Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Professional Roulette?

Good evening everyone.  If you've already read my first blog entry of the day here, you know that my plans went awry.  Instead of producing four posts in rapid succession like a champ, I was sidetracked by my first snack and some women's soccer action, and that combo led to an unplanned nap.  I'm happy to say that I'm awake once again, and with the celebrity fantasy draft that's being aired on ESPN as my current distraction, I'm typing once again.  I still plan on typing two more entries after this one at my third and fourth blogs.  'Coach's Parlay Card' chronicles the favorite weekly football bets of my friend Joey, my brother Pete, and myself, while 'Coach Goes Viral' is my "rant blog."  I also wanted to give you the link to my friend's new etsy shop before we get to the poker (and roulette).  My friend Sean is selling paracord bracelets and wood crafts online at this address.

I had a frustrating weekend at the poker tables.  Well, half of the frustration was in not being at the tables...  On Friday I opened with the Flamingo's weekly freeroll tourney.  I promptly ran my pocket jacks into pocket aces like a pro, and I was toast.  The guy with AA had been seeing several flops at my table, and he raised his aces to only 2 1/2 times the big blind.  I thought that I'd be able to push him off his hand by shoving.  GREAT read...  The rest of Friday wasn't that bad, as I played a ton of poker and qualified for this Friday's Flamingo freeroll.  Twelve hours of weekly play needed, and I did it in one day.  Saturday.  Ugghh...  I ventured to the south end of the Strip and the MGM.  There were only a handful of games with a bunch of locals, so I trekked across the Strip to the Excalibur.  The Excalibur had a pair of 1/2 NL games and a 2-6 spread-limit table.  I got on both lists and a new 1/2 game started pretty quiickly.  We started seven-handed, and shortly afterward, the floorperson came and pulled one of our players, saying that we were a "must move" game for the first hour.  Ugghh.  This is stupid, and I forgot that the Excalibur does this.  Instead of being like any other room in Las Vegas, and having tables of 10, 9, and 7 players after that player at the "main table" had left, the numbers were 10, 10, and 6.  Predictably (lol), one of our players busted shortly afterward, and now my table was down to five.  Although he was going to return, I was sufficiently frustrated, and decided to get back on the 2-6 list.  Oh yeah, shortly after the no-limit game began, I was called for the 2-6 seat and declined it.  Brilliant...  So when I put my name back on the list, I told the floor, "I didn't know that you were going to start a game seven-handed, and then take players from it..."  So I'm sitting there stewing, biding my time, as I'm third on the 2-6 list.  A player sits, and I'm second.  Then this lady comes to the podium from the sportsbook area, and I'm suddenly third on the list again.  I believe that the floor had initially neglected to put her on the list when she was first in the room (I had seen her at the podium while playing 1/2).  Time passes, with her and the next person on the list getting seated at the 2-6 table.  I guess that at some point, they decided to stop moving players from my old game, because the two original games got so shorthanded that they busted up my initial table completely.  Good times...  I finally got sick of waiting for a seat in the 2-6 spread-limit, so I cashed in my chips from the 1/2 ($3.00 loss) and went to the restroom before leaving.  As I passed back by the poker room, I saw the new 2-6 spread-limit game that had been started, with five players.  More good times...  I figured that this would be a "must move" table also, and forget that...  I returned to the MGM, already frustrated, and while waiting at the podium, the clerk with her back to me was having a conversation with a floorperson who was facing me.  He was telling her to pick even or odd...  Whatever they were discussing was evidently very interesting, because they weren't acknowledging me.  I rolled my eyes, turned, and walked away.  As I departed, I heard a desperate, "Can I help you?"  A second floorperson was behind the podium, and he probably witnessed my eyeroll before I pivoted and paced away, but I was done with MGM properties for the night.  At least charging for parking is the cherry on top of their overall customer service experience...

So back to the Flamingo I went, yet again.  I figured that I'd at least tack on some more tier points, and just get to SIT AT A POKER TABLE...  Have I mentioned that I should be able to attain 'Diamond Status' with Caesar's simply by playing poker?  More on that at a later date.  The Flamingo's game was unsatisfying, short-lived (by my standards), and I eventually noticed that I was at a table with a pregnant lady who was taking CIGARETTE BREAKS.  STELLAR night...

Now before the poker boom began (Moneymaker, 'Rounders'), roulette was my favorite way to donate to Las Vegas.  My poker session had been so "bleh" that I had thought about playing roulette, despite the $10.00 minimum bets.  While I pondered a pregnant woman smoking in the year 2016 (should I really be surprised?), I devised a "system?" to protect me while playing roulette.  I figured that I'd split all ten bucks on a pair of numbers, giving me 20 of the 38 on the board.  When I started playing, I even began taking four numbers for a buck, in combination with the splits.  Long story short, I played roulette for a LONG TIME...  Due to the night's frustrations, I began drinking Coronas (I don't drink when I play poker - maybe I should start?), and I got into one of those grooves when I'm just FOCUSED and fight through the need for sleep.  This resulted in me playing roulette from 4:00 a.m. until... 1:00 P.M.  NINE HOURS of roulette Sunday, and I made $10.00...  True story...  The pit bosses kept walking by at intervals to look at my chips, as if to say, "HOW has this guy not busted out?"  I only bought in for a single $100.00 bill, and my stack would just fluctuate up and down, having so much of the board covered that I'd endure a $1.00 net loss if one of my chips covering four numbers hit, or I'd get a small win ($8.00 net) if one of my splits came in.  Sometimes I'd lose my whole $10.00, but I also did bet and hit some single numbers later, and I just played, and played, and played...  If you've ever watched or played roulette, you know that the players just come and go, and I saw all sorts of people.  One guy stopped at my table, bet $700.00 on black, won, and walked away.  A guy at the table across from me had like $4,000.00 in front of him, at least, when he was brought to my attention.  Four stacks of green ($25.00 chips), some black piled up.  I believe that he eventually lost it all back.  Anyway, professional roulette???  :)

That's all for this time, but hopefully the actual poker will go better this weekend.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Genesis

Good morning everyone.  I'd like to tell you some fascinating and involved story related to the title of this post, like how this is hopefully the start to a long and successful career of playing poker for me, but I just watched a documentary about the band 'Genesis,' and I was stuck for a title here, so there ya go...  :)  I played only two days of poker this weekend, which was just enough to get sucked-out on again (and by the same player) in the Flamingo's weekly freeroll tourney (I didn't cash), and then I made a little money and qualified for this Friday's weekly tourney.  The poker is still predictably slow in town, with too many familiar faces at the tables, and I'm looking forward to next month.  In case you're new to my world, September will bring cooler temperatures, football, and better poker action.  If you actually are new to my world, the blog that chronicles my personal life in a more general sense can be found here.

Poker...  As I was playing in the Flamingo's freeroll, I started to hear a buzz about the poker room at the Linq.  The Linq's room is now officially closed, but only after giving away all of its promotional money that had been saved up.  The room was holding drawings every hour on Friday and Saturday to give away the cash before the room officially closed.  Having your name drawn was worth $500.00, but you had to be seated in a game to win.  The lists for the four 1/1 no-limit games and the lone 3-6 limit game were over 30 names each when I arrived, and I heard that in the first four hours, only two new players had been seated in the games.  I was offered a spot on the list, but politely declined, knowing that it would be futile.  I really walked over just to see the spectacle, and was rewarded by having the opportunity to meet Kristi, an online friend (til that moment) who deals poker and plays in town.

This is going to be a short entry from me today, and I don't have a huge selection of hands to relay to you, but I will talk a little about my style of play.  However, I did want to pass along a little cynical prediction that I have for you before doing so.  I was at home yesterday when the NFL's Hall of Fame Game was canceled due to poor field conditions (giving the term "a bad paint job" a whole new meaning)...  Anyway, I was glad that I wasn't at the poker tables when this happened, because I surmised that some player would be talking about how stupid this was on the NFL's part, and it would be the same genius that was trying to chase down a runner-runner flush with 6-2 suited on an A K J rainbow flop...  Too cynical???  Anyway, my style of play.  I'm currently playing very tight right now, which allows me to protect my chips while affording me the opportunity to see a lot of hands.  As time goes by and other players get to know me, I should be able to loosen up gradually and have a decent amount of respect.  However, you would be surprised at the number of calls I get (talking in limit more specifically right now, because that's what I played for the majority of the weekend) when I raise.  It's like the other players know that they're behind, but are thinking, "I'm gonna crack your hand #&@*%#$..."  :)  Anyway, it's a very interesting game, and I'm learning more every minute...

Hopefully when I get back to you next week, I'll have some good news for you from the freeroll front.  Have a great week and I'll see you soon!  

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Dead Zone

Good morning everyone.  As I prepared to write this post for y'all, I realized that there's only one more month at the most that you'll being seeing Sunday entries from me until February.  If I'm not watching football and playing poker on Sundays a month from now, I'll be dead exhausted and sleeping...  From the end of the World Series of Poker until the start of the aforementioned football season, it's more difficult to find good poker games in town, thus the "Dead Zone" reference.  As it happens, I still have some chores here to tend to, and some football studying to get done, so I'll most likely cut back on the poker a bit this month, in hopes of finding better games in the fall.  I will be studying my poker materials some more in the next month also.  Of everything that I've written for you since my latest poker journey began just over two months ago, I strongly believe that game selection is the key component to making money at the tables.  Would you rather play against nine locals who play poker for a living, or would you rather sit with a bunch of drinking and sleep-deprived tourists who are in town for any number of reasons?  There are no guarantees, but I'd rather not face off against the table full of professionals...

I'm coming off of my first losing week at the tables since the initial week that I played after returning to town, but I have a handle on the improvements that I have to make.  Having the best hand hold up would be nice, but I hit hands a few times over the weekend also.  I didn't cash in this week's Flamingo freeroll tourney, and this is what happened...  I was card dead throughout, and my 3,000 starting stack dwindled to 1,100.  I was in the big blind for 800 of that, and ended up getting it all in with KK.  My opponents had QQ and A3, ace on the turn.  Seems a lot like the previous week's freeroll for me, except that I finished 50th of 76 this time, and I didn't make the money.  Last night however, I had three very fortunate hands, or my week would have been much worse.  It's 1/2 no-limit at Bally's, and I have about 62 left when I call a raise to 8 with the KJ of diamonds.  First to act, and not having seen the flop, I check the K 5 3 flop with two diamonds.  Next to act bets 10, gets called, and then I jam my remaining stack.  I'll take two folds, and if I'm behind, I'll probably have outs.  The bettor calls me with 5 3, and the other player folds.  Her two-pair holds on the turn, but a beautiful diamond hits the river.  :D  Now I'm playing 1/2 no-limit at the Flamingo, and I limp with AQ and about 80 in my stack.  Three of us see an A J 10 flop.  Villain bets 10, and I call.  The two of us see another 10 on the turn.  Villain bets 10, and I call again.  Villain checks a 3rd 10 on the river, and I bet out 20.  Villain calls and tables AK.  I'm more than happy to point out to the dealer that "we have the same hand" (10's full of aces).  Not too long after seeing the fortunate river (my second of the night), I decide that I should switch to 2-4 limit for the rest of the evening.  :P  Now after a horrible Friday night (the type where you swear, "I'm never playing limit again), I had a better session last night, and it all came in one hand.  Playing very tight, I called with KQ offsuit preflop, and called the raise to four from the button.  In a pretty loose game, I looked down to see the rainbow 9 10 J flop.  Ho hum...  I think there were six of us in the hand, and I flat-called the preflop action, which was five of us putting four bucks in.  The turn was a blank, and I flat-called twelve (the bet and two raises before the action reached me).  As I said, I had been playing tight, and I believe that some of the raising was done with the intent of forcing me off of my hand.  The fact that the player who raised to eight FOLDED as opposed to calling another bet seemed to reinforce that.  The river was another beautiful blank, and now heads-up, my opponent bet four, and just groaned when I raised to eight.  The loose-aggro called, and he actually had a hand this time, tabling queen-eight suited for a lower straight, but he already knew what I had.  It was nice to get some of my money back last night...  ;)

Speaking of lower straights, I've seen this happen more than once since I've returned to town, and not just in limit games.  The board will run out 7 K 8 6 4, and the river will get bet or called by a 5, with the proud straight-holder not even seeing the possibility of the 9 10.  And I'm not saying, "my five might be good," but I'm saying totally blind to the possibility of the higher straight.  Even 9 5 would work, but you get what I'm saying.  You've gotta love poker...  :)  Some others things that I've seen since returning to town, and this weekend even...  I'm going to withhold the names of the rooms involved in these cases, to protect the guilty.  For the first time since I returned to Vegas back in May, I sat by someone who smelled so bad that I almost had to leave the game.  The offending player wasn't around long enough for me to worry about it though.  Last night I did leave a game though, and only after playing two hands at a table with a drunk guy who sat to my left AND had NONSTOP hiccups.  It was so bad that I left after playing my button, foregoing seeing several "free" hands.  I've often told others that if another player at the table is bothering you (for a variety of reasons), just leave the game.  Having that stuff in your head is not profitable...  When I arrived at a different table over the weekend, a seated drunk guy in that game was SHOVED by a player who was leaving the table.  I hadn't even sat when this happened.  Evidently the drunk player had shoved the departing player first (earlier).  You've gotta love poker...

Now a paragraph for my brother Pete.  This includes another story from the weekend, and yet another instance where I was pretty lucky with ace-queen.  Maybe AQ is a potentially evil hand.  All the books say so.  Anyway, my brother (who introduced me to this crazy game) follows a video blog on Twitter done by a dealer at the Linq who is known as "The Trooper."  I have never seen the VB because I'd rather read blogs, but I'm sure that it's good, as he has quite a following, and I've heard several people mention him.  Pete has never been dealt to by The Trooper, but I was in a 1/1 no-limit game over the weekend.  I shoved AQ preflop, and the flop came K J 10...  My opponent said that he had been ahead, but he never showed.  Thanks Trooper...  :D  By the way, I didn't formally introduce myself to The Trooper, so if you know him, you can say thanks for me.

I also have something for my friend Nick.  This was an "inside joke" that I had forgotten about when I arrvied at a table last week, but feel free to use the line.  The next time that someone says "you look familiar" to you, immediately fire back with, "Oh, you watch porn?!"  Yeah, that table was having a lot of fun when I arrived...  :)  Nick had recently made a comment on my blog that triggered that story in my memory bank...

Before I close, I also wanted to remind you that you can view the blog that deals more in-depth with my personal life by clicking here.  I'm going to do a new entry there, right after I finish this post.  Speaking of my personal life, one of my friends and former athletes recently posted an inspirational meme that I have since pilfered for my Facebook and Twitter profile photos...


Great words.  Thanks again Leanne...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great week and I'll see you soon!


The Dead Zone

Good morning everyone.  As I prepared to write this post for y'all, I realized that there's only one more month at the most that you'll being seeing Sunday entries from me until February.  If I'm not watching football and playing poker on Sundays a month from now, I'll be dead exhausted and sleeping...  From the end of the World Series of Poker until the start of the aforementioned football season, it's more difficult to find good poker games in town, thus the "Dead Zone" reference.  As it happens, I still have some chores here to tend to, and some football studying to get done, so I'll most likely cut back on the poker a bit this month, in hopes of finding better games in the fall.  I will be studying my poker materials some more in the next month also.  Of everything that I've written for you since my latest poker journey began just over two months ago, I strongly believe that game selection is the key component to making money at the tables.  Would you rather play against nine locals who play poker for a living, or would you rather sit with a bunch of drinking and sleep-deprived tourists who are in town for any number of reasons?  There are no guarantees, but I'd rather not face off against the table full of professionals...

I'm coming off of my first losing week at the tables since the initial week that I played after returning to town, but I have a handle on the improvements that I have to make.  Having the best hand hold up would be nice, but I hit hands a few times over the weekend also.  I didn't cash in this week's Flamingo freeroll tourney, and this is what happened...  I was card dead throughout, and my 3,000 starting stack dwindled to 1,100.  I was in the big blind for 800 of that, and ended up getting it all in with KK.  My opponents had QQ and A3, ace on the turn.  Seems a lot like the previous week's freeroll for me, except that I finished 50th of 76 this time, and I didn't make the money.  Last night however, I had three very fortunate hands, or my week would have been much worse.  It's 1/2 no-limit at Bally's, and I have about 62 left when I call a raise to 8 with the KJ of diamonds.  First to act, and not having seen the flop, I check the K 5 3 flop with two diamonds.  Next to act bets 10, gets called, and then I jam my remaining stack.  I'll take two folds, and if I'm behind, I'll probably have outs.  The bettor calls me with 5 3, and the other player folds.  Her two-pair holds on the turn, but a beautiful diamond hits the river.  :D  Now I'm playing 1/2 no-limit at the Flamingo, and I limp with AQ and about 80 in my stack.  Three of us see an A J 10 flop.  Villain bets 10, and I call.  The two of us see another 10 on the turn.  Villain bets 10, and I call again.  Villain checks a 3rd 10 on the river, and I bet out 20.  Villain calls and tables AK.  I'm more than happy to point out to the dealer that "we have the same hand" (10's full of aces).  Not too long after seeing the fortunate river (my second of the night), I decide that I should switch to 2-4 limit for the rest of the evening.  :P  Now after a horrible Friday night (the type where you swear, "I'm never playing limit again), I had a better session last night, and it all came in one hand.  Playing very tight, I called with KQ offsuit preflop, and called the raise to four from the button.  In a pretty loose game, I looked down to see the rainbow 9 10 J flop.  Ho hum...  I think there were six of us in the hand, and I flat-called the preflop action, which was five of us putting four bucks in.  The turn was a blank, and I flat-called twelve (the bet and two raises before the action reached me).  As I said, I had been playing tight, and I believe that some of the raising was done with the intent of forcing me off of my hand.  The fact that the player who raised to eight FOLDED as opposed to calling another bet seemed to reinforce that.  The river was another beautiful blank, and now heads-up, my opponent bet four, and just groaned when I raised to eight.  The loose-aggro called, and he actually had a hand this time, tabling queen-eight suited for a lower straight, but he already knew what I had.  It was nice to get some of my money back last night...  ;)

Speaking of lower straights, I've seen this happen more than once since I've returned to town, and not just in limit games.  The board will run out 7 K 8 6 4, and the river will get bet or called by a 5, with the proud straight-holder not even seeing the possibility of the 9 10.  And I'm not saying, "my five might be good," but I'm saying totally blind to the possibility of the higher straight.  Even 9 5 would work, but you get what I'm saying.  You've gotta love poker...  :)  Some others things that I've seen since returning to town, and this weekend even...  I'm going to withhold the names of the rooms involved in these cases, to protect the guilty.  For the first time since I returned to Vegas back in May, I sat by someone who smelled so bad that I almost had to leave the game.  The offending player wasn't around long enough for me to worry about it though.  Last night I did leave a game though, and only after playing two hands at a table with a drunk guy who sat to my left AND had NONSTOP hiccups.  It was so bad that I left after playing my button, foregoing seeing several "free" hands.  I've often told others that if another player at the table is bothering you (for a variety of reasons), just leave the game.  Having that stuff in your head is not profitable...  When I arrived at a different table over the weekend, a seated drunk guy in that game was SHOVED by a player who was leaving the table.  I hadn't even sat when this happened.  Evidently the drunk player had shoved the departing player first (earlier).  You've gotta love poker...

Now a paragraph for my brother Pete.  This includes another story from the weekend, and yet another instance where I was pretty lucky with ace-queen.  Maybe AQ is a potentially evil hand.  All the books say so.  Anyway, my brother (who introduced me to this crazy game) follows a video blog on Twitter done by a dealer at the Linq who is known as "The Trooper."  I have never seen the VB because I'd rather read blogs, but I'm sure that it's good, as he has quite a following, and I've heard several people mention him.  Pete has never been dealt to by The Trooper, but I was in a 1/1 no-limit game over the weekend.  I shoved AQ preflop, and the flop came K J 10...  My opponent said that he had been ahead, but he never showed.  Thanks Trooper...  :D  By the way, I didn't formally introduce myself to The Trooper, so if you know him, you can say thanks for me.

I also have something for my friend Nick.  This was an "inside joke" that I had forgotten about when I arrvied at a table last week, but feel free to use the line.  The next time that someone says "you look familiar" to you, immediately fire back with, "Oh, you watch porn?!"  Yeah, that table was having a lot of fun when I arrived...  :)  Nick had recently made a comment on my blog that triggered that story in my memory bank...

Before I close, I also wanted to remind you that you can view the blog that deals more in-depth with my personal life by clicking here.  I'm going to do a new entry there, right after I finish this post.  Speaking of my personal life, one of my friends and former athletes recently posted an inspirational meme that I have since pilfered for my Facebook and Twitter profile photos...


Great words.  Thanks again Leanne...  :)  I hope that all of you have a great week and I'll see you soon!