Sunday, February 11, 2018

No Diamonds, No Diamonds!

It has been raining all weekend in DC.  Not much was going on so I went to play some poker last night.

I got to the MGM about 7:45 pm and there was traffic outside the garage.  The garage was full!  Apparently the whole DC metro area had decided to descend down on the National Harbor.  Luckily, they opened an outdoor parking lot so I didn't have to turn back.  There is a new conservatory theme on display in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year.  2018 is the Year of the Dog.

Inside the casino, it was a zoo.  The poker room was also packed.  I got on the $1/$3 list and it took about 45 minutes to get seated.  I ended up in seat 1.

In the first orbit I got K-K UTG and raised to $15.  Zero callers.  The next hour was a snoozefest.  I can't recall how many 7-4, J-8, and 8-3 I saw.  7-2 also made an appearance.  Things picked up after that.

I'm in the BB with 7-7.  Seat 4 bets $12, seat 8 calls, and I call.  The flop is 2-4-5 and I check.  Seat 4 bets $40, seat 8 calls, and I fold.  I'm putting seat 4 on a higher pocket pair and I'm not willing to risk any chips to find out if he is bluffing with two big cards.  They end up getting it all-in.  Seat 4's pocket fours end up rivering quads to beat seat 8's 3-6 and a flopped straight.

My stack shrinks slowly as I fold flops that do not connect.  Then, UTG I limp with A-5 with four other players.  The flop is A-8-5 and I bet $16.  Seat 7 calls and seat 8 makes it $40.  I move all-in for $126.  Seat 7 folds and seat 8 calls.  His 8-5 is no match and my stack improves to $280.

With A-K, I bet $13 pre-flop.  Seat 2 makes it $30.  Seat 5 calls.  Seat 10 goes all-in for $75.  In this spot, I feel like all options are on the table.  I could fold but that would be the worst choice.  I could call but that would make it easier for seat 2 and seat 5 to stay in the pot.  I decide to move all-in for $237 more.  Seat 2 folds quickly and seat 5 also folds.  The board runs out J-x-x-x-x and seat 10 flips over J-K hesitantly.  Nice hand, sir.  Back down to $175 for me.

I get my stack back up to $240 by winning a pot holding Q-9 on a board of 9-7-A-8-9.

This brings us to the hand of the night.  Close to three hours into the session, I decided to play one more orbit before calling it a night.  On the button, I look down at A-A.  Seat 6 opens to $15.  Seat 7 calls, seat 8 calls, and seat 10 also calls!  Time to see who really likes their hand.

I make it $105 and only seat 6 calls.  The flop is Q-9-4 all diamonds!  Not the best flop in the world.  He leads out for $80.  I call hoping he only hit the queen.  The turn is a J.  He checks and I go all-in for $92.  He calls reluctantly.  In my head, I'm screaming at the dealer saying NO DIAMONDS, NO DIAMONDS!  And then the dealer puts out a 2.  The 2 of fu*ken diamonds.

I turn over my pocket rockets and he turns over...

That's poker for you.  One hand determines if you are a winner or a loser for the night.

Monday, February 5, 2018


As the title says, this post has a little bit of everything.

Let's start with the Super Bowl.  It was a very entertaining game and the outcome was great.  There were spectacular catches, super quarterbacks, trick plays, missed kicks, little defense, and plenty of scoring.  But the thing that impressed me the most was Philadelphia's coach, Doug Pederson.  He went for it on two fourth downs that 90% of coaches wouldn't have.  And the Eagles converted on both!  Philadelphia won and we didn't have to watch Tom Brady hoist another Lombardi trophy.

Super Bowl commercials were hit or miss.  I liked the Danny DeVito M&M, RAM Vikings, E*TRADE Old Employees, and Amazon's Alexa commercials.

I played my first round of golf of the year.  The temperature got into the 50s and I was quick to jump on the opportunity.  I played bogey golf and got it done under 2.5 hours with a cart.  Not many people were out.

I've played in two $75 poker tournaments this year.  Here are two interesting hands.

Hand 1: 100 entrants and we are down to 50ish.  Blinds were 1,000/2,000.  In mid position, I raise to 5,000 with As-9s and get called by the button.  Flop is A-J-9 rainbow, I bet half pot and he goes all-in.  My starting stack was 34,000 and his 32,000.  What do you do?

Update: I call and he shows A-J.  If I'm folding two pair in a turbo tournament, I might as well not play at all.  I end up going all in few hands later with As-xs.  Three callers and the flop had two spades!  Unfortunately, no more spades hit the board.  Knocked out.

Hand 2: It was a green chip ($25) bounty tournament with only 20 entrants.  Only one guy has been knocked out.  The blinds are 800/1,600.  I call UTG with A-9 off.  It folds to the button, he goes all-in for 5,000.  BB thinks about it for 30 seconds and moves all-in for 23,000.  I have 24,000.  Is A-9 good enough to call it off?  Since I cover them, we will be playing for two bounties if we call.

Update:  If this was not a bounty tournament, I would have folded.  But with $50 on the line, I thought the BB was trying to isolate.  And since I only called pre-flop, he knew I wasn't that strong.  The button turned over J-K and the BB had 8-8.  The board ran out J high and that's all she wrote

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Five Minutes Too Late

I've played less than ten hours of poker this year.  I wasn't going to write a poker post but then this happened.

I was in seat 6 from the first hand the table opened up.  In seat 4 was a big black guy (BBG).  I'd say 6'3" and north of 250 lbs.  He was loose and had seen plenty of flops.  My stack was down a bit after my top pair ran into trips.  The BBG stepped away from the table and then came back.  Not too long after, he got into a hand a had to rebuy.

I was UTG and looked down at K-K.  I bet $13 and seat 8 called and the BBG in the SB also called.  The flop was J-7-7.  The BBG checked, I led out for $30.  Seat 8 folded but the BBG called.  The turn was a 9.  He checked and I bet $50.  He called.  The river was a 7 and he checked.  I threw in my last $50.  He called and showed 7-8 for quads.  OK, kind of a standard hand.  I didn't put him on a 7 and that's that.

Five minutes later things got interesting.  A female floor supervisor walked past me and stopped next to the BBG.  She tapped him on the shoulder.  I noticed a big security guard standing to her right.  At this point the whole table was at a standstill.  She handed the BBG a rack and told him to rack up.  Then, I realized that behind me, to my left, there were another two giant security guards.

The BBG racked up his chips without saying anything and got up.  One security guard lead the way.  The floor lady walked next to the BBG and the other two guards follow behind.  As they were exiting the poker room, I saw another MGM employee walking behind them with a sniffer dog!

Few players at the table tried to put the pieces together.  Some thought that he might have been spotted taking drugs.  Others suggested that maybe he was selling them.  Several players said that they had noticed the BBG return to the table earlier with a rack of chips.  He didn't put them in play but after coming back he did rebuy with cash.  So did he steal someone's chips?  Seems dumb to sit down few feet away from the scene of the crime.

I don't know if they took him to the security office or to the cashier.  I was pretty annoyed with the timing of the whole fiasco.  The BBG sat there for about 20 to 30 minutes after he came back to the table.  If security came looking for him sooner, I wouldn't have lost my stack.  But, unfortunately, they were five minutes too late.