Good afternoon everyone. I'm going to give you a quick summary of my expert and heavily researched (AHEM...) first-round NHL playoff picks, followed by a write-up of my most profitable poker tournament results to date.
NHL PLAYOFFS - EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINAL ROUND
(1) New York Rangers vs. (8) Ottawa Senators ----- Ottawa in 6 games
(2) Boston Bruins vs. (7) Washington Capitals ----- Washington in 6 games
(3) Florida Panthers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils ----- New Jersey in 7 games
(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers ----- Philadelphia in 6 games
NHL PLAYOFFS - WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINAL ROUND
(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings ----- Vancouver in 6 games
(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (7) San Jose Sharks ----- St. Louis in 5 games
(3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (6) Chicago Blackhawks ----- Phoenix in 6 games
(4) Nashville Predators vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings ----- Detroit in 6 games
Let me apologize if some of those predictions aren't lined up correctly on the page. My 'preview' feature is not working right now, and has previously been very valuable in helping me straighten up my other prediction articles. If you think I'm totally crazy with my Eastern Conference picks, the lower seeds in the East all played the higher seeds tough head-to-head, so we'll see... ;)
My first no-limit hold 'em game... :) I'm smiling as I type this thinking back on it. To give you a little background, I learned how to play poker at the tables in Las Vegas. Now don't get me wrong - I watched a lot of poker on t.v. and read a lot of poker books before and during the time that my "poker career" began, but when you're talking about actual playing experience, it came from the tables in Las Vegas casinos. That being said, it took me more than a full half-year after I moved to Las Vegas to sit down in a 1/2 no-limit game. I had played in tournaments before, but playing a tournament is different than sitting in a cash game because your loss is limited to the tournament entry fee. For example, I would play the Sahara tournament as frequently as any other tournament, and the cost with the chip add-on was about 62 dollars. No matter how the tournament played out, that 62 dollars was the most that I was going to lose. In a no-limit hold 'em cash game, you can lose your whole buy-in (100 dollars, 200 dollars, whatever is in front of you) on one hand. We were allowed to play at work (during our shift also) where I dealt, and in the early days of our poker room, this was often necessary to start games or to keep them going. In early December of 2005 at 5:45 a.m. (yes, like I mentioned in an earlier post, I keep pretty accurate records of my poker sessions), I sat down in my very first 1/2 no-limit game for 100 dollars. This HAS TO BE one of the funniest no-limit sessions EVER... Playing against more experienced players than myself (by definition, since I had never played in a no-limit cash game before), I was pretty nervous about being outplayed after the flop. I can also tell you that I can remember being pretty nervous the next couple of times that I sat in no-limit games outside of the casino where I worked - it's a MUCH DIFFERENT game than limit... Anyway, this is how it went for the whole 2 hour and 5 minute session that I played. Every time that I received a premium hand (I recall getting AK like 4 times, and KK once), I SHOVED MY WHOLE STACK... EVERY... TIME... :) So whether the action went limp, limp, limp, limp to me..., or limp, limp, raise to 6 to me... whatever the action was, if I was in the hand, my stack of reds went into the middle. Two things to note here. The first thing is that the whole table knew that it was my first time playing no-limit (they obviously also knew that I was a poker dealer in the room). The second thing is that I was NEVER CALLED when I shoved!!!... :) The table did not know what to do with me. I was playing tight (obviously), and even though I was shoving in the neighborhood of 100 dollars each time to win pots of no more than 15 dollars, I was not called, once... I recall one hand (I was sitting in the 2-seat and my opponent was sitting in the 10-seat) where the guy LITERALLY took more than 2 minutes tanking before he finally folded his hand (this was one of the times that I had AK). I ended up winning $ 59.00 for the session (which I was FINE with). If you're one of my readers who is a fellow poker player, you know that it's better to win a small pot than to lose a big one, and I hold the same philosophy with my session results. The players at my table were dumbfounded, my floor supervisor was laughing... :) Ah, the good ole days... I am happy to say that I am still on track to move back to the desert at the end of this summer, and should be making that trip in August if nothing changes. I may give you a little poker story on Friday with whatever is happening in the sports world since I took a bite out of today's entry with the hockey picks above - the NHL playoffs start tonight, so I pretty much had to make those selections today. Have a good one and I'll see you again on Friday.