Tales From The Main

Snapshots of small town life - zany characters and our neverending poker game.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Firing on all cylinders…

Yesterday I decided to put my fitness regime in high gear and start riding my bike to work. I have to admit it was a little longer than I expected – around 13 miles – but about 10 minutes after I arrived I was feeling fantastic. Nothing like a brisk few minutes of exercise to raise your spirits.

The good feeling persisted throughout the day and into the evening. I was able to blast through a couple of poker books – I read Antonio E’s slim volume on no limit cash games – it was surprisingly good – and also read a little more in the killer poker series. It must have helped because I ended up with a big night on the table.

My night started out slowly and I was stuck about $100 within the first hour. Then everything came together. My first big hand started when I found 67s on the button. I raised – hoping to represent AK or AQ and had three callers. The flop came K85 rainbow. Callin’ bet $10 and both Moose and I called. The turn was a beautiful 4. Callin’ bet and both Moose and I smooth called. The river brought a deuce, Callin’ bet another $20, Moose folds and I popped it $45 more. Callin’ called with K8 and I was off to the races.

I made a few other big hands – one where I busted Moose holding a J to his 7 on a JJ77A board – I must have taken him for $250 on that hand alone. I was also able to grab a big pot off of Doc when I filled another boat on the turn to his top two pair. We started around 6 and by 9 I was sitting on a stack of over $800 – probably 60% of all the chips in play.

Carol had dropped by on her way home from work and she was looking fine – I had already told the boys that I was out of there early that night and none of them could possibly misunderstand why! I announced I was leaving after one more round (8 hands) then proceeded to pick up A10, A8s, A3c and AKo. I also found pocket 6’s and pocket 4’s. In all I had playable hands in 6 of my last 8 yet did not hit a single flop. I ended up giving back $160 of my stack in the last round but even in hindsight there wasn’t much I could do about that. I am particularly proud of my A10o hand. I was in late position and both Angus and Doogie Howser limped in front of me. I popped it to 5X the BB looking to just take it down there – only to have Angus raise me then Doogie reraise him. I laid my hand down – showing it to Callin’ before I did. He later told me that he could not believe I laid that hand down – probably a good reason why I have yet to see him cash out at the end of an evening! The flop came 10 high rainbow – good thing I laid my hand down as Angus held QQ and Doogie had JJ. One big bet saved right there.

All in all it was an excellent night. I was home by 10:30 with money in my pocket and a sense of satisfaction. I was able to maximize my big hands and minimize the pots I lost. Not once did I push the second best hand and the monster hands I did get were played with marginal hands like J9s and 67s. Just a little reinforcement for the boys that I am a maniac loose aggressive person when in reality I am the tightest player at the table.

Hours Played 4
Net winnings +$520
Hours Played 141
Year to date net of expenses + $3866.00
Hourly rate + $27.41

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Travel travel travel

The next few months are going to be interesting. Between now and the end of June I will be in San Francisco, LA, Austin, Dallas, Boston, New Jersey, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle and last but not least - Vegas. Whew. I'm getting tired just thinking about it.

Travel is one of those things that appears exciting - but only to those who don't do it! In reality travelling is a pain in the butt. I think that one reason airlines continue with their super costly frequent flyer programs is to keep people like me from throwing up our hands and saying "Enough!". Somehow it makes the last leg of a 24hr trip go a little easier knowing that you've just added 5000 points to your airline account.

Most of my trips in the next two months are work related, with two exceptions. I'm going to Vancouver at the end of June to visit family and I'm bringing the family and possibly Huck too. The other trip that is on my time is Vegas. I'm going to spend a weekend with a professional poker player - maybe I can teach him a thing or two...

Speaking of poker I've put in two sessions since I last blogged. Neither went well which seems to be my lot in life these days. I lost a total of $220 over the two sessions - I guess on the bright side the losses do include my food and drink expenses. No hands really stand out - in fact it seemed the only hands I won were places where I sucked out on someone on the river - and the big hands I lost happened when I pushed with a huge lead only to have someone suck out on me. Oh well. It happens. I might go back tonight and see if I can turn things around!

Hours Played 7
Net winnings -$220
Hours Played 137
Year to date net of expenses + $3346.00
Hourly rate + $24.42

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Quiet Night in the Old Town

Perhaps quiet is not the right word. Loud and raucous may be a better description. Monday night found me back in my chair, staring down at Sarge, Sam, Angus, Bboy and Smiley. Moose was there for the short term and gave me the best laugh I’ve had in many a week.

Seems old Moosie has been spending far too much time with the boys and way to little with the missus. Now Moose is no spring chicken – he’s 75 if he’s a day – nor is he anyone’s idea of a model of fitness. His idea of exercise is walking outside to have a smoke. So here’s old Moose, under strict orders to be home at 9pm. The clock ticks along and 9pm comes and goes. Moose decides he’s going to stay and play – then makes the mistake of phoning the boss from the table to ‘tell’ her he’s staying. Instead the conversation goes something like, “Hi Honey – I know I’m late already but ….. but ….. but ….. well can I stay until 9:30? …… but …….. but dear …… well can I stay for 15 more minutes . . . . . . please can I stay for 10 minutes more?” We were all busting a gut trying to keep the laughter in. Sarge cracks the best line, “Moose! You’re 75 years old – you might not even wake up in the morning! What the *$%# are you asking permission for at this point?

All in all in was a casual game – Sarge hit his 3 outer on the river with me twice – cost me about $250 in those hands. Still I stayed cool – played speculative hands only in position – pushed when I thought I had an edge – and was able to build my way back up. After being down over $300 I was able to win a couple of juicy pots and bank a positive result by the time the rooster’s started crowing. Long night – bad cards – still won a few bucks. I’d say my game is improving!

Hours Played 6Net winnings +$20.00Hours Played 130Year to date net of expenses + $3566.00Hourly rate + $27.43

Friday, April 14, 2006

It's always easier to write about good news.

The roadshow continued this last week but I perservered and made it out for two full nights of play.

Tuesday found me showing up late, well after the kids were in bed. I had to hang around for a seat and was on the verge of leaving when one magically opened. I don't know if it was fatigue or just plain ennui but I found myself never really into the game. No hands stand out and after all the dust settled I was $35 to the negative after 3 hours of play.

I organized my schedule around an early arrival on Thursday - pumped to put in some hours. Unfortunately I was totally card dead for a big chunk of the evening. In an eight handed game I went from 8 pm to 11:30 pm without dragging a single pot. The good news is I never dropped my chipstack below my buy in over those long hours, leaving me well positioned to take advantage when the cards turned. And turn they did.

By that time the table was mainly the regular bunch; Doc, Sarge, Moose, Angus, Pooh, B-boy and a new guy who talked kinda funny but who I thought was a little smarter than he was making out to be. In keeping with tradition he will remain nameless until he earns the right to a name but if that day comes I have a good one in mind. Needless to say he busted out after 4 or 5 hours leaving at least $300 on the table.

My big hand of the evening came when I drew AQoffsuit in the small blind. I bumped it preflop and had three callers. Flop came Q x x and I was off to the races. I threw out a $20 bet into the $33 pot and had moose and the newb call. Moose was in front of me and newb was dealing. The turn was a blank. I bet out $40 and Moose raised me $40 more. Newb folded and I decided to just call - there was no way of knowing but Moose could have easily made two pair - he'll play any two cards. The turn was another blank and I decided to test him - I threw in $60 - prepared to throw it away if he raised - but the big guy hemmed and hawed - then finally called only to get outkicked by my ace. Nice hand for me as I was able to drag about $350 - almost doubling up.

The rest of the night I was able to keep it under control - making more well considered laydowns than normal. At the close of business I found myself up $390 - not great but a positive result.

Hours Played 9.5
Net winnings +$355.00

Hours Played 124
Year to date net of expenses + $3546.00
Hourly rate + $28.60

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Life of Leisure

I’ve spent this week traveling around the U.S. Nothing unusual in that except for the fact that this trip has seen every single freakin’ flight I was on either delayed, diverted or outright cancelled. Somehow my meeting schedule hasn’t been messed up – it was only my sleeping time that got cut short. I remember early in my career thinking that travel was glamorous and exciting - now I know better.

Enough complaining for now as things are actually going quite well in life. Carol is her usual positive and fun self, all the little Brady’s are either healthy or recovering from illness, my big deal at work closed on schedule and I have a weekend of fun and debauchery awaiting my return. I’m actually thinking of cutting the trip short and bugging out for home Thursday night – hope I don’t catch Carol in bed with someone – unless of course the someone is a tasty blonde! (heh heh heh)

Precious little has happened on the poker front this week. I did manage to drop by the Main for a quick drink earlier in the week and found a game in progress with an empty seat. With quick glance at my watch, some creative mental arithmetic and a plausible cover story in hand I convinced myself I had time to sit in for an hour. Good thing. I won the first hand I played, then the second and then found AK offsuit in the cutoff position. After my standard raise both Moose and Sarge decided to see the flop with me. It came out rags and I laid down my big slick after a mini-bet from Moose. Good thing I did lay it down as the turn came out a bullet! Sarge was short-stacked and pushed it all in – Moose wasted no time in calling and flipped over a set – Sarge showed two pair ace high. Possible disaster averted by me!

I was very good at getting up and leaving when I supposed to. I got a few dirty looks for my hit and run but heh – deal with it.

Hours Played 1
Net winnings +$120.00

Hours Played 114.5Year to date net of expenses + $3051.00Hourly rate + $26.64

Breaking news. My flight landed really late – Carol would already be asleep by the time I made my drive home from the airport. Sounded like a time for POKER!

I swung by the Main a little after midnight and found a game in full swing. Within 10 minutes Callin’ Jr. gave up his seat and I was able to play. The regular crew was there, Angus Young, Moose, Doc, Sarge, B-Boy, the Captain and a new guy who was sitting with a big stack. I sat down and played my regular TAG game and completely blew through the new guys stack. Bing bang boom. In and out in less than an hour (the game broke up at 1am) with a nice $140 score. Come on back new guy – I’ll even give you a name for next time.

Hours Played 1
Net winnings +$140.00

Hours Played 115.5Year to date net of expenses + $3191.00
Hourly rate + $27.63