Monday, June 30, 2008

HORSE play

Don't put me up against Scotty Nguyen in a game of HORSE.

Not basketball -- the World Series of Poker version.

He won $2 million today. I'd need to take my 1960's-era paperback copy of Hoyle's Rules of Games, and follow it for at least a day. Beyond Texas Hold 'em, it's all a suburb of Omaha.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quiz time

Which big-time (as in TV) poker player would you guess is a committed and outspoken Christian?

Hint: He likes to talk a lot.

The answer is coming here soon....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poker Night #37: Flushed Out

"Gotta last till the color-up," someone at my table said Thursday night with the blinds at 200/400.

Easy for him to say. My chip stack was at about 2,000 and dropping. I took a couple of small pots, including one where nobody bit when I had spades in the hole for a flush. But I lost a lot of chips while holding pocket 2's -- when a pair of 7's appeared on the table, but a full house never did.

So it came time to take a stand, and at the least likely time -- in the big blind:

IN THE POCKET: Qh/Qd. The play called to me.

"I'm all in. 1,400."

Two players called me.

ON THE FLOP: Two hearts come out. No queens show up.

ON THE TURN: Another heart. My hopes increase in a different direction.

ON THE RIVER: Yet another heart. One of the remaining two players in the hand made a bet, and the other folded.

"My flush is a queen," I announce -- but alas, the opponent has an Ace of hearts. It cuts right through mine. I wind up 6th, out of 8 at my table -- about 17th place overall.

This was at a table where one hand led to three players making full houses. Two kings and two nines were on the board -- but while two players had the extra 9, one had the "King of Kings." (See a post below concerning that one.) This three-way full house happened for the second week in a row!

MINISTRY MOMENT: A young woman at my table was absolutely unimpressed by the classic country music coming from the jukebox. She went to pay for something more rockin', and a man to the left of me noticed.

"I like a wide range of music," I tell the man.

"So do I," he replies.

"You know what station has me hooked right now?" I tell him. "103.7 The Truth." We'll see if he tries it.

UPDATED SCOREBOARD: 17 final tables in 37 nights (45.9%) - 5 cashes.
YAHOO POKER TOTAL: $3,223 ($266 actually made playing blackjack Wed-Thu)

Remember as you play....

This is part of Radio 74's "Good News" verses for today. Taking it from the New American Standard Version:

Then He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed...." (Lk. 12:15)

Thursday Night is Poker Night

At least it is for us. As in: poker in person. A live tournament, without a broadband connection.

We play at Lil Kim's Cove on Fourth Street in Columbus, located between the Civic Center and the Oglethorpe Bridge. And we plan to be there tonight. (If that changes, we'll post it here.)

Price to play: Free -- but if you buy a drink, you get 1,000 bonus chips.

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET. (It's best to arrive by 8:15pm, to sign up for a seat.)

Prizes: $50 for the winner, a "bucket of beers" for second place.

The last two Thursday nights, we've finished fourth and third overall. Will we make the money tonight -- or will you be able to stop us?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I suppose we need a motto

For a poker ministry, it might be this:

Our "King of Kings" can top any Ace.

Who is that? Check I Timothy 6:15 and Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:15-16.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Practice time

We practice for Thursday night sessions at a place which might surprise you -- Yahoo Games.

The Texas Hold 'Em areas are set up as "cash games" -- with maximum bets of $12 pre-flop and On The Flop. The maximum is $20 on the turn and the river.

Yahoo gives you $1000 just for showing up. As of this writing, I stand at $3131 after several months in the "Advanced Lounges."

Advancing to $2000 was relatively simple in beginners' and intermediate areas. At the top level, it's much tougher. I dropped as low as $1890 in May, before mounting a recent charge -- but above $3000, I've hit a wall for some reason.

By the way, don't take "lounge" too seriously. Some players at the advanced stage demand fast play or else. The spiritual fruit of patience (Gal. 5:22) clearly is lacking in them.

One day when I happened to host a table, a player demanded I boot someone for slow play. I responded with a phrase from my late father: "Have a train to catch?" That player laughed and calmed down.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Twos you can use

PLACE: Thursday night at Lil Kim's Cove.

SITUATION: Blinds at about 100/200.

IN THE POCKET: 4-2 of hearts. They're suited. Worth a call, with no one raising before the flop.

ON THE FLOP: 2-9-2.

So much for thinking about a flush. I bet 1,000, and several around me fold -- but not all.

A man immediately to the left of me calls. I'll call him Mr. B. -- a man I've gone heads-up with several times before at Lil Kim's. Most of the time, I've beaten him.


A dream come true -- only I'm first in line to bet. "2,500" I announce, choosing to turn up the heat slowly.

Mr. B says, "Richard, if you've got quads, I'm going to be p***ed." But he calls again. I say nothing. But hmmmmm -- is that a tell of what Mr. B does NOT have?

ON THE RIVER: I don't remember now. Didn't matter, anyway.

I glance at Mr. B's chip stack, and estimate how much is there. Saying I'm "all in" would seem too obvious, so....


"See, I don't think he's got it," another man at the table guesses out loud.

I still say nothing. Several months ago, I hit quad 7's on the river -- and when someone bet 75 (with smaller chip stacks) in front of me, I raised all-in and said, "I could be bluffing, you know. I could be bluffing right through my shirt."

That man backed down and folded. Mr. B. doesn't, and goes all-in.

"Oh, you're not going to like me...." I say quietly as I showed the 4-2 for four of a kind. I even reach my left arm around him, for a moment of consolation. "Sorry."

As Mr. B. leaves a bit surprised, he shows he had a 9. "I had to play it," he says -- and with a full house like that, I wouldn't have blamed him. But the way I was betting....?!?!

"But you're not supposed to call THAT," he adds while examining my 4-2. He leaves before I could explain how they were suited. Perfectly suited for something unexpected -- but suited.

A few minutes later, the loud and wrong guesser tells someone walking by the table: "This m***** f***** takes people OUT!!" I simply smile. I wouldn't use language like that. In fact, if I ever see Mr. B at church, I might take him again -- to dinner.