Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Commerce

It has been a very long time since I have posted, but I have a poker story to document.  We are visiting California touring art schools for our daughter.  I was able to convince my better half to let me go to the Commerce Casino.

I walk into the casino and I felt like the bar in Star Wars.  All walks of life in this casino.  I went into one poker room and ask for a $1-$2 NL Holdem game.  A lady who did not speak english very well tried to explain to me that sure there was a game, but she was not clear.  Then this well dressed older man came over and very kindly told me I was in the high roller part of the poker room $600 - $1200 minimum blinds.   Definitely not my place, so he kindly guided me to the other section of the poker room.  There are only 248 tables in this place.

I put my name on a list.  They called my name and I sat down at a table.  They told me it was $100 buy-in.  I happened to have $100, but I thought I was sitting at a $40 buy-in $1-$2 game.  I was swiftly dealt 4 cards.  Oh shit!  Definitely not holdem.  I pretended that I had no clue what Omaha was.  I caught a flush and split the pot with the low hand.  I quickly got up and went back to explain that they sent me to the wrong table.  I was sent to another table that was $3-$6.  Finally I got to the correct table.  I exchanged my $5 chips for $40 worth of $1 chips.  I left the balance of my $60 on the table only to get lectured by the dealer.  If those chips are not in the game you would make the jack pot invalid.  I quickly put them on the floor at my feet.

The third hand I believe I had K2o.  The flop comes KQ9.  I decide to slow play and checked.  I believe it checked around.  The turn was a 9.  Someone bet $4 and I smooth called.  The river was a 9.  I checked.  The player to my left bet $12.  One other caller.  I thought there was no way he had a 9 and the worse case would be I would split.  Yep, he had the nine so my initial buy-in was pretty much toast.

I bought in again and manager to win 3 more hands on the night.  I had to get back home in order to drive to San Francisco, so I could not grind my way back.  I dropped $50.  :(

It is good to say I played poker in the worlds largest poker room.  Although the largest poker room it is not the classiest I have been in.  Now when can I own a poker room in Austin Texas?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just feel like blogging

I wish I could get in a regular cadence of blogging, but I don't.  So sad!  I do enjoy writing and allowing my 2 brain cells to wonder.  So I am going to meander through my recent experiences with online poker.

First of all I wish the hell the US would bring back online poker.  I do miss the grind of free rolls and spinning gold out of zero investment.  I could rant about how stupid this country is, but that would be one hell of a long blog post.  :)

So I now find myself being entertained by playing Zynga poker via Facebook.  I tend to play their weekly challenge where the quest is to win as much fake money as possible.  Early when I started doing this I thought, "Hey, there are some decent poker players here."  Now as I play more there are a bunch of "all in" idiots.  It is fake money after all so I really should not expect much more than this.

So now the challenge is how do I extract more fake money from these "all in" idiots.  Recently I did win my first Million $$$ Hand.  Pocket aces actually worked for a change because I was up against pocket kings and one rag hand.  Normally the rag hand wins in this scenario.  I also met Irene a good poker player on the site.  So I am also challenged to beat her weekly.  I have 4 million this week and she now has 3X that amount.  Damn it!  Hopefully I will get to play a ton this lazy Thanksgiving day.

BTW - Happy Thanksgiving to the four people who follow this blog.

Shifting gears I played in a charity poker event a few weeks ago.  It was a blast except the blinds went up fast and somewhat randomly.  I played well.  I read a friend of mine like a book and got all in against him twice.  Both times we got me on the river.  The second time was my last.  The after party at the Key bar was definitely something to remember or not remember, depending on who you ask.

Any rate someone mentioned that you could play online again for money legally.  I said no way.  Well it turns out you can using bit coins.  I tried the site, but it was hanky.  Plus I really do not trust bit coins. Heck there was a dude in Austin who made I think over $11 million, selling drugs online using bit coins.

So the short of it is I am stuck playing free fake money poker on Facebook.  WTF!

Even our local neighborhood game has decreased its frequency.  Hopefully one will get scheduled soon.

Play on!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Poker Game that Wasn't!

Last week I blogged about my excitement of going to a Monday night poker tournament.  I had a beer under my belt and a few for the game.  I had grabbed a tiny yellow Dalek (Dr. Who) to be my card topper.  i was feeling good.  I navigated my way through traffic and I was about .5 miles away from my destination and my phone rings.  "Sorry, but the tournament was on Saturday night!"

No worries!  I went home and did chores.

I am looking forward to the next tournament.  Hopefully it is on a night that I can go.  I usually take a 50 cent piece as a card topper, but for some reason the Dalek seems right.  :)

Shuffle up and deal!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Back on Tour

Tonight I am going back into the lion's den.  I am playing in a local poker tournament.  Our kids soccer practices used to prevent me from playing on Monday nights.  This was one of my favorite poker groups.  Many of them are really good players.  The cash game after getting knocked out of the tournament got out of hand.  Anyone could sit in for any amount they wanted.  That sure puts my $20 at a disadvantage.

I plan to play in the tournament and not the cash game.  Of course I would like to do well, but I really have no expectations.  I think the key will be to try and steal some chips early.  I also need to concentrate more on what I think the opponent might be holding relative to my hand.  Another area I need to improve is reading the player and not rely so much on the cards.

Hopefully I will follow up with a post on tonight's adventure.


Saturday, March 09, 2013

Day 1 - Adventure to Pune, India

I promised to blog more, but I am failing to do so.  Today I am going to chronicle my journey from Austin Texas to Pune India.

Yesterday (or two days ago) I headed for the Austin Airport at 4:30 AM.  It was more crowded than I expected.  I guess due to spring break.  I got through security and got to my gate just in time.  The flight from Austin to Newark was fun.  When I arrived in Newark it was snowing.  Things did not look good.


I owe a big thank you to my boss.  He suggested since I had a 9 hour wait until my flight to Pune, that I should pay to join the United Club for the day.  It was supposed to be $50.  For some reason the lady processing my request had trouble, so for me being so polite and patient she let me into the club for free.  Not only did she let me in for free she gave me a pass for another day at the club.  I enjoyed the day drinking Sam Adams and munching on free snacks.  I met some nice people.  CIO of Starpoint Solutions, a lady who works for Rolls Royce, and two brothers heading to Breckenridge for some skiing fun!  Who knows how many beers I had and I added a couple of shots of Jameson.  It was a pleasant day working from the lounge of the United Club at Newark.  Thanks Jack!

The weather miraculously cleared and my flight left close to on time.  The flight to Mumbai was relatively uneventful, but the plane was FREEZING.  I was so glad I had on my Snake Eyes wind breaker.  I watched 4 movies:  Argo, The Dark Truth, Chasing Mavericks, and Trouble with the Curve.  I really enjoyed all 4 movies.  I also played a game on the iPad called Trenches II.  I suck at it, but it was entertaining.  The food on the plane was marginal at best.  I did not like the breakfast much at all.  Fortunately I happened to pack some pretty tasty snacks.

I arrived and needed to go to the men's room due to the wonderful plane food.  Let's just say the bathroom experience at the airport was exactly that an experience.  Trust me, TMI!

I made my way through customs although I declared I was bringing meat into the country, beef jerky.  Nothing happened, whew!  Interesting in that the scan your luggage upon departure from the airport.  I had no phone service so I could not text my family.

I found my driver readily.  Hard to miss the large placard that had my name, but it took a minute or two to scan the large crowd.  My drivers name was Kalyan.  Fortunately for me he was an excellent driver.  He did not know much English, but I felt safe.  I will describe the traffic like this.  A NASCAR track where speeding cars had to dodge large slow trucks of all flavors, motorcycles and throw in pedestrians playing "Frogger".  I cannot do the experience justice in words.  I now love Austin traffic!  There is no way in hell I could have driven in this madness.  Half way to Pune we stopped at highway facility.  Honestly I was not about to use the mens room until I got to the hotel.


Finally arrived at the hotel at 2:00 AM.  The hotel is very nice.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn on the lights in the room.  I felt pretty stupid, but I chalked it up to my sporadic unrestful sleep on the plane.  I was easily able to access internet and let my family know I had arrived.  I took a hot shower and a sleeping pill.  The bed was so comfortable.  I slept like a baby until the barking dogs woke me up around 8:00 AM.  I did feel well rested.

I went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast.  Wow there were so many choices.  I had some scrambled eggs with onions, spicy peppers, and mushrooms.  The staff were amazingly polite.  Here is what the kitchen looked like.  And just a note to my family - I did resist the donuts in the photo at least for today.


The breakfast buffet was amazing.  The service was exceptional and the people warm and kind.  The music was also very peaceful.  I wish I could find out who the artist was.  During breakfast you could hear the occasional crack of a fly meeting what looked like a mini tennis racket.  The coffee was deliciously strong.  I took some photos of some great sculptures.

After another warm shower I am about to head out with my colleagues to tour Pune.  I have no idea what is in store for me, but it should be a fun adventure.

Monday, December 31, 2012

What the hell?

I have not posted a poker blog since 2010.  I did not have many followers, but I did enjoy the poker bloggers I connected with.  I miss the online poker community.  I have some found memories of meeting local poker bloggers for a tournament or two.  It was an inexpensive way to sharpen skills and meet new people.

Since I cannot legally gamble online in the great USA, I am stuck playing sites like Pure Play Poker and Zynga Poker.

I sure wish Congress had not shelved the federal bill, "The Gambling Prohibition, Poker Consumer Protection Act".

I am going to resurrect this old blog and start posting poker experiences again.

Two Friday nights ago I was playing in the neighborhood game.  I held pocket 7's.  The flop came 7d5d3d.  I made a modest bet with my set and got called.  The turn comes 3c giving me the nut full house.  I made a good bet thinking I can lure someone in.  I got called again.  I am getting pretty excited when on the river comes a blank.  I bet an amount to milk the pot.  I got raised by $8.  I immediately went all in for my $23 bank roll just to get an instant call.  Yes my opponent had flopped a straight flush.  The funny thing is if I had been paying attention to the player and not the cards, I would have realized I was beat.  I should have listening to the pointers in Daniel Negreanu's book "More Hold'em Wisdom for All Players".  I should have called the $8 bet and still ended the night with a profit.  Instead I gave away my entire bank roll.   Another player tried to point out that my opponent was shaking.  If I had simple taking the time to look and consider the possibilities on the board.  We usually play until 3:00 AM and it was 2:50 AM.  No time for a come back.

I learned some good poker lessons with this mistake.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rant #2 - I went to the DMV this morning with every intention of renewing my drivers license.  I wait in line for a couple of minutes, when I realize that they might not take credit cards.  Sure enough on a big paper sign at the desk is we take cash or checks only.

We live in a world of completely fake money so why not take credit cards.  I could see that a prudent use of tax dollars would be not to pay the costs of credit card transactions. 

Back to the drawing board tomorrow!  I am sure after I go through the entire process I will have rant #3.