Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Headline: Bears bench Grossman in favor of Griese
It is about time, don't ya think? Last year was maddening (excuse the pun!). You never knew if Good Rex or Bad Rex was going to show up. There was such hope from his excellent games. He just doesn't seem to have what it takes to make adjustments. Unfortunately, this was highlighted in a very public way against Dallas. Romo -- damn him -- is what Rex should be.
Of course, Rex is just another of the many Bear QB failures in my lifetime. Jack Concannon, Bobby Douglas, Virgil Carter, Bob Avellini, and on ... and on ... and on ...
Headline: Blackhawks owner Wirtz dies of cancer at 77
It's about time, don't ya think? "Dollar Bill" Wirtz has controlled and ruined what was my favorite sports team. For the past 40 years, Wirtz took a once-proud franchise, ran it into the ground, and chased away the entire fan base. Thanks to Wirtz, home games were never televised locally (even when the entire damn season was sold out), and even the radio broadcasts didn't begin until after the first period was over. Talk about the opposite of a fan-friendly owner ...
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Things got even worse at The Mookie. I was in the small blind with Q-9 diamonds and called. When swimmom95, the big blind, raised, I called. The flop was Queen high, so I checked to trap. I was guessing that I had her beat unless she raised with A-Q, in which case I was doomed anyway. Swimmom raised and I went all in. She called with A-K. Two cards away from an almost double up, and then ... you guessed it. Need I say more?
Short stacked, I was in the big blind one orbit later with J-8 os. The button raised and I called. The flop was 6-5-J. I insta-pushed all in and was called by jimdniacc, who had 5-4. The turn? A 5!
What can you do? Sometimes I hate this freakin' game.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Played in a b&m charity tournament today. In the opening event (a real donk-a-thon called the "5 Dolla Holla"), the rapidly-increasing blinds made it almost an all in or fold tourney. I made it halfway through and was all in in a four-way pot preflop with Q-Q. The flop: K-K-7. The turn:A. Talk about bad cards for Q-Q! Needless to say, I was out.
I then played in a $30 Warm Up tournament and was doing okay before the first break. Then, three consecutive great starting hands proved to be my undoing:
Hand 1: Dealt K-K. I put in a good raise and everyone bailed.
Hand 2: Dealt Q-Q. A short stack wagers half his stack, and I put him on A-rag or a lower pocket pair. Figuring that he was drawing to two or three outs, I put him all in and he calls. His cards: A-7 hearts. The flop, of course, brings an Ace, and the turn -- another Ace!
Hand 3: Dealt A-A. I went all in and was called by the big blind, who had 10-8 spades. The flop: 7-9-J! Was this Full Tilt Poker in real life, or what?
I decided that I would not stick around for the upcoming satellitle or the main event. I just didn't feel lucky today...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I only played one session at Harrahs. I feel kind of claustrophobic in that room so I don't usually play there.
Raised A-Q in early position and got some callers. The flop: A-Q-Q! I decided to slow play the sucker for all that is was worth. I was hoping to take two to the river, but one bailed out just short. Made a nice profit on this hand and a few others.
The table started to break up when a late-night tournament was starting. We played short handed for some time, but then one of the Ballys rounders sat down. I haven't seen this gal play before, but she came to the table with that high-on-speed nervousness that I hate. She bought in short and immediately tried to drive people out with raises. I just wasn't in the mood and decided to leave with a nice stack.
Believe it or not, Flamingo was one really hopping place! The room has come a long way in the past year or so. There were always several tables going, even long into the night.
My first session at Flamingo was a disaster. I was getting all kind of great cards, but missed the flops almost completely. One guy was playing all crap cards and was lucking out in catching almost every flop. Then a new guy came to the table and caught fire, and unfortunately, I went up against him. After splitting a pot when we both flopped a kings over aces full house (we both had A-K), I flopped a baby flush. I decided to go all in against him (it was just the two of us), and he decided to call. He had also flopped a flush, but his was a middle flush. End of session.
I played a second session and once again A-Q was gold. The flop was 10-J-K. Unfortunately, the flop chased almost everyone out and I didn't make nearly as much as I could have. An emergency (which I will cover later) made me exit the table before I could get a solid session established.
I spent more time at Ballys than any other room this trip. Ballys had been a favorite of mine last year until I started playing The Venetian and The Wynn. However, Ballys seemed to be the most active room I was in this time. There were several tables going and a healthy waiting list at times.
Ballys used to be almost all tourists, but the Ballys rounders have been taking over the tables at Ballys (and maybe Paris and Harrahs) more than I would like. There was still plenty of easy money to be had, but I just never hit the motherload hand with the crazy players in the hand. Still, Ballys is a fun place to play -- close to the bar, and most people seemed to be having fun.
Stayed at New York-New York for two nights and Flamingo for two nights, all nights comped to my brother. I liked the room at New York and the easy access to MGM. With several other poker rooms within walking distance, this was not a bad place to stay. I heard that New York-New York once had a poker room, but it closed right before the boom.
At Flamingo, we got one of the crappy old rooms. The worst part was the carpet, which look liked it needed to be replaced ten years ago. The Flamingo was also the scene of our first really bad event in Las Vegas in a combined 60+ trips. My brother had an ID card, debit card, cell phone, and a few bucks stolen while he was at the pool. He was fortunate that he brought his debit card by mistake instead of his credit card and didn't have more cash on him.
Strangely enough, Flamingo security actually found his stuff (minus the cash) the next day and got in touch with me. Unfortunately, we were already at the airport. They made me pay for shipping the items home, which seemed awfully chinchy to me.
Food is usually an afterthought on our trips to Las Vegas, but we did decide to go to Pampas Churrascaria for lunch for my brother's birthday. Pampas is located at the far south end of the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. If you've never been to a rodizio-style restaurant before, Pampas would not be a bad choice. We certainly ate our fill of the steak, chicken, sausage, pork, and other items delivered to the table. I had a coupon from the restaurant and our lunch cost only $40 - tip included. We would go back.
We also decided to try the Ellis Island Cafe $4.95 steak special. We had never been in Ellis Island before (it is just a few blocks east of Paris), and were not surprised that it appeared to be a locals grinder joint. Although we received poor service from our waiter, the food came ultra-fast. We got a decent sized steak, a mound of mashed potatoes and gravy, tasty green beans, and an excellent salad for $4.95. Who can complain?
The Flamingo breakfast buffet (only $9.99 with a coupon) was actually not bad. The buffet included cooked-to-order omelettes and regular breakfast items. It may not be the fanciest place in the world, but it was good, fresh food at a cheap price.
I got in a tremendous amount of $1/2 NL action on the trip. Unfortunately, I ended up a little in the red. Considering I never came close to getting on a rush, I guess I can live with losing a little. Since I will be returning in six weeks, I wasn't too concerned with getting into tournaments. Next month, however, I will probably get back to entering at least one Caesar's tournament and maybe get to The Venetian, which I was not able to do this trip. Las Vegas has so many poker choices ...
It's funny -- even though I played so many hands of Hold Em, I just don't seem to get the same buzz that I do when I go deep in a tournament. Of course, maybe if I had come out $2000 ahead ...
Saturday, September 08, 2007
How to put down everything that happened in Las Vegas over a five-day span from September 2-6 ... that is a task. I'll start with my experiences at the different poker rooms, then conclude with non-poker information. All my ring table poker was either $1/2 or $1/3 NL.
MGM was the first room I visited after getting into Las Vegas last Sunday morning (Sept 2). Nothing like starting the trip off in a bad way as I was dealt horrible cards. In the first 75 minutes, I got no pocket pairs and my best cards were A-10 suited. I finally got a pocket pair (snowmen) and hit my set on the flop. Unfortunately, only one other person was in the hand and I wasn't able to make a killing on it. After a few more hours of poor starting cards, I finally gave up and decided to move on.
It is homecoming at my daughter's high school this weekend. Heather, who is a sophomore, plans on going to the dance with a few of her female friends -- which is certainly alright with me. However, one of her acquaintances, Samantha, is going with a boy a few years older.
Samantha and Heather used to be friends, but just grew apart. However, Sam is still part of a car pool arrangement, and occasionally I take her home from school. Today, it was just Sam and light.
I asked her if she was going to the homecoming dance, and she said yes. She had worked this past summer with a guy who is a few years older than her. He sent her a dozen roses and then asked her to the dance. Sam said that she really wasn't interested in the guy but accepted the invitation since he bought her roses. She said that he understood that they were going "as friends."
Sam is a nice girl and recently has been blossoming into an attractive young lady. She lives with her mom (I think that Sam's dad died of cancer some years ago), who is barely making it. I've always felt this fatherly feeling toward Sam since she has, as far as I can see, no positive male figures in her life.
Anyway, when Sam was telling me that she was going with this guy because he bought her the flowers and she felt like she owed him something, alarms went off in my head.
I told her that she should never feel like she owes a guy anything no matter what he gets for her, and filled her in on some of the ways guys think and act -- a topic on which I'm pretty sure she has little knowledge. I probably went a little overboard, and now am wondering if I should have just kept my mouth shut. Was I out of line?
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I hope to get in few tournaments at Caesar's, The Venetian, and Planet Hollywood. For ring games -- maybe MGM, Wynn, and Ballys. Ahhh ... there are SO many choices!
I hope to return with a few tales of tournament success and total ring table domination -- or donkitude!
Catch ya on the other side ...