Sunday, October 30, 2016

Golf Trip: Part 2

In the last post, we left off as the sun was setting on Roanoke.  The group chose Fortunato, an Italian restaurant in downtown, for dinner.  The atmosphere was enjoyable and the food was decent.

Next, it was time to pay-up the lost golf bet and have some drinks.  The first bar had plenty of TVs for sports watching and it also had a live band that played sporadically.  The drinks on the chalkboard above the bar were cheap (compared to DC) and we tried many of them.  My brother and I were at the bar, having drinks, catching up, and watching the Cubs wrap-up the NLCS.  Goose and Maverick were at the other end of the bar conversing with a couple of local females.

After the baseball game ended, the six of us headed down the street to a more lively drinking establishment.  It was a country bar with a live band and a dance floor full of cowboy/cowgirl boots, hats, and plaid shirts.  A round of beers was in order after a line dance performance to the Cupid Shuffle song.  It was a fun night but let's fast-forward to Sunday and another golf battle.

As the dew was lifting from the fairways and greens, the foursome was on the first tee box at the Blue Hills golf club.  The greens were in excellent condition and the two teams managed three birdies through 8 holes.

The scenery was great (see photos below) and the temperature reached 70 degrees on a clear sunny day.  Team Tennessee pulled away on the back nine and secured the win.  Afterwards, we all went for lunch and watched the ending of the one o'clock NFL games.  The boys weekend was coming to an end.  A rematch was in store; but for now, we headed in the opposite directions on I-81.

Overall, it was an enjoyable weekend and it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city.


Spectacular Greens

A Green "Carpet"

Blue Ridge Mountains from Afar

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Golf Trip: Part 1

The days are getting shorter and the cold nights are on the doorstep.  For the past six months, the leafs on the trees looked down on us with superiority.  But, as they descend down to the ground, it is our turn to feel tall and mighty.  All is not lost yet. The sun still graces us with enough warmth to draw us outside for few hours on the weekends.

It won’t be long before we’ll be sitting indoors staring out the window wishing the fall lasted a little longer or for the winter to pass quickly.  With that in mind, two young gentlemen in Tennessee headed northeast towards Roanoke to the valley beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At the same time, the opposing team from DC headed west to I-66 and from there, down I-81.

At high noon on Saturday, they arrived at the Hanging Rock golf club.  The four gentlemen greeted each other and spent an hour in the clubhouse catching up.  With the carts packed with as many beers as golf balls, it was time to get down to business.  The sun was out but the wind was strong and in charge.  It didn’t stop the lads from enjoying the day.

The name of the game was Two-Man Scramble.   Team Tennessee got out to a fast start and through six holes was up 5.  They finished the front 9 with a commanding lead, up 4.  The highlight of the day came on hole 14 which has two separate (but equal) greens.  The tee shot is down the hill into the fairway. From the fairway you can either play a second shot up the hill and onto a green OR play a shot across a pond and onto another green.  On the tee box, the teams agreed to play the more challenging green across the water. Team DC got a par and won the hole!

It was a close fight and the lead was down to 2 with three holes to play.  But, the Tennessee boys managed to eke out ties on holes 16 and 17.  They wrapped up the win with a long putt on 18.

Team Tennessee was ecstatic to win a round of drinks and a meal. They were quiet rowdy in the lobby of the hotel during the check-in after the round.  After a two hour break, it was time to head to dinner and check out the bars in downtown Roanoke.

Par 3 Green Way Down the Hill

Hole 14 Water Green
The Crew

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three Orbits of Poker

I've had two losing session at the tables recently.  They were not full buy-in losses.  I was hoping to not make it three in a row.

The game was $1/$2 on the (cursed) second floor of the Live poker room.  I was in seat 5 (one of my favorite) with $200.  I typically wait to post but this time I ended up playing my first hand UTG accidentally.

The very first hand, I was dealt 6-6.  A woman in seat 8 called.  A guy in a dress shirt, in seat 9, bet $12.  A black gentleman, in seat 10, called and so did I and the lady.  The flop comes down 6-5-10.  I'm first to act and check.  There are plenty of draws out there and I'm not ready to build a pot yet.  The lady checks and seat 9 bets $28. The three of us call.

Turn is a 3 and I don't like it.  It checks to seat 10 who bets $55.  Only I call.  The river brings the fourth heart...Q.  Now, I am thinking that maybe I could try and represent the A♥ but that would require a big bet.  I just check and let destiny take over.  Seat 10 also checks.  I flip over my sixes and he folds; he had no heart! Right out of the gate my stack almost doubles.

Dress shirt guy played several hands in position and typically raised pre-flop.  He had $400+ on the table.  On the third orbit, I get dealt 10-10 in the BB.  There was one caller and then seat 9 bet $10.  It folds to me and I raise to $28.  Only he calls.  The flop is 3-4-8.  I bet $25 and he raises to $55.  It's starting to smell like a big pocket pair or a pure bluff.  I call and the turn is a Q.  He leads out for $75.  This is where I should have let it go.  Is he really barreling just because he's in position.  I call and the river is a 9.  If I check, I think he's going to bet.  I put out a blocker bet of $75.  He calls and flips over 3-4 for the win.

Not in a million years would I have put him on that hand.  If I thought he had a big pocket pair, why didn't I fold to his bet on the flop.  J-J thru A-A crushes me.  The only hand that I beat is 9,9 or a bluff.  I realized I made a big mistake right then and there.  I stood up, picked up my $100+ chips, and went for a walk.  I got some food and then went back to find another poker table.

At what point in the hand would you have raised the white flag?

Sunday, October 9, 2016


As I mentioned in the previous post, last Saturday I went to the second to last Major League Baseball regular season game.  As a sports fan, I've been to many sporting events including NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, MLS, NCAA sports, and international soccer and basketball.

The two professional sports that I had not seen in person were NASCAR and tennis.  That list got a little bit shorter after last Sunday.  My coworker had some extra, decently priced, NASCAR tickets for the race at the Dover International Speedway.

I don't follow auto racing regularly but I do watch it from time to time on TV.  I did manage to get three of my friends to tag along for the two hour car ride and check out the race.

First thing we noticed when the race started was the noise.  It is very loud!  We expected this and brought earplugs.  Many of the fans there were wearing noise-reducing race scanner headphones that allow them to listen to the communication on the track between drivers and their teams.

As my friend pointed out, "This was the loudest sport with the quietest fans."  The cars make a lot of noise but the fans sit silently watching the action and listening to their headphones unless something interesting happens.

All the drivers were men except the #10 car that was driven by Danica Patrick. One of the interesting events happened when Jamie McMurry's car blew an engine.  Watching the pit stops and restarts was fun.  I placed two winning "sucker's bets" on NFL inside the Dover Downs casino.  State law only allows parlays.

Overall, it was a fun experience but I don't think I'll be going to another race anytime soon.

I leave you with few photos from NASCAR Sunday.

Let's Go Racing Boys (and Danica)!

#1 Blows an Engine

Pit Stop

Heading Home Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October Baseball

The title of this post might be a little bit misleading.  When you hear the words October baseball, you probably think of playoff baseball.  But since the MLB playoffs haven't started, I think the title is appropriate.

Late last week, I got on the computer and out of curiosity pulled up the Washington Nationals regular season schedule.  They had one weekend series left at home and it was against the Miami Marlins.  We couldn't make it to the Friday game.  I was attending another sporting event on Sunday.  Saturday, October 1 at 4 PM, would be our only chance.

I found cheap tickets ($17 each) online with good seats but was wondering why were they so cheap.  A little bit of research revealed that rain was a likely possibility during the game.  I was a little bit more optimistic when I read that the chance of rain by 4 PM was only 50%.  Being a poker player, I made the hero call and hoped the weatherman was bluffing.

Worst case scenario: If it was raining 30 minutes before the game, we wouldn't go and take a loss on the tickets.

Best case scenario: The rain would stop by 2 PM.  The rest of the day would be overcast but with no rain.  And the Nats would win while hitting a home run or two.

Lucky for us, the best case scenario happened!  Nats won 2-1 and Trea Turner hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Our seats were in section 101 right above the Marlins bullpen. 

Here are some photos from the game.  One is a screenshot from an video of the home run.

Overcast but Pleasant

Home Run Nats!

Great Spot to Watch Relief Pitchers Warm-Up

Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Poker Question

My last post drifted away from the topics we typically cover.  Let's get back to poker!

There was a $500 high hand promo going on every 20 minutes.  The high hand at the time was quad kings.  I was seated in a $1/$2 game but wasn't involved in the following hand.

With 5 minutes until the end of the high hand round, seat 6 bet pre-flop and seat 4 called.  The flop was Q-9-4 and both players checked.  The turn was Q♠, seat 6 slowly checked and seat 4 checked also.  The river was a king, seat 6 took his time and then bet.  Seat 4 called.

With 3 minutes left until the end of the high hand round, seat 6 flipped over Q-Q for quads!  He said that there was way too much time left on the clock for him to wait it out.  Since the current high hand was quad kings, all he could do was wait for the start of a new promo round and hope quad queens didn't get beat.  

Several players at the table commented.  Some said that they would have tried to milk the clock.  Others, including me, responded by saying that there was too much time left for the move to work without the floor nullifying the hand.

I'm curious what the readers think or what would they have done in this situation?