Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Playing with a Maniac

I have spent the past several weekends taking off from work early and driving up to my late mother's house to get things thrown out or donated, and working to get the house ready to be put up for sale. Fortunately, when the enormity of the task threatens to get to me, I can find solace in the Harrah's Joliet poker room. The bad beat jackpot there is inching closer to $800,000, so there is always that fun element of thinking you could hit it big while playing $1/2 NL. Last weekend, I got in two sessions. The Saturday night sessions was unremarkable until the local maniac sat down at the table.

The regulars at my table were familiar with the gentleman. I trust that what we saw Saturday night was similar to what the regs have seen in the past. One person said that he heard that the guy had lost $15,000 already that weekend at the tables. Things at our poker table were about to change quickly and dramatically.

Prior to the maniac sitting down, the game was a generic $1/2 NL game. Over the past couple of hours there were regular raises, standard play, nobody really getting out of line except a woman who kept straddling $10 every chance she got. Unfortunately for her, I don't think that she was quite as good as she thought, blaming all her losses on having second best hands or getting rivered.

The maniac bought in for the maximum $200 (I had a stack of about $200) and quickly began raising every hand by grabbing a handful of chips, usually around $35 worth, and betting without even looking at his hole cards. People kept limping in, and yes, he raised EVERY hand. He at first accumulated some chips before anyone played back at him. As luck would have it, he sucked out several times before anyone won against him. One time when he raised to only $23 I called with pocket 4s. The flop had three overs and I was forced to fold to a huge bet. I fired that one blank and figured that I would wait to take another shot. It came when he raised to $33 and I was holding KsJs. As good a time as any to call, I thought. The flop came Jack high rainbow. The maniac bet and I shoved, thinking that I was most likely in the lead. In the excitement I didn't see his cards, but he claimed after the river that he had two pair, apparently after the flop or the turn. It didn't matter, because the turn and river were spades, giving me runner-runner second nuts. I more than doubled up (there was at least one other person in the hand for the flop) and told him that I would give him a chance to get his chips back.

A few more hands were played, he spewed, and he bought back in for another $200 and was in for $600 total. I then looked down to see a thing of beauty: pocket Aces! Play came to me and I limped in, knowing that he would raise when the action got to him. As expected, he raised to about $35 and I pushed all in. He called. The flop consisted of  rainbow of cards below face cards. He flipped over his cards to show that he had a gutshot draw with two cards to come. Fortunately, the turn and river were both blanks. I felted him, he congratulated me, and then left the table. In a span of about 15 or 20 minutes, he spewed $600, and I grabbed $500 of it.

I took a restroom break, came back and played a couple of orbits, then cashed out with my $500 maniac profit. Some nights poker can be really fun!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Life Update: May 4, 2017

Wow -- it is hard to believe that I haven't posted in almost three weeks. April was one heck of a month. With that, what has been going on with me?

Work: Ahhh ... the feeling of freedom! My last official work day as director of my department was Friday, April 28. Although actually not in charge this week, I am still finishing up a few things dealing with the transition. I am hoping to extricate myself from all that sometime next week. I was able to walk away from a difficult personnel situation, which certainly will make my life much easier. It's been a long five years.

My roof: The roof on my house had been degrading in quality. While still protecting the house, the organic shingles were starting to look pretty bad. Some bad wind days blew off a significant number of shingles. I'll spare you the details, but add in a good homeowners policy and a favorable determination by an insurance adjuster, and lightning is a happy guy.

My Mom's house: This past Sunday, my brother, thundering36, moved back to Melbourne, Australia, vacating my late mother's house. Now the work of cleaning out a house that accumulated 50 years of junk begins in earnest. On Friday, my brother-in-law and I will be hopefully making some decent progress.

My family: My wife loves the new job she started working at in February. We are very thankful that she was able to get into a position where she is appreciated, unlike her previous job. In just over a week, my oldest daughter will be graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in Women and Gender Studies. My son is finishing up his program at Illinois in Math and Computer Science with an online class he is completing while working as a software engineer in Seattle. He will likely earn his bachelor's degree this summer. College costs have significantly cut into my sockroll over the past several years. It will be nice to have that monkey off my back.

Las Vegas: I will be heading out to Sin City July 17-22. One evening during the trip, I am hoping to grab dinner at Hugo's Cellar. What about it -  Koala, Alysia ChangVegasDWPgrrouchie? Anyone else?

Finally, the beginning of May brings some time for reflection. My father would have been 93 years old. And this year for the first time, my wife and I will be celebrating Mothers Day without our mothers. If your parents are still alive, appreciate them while you can.

Thanks for reading!