Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A little Poker

And a lot of other stuff....

First off, I have not posted in awhile because I have not played much poker. I managed to get some in the past few days and it has rekindled the poker flame. I have not had many hands that make me think, but this one I think I did the right thing, it just did not go my way. Any thoughts? Did I over play my AK? The guy was loose relative to the table, but not a true maniac. I did not put him on KK or AA due to the limp from the unraised SB, I think I would make the same play again.

$25 NL Texas Hold'em -

Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 9
Seat 1: ultimate8s ( $29.25 )
Seat 3: Victoria85 ( $25.50 )
Seat 7: lwrestler105 ( $15.76 )
Seat 8: STeelerJosh ( $22.40 )
Seat 9: GoldOreMarty ( $4.15 )
Seat 5: baysia ( $15.95 )
Seat 6: alivesey ( $23.05 )
Seat 10: Pascwaly3 ( $28.25 )
Seat 2: mickssid ( $14.75 )
lwrestler105 posts small blind [$0.10].
STeelerJosh posts big blind [$0.25].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to STeelerJosh [ Ac Ks ]
Pascwaly3 folds.
ultimate8s folds.
mickssid folds.
Victoria85 folds.
baysia folds.
alivesey folds.
lwrestler105 calls [$0.15].
STeelerJosh raises [$0.50].

ifold220 has joined the table.
lwrestler105 raises [$2].
STeelerJosh raises [$5].
lwrestler105 is all-In [$13.51]
STeelerJosh calls [$10.01].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 2d, Jd, Ah ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Ts ]
** Dealing River ** [ 7d ]
STeelerJosh shows [ Ac, Ks ] a pair of aces.
lwrestler105 shows [ Jh, Jc ] three of a kind, jacks.
lwrestler105 wins $29.97 from the main pot with three of a kind, jacks.

I managed to fight back and only be down $9 for the game, but I really thought I was ahead in this hand.

On the non poker front, I am busy boy. I have accepted a promotion at work that will require a move to Detroit. I am excited and scared by the prospect of a new postition in a new place. I have been performing the same role for my company for the past 6 years, so it was getting to a breaking point... I think I made the right decision. We have listed our house and SteelerSteph is interviewing in MI already. Wish us luck. The housing market is not that great in Northeast Ohio right now, but it is even worse in Metro Detroit. The upside of the move? (besides a fresh challenge) is that DNasty might be my neighbor next year. Come on back to the big D, D. Eminem, Kid Rock, and I miss you. 313, what?

This summer is shaping up to be a full one. Pack a house into a 2 bedroom apartment for at least 6 months. Find the missus a job. Learn my new role, and centralize a 16 server mail system geographically distributed in 15 remote offices into one functional 4 server centralized model. Wheeeee! In between all that, I will keep trying to get better at poker.

So, any advice on Poker, Lotus Notes, Selling a House, Keeping a Marriage, Relocating to Michigan, Shopping for an Apartment, and sadly, storing a bike is welcome here. Storing a bike you ask? Well, yeah... it seems that a lot of apartment complexes in Metro Detroit do not allow any motorcycles on property. Thanks to all in the "Loud Pipes save Lives" school of thought, you kind of ruined it for all of us. No matter that my ST sounds like a sewing machine in a fog bank, it is "a bike" and therefore machina non grata. I have to decide if I want to store for awhile or outright sell and repurchase when I become a homeowner again.

Wish me luck in my new role, and in finding my replacement which is proving much tougher than anticipated. Here is an interviewing tip. When asked what your favorite team is in an interview environment (as a seugeway into talk about what makes a successful team and teamwork) do not give "Pantera" as an answer. If you do make that mistake, do not make it worse by advising the interviewer that you memorialized the late lead singer, "Dimebag" Daryl by naming your firstborn after him. This is an accounting firm here people, play the game! Say the 1979 or 2006 Steelers (bonus points from me) or make up some crap about a high school team. Pantera, Lotus Notes, and accountants. Google that.

Lastly, I can't help but admit a little guilt for letting this blog languish since ummmm December. I was (am) a losing player this year (damn you -EV Blackjack) and it took its toll on my budget, desire for the game, and inspiration for the blog. I am back now with an online pittance for a bankroll and back on Party since they have allowed me to remove (or at least hide) their BJ icon. The going can be tough there, but I am enjoying working on my NL cash game chops and the SNGs are so juicy there.

I won't make the Mookie tomorrow, my firm is having its annual conference and I will be getting crunked with a few hundred of my closest friends from Chicago, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Elgin, Cleveland, and Kalamazoo in a hotel. The conference, mercifully, does not start until 10 the following day so the night before of open tabs is always an event.

I am not normally a pimp, although my pimp hand is strong. If you have a few minutes and enjoy what I think is one of the most unique voices in a blog, check out TenMile over at http://sippinwhiskeyandpoker.blogspot.com/ He is on my blogroll, and I need to update my links on the right. I particularly enjoyed his recent story about an Alaskan pilot of a single engined craft. Seems odd when I type it out here, but trust me; TenMile can spin a story like few else. Aces to you TenMile.

Monday, June 12, 2006

1-800-I Won't Fly NWA Again

0430 CST and I am still in OKC. After the strangest incident trying to get out of here last night and my worst travel adventure yet, I have sworn off of Northwestern Airlines. Fuck'em and their appalling lack of customer service. They were the cheapest way in and out of here....guess I got what I paid for.

What was it? Never found out for sure, but my plane to Memphis was quarantined 10 yards from the gate. I happened to look out the window about 45 minutes before I was supposed to head out and saw a scene right out of "Outbreak" on the tarmac. Dudes in silver suits and self containted breathing apparatus were all around the plane and this whole hing was surrounded by a phalanx of flashing lights. Marked cars, unmmarked cars, HAZMAT fire trucks, ambulance....if you had a light bar on your car, this was apparently the place to be.

All the gate attendant could tell us was there was a suspicious substance and the plane was quarantined. "Odd" methinks, especially when we are told this will result in a 20 minute delay. I have almost a 2 hour layover in Memphis so that is ok....but I am wondering if I really want to be on that particular plane.

Eventually we are told that we will need to rebook our connections because they are erring on the side of safety. Fine with me, I avoid the line at the desk of what turned out to be the only NWA employee left in he airport and call the 1800 number they posted on the board to reschedule flights. It turns out that it is impossible to have me in Cleveland hat night, the best they can do is get me to Detroit or Columbus. That will not really work, so the agent on the phone suggests I could do the 0600 flight (the TripJax special) out the next morning and I will be in Cleveland by 1113. This sounds like the best overall option as it was not garaunteed that I could make my connections in Minn/St.Paul or Detroit or Memphis if I could get ou of here that night. I ask about accomodations at the airport (don't want to inconvenience GCox with another 0400 jaunt to Will Rogers) and he advises me to see the gate attendant. Back in line I go. I am in touch with SteelerSteph throughout this process and the frustration I am feeling is cushoined by the fact that I could be worse, I could be one of the 50 poor bastards stuck sitting on the quarantined plane breathing in this suspicious substance and sweating their asses off. The engines were not turning on the plane, I don't imagine the AC is running. I finally get to the front of the line and ask about a hotel voucher. I am very surprised to hear that I am on my own. Unless a flight is delayed for mechanical reasons, if NWA can get me to my destination within 24 hours, I am on my own. I protest, "but you cannot get me to Cleveland until tommorrow, I have to sleep somewhere!". "Policy sir, you are allowed to sleep in the airport"

It is not this lady's fault so no use arguing with her and there are 15 more people behind me so I just ask about my checked bag to make sure that we can reunite. "Yes sir, baggage claim 6". Ok. In retrospect, the conspiracy theorists and I suspect that this baggage claim 6 was a ruse to get me out of the presence of what was apparently the only Northwestern employee in the whole friggin airport. I pass through TSA and head down to baggage claim. I am not happy with NWA right now and my plan is to make my case with the ticket agent or the highest ranking NWA employee I can find. Is it worth the $50 hotel voucher for them to lose a customer for life? I suspected not. I arrive at the baggage claim 6 and stare at the single lonely bag making the circuit. Not my bag. Ha! The NWA luggage office is locked and closed while its neighbors United, Continental, etc are doing a booming business. Ha Ha!

I eventually decide this is a lost cause and go to the ticket desk to see what I can make happen. The answer is not much when it is not staffed and the check in is all self service now. 5 pm on a Sunday and it appears that the only NWA employee is protected from me by TSA. With only a boarding pass for the 6 am flight the next morning, I don' like my chances of getting back to her. I pick up a piece of the NWA propaganda titled "Customer Guide: Customers First Program" because I need a good laugh and I still have the stupid hope that if I could just explain this situation to a rational person, I can get it taken care of. I find the number for the ombudsman Lynn Pahl, "Director - Customer Care and Sales Support". I call and get a recording telling me they are closed on weekends and to call back between 0730 and 1630 on a weekday. I guess customers do not require care on a weekend. Way to go NWA.

Admitting defeat at this point, I weigh my options. I can get a cab to a hotel and save my receipts and try to fight the good fight later this week. I can call Gary and see if I can crash at his house for one more night. I ultimately opt for the latter since I would be pissed with him if the roles were reversed and he did not call me when he was stuck at the airport less than 20 mins from my house. I would not be excited about the 0400 wakeup the next morning would require, but that is a minor annoyance. Gary picked me up, we got some pizza to take back to the house and I got to enjoy some unexpected OK hospitality for another 10 hours.

Thanks again GCox for hosting us and taking me to the airport, twice. A hearty "FU" to NWA and its "Customer Care".

I hope my checked bag is waiting for me in Cleveland. We will see.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Casa De Cox

I guess I should have paid some more attention to my plane ticket because I was very surprised to have a 3 hour layover in Minnasoooota this morning. The plane ride from the Twin Cities to OKC more than compensated for the three boring hours. I ended up sitting in the middle of a posse of good ‘ol boys. Most were on the way home from a fishing trip in Alaska and my favorite was an oil driller that had been in Kuwait that very morning. Besides being entertained with stories for the 2 and a half hour flight, I learned some handy things. Besides GCox, does anyone know what a noodler does?

After meeting up with Gary and Trip (they were easy to identify, how many other people walk through the airport holding “The Hammer”), we decided to grab a bite to eat and get down to the business of being here. Poker! My first experience in a OK Casino was a good one. We all sat in the lowest limit game the Chickasaw Nation spread (3/6) and I was happy that I was not at the same table as Trip and Gary (sharks). I came right into the BB and peeled the cards up to see AQo. Cool. I checked from the BB and was pleased to see a Q high rainbow flop. Bet it out and had two callers. Bet on the turn and scooped the pot without a showdown. This was one of the few hands that did not go to a showdown. The second hand I looked down to 4d7d and completed $2 from the SB. I was happy to see an all diamond flop and was pretty sure I was good by the turn when a heart came and it was checked around. I called the raise by the button along with two others. The river was another blank and I bet out this time since I thought the button would probably check it down. Two folds, he calls and his trips lose to my flopped flush. I then did something that I am not proud of. I folded my third hand…. The Hammer on the Button. I know, wimp move but these people were playing any two and were not fazed by any preflop raises. The rest of the night was interesting, I was up and down, but usually within 2-3 BB of my 100 buy in. I went on a little rush at the end with a set on the flop that turned into quads on the river. One or two hands later I flopped a straight with my KQ in the BB. The fun of this table was you could nut peddle all day long and you would have people along for the ride. I cashed out up half a buy in (151 actually, perhaps an indicator of where this week is headed) and happy with my play. I made a good lay down when the river counterfeited my flopped two pair with a second 10 and put the fourth diamond on the table. The nice lady with the oxygen tank showed me the Ad and I was pretty sure she had one just like it behind the one she flashed me. The only play I would have done differently was when I made the mistake of thinking I was HU and there was another player still in the pot. I had a read on my oxygen tank lady and knew she would fold. She did, but the guy that was still in called me to the river where his Q9 beat my QJ on a board with 3 overs to his 9. You like that action, but Gary was right when he said you cannot get people off a hand around here.

I racked up and headed to Gary's crib. After meeting the kids, the animals, and the missus, we cracked some Keystone Light. Surprising huh? Low Limit Poker - No Limit Beer and all that. The hospitality is Southern finest and Gary had some gifts for us for coming down here! I am looking forward to reading Positively Fifth Street and passing it on to the next blogger. Thanks Gary. Time for the Mookie.

I just busted out 12th in the Mookie. Happy with my play, it went off the tracks on a misread. I raised AQo in EP and the BB doubled my bet. I called and started to put him on a hand. The flop came Q high with two hearts and I hoyed him announcing to Gary that I was sure I was ahead. I was not. GWScott made the easy call with his set of Jacks. Ouch. It was probably my best Mookie yet but I obviously have some work to do on my game. It feels stronger and I feel better.... but not there yet. I think a few days of hanging and playing with some other bloggers might help. Fun stuff and I won the Okie Vegas last longer bet that I just made up. Wheeeee!

Enjoy reading this while you are working tomorrow and I am living the good life with Trip and GCox in Okie Vegas tomorrow!