Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PokerStars Settles with United States Department of Justice

It looks like it is finally happening -- PokerStars will operate Full Tilt Poker and will look to reopen within 97 days and pay off players outside the USA. Those of us in the USA will have to deal with the Department of Justice, which is consistent with information that had been leaked over the past several weeks.

Additional information is available on the PokerStars Corporate Blog.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Straight Flush vs Straight Flush

Unfortunately, I was on the wrong end of this.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Did the Poker Gods Hear Me?

My last post was a desperate plea to the poker gods to show some mercy on me. I am beginning to wonder if they listened.

Last Tuesday night at my international home game I took a horrendous beat right when I was getting ready to leave. Instead of driving home with about $130 in my pocket, I left with nothing thanks to Amir, one of the aggro players.

Amir invited us to play some outdoor poker on Saturday, and the ideal weather and lack of an evening plan made this a no-brainer for me. A nice six-handed game was in store. Before the game began, Amir and I talked about the big hand from last Tuesday. It appears that Amir somehow read the board wrong and thought he already had his straight made after the turn. That would explain why he elected to only run the river once. In the international home game, if someone is all in before all the cards are dealt the players in the hand talk about whether to run it one, two, or three times. I could not understand why a guy on a draw would only want the river run once. Now I know. He thought he already had me beat. How is that for terrible luck -- for me -- when my set went down to a rivered gutshot?

On Saturday I played pretty well and actually caught some cards. It was kind of funny. The two aggro guys, Amir and Alireza, both perceive me in a different way. Amir always gives me credit for having a hand and will fold to me, yet Alireza always thinks I am bluffing. I, of course, use these perceptions to my advantage. I left after almost four hours of play with a decent profit. Things were looking good. Had the poker gods let me off the hook?

Earlier today, I read the latest post by Very Josie, who had been entering some online tournaments with Poker Grump. Although Josie went deep in a couple of tournaments, she was missing that kick that you get when you actually win one. Strangely enough, I won freerolls on back to back nights on Face Up Gaming just over a week ago, but the competition was so bad for large parts of the tournaments that the victories didn't seem like much. Only winning a few bucks might have had something to do with it.

So ... inspired by Josie, I decided to play in a CardsChat private tournament. I have been a member of CardsChat for over seven years, occasionally playing in freerolls or buy-in tournaments. Now I have to tell you, the CardsChat tournament players are tough. There are no gimmies in these games -- you have to earn your spot at the final table. Some good play on my part and a little assistance from the poker gods (I had card rackitis) resulted in this:

Yeah, it was not like I crushed a massive tournament for a huge score. But ... I did win against some good players, and the added cashish in the tourney made for a pretty decent ROI.

Have the poker gods let me off the hook? My international home game is having a deep stack tournament Tuesday night. I am looking forward to finding out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Short Letter to the Poker Gods

Dear Poker Gods:

Hi -- this is lightning36. You remember me, don't you? Every so often you used to acknowledge that I was playing some fun online game against my poker blogger buddies or other assorted internet riff raff. In my home games or games at the brick and mortar casinos you seemed to be fair to me -- not overly generous, mind you, but I do acknowledge that I received a few crumbs from you here and there. I don't think I complained that much.

Lately, you appear to have somehow found disfavor with me. Sometimes I wait for hours getting hands like 9-3os, 10-5os, J-3os. I realize that playesr cannot get good cards nearly every hand (unless they are a princess) and do not ask for that. It would be nice, but I am not asking for the sky.

I am walking at a slow pace this morning because once again my testicles are swollen. Not by any late-night porn sessions, you understand, but because I got kicked in the nuts pretty hard last night. I know I did everything right and got a wild player in my home game to risk his entire stack on a double belly-buster. Was it really necessary to provide a Jack on the river to complete his straight? I was ready to go home with a huge win but instead left with nary a chip to my name.

If this is all because of something I have done, please tell me and I will try to correct it. In the meantime, please try looking deep inside your hearts (I do NOT believe you are heartless -- at least not yet) and see if you can find at least a little love for this nearly broken man. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Thank you for your consideration. I hope that we will be on good terms once again soon.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick Thoughts on A Day at "The Shoe"

Yesterday I made a trip to one of my favorite poker rooms, Harrah's Horseshoe Hammond. A few thoughts from the trip ...

1) I was hoping to grab a brew with Ken P. Unfortunately, he took a rain check on the meeting to put together a new grill/smoker so that he could have smoked pork loin today. Hmmm ... first Josie tells me that I am out of my mind and now Ken P prefers the company of a grill to me.  I've got to start getting myself a better grade of online blogger friends or something ...

2) I continue to be snake bit at the live poker tables.

Example 1: Guy in early position raised. I raised from middle position with K-K. Guy on my left called. Original raiser called. The flop was Q-J-7, which would normally look pretty good for Cowboys. First to act checks. I throw out a raise. Guy to my left raises. Guy who first checked calls. So ... I had to figure that at least one of these guys was ahead of me. With a sigh, I muck my Kings. After the turn both guys are all in. The first better hit a set of Jacks. The guy to my left hit a set of 7's. What -- nobody else hit a set of Queens?

Example 2: I called a raise with 4-4. The flop was J-4-? with two spades. Original bettor raised. With two spades on the board and hitting a set, I made a big raise. Original bettor went all in. With a dwindling stack and being pot committed, I made the call. Of course, the guy had pocket Jacks and felted me. Meh.

3) I could not keep my eyes off a cocktail waitress there. She looked Latino, with long straight black hair, a nice skin tone, a cute face, and ... this huge rack, which certainly appeared to be 100% natural. I guess I should call this a "Rob moment?"

4) The trip to Hammond was my first attempt to get on the board for Caesars Entertainment's The Great Race to Rewards. I have a trip to Las Vegas tentatively planned for the first week in September, and will be looking at road trips to southern Indiana, Tunica, Mississippi, and maybe Metropolis, IL and St Louis over the next two months. A sort of road race that includes poker and/or gambling? Yessssss!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Last Time I Was In Charge ...

Regular readers of this blog will remember that I took over as head of my department at work this past spring. This morning I was walking into work when I ran into my boss, the vice president. We discussed a few budget issues, and perhaps I inadvertently reminded her that I might actually know what I am doing. Less than an hour later, I received an email from her administrative assistant: "lightning: Are you available to be in charge of Student Services in the vice president's absence? She plans to take some vacation days." I was reminded of the first time I had been asked to be in charge while the boss was away ...

Years ago I had been new in a supervisory position and was very interested in augmenting my credentials. When my boss, Carol, asked me to be in charge while she was away at a professional conference, I enthusiastically agreed. After Carol left, her secretary told me that someone had been scheduled to see me -- a student that Carol wanted to talk to but had not been able to before she left. The student, Josh, had been a little too aggressive in dealing with the instructor of his religious studies class. I was to talk with him about his behavior.

Josh was initially agitated since he didn't understand why he was seeing me instead of Carol. After checking in with my secretary, Nancy, he sat down, took off his sandals, and began playing with his toes! Nancy alerted me that this guy seemed to be odd. Things were about to get much worse.

It became evident immediately that Josh was going to be trouble. He was resentful at having to speak with me. He ripped on the instructor of the class, saying that he was a crappy teacher and didn't know what he was talking about. I started to say "It's funny that we are talking about a religion class because I actually minored in theology in college and am well versed in the subject." I was not able to get all the words out when Josh started raising his voice, yelling "Funny? This isn't FUNNY." As his level of agitation continued to rise, I decided to just cut things short. He was getting totally out of control. I finally had to call out to my secretary, "Nancy, call Public Safety." She stared at me with a puzzled look. I had to repeat, "Nancy -- CALL PUBLIC SAFETY." Josh went bonkers, saying "You're calling Public Safety on ME? You're calling Public Safety on ME?" He then ran out of my office into the middle of our reception area, grabbed his crotch, jumped up and down and shouted at the top of his lungs, "SUUUUUUUUUUUCK MY DIIIIIIIIIICK!!!!" He darted down the stairs and ran out of the building. Meanwhile, all my colleagues heard the commotion and stepped out of their offices to see what was going on. I was just standing there looking foolish. I sheepishly said to Nancy, "Have the Public Safety officer just come in my office when she gets here."

Aftermath --   It turned out that Josh was a drug addict and was higher than a kite that day. He tried to return to campus for a subsequent semester and was forced to write an insincere letter of apology to me. Asshole. My now deceased best buddy at work loved to bring up this story about once a year. In a high-pitched voice he would mimic "You're calling Public Safety on ME?" We always referred to Josh as "The Crotch Grabber." As for Carol ... she never asked me to be in charge again.

I hope the 2012 version of "lightning in charge" will be much different than the 1990's version.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

And Rob Doesn't Believe Me ...

Yeah -- you know him -- Rob from Rob's Vegas and Poker Blog. He has made disparaging comment about my being a "chick magnet." In truth, he is petrified that the woman of his dreams, Prudence, will meet me and fall in love with me the way any intelligent woman would. Of course, in some way I guess I can undestand his protectiveness. I mean really -- what woman could resist me?

Oh yeah -- love you too, Liv sweetie.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Have any of my readers ever paid to see who signed your guestbook at Classmates -- which I believe used to be called classmates.com? I could be wrong on that, though.

I put my information up a few years ago but never subscribed to the services. However, every so often I receive a teaser email letting me know that some people have signed my guestbook. Of course, the names are always blurred to further entice you to pay to see who signed.

This also may be faulty memory, but wasn't this organization part of a class action lawsuit for some type of deceptive practice?

Anyway, a person can now subscribe for as low as $7.50 for three months access. The money is virtually nothing, but the whole principle of the thing has always sort of bugged me. Of course, in my fantasy world I am imagining that a bunch of former dates and/or high school hotties are all wanting to find out about me. The reality might be more than I can handle ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Family Mini-Vacation Photo Dump

One of the must-see places in Cincinnati, especially if you are a foodie, is Jungle Jim's International Market. Great selection of unique food from around the world. Where else can you buy stuff like gator jerky and ostrich eggs?

A trip to Blue Ash Chili was also in order. We had seen it featured on the Guy Fieri show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

The headliner: Six Way Chili. Take the chili above (spaghetti, chili, onions, beans, cheese) and add deep-fried jalapeno caps.

A trip to King's Island was a focal point of the trip. Hmmm ... which blogger(s) came to mind when I saw this?

Gotta play the carnival games at any amusement park. I believe this guy once played for the Chicago Bulls.

Getting ready to ride the WindSeeker with my son. It was not really scary, but it is a ride you would not want to be on if you have a fear of heights.

You go up over 300 feet. Heck of a view of the park and the area in general.

A happy family having a great day at the park. No fighting, no arguing ... whose family was that anyway?

Monday, July 09, 2012

Cincinnati -- Not Sin Cinnati

I am about 2/3of the way through a short family vacation in Cincinnati. Played some NL Poker at Hollywood Casino Indiana yesterday. Things almost never seem to go well when you run Kings into Aces. 'nough said.

Spent almost the entire day today at Kings Island, a really nice theme/amusement park north of Cincinnati. The weather cooperated and the family had a great time. There will be a little swimming tonight, then hitting some specialty stores tomorrow before heading home.

Although I did have to make a few token appearances at work and submit one report, I have enjoyed these past several weeks of vacation. It will be back to work next week in my new office. I still have not unpacked any of my stuff since I changed offices right before I went on vacation.

My next trip to Las Vegas is still tentatively planned for the first week in September to help my brother celebrate his birthday. We are playing a waiting game with airfare, though, and are hoping that Southwest runs another good sale soon.


Friday, July 06, 2012

A question for the Mathematically Superior

What are the odds of hitting a straight flush two hands in a row in Omaha? This happened to me last night on Black Chip Poker. Unfortunately, they did not pay off as well as I would have liked.

I did find one place online that claimed that the probability of getting a straight flush in Omaha is 0.000795 . I do not know if that is accurate or not.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Las Vegas Odds and Ends

Wow -- I have been home from Las Vegas for over a week now. Despite all the posts, the blog comments, text messages and tweets, there are still a few thoughts I wanted to get down before finally moving on.

** I would like to apologize to Mr Subliminal. I had been wanting to meet this self-proclaimed homeless Las Vegas poker player (you mean there are more than one?) for some time. Unfortunately, we were not able to connect up as I inadvertently deleted his phone message and then got lost in a bit of a haze toward the end of my trip after I got sick. I hope to be back in early September. Perhaps we'll get a chance to tip a brew or two then.

** One blogger I failed to mention in my earlier posts was ck -- the Black Widow of Poker. Carol came out to the Nugget to wish good luck to me and Memphis MOJO while we were playing in our deep stack event. I did get a chance to see her for a minute later that evening, but certainly I wish things had worked out a little better so we could have tossed some cards together at Binions.

** In my reports I failed to mention finally getting to meet balt999. Ron is a dealer at Bally's and did deal at least a few hands to me. It was nice getting to meet Ron although he was usually working when I saw him. Ron's wife is a great tournament player and will likely be featured in an upcoming post at Ron's blog. I won't say anymore than that.

** Home court advantage -- I was going to sign in on the waiting list at Bally's when the brush said "You're Chad C, right?" The wink then let me know the story -- Chad C didn't answer his call for a seat so I became Chad C and was able to play immediately. Yes -- being a visiting regular and being friendly at the table does sometimes get you a perk or two!

** While letting VJ use my laptop (Uhh -- the computer this time!) I walked around and ran into a co-worker at Bally's. Yes, sometimes the world is amazingly small.

** Mucho thanks to Rob for the taxi service he provided throughout the trip. No need to paint your car yellow, but you and your car will be in Las Vegas the first week of September, right?

** Even with a week's stay, it seemed like there was not nearly enough time to do everything I would have liked to. I am already looking forward to my next trip -- tentatively scheduled for September  3-7. Hey -- that is less than two months away. Yessss!!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Las Vegas Days 6, 7, & 8: Excuse Me While I Run to the Bathroom

Day 6 (Monday, June 25) proved to be one of the poorer days I have ever had in Las Vegas. I met up with Very Josie and we walked to Aria to have lunch. Although I had not eaten anything that morning, I was not particularly hungry. I stuck mostly to healthy things, with, of course, a mashed potato tribute to TBC. I was starting to feel a little punk. However, I was a master chef that afternoon as I grilled Josie like never before. The great interrogator strikes again!

As we were finishing lunch Rob called to ask about afternoon plans. We invited Rob and his car (he he) to pick us up and go with us Golden Nugget, where TBC and koala were playing. Josie had a dinner date with TBC late that afternoon. Rob and his car are very nice to have around sometimes!

Josie seemed to be doing pretty well at the Nugget, so I thought I would have a little fun with her -- bluff her off a hand (she doesn't let go easily but knows a big raise from me means huge hand), and then show the bluff. Well, things didn't work out as planned. Ms. Run Goot called my raise with pocket Jacks and hit a set on the turn. When action came to me I fired out a big bet, expecting her to fold. She then raised me and I hollywooded like I actually had a hand and had a big decision to make. Bah!

Josie eventually went to her dinner with Tony, leaving Rob, koala, and me at the table. I got a whole lot o nuttin.When the dinner was over, Josie had to leave to catch her flight. By this time I had been feeling even worse and asked Rob if he could drop me off at Bally's. I was hoping that I would feel well enough to play a few hands, but instead went immediately to my room where I felt the full effects of my illness over the next several hours. My flight was scheduled to depart at 11:40 a.m. the next morning, and I knew there was no way I could be on that flight. I called Southwest Airlines and was able to reschedule my flight home for a day and a half later. I went to sleep and planned on extending my hotel stay the next morning.

Day 7 started out with a call to Caesars Entertainment. I was given what I thought was a high rate for an extra midweek day, so I decided to check in person at the desk. I was given a lower rate by the woman working platinum check in/check out, and she suggested I speak with a host to see what could be done (I already had several comped days during my stay). The host gave me a great rate for the extra day, and I ventured out in search of some food and some Gatorade. I ate breakfast at La Salsa Cantina in the Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood, and chugged down a quart of Gatorade. I got one more for the road and headed back to my room for more sleep -- for I had to sleep immediately!

I had gotten a message from Carmel offering to take me out to dinner if I felt well enough, and in the early evening I ventured to the Bally's poker room. Feeling somewhat better, I met Carmel later that night for what proved to be an interesting and fun evening. Before we left Bally's, however, I was begged by some guy to have my picture taken with him.

Carmel and I ate at a great place in Chinatown -- Hue Thai's Sandwiches -- having some Banh Mi (house special and chicken) sandwiches and Tom Yum soup. It was great! Afterwards we rode around Las Vegas and stopped in at Ellis Island to check out the poker room. The tables were covered and no one was anywhere around, so we went back cruising around when Carmel decided to stop at the Green Door - a swingers club! Did I want to see the dungeon?  Hmmm ... carrying a substantial amount of money, still feeling ill, not wanting to end up like so many of the rubes I had seen on CSI -- uhhh -- NO!

We drove down to the Fremont Street Experience and had a great time bumming around. Unfortunately, koala and Tony had already gone to bed. However, there were plenty of interesting things to keep us occupied.

The line, was, I am sure, long and I did not feel up to it, but we decided that on my next trip to Las Vegas we would for sure try the zip line on Fremont Street.

The illness still had a hold on me, however, and I finally had my batteries worn almost all the way down -- meaning that I must again sleep immediately. Carmel dropped me off at Bally's -- the end to a very fun night.

Day 8 -- my extra day -- was the day to get in a little shopping. I bought a dozen decks of casino used playing cards for my home game friends and a few other gifts, then met Rob and his car back at Bally's. He was going to join me for my final poker session after checking out, and I told him that I would like to play on his turf, the BSC. This final session included the story I posted about earlier -- the group of women who wanted Rob to take a picture of their cleavage -- and some expert poker play by Rob, who clearly was in his element at the BSC. As for me -- tons of draws that never got there. Meh. So much for poker on this trip.

Although my flight was delayed, it ended up getting into Chicago only a little later than planned, shortly after midnight. I did not feel up to driving the over two hour trip back home, so I instead stayed overnight at my Mom's house in the far west suburbs. Home would have to wait one more day.

One final Las Vegas post is still to come to tie up a few things and talk about some people I need to mention.

Electronic Devices for Dummies -- A Pictorial

Okay -- I will admit that I am not the most technologically advanced guy around. I once believed that at some point the demand for computer jobs would flatten. Ha!

cmitch, among others, loved to jab me about my mega-old cell phone. I had even been due for a free upgrade over two years ago but never bothered. I mean, the phone was basic and easy to use. It was indestructible, having been dropped more times than I can remember. But it was ancient. In fact, a few years ago my son told me how embarrassed he was to even own it. Well ... while my son is waiting for his pre-ordered Galaxy 3, he needed a transition phone since his regular one broke. Doing my fatherly duty, I upgraded my phone so that he could use my old flip phone.  My precious baby:

I must admit, however, that I have liked my new phone so far. It is nothing fancy, just one that should be good for basic calling and texting:

I recently won an ipad in a Face Up Gaming tournament. I had seen them before, but never used one. It was delivered while I was in Las Vegas. I had to fight off several requests from family to open it while I was gone. I thought about selling it on ebay, but acquiesced to the wishes of my wife and kids.

I think this is what it looks like. It is difficult for me to be sure since everyone has been using it and I have barely seen it. I am reminded of the time when I bought a brand new Honda Accord. My wife was pregnant so I let her use my new, safe car. She generously returned it to me years later after driving over 65,000 miles on it. MY new car ...

I am not a total veg, though. Before going to Las Vegas a fellow employee lent me his Mi-Fi so that I could connect to the internet for free instead of paying some ghastly $13/day charge. It had some difficulty connecting on the 17th floor of Bally's, but it worked okay closer to the ground.
Of course, I was then able to use my rusty ... uhh ... trusty laptop while on vacation. Four years old and still running pretty much like it did on day one.

I would post pictures of my watch, but ... I do not wear a watch. I never particularly liked the feel of having something around my wrist. My mom once asked me "How do you ever know what time it is?" My reply: "I just ask someone."

A picture of my ipod ...

Wait -- does it sound like I am the kind of guy who would own an ipod? Muhahahahaha!

I am sure that Ken P is enjoying reading this. And he thought that Very Josie was the one who really needs some ... uhhh ... technological upgrading? And he wondered why I was unwilling to pull my blog off Blogger and put it on some other "easy" site?

Thanks for the read. I just might take a break and get some ice cream. The handle on my churn is a little loose, but I have heard you can actually buy this stuff in the local grocery store now ...

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Las Vegas Days 4 & 5: Bad Beats and a Pissed Off Blogger

Day 4 in Las Vegas (Saturday, June 30) started off with a nice lunch with Very Josie, followed by a session of cash games at Bally's. The day, however, was most notable for the All Vegas Poker tournament that was scheduled for the evening. I was not sure if I wanted to play in it. It sounded like it would be fun, but I just didn't want to play in tournaments three days in a row. So ... I did go to the Mirage, where the tournament was held, to socialize. I got to meet several AVP people/bloggers including grrouchie, Lindy, Stump, and the lovely Carmel. Carmel, who earlier had tweeted that I was a "rat bastard," showed me the reason for her tweet: the traffic ticket she got while driving to Bally's the night before to try to surprise me. Well ... excuse me!

When the tournament started Carmel and I headed to Casino Royale (home of $1 Michelobs and margaritas) and had a few drinks while getting to know each other -- which Carmel called my "interrogation" of her. Well, with all the provocative things she had written on her blog, I sure had lots of questions. We then went back to the tournament for some additional socialization, and then went our separate ways as I decided to play some cash games.

I first went to Harrah’s and was doing well when a player at the table saw his A-A go down in flames to Q-9. The guy just would not let it go, muttering nasty stuff to the guy who cracked the Aces and snapping at others at the table having a good time. I finally decided that I did not want to continue in that atmosphere and headed to ... where else, but Bally's! I had a great session there, but unfortunately won one hand I would have preferred to lose. I got in a hand with 5-5 and was excited to see a flop of 5-6-5! There were two diamonds on the board which led me to hope I might get a nice score on the hand. One other player was in, and he obviously had a good hand. I three bet after the flop and he came along. He even called my big value bet on the river. At the end of the hand, I saw the mixed news: good news -- I won a big pot; bad news -- the other player flopped a straight flush draw. If he had hit his two outer on the turn or river, we would have hit the bad beat jackpot. My share would have been either $4K or $5K! Ah well ... at least I cashed out with a nice score.

Day 5 (Sunday, June 24) -- the day I would like to forget -- started out nice and early. Surprisingly, I was up at an early Las Vegas hour for me: 8:30 a.m. I puttered around the room for a bit and texted Very Josie to see if she wanted to grab some breakfast or brunch. No answer. I figured she was sleeping late. A little later I called and texted again. Still no answer. I headed down to play some cash games and heard from Rob, asking about lunch plans. I thought I might hear from VJ soon, so I waited. After not hearing anything, I contacted Rob to tell him it would just be me and arranged to meet him at his famous "BSC" (Big Strip Casino), where Rob was taking care of lunch -- yes!. He would not be ready for some time, so I stayed a few more orbits at the cash game. Right before it was time for me to leave, I had a few free hands before the blinds came to me. On a previous trip, I stayed and played one last hand ... and lost an $800 pot! Wanting to break the curse, I stayed for the last free hands. I was dealt K-10 and called a raise. The flop: A-Q-J! The action was on me and I threw out a pot sized bet. The original raiser said "all in" and I instacalled. He flipped over A-Q and was shocked to see that I had flopped the straight. However -- and you know what is coming next -- he was happy to see that the turn was an Ace, taking a decent chunk of my stack. Strike one. Two hands later I was off to the BSC.

After lunch at BSC, it was getting late in the afternoon. We had still heard nothing from VJ, and I was concerned. We had heard that TBC and Pete Peters were playing poker at the Flamingo, so Rob and I headed that way. I asked Rob, who was driving, if he could stop in Bally's first so that we could check on VJ. We tracked down a hotel security guy to ask if he could do a wellness check on her. He called up to her room and spoke with her, then handed the phone to me. She was pretty nasty to me on the phone (excuse me all to hell for being concerned about her) and I let loose with some pretty foul language. I was pretty hot. Strike two.

Rob and I went to Flamingo and met up with TBC and Pete. Rob had never met Tony, and was in for his first taste of the "TBC Experience." Tony wanted me to drive him downtown, but I did not have a car. He turned to Rob and said "Aren't you Rob? Do you have a car?" Rob agreed to drive Tony downtown while I sat next to Pete at a $1/$2 table. I was not getting much in the way of cards but was able to chip up a little. Josie came a short time later and soon it was time to head toward the Riviera for the private tournament that had been arranged for supporters of TBC. We were beginning to rack up but I still had a few free hands. I looked down to see A-A. I bet and got a few callers. The flop contained three low cards with two spades. The other players checked, and I put out a bet of about 2/3 the pot. One player who had butchered a hand against VJ earlier and had checked when action originally came to him after the flop said "all in." I was shocked. He impressed me as being a really crappy player. I was 90% sure I was ahead of him. I tanked for a couple of minutes and then thought "I didn't come to Las Vegas to play like a pussy," and called. The turn was a spade. The player turned over his cards to show that he hit his middle flush. My whole buy-in plus extra mobney was gone. Strike three.

On the outside I appeared pretty calm but on the inside I was going berserk. I just walked away from the table and wandered around the casino for awhile. Two nasty beats while getting ready to leave that made a four-figure difference in my bankroll plus feeling like I had been shit on by a good friend was just too much.

I finally decided to get in some exercise and walk down to Riviera. I got there just as the tournament was supposed to start. Needless to say, I was not very good company. To make matters worse, the other of the two tournament tables had all the people I knew. Mine had Rob, Poker Grump, and other players I had not met. Fortunately, I was next to Cool Dave, who really made the table fun. During the first break when VJ was away from her table, I had a little fun with the others at the table that she had been running over. I took out a vial of medicine I had been carrying and acted like I has going to slip a micky in her drink. I then pretended to hock a loogie in it. Or did I pretend ...

I did not last long in the tournament and played a little HORSE afterwards. I got a sub sandwich and decided to head back up the strip since I certainly wasn't very good company. I sent a couple of tweets the next morning to apologize for being such a downer. Unfortunately, one did not go through. For those who were at the TBC tournament, I do apologize for being a curmudgeon (I was told that Grump and g(r)rouch(ie) were already taken -- curmudgeon was suggested).

I headed to Bally's (natch) to lick my wounds. I started feeling a little strange before I headed to Bally's. Little did I know that things were about to get even worse the next day.