Friday, September 26, 2014

The Miletus Special

Good evening everyone.  Make sure you're comfortable - this is going to be the longest, most multi-topical posts that I've done in quite some time.  Think of this as a "ramble with paragraphs" (if you will)...  Miletus, who has been one of this blog's loyal supporters from the start, has been waiting for quite some time to read something that doesn't revolve around poker and football.  I'm not saying that I'll totally omit those topics, but I'll try to include some other ingredients tonight.

I'm coming to you from the book at the Mirage again.  As I begin typing this, I'm watching the Fresno State/New Mexico game.  I've got Fresno (-5.5).  I'm watching the action, resuming typing when the game goes to commercial.  I suspect that this will put a dent into what I'll cover tonight, but I still expect to be here well after the game ends, recharging my phone and completing this entry.

The walk here today was unexpectedly pleasant.  The high for today in Las Vegas was supposed to be 99 degrees.  The forecast for the next 8 days doesn't have the temperature getting out of the 80's.  The nightly lows that have been in the 70's are supposed to dip down into the 60's.  Fresno is down by three at the half, if you're wondering...  Anyway, when I left my apartment today, it was REALLY OVERCAST.  In other words, it was perfect because it wasn't 99 and sunny.  This was like the opposite of when you've been looking forward to that last piece of cake or pie, only to find that somebody else has eaten it.  I was dreading one more really hot walk to the Strip, and when I opened my door, BAM..., cloudy with a nice breeze...

I remember the first time that someone thought that I was COMPLETELY STUPID...  So this happened twice today on the way here, and you can only imagine how many times it's happened in the almost two months that I've been back in Las Vegas.  I walk up to the busy intersection, and I push the button so that I can cross the street when the signal light rotation allows.  I even push the other button (every time) so that someone else who isn't even there yet will be able to cross the street in the other direction if they happen to walk up to the intersection.  So this guy walks up behind me, and OF COURSE he presses the button too, because I wouldn't have thought of that.  Not only that, but he keeps pressing the button, like THIRTY TIMES (no, I'm not exaggerating).  He's repeatedly hitting the crossing button like we're in some real life version of Frogger or something...  Later I'm standing across the street behind Harrah's.  If you're on my Facebook or Twitter, I'm standing in the exact spot where I took those photos of the 'High Roller' ferris wheel.  Of course I've pressed the crossing buttons, and now I'm waiting when this older couple comes up behind me.  We're behind casinos (Harrah's, the Venetian, the Quad) and there's gonna be traffic, and you're gonna have to wait for the crossing signal to change.  They've been standing to my left, and after a few seconds (predictably), the lady dips behind me and hits the button.  I immediately turned to her, stared, and EXCLAIMED, "WOW..., I would have NEVER thought of that!!!  Pressing the button..."  Okay, we all know that I didn't say that, but someone needs to give me some credit eventually...

Could you PLEASE learn how to walk?  Whenever I've thought about doing a miscellaneous post, this has been the annoyance/pet peeve/action that has repeatedly required all of my restraint not to kill someone that has sparked that thought.  People are oblivious and have no self-awareness (redundant?).  If I had a dollar for every time that somebody just STOPPED while walking, knowing (maybe not) that there are a bunch of other people walking behind them.  Ugghhh...  Just as high on my list of favorites (and I still want a dollar per) is people who aren't looking where they're walking.  They'll be on the Strip looking at the attractions, or they'll be in the casinos..., LOOKING AT THE ATTRACTIONS, or they'll just be talking to each other, etc..., and you better be careful, because they might walk right into you...  Another of my favorites is pairs or groups that are taking up more space than they should (walking side-by-side when the space available does not give people approaching from the opposite direction any path to pass them, etc...).  As I've continued to encounter this, I've just decided it's best for me to come to a complete stop (and no, no one has run into me from behind for suddenly stopping - clever though), and then they can just walk right into me if they choose.  NOTE:  I haven't become a vegetarian or anything since returning to Las Vegas, and someone's gonna know that they walked into something if the crash into me.  Strangely enough, every walker has altered their path to appease my disgruntlement...  :)

Okay, Fresno State has won by 11 (yeah me!), and I've decided that it will be more prudent to continue studying my football so that I'll have the ability to feed myself (without having to find a job), so I'm going to stop here for now.  However, I will try to produce more non-gambling posts in the near future.  As I'll surely mention again next week, my blog turns three on Sunday, and it is also the birthday of my niece and nephew, Nikole and Dillon.  The twins may be older than three...  :)   Have a great weekend and I'll see you soon!  Sorry it wasn't longer Miletus...  ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

For Whom The Belle Tolls

Good evening everyone.  I'm back at the Mirage, eagerly awaiting this new weekend of football as I continue working on my betting "system..."  I usually show Joey's picks first, but he must be doing his homework, so I'm gonna go ahead and type mine in.  I wonder if there's any correlation between my excitement and my success last weekend - hmmm...  :)


"For Whom The Belle Tolls..."  Well, I certainly hope that THE Belle tolls for me again this weekend.  I went 5-2 here last week and also did very well on my auxiliary picks with this cute feline presiding over my selections...  :)

Coach's Lucky Seven (14-13-1 Overall, 5-2 Last Week)

Ole Miss (-19.5) vs. Memphis - Strong Rebels team hosting mid-major Tigers.
Notre Dame (-10) @ Syracuse - Spread confuses me??  Because the game is in New Jersey???
Colts (-6.5) vs. Titans - Had a hard time not putting this one on every parlay card.
Lions (-1.5) @ Jets - Lions 'D' plenty for Jets 'O' if they don't celebrate sacks.
Jaguars/Chargers (Over 45) - Bortles finally in at QB to launch footballs with Rivers.
Falcons (-3) @ Vikings - Falcons hit their stride against Bucs, while Vikings couldn't even score against Saints.
Steelers (-7) vs. Bucs - Bucs have to plug leaks in sinking ship @ Heinz against Steelers group that found something Sunday night...

I'll be the first to admit that college games make me nervous, but with 6 teams having byes, I lost 6 NFL betting opportunities this week (3 lines and 3 totals).

Now coming to you live from the Palace Station Sportsbook here in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada, HERE'S... JOEY (cue old 'The Tonight Show' theme song)...

Busy, busy week at Palace Station.  The parlay cards are out, so it's time to go 7-0.

Joey's Lucky Seven (11-16-1 Overall, 2-5 Last Week)

Missouri (+6) @ South Carolina - The Tigers have made the transition to the SEC.
Nevada (-5) @ San Jose - San Jose is just not a good program.
Boise State (-13) @ Air Force - Broncos are proving they should be a Top 25 team.
Iowa State (+21) vs. Baylor - Cyclones have played to the competition.
Colorado State (+6) @ Boston College - The Rams are playing good football.  I'm riding them for the next couple of weeks.
UL-Monroe (-11) vs. Troy - ULM is better coached & has better players.
California (-10) vs. Colorado - The Bears have been the surprise in the PAC-12.  They had Arizona beat til a last second Hail Mary.  This week they say, "No mercy."

After shorting us on picks last week :) , Joey gave us extra this week.  First he gave us a "3 for 1" in the Eagles/49ers game.  He likes the 49ers (-1) in the 1st half, the Eagles in the 2nd half (we have halftime betting here in Vegas, for each half), and (Over 50) for the game.  And this is how he feels about his "true" bonus pick on his alma mater (New Mexico State)...

It's nice to play at LSU, but this game will be over by the end of the first quarter.  New Mexico State loses 56-0.  That's it for this week.  Come see me in the sportsbook and may all your parlay cards be winners...

As Coach thinks to himself, "If even half of my parlay cards were winners..."  :)  I'm not making any promises, but I'm going to try to put together a post that's lighter on football and poker, and more focused on "stuff" for you awesome people, a "Miletus Special" (if you will).  Hopefully that will happen by Friday night as there's only one football game that I'm interested in tomorrow.  In the meantime, stay out of trouble...  ;)

A Good Laydown

Good morning everyone.  I'll give you one guess where I am.  Yes, Las Vegas..., aren't you CLEVER???  :)  I'm at the Mirage Sportsbook once again, having just colored my way to $150.00 total in football parlay tickets entering this weekend's games.  Of course the football weekend begins tomorrow night, so I'm ready to go.  Like I said, I'll be paying a lot of attention to this weekend's action while trying to tweak my wagering attack.

As for now, let me catch you up on my cash in last Saturday's Monte Carlo Freeroll.  There were 51 qualifiers this time (still with the top 26 getting paid).  Very early on I was involved in the hand that allowed me to reach the final table.  I'm not POSITIVE that I made the right play, but based on my results, I did make a good laydown (even if I didn't).  I started this freeroll with just over 6,000 in chips (6,300 I believe).  The min starting stack is 5,000, but you can earn an extra 100 for every extra qualifying hour that you play.  I started my other 3 freerolls here with 5,100 once and with 5,200 twice.  Having cashed in all three, I felt good about the extra chips.  Back to the hand...  Still in the opening 25/50 round, I raised pocket kings to 300 under the gun.  Almost as soon as the chips hit the felt, I regretted raising too much.  That's before one player called my raise, and then another re-raised to 600 - HMMMM...  The gentleman who popped it has seen me play several times, and I was pretty confident that he didn't think that I was just chucking 300 out there UTG to win 75 bucks.  I called, as did the other player, so 3 of us went to the flop with 1,875 in the pot in the 25/50 round, not normal AT ALL in this freeroll.  The flop was all red, 2 4 6 I believe, with 2 to a flush.  I checked my black kings, having no interest betting into aces or a flopped set.  The player behind me checked, and then the re-raiser bet 2,000.  I thought long and hard, and I play too well in this tourney (plus today I had extra chips) to shove here and get busted.  After we both folded, the girl to my left looked at the older gentleman and said, "aces..."   It was more like an assumption than a question, but regardless, he didn't respond...  Even as I sit here typing this, I still feel that he had aces, but even if I was wrong, I still had chips.

Fast forward to early in the 100/200 round, where myself and the girl to my left are now the blinds.  Folded to me, I look down at AA.  I raise to 600, and am surprised when I get called - she has seen me play also, although this does look like a standard steal.  I bet 1,000 on the jack-high flop and get called.  I bet 2,000 on the lower turn and she goes all-in.  I barely have her covered, and I figure that if she hit a set of jacks or two-pair (or whatever), then so be it.  I called fairly fast, because she immediately asked, "aces?"  I nodded and tabled them, and she tabled her kings...  The river didn't hit her, and I now had 10,000 in chips.  I later picked up pots preflop with KK and AK.  Approaching the bubble, now in the 1,000/2,000/200 ante round, the small blind shoved for 3,700 when it was folded to him.  I looked down at 89 of spades, and knew that I only had to call 1,700 to win about 7,000.  I still had enough chips to make another orbit, and I did call getting about 4 to 1 odds, only to see his JACKS.  I flopped an 8, but got no more help.  On the very next hand, I raised my QQ all-in for 3,200 when the action reached my small blind, and actually did show them when I picked up the big blind and antes.  I was surprised that he folded any 2 cards there for 1,200, and I wanted to let the table know that I wasn't pushing suited connectors every time...  :)  I kept it light by turning to the player to my right and saying, "these would have crushed your jacks last hand," and then I showed everyone...

So now we're on the bubble playing hand-for-hand with 27 players a few hands later when I once again look down at queens (YES..., I was dealt more hands in this freeroll than in any other I've ever played in)...  Facing an all-in, and having already seen players standing at the adjacent table, I looked over, and almost instantly the tournament director announced that we were no longer hand-for-hand.  I immediately shoved, and found that I was up against A 10.  I believe that I still would've made the same play in hindsight (I was asked later), even if the player at the other table didn't bust, but it was a risk-free $75.00 for waiting 2 seconds...  The A 10 didn't catch up with me, and I stacked my chips after hearing the expected, "QUEENS AGAIN?!"  :)

Okay, fast forward to the final hand of the tourney now.  We're at 11 players, with 11th getting $325.00 and the final table earning $500.00 (the chip leader gets $600.00).  I am automatically all-in on my small blind.  I had to make another decision during my previous hand, in the big blind.  A lady who had been playing pretty tight raised all-in, and it folded to me, where I found K 2.  I did not like the idea of facing a bigger king or an ace here (and possibly much worse), although I would usually call here, heads up.  However, since she had made the raise, I opted to see the next hand.  There was an all-in raise, and the big blind behind me (having me covered) decided to call all-in also, doubling the chances that I'd be knocked out (in theory).  The raiser flipped K Q, while the big blind tabled Q 2.  I had not looked at my hand yet, and the table learned what I had as I did, as I peeled each card from the felt.  First..., an ACE!  Then, a ten...The flop came..., WITH AN ACE!!!  :D  The board ran out dry, and I won the main pot and survived.  Oh, but I told you that the big blind had called all-in, right?  Well, the KQ had him covered, and the KQ beat the Q2 - tournament OVER...  :D  

So that's how I cashed for $500.00 last Saturday, and felt no guilt in using my comps on the prime rib and seafood buffet, and was so stuffed and happy that I let my dinner digest in the Monte Carlo Sportsbook while I treated myself to another $30.00 worth of NFL parlay tickets, which I eventually cashed for $170.00 (from just that $30.00)...  :D

That's enough for now my friends.  Hopefully this weekend goes just as well and I have this football stuff figured out...  Have a good one and I'll see you again tomorrow with some football picks from Joey and myself.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cashing Winners

Good evening everyone.  Evidently I've decided that I'm going to talk about the football part of last week right now - I'm currently at the Mirage Sportsbook after cashing the last of my winning tickets for the weekend, so why not?  I just went back and discovered that my 'Lucky Seven' went 5-2 on Sunday, and I only fact-checked that because this entry will cover the specific teams that I parlayed in a little more detail.  I was thinking that I had included the Eagles (-6.5) in my "7" - however, I discovered that I had actually substituted the Ravens (-1) at the Browns for this pick.  Joey and I discussed this at the Westgate Sportsbook while watching the early NFL games on Sunday.  I have given us a "press deadline" of Thursday so that I can type up our 'Football Friday' picks on either Thursday night or Friday.  Joey often submits his selections to me on Wednesday, which gives me even more leeway.  However, we both continue to evaluate games throughout the week, right up until the time that they kick off basically.  That will also explain all of the "auxiliary picks" that I referenced in my last entry here.  Tonight I have included a photo of 2 of the last 3 winners that I cashed today, and you can see how the different bets that I liked survived to get me to where I had a winning weekend.  Of course you'll find these in the Facebook and Twitter 'ads' for this entry, since I'm not a technology expert...

Okay, my 'Lucky 7' for last week...  The winners were Dallas (-1), Colts (-7), Ravens (-1), Saints (-9.5), and Redskins/Eagles (Over 50).  My losers were 49ers (-3) and Packers/Lions (Over 52.5).  The Packers/Lions over (19-7 Lions) was my big whiff of the weekend.  THEN, after winning that $500.00 in the Monte Carlo Freeroll, I decided to invest an extra $30.00 in parlay tickets (while I let that buffet digest), and I made some really good picks...  The winners were Texans/Giants (Over 42), Broncos/Seahawks (Under 48.5), Chiefs/Dolphins (Over 41.5), Bengals (-7).  The losers were Eagles (-6.5) and Texans (-2.5).  A few things to note here...  You may see a different number on the parlay tickets for a game in the photo because I'm taking these numbers from last week's sheet, but they'll be close.  I may also be leaving out a few bets (certainly the college ones) that ended up on surviving tickets because I really used them sparingly.  However, you'll see that a few did get through.  And believe me when I tell you that I would have made a LOT MORE $$$ last week if I get the 49ers, Eagles, and the Packers/Lions under to cover...

Where my fledgling system differs from the conventional wisdom is that you should load up on your big bets, but doing so would have bitten me once again this weekend.  Even as Joey arrived at the Westgate, he messaged me to ask which bet I liked best on Sunday, and at the time it was the 49ers (-3) at Arizona.  The Cardinals had to play Stanton at QB again, Dwyer was out, and the Niners were embarrassed by the Bears in a comeback a week before on Sunday night.  What I have basically been doing is laying out $125.00ish in "micro parlays" (2 or 3 bucks each), and then watching games and hedging tickets when the possibility arises to guarantee myself money.  I plan on skipping the poker this week while focusing solely on the football to see if I can keep tweaking my "system."  Something that I forgot to mention (but that I told Grrouchie when we watched the Week 1 NFL games together at the Westgate) is that I pretty much include a bet on both the Sunday and Monday night games on every ticket that I purchase.  This allows me to increase the payout on each ticket (more bets) while giving myself ample time to hedge.  I will admit that figuring out exactly how much I want to hedge, and the aftermath of that (watching the games) makes my Sunday and Monday nights VERY interesting...  :)

I hope that you enjoy the photos of the parlay tickets and seeing which combinations survived until today when I cashed them.  :)  Again, Joey and I will have our favorite picks to you for this week by Friday at the latest.  It is VERY LIKELY that I will see you before then since I'm not doing weekend posts right now...  :P  Have a good one and I'll see you very soon...

A Good Week

Good morning everyone.  If every week would go as well as last week did, I'd probably be wise to include this photo in every blog post that I make, instead of using it only on 'Football Fridays...'

After I won $500.00 in my poker freeroll tournament at the Monte Carlo on Saturday, my good fortune continued throughout the weekend as I cashed several winning football tickets (bets).  Belle wearing the cow costume while presiding over my football picks may not be the reason for my success, but how can you possibly rule it out?  :)  For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to report on my success in poker and football over the weekend, but I'm really trying to get this football wagering down.  In addition to my 'Lucky Seven' picks that I gave you on Friday, bets that I believe I only went 4-3 on, I went 7-1 on my 'main auxiliary picks' (for lack of better terminology).  I managed to arrange the winners into enough good combinations to come out ahead...  :)  Anyway, I made money at both poker and football last week, and I'll be staying here in Las Vegas for at least another week.
During the next seven days, I'll try to find the time to write up a solid recap of the freeroll tourney and a summary of my football wagering for those of you who are interested.  However, for those of you like Miletus, a loyal longtime reader who couldn't care less about football or poker, I'll try to entertain you with some non-gambling content in the near future also.  Miletus' Facebook response to my last blog entry was, "Thank God for Belle in the cow costume!" :)

Let's practice a little bit of that non-gambling chatter (for the most part) now.  We'll begin with birthdays and Facebook...  As many of you know, I've been using my phone as my only computer for about two months.  Although my notifications are turned 'on' in 'settings,' Facebook and my phone have formed some sort of alliance which randomly lets me know when my friends have birthdays.  For example, Alyssa (Texans fan, Belle The Cat's mom), Alyssa (Nebraska fan and former neighbor of mine), and Summer ("I'm Ashley Rodriguez' little sister!") are all young ladies who have appeared here in the blog before and who recently had birthdays.  However, if it wasn't for me happening to see birthday wishes from one friend to another, I wouldn't have known of any of these birthdays.  Heck, I even have a pair of friends who shared a birthday yesterday (and these young ladies are good friends with EACH OTHER), and I learned that it was Marissa's birthday early in the day, while not discovering that it was Alexia's birthday until last night (thanks Brittany)...  First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY again to all of you!  :)  Second, I'm sure that this is probably hurting people's feelings, when they see that myself (or others) are sending some people birthday greetings, but not themselves.  Add this to Facebook's brilliance in costing people who knows how much money on their data plans by automatically playing videos on everyone's account...  Technology definitely doesn't come without problems, that's for sure...  And was anyone else's Twitter account almost impossible to access until last night's update???

ANYWAY, if you look at my blog 'ad' for this post on the aforementioned Facebook or Twitter, you'll be able to see part of the dinner that I enjoyed at the Monte Carlo's buffet on Saturday after my poker cash.  That $1.00 an hour for playing eventually comes in handy...  I had to post this for my friends Cheryl and Randy, who were constantly putting up photos of Randy's entries from a barbecue cookoff over the weekend (and trust me, Randy's food KILLS this buffet), and for Yvonne, who consistently makes me jealous with her edible Facebook posts.  As for Valerie, this is another example of real food...  :)

Okay, I think that I'm done picking on people (for now).  Have a great day and I'll see you soon!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Football, Football Friday

Good evening everyone.  I'm going to get right to the football picks, and then I'll explain why I procrastinated and actually waited until Friday to publish our 'Football Friday" selections...  ;)  I still haven't figured out how to (if I can) upload new photos to the blog, but if you go to my Twitter or Facebook "blog ads," you'll see a throwback photo of Joey at his alma mater (New Mexico State).  If you don't, you're just stuck with this classic...  :)  Live from Las Vegas and the Palace Station Sportsbook, here's Joey...

Okay, it's that time of the week again when the parlay cards come out and we need to pick winners.  Here are my winners for this week...

Joey's Lucky Seven (Overall Record 9-11-1, Last Week 2-4-1)

Colorado (-7) vs. Hawaii - Rainbow Warriors travel to mainland w/o their top RB.
Alabama (-14) vs. Florida - Tide is 3rd best team in country since they play a lot of cupcakes.
Northern Illinois (+14) @ Arkansas - Northern Illinois has won 17 straight on the road, covering 14 of 16.
West Virginia (+9) vs. Oklahoma - OU has been unable to pull away from WVU the last 2 years.
Texans (-2.5) @ Giants - Eli Manning is having his worst year ever.
Bills (-2) vs. Chargers - Buffalo looks good at home & San Diego has to travel across the country.
New Mexico (-3.5) @ New Mexico State - Bob Davies likes to run the football, and Aggies can't stop the run.

When Joey submitted his picks for this weekend, he actually omitted one, but he said to go ahead and use the game involving his alma mater as his seventh pick after I mentioned that he had been getting a lot of their games right.  Joking about a blurb to describe his pick, he mocked, "Team sucks, administration sucks, coach sucks..."  Joey is executing the perfect hedge by picking the Lobos, because if his Aggies pull off the upset in this rivalry game, he wins either way...  :)  I'll get to watch the NFL games with Joey at the Westgate Theater on Sunday (again, you're about to see how much stock I put in the college games this weekend)...  ;)  In a superstitious effort to change my luck (and not to disgrace my friend Drea's good name (9-11-1, yuck), I'm going to go back to an old standby photo that is a favorite of mine.  Also, it was my friend Alyssa's birthday last week (and yeah, I know that the Texans are 2-0 Alyssa), so it's only appropriate that I bring back this piece of photographic excellence...

 NOTHING beats Belle in the cow costume (I can only hope)...  :)

Coach's Lucky Seven (Overall Record 9-11-1, Last Week 3-4)

Cowboys (-1) @ Rams - Dallas has more 'O' and a scrappy 'D'...
Colts (-7) @ Jaguars - Cousins beat Jags by 31...
Ravens (-1) @ Browns - Rested Ravens thrashed my Steelers...
Saints (-9.5) vs. Vikings - Winless Saints with backs to wall at home facing Vikes with no A.P...
49ers (-3) @ Cardinals - 49ers should be motivated after blowing game against Bears...
Packers/Lions (Over 52.5) - Rodgers & Stafford should light up the dome...
Redskins/Eagles (Over 50) - Cousins & Foles will be slinging the ball too...

Okay, several little tidbits now before the bell rings and you're excused for the weekend.  My underhedging last week on the Eagles/Colts total may not be as harmful as I once thought.  I put that over on a pair of 4-team, $10.00 parlay tickets.  Not knowing that I couldn't bet Week 3 NFL Sunday/Monday games at the Mirage as I watched Philly/Indy, I made the 2nd bet on those tickets the Falcons (-6.5) and the over on last night's Atlanta/Tampa game, respectively.  That means that I'm now halfway to $110.00 on both parlay tickets.  While I have mini-hedged, please root for the Arizona Wildcats (-11) vs. Cal, and Michigan (-6) vs. Utah.  I have the Louisiana-Lafayette/Boise State game as the fourth on both of these tickets, and plan on hedging pretty straight up if I can get that far.  With the Monte Carlo Freeroll also tomorrow, maybe this can be the start to a pretty good weekend.      

Speaking of poker, this post was delayed because I spent WAY MORE TIME accruing extra hours (starting chips) for the freeroll yesterday than I had planned on.  I'm talking in the neighborhood of a dozen hours...  Yeah, so just after 3:00 a.m., when the young lady at the poker desk started shaking her head because I was getting up to leave the now five-handed game, I told her, "Don't you start doing that - you have no idea how long I've been here today..."  :)  The highlight of my night came at about 11:00 p.m., when I hit quad 4's for $50.00.  When my bonus chips were brought to me, I got a ROUND OF APPLAUSE from the table...  Yeah, seriously...  :P  The table was that laid back and I was having ANOTHER SESSION that was that rough.  Who knows though..., maybe with the bonus hand, and with Belle the Cat reigning over my football picks..., MAYBE this will be a good weekend???  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hedging My Bets

Good morning everyone.  I'm coming to you live from the Mirage Poker Room now as I'm charging my phone (at some point I became smart enough to start bringing my own charger with me from home).  I haven't played a second of poker in here since I returned to Las Vegas, but I'm sure that the security folks are satisified with the hours upon hours that they've observed me futilely coloring losing parlay tickets here at the Mirage.  I can just imagine them on the other end of those cameras mounted everywhere, enjoying a good chuckle as they see my picks for each week (much like yourself)...  Strangely enough, no one in the poker room has said anything to me so far (about borrowing this corner table and plugging in), but it's probably just because I brighten up the room...

I find myself at that crossroads again ("Should I move to Reno, or should I move somewhere else, or should I just have better luck???") after an uninspiring weekend of football last weekend.  I was off to a pretty good start on Sunday through the early games, and then I started hedging my bets (literally).  Although the Falcons/Bengals over didn't pan out, I hit the Cowboys/Titans and Patriots/Vikings unders.  This left me with bets that I was very confident in (Seahawks -6, Packers -8 1/2, 49ers -7, Eagles over on Monday night)...  SO, because I had Seattle and Green Bay on numerous tickets, I bet against each of them in "2-team" parlays with the Eagles under on Monday night.  Well, BOTH the Seahawks AND Packers didn't cover, leaving me with live tickets where I had the UNDER on the Eagles game, and ZERO remaining tickets where I had the over.  I ended up "over hedging" (patent pending - on the term, not on the brilliance of my stupidity - did I just say that???).  ANYWAY, I didn't hedge back enough to the side I liked originally, and of course THAT GAME went over.  What this meant for me is that I actually lost more by hedging than if I would have just ate my original bets.  

Before I cry too much about what I just wrote for you, let me tell you about a parlay ticket that I saw on Saturday at the Monte Carlo.  Iwas finishing up my freeroll hours for this Saturday's tournament (overachiever, I know) when the guy sitting next to me shows me some of his pending parlay tickets.  This happened to be at a 1/2 NL table (which we'll discuss more in a minute) because their 2-6 spread limit game broke at FOUR P.M. on Saturday, and did not restart.  This obviously thrilled me because I've been running so horribly in cash games, but there I sat...  ANYWAY, this guy has an 8-team parlay ticket which will pay him $800.00 if it wins.  I didn't see how much he had invested, and it was a teaser, but the point is that he was in line to make $800.00.  He had already won 6 games, and the pair of remaining games had both Arizona and Arizona State giving up 10 points.  At the time, both teams were winning by 14.  I didn't say anything to him, but in my head, I'm just BESIDE MYSELF that he didn't hedge.  Losing either of those final bets is the difference between $800.00 and nothing...  Sure enough, when I checked the scores the next day, one of those teams only managed to win their game by 7 points, and his $800.00 ticket was just a worthless bookmark...  Now before you start crying for Argentina (that was his name, really - okay, I'm lying), he showed me another parlay ticket that did cash for $800.00.  Even that one made me cringe in that he didn't hedge it at all.  The winner had Nebraska pummeling Fresno State if you're interested, and that game being televised brought on the whole conversation.  

In related news, this 1/2 game was CRAZY!!!  A guy that kept buying in for $300.00 every time that he busted raised to $25.00 preflop almost every hand, and this was followed by c-bets and loose calls from him.  Par for the course, I was CARD DEAD, and just spectated as I met my freeroll hour requirement.  As luck would have it, not TWO HANDS after verifying that I had reached my needed time, I looked down to A K of hearts.  I went ahead and called 30 (yes, now it was raises from 2 to 30), and promptly saw a 5-way flop of 6 7 8 of clubs (that's my life in a nutshell lately).  In the most unbelievable thing that I saw at this table, a guy who had busted out just after my arrival, and needed to borrow $20.00 from a friend to complete his $100.00 rebuy back into the game, worked the new $100.00 up to $800.00 with the maniac at the table, and then proceeded to lose the WHOLE $800.00 BACK, all the way down to the felt...

Anyway, so I'm at that crossroads again, needing a big freeroll cash on Saturday or a football miracle on Sunday to feel comfortable enough to stay here in Vegas.  What makes Reno more palatable than Vegas if I have to work is that it would be so much cheaper to live there.  What makes Reno a more attractive place than Texas and other possible prospects is that I could still bet football and play poker there.  Anyway, stay tuned, because I have no idea where I'll be at this time next week.  

I should be back sometime tomorrow with football picks from Joey and myself.  I don't know when "Football Friday' became a Thursday thing, but that definitely has to stop...  :)  Have a great day and I'll see you soon...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Have A Nice Weekend

Good morning everyone.  I just finished putting in over ten hours of poker toward the Monte Carlo Freeroll, but instead of immediately going home, I'm posting JUST FOR YOU...  Okay, we all know that I'm using the wi-fi here.  Also, we know that if I don't post now, there's a high likelihood (about 100%) that you wouldn't see any words from me all weekend.  I figure that if I drop you a quick line, I'll realistically get about six hours of sleep before the first game that I care about today (kicking off at noon P.S.T).  Baylor came through for me last night (I was giving up 35-ish points and the final was 62-21 Bears).  The poker went horrificly (at one point I had my AA cracked by A5 in the 2-6 spread limit game).  The way that I'm looking at it however (upbeat as always, of course) is that I'll get my hands in the bi-weekly freeroll tourney.  I will be the first one to remind you about how my J 10 cracked K 10 in last Saturday's tourney when we were at the $175.00 cashing level, and that I eventually cashed for $500.00, so I'm calling that a $325.00 suckout.  I would actually still be playing right now if every game in the room hadn't broken already.  I jumped between the 2-6 SL and the 1/2 NL tonight, and after the final game (the 1/2 NL) broke, one of the dealers (who knows that I'm trying to accumulate freeroll hours) says, "Awww, the game lasted until 7 in the morning yesterday..."  WONDERFUL...  She's a pretty nice lady, but just another bad beat...  ;)  That's one thing that's challenging about this room - you have to time it just right to get your hours in.  Of course having cashed in three freerolls here, I'm not going to complain about that, or in the difficulty (no chance) of getting an energy drink here.  I won't complain ANYMORE...  ;)

I'm hoping to have a very good weekend of football (DUH).  I am more disciplined than when I lived here before in picking "extra bets" and filling out that many more parlay cards.  I'm also betting a lot more 4 and 5-teamers than I used to, and I'm avoiding bubbling in so many longshot cards (8, 9, 10-teamers).  Before you criticize my "system" (too late?), the prevailing wisdom is not to parlay your bets, and to put the most money on the bet(s) that you feel the most confident in.  That strategy would have gotten me CRUSHED over the past two weeks as my favorite wager was to bet against the UTSA Roadrunners in both weeks.  The VAUNTED team from San Antonio is at Oklahoma State later today, and I am RUNNING from that game...  Running..., RoadRUNNERS...  I could entertain y'all for SECONDS...

Anyway, take a peek back at my "lucky seven" for the weekend (mine are all NFL bets, so as long as you look before tomorrow) and WILL my wagers to victory!!!  :)  Have a great football weekend and I'll see you soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Camping At The Westgate

Good afternoon everyone.  I'm coming to you from the Westgate (formerly LVH, formerly Las Vegas Hilton) Superbook.  Thirteen years ago today I was standing by the door to my classroom in San Marcos, monitoring the hallway during the passing period when a neighboring teacher informed me that an airplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  God Bless America, today and every day...

Settle in, because today's post is going to be fairly long.  I used a good chunk of yesterday figuring out how to utilize RTC Transit (the buses here) to get myself to the Nike Factory Store located south of the Strip (5.5 miles from where I live), and my friend Joey gave me a ride to WalMart on Tuesday so that I could load up on groceries again.  This is to say that there's a reason that you haven't seen me since Monday night.  I wouldn't have arrived here so early today except for the fact that a ticket writer had told me on Monday that the Westgate receives their football parlay cards on Wednedsay afternoon.  This isn't the case evidently, but I've decided to make the best of things and camp out.  I'm actually no further on my football studying than where we left off in Monday's post, but I thought that I'd check in with y'all before I continued studying.  Let's start off with our weekly football picks since Joey was nice enough to check in already.  Live from the sportsbook at Palace Station, here's Joey!

Hi everybody.  This week I am going with 5 college games and 2 pro games, plus I'll give you my special pick.  Here are my top seven picks for this week...

Joey's Lucky Seven (7-7 overall, 2-5 last week)

Bowling Green (+6.5) vs. Indiana - B.G. RB averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
Louisville (-7) @ Virginia - Cards 'O' not missing Teddy Bridgewater.
Central Michigan (+7) vs. Syracuse - CMU QB hit 7 different WR's last week while Syracuse was outgained by Villanova.
Arkansas State (+17) @ Miami - Gotta stay w/the hot team, & ASU is 8-3 as a road dog.
Rutgers (+3) vs. Penn State - Big because both schools recruit the same kids, but PSU still shorthanded due to NCAA sanctions.
St. Louis (+6) @ Tampa Bay - Rams have deeper O-Line & Lovie Smith's 'O' is still way behind.
Seattle (-6) @ San Diego - I'm playing the Seahawks until the line gets too high or they lose a couple in a row.  Until then, they are the best in football.

That's all for the parlay card.  Almost forgot my NMSU pick of the week.  The Aggies are 2-0 for the first time in forever.  UTEP is only 30 miles down the road and this is a pretty good rivalry game.  I don't think that NMSU (+11) wins, but they do cover the spread.  34-29 Miners.  Thanks, until next week...

And thank you Joey.  When Joey and I chatted on Tuesday, I realized that I have to mention to y'all (to be sure that you understand) that I'm really not rooting against Joey when we make these picks each week.  We're both trying to make money, and barring us picking different sides of the same bet, I'm hoping that he wins every bet that he makes.  Joey could write a blog and tell you SEVERAL STORIES involving humor in the sportsbook, but I've got one for you from Monday.  I was sitting here at the Westgate, relaxing and looking up at the lines, and I could overhear a couple of guys chatting behind me.  The conversation basically involved one guy reading the list of college games and giving his thoughts on who he would bet.  When he got to one of them, he stated, "I'm betting the under on that game..."  My eyes started spinning in their sockets, and it was at this point that I actually had to turn around and SEE who was talking.  You see, they don't put out college totals (overs and unders) until late in the week, so that "under" that he'd bet doesn't even exist yet.  There's NO NUMBER!!!  WHAT are you betting under?!  ANYWAY, here are my seven favorites for the weekend...

Coach's Lucky Seven (6-7-1 overall, 4-2-1 last week)

Seattle (-6) @ San Diego - Center problem and short week for Chargers vs. well-rested Seahawks...
49ers (-6.5) vs. Bears - Niners officially open Levi's Stadium...
Falcons/Bengals (Over 48) - Falcons won't hold Bengals to FG's (5) like Ravens did, but Falcons tally numerous scores themselves...
Packers (-8.5) vs. Jets - Packers are well-rested and at Lambeau...
Cowboys/Titans (Under 49) - Cowboys 'D' played hard against 49ers, and Titans are 'D' minded...
Pats/Vikings (Under 49) - Pats O-Line showed chinks and Vikes like to run...
Eagles/Colts (Over 53) - Foles vs. Luck, and no Mathis for Colts...

My misses last week (Philly/Jax over by 1 1/2, SF/Dal over by 7, and Den by 1) prevented me from having a pretty nice week.  I obviously makes bets in addition to my 'Lucky 7,' but if/when I go 7-0 here, I'm going to have a pretty profitable week at the book.  As you can see, my NCAA action will be fairly light this week.  I just seem to do better on the NFL games...

Have a great day and I'll see you soon...


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day Off

Good evening everyone.  I'm back at the Mirage Sportsbook after a more involved day off than I had anticipated.  With the eradication of the Flamingo's Monday Freeroll (which I might have started qualifying for again, assuming that I had put my recent bad karma at the Pink Chicken in the rearview mirror), I will probably use Mondays to get my chores done.  Monday figures to be the slowest day at poker rooms around the valley, and it is the day immediately following the busy weekend.  For me obviously, you throw Saturday and Sunday football into the mix, and it makes the most sense to use Mondays to stay close to home.  With any luck, I will have to hedge the Monday night football game for the occasional winning parlay ticket, but those games don't kick off until very late in the afternoon here.

Anyway, back to today (and yesterday), I woke up at about 5:30 this morning after getting almost 8 hours of sleep.  Even though Sundays are the time to catch AMC's 'Breaking Bad' marathons (like 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. here), I was wiped out by 10:00 p.m. after a day full of football viewing yesterday.  My friend and fellow blogger Grrouchie picked me up at about 9:00 a.m. and we cruised on down to the Westgate (formerly Hilton, formerly LVH) Theater to watch the opening Sunday of NFL football.  The theater has 1,100 seats, and even on opening day the venue was not filled to capacity.  Their 300-seat sportsbook must have been packed, because we heard several announcments encouragong fans to make their way to the theater.  The theater shows every game that's being played, and pretty reasonably priced food is available nearby ($3.00 drafts, $2.00 hot dogs, $6.00 wings and sandwiches, etc...).  It was nice having a friend who's a Steelers fan to watch the game with.  It was a lucky thing for the guy sitting next to me (Jets fan - go figure Pete Peters) that I didn't punch him as he rooted for the Browns during their second-half comeback against Pittsburgh.  Grrouchie was wearing a Steelers jersey, and I clapped during the bigger moments of our positive first half.  This genius (who of course has the right to cheer for whoever he wants, and he seemed to be rooting for someone vocally in EVERY GAME) would yell for Cleveland, and then out of the corner of my eye I could see him turning to look at me every so often afterward, like to see if he could get a reaction from me...  :)  Well, the Steelers pulled the game out, and despite trying their best to conspire against me, the NCAA and NFL teams in
our great nation were unable to wreck all of my parlay tickets this weekend.

I endured several disappoinments yesterday (and Grrouchie got his first taste of sports betting), but I did have a game to hedge.  It turns out that I should have bet my first instincts heavier last week as I was able to bring a $20.00 3-teamer to the point of hedging.  I had Eagles (-10), 49ers (-6), and Broncos (-7).  A winning ticket would return $140.00 to me.  I got value on my hedge because the Colts had been bet to (+8).  Anyway, I bet $10.00 on the Colts moneyline (+310), $25.00 on the Colts (+8), and another $20.00 on the Colts (+14.5).  I almost got a totally bad break in wasting all of my hedging money as the Broncos were PUMMELING the Colts early in the game.  Then things swung the other way, and if the Broncos would have won by between 1-6 points, that would have been the worst scenario for me.  As things turned out, Denver won by exactly 7, which reduced my 3-teamer to a winning 2-team parlay, returning $72.00 instead of $140.00.  However, I did win on 2 of those hedge tickets, and with the other small winning tickets that I had, I got back almost $200.00 today (a negligible loss for the week's football wagering).

Yeah, so back to today.  I had to wait until 8:00 a.m. to do my laundry, and that was done at about 10:00 a.m.  And we all know how exhausting clothes are, so naturally I took a nap (hey, I woke up at 5:30, so shut up)...  ;)  Then I made a bank deposit (remember that freeroll cash from Saturday?).  Hopefully I'll be making more bank deposits in the future...  :D  Then I paid another week's rent (always good).  It's a little cheaper to pay by the month, but once I took the time to look at the paperwork, I discovered that it said NO REFUNDS all over the place, so why give them a bunch of extra money up front???  ANYWAY, then I went back to the Westgate today to cash my hedge tickets (with only that intention).  But alas, they already have the NCAA and NFL lines up for next week's games...  Well, blame the "Superbook," but somebody spent the rest of the Giants/Lions matchup there studying the NFL lines and putting in a few early wagers for next week's games...  Then I ventured over to the Riviera (my old stomping grounds - I dealt poker there once upon a time) to see if my friend Maly was working, and evidently she's back on the graveyard shift, and will allegedly be there tonight.  So I MAY be hiking back down there later tonight, we'll see...

Chris Berman just made me realize that it's already past 1:00 a.m. on the east coast, so it's WAY TOO LATE for me to be typing for y'all...  ;)  Have a good one and I'll see you soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Hope That Tomorrow...

Good evening everyone.  I'm sitting in the chair that I've spent a good part of the day in, relaxing in the makeshift freeroll tournament area that's right by the sportsbook here at the Monte Carlo.  I've failed to mention to you that I started both of my Monte Carlo Freerolls (now all three) at the same table in the same seat.  We had 43 entrants today, and this is the tightest that this already tight tourney has been played in my 3 tries.  I was fairly card dead early this time, raising queens from 100 to 300 in the 2nd level, only to see an ace flop and a bet come at me, and my limp with 44 during the same level yielded nothing.  Just like the last time I played this tourney, I scored a necessary win from the small blind.  In the 200/400 round, I limped in with A 9 spades, 1 of 5 players to see the flop.  No one bet the J-high, one spade flop.  No one bet the second spade on the turn.  My spade didn't hit the river, but an ace did.  I wasn't thrilled with my 9 kicker, but for the third time, this hand was checked around, and my pair of aces was good.  I also won a hand during the 300/600 level when I shoved my 4k over a raise of 1,600 with AQ and the raiser folded.

My next memorable hand came when I believe that we had already reached the min-cash mark ($75.00).  I looked down at 33 in the big blind, and I would have been almost all-in during the next hand in the small blind (plus the antes had started).  I was not reaching the next cashing level ($175.00) without winning some chips.  I called the raiser all-in, and a BEAUTIFUL 3 came on three flop.  The raiser's AQ picked up hope when the turn brought a straight draw, but the river didn't let me down, and that hand got me to the next cashing tier.  It was during this level, trying to make the jump from $175.00 to $275.00 (top 15), that I had a rare suckout.  I'm usually ahead when the chips go into the middle, and when I am behind, it's not often that I catch up.  I was the big blind, and it folded to the button, who raised.  I looked down at J 10 offsuit, and being low on chips, I went ahead and called.  I figured to at least have live cards.  It was not pretty pretty when my opponent tabled K 10, but a WONDERFUL jack hit the board, and I lived to see another hand.  The next hand that I played was the hand that enabled me to coast to the final table.  The action had folded to the small blind (I believe that this was during the 2k/4k 300 ante round).  As I'm writing this, it's just occurring to me that SEVERAL of my key hands today took place while I was the big blind...  :)  Anyway, the small blind went for the steal, and when I looked down at my cards, I saw a pair a KINGS!  Dreaded my _ _ _...  ;)  I called, and the disappointed small blind tabled J 8 offsuit, and the board played out without coming close to helping him.  After reaching the final 11 (a bump to $325.00), I had to endure watching SEVERAL suckouts by all-ins (yeah, I remember my J 10), but finally, we reached the final 10, where the payout was $500.00!!!  The chip leader gets $600.00, but this is my story...  ;)  So yeah, 3 for 3 in my favorite freeroll, with my biggest cash yet.

When I woke up, I immediately saw positive news from my friend Jessica regarding her mom (who is also a friend of mine), who is recovering from a recent surgery.  Then I learned that today is Leanne's (Training Truths) and Valerie's (Spam) birthday.  And I just kept seeing all of these POSITIVE statuses on Facebook.  And my 2 NCAA 'Lucky 7' picks (Navy and Ole Miss) covered, and I cashed for $500.00 in the freeroll.  I hope that tomorrow is as good as today...  ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Let's Try This Again

Good afternoon everyone.  I wandered into the sportsbook here at the Mirage a couple of hours ago, started looking at parlay cards and messaging with Joey, and when I looked around a few minutes ago, ALAS, there are now quite a few people here.  Is something special happening today???  Today is the kickoff of the NFL season, and the Packers and Seahawks will be teeing it up six hours from now.  When I last left you, I managed to hike to the Monte Carlo and play NO POKER.  I decided that I'd use my comps to get their lunch buffet (I told you that I was going to eat).  WELL, after I stuffed myself (and the food was not great, like I had been told), I managed to sleep for ELEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT after I returned home!!!  4:30 p.m. - 3:30 a.m. were the initial hours of my body's recovery.  My body evidently wasn't happy with the fact that I had ventured to and from the Strip for seven straight days, and I continued to get much needed rest throughout the day yesterday as I never left my apartment.  So here we are, and once I publish this entry, I'm going to fill out a few parlay tickets.  Joey went 5-2 last week while I went 2-5.  He gave me his picks early, and I had already tabbed my favorites for this week, so here we go...

This is a full week of football, my favorite time of year.  I had a decent start last week.  Let's see if we can continue that streak.  Here are my best seven...

Joey's Lucky Seven  (5-2 season record)  (5-2 last week)

Army (-2.5) vs. Buffalo - Buffalo blew 3-score lead in 4th last week.
Michigan St. (+13) @ Oregon - Sparty has good chance at upset.
Tulane (+10) vs. Georgia Tech - Jackets love to run option, which also runs clock.
Wyoming (Pick) vs. Air Force - Cowboys looked like Wyoming of old last week, while Falcons are 4th-worst team in nation.
Pittsburgh (-6) vs. Cleveland - Steelers against Johnny Football, that should explain it.
Tampa Bay (-1) vs. Carolina - I like to bet against the public, but this is the exception.
Giants (+5.5) @ Lions - Giants are better than people think.

Added pick:  Georgia St. (-2) vs. New Mexico St. - Georgia St. QB threw for 436 yards last week, which is not good for my Aggies.

Just because Joey is a nice guy, I included the current (+5.5) Mirage line for his Giants pick, even though he gave me the game at (+4).  Before you go crazy betting Joey's picks, I happen to like all 3 of his NFL bets (kiss of death), but they didn't crack my 7 best picks.  Here's what I like this week...


Coach's Lucky Seven (2-5 season record)  (2-5 last week)

Navy (-3) @ Temple - Navy played Buckeyes tough last week.
Ole Miss (-19.5) @ Vandy - Vandy looked PITIFUL last week.
Eagles (-10) @ Jaguars - How does Jax stay in this game?
Phil/Jax (Over 52.5) - Eagles will score most of it.
49ers (-5) @ Cowboys - How does Dallas get stops?
49ers/Cowboys (Over 50) - Scoreboard guy will be busy.
Denver (-7) vs. Indy - One touchdown cover at home is doable.

First, I don't think that my photo with Drea caused my demise last week, so we're back...  :)  Second, both Joey and I like Arizona tonight.  The Wildcats are (-7) @ UTSA.  I told Joey that we wouldn't use Thursday games for these posts, and that's the reason I didn't include it myself.  Houston had at least two turnovers in the UTSA redzone last week, and the Cougars also snapped the ball over their punter's head to set up a UTSA TD in that game.

That's all for today, but I'll be back soon as I still have to catch you up on last week's events, most notably the bloggers playing poker together at the Venetian.  Have a great day and enjoy your football!