Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fun in the Sun

Today's post is about an afternoon round of golf.  Well, to be exact, it was only 9 holes of golf.

On a sunny day in August, I got a chance to sneak out of work early with the plan to play 18 holes of golf.  My buddy and I met at the course and paid for 18 holes on the E.P. Blue Course.  Unfortunately, a bunch of DMV (DC/MD/VA) residents had the same idea.  The Blue Course was backed up so we told the starter that we are going to play the short, 9 hole, White Course.

Off we went.  On the first hole, a 156 yard par 3, I hit a decent 7 iron but it was off the green.  I chipped on but left myself a 20 foot putt.  Wouldn't you know it, I rolled it in!

I only hit 4 bad shots during the whole round.  One of them came on the second hole, a par 4.  Off the tee, I hit it right of the fairway and into a cluster of trees.  Luckily, the golf gods were with me and I found the ball.  I had an opening and chipped it back onto the fairway.  I managed a bogey.

I got a bit unlucky on the third hole.  I hit an iron that bounced left of the fairway and into some thick grass.  My second shot was either going to be a wrist breaker or a weak 15 to 20 yard punch-out.  Gladly for me, it was the latter.  Another bogey.

The fourth hole, as Donald Trump would say, was a disaster.  I hit a solid tee shot.  The second shot bounced away from the green.  I was 15 yards from the flag, chipping up the hill, and trying to avoid the bunker behind the green.  I managed to duff my first chip, got on the green with the second chip, and then two putted.  Essentially, it took me two shots to move the ball 270 yards and four more shots to reach the cup from 15 yards away.

The next two holes were par threes.  I managed to par the 174 yard hole after hitting the green and bogey the 191 yard hole.  No complaints there.

The seventh hole was a 355 yard par 4.  I hit a nice drive down the middle.  I also hit a great 9 iron into the wind and onto the green.  I had an 8 foot putt for birdie (see photo).  It was a slightly down the hill, right to left putt.  My read was correct and I sank the putt!

On the eighth hole, I hit a good drive.  My approach shot got me onto the green but I was 50 feet away from the pin.  It was an uphill putt but I managed to two putt for a par.

The last hole was a short par 4.  I hit my 3 wood left of the fairway.  My second shot was 6 feet front edge of the green.  The flag was in the front so I had a tricky short chip.  Fortunately, I got the ball to bounce as intended and it rolled close to the pin.  I one putted for par.  I recorded a 37 on a par 33.  A +4 finish while having some fun in the sun.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I Folded Pocket Kings

This hand happened in July.  I'm in seat 5 and have worked my stack to $400.  Seat 10 is an older black guy and he has $250.  The table is playing somewhat loose.

In late position, I'm dealt K-K and make it $12.  Seat 6 calls.  Seat 10 is UTG and makes the call.  The poker room has a $500 high hand promotion going on, a mega bad beat jackpot, and a mini bad beat jackpot that is 10% of the MBBJ.

The flop comes down A-A-A!  And before I can blink, the guy in seat 10 announces all-in!  I'm stunned.  I'm thinking why would a player holding the fourth ace just shove.  I realize that he has a weak kicker and wants us to fold in order to qualify for the high hand promotion.  The high hand on the board is quad deuces with 9 minutes to go.  That's not all, the hand gets even more interesting.

It's still my turn to act.  After figuring out why he shoved, I have another dilemma on my hand.  I need to find out what constitutes a mini bad beat jackpot.  I know that to qualify for the mega bad beat jackpot a player has to lose with quad jacks.  With another player left to act behind me, I can't talk about the hand or flip my cards over before I act.

I ask the dealer what the rules are in order for a hand to qualify for the mini bad beat jackpot.  He says that aces full of tens need to be the losing hand.  But (there is always a but unfortunately) both players have to use both hole cards to qualify and each has to have an ace.

So it becomes apparent that pocket kings plus three aces on the flop are not good enough for a bad beat jackpot.  Since seat 10 shoved on the flop, there is a big chance his weak kicker would not play after the river anyway.  But, just to be sure that the bad beat jackpot rules were accurate, I ask the dealer to call the floor.  The floor manager comes over pretty quickly and repeats what the dealer had said.

I thank them for helping out and do the only thing that is acceptable...I fold.  The player in seat 6 folds as well.  Seat 10 tables A-6 for a qualifying high hand of A-A-A-A-6.  The hand was good enough to stand until the time ran out and seat 10 won extra $500!

Friday, August 26, 2016

I Lost $50, Winner Lost $500

You probably read the title and thought to yourself this must be a typo.  I'm here to assure you that the title to this post is accurate.  Let's see how it happened.

I get seated in seat 6 at a table on the 2nd floor (the cursed floor) at Live.  Seat 10 is a guy in his twenties.  I get dealt Q-Q and seat 10 is the big blind.  I make it $10, the button calls, and seat 10 comes along.  The flop is J-J-J.  Seat 10 bets $5, I find this bet super strange.  I raise to $10 just to see if he jams.  The button folds and seat 10 just calls.  The turn is a 4.  He bets $10 and I just call.  River is a 3 and he bets $20.  I don't get his betting pattern so I make the call.

Anyways, I flip over my Q-Q and he flips over J-2 for the quads.  You might say OK, that played out the way it was supposed did he lose $500.

During the time that we were playing, Live had a $500 high hand promotion.  The rule states that a player has to use both hole cards in order to have a qualifying high hand.  When this hand happened, there were fourteen minutes left until the end of the high hand period.  The high hand at that time was 9-9-9-A-A.

The young guy in seat 10 wasn't a regular and didn't know what the rules were.  At showdown, I told him that he might have just lost $500.  He didn't get it.  Other players at the table told him that he had to move all-in on the flop in order for his kicker (2) to be part of the hand (assuming everyone else folded).

By the time the promo ended, the high hand was still nines full of aces.  There you have it.  I lost $50 in a hand but the winner eventually ended up losing out on $500.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Sometimes I ask myself Am I a thinking poker player?

Based on the last short session, the answer might be closer to a No than a Yes.  Let's look at the evidence.

I bought in for $200 and was hovering around $175.  After 30 minutes, a new player arrived with three stacks of red bullets ($300) and took seat 1.  He played tight, used position, and didn't make any mistakes from what I could tell.  I made a mental note to watch out for him.  Less than an hour later, we got into it.  

I'm dealt 2-3 in the big blind and he is in late position.  Three of us see the flop 4-5-5.  It's checked to him and he bets $10 and I'm the only caller.  Turn is a good looking A.  I check, he bets $25, I make it $50 and he goes all-in.  The pot was $239 and I was being asked to chip in $113 more.

I snap called.  That's right, I just went on autopilot.  It's not that I didn't put him on a hand.  I did.  I thought he had a 5 or an ace.  If I was a thinking player, knowing the opponent was a solid player, I would have reassessed the situation once he moved all-in.  Looking at the previous betting, he didn't bet pre-flop in late position.  He bet the flop and the turn.  He saw me showing strength when the ace hit and went all-in!

After I snap called, he asked me if I was holding A-5.  Right away, I knew that I was in deep trouble.  He had flopped a monster and showed 4-5 for the win.

If I had stopped to think after he moved all-in, I think there is a 30% chance that I could have found a fold.  Could you have folded a straight under these circumstances?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Turn Shove Bluff

As a $1/2 player, I don't get crazy with bluffs.  A bluff here and there does happen.  But I try to stay away from putting my stack of $300 or $400 in the middle on a stone cold bluff.  Well, I did say that I try not to do it but the Nike slogan doesn't agree.

I'm in seat 5 with A, 4.  Seat 3 is in this hand and so is seat 10. Seat 10 is on the button with over $450.  I am $475 behind. Three of us see the flop after seat 3 bet $10.

The flop is K,2,7♣ and seat 3 bets $15 and we call.  Turn is 3 and seat 3 bets $35, I call, and seat 10 makes it $165!  Seat 3 folds quickly and I am left with a big decision.  What could seat 10 have?  No AA or KK because he would have raised pre-flop or before the turn.  He had pulled off this move before twice while in late position.  The big bets had worked before since everyone got out of his way.

I just couldn't see him showing up with a monster in this spot.  He is probably putting seat 3 on a weak king.  I don't look particularly strong either with my checking.  The question is What do I do?

The pot is about $270 and I just don't believe the guy in seat 10.  I do have a flush draw as a way out.  But, we all know that it's not right to call $165.  I could fold...or put pressure on the opponent.

After taking some time to think, I announce all-in.  That's right, I just dumped my $450 stack into the middle.  He doesn't snap call.  He sits quietly then starts to talk out loud.  Says something about having two pair.

I'm sitting there, not sure if I should be thinking of how stupid I am or how great of a play I made.  I was feeling more comfortable now then before I had announced all-in...which was surprising.

Seat 10 folds by sliding his cards towards the dealer.

My biggest bluff went through!