly guy called her.
Burly guy had sat down with $1,000 in chips. Only thing is it's $300 max. So the dealer told him he had to put some away.
Flop comes with a K and two clubs. He checks to her, she bets big (because she superinflated the size of the pot already to nearly a quarter of her stack) and he pushes all-in. She calls.
Turn is an 8, river is a blank. He flips over K8s (clubs) for two pair.
If she didn't have a set, I'm not sure what she could have that would give her "15 to 1" against a monster draw -- top pair plus the flush draw. She could be looking at 15 outs, twice, or if she has AK, maybe 11 outs twice.
After I played at the Horseshoe, I went to the Gold Strike and was at a table where this black guy kept getting his TP destroyed by RPGs. It was really sick.
That also happened to an Asian guy at the 'Strike during the graveyard shift. He had no idea when to let go of his hand in a table that was often crazy to be in. I stuck around because it was fun -- this 23-year-old kid was like a young Amarillo Slim, keeping the table lively and making people guess at his holdings. And like Slim says, "Guessers are losers." If you don't have a good handle on what you could be up against or how well your hand may hold up, you need to be getting out of it.
Young Slim and this really elderly but lively guy -- he had to be 80 -- kept on getting into pots and winning with third and fourth pair. Finally I put the guy out of his misery -- he pushed all in for $34 with Presto, and voila! I had AA.
POKER CATS NOTEBOOK: It seems like some limits have been placed on the nearly unlimited food comp policies both the Gold Strike and Horseshoe have had in the past. The Horse refused to let us get a comp for the buffet because it was Friday evening, so we went to the 'Strike, which only let us get a single comp for the seafood buffet.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Tunica- early update
Next up: Sabre-Toothed Lime (2-0).
The Shammie sendoff
It was a pretty good crowd, me, Matt, Ben, Josh, Sham, Brain Mc and Surf. I was down for the third session in a row in the minors, about a buy-in and a half (MGM, 0-2) and if there was a place lower than the minors to relegate my shirt, I would. But I chased too much and limped too much, especially in Omaha pots.
About the only hand I won was the Indian poker hand of the night, when I re-raised Sham's $2 flop bet all-in, getting Brain Mc to fold his 89s with a flop of Q8x, two hearts. I could tell Sham didn't have it with his T3o. He thought and thought for a while but folded.
It's good to have Low Stakes Poker again and I could tell that even Kuro liked it- he sought out the game for the second time in a row and even watched it from within one of the cubbyholes of my smaller Expedit (Ikea) bookshelf.
I hope we continue to have our little $5 buy-in games and I'm hoping that the more often the Arena is able to call a game that has enough people to play, the more likely people will continue to come to play.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A partner in cards
To my mistakes, to my mistakes of cowardice/
She shimmy shakes, the Jimmy Jakes of consequence/
Born of the airs and dues, my airs of madness do declare/
That it's ok...
Winning isn't everything, but it sure is nice! - Casino Arizona postcard
I'm ending the day on a good note, although I got lit up like the Baltimore Orioles (who lost 30-3 to the Texas Rangers) in two games of online gin rummy with K Rose. It's the second time in four days that we've been able to play (last night I was playing poker online and would have played if she had told me to), and it's fun learning a new card game.
It's interesting looking at how I'm developing in the game compared to how people develop poker skills. When I played earlier this week, I was apt to chase 2- and 3-outers to try to fill my three of a kinds or straight flush melds. I would pull exposed discards without completing a meld.
This time around I tried to be more careful, I recorded on a piece of paper which cards had been exposed, which cards she took from the exposed deck and tried to limit my losses by not having face cards near the end of a game.
I still lost, but it's ok. It could be a cool routine to get into. I am so glad we're not playing for money. LOL.
In poker, tonight I came back, winning back the money I lost in the previous night's bad beat rampage, basically on a couple hands where people went all-in with nothing, including a hand in which a flush draw was possible on the river, similar to a recent CC hand. It's not always a given that the person has the mortal nuts and you really have to think through the hand. You also have to consider how large the pot is and how profitable failure will be (how many times you need to win these kinds of questionable calls to show a profit).
It was like standing at the top of the rock at Waimea Bay and not wanting to jump.
Sometimes you have to jump. I did this time around and found the toaster had nothing and just gave away a precious buy-in.
I'm sorta getting ready for the Tunica trip on Friday, can't wait. The other day I found a postcard from January 2000 that my folks sent me from Casino Arizona, back when postcard stamps were 20 cents.
Like their motto, winning isn't everything -- but it sure is nice.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
A little redemption
But I had a little redemption. I called a 3-bettor pf and flopped a set, check raised him when he bet 1/4 pot, he goes all in .. with A4o, nothing but the Eilert and a gutshot wheel draw.
And my set held up. W00t!
Talk about some Fuel luck
At least it was low limits. And now, I can't fucking wait for my turn.
Why I love my job (Hiwassee, Ga.)
It is green like no place I've seen since I lived in southern Oregon and you can tell that the air is fresh up here.
On the drive up, I passed through Helen, which has lots of touristy fake Bavarian-style buildings. There would never be any way I would want to visit here, I thought.
Being in an urban, rebellious mood, I cranked up T.I. as I rode through town and hoped I would get pulled over for breaking the tourist peace.
But then, the road leading out toward the North Carolina is nearly canopied by lush, green trees. It is two lane and windy, nearly perfect for cycling. And it leads up to Brasstown Bald, which professional cyclists ride up each year in the Tour de Georgia and a climb that even Lance Armstrong has vouched as ranking up there with the ones in European races.
Right now I'm eating at Smoke Rings, BBQ, which locals have told our reporters is the best place to eat in town, and I'm mowing through some nicely prepared brisket and pork.
I'd love to ride the Brasstown Bald stretch by the end of the year and next time news happens, I'll be fighting the other reporters to come back.
Punk hand of the day
Full Tilt Poker Game #3316685061: Table Chandler Mews - $0.05/$0.10 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:27:25 ET - 2007/08/21
Seat 2: PaulDET ($4.95)
Seat 3: Sebastian MG ($4.35)
Seat 7: kurokitty ($9.75)
PaulDET posts the small blind of $0.05
Sebastian MG posts the big blind of $0.10
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [7s Ts]
kurokitty raises to $0.35
PaulDET calls $0.30
Sebastian MG folds
*** FLOP *** [6c 7h Th]
kurokitty bets $0.80
PaulDET has 15 seconds left to act
PaulDET raises to $1.90
kurokitty raises to $9.40, and is all in
PaulDET calls $2.70, and is all in
kurokitty shows [7s Ts]
PaulDET shows [Kh Kc]
Uncalled bet of $4.80 returned to kurokitty
*** TURN *** [6c 7h Th] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [6c 7h Th 7c] [3h]
kurokitty shows a full house, Sevens full of Tens
PaulDET shows two pair, Kings and Sevens
kurokitty wins the pot ($9.50) with a full house, Sevens full of Tens
PaulDET is sitting out
kurokitty is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $10 | Rake $0.50
Board: [6c 7h Th 7c 3h]
Seat 2: PaulDET (small blind) showed [Kh Kc] and lost with two pair, Kings and Sevens
Seat 3: Sebastian MG (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: kurokitty (button) showed [7s Ts] and won ($9.50) with a full house, Sevens full of Tens
Monday, August 20, 2007
The airline's having a competition in which teams try to make the best travel destination video. You have to watch each round of it and then vote. (I just let the videos run while doing something else). A former Japan teaching alumni, John Crow, is in one of the videos, so I just voted for him at the end.
You get 250 miles for each round (next rounds are early and mid-September) and a 1,000 mile bonus if you vote three of the four rounds.
Here's the link.
Sham's birthday trip (Tunica bound)
Have to make sure he's full of Horseshoe Steakhouse porterhouse on the drive home (Sunday is his birthday).
Means his FISHRABOT tourney likely will be delayed a week, but no matter.
The Mayor of Sham's Town has to see his constituents.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
A pretty good day
I raised in a six-max game with A8s. I flopped a gutshot str8 draw with a flop of 965 and as per Fuel rules, bet it out. I get one caller.
A 7 of spades comes on the turn, giving me the str8 and the possibility of a flush.
The river is the 9 of spades, giving the possibility of runner-runner flush.
No way could I fold, I thought, since the all-in didn't make sense. It would be quite a value bet if he just called me with a set.
Turned out I was looking at trip 9s. I scooped up the Bocat pot.
Today was pretty decent in other areas -- I went 5-3 in MLB betting, including the Diamondbacks over the Braves and Kansas City at Oakland, after finding out that KC rules Oakland in road games.
Later in the day K Rose taught me how to play gin rummy online. I was playing while reading the rules on wikipedia as I went along. She won the first match to 100 points; I won the second. Hopefully I learned correctly.
The grudge match is on! We'll have to play for money next time. Love the Internet.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Blind man's bluff
Of course, I have no idea what I have but looking at everyone's high cards, I feel like no one has hit the board of 234. It's bet out. I call, Doug calls, Josh folds and reacts to seeing his AK like it's electricity.
The turn is a 3, pairing the board. Matt bets it out, I raise to $4. Doug folds. And Matt is now all-in with his T7o.
It doesn't usually get called too much but when it does, I love Indian poker as a way to practice gauging the strength of hands and reads.
I usually start by thinking that my hand is a random hand, like J3o. I look at everyone's cards but do not look at them a second time. Sometimes multiple looks at your cards can be the tell you need to know that your hand is a monster. Or is not.
J3, if that's what my hand is, so crushes T7o that it's not even funny.
So I call for about $14 more. I find I'm way in the lead with K9o.
River is a 7, so I lose the pot to Matt's pair. But with a $12.32 positive expectation for calling when I'm way ahead, I'll make that bet every time.
POKER CATS' NOTEBOOK: Last night's game was the first host in a few months for me. Ended up down $1.50 (Rue21 0-1) for the evening; I came back after Matt's Indian win by making runner-runner flush with the "machine gun" flop in reverse-flop Omaha High against Ben. Kuro, who's normally shy, came out to see the crew playing poker and the new room set up really seemed to work out well.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Hundreds in my sleep? (The return of Cat Moneymaker)
Done And Done
posted by Absinthe | 5:00 AM
Five-way chop that gave me just shy of $25K. Exhausted, going to sleep until I wake up and then decide whether to play today’s event.
I have a feeling that I just made $1,200 in my sleep. Gnome and I chopped a piece of Cat Moneymaker's tournament series at the Commerce Casino this month.
This is the same Cat Moneymaker who moneyed in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event and won about $120K at a Commerce event earlier that year. Blog posts here.
It couldn't have come at a better time. Plus the dude still has a bunch of other tourneys to go. In greedy talk, Cat Moneymaker had told me there was another 10 percent share of the expensive tourneys available, but I had already agreed to chop with Gnome and didn't pick up that share. Just think Gnome and I could be sitting on 10 percent each of 25K!
As if to drive the point home, at about the same time as this discovery, I flopped a set on an all-green board of clubs. I bet it out in the 5-max game, got instantly raised all-in.
Hesitantly I called, only to see the green Q7 staring me in the face.
No matter, the turn was a 2, pairing the board and that's all she wrote.
People have said that I'm serious about playing poker. This should clearly show it's good to be serious when the money is free.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
A good nickname
Cat: It's an ice cream lunch today.
K Rose: Are you sick?
Cat: I'm not 100 percent for work, but 150 percent for ice cream.
K Rose: Story of my life.
So how long have I known K Rose? She tells me tonight that her nickname from college is KK, for some obscure reason.
To me it's cowboys. Krispy Kreme. The second-best starting hand in poker.
KK it is, then.
Hello sloppy quad
Full Tilt Poker Game #3266473651: Table Oakpoint (6 max) - $0.05/$0.10 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:26:04 ET - 2007/08/16
Seat 1: LCSChronicKiD ($7.95)
Seat 2: Rongbuk ($8.25)
Seat 3: dfjhgdfjghdfjkh ($12.15)
Seat 4: johnnienaked ($9.55)
Seat 5: kiloali ($9.85)
Seat 6: kurokitty ($9.65)
kurokitty posts the small blind of $0.05
LCSChronicKiD posts the big blind of $0.10
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to kurokitty [6s 6d]
Rongbuk raises to $0.30
johnnienaked calls $0.30
kurokitty calls $0.25
LCSChronicKiD calls $0.20
*** FLOP *** [4h Qd 6c]
Rongbuk bets $6
kurokitty raises to $9.35, and is all in
Rongbuk calls $1.95, and is all in
kurokitty shows [6s 6d]
Rongbuk shows [Jc Qs]
Uncalled bet of $1.40 returned to kurokitty
*** TURN *** [4h Qd 6c] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [4h Qd 6c 6h] [9c]
kurokitty shows four of a kind, Sixes
Rongbuk shows two pair, Queens and Sixes
kurokitty wins the pot ($15.40) with four of a kind, Sixes
Rongbuk is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $17.10 | Rake $1.70
Board: [4h Qd 6c 6h 9c]
Seat 1: LCSChronicKiD (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: Rongbuk showed [Jc Qs] and lost with two pair, Queens and Sixes
Seat 3: dfjhgdfjghdfjkh didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: johnnienaked folded on the Flop
Seat 5: kiloali (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: kurokitty (small blind) showed [6s 6d] and won ($15.40) with four of a kind, Sixes
Monday, August 13, 2007
kurokitty, it's your turn. You have 10 seconds to act
BigBallz4 shows a Pair, Aces
BigBallz4 shows Three of a Kind, Aces
kurokitty shows Royal Flush
ATHENS, Ga. -- Kurokitty hits his royal flush (diamonds) of the year at Bocat with KQs, drawing out against AK TPTK to knock out a toaster.
Too bad this didn't happen yesterday at a Vegas high hand table.
Let's go get lunch
And so am I, in the waiting area of the University of Georgia's Small Animal Teaching Hospital.
I have 88 in MP in a full-ring table at Bocat. Three players play.
Flop is 2KK. I bet it out, LP calls.
Turn is 7. I check. LP checks.
River is an 8. Meow! I go all-in. Toaster calls.
Like I said, time for lunch.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Vegas -- The price of poker has gone up
K Rose: hahaha i have to work for my money and you play for your moeny
life's not fair
LAS VEGAS -- So it's the afternoon at Bally's and I look down at something that looks funny in the rake drop.
It's a red chip.
It seems that Bally's Las Vegas, or maybe its parent company, Harrah's, has decided to break the uneasy truce of rake in the city -- in most places, including Bally's sister casino, Flamingo, it's $4 max rake.
This is $5 max rake plus a $1 jackpot drop. That's $6 max each hand, or about .60 per player per hand. Estimate 30 hands an hour, you're going to have to beat paying $18 an hour just to beat the NL$1/2 game.
I hadn't even thought about whether the NL$1/2 game is winnable in the long-term, no matter how many donkeys play in the game. Even at the previous $4 max rake plus $1 drop, maybe it isn't.
I'm at the airport right now, closing out a (slightly) winning trip. The Biscuits shirt (4-1) performed well last night among the ubercrowds at MGM and Excalibur. For the third straight outing, SPAM (1-2) never really got it going and I almost blew all of my profit for the trip this afternoon at MGM.
Maybe the shirt's age is showing. I think you'll see it have a middle reliever role on future trips and certainly some appearances in the minors.
Downtown Las Vegas report: Binion's has been spruced up with nice looking felt on the blackjack tables and rugs around it. There are nice colorized pictures of the old days of gambling on the walls, giving it a Golden Nugget kind of sophistication.
In the poker room, they've moved the ugly ceremonial final table of the former Horseshoe where the Gallery of Champions (pictures of World Series of Poker champions) used to be. The table is really ugly and should be placed somewhere else.
On the wall to the left of the check in desk where that final table used to be, they've made a good decision and installed a gift shop.
The old budget hotel/casino off Freemont -- Lady Luck -- is closed, hopefully for renovation. I couldn't believe it.
And twice on the trip there were these young guys at the table who looked like the Asian -- and male -- equivalent of Brigid the Bruiser. It really creeped me out.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Vegas -- Notebook
Since my last post, I saw Floyd Mayweather talk about how boxers should be paid more than promoters, I saw Don King in an American flag suit speak stream of consciousness about boxing and race, I flopped a Fuel hand at Bally's- nut Broadway but lost to a flush draw while still in my convention clothes, I changed into the 15-game winner Sabre Toothed Lime shirt (2-0) and made at Excalibur all of the money back that I lost at Bally's in two hands to put me ahead again for the trip, I heard a woman who looked like a modern Calamity Jane say, "I can't go to dinner -- I'm stuck," I watched a +140 bet on the Braves go from good value to nothing when the Phillies went ahead in the seventh, I thought I damaged the undercarriage of my rental but now don't think so and I parked at Main Street Station a quarter mile away from The Plaza's lot because they seem a lot safer.
And I'm going to bed.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Vegas -- Goodbye yellow brick road
So goodbye yellow brick road/
where the dogs of society howl...
LAS VEGAS -- Today I started out running from the Plaza through the covered Freemont Street Experience and never looked back.
I passed near the fantastic old Neon signs -- one a giant Aladdin lamp and another the famous cowboy on horse that's on Las Vegas Boulevard -- and made my way toward the El Cortez.
That block is undergoing a kind of revitalization -- it's called "Freemont Street East" and there are some new, giant neon pieces there, one being a huge ruby slipper.
I kept going, eventually coming up to the Western Hotel and Casino, which our news organization wrote about, describing it as a place for the down and out. I just noticed seniors.
Trotting along, there are lots of motels on this street. Not sure who the segment is who stays here. Love the names -- Desert Moon, Blue Angel. Another motel lists "Free XXX movies" as a draw.
It's apparent I'm not on the yellow brick road of The Strip, the glittering baseball stadiums of gambling and excess, lust and greed.
I made my way through an old lot, filled with twisted steel rods and glittered with broken glass which crunches underneath my Clone Trooper Nikes. My Maui Jims blunt the severe desert glare from the sun.
Is this the city where dreams come to die or are they reborn? Or is it a little of both?
I'm not sure how it happened, but amid it all, the four trips in four months, I've renewed my love of the city again. It's the only place I can think of that makes meeting up (or not lol) with a 23-year-old goddess magical.
I'm at home with the Chihuly sculptures in the newest of palaces along Baseball Stadium Row. But I also love seeing the faded pastels, the rusting neon signs of motels that make the 'Cortez look like the 'O.
It is both modern and post apocalyptic. There is luck and loss. It reminds me of Lil' Wayne lyrics:
The heart of New Orleans/
Thumpin' and beatin, living and breathin'/
Stealin' and feedin', peelin' and leavin'/
Killin' and grievin'
It's a city like no other. I have that kitty kat swagger as I walk through the streets, speed through the neon on The Strip and sit down with a stack of chips.
I love how my second city has become my city, my connection to my past, my hope for the future and you'll never see me more comfortable as when you see me here.
But damn! I practically need an IV when I finish my 4-mile run. It's hot out here. lol
Vegas -- hey, why you wanna go and do that?
The ball in yo' court man, but I just got a question for you-
Is you happy?
LAS VEGAS -- I don't usually ride people for poker moves, but I will rub it in if it's in my best interest.
Solid guy limp re-raises all in in the sb after the drunk bb raises at the MGM's NL$1/2. I had called the drunk guy's raise on the button with 68s.
It's 6 a.m. -- I was really hitting myself for falling asleep at about 10:15 p.m. and waking up after 5 a.m. -- missing the entire overnight shift.
So I guilted myself into driving to the Excalibur and onto the MGM.
Maybe it's tilt. The drunk guy flips over KK and scoops up the pot.
Disgusted, the solid guy turns over JTo.
"Why'd you do that?" I yell out to him as the busted man gets up to leave.
The flop: 68x. I would have totally felted the drunk guy. Still, I had a couple of good hands to keep me up for the trip -- JJ continuation bet against the drunk guy with overcards on the flop, T6 in the bb that quadded up on the turn against the solid guy with serious miasma problems.
"He's not usually like that, he's a regular player," the female dealer says, as if to imply that local gamblers are winning ones.
Um, even if it's a sandwich play, re-raising all in with JTo is a symptom of a serious leak. If I asked the solid player now, would he rather have his $200? Of course he would.
You have to have Poker Tracker to really see how costly the wrong moves are. If those wrong moves are emotional -- tilt, for example -- it's just as bad as trying to wring juice out of turnip cards.
But even if you don't have the technology, your wallet can provide you a clue.
Vegas -- work fun
But I do it anyway.
Our news organization had a reception at Margaritaville. I'd never been there. Schmoozing is never really my thing but I wanted to avoid the rush hour traffic back to The Plaza and decided in favor of free food.
I had just closed out a nice session at Bally's with a win for my middle reliever T-shirt Banana Republic-Hawaii (1-0). It was a situation in which I was in the two seat to the left of a guy who had flown up with his friend, a US Airways pilot, from North Carolina.
He knew nothing about poker, or very little, prompting me for the second time in two days to forego a regular meal and instead hit up the rice krispie treat/M&M diet from the nearby gift shop. I hit him up for some change with top two pair KJ versus his two pair (turned) K3. I then hit his friend for an overpair with KK.
I also finally won with AQ with TPTK versus a lady who was chasing with 66. Go figure.
After talking with a bunch of people, I finally found my boss' boss, who told me about bubbling out in a 2 a.m. NLHE tourney at Planet Hollywood. Later we back to Bally's and caught a bunch of parties up in the Skyview ballrooms of the hotel/casino.
Btw, a dealer told me that Bally's is the original location of the MGM Grand, which sustained a deadly fire in 1980.
Anyway, the parties are a lot like being back in college and touring frat houses. Or maybe more like the rooms the poker Web sites used to have prior to the UIGEA.
It was fun but it burned up practically my entire night shift.
But no matter.
"Have any good luck?," this friendly old man asks me as I made my way to Margaritaville.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm up for the trip," I say.
It's so nice to say.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Vegas -- About this high
Those who chase straights and flushes go home on Greyhound buses.LAS VEGAS -- It's really late and I'm suddenly starving but I don't want to take time away from the table.
I'm at Bally's and this bear of a black guy is raising it up with things like 84s, calling any kind of bet. He doubled up when he went all in with K8o, an OESD and a poor Asian guy to his left in the 3 seat had a set of Js.
This is what I'm in Las Vegas for.
It hasn't been too long ago that I was here but already the weather is nice and cool and not brutal like I remember it. They took out a lot of metal posts by the baggage claim at the airport so it looks really open now. It's like every time I'm here, something has changed.
The play hasn't, though. It's semi-crowded at the MGM Grand as I sit at a NL$1/2 table near midnight. There's a huge calling station and a lot of his peers at the table. He makes it $11 and five people, including myself, call.
Of course, it gets checked down out of fear something's going to happen. And it does. I make my Presto set on the river.
I bet it out, looking like I'm interested in my pair of fives. The calling station calls, and looks disgusted when I shout "Presto!" I know nobody knows what the fuck I'm saying.
Some guy to my right says "Presto! Changeo!" but that's about it.
I expend $15 later on a double gutshot against the calling station but do not hit.
After MGM, I make my way to Bally's to see if any of the black journalists are hitting up the tables. A few are, including the bear of a dude.
"It's my first time playing," he explains to the table after raising with 84s and catching trip 4s, busting this dude in the 1 Seat with 99.
In between a hand, I rush over to the gift shop and get a rice krispie treat and some M&Ms to tide me over so I don't lose a chance to felt the Big Guy. I come back, having missed a hand, and in the next one, it's over. Some Asian guy has top pair, busting out Big Guy's random hand. He gets up and walks away.
I cash out as well.
"Did you like it?" I ask the Big Guy.
"Normally I play about this" he says, finishing his sentence by raising his hand about seven feet off the floor.
I nod and walk off.
Still up a little for the trip so far, I call it a night. I finally make my way downtown to the Plaza (one of the cheapest hotels I can find to fit my reimbursement so my trip is free) at about 1:30 a.m. and sort of think about playing at nearby El Cortez just for laughs.
So far it's been an experience. I didn't know where to park, so I parked at the outdoor lot next to the Greyhound Bus station. All kinds of people hanging out on the sidewalk there. I just pretend like I'm walking by to catch a ride and hope my wallet doesn't get stolen. Whenever I see the Greyhound station I always think of the Horseshoe dealer's wisdom on straights and flushes.
I go inside the Plaza entrance, take an elevator to the third floor check-in. When I get to that floor, I notice the other elevator is broken down, there's a metal wastebin overturned in the middle of it with its gray sand for cigarettes all over the floor.
The check-in lobby oddly is decorated with balloons like prom night in a horror movie. The old fella behind the counter takes his time to process my reservation and I notice the wall behind him is filled with hundreds of slots to put room keys and messages in the old days. These are just dirty.
I finally get to my room, but not before going to the wrong one. The old man told me one floor, although when my key doesn't work I notice my information says another, 10 floors higher.
It's a large, clean room, but like many of the places I stay in, it's seen better days. Instantly I get suspicious, though. I've learned from experts that bedbugs like to hang out in the corners of a bed, tucked away.
I lift up the mattress slightly. It's clean, but I see something glossy deeper under the mattress.
It's Penthouse magazine. From January 2005.
I laugh and think that maybe El Cortez has nothing on this place.
Monday, August 06, 2007
The good Fuel vibes continue
Woops. Cat doubles up.
Also just got notified that my free first class upgrade to Las Vegas came through, two days before my flight.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Perhaps a good omen for Fuel
I also doubled up in another table on Bocat -- I flopped a str8 in the bb versus a sb raiser who flopped 2 pair with AQ. All the chips went in and doubled up.
And Escobar got an RBI in the 10th inning of the Braves game to win my bet!
Josh's inaugural game
Boy, it's far. But I liked going to prop a game since Josh has been to my place several times for cards.
Typical set up you'd find in home games across the country -- a well-loved felt table top over a round table, kitchen chairs, plastic coated paper cards with plastic chips. Perfect for a low-key evening.
I didn't win many hands, and was down just under a half buy-in (MGM 0-1), losing money in the minors for the first time since May 18.
I'm hopeful that means I won't lose money in Vegas coming up (Wednesday-Sunday)! LOL.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
The first evidence of that was when his KK was called with Ax, and of course an A hit.
I think he was ahead just about every time he was all-in, and yet bottomed out each time in near-Fuel fashion.
"Shamusow" also is a correct nickname for him now.
Cat did ok, lucking out in a O8 hand with bottom set that held out despite some wicked draws. I lost some of that back to Ben in another Omaha hand in which Ben was all in but I had enough odds to call with 10 outs twice. I hit my hand on the turn, a flush, but Ben made his boat on the river.
Oh, well. Cashed out a half buy-in, enough for the Lookouts shirt (3-0) to have a win.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
All I have is time
We still have to come here until November-December to finish out the treatment regimen but it's not too bad.
Except when you have to wait 6 hours for the kitty.
Let's see...I went running, ate at Waffle House, used a free waffle coupon from the Peachtree 10K, showered at the teaching hospital, drove out, checked out running shorts ($27!?) at a New Balance store, went to Wal-Mart and bought four folding chairs for the poker table (Susanne has recommended I get rid of my four random chairs), dropped off a box of VHS tapes and books at a Goodwill trailer, came back, played on Bodog and made my sportsbets for the day and ...
now I'm outside the Creamery, having polished off a double-scoop cone of Moose Tracks.
Maybe I need to go running again. LOL.
In other news, I'm glad to see a proliferation of games proffered by the crew -- Sham, Josh and Drew are all clamoring for the weekend mix.
This is a good thing. I'm almost ready myself to host.