Sunday, June 17, 2007

Things You'll Never Hear Us Say

Chris forwarded an article by Rick Reilly from Sports Illustrated talking about things you will never hear famous athletes say. I responded back with things our friends will never say. Here were some of the better ones.

Jon: Yes that's right Mr. lawyer, if something should happen to Meredith and me, I want Kate to raise our kids. She's doing such a great job with her own.

Chris: Fore! or "Don't hit the ball yet, you might hit into them"

Rob: "Dawn and I are looking at adopting a child from Africa like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt"

Rob: "Don't call me on my cell phone, I'm busy calling expired listings"

Bill: "I don't give a s*** what Alicia says, she's not the boss of me!"

Bill: "I'm having such a good time on this vacation, let's stay another day"

Larry: "I can't play golf on Sunday, my family is going to church"

Marty: "Duckhorn or Chateau Rothschild? No thanks, I'll stick with the

Curtis: "Oh yeah Larry? Well... well... well I bet you I can beat you
at quarters."

Rob: "No thanks I'm out, strip clubs are for fags who can't get any."

Adam: "I miss my mother-in-law."

Chris: "I miss Yuma. I should have gone to Kofa, married a class of 88
coed and worked at the Record Shop in the Southgate Mall."

Jon: "I wish I would have went to ASU, U of A really sucked. Jacking
off is so much better than the real thing."

Bill "I wish I was a minority."

Larry: "Yeah, when I was in high school I was such a stud, I banged more
poon than Charlie Sheen. And then I went to the U of A and, well lets just
say I took my A game to another level."

Munds Park part 1

For the second straight year a bunch of the guys headed up to Munds Park to play golf, drink, and play cards. There was an endless stream of emails back and forth for weeks before hand recounting stories of Yuma conquests. Since I was not a part of growing up in Yuma they were mostly annoying.

We played golf on Friday at Pinewood Country Club. I am still hot with the sticks and I was only two over par after 12 holes. Unfortunately it did not last as I went out of bounds on 13 and put three balls in the water on 17 for a handicap adjusted 7.

The big news was Marty who shot a career best 88.

Friday night was pizza and poker night. I finally convinced the guys to play a freezeout tournament instead of a cash game. They liked the idea of only losing $20. Since I play in a freeze out every week that lasts about 5 levels I thought I could shorten it up and make everyone happy. 2500 in starting chips. 30 minute levels starting at 25-50. I allowed rebuys for the first hour. I figured we would be done by 10:00 PM at the latest.

On the second hand of the night, Robert flopped a full house and doubled up. I think he won 4 or 5 of the first 7 hands. Later on his brother, Ryan started to make some hands and build a nice chip stack.

I had nothing for 45 minutes. Finally I was dealt pocket Aces in early position. I raised to 300. Everyone folded to Josh in the big blind. The last time I played poker with Josh was in Yuma at his brother’s wedding. He was horrible in the 3-6 game in the casino. He never raised, even when he had the nuts and just called everything down. Of course he won that night because everybody that plays horrible seems to win in that game. Naturally I was excited to have Josh call my preflop raise.

The flop was A-7-4 with two clubs. Yahtzee! Josh checked and I thought about checking and slow playing, but then I thought, “How would I play Ace-King?” since I would always bet it, I decided to bet the trip aces. Josh check raised me!

Normally this would scare the hell out of me, except that I had the current nuts. I reraised what I had left and I was all in. He turned over the K-9 of clubs for the flush draw. I definitely did not expect Josh to be that aggressive with a flush draw. Luckily for me I am a 2-1 favorite to double up and get in the game.

My luck has been horrible lately, so I was really hoping this hand would hold up. The turn was another club so Josh hit his the flush on the turn. Everyone goes crazy and it looks like they are going to stop dealing. I remind them that I have 10 outs to a full house or 4 of a kind. Of course that doesn’t come in for me either so I have to rebuy.

After the rebuy period ended, Jim, Marty, Adam, and Robert busted after about another 30 minutes. By this time it was getting really cold out on the patio and Curtis asked if we could move the game inside to the “Final Table”.

Curtis was gunning for me because I had talked some shit about him in that string of emails before the trip. Last year he got really drunk and won a bunch of money early in a cash game. His luck turned and he lost all of the winnings and then some by the end of the night. I brought this up in the emails and apparently he was stewing on it for days. Curtis mentioned it during dinner and reminded me that he won a bunch of money in Las Vegas during Brady’s bachelor party. I had totally forgot about that and I told him, he should have emailed that fact back to everyone. Lord knows I lost a ton of money that trip.

Our former chip leader, Ryan went extremely card dead. He wasn’t playing a lot of hands and he was constantly folding the flop if he stayed in that long. Somehow Josh was still left standing although I’m still not sure if he knew what he was doing.

Curtis finally busted Ryan and it was down to three. Josh kept hanging in there, but he was getting bored, tired, and impatient. He pushed all in with a crappy hand and won. The very next hand he went all in again and I took a chance at busting him when I called with KJ preflop. He turned over the exact same hand and we chopped. Curtis eventually busted him and we had the grudge match that Curtis wanted.

I had managed to build up a decent chip lead when we finally got it all in. I had a King for top pair, and Curtis had a flush draw. Once again my pair failed to hold up and the flush came in so now we were close to even in chips.

A few hands later, I have AK and the flop is A-Q-T. We get it all in again and this time Curtis has A9 for top pair with a worse kicker. I am a huge favorite and we are practically even in chips so whoever wins this hand will win the whole thing. The turn is a King so now I have two pair, but I realize this was a bad card because now it gives Marty 4 outs to a chop with the Jack. Sure enough the Jack comes on the river and we both chop with a straight.

By this time the blinds were huge and I moved all in with K-5. Curtis woke up with pocket Queens and crippled me. He finished me off soon after and had his revenge. I won $70 for a $30 profit after the rebuys. Curtis won $130.

The next morning was spent laying around and having drinks on the porch. Since Billy didn’t come on this trip there was not a lot of golf betting going on. I guess the guys missed it because eventually Ryan and Rob decided to play Josh and Adam for $10 a man in a best ball match play format. I was also jonesing for a bet so I told anyone that would listen that I would bet $20 on Josh and Adam. Nobody took my action right away, but eventually Marty stepped up with his $20.

My golf round was uneventful except for the fact that I was drunker than the day before and it showed in my game. Every couple of holes we would drive up to the tee box and get updates on the bet. Finally after 17 we were told that Adam and Josh had closed them out and I had won the bet.

Apparently they decided to go double or nothing on the last hole. Rob drilled his drive down the middle like he had done all day. Adam and Josh both sprayed their drives, so they had to play from the middle of the 9th fairway. Throughout the day the pattern was that Rob would kill his driver and then Rob and Ryan could not hit an iron close and Rob was a lousy putter. Adam and Josh would spray their drives, but hit nearly every green and made a few putts. That was the main difference in the first match.

On 18 the pattern was continuing as Adam and Josh put their approach to 15 feet and the best Rob and Ryan could do was 45 feet. Ryan putted first and amazingly it went in. Ryan and Rob celebrated like they had just won the Ryder Cup with high fives and chest bumps. Also like the Ryder Cup, Adam and Ryan still had a putt to tie even though Rob and Ryan were jumping around like children. This time Adam and Josh could not get the putt to drop so they finished even on the day. I was the only one to make money on the round and I was not even playing with them.

That night we had a great steak dinner on the patio along with numerous shots of tequila. In fact Robert was drinking so much that I placed the over/under on Rob passing out at 9:00 PM. Everyone was annoyed that the poker tournament took so long last night so we decided to play .50-$1 blinds pot limit hold-em.

I tried to intimidate everyone by buying in for $80 when everyone else was buying in for $20-$40. A few hands in, I raise to $2.50 with Ace-King suited. Marty raises to $5 behind me. Then Adam reraises to $20. Since there is so much money in the pot, I decide that even if it’s a coin flip, I have good odds. I move all in and Marty folds. Adam turns over pocket Queens. Sadly my Ace or King did not come.

My cards were absolutely horrible all night and to make things worse, Rob and Marty were just sloppy drunk and slowing up the game. Rob couldn’t deal the cards without flashing the bottom or the burn cards every hand. When he finally cashed out, he couldn’t even count his chips.

I think I lost about $80, but the problem was that when the last 3 of us went to cash out, the bank was short. I have no idea who shorted the bank or who got more money then they were supposed to, but we were short a good $25. To top it off, the next morning when I was cleaning up, I found an Ace and a King in one of the boxes for the deck of cards. So one of the decks we were playing with only had 50 cards! That would explain why I had Ace-king about 4 times and never hit it once. One of the worst nights of poker I can remember.

On Sunday we woke up and cleaned up and headed home. Everyone had fun and told some great stories. I think we even came up with a few new ones to tell on our future trips.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Poker Wins & Losses

One week ago, I finally made it back to the Wednesday game at Greg's. I had looked at my spreadsheet and noticed that I had not won in months. Somehow I was still ahead after all these months and after successive weeks of bad beats. This time I would show them who's boss.

As much as I think I want to experiment with my game at this weekly gathering, I usually fall into the same pattern. I want to try raising big preflop and playing lots of hands to see if I can get the table to stop limping into every pot. I never do it, because my cards are always so terrible. I usually fall into my standard Sit and Go strategy of tight early and aggressive late.

The tight strategy was working and it was down to 3 players. Two of us would get paid. I had pocket Aces and got cracked by Craig with 9-6 suited. He hit his two pair, but he could have got a lot more money out of me if he had not slowplayed his hand.

A few hands later, I am dealt Jc-9c on the button. I think about raising, but I limp. Scott folds and Craig checks his option in the big blind. The flop is 8c-Tc-5h. Craig checks and I bet the pot with my open end straight flush draw. The turn is no help. Craig checks again and I bet 3/4 of the pot and he calls. So now I am trying to figure out what he has and whether I need to bluff the river if it's a blank.

Luckily the Qc comes on the river and I hit the straight flush! Better yet, Craig announces he's all in! Hi-ya! I instacall and show everyone the straight flush and eliminate Craig from the tournament. In a nice twist of irony, Craig tables pocket aces.

Yesterday, I had the same idea of trying a real aggressive approach but I pussed out again. I changed my mind after I hit a set of 7's against Craig and took his stack when he called with his flush draw and did not get there.

The problem was that every draw I played last night never got there. I eventually made it to the final 3 again. It was me, Greg, and Scott. Scott had a big chip lead and Greg and I were about even with around 20x the big blind when we started 3 handed.

This is where I totally went card dead. I stole a few small pots here and there. Then I would get crippled when my draw would miss.

There were a couple of hands where I was out played. At least twice I was bluffed out on the river by a busted draw. In one hand I only had a medium pair and the other hand against Greg, I had a strong suspicion that he was bluffing, but I also had a nagging feeling that he might call with 10 high "because I know you have nothing". He made a weak bet on the river of about 1/4 of the pot after we had checked the flop and bet/called the turn. I really considered raising all in with my 6 high hoping he would fold. I should have handed over my testicles right there.

Greg also took a nice pot from me when I raised on the button with KQo. He reraised in the big blind and I called. The flop totally whiffed, but he bet out around half the pot. I had to fold. He showed me KQ for the same hand as me.

When the blinds went up to 300-600, I decided to go all in for 4000 with 56o on the button. I was called by Scott with Ace-Jack. I was happy that at least I had a 40% chance. The first card I peeled off on the flop was a Jack and I was sad. Then I peeled off a 6 and a 5 and I was very happy. My two pair held up and I was back in it for a while. I moved all in a couple more times, hoping for calls with hands like AQ and AK, but nobody bit.

I finally lost in third when Scott called my all in with J-T and I had A-9o. I flopped the nine but he turned the Jack and it was over.

I'm still not sure if it was more the bad cards or that I did not make the right reads that kept me from cashing. If either one was a little better I might have dominated.