Sunday, July 23, 2006

Maybe if I bitch about it here

It will stop.

Probably not, but I am tired today of the bad beats and bubble finishes. Twice today I have lost a HU match with trips flopped and my opponent has the case 4th card and a higher kicker.

I have been knocked out on the bubble in both 10 person SNGs I played and once was to a 4 card flush when I got it all in pre flop waaaaay ahead. Goddamnit (that is for Karen).

On the good side of life, my first batch of beer is maturing well. I am 4 bottles into it and each one is getting better. I think that by next weekend they will be prime for the drinking. I drank 2 today and they are getting quite tasty. 10.5 alcohol by volume in a 22 oz bottle will do ya like my man Larry the Cable Guy says, "Get 'R Done".

I am in another 10 person SNG as I type this because I am a real glutton for punishment. I decided to bump up the stakes to $22, maybe that will make a difference.

We held our first open house today and had one family through... but they came through twice! I hope that bodes well as another family saw the house by appointment today and it was there second time through as well. They brought the kids with them today and they really like the house. I hope someone makes an offer soon because I really need to sell this thing so I can get to Southfield. SteelerSteph has a 4th interview with Glaxo Smith Kline in Michigan on the 3rd of August with a tentative start date of August 21st. Despite the fact that this will really put us in a pinch, I am hoping she gets the position because GSK seems like a really good company to work for and she deserves a break. The past 5 months have been rough on her and she has been a real trooper. Wish us well, we could use all the good karma we have saved up.

In case you were wondering, my Raspberry Wheat is in the primary fermenter bubbling away and I am pretty excited to see what becomes of it. The boil last weekend went well and I think it will be ready to transfer to the secondary fermenter some time this week. After that, one more week and she will be ready for bottling. Mmmmm Beeeer.

As I am typing this I have outlasted 5 of my starting companions in the $22 SNG, I will wait to publish this until this is over. I am sure you are all holding your breath :-)

KK in the BB...... and I doubled up. T4290, next hand the guy I doubled through pushes all in on tilt and I call with K10 on the button and he flips K6. Nice.
I got KK again (2nd in 3 hands) and no callers. Just get the blinds, T6755. Just like that, I am ITM.

2nd in chips and 1st and 3rd are duking it out.

AJs in the SB, I shove and 1st calls with 99. I lose the race, but get second place for my first cash in a 10 person SNG today. Cool.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wish I was in Vegas

Wish I was in Vegas…

Because I am reading all these blogs about the blogger hijinks and the WSOP going on out there. But life is not too bad here. I had a poker-less weekend (save one HU match on Party that I managed to drop, I hate slowplayed quads that give me an Aces full of nines Full House)

I did get some traveling, boating, and golfing in while SteelerSteph was hawking the homestead to potential buyers. We thought we had a very promising buyer, a perfect one according to our realtor: “Out of town buyer that has to relocate in a specific time frame”.

Family of three from St. Louis that was in town for two days to find and purchase a house and needed to move within 5 weeks. BINGO! That would be perfect for us and we thought our house would be perfect for them. They visited our house twice during their two day trip (once each day) and Steph was told that we were on the short list. She is in sales and practiced a little of her craft when she pointed out the flat driveway (Feature) and that it was great for a basketball hoop (Benefit), the favorite sport of their 16 year old son. She also mentioned that the neighborhood had a lot of children (it does) and that there was a cute 16 year old girl down the street (another Feature/Benefit I guess!). We found out Saturday that our house came in 2nd place and an offer had been made on another property. “If that offer falls through for some reason, we would be next blah, blah, blah”. That was a little disappointing, but not devastating.

On the subject of preparing a house for showing, I think SteelerSteph outdoes herself. How do I know? I told her that if I came into our house and saw how perfect it was and those damn little notes that she leaves in strategic places I would urinate in the refrigerator or a hamper to express my displeasure at the perfectness. For example, we have a two story family room with a wall of windows. Since we watch tv in that room and it is westward facing, we get sun in there in the afternoon and it can produce some glare on the television. This is not acceptable, especially with many of the Steelers games being broadcast at 1 PM. We installed room darkening blinds and the top level are powered and can be adjusted with a remote control. She puts a folded card next to the remote sitting on the coffee table - “Remote Controlled Blinds – Keeps House Cool in Summer” in very pretty girly writing. Gag. Walking in to the kitchen, you are confronted by a dish of “Treasures”, some type of chocolate, and another card with sentiments of welcome, enjoy the house, and thanks. See what I mean? Encountering cute little cards like that combined with the immaculate house would create an intense desire in me to upper deck one of the seller’s immaculate toilets. But, I suppose I am not the target audience. That would be the true decision maker when it comes to domiciles, the woman. There is a built in workbench in the garage and a full basement to keep the guy occupied while his wife samples the chocolates and reads the cards. He might even play with the blinds because they have a remote, which lends a touch of masculinity to it, right?

While our house was coming in second, I was here . I was not there at 1:30 AM when the fire started, but was there the next day to witness that aftermath and watch some of the recovery operations. Some of those houseboats are huge and they are docked very close together. I was really surprised that there were only 4 affected by the fire. They credit the quick acting people that were in other docked houseboats that cut the lines and pushed other houseboats out of the docks. Craziness. We were on a pontoon boat and a jetski and had a great time on the lake. My sister in law lives in Richmond, KY and we came to spend the weekend with her and go out on the lake. On Sunday, I got 18 holes in at The Bull. . There were 6 golfers so we played a two team 3 person scramble. I was happy to contribute a natural birdie on a par 5, but it was overshadowed by an eagle on a par 4. All in all, a very nice course with a lot of blind shots, well defended greens, and challenging terrain.

Hope to get some poker in this week, but it is shaping up to be another busy one. I am still interviewing for my replacement at work and that has been an experience in itself. Here is an interview tip: Don’t make sexual moaning noises and pretend to spank a computer while saying “Bad Computer, Bad Computer”. The wonders never cease.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Family Reunion Poker

I am posting this from my Blackberry and it likes to skip the letter "t" when I type fast so please pardon any missing "t"'s. I posted my NWA rant from this device also and it was missing a few.

I attended my wife's annual family reunion in Brockway, PA this weekend. It is always a good time and it got better in the past two years because of poker. The host/organization duties rotate each year and last year it was our turn to run it. Each year there is a golf scramble on the Saturday before the reunion Sunday. We decided to host a poker tournament after the golf outing. About 28 entrants for the $10 entry fee and we offered $5 re-buys during the first hour (with all re-buys going towards the reunion fund). It was a great success and the reward for good work was, yup, you guessed it, more work! Even though we were not hosting the reunion this year, we were asked to run the tournament again this year. I was bummed at first because I could not play last year since I was running it. Helping decide play rules, handling re-buys, balancing tables, and keeping things moving was too much to do while playing. SteelerSteph knew that I really wanted to play so she volunteered to run it this year. (Thanks Steph in case you ever read this blog).

26 entries in the 2006 Reunion WSOP created a first prize of $130, an amount I am proud to say I brought home! It was interesting as the mix of players was eclectic at best. There was a group of 10 or so avid players, 10 players that were social players and a handful of just for fun players. It seemed that almost everyone at my starting table wanted to see the flop no matter how much it was raised PF. I am kind of glad I did not get many premium starting hands because it helped me avoid the inevitable bad beats. I limped with suited connectors a lot and got paid when they connected. My one premium hand (KK) was doomed on an xAx flop. I raised 3x BB (600) and had three callers. I continuation bet the flop with another 600 and I knew my one caller had an A. I checked the turn and the river (she checked too) and was not too surprised when she flipped AK. The play was very passive until the final table with min bets all the way with full houses and flushes not uncommon.

I made the final table with a smaller chipstack and was able to double up twice through the chip leader. My first double up happened when I limped with 68h on the button. The flop came all hearts and I jammed on the gutshot straight flush draw figuring my flush was good anyway. The chip leader had already put in a 2k bet but I was confident he did not have the flush already, I knew him and it was a semi-bluff. He thought for a minute and then called. He said he knew I had the flush so I am not sure why he called. He had outs with his Ah but they did not come and I was now in the top 3 with chips. A few hands later I finished him off when my QJ flopped two pair. I jammed again and he quickly called. The speed of the call concerned me, did he get a set? But his PF action of limping did not make me think pocket pair. He normally would bet that. With a flop of QJ7, he flipped his Q7 and was all in. I felt a little bad because of my aggressive final table play, I don't think I could have gotten away from a flopped two pair heads up either. Just bad luck. No sevens came and I was the new dominant chip leader with 7 to go. 7,6,5 got it all in one one hand and then there was 4 of us left. I took out fourth on a hand I can't remember and then took out my father-in-law 3rd with my 33 v his AQo. He turned a Q and was crushed by my rivered 3. Whew, good job John, I got lucky on that coinflip. The final hand of the tourney was my AK v Holly's A9. The favored hand stood up and I won my first family reunion WSOP. I knew I could outplay most of them and had final table expectations but did not think I would take it down.

The next day we got a small cash game going with $5 buy in and .05/.10 blinds. I did well in that also cashing out more than 5 times my buy in. I am either on a little rush, or I am seeing some fruits of my poker labors. The play was pretty bad so I am leaning towards a 70/30 split. 70% experience and 30% dumb ass luck.

Happy Fourth of July to all and condolences to DNasty. I think Ben moved to the Bulls because he heard STeelerJosh was moving to the D and there is only room for one Ben in my heart.... The stupid no helmet wearing QB Super Bowl winning one. I appreciate Wallace's style and think he would make a fine Steeler Linebacker. Good luck in Chi-town other Ben.

No Internet poker out here in the sticks (dial up only) but I will see you all on the virtual felt again soon. I am headed back home tomorrow and cannot wait. My homebrew is ready to be bottelled and in 3 short weeks I will be enjoying some fine honey wheat "HammerBrau" or whatever the hell I decide to call it. Suggestions welcome. The next batch I am planning will be a much lighter raspberry ale. This high test stuff (10.5 alcohol) takes too long to ferment.