|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Michigan Poker Blogger Crossover Game II
Last night, yours truly was kind enough to host another in the series of Blogger Home Game Tournaments for the State of Michigan. Having already played once with, and lost all my chips to fellow Poker Blogger Lord Geznikor, I was anxious for a little revenge.
We had eight players, each with a $20 buy-in (for $1125 in chips - same value as a sleeve of plastic Hoyle chips), and drew for position. The seating assignments were as follows:
Seat One: Your Humble Host, BG
Seat Two: Ray, Bob's relatively unseasoned friend
Seat Three: JH, a regular at our usual home game
Seat Four: M, my little brother
Seat Five: Gil, of the LG and Gil Traveling Road Show
Seat Six: JS, another of our regular home game players, who has played Gil and LG previously
Seat Seven: LG
Seat Eight: Bob, my other little brother
Action got real serious in the first twenty minutes when JS and Gil butted heads in a big pot. JS drew to a second-best hand when a KJ7 flop brought him top two pair. Somehow he took Gil for a chump and pushed all-in. Gil gladly took the bait, as he was sitting on pocket 7s, and knocked JS out, which brought this dilemma...
Rebuy? We put it to a vote, and decided we'd allow rebuys for the first two hours, and let JS come back in for another $20 (still with $1125 in chips).
So within the first two hours, six of the eight players (everyone except Gil and M) managed to push all-in, lose their chips, and stake the pot with another $20. That put $280 in the pot, and we decided to offer third place $20, second place $40, and give $220 to the winner.
After nailing JS on that early all-in, and taking a few other minor pots along the way, Gil had put himself in a fairly commanding chip position. However, JS had managed to take the remaining stacks off at least two of us that were desperate to lose our $500-$800 in order to rebuy by 930PM, and had put himself right up there with Gil in contention. M was also acquitting himself nicely, and had probably close to twice his buy-in in front of him once we closed the rebuy option at the table.
At the bottom of the leaderboard at this point were probably JH, LG, and Bob. All were pretty close to their original rebuy stake, but probably a little down.
One of the reasons Bob was down was covered by M on his site. For me, it was one of the highlights of last night's game, even though I wasn't involved in the hand. M and Bob both saw TT9 hit the board on the flop, and both checked. Another 9 hit the turn, and Bob came out betting. He's a gambler, and put a nice stake out on the table, which M quickly called. The last card on the river was an Ace. Bob again came out, M raised him, and Bob, thinking his QT in the hole was good for Tens over Nines, quickly called.
M showed AT for Tens over Aces.
Bob was furious. I don't think Bob minds losing to me, but I know for a fact he hates losing to M. It's obvious. For the next three or four hands, Bob would say things like, "you didn't slowplay me, you just happened to have the one card in the deck that could have made the better hand," and, "that wasn't skill, that was just stupid luck."
Frankly, I think he knows he got slowplayed, even though technically they were tied going into the river.
Anyway, as the game progressed, Gil was still sitting on a considerable stack, JS had built a fortress of chips in front of him (and was probably chip leader), and Ray was also up near the top of the leaderboard. M and myself were solidly in the second tier, and Bob, JH, and LG were toiling away in the back.
LG in particular deserves some sympathy for last night. He had more double-down blackjack hands than he did playable Hold Em hands, and was never given a chance to make a move. No offense man, but that was the best thing that could have happened to the rest of us. Rendering you ineffective was a huge benefit to our home game's regulars. Don't worry, you'll tear it up again one of these days.
As the blinds raised and the game progressed, we started seeing players dropping like flies. JH first, followed by LG, then M. Bob went next, and all of a sudden we're down to four.
Seat One: BG - $2200
Seat Two: Ray - $4000
Seat Three: Gil - $3500
Seat Four: JS - $6000
The first one to get knocked out was Gil. Gil's aggressiveness did him in. He was facing a decent preflop pot on the board, saw a KJ7 flop, and pushed all-in. Ray was torn. Couldn't figure out what to do. But eventually, he called. Gil was shaken, and harumphed out a "good call" while turning over ATs. Ray flipped a K4. The Kings stayed powerful and Gil was moved to the sidelines.
Ray, JS, and I locked horns for awhile, just pushing chips around to each other. But eventually, I took a pound of flesh out of each of them.
I called a minor preflop raise by Ray out of the BB with K9s after JS had folded out of the SB. The flop came out KK8. Knowing Ray didn't quite have a sense of the nuances of this game fully grasped, I checked what had to be the best hand. Ray, incredibly bets. I'm in "agony." I take my time, I look at my hole cards, and I call. I do this again on his increasingly larger bets on the turn and river, actually raising him weakly on the river, trying to make it look like I'm trying to buy the pot. He calls quickly, and turns over pocket 9s. I show him my King, and take about half his stack into mine.
A few hands later, I call in the SB with 57s. What I was doing calling with that hand, I don't know, but I was praying I'd hit a flop on this one because no one expected me in with 57s. All three of us limped in, and the board flopped my miracle, 553. I checked, Ray bet real small, JS raised him, and I took awhile to "think" about it, but called. Ray had the good sense to get out of the way. I checked on the turn, which showed a Jack, as did JS. On the river, which was something like a 6 with no flush on the board, I came out with $1000. JS thought I was trying to buy it, and came over the top to $2k, which I gladly called. He showed QQ in the hole, and I showed him my 5.
(excuse the fuzzy memory if I got these hands slightly wrong, I can't really remember precisely)
So when we went to raise the blinds to $500/$1k, the chip count was something like this:
BG - $7500
JS - $4500
Ray - $3000
From this point, I was in great shape. I think JS really hates playing me heads-up, and I didn't think Ray was quite seasoned enough in this game to take my chips from me.
As a matter of fact, as my stack grew and Ray's dwindled, I made a call on his all-in on a flop that gave me nothing but an open-ended straight draw. Part of my logic for doing this was that I would still have overall chip lead if I lost, but putting more in Ray's hands increased my chances of going heads-up with him, and I knew I could get those chips back anyway. His pocket 44 held up, and we moved on from there.
Between getting some pretty solid starting hands and an aggressive raising strategy, I managed to get both these guys under $2500 at the same time.
And within two hands it was over.
Ray lost $2k of his last $2500 to JS, and was left with one $500 chip in the BB. We don't play side pots in our games, so I was, in the SB, automatically all-in with one $500 chip against Ray. As Gil was dealing, I remarked to JS, "Watch, here's the one time all game you get dealt rockets."
I was wrong. I got the rockets. That was eerie, but I'll take a victory, even if it's just one chip.
Ray was gone, and JS was left with $3k or so. He went all-in on the next preflop deal, and I called with KTs. He had A7s, and I pulled a K after he pulled a 7 on the board to win.
+$220. Not too bad!
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Back on the wagon. Or is it off the wagon?
I bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday. First pack since late December. I’m doing something currently with my evenings that involves a few other smokers and, well, I don’t want to be left out of the hacking and wheezing fun.
So I bought a pack. Big deal.
Friday night this week features West Michigan Poker Blogger Crossover Game II, with LG, Gil, and possibly Dave from the Chocolate Poker Jam paying me a visit on my new home turf.
Actually, including my two brothers, this has potential to be a five-way Michigan Poker and Other Blogger Home Game.
A home game on my turf is semi-problematic, as I don’t have a table, and I don’t have any chairs. Thankfully, folding chairs are $.95 each to rent, so I’m all good here...
I’ve also invited my neighbor downstairs, a ”dude” type who was wearing flip flops (and bare feet) to the bar last night in 30 degree rain, and has a broken wrist from snowboarding. Since there will be a sincere lack of dead money at this game, I need all the fish I can find to come around.
I need to beat these guys. Just for my own confidence, which has taken a beating lately. I’ve been trying to make too many moves, and while I certainly am not going to stop making moves, I do think I haven’t picked great spots, and have been up against unlucky cards anyway.
For example, I played in a SNG last night (shortly before stumbling upon an “allimcbeal” just about ready to log off “her” $3/$6 table) on PartyPoker, and was dealt J3s in the BB. I checked and saw 46J, giving me top pair, bad kicker, but four flush. I came out with a 3xBB bet, and got three to chase and call. The turn showed a King, but gave me the flush. I go bigger this time, hoping that I can drive any four-flush players out, but get a re-raise. I was pretty pot-committed with a low stack, so I pushed them in, and got a call. Q4s, one higher flush. Q4! These are the types of beats I’ve been taking lately. Not truly “bad” beats, but when I have an excuse (being in the BB) for being in the pot and they don’t, and then we both hit the flush with garbage? Of course their garbage is better than my garbage, and I get screwed.
I need to avoid putting myself in those positions. I can’t continue to try to control a table, particularly on PartyPoker, with what might be a fifth-best hand. I mean, what dire straits would I have been in if the fourth suited card came on the river, and someone with A9o chased big bets to a nut flush? These are the breaks at PartyPoker, and this is why I need to be patient.
The problem with this patience is that I really haven’t seen a truly great hand in quite a little while. I haven’t seen a middle/low pair flop a set, I haven’t landed a boat, I haven’t turned a suited Ace into a flopped flush. I’m really missing catching those big hands that help nourish my stacks. I think I’m a lot better at playing deceptively when I’m way ahead than I am when I’m chasing second pair, bad kicker to the river.
So the goal is not only to win this thing, but not make any mistakes along the way. And knock out a fellow blogger or two along the way…
The British spell “pedophile” as “paedophile.” I see that in the news, and I wonder why the British are cracking down on an innocent group of hobbyists and/or collectors. Oh, you mean pedophile.
On a only tangentially and marginally related topic…
I’m a sucker for interesting looking women. I’m going to preface this next remark with, “Yes, I know she’s too young for me M,” but this girl showed up at the group meeting I’m a part of last night to offer her assistance. She had that carefully chosen sloppy alternative look going. Short dyed hair underneath a wool cabbie’s cap, thick horn rimmed Tina Fey glasses, a hooded sweatshirt jacket and well worn jeans with patches and undisguised repair stitching, and a studded collar around her neck.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt if a girl like this obviously has a nice figure and a reasonably attractive face under the “I’m unique, dammit” standard issue uniform.
This is the type of girl around which I feel painfully old and unhip. I was wearing my purple Randy Moss jersey (authentic, so I get the bonus points there), and felt so… establishment. I don’t know.
I see a guy dressed like this, and just want to shake him by the throat and tell him that listening to Minor Threat and Fugazi doesn’t make you hip and alternative, and that he shouldn’t be basing an entire persona around guys who don’t know more than three chords on their Stratocasters.
I see a girl dressed like this and I’m drooling.
Nice double-standard, right?
I mean, the only thing a girl with a pretty face and nice body can do to screw herself up (at least as far as her physical appearance is concerned) is to get one of those white trash haircuts. The Fem-Mullet, for example, with the poof up front and the heavily hair-sprayed and crimped cascade down the back of her head.
Other than that, she could look like she stepped out of a board room, classroom, steam bath (yes please), or wherever, and I’d find a reason to drool.
I do get a little annoyed with these “alterna-teen” types though. I mean, the guys. You would think someone who genuinely doesn’t care what they’re wearing wouldn’t so carefully pick the clothes these teens do. They’d just go to Old Navy and start throwing crap in their cart. But no, this whole “screw the world” thing is a lot more difficult and consuming to construct than you’d assume it would be. There are multiple Goodwill and Salvation Army stores to canvass, there are plenty of ironic T-shirts to peruse at Urban Outfitters, and god forbid you can’t find the right trucker or winter hat to complete the ensemble.
And then, of course, the music choice. I think they have a section at music stores now for these kids called, “Thrashing Smirking Pissed Off Irony in Three Chords or Less.” Have I just covered the last fifteen years of the genre with that phrase? When was the last time a group had something legitimate to complain about (except, maybe, Rage Against the Machine, who were/are overrated anyway)? They’re part of the corporate music machine, and they’re earning enough money for their big TVs and Scarface DVDs for when the MTV Cribs people come knocking.
I’m way more “alternative” than these kids. I collect jazz discs, read both fluffy mystery novels and genuine classic literature, spend a lot of my spare time writing, and genuinely don’t give a rat’s ass about how I look 90% of the time. I can discuss Reaganomics or make lasagna from scratch. I’ve got artistic hobbies, and hang out with defeated-by-life losers (at the horse track instead of in front of the Gas’N’Sip) just like those kids do.
I just don’t have a nipple ring, a bong, or a Pixies poster.
Does that make me “establishment?”
By the way, it wasn’t as if I was trying to pick this girl up, or even flirt with her, but anytime you put me in the same room with a reasonably attractive girl I’ve never met previously, I’m all sorts of nervous. Especially if I’m feeling painfully unhip at the same time I’m feeling the need to be cool and desirable to the new girl.
I think that if I were to have an Achilles’ Heel, it would be the “meeting someone initially” phase of a relationship. If there is a hell, and if I’m doomed to a Sisyphian eternity of repetitive struggle and disappointment, it would be me in a roomful of women who are just on that upper cusp of my level of attainability.
They would be bunched in small groups talking to one another, and it would be my task to try to get into the conversation and get one or more of the women to join me personally for a drink. There would, of course, be varying levels of reaction. You’d have the groups that don’t want to be interrupted, the women who might not be out of my league in my eyes, but I am in theirs, and the women who politely put you off to your face but roll their eyes in that “what was he thinking” sort of way as soon as you’re out of earshot. You know that last one. The giggling turns into laughing and each of the women is trying to steal a glance over to you to see the poor dejected dude who was doomed before he left his barstool.
Oh, and they’d serve only White Zinfandel out of the box in this place. And there’d be disco music blaring loudly. And the TVs would be showing an endless loop of “Frasier’s Biggest And Most Uncomfortable Sitcom Misunderstandings Ever.”
So anyway, out for a cigarette last night with a couple others and the girl follows out. I couldn’t get into her conversation though, because another one of the group just kept talking and talking about her husband’s new venture into being a Mortgage Broker, and how he’s not doing great at it yet (nice timing, please mail your job application to four years ago for consideration). I finally was able to jump into the other conversation with a line about how I couldn’t begin to understand the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
BG: “I really just can’t get into the whole ‘You’re an elf, I have a sword, let’s go on an adventure’ genre.”
ANOTHER PERSON: “So you don’t get fantasy?”
BG: “Sure I get fantasy. Guys have fantasy movies. We call that porno.”
That got a nice guffaw out of the girl. That’s all I look for. I just want a smile and a laugh, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve won. I can work effectively in a circumstance like that one. I don’t need much to set me up, and I can just knock them down from there.
Put me in a bar though, sitting by myself and spying a girl who may possibly be looking at me, and I’m most likely to just put my head down and try to burn a hole right through the bar with my eyes.
I’m such a chickenshit.
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue…
I’ve been getting hammered at work recently.
Without getting into too much depth, there’s a user group I’ve been tasked to support at our client site that sees us as a speed bump and not a value added service. To that end, they continue to play games and go around us to accomplish their tasks, bringing the suppliers into grey areas consistently and without caution.
I’ve spent all week slapping suppliers on the wrists, and begging this user group to please, for the love of god, use my services the way their internal purchasing group has intended.
And the suppliers are sitting back and snickering at us, as they are basically getting away with murder with seemingly no consequences to their actions.
I had one supplier flat-out tell me that he didn’t care what we thought, that he was going to do what his client asked him to without including us in the conversation, and that he wasn’t “going to apologize for being successful here.”
I really hope our allies in Purchasing, including one tough-as-nails point person in that group, comes down with vengeance and fury on these suppliers. There’s some initial discussions about de-sourcing, at least temporarily, one of these suppliers for their brazen actions. I really hope they can follow through on their threats. I’m sick and tired this week of being in the dark, and I blame this largely on them.
I need a drink. It’s not even 930AM, and I need a drink.
Allen Iverson defied his coach on Sunday. When told that he would be coming off the bench, rather than starting in his first game off of a short injury layoff, Iverson balked and changed into street clothes, electing not to play at all.
And somehow, this is being blasted all over ESPN as another example of “What’s Wrong With Sports Today.”
Let’s get a couple of things straight. Allen Iverson is not a Randy Moss-type guy who’s going to give 100% about 40% of the time. He’s got a high motor and plays with fearless and reckless abandon above 100% at all times. He has shed blood for his teammates, the franchise, and its fans. He is the only player under 6’6” in the NBA that is capable of being an annual legitimate MVP candidate. He is highly competitive, he’s a former MVP, former Olympian, and easily the superstar of that team.
Of course, he said all of this himself the next day to the media after practice.
So you’ve got Iverson, the superstar who refused to take a supporting role when he’s clearly and indisputably the leader on one side.
On the other, there’s Chris Ford. A middle-aged coaching retread who is visibly using this chance he has as Philly’s interim coach to lobby for a chance at another job somewhere down the line. The best he can hope to take from this bad team at this point is a line on his resume that reads “was the undisputed captain of his ship.”
Guess what? AI hasn’t bought into Chris Ford, and why should he have to? Ford isn’t going to be his coach next year, and with the moves, or rather lack thereof, that management has made to the roster this year, it’s obvious they aren’t trying to surround Iverson with the talent necessary to make a playoff run. Management expects them to lose, and they see Ford as nothing more than a stop-gap solution.
Iverson is frustrated, but he is a warrior and goes out to battle every game at no less than maximum intensity.
And some interim coach on a power trip is going to move him to the bench? Nope, screw you pal. Iverson is going to be a Sixer far longer than Chris Ford will, why should he cow tow to this guy who’s obviously treating Iverson like this due to some sort of agenda?
Oh, but the media loves a good controversy. Especially when it’s a young black player with a history of being outspoken and somewhat uncooperative versus a middle aged white coach that “is just doing his job.”
Look, not every coach is Vince Lombardi or Bobby Knight. Not every coach is going to have the ability to flat-out demand the respect of his players. Most coaches have to earn it.
This is what the media conveniently forgets. They forget that this isn’t 1955 anymore, and coaches have been (and have been for more than just ten years) more managerial and less drill sergeant since that era.
Where is Chris Ford’s authority? What gives him the right to bench his superstar? Why should Iverson be expected to just live with it, if the coach is obviously in the wrong? Just because he’s the coach? Please.
There’s only one thing wrong with Iverson’s actions. It’s that he stooped to Chris Ford’s level and played games with him, hanging his teammates out to dry. In order to make the playoffs, the Sixers need Iverson on the floor every game they have left. Especially against a tough team like Detroit.
But while Iverson, on one level, let his teammates down, on another level he responded to an ill-advised power play with an equal response in return, laying it out for Chris Ford, his team, and his franchise that this is his team, and no coach should ever forget that the successes and failures of the Sixers are all on Iverson’s shoulders. This power play further solidifies Iverson as that team’s undisputed leader.
Chris Ford has no business telling Allen Iverson he’s not starting. It’s Iverson’s team, not Ford’s.
And the media needs to get off Iverson’s back and examine exactly how petty Chris Ford’s request to Iverson really was.
Thy Will Be Done…
Did you see the articles about the four Southern Baptist missionaries in Iraq who were attacked this week? I think, if memory on the article serves, there’s now three dead and one seriously wounded.
How dumb are these people?
When you’re stepping into an environment where Americans are suspicious to begin with (strike one), and you combine that with the simple fact that a large majority of the population has been conditioned to hate us fervently (strike two), and then throw on top of that the need these missionaries have to preach their Christian views and values to Islamic people, who probably are far more rigid and devoted to their religion than any group of Christians on the planet (strike three), you’re just asking for trouble.
Why didn’t their god “call” them to work with American homeless children? Or earthquake victims in El Salvador? You pick the most dangerous region in the world to NOT be Arabic, and you want to go over there and teach people that their god isn’t the right one, and they’re doomed to die a million deaths without accepting Jesus?
It’s terrible that anyone has to die a violent death, but you can’t tell me you didn’t see this coming.
Ninth Grade Economic Theory At Work
A friend emailed me a chain letter the other day. It was the second time he had sent it my way. It read (and I’m paraphrasing big time):
Are you tired of gas prices being so high? Do you think there’s nothing you can do about it? Well, if consumers stand up to the big oil companies and show them who’s boss, we can get gas prices back down under $1 a gallon!
Let’s dissect this with rudimentary Economics 101.
Without getting too deep into assumptions, if Exxon and Mobil truly held a majority of gas stations/gas pumps in this country, and on top of that, if this boycott happened all of a sudden and took these gas companies completely by surprise, you’d not only consolidate all the purchasing into a minority of outlets, but you’d create an artificially high demand at these outlets. As the demand for their supply increased significantly, they would be immediately ill-prepared to handle that demand.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but artificially high demand for a limited supply (what they have in their underground storage tanks prior to their next scheduled refueling) results in…
Higher prices. Can you imagine the gouging that would occur if, say, Southern California was 80% Exxon/Mobil dominated, but 100% of the population boycotted 80% of those gas stations? The other 20% would raise their prices, there’d be lines around the block to get to the pumps, dogs and cats walking along hand in hand, it’d be chaos.
If you boycott 7-11, but don’t change your Pepsi drinking habits, are you affecting the demand for Pepsi? No.
And if you’re not affecting the demand for gas as a commodity, not just “gas from Mobil,” you’re not affecting the price of gas at all. Instead, you’re probably encouraging BP and Shell to grow to the size of Exxon and Mobil, replacing them as the dominant oil companies out there.
And yes, maybe as a “going out of business sale” Exxon and Mobil stations may sell their gas at $.80/gallon, but they aren’t refilling the tank to sell at that price.
The only thing that’s going to affect gas prices is a severe decrease in demand. That’s it. If you want to make an impact, ride your bike to work and tell everyone you know to do the same. Don’t take vacations in the car. Don’t order food that needs to be delivered. And for the love of god don’t ride the bus.
If 100% of America boycotted 100% of all gasoline for maybe three days, we’d see prices adjust significantly lower immediately.
If I’m average, and I’d bet I am, I use about three gallons of gas a day. That’s $5.75 in gas daily. Multiply that by a guesstimate of 150 million drivers (out of 250 million Americans or so), accrued over three days. $862,500,000, or, at $38/barrel, 22,697,368 barrels of oil saved.
That should be the argument.
Monday, March 15, 2004
Another Multi Gone Wrong
After sitting at a short-handed $.50/$1 table at Choice Poker Sunday afternoon with “Please Steal My Blinds, Thank You” written across my forehead (down $12), I finally played enough hands to make the free roll tournament ($1k guaranteed) that evening.
55 players showed up, with the top 20 cashing. Well, 55 did show up, but the first ten minutes at the low blinds were irritating due to having 168 players seated, but 133 posting and folding temporarily. For the first two hands I thought I was alone at the table, and I made a marginal raise with absolute junk so I could pick up the blinds, and unsurprisingly that’s when someone did take their seat and re-raised me. Ugh.
Anyway, once the 133 were cleared out, we were able to get down to business. It was a pretty tight tournament, which I enjoy more than the cannibalistic maniac fests at the $5/$1 and $9/$1 levels over at PartyPoker.
I was hanging in there, neither up nor down significantly for the first hour. With the blinds at $25/$50 and my stack at $1100, I found KQs in middle position. I made a $200 raise, hoping to take the blinds and one early caller out of action. A bigger stack moved over the top to $750, and was called by an even bigger stack on the BB.
Decision time… I had $200 on the table, and about $900 left. And sometimes making a stand is going to pay off, and I thought that all I had to do was catch in order to triple up.
So I took a chance and went back over the top all-in. With the other two pot-committed, I knew I was getting callers. They both pushed all-in on each other as well.
Although Choice doesn’t flip the cards before they start dealing the board out, I was up against (I saw this in retrospect) KK from the player to my left, and QTo from the player to his left.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect flop. 9TJ rainbow, giving me the absolute nuts at that point. The 9 paired on the turn, which worried me a bit, but who would have pushed all-in with J9 or T9? The river was a blank, the 3 of diamonds, and I tripled up to nearly $3300.
What was funny was that the player to my left started the hand with something like $2100. He paid me off $1100 on my triple-up, but got paid off nearly $1100 by the player to his left when KK99 beat TT99. He typed in, “What just happened here? Did I win that one or lose it?” He was probably down about $100 after the hand, but to push all-in, not split a pot, and come out fundamentally even to where you started is pretty strange to say the least.
I needed to place top 20 to make the money. We’re down to 26 players, and I find K8s in middle position. I’ve got about $2k, and the blinds are at $200/$400. I limped in, and caught a flop with 8c3Jd. So I’ve got four flush and middle pair. I’m thinking the time is right (with $1200 or so in the middle of the table) to try to push my luck.
Although I was in no danger of being blinded out in two or three orbits, I felt like I needed to make a move and grab those chips in the middle of the table. I was thinking that with no K and no A on the board, chances were one of the three other active hands at that point, two of which had checked to me already, had likely not made hands yet. Let’s make it tough for them to make a call.
I pushed all-in. $1800 or so.
Big stack ($10k) right to my left joins me in my fun. Everyone else folds.
As the turn shows a K, I’m ecstatic that I’ve made two pair, which I’m betting will be good enough to win the hand if I don’t make my flush – which I don’t when a rainbow blank turns up on the river.
Well, I was right about two pair. They just weren’t my two pair. Big stack had KJ, and had me beat every step of the way.
And I finished six spots out of the money.
I realize it was a chancy play, I even realized it before I pushed the buttons. Part of me said that I could do a lot more with 900 chips than I could with zero. But none of that mattered, all I saw was a chance to triple up.
But with K8s? With four players in and no pre-flop raising?
I’m not surprised I was called with a better hand. And chances were that I wasn’t going to improve, considering there were really only nine outs (flush draw), rather than the twelve (with the three Kings I thought could help me) that I thought were there. I had only a 40% chance or so of catching. And the pot was really only giving me about 2.25-1 with the call on top of all my money in there, so the odds weren’t there.
This is where my NL game is at its weakest right now. Both live and online, I’m prone to just say, “screw it kids, let it ride.” I think that I can play a pretty solid game up to that point. Hell, I was chip leader for one whole level in this tournament. But I get greedy, and that’s a big gaping hole that ends up sinking me every time.
Well, I guess the first step is to admit you have the problem.
Some things I’ve noticed about my apartment.
>> I have a toilet that flushes in a very interesting sort of way. The “sinkers” are immediately whisked down the bottom of the pipe, but the floating toilet paper spins politely near the top of the bowl, seemingly waiting its turn to follow the sinkers to the treatment plant. At least ten seconds after the sinkers are sucked away, the floaters finally chase them.
>> I have two lights in sconces by my mirror in my bathroom that do not seem to operate with any specific switch in the house. Apparently, the only way to turn these bulbs off and on is to reach inside the sconce and twist them in the appropriate direction. Which, of course, is a good plan if you enjoy third degree burns.
>> Speaking of strange electrical quirks, there are five useable power outlets in the living room. On each of these outlets, only the top socket provides electricity. The other, apparently, is just there for Feng Shui purposes.
>> I reheated three slices of pizza and three breadsticks in my oven on Sunday at “425 degrees.” The reason I put “425 degrees” in quotes is that it was easily 600 degrees in that oven. Easily. It took less than five minutes before the pizza was bubbling and the breadsticks were just shy of aflame. I then tried to cook those stuffed breaded freezer section chicken breasts (including the underwhelming “Brie and Apple” flavor) at “350 degrees” for 35 minutes. I nearly had to use the fire extinguisher somewhere in the 25 minute neighborhood.
>> I think the insides of the walls in my apartment are like the insides of the walls in that bathroom area in “The Matrix.” You remember, where the heroes were in between walls and trying to scale their way to the bottom? I was nailing a few posters to the wall in my bedroom (with thin and tiny little nails), and apparently once the nail broke through the wall fully, it spider cracked all that old wooden drywall environment back there and caused massive structural damage to the immediate area. At least that’s how it sounded on my side of the wall with all the internal mess cracking apart and shattering into millions of pieces.
>> For some reason, there’s only one window with a pronounced windowsill in my apartment. Any guesses as to where it’s located? How about bicep-level in the shower. Kind of an odd place for a nine-inch wide windowsill, don’t you think? To top it off, the landlord has requested I keep a curtain over the window not just for privacy, but because the windowsill is wood, and a curtain will help keep it from gathering mold. Instead, the curtain just serves to annoy the crap out of me as it gathers moisture, turns instantly cold and damp, and proceeds to brush up against me constantly through my whole shower.
>> Speaking of the shower, I am about 3/8 of an inch away from having the hot water cranked up to 100%. Thankfully, I live above two waitstaff, so smart money says my 6AM showers aren’t likely to be interrupted by their water usage. Have I mentioned that one of the two people living below happens to be one of the hottest girls I’ve ever seen in my life? Wow. Dude seems nice enough I guess. Of course, I say that begrudgingly, as he’s got the hot chick, and I have Internet porn.
>> My master bedroom is right in the eaves of the front of the house. It’s easily the bigger of the two bedrooms. What it has that makes it problematic though are weird walls. It’s flat up to about 5’8” on either side, then it slopes dramatically into an arch, moving towards the 7’ ceiling. I guess this accommodates the eaves. However, it does make having a dresser with a 6’2” mirror problematic. Instead of removing the mirror, I have the dresser angled funny with a big wide-open space behind it to the corner. C.L.A.S.S.
Sunday, March 14, 2004
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Page 2 - Who do you want taking the final shot?
A list of ten... Four who didn't make the list, but might make mine (not just in the tournament) would be Shawn Respert (Michigan State), Randolph Childress (Wake Forest), Scotty Thurman (Arkansas), and big game Dennis Scott (Georgia Tech).
On a side note, I've decided that the gayest possible sporting event would have to be any sort of head to head competition between Lehigh University and Valparaiso.
Just food for thought.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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