Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being Stubborn Pays Off

Good morning everyone.  I don't envision that this will be a short post this morning, but that being said, you will see several posts from me this week covering events that have already taken place.  It was exactly one month ago today that I was unloading my rental vehicle at this moment, hustling so that I could return it to McCarran International within my allotted 24-hour window (26 really, since I gained 2 hours driving west) to avoid being charged for an extra day.

In one regard, this move to Las Vegas has been a success already.  It was 1:00 a.m. on the Friday morning kicking off Labor Day Weekend 2 years ago when I returned home to my weekly apartment here and found that a break-in had occurred (and that the thieves had been spooked apparently, given the limited amount of things that had been stolen).  As I type, this is happily the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.  Neither here nor there, but an hour from now at this time next Sunday, the early round of NFL games will be kicking off...  :)

I got some genuine sleep last night to cap off what has been a roller coaster ride of a week for me.  Last Saturday night I came down with a sore throat, and I felt sick enough that I didn't venture to the Strip on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday.  I actually only left my place during those three days to visit WalMart with Joey on Sunday night, and to get my long overdue haircut on Tuesday.  I probably shouldn't have visited the Strip on Wednesday either, but Pete and Rob had already been in town for about half a week, and it was time tough it out.  Thursday brought the beginning of the college football season, and Friday saw its continuance.  Geez, so now we're to Saturday.  Back to Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I played poker and hung out with Pete, Rob, and Alysia Chang much longer than I had antiipcated, then with football Thursday, and a busy Friday, well, let's just say that I wasn't getting my recommended eight hours of sleep daily.  My football didn't go well on Friday, when several of my "unlucky seven" kicked off their seasons (and you can bet your trust funds that you'll be reading about this in detail also)...

ANYWAY, so now it's yesterday morning, and after sleeping for about 3 hours, I wake up for no reason, AGAIN, at 7:00 a.m.  This "kid on Christmas morning" thing with the football is wreaking havoc on my body...  Anyway, if I get out of bed, I can get to the Strip and try to make up for my SHREDDED football parlay tickets with NEW football bets - UGGGHHH...  So I tiredly straggled to the Strip, and I proceeded to FIND a ... SMALL PILE OF CASH en route!!!  There was no one around, and no way to find out who it belonged to (of course EVERYONE IN THE STATE OF NEVADA would have claimed it if had I gone to the media)...  So, getting out of bed, and wearily struggling along to stubbornly make some more wagers paid off...   :)  And then later, once I got to the sportsbooks (yes, more than one - I'm an addict) and started studying, my friend George from San Marcos put a football betting tip on Facebook.  This consisted of five bets, but one game had already started, and I wasn't allowed to parlay the Texas spread with the Texas over.  Anyway, a $5.00 3-team bet and 3 games later, and I'll be getting $35.00 back...  :D  A photo of that parlay ticket is with the Twitter 'ad' for this blog post... 

That's all for the moment, but you're pretty much guaranteed to see a new post here most every day this week.  Have a good one!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pete, Rob, & The Bag Lady

Good evening everyone.  Just for you I'm taking a little break from coloring football parlay cards to make this post.  I'm coming to you live from the Mirage Sportsbook, and I thought that it would be wise to post while I have Wi-Fi and some battery life.

Yesterday I used my phone so often that I had to have employees charge it for me at both the Monte Carlo and MGM poker rooms.  Well, since I ended up staying awake from 23 hours straight, I can now understand why this was necessary looking back on things.  I NEVER would have believed you if you would have told me that I'd wake up at 5:00 a.m. yesterday and stay up for so long while still recovering from the "bug" that bit me.

Having slept for 9 hours in a row, I ventured to the Monte Carlo poker room to start amassing hours for their next freeroll tourney (with 2 out of 2 cashes, it IS the official freeroll of this blog)...  ;)  As luck would have it, James Bond (a.k.a. Pete P. Peters) is in town (yeah, this is shocking, I know).  We had been in contact when I received the message that he didn't see me in the poker room at the Monte Carlo.  I looked down in my chair to confirm that I was indeed sitting there (turns out I was), and then I actually met Mr. Bond.  James humored me by sitting in the 2-6 spread limit game where I was wasting my life away (accumulating freeroll hours).  Having never played any time of limit poker before, I appreciated that he hung out and joined me in the misery.  He actually left with more than he sat with, so not as miserable for him.  As for myself..., HEY, let's talk about dinner with Rob!

My throat was starting to feel a little sore when we met Rob at Tap (a sports bar/restaurant) near the MGM poker room.  I was also getting tired, and downed a Red Bull that I got at the Monte Carlo (brought from home - don't get me started)...  Rob was treating, and it was like winning twice when I found French Onion soup on the menu!  If we had stayed longer, I would have ordered a second bowl (and not just because Rob is a millionaire if you factor in his MGM poker comps)...  GREAT STUFF...

So I felt better when we sat together at table 10 in the MGM poker room.  Not wonderful by any means, as I ordered coffee, hot chocolate, and green tea during our session, but I'm a trooper and a team player.  I had met Rob previously, but had never played poker with him as our initial meeting came after a mind-numbing 10-hour 2-4 session that I had suffered through at the Aliante poker room (R.I.P.).  Well, both Rob and Pete (and later Alysia Chang - at least that's what we were led to believe) were treated to watching me play no limit hold 'em (which ranks right up there with watching grass grow and paint dry).  Don't get me wrong, the .0027 percent of hands that I'm involved in can be pretty exciting (like when I had AK on a K-high flop and shoved my small stack - about 40 over a 6-dollar bet - only to watch Pete call with J-high..., granted the J-high was a straight flush/royal flush draw that he was favored to hit, but still)...  :)  Of course he rivered the ace for the straight, and I will NEVER EVER let him forget it...  Rob (who is loose-aggressive compared to me) had to leave "early" (12:30 a.m. ish - old people)..., but playing with him was very enjoyable.  When Alysia left the game, I became really curious and upbeat for a moment as she approached Pete with what appeared to be a grocery bag (brown paper bag), and I briefly wondered to myself, "DID SHE BAKE HIM COOKIES?!"  :P  It turns out that she wanted a photo-op, and to keep the mystery alive as to whether she actually exists.  This is the photo that you can currently see on my Facebook and Twitter pages.  Left to right, it's Pete, Alysia, and me.  GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I CANNOT BELIEVE how BIG my gut looks in that photo!!!  Las Vegas now has two things that can be seen from space - the Luxor beam and MY STOMACH!  I had a BOWL OF SOUP for dinner!!!  ;)

Anyway, it's time to start coloring again, but have a good one and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Football Is Back!

Good afternoon everyone.  Football starts for real tomorrow, and it's time for some predictions...  :)


This is Joey, and he works as a ticket writer in the sportsbook at Palace Station (for those of you who may be new here).  Joey is the favorite to pick more bets right than me this season (based on last year's stats and me wanting to take any perceived pressure off of myself)...  ;)

Hello from Palace Station as we start FOOTBALL!  Coach told me to pick my best seven thinking I would miss some games.  That just gives me the opportunity to get more right.

Joey's Lucky Seven (0-0 this season)

Florida Atlantic (+22) @ Nebraska - FAU 11-2 as away underdog last 2 years.
Virginia (+21) vs. UCLA - RB Parks should provide ball control to keep game close.
Colorado State (+3) vs. Colorado - Sometimes you bet against the public and Coach.
Penn St. (+1 1/2) vs. UCF - QB Bortles in NFL and PSU recruited 12 4-star players.
Baylor (-32) vs. SMU - Bears are best team in Big 12.
South Carolina (-10) vs. Texas A&M - A&M in reboot mode with no Johnny Football.
Georgia (-7) vs. Clemson - Dawgs are best team in SEC.




And this would be me (and Andrea, my good luck charm for this week's picks, and maybe longer if I get some right)...  ;)

Coach's Lucky Seven (0-0 this season)

UL-Monroe (+4) vs. Wake Forest - ULM is at home w/more returning starters and won at Wake last year.
Colorado (-2.5) vs. Colorado State - Buffs won by 14 last year and return more starters.
Houston (-12) vs. UTSA - Cougs won this matchup by 31 last year.
Arizona (-23.5) vs. UNLV - Wildcats beat Rebels by 45 last season.
Northwestern (-11.5) vs. Cal - NW beat Bears by 14 last year and returns 6 more starters.
Kent St. (-3) vs. Ohio - KSU beat Ohio by 31 last year.
LSU (-4.5) vs. Wisconsin - Tigers return 4 more starters for this game in Houston.

ENJOY the opening weekend of the season and I'll see ya soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Potluck & Football

Good morning everyone.  After my freeroll cash at the Monte Carlo on Saturday afternoon, I managed to come down with a bug that's pretty much put me out of commission until today.  It's completely understandable that I got sick.  I had players on both sides of me who were coughing at the poker table on Friday when I was finishing my qualifying hours for the tourney.  Additionally, with everyone always touching the same poker chips, and the AC going from comfortable to so cold that I have to put my jacket on, and the fact that I made the 6-plus mile round trip walk to and from the Monte Carlo 3 times within 48 hours..., yeah, I get it.  The good news is that this came at the VERY START of Pete Peters' and Rob's visits to town (they'll still be here for a while), and that it came BEFORE the start of the football season on Thursday.  I haven't left my apartment since returning home on Saturday except to shop last night with Joey (more on that in a minute), and I slept a lot last night and today.  Hopefully that rest will be sufficient in putting this bug out of its misery.

Joey's willingness to give me a ride to the store again came at a fortuitous time as I was able to buy some Emergen-C and some chicken noodle soup to battle this cold.  That's the good thing about this being a cold - "Starve a fever, feed a cold" - I have been EATING in an attempt to get nutrients into my body.

Just like last year, Joey will be doing football predictions for the blog with me.  In an attempt to totally cheese things up, we're going to be giving you seven picks each week during this football season.  You know, 'Joey's Lucky Seven' and 'Coach's Lucky Seven' (since we're both living in Las Vegas).  I told you it was cheesy...  ;)  Since Joey did better than I did last year picking his 5 games a week versus my 10, this is also a petty attempt by me to ambush him.  Now Joey will have 2 more opportunities a week to get predictions wrong, while I'll have 3 fewer opportunities to miss on my selections...  :D  Due to the ten college football games being played on Thursday and Friday this week, coupled with the absence of NFL games this weekend, we're going to give you our picks for the opening weekend of action tomorrow (Wednesday).  Otherwise, you should expect our weekly predictions here to come to you on Fridays (with maybe Thanksgiving being an exception).  I'm SO READY for football to start...  :)

Today's title implies that you'll find some potluck in this entry, some odds and ends that I've overlooked in previous posts due to my predominant poker content here since returning to Las Vegas.  We'll go back to last night's WalMart trip to begin.  First, I brought my "scratch sheet" (odds with my scribbles on this weekend's college games) for Joey to look over.  I haven't made a single wager yet on the college games, but I have studied.  Joey already found games that we disagree on, so it will be interesting to see what our respective favorites are on Wednesday.

Also, on the way to WalMart, Joey pulled into a mini-mall for me so that I could get the operating hours for the salon where I used to get my hair cut out here.  I couldn't remember the name of the place, but I know it when I see it (the reason that I couldn't look it up and call).  I NEEDED a haircut before I left Texas, but it slipped my mind when I was doing errands in San Marcos the day before I left for the desert.  SOOO, having already been here for almost a month, I've pretty much got a MOP on my head, which I'll be losing first thing in the morning.

As exciting as my hair is, I'm sure that you're dying to read my WalMart-related stories about macaroni & cheese, spaghetti, and Sunny Delight (RIVETING, eh?)...  ;)  In that studio that I lived in for the last year in Austin, a gas stove (not electric) came with it - not exactly a new complex, but close to UT, and the price was right...  Anyway, with the gas turned on, the stovetop (metal, not the burners) was constantly hot, so i didn't use it.  I'm saying, even with the burners off, the metal was still hot.  This meant that I couldn't make two of my favorites, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and spaghetti.  When Joey took me to the store a few visits back, I LOADED UP on these items...  :)  And YES, that is about the extent of my "cooking" - shut up...  ;)  As for the Sunny Delight, I've never been a regular consumer of the drink, but I may have told you a while back that I bought the bottles for my walks to the Strip.  They are the perfect size for carrying, so I mix powered ice tea or Gatorade in them, and carry them with me.  I live about 25 minutes from the Strip (by foot).  Well, I have these bottles with me when I enter the poker rooms, and although the labels have been peeled off, you'd be surprised by the number of poker room employees who are able to recognize the bottles (even with the tea or Gatorade inside), and I get, "Sunny Delight???"  And then I get to tell THEM the story...  :)

Speaking of potluck, I find it kind of amusing that I had predicted that my little blog would reach 75,000 total views by New Year's (yeah, the New Year's about 8 months ago), but that instead, it is going to happen on the opening weekend of football upon my return to the desert (or pretty close).  So appropriate...

Cashing in three freerolls so far this month after having not played much live poker for a very long time, I am confident that I can make a go of this (the poker playing and sports betting) if I can avoid the incredible streaks of bad luck that I encountered early last week.  I can withstand bad beats and being card dead as long as it's not happening consistently, and for extended periods of time.  Hopefully Saturday's freeroll cash and the start of the football season will allow me to turn the corner...  I have a whole STACK of free poker magazines from the various rooms around town that I've barely touched due to the fast-approaching football season.  Like I used to tell my students and athletes, you won't be finished with education once you've completed school - you'll be required to learn for the rest of your life...  Timely with so many people returning to school yesterday, huh?  I'm such a team player...  ;)  Anyway, I've still got LOTS of studying that I need to do...

On that note, have a great day, and Joey and I will see you tomorrow with some FOOTBALL PICKS!!  :D

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Climbing The Ladder

Good evening everyone.  Things are looking a little better than they did last weekend.  While finishing my qualifying for the Monte Carlo Freeroll yesterday, I booked about a $60.00 win in the 2-6 spread limit game (with pocket kings turning into kings full of queens  -up against AQ at showdown-  being my most noteworthy hand).  That made today's freeroll truly free.  We started with 49 players, and early on I took uncontested pots (no flop) with AA, QQ, and AK (and no, I didn't shove the AK preflop)...  My big score came on the first hand of the fourth round (200/400 blinds).  I was in the small blind, and after a pair of limpers, I called 200 more for the chance to win 1,400 with my QJ offsuit.  The flop came Q x J, and being first to act, I checked.  The original limper bet out 700 into the 1,600 pot after the BB checked, and after a fold to my right, I check-raised to 2,500.  After the BB folded, the bettor looked down at his chips (about 3,500 left, and I had 4,700, counting my 2,500 check-raise).  He said something like, "I guess this is the hand that I go broke on" before he shoved all-in.  I called and he turned over KQ.  A wonderful jack came on the turn, and I doubled up after the case queen was nowhere to be found on the river.  This put me at 10,700 in chips, and made me a lock to make the money barring a natural disaster (like me shoving AK into KK preflop)...  The top 26 finishers would be paid, and the initial starting stack was 5,000 per player.  I won a few more hands (AQ with no callers preflop, and QQ against two opponents on a jack-high flop).  I was able to "coast" (this tourney is a GRIND as you climb the pay scale) into the money, and up a few rungs on the ladder.  My pay went from $175.00 to $275.00 as we reached the final 15 players, and the next jump would be to $325.00 for 11th place.  With 12 players remaining, and the blinds at 1,000/2,000 with 200 antes, I was the BB.  This meant that 2,200 of my chips were in the pot, and that my remaining 1,200 would be in the pot on the next hand.  After 2 folds at our 6-handed table, a player raised to 4,500.  After the remaining players folded, I looked down at 10 10.  I'm not a big fan of the hand, but I'm not folding it in this situation...  My opponent flipped over Q9 of diamonds, and my tourney was done after a queen came on the flop.  However, I did finish 12th out of 49 players and cashed for $275.00, so I'll hold the crying to a minimum (boo hoo).  I'm officially announcing that the Monte Carlo Freeroll is currently my favorite (unless/until I crush the Flamingo Monthly)...  ;)

That's all for now, but have a great weekend and I'll see you soon...    

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gearing Up

"I've been kicked so many times, I don't know nothing else..." -Night Ranger- (Sentimental Street)



Good evening everyone.  Since my frustrating beat in the Flamingo Freeroll on Monday (which perfectly capped off a pretty brutal run of cards that I've seen recently), I stayed here at my apartment resting up and studying college football with the t.v. on in the background.  Don't get me wrong if you read my blog regularly - my KQ suited vs. 44 was pretty much a race (it's not like my hand was dominant), but the K 4 K flop was par for the course as of late.  It wasn't until recently that I discovered that the Flamingo poker room (where I've done the majority of my blog posting over the last three weeks) has free Wi-Fi, and this place is supposed to have it (although I've had no luck with it), but I've already decimated my data plan for the month, so here ya go...  :P

So yeah, a frustrating week has really let the air out of my sails, and I neeced to study football anyway, so tonight is a continuance of my camping out at home, as I'm watching the Las Vegas/Philadelphia LLWS game while I type for you.  Despite my awful run of luck recently, I'm still pretty much even on my results at the poker tables, but that means that I've had no profit to pay for the expenses that I've incurred since my arrival here.  Things aren't desperate yet, but I really have no intention of letting them get to that point, so I've already started kicking around exit strategies in my head.  I really have no desire to "work" in Las Vegas (especially knowing that the opportunity to make money here without doing so is more than adequate - just today, Rob informed me of another weekly freeroll that will be starting, a joint Bally's and Planet Hollywood venture), and if I must, I'd rather do so elsewhere.  A blogger who is much more famous than myself has stated that Reno has cheaper housing than Las Vegas (which seems to check out), and I'm sure that Reno would be a nicer place to live.  I would also be able to continue betting football and playing poker in Reno, if I had a source of income.  Like I said though, things aren't desperate yet, and I'll still be in town to meet Pete Peters and see Rob again when they visit soon, and I'll definitely take my crack at the opening of the fast-approaching football season.  Of course San Marcos and Austin are among my several options, but we're not to that point yet.  Just don't feel to bad for me if things don't work out here.  Those lyrics at the top of this entry, 'Sentimental Street' by 'Night Ranger'..., I've had so many things in my life not work out the way that I've thought they would, or wanted them to, but I'm the epitome of resilience, and I won't stop scrapping until I'm dead.  So don't cry for me Argentina, or Austin, or San Marcos, or wherever you happen to be reading this from...  ;)

I think that the start of the football season (in addition to being highly anticipated) is going to be very interesting for bettors.  One the one hand, you haven't had the opportunity to see any of these teams play yet (more specifically college).  On the other hand, the sportsbooks haven't either...  As I poured through my magazine over the past few days, I learned that the majority of schools lost about half of their starters to graduation or the NFL Draft (with some transfers, etc)...  In the NFL (even though it's preseason), I would have made a killing if I would have followed my instincts and bet the 'over' on the first two Eagles games (they just run so many plays per game, and then give up so many points)...  :P

Well, that's what I've been up to anyway.  I may still get qualified for the Monte Carlo Freeroll on Saturday, and I'll DEFINITELY be watching football from next Thursday to Monday (and some NFL Preseason before, and some games for the rest of my life afterward)...  ;)  Have a good one and I'll see you soon!

Monday, August 18, 2014

SPAM

Good morning everyone.  I sit here in the Flamingo poker room after another disappointing freeroll result, but I'm not going to cry about it for too long.  I finished 42nd of 72 entrants (top 20 get paid) after my KQ spades went up against pocket 4's in the 400/800 round.  I was the BB, so 800 of my 3,200 chips were in the pot before the action started.  The 4's min-raised to 1,600 UTG+1.  The action folded around to me, and I shoved the rest of my stack, knowing that I'd need more chips to cash (the blinds would soon be rising to 800/1,600).  His min-raise smelled like a small to middle pair, and even if he called, the only hands that had me in dire straits were AA, KK, QQ, AK, and AQ.  Like I said, my opponent turned over 44.  The dealer put a K in the window, but the whole flop was K 4 K, and I didn't get any help on the turn or the river.  I'm liking the Flamingo less and less with each passing day...  At this point I have to hope that all of my good fortune here shows up for the monthly freeroll...

Okay, enough of that.  Now we'll turn our attention to the nasty topic of SPAM...  My friend and former student Valerie posted a Facebook status a few days ago where she expressed (dare I say?) enthusiasm about an upcoming "meal" where she was going to "get to" eat... (yeah...), SPAM...  Yuck!!!  Being the thoughtful person that I am, I tried to save her from making this horrific mistake, but Valerie wasn't having any of it...  :)  Then I decided to query my friends on Facebook, and I posted a status asking if anyone else actually likes eating this stuff (other than being dared to, or losing a bet, or being tortured)...  ;). And to be clear, we're talking about Spam, the stuff that OOOOZES out of can surrounded by slime (if you're fortunate to hit the can JUST RIGHT)...  It's kind of like ham, but it must of made unfortunate decisions somewhere along the line.  Something definitely went wrong somewhere anyway...  :

WELL, I tagged Valerie to this status, to which she initially replied "LMAO" - she understands (as you all should) that I only pick on people I like, and WOW, if she didn't find some supporters...  I had to eat this 'ham wannabe' sometimes as a child, but it seems that there are people out there who actually eat this stuff voluntarily...  :)  My friends Norma, Ann, Joey, Olivia, Yvonne, Gracie, Miletus, Jennifer, and Valerie's sister Daisy all rallied to Valerie's defense.  Before I give you "recipes," I need to thank Barbara ("NOPE") and Chrysteen ("No!!!) for their staunch opposition to Spam.  I also need to recognize (and express my envy) of my friend Nici, who has NEVER even tried Spam (SOOOO lucky)...  ;). Okay, in my defense, almost none of the Spam lovers seem to like the product by itself.  Gracie said that it's a little salty (which doesn't begin to cover what's wrong with it).  :P  Anyway, the majority of this group (Ann, Joey, Yvonne, Miletus, Jennifer, and Daisy) prefer to fry it (I mean, you have to TRY to kill it, right?).  :)  Ann likes it with scalloped potatoes, Joey likes to make SLT's out of it, Yvonne likes it with macaroni, Jenn likes it with bread and mustard, and you do have to give Miletus credit for only eating it "once in a blue moon..."  Olivia, while not preferring it fried (she likes it on a sushi roll with avacado) does have something in common with the rest of this group - she's smart enough to realize that if you add other stuff to the Spam, that helps to KILL THE TASTE of the Spam...  :)  Daisy (who is definitely Valerie's sister) added "Go Spam!!!" and wished upon me dreams (nightmares) of Spam and mayo sandwiches...  :P  Please feel free to weigh in with your opinion of Spam (unless you like it of course, in which case you can keep it to yourself)...  ;)  And in all fairness to Spam, I would eat it before I'd eat liver...  :)

Okay, well I guess the positive about my bad run at the poker tables as of late is that I'm going to step back and get ready for the upcoming kickoff to the football season.  The college games start ten days from now, with the NFL opener kicking off exactly a week afterward.  I'm about to find some food, so I'll let you go for now.  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Attack Of The Pink Chicken

Good morning everyone.  Well, not so much...  Saturday night capped off what has been a pretty horrific week for me at the poker tables (I really should have heeded the almost choking on before swallowing a whole Vitamin C drop at the start of my session as a warning), the kind that will have me looking for a job or heading back to Texas or doing something if things don't change pretty fast.  In what appears to be a weekly Saturday poker theme now (it's only been Sunday here for 2 1/2 hours at this point), some more soul searching is going to be taking place.  Let's fast rewind to earlier in the week, where I was playing 2-4 limit hold 'em here at the Flamingo.  Scott, my friend and a former poker dealer here, nicknamed this place "The Pink Chicken."  Okay, so during one session, I was at a table when a regular managed to get pocket aces three times in a half hour.  I ran my pocket queens into them once, and I had AJ on a jack-high board another time.  She managed to win with her aces all 3 times at a 2-4 limit table, if you're keeping score at home.  Last night I had my aces cracked in a 2-4 game by a woman with pocket kings who hit one on the flop (boo hoo, I know).  A bigger injustice came in a 2-4 game yesterday (fyi, these yesterdays are Friday) when I had pocket kings and 2 players, both holding a 2 (one with pocket deuces), went runner-runner from the flop, both rivering their 4-out 3 to make a straight (x 6 5 4 3).  Fun times...  Fast forward back to Saturday night, when I figured that I'd sit in the no limit game here to avoid heartache.  Guess again...  I had about 3 1/2 hours more to get for Monday morning's freeroll here before I sat.  My original $100.00 buy-in was at about $75.00 when this hand occurred...  I limped in with pocket 9's, and the player to my left raised to 7.  A few more players tagged along, and I called.  The flop came 10 9 x, and I checked.  The player to my left bet 15, everyone else folded, and I shoved my remaining 67.  He called and i showed my 9's.  He nodded and told me that he had queens.  Turn blank, river queen (you already knew, right???)...  So instead of being up about 60 or 65 bucks, I'm now down $100.00.  I go ahead and buy back in for another $100.00.  Just to make me feel better, this guy caught a straight flush playing 4 7 of diamonds to win a big pot, and the $100.00 high hand bonus here...  Okay, so with my second $100.00 buy-in, I'm now at $85.00 when I look down at the black pocket kings.  The action ahead of me has been raised to $12.00 with a caller.  I shove my $85.00 and get a call from the original raiser before the other player folds.  I flip my kings and he shows me his (anyone wanna guess?  c'mon, I bet you get it right...) aces...  The board blanks out, and now I'm down $200.00.  Viva Las Vegas...  Staying out here is predicated on me making money (and I really only have to make about 35 or 40 bucks per day to do so).  HOWEVER...  Ugghhh...

So after all of that, I go up to the floor person and confirm that I'm good for Monday morning's freeroll tourney here.  I'm also less than an hour shy of qualifying for the Pink Chicken's monthly freeroll tourney at that point.  So I check my wallet, and buy into the 2-4 limit game for $40.00.  The way I felt at that point, I wanted to get my 50 minutes in, and RUN AWAY FAST.  I broke exactly even in 2 hours of 2-4 play, and just to rub salt in my wounds, I won TWICE with KK in that game...  Merp...

Okay, so on the bright side, I'm qualified for Monday's freeroll tourney here, as well as the monthly (50 total hours needed).  The bad news is that I don't cash in freerolls, but that's another story...  ;)  I plan on taking the rest of the day off from poker (I may actually get back into a 2-4 game here with my $40.00 and PRAY that I hit a royal flush for $500.00, but that's another story - I have lots of other stories, don't I???).  Anyway, while taking the rest of today off, I will get my chores done and STUDY football in preparation for the kickoff of the NCAA season on the 28th.  I will also study for the start of the NFL season on September 4th.  I will then play in Monday's freeroll tourney here, and after that I will probably pay a visit to the Monte Carlo's poker room to accumulate hours for their freeroll tourney next Saturday (I seem to have a little bit better luck dosn the street)...          

Okay, enough of that.  I now have a preview for my next blog entry.  There may or may not be some poker content, but we are DEFINITELY going to be discussing Spam...  This would be the SLIMY, COAGULATED "meat substance" that OOOOOZES out of the can when you finally hit it hard enough, and not those tedious unwanted e-mails...  SOOOO..., Valerie (whose facebook status was responsible for starting all of this), Norma, Ann, Joey, Olivia, Yvonne, Barbara, Gracie, Miletus, Jennifer, Chrysteen, Nici, and Daisy (Valerie, you'll have to tell Daisy), tune in next time, because WE ARE going to talk about SPAM!  YUCK!!!  And just a reminder (to be clear), I only pick on people I like...  ;)  Actually, a few of those people that I just listed are on my side, and will be receiving gold stars...  :)

Enjoy your Sunday, and I'll see you soon...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Revising The Gameplan

Good morning everyone.  After my torrid pace of playing poker and posting here upon my return to the desert, I'm taking a "moment" to revise my plan of attack.  This began last night after my sessions at the Flamingo.  Well, in actuality, this began a couple of days ago.  After an unsuccessful day session playing 2-4 limit (I have to stop playing this game, or at least start getting better hands) at the Flamingo, I decided that I'm tired of playing against the same people on a daily basis.  I decided to change my sleep schedule (after I actually caught up on my sleep), which had me arriving on the Strip at sunset and returning  home after sunrise.  A problem that I hadn't anticipated was "dinner breaks."  I had dealt with this before when I lived in Las Vegas (and even read about it recently in Rob's blog I believe).  Fast rewind (you like that?) to last night, when I sat in a 2-4 game, less than 4 hours shy of qualifying for the freeroll tourney that starts 7 1/2 hours from now (see how much I love y'all?).  Well, I sit at a full table, and it's not ten minutes before one, and then another person gets up.  After a while, you can tell that they're not returning anytime soon.  And then a few players leave the game, and we're down to 5 or 6 players.  This has all happened within 45 minutes.  I know that the number is 45 minutes because that's when I finally decided "that's enough of this."  I left the game but remained in the poker room, surfing my phone while taking great pleasure in watching the diners stuck in the shorthanded game when they returned...  :P  I was actually on the list for 1/2 NL (I didn't stay there JUST to be petty), and my name was called for a new game.  The key hand came after I was down to about 70 bucks (100 buy-in) when I was dealt QQ.  In early position I decided to limp in.  This was a pretty tight game, and I didn't want everyone to run from a raise.  Well, the guy 2 to my left made it 12, and picked up about 4 callers before the action returned to me.  I shoved my "stack" at this point, and although the original raiser folded, I managed to get two callers.  Queens against TWO hands - wonderful...  Well, they were all-in also, so after the pots were straight, I flipped my QQ, and an overcard NEVER SHOWED on the board.  One opponent mucked and the other flipped over AJ suited (tell me again how awesome no limit players are when you complain about limit)...  :)  Anyway, by the time I qualified for today's freeroll, I cashed out up exactly one bill (100) for the session.  This is when I decided to take a field trip to check out some of the nearby poker rooms that aren't on my freeroll list.  And somehow Holly and Nanci are under the impression that I went out just to take pictures for them...  ;)

First I returned to the Mirage, the site with the poker room that my brother brought me to several years ago that put all of these crazy ideas in my head...  :)  With the new competition in town, the Mirage isn't the same room that was referenced by Matt Damon in 'Rounders.'  However, I was pleased watching from the rail to see the "quality" of one of their 1/2 NL games, reinforcing my belief that I have to sit in the touristy late night games around town.  After a nice rest in the Mirage Sportsbook (much to the degenerate Pete Peters' liking, as I was able to get some info. for him - oh, and photos of both the book and the poker room are on Twitter and Facebook), I ventured over to Treasure Island's room.  They have moved since my last visit, but still appear to be struggling for business.  The room has "glass walls" (some might call these windows, I don't know...), but they have several promotions going on according to Bravo.  They only had one game going however, so I ventured back across the Strip to the Venetian.  HOLY WOW...  They did an EXCELLENT JOB of redoing this 59 table room!  They still had over 10 games going at like 3:00 a.m.  If I ever get good at this game, I may have to play there.  I saw some people ordering some FANCY FOOD (they have 24-7 poker room service from the cafe there).  When I say "cafe," don't think school cafeteria food.  When I asked to see a menu, the waiter specified that I could only order from two pages at that time.  Those two menu pages had A TON of food, and everything that I saw wheeled by looked GREAT!  The menu is separated by what's available at each time of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night), and the Venetian pays $2.00 an hour in comps.  I watched a couple of guys playing heads-up 4-8 Omaha Hi-Lo (there was also some heads-up 2-4 at the Flamingo before I left - don't ask me), I watched some 15-30 Omaha Hi-Lo with a 1/2 kill (much more interesting), and I just took in the room itself.  Pretty awesome...  :D

Okay, so back to me.  My only freeroll this weekend is today's Flamingo.  I decided to pass on the Quad because their 1/1 NL game doesn't go consistently, instead opting to try my luck this weekend at night against some of the tourists (Mirage, Venetian, etc...).  I also plan on getting eight hours at the Flamingo before Monday, while starting on my Monte Carlo hours for next Saturday (2 weeks to get 13 hours).  I may visit MGM or Mandalay Bay if I'm ambitious...  This should make me one tired camper after I finish Monday's 9:00 a.m. Flamingo tourney, at which point I need to study some football.  Today is the 15th, and the college football season kicks off on the 28th - WOO HOO!!  :)

Anyway, that's the recap on where I'm at right now.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Start Of The Marathon

Good evening everyone.  I'm just sitting in the sports book at the Quad right now as I ponder whether to play here or at the Flamingo tonight.  I need ten hours for each freeroll (Flamingo Friday/Quad Saturday), and I didn't end up playing any at all since the end of yesterday's Flamingo Freeroll.  I had a GOOD DOSE of sleep, and a pretty constructive session or more unpacking last night.  I also had a weird dream this afternoon about being on the wrong plane (to come here presumably???).  I had a bunch of scattered junk on the plane with me (very similar to the contents of one of the duffle bags that I emptied last night), and I was trying to organize all of this and sit by her at the same time.  I'm guessing that we hit it off when we flew together in another one of my dreams (hey, I don't know)...  :)  Anyway, she moved over to allow me to sit by her, and then she said that she was going to Austin.  I thought that this was weird because I believed that we were already in Austin, or that it would be weird for me to fly back to Austin (I think my destination was Las Vegas).  Anyway, I had her check the flight number on her ticket, and I did the same, and I discovered that I was on the wrong flight.  If you follow my blog regularly, you know that this dream was more strange because I drove out here (no planes involved)...  ANYWAY, I got some GOOD SLEEP...  :D

So yeah, I'm ready for a big helping of cards tonight.  This will be my first cash game action since the 2-6 spread limit at the Monte Carlo before their freeroll on Saturday afternoon.  I didn't feel quite right after publishing my blog entry yesterday, and I didn't feel like competing against all of the regulars at the Flamingo.  I thought that I'd go home and rest, and then come out again last night, but when I woke up, I decided to work on my apartment some more.  I've probably slept for something like 17 of the last 31 hours.

Anyway, that's your update, and you probably won't hear from me until late tomorrow or sometime on Thursday unless something dramatic happens (like I win a hand or something)...  ;)  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back At It

Lady:  "Do you have *** by Dior?"
Me:  "Oh no, sorry (pointing to shelf), these are the only ones we have in that collection."
Dumb Lady:  "So what are you saying?  That you don't have it?"
Smart Me:  "No, what I'm saying is only special people can see the invisible bottle, and since you can't see it..., you can't have it..." -Alma Medrano-

"I will not buckle, I will not break, I will not be beat..." -Leanne Calderon-

"Where do you run when you lose what you love?" -Belyne Gonzalez-




Good morning everyone.  Since my cash in the Monte Carlo Freeroll on Saturday, I took the rest of the weekend off.  I think that I need to plan my sleep/rest better to take advantage of the opportunity to play against the tourists (more casual players) who come to town for the weekend(s).  Due to the back-to-back Saturday freerolls (Quad/Monte Carlo) and having played late Friday night after the Flamingo Freeroll to cap off a full week of poker, I was pretty beat.  I returned home at about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night, ate while I watched some Cardinals/Texans preseason ball, and then I slept through til yesterday morning.  I spent most of yesterday doing some more unpacking, doing my wash, taking a well-deserved nap :D, and going to WalMart as Joey came through again with a ride.  We may have to give my friend the moniker 'Superstitious Joey' after last night's conversation, but we'll pick on him some other time.  Anyway, I probably have a month's worth of food at my place now (seriously) and I haven't used any of my poker comps yet (everywhere that I've played gives you $1.00 an hour for sitting in cash games).

Okay, so back to the present, I just played the Flamingo Freeroll after playing no poker since Saturday.  I'm sad to say that I didn't cash, finishing 40th in the field of 89.  I was more active in this freeroll than any other to date, partly out of necessity, and partly due to getting some cards.  I won an early hand (25/50) round heads up when I raised 10's to 150 preflop, then bet the jack-high flop.  From middle position in the 200/400 round, I raised A 7 to 1,100 and everyone folded.  In the 400/800 round, I was in a lot of pots.  Relatively short-stacked, I shoved my KJ, which flopped a jack and fended off Q2 (BB call).  I shoved 9's for 4K on the very next hand and the table folded. In the BB I made a play that was a mistake in hindsight (if I could only see the future)...  A early position player called all-in for 800.  The table folded to the big stack SB to my right (duh), and he limped in.  I looked down at 10's, and shoved to isolate the all-in.  Well, the SB folded, and I found myself up against aces.  The flop was 4 10 4, and the turn was a 10...  Had I just limped in this case, the SB may have bluffed the board into my boat/quads as the hand progressed.  On the very next hand I lost all of my profit from that hand I woke up to AQ in the SB.  We had an all-in for 1,700, and I flat called from my 400 SB.  The BB came along and we checked down the low board.  I wouldn't have made anything by betting as the BB showed QJ, but the all-in's 5 gave her the pot.  With about one orbit of life left, now in the 800/1,600 round, I faced an all-in and looked down at 55.  I called the all-in (I was in late position), and found myself heads up with AQ.  Ace on the flop, and I'm typing this post for you.  Merp...  Now I get to figure out where I'm going to play today - here, the Quad, the Monte Carlo...  A few hands of note from this tournament that I wasn't involved in...  I once again saw AK clash with KK, with KK winning this time.  Pretty early on, I saw the UTG to my left shove with the evil hand (Q 10) preflop, only to face a pair of all-ins (AA and KK).  I folded my 96 in the BB, which of course would have made the straight and whacked all 3 hands (AA won).  Ah, more good news.  As I sit here in the poker room typing this, they just reached the final table (the top 10 cash for $350.00 each).  This woman who was running EXTREMELY HOT in the 2-4 game Friday night (AA 3 times in half an hour hot) just cashed.  I ran my QQ and my AJ on a jack-high flop into 2 of her 3 pocket aces.  As I think about now, I should be thankful that it was 2-4 limit I guess...  :P  Anyway, good for her...  lol (not bitter at all, obviously)...  ;)      

Okay, now to make my gameplan for this week.  Have a good one and I'll see you soon...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Soul Searching

Good evening everyone.  I had a very rough morning today, and coupled with yesterday's whiff at the Flamingo Freeroll, I was not very happy as I made my way here to the Monte Carlo from the Quad (I'm typing this from the sportsbook here as Johnny Manziel prepares to make his Browns debut - has anyone heard anything about this guy???).  The odds of cashing in the Quad Freeroll were very high today, as 10 of 25 entrants cashed for $300.00.  I think my "card-deadness" in yesterday's Flamingo tourney probably played into a decision by me that can best be defined as egregious in hindsight.  TEN minutes into the tourney, one orbit of the button, and the blinds were at 25/50, with everyone starting with 3K in chips.  There was a small raise at the far end of the table, which the chipleader (doubled up when his jacks spiked another hook to crack kings) called, before the player to my right raised to 700.  I looked down at AK and SHOVED for 2,925.  Everyone at the far end of the table folded, then guy to my right said, "this is too good to fold..."  The villain turned over KK...  The board didn't help me, and I finished 24th of 25, out in TEN MINUTES...  I... WAS... NOT... HAPPY...

I had plenty of time to fume about my brilliance as I walked from the Quad here to the Monte Carlo.  When I arrived here THREE HOURS BEFORE the 1:00 p.m. start (evidently you make good time when your poker decisions are horrible), I still had plenty of time to do some serious soul searching.  I (usually) do well in tournaments, and my plan was NOT to whiff all three weekend tournaments.  My game will keep improving as I play more poker, but I've had some hands cracked in cash games (who hasn't?), and these freerolls should be an insurance policy at the very least, and will ideally serve to grow my bankroll if I learn how to play tournaments.  I... WAS... FUMING...  As I sat here this morning on the same couch I'm typing this from now, I thought about two years ago when I returned to Texas from here after a break-in.  And don't get me wrong - I have some GREAT FRIENDS.  My former employers on the Square and at the University of Texas told me that I'm welcome back if I need a job.  My friend Lindsey set me up with an apartment OVER THE PHONE heading into Labor Day Weekend after that break-in occurred when I wasn't comfortable with my footing here.  At a time when my disgruntlement and depression could have been SO MUCH WORSE (I didn't even have a t.v.), I have another friend who meant SO MUCH TO ME  (who I inexplicably lost and hope I can someday make things right with - I never even had the opportunity to thank her like I intended).  Well, suffice it to say that I have a lot of friends (if you're a regular reader of my blog, you've seen me CONSTANTLY stealing material from them - Leanne and Francesca immediately come to mind, headlining the top of a VERY LONG LIST )...  ;)  This is before even mentioning the support of my fellow bloggers...  However, with all of this, I think that I can be successful playing poker and betting sports, and I don't want to HAVE TO get a job.  YEAH..., a lot of soul searching going on here several hours ago...

Then my day improved...  After about an hour, I could keep beating myself up, or I could get into the 2-6 spread limit game here.  There was one hand of note - I got the black pocket kings, and they STOOD UP, and I cashed out up $82.00 before the freeroll started.  Then we were in the freeroll, one in which 26 of 41 entrants would cash.  This is a deep-stack freeroll as far as these things go - 25-minute levels, with 5K in chips to start (plus an extra 100 for every hour you go beyond the qualifying 13).  So, we had FORTY-ONE people playing SUPER TIGHT.  Well, except for the guy at my table who shoved his AK into pocket kings and CRACKED THE KINGS (I kid you not).  But I stayed patient as I didn't receive premium hands, and when necessary I shoved my AJ and beat 4 6, and when it was all said and done, I called the small blind's shove from the big blind (I had him heads up, and would have been all-in on my small blind).  However, my Q 6 couldn't catch his K J (king on the flop), and I busted out in 16th place for a $175.00 cash.  With my 2-6 win, that's $257.00 up for the day.  It started out horrifically, but I would take that EVERY DAY...  :)

Have a good one and I'll see you soon...  ;)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Quads At The Quad

Good morning everyone.  Bad news this morning (more for me than for you) as I finished 49th out of 81 players in this morning's Flamingo Freeroll.  We started with 3K in chips, and in the 50/100 (2nd) round, I limped with 7's and hit nothing.  In the same round, I also limped with A Q, and called a raise to 300 that I shouldn't have (in retrospect).  This player was seated immediately to my left, wearing a Station Casino's cap (local, solid player), and I later saw him limp with QJ suited, and raise from 200 to 500 preflop with jacks.  I take this to mean that he was PRETTY STRONG in our hand, and I had to fold to his bet on the 5 K 5 flop.  Live and learn...  Anyway, I also folded some decent hands in early position today (every hand that I had seemed to be out of position).  These hands included 6's twice (would have won once, but would have never made it to the river to see it spike), 5's, KQ, and K 10.  I'm sure that we'll discuss later how I don't value small pocket pairs as much as others.  And the 7's were actually mid-position, not early, and I was the first limper.  My death blow came in the 400/800 round where I held 1,400 in chips, with 800 of those in the BB.  A preflop raise to 3,100 induced folds from the whole table, and I had a chance to be heads up, so I called with my Q 3 and only 600 left.  My opponent flipped A 9 clubs, and the flop brought a TREY, and a NINE..., AND A NINE...  Meh...  I could cry right now here in the poker room, but I have two more freerolls tomorrow, so not so much...  ;)

Let's talk about something more pleasant, and unusual.  Yesterday at the Quad (and let me stop here to say that you can find two very beautiful young ladies posing with me on my Facebook and Twitter accounts from after this session), I needed 3 more hours to reach 10 for tomorrow's freeroll.  I sat in the 1/1 NL game again, which we started 4-handed.  From a blind, I saw a 3-way flop with 22.  A 2 flopped, and we all checked (A 2 3).  A blank hit the turn, I checked again, and faced a bet of 3 (the other player folded).  I called, now making the pot nine.  The case deuce hit the river, giving me quads, and the Quad pays $50.00 for quads, IF there are TEN dollars in the pot...  Now I'm thinking...  If I bet, will he fold?  If check, will he check?  In either of those scenarios, I lose...  I finally flip out a single chip, BEGGING for him (not verbally) to call ONE DOLLAR.  He calls, and I show as I say, "Thanks for calling..."  I then explain the scenario to the pair of players at the table from out of town, and that I wasn't taunting the caller (a local), but was truly thankful for my $50.00 high-hand bonus.  Five for the dealer, a buck for the floorman, the local's next drink on me, and off we went...  :)  By the way, I won just over a bill in three hours yesterday, which is also helping to ease this morning's freeroll pain...  :)  Looking back, I'm kind of regretting crafting my trade (yeah, I'm using "trade" loosely) almost exclusively at the Mirage when I started playing poker.  I'm sure that I missed out on lots of money that I could have hit in high-hand bonuses playing in other poker rooms (not to mention facing weaker competition)...

You're now about to see my biggest break in posting since my return to the desert.  I wont make another entry here til at least after tomorrow's pair of freeroll tournies (Quad at 9:00 a.m., Monte Carlo at 1:00 p.m.).  If I decide to start playing immediately afterwards, it will be a little longer.  I hope that you have a great weekend, and I'll still see you pretty soon...  ;)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Freeroll Frenzy

Good morning everyone.  If you think that I'm posting again really soon, you're correct.  Remember that entry less than ten hours ago that talked about me looking at football lines and going to check out the Quad and Harrah's (among other things)?  WELL..., I did make it as far as the Quad...  There's a photo of the view looking at Caesar's from the Quad if you look at my Twitter or Facebook pages.  This is the hotel/casino that I stayed in just over a year and a half ago (December) for a week, and let me tell you, they have done an OUTSTANDING JOB of remodeling the Quad.  This is the former Imperial Palace, and the construction was underway when I stayed here.  The Quad pretty much serves as the gateway casino to the Linq (the new entertainment area on the Strip), and the place has had some serious money put into it by Harrah's.  I was already planning on using some of my comp dollars here at Hash House A Go Go, but I will also be participating in the Quad Freeroll Tournies.

Yes, after more than SEVEN hours at the 1/1 NL table tonight, I will "likely" make 10 by Saturday.  This means that I will be in the Flamingo Freeroll at 9 a.m. on Friday, this freeroll (the Quad - I'm currently typing this up for you from the sportsbook in the Quad) at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and the Monte Carlo's tourney at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.  Oh, and I'll get 8 hours at the Flamingo so I van take my seat at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning.  FREEROLL FRENZY...  :D  The 1/1 NL is a very interesting game ($50.00 - $200.00 buy-in), and Rob will happy to know that I suffered a $12.00 hit putting a guy all-in with the "dreaded pocket kings" preflop, only to be rivered by a 7, the 2-out 7 that turned his hockey sticks into a set...  Talking about our favorite hands, I looked down at the evil hand (Q 10), but mistakenly thought that I had pocket queens, and only while I was determining how much to raise did I realize the evil.  Both cards were diamonds, which should have been my first clue...  :O  The initial raises in this game are interesting - 6 seemed to be the norm, but I saw raises to 2, 4, and 7 quite often also.  I wasn't shocked by 11, but one player, after a pair of players were in for 2 (which is also the straddle amount), raised ALL-IN TO 72!  Yes, it was 1, 1, 2, 2, SEVENTY-TWO...  Ba ha ha...  :D Gotta love Las Vegas, and you gotta love poker...

Okay, no more from me (I think) until after the Flamingo Freeroll.  Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Big Snooze

Good evening everyone.  Since I got home from playing poker at about 3 a.m. last night (I'm now qualified for Friday's Flamingo Freeroll and Saturday's Monte Carlo Freeroll), I managed to sleep about 12-13 hours (only broken by lunch) before waking back up about an hour ago.  I was wondering when I was going to catch up, because I hadn't had nearly enough sleep after having been up for the 31 hours straight since I made the trip here.  And you know me, with the unpacking, and the poker freerolls and qualifying, and the football season that is looming in the offing, my mind has just been racing so much that I haven't allowed myself to just sit still for a second.  Speaking of that, I plan on heading down to the Strip later (you must be shocked) to check out the Quad and Harrah's poker rooms.  I just realized that at this time a week ago I was approaching El Paso (only awake for about 13 hours at that point)...  ;)  I think that I might also stop by the sportsbooks tonight to look at the lines and totals on tomorrow night's preseason NFL games.  It's so cool that football is just around the corner...  :D  In an interesting twist, it has rained or been overcast for several of the days since I returned, which is pretty rare here in the desert.

A little while ago I was snooping around here in the blog, trying to figure out if it was possible to upload photos somehow, and the only ones I could figure out for sure are ones that have already been used in the blog...

  

Here's an oldie but goody, as we find Alyssa powerlifting her cat Belle.  Evidently I've used photos 386 times in this blog (387 now).  It seems like I might possibly be able to use some Google Plus ninja trick to upload photos from my phone somehow, but I haven't investigated this yet.

Things in Las Vegas have changed, but they still remain the same.  Some of the old places are gone, and have been replaced by new attractions and casinos.  The new Linq area (with the 'High Roller' ferris wheel) seems to be a really popular place.  I haven't been down to the area which housed the Sahara (and soon the new SLS casino), but it's supposed to be really fancy when it opens.  Maybe I should head down that way tonight.  So many things to do...

Well, it's 6:00 p.m. here now, and I feel like I should get something accomplished.  :)  I've got the freeroll tourneys in the offing, and like the title of my post (Goose Bumps) suggested recently, I do get "psyched up" to play in those (even more than the regular cash game sessions I think).  I realized last night that even just playing the Flamingo and Monte Carlo freerolls each month, I would be participating in at least 11 tournaments a month (8 weekly Flamingo, which are held on Mondays on Fridays, 2 bi-weekly Monte Carlo tourneys, and a monthly Flamingo freeroll).  That's not to mention if a month has an extra Monday or Friday, and doesn't account for any Quad, Harrah's. MGM, or other freerolls I might qualify for.  There's lots of poker going on in the desert from my perspective, and I've only been to a limited number of rooms so far...

Okay, now it's 6:15 p.m., and I'm really going to get up from this couch...  :P Have a great evening and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chores And Poker

Good afternoon everyone.  I got a solid 9 hours of sleep in a row last night (Midnight - 9:00 a.m.), so I'm getting closer to feeling like myself.  The funny thing is, once I'm completely rested, I know that marathon poker sessions and poker/football sessions won't be out of the question, but my battery is being recharged nonetheless.

I ventured to the Monte Carlo to complete my freeroll hours there (5 more) yesterday after my cash in the Flamingo Freeroll (see yesterday's blog entry for recap).  My card-deadness continued in the 2-6 spread limit game, as I lost about 30 bucks in 3 hours.  When that game became short-handed, I switched to what was a LOOSE 1-2 NL table.  I remained card dead except for one hand, but that hand enabled me to cash out over 60 bucks ahead for my session, thus erasing my earlier SL loss.  I ecstatic to tell that this hand was KK.  I didn't want to tell you about my pair of losses with kings at the Flamingo on Friday, because I hate to perpetuate Rob's loathing of the "dreaded pocket kings."  :D  However, I'm more than happy to recount ths hand.  Again, very loose table, so I was being tight, even for me.  There was so much raising, and my image was so tight, I limped from early position (UTG+1) with the cowboys, hoping for a raise, so I could shove.  I only bought in for 100 again, and had 80-something at the time.  I limp, a few others do, raise to 15, call, BAM, I shove my stack.  The raiser calls, the other guy folds.  I flip right away, never ashamed to show anything shove with (unless someone wants to be a jerk).  Other guy lets board run out, then shows his AJ.  A jack hit, but that's it, and that was basically the extent of my session.  It was very entertaining to watch however as I hoped for big hands (back to the Flamingo Tourney, I was card dead for the day).  There was probably close to 3,500/4K on the table in this 1-2 game, but that's with like 4 players having less than 200, so there were some big stacks, and more than half of that was brought into the game after I sat (people reaching into their pockets or going to the ATM and returning, and this is before 9:00 on a Monday night).

So today I've basically done CHORES til now.  I changed the address on several of my current and cancelled accounts (apartment, bank, cable, phone, insurance, blah blah, blah blah)...  I also like where I'm living, so I paid rent for the next month.  If I can maintain what I've done in my first four days of poker, I'll be all set.  I also made the discovery at the Monte Carlo sportsbook last night that the lines and totals (overs/unders) are already out for Week 1 of the NFL.  I knew that the opening NCAA lines were out, but now I can bet on anything for the first week, college or pro.  :D  Now I just have to make myself sit still long enough to STUDY...  ;)  That sounds wonderful, but someone is going to head out the door to get started on his Flamingo Freeroll hours for Friday after he hits the publish button.  ;)  Have a great day!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Goose Bumps

Good afternoon everyone.  I ended up catching up on some sorely missed sleep yesterday, so I didn't end up posting.  I got home at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning after that Monte Carlo session, slept from 7-11 a.m., unpacked stuff while watching a Law & Order marathon and the start of the Giants/Bills game til about 6:00 p.m., and was so tired that I had to take a 2 1/2 hour nap.  I then unpacked some more until my buddy Joey gave me another ride to WalMart (I discovered that Sunny D bottles are the perfect size for carrying tea/Gatorade to the Strip).  In addition to buying nine more Sunny D bottles (so I only have to mix Gatorade and tea once a week), I also failed to buy laundry detergent on our first trip to the store (and yes, I "washed" my clothes with straight fabric softener on Sunday)...  :)  Thanks again Joey!  Resting up was probably a good idea since my first freeroll tourney at the Flamingo was today.

Oh yeah, chasing freerolls...  Get used to it gang, because you're going to be reading about results from several of these...  I anticipate playing in freeroll tourneys from Friday thru Monday in the foreseeable future.  Today I was in the Flamingo tourney (I'm typing this from the Flamingo Poker Room).  The tourney had 84 entries with the top 20 getting paid.  I don't think that I've played in a live tournament in a Las Vegas poker room in more than seven years, and my juices were flowing when this thing began.  And I was..., CARD DEAD.  In the 2nd level (50/100) there was a raise in front of me to 225, and I reraised to 1,000 with pocket queens.  He folded, and that was it.  CARD DEAD...  We started with 3,000 in chips, and at the break we had 58 players left.  Then came the 400/800 level, when players started dropping like flies.  I was the big blind, and my 10 8 flopped 2-pair.  The preflop limper (who meant to raise) shoved the Q 10 8 flop, and his QJ didn't improve, so I doubled up.  The very next hand, thr button shoved for 1,900, and already in for 400, I looked down at 10 10.  About my least favorite hand (right up there with the evil hand - Q 10), I had to call.  He flipped A K and I won the race.  That put me at 9,100 chips, and those are the ONLY THREE hands I played by choice before the bubble.  In the 2,000/4,000 round with 21 players left, I was the small blind with 1,000 left, and folded around to me, I folded AK because I "knew" that I would cash in the next orbit.  I did make the top 20, and then after waking up with an AQ vs. a KQ, and sucking out with my 9 2 vs. KQ suited, I managed to get around the table, but my shove (under the gun, automatically all-in the next hand) with A 7 was outdrawn by 4 2 (the big blind, who was already in for the amount of my shove of 8K (4/8K level).  The flop came 4 3 3, and although I was busted, I feel extremely fortunate to place 13th considering my lacks of hands.  Not 5 minutes after I busted, 2 more players were felted, and the top 10 received $350.00 each.  Maybe on Friday...  Now I have to decide if I'll play at the Monte Carlo (5 more hours needed to qualify, the MGM, or here today).  Have a great day and I'll see you soon... 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday At The Monte Carlo

Good morning everyone.  I sit here starting this entry at 3:30 a.m. on a couch in the Monte Carlo sportsbook.  There is a photo of this couch on Facebook and Twitter if you're interested...  I got about 8 of the 13 hours that I need for next Saturday's freeroll, and I made about $20.00 an hour tonight.  I started in the 1/2 NL game, and after a half hour I was dealt AK suited.  There was a raise to 8 in front of me, and 2 callers.  In retrospect I feel my play was a bit timid, but I haven't sat in 1/2 live for quite a while.  I reraised to 20, and 4 of us went to the flop.  The flop came A 3 3 (2 clubs - I had diamonds).  The original raiser bet 40, was called, and I stuck my 70-something out there (only bought in for 100).  I was called by both players.  The original raiser's call put him all-in, and both players called.  The board dealt out without a club.  The original raiser tabled A J, the other player folded, and I ended up with 308 in front of me after the hand.  That was the only real pot I won for 7 hours in that game.  When the table became short, I switched over to 2-6 spread limit so that I could keep accumulating time.  I remember hating the game from the one time that I played at Excalibur years ago, but a poker dealer from the Luxor named Paul (who I was playing no limit with) explained how the betting worked.  Oh,and if you haven't figured it out already, I'm not too proud to sit in limit games.  I have played 2-4, 3-6, 4-8, and 2-6 spread limit, in addition to 1/2, 1/3, 2/5 no limit, and tourneys from free rolls up through a $500.00 WSOP event before.  Anyway, the game looked appealing because the full table was having fun (and I sat in at 2:15 a.m.).  Sean and Todd (locals who I met in the game) were fully enjoying the 'Karaoker' - poker was being played and songs were being belted out.  Sean was campaigning to call this 'Pokeroke' (therefore, both made the blog).  Same story for me in the 2-6, in that I had one big hand.  After an initial raise to 4, I made it 10 with AA, and 4 of us saw the flop.  Three of us put in 18 on the queen-high, two-heart flop.  A king hit the turn, and a blank hit the river.  On the turn, we all put in 4, and 2 of us put in 6 on the river.  The girl betting from the flop on had K 2 (for kings), and a happy Coach drug a big pot.  Note to the new poker players:  Pocket aces NEVER hold up against 3 opponents in limit hold 'em, ESPECIALLY winning as just a pair...

I think I may lay low today before playing in the Flamingo free roll in the morning on Monday.  Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Entering Day Two

Good morning everyone.  I have to lead off by saying that I'm pretty pleased that I can post these masterpieces for you from my phone.  I didn't pay for internet here this week (having to unpack and getting started on freeroll qualifying, I didn't see the need).  I hope you enjoyed the italics yesterday.  I didn't feel like wasting time to undo it, and instead continued with my entry from the Flamingo Poker Room.  I'm already qualified for Monday morning's tourney, and I plan on starting hours at the Monte Carlo today.  They've already held qualifying for a week, but I still only need 13 hours in time for next Saturday's tourney.  They pay the top 26 finishers.  If you use Bravo Poker Live to see what I'm talking about when I refer to these freerolls, the Monte Carlo page hasn't been updated.  I called and the gentleman told me that the freeroll would be the same as the most recent one listed.

I have a couple of restroom walkway stories for you from yesterday.  I was treated to a pleasant surprise yesterday during my poker session when I saw a girl in the hallway using her phone.  As I stepped past her, she looked familiar, so I looked closer, then stopped, took a step backward, craned my neck, and sure enough, it was my friend and former student Abby.  This is really significant because Abby became the first person that I saw since my return that I actually know.  :) I'm not counting "that poker player or dealer looks familiar" either.  Like I said, I already had plans to shop with Joey later, but Abby trumped him.  A big shout out goes out to Abby as she just finished taking her Bar Exam (law, not drinks), and she is in town to celebrate.  Have fun Abby!  :). Speaking of that very same spot in the hall, several hours later I was approaching the restroom when this "adult" couple SUDDENLY STOPS walking in front of me.  If you've never been here, you have to keep your head on a swivel, because people in casinos are doing goofy things ALL THE TIME.  When I came within earshot (almost crashed into them), I heard the woman asking, "Are you sure you don't have to use the bathroom?"  YES, this is the reason that I almost crashed into this couple...

Speaking of Joey, my buddy picked me up at the Flamingo, we shopped, and then we got to hang out and catch up at the Linq.  Very nice area, and the venue where Blue October will be playing in November (Brooklyn Bowl) is located there.  There is also a VERY BIG ferris wheel (High Roller) there if you haven't seen my Twitter pics (@coachatx).  We determined that Joey should be the one with a blog since he bets much bigger than I do, and he evidently has some journalism background.  Again, visit Joey at the sports book at Palace Station if you're in the neighborhood.  We will be giving you football picks THIS MONTH!  Oh, and Joey is betting preseason NFL games, so he's officially more crazy than myself...  :) Great time catching up with Joey, and we talked about the town, and people that we know, and poker, and football...  :)

I'm going to put a little more of my apartment together before I hit the Strip, but I should see you again tomorrow.  Have a great day!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Still A Little Tired

Good afternoon everyone.  After my 3 1/2 hour nap yesterday, I slept for about 7 hours last night.  I decided to walk over to the Flamingo and scout their bi-weekly freeroll tournament.  You qualify with either 8 or 10 hours of play (short or long part of week), and then you're entered into a free tournament.  The top 20 get paid, and they had 88 entrants today.  I also got started on my hours, and once my table became shorthanded about 20 minutes ago, I racked up my modest win (about $10.00 hr./ 2-4 limit).  I was playing tight, ABC, "I drove here from Texas nonstop very recently" poker.  If I can make that rate w/about $5.00 in food comps 365 days a year, I'll never have to work again...  ;) There's also the chance that I cash in a free roll sometime (hopefully, since I'll be chasing them).  My friend Joey has stepped up and said he'd take me to the store later, so I'm probably going to bump around the Strip for a while, making sure more of my players cards are active, and tracking down more poker info.).  I may or may not play again later today, and I will post again either tomorrow or Sunday.  My immediate plans are to post here almost daily.  Have a great day and I'll see ya soon!