Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday update: Be back soon

At a real tournament? Not for awhile.

The workplace needs me on Thursday nights at least two more weeks. So the next scheduled appearance at Lil' Kim's Cove is now planned for September 18.

Ahhhh -- two more weeks to clean the lungs of second-hand smoke. :-->

YAHOO POKER TOTAL: $6190 (Up $98; up $138 from poker).

Even the pros do it

Did you watch Poker After Dark this past week? I tend to watch only the "Director's Cut" on Saturday nights, while finishing the other blog -- but there was something unusual there this weekend, which ties in with a recent post here.

The Poker After Dark format has six players buying into a "winner-take-all" game, at $20,000 each. This past week, one player went all-in on the very first hand -- and LOST!

But then the unusual thing happened. The other five players agreed to let him have a second "buy-in" for another $20,000. It increased the total payout to $140,000. And perhaps the players were merciful because the invites to this table have a tendency to be "jam up" big gamblers.

Hey, did you catch that word -- merciful? Even big shots on the pro poker circuit showed it here. They included well-known winners such as Howard Lederer and Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

No, the player who bought back in did NOT win the top prize. (David Williams did.) But I think everyone showed a winning spirit there.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." -- Matt. 5:7

Monday, August 25, 2008

Work, work, work

It will keep us from Lil Kim's Cove at least the next two Thursday nights. So the earliest we MIGHT be able to return is September 11.

Our table-mates must think we're on a summer break at the beach or something.

Meanwhile, thanks to Sonya Sorich at the Ledger-Enquirer for alerting us to new Wednesday night tournaments at The Roadhouse on Broadway -- just as free as the ones at Lil Kim's. Too bad we're too busy to play there right now, as well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Update: Mercy Said 100

We wanted to play Yahoo! poker late Saturday night -- but somehow lost the connection on the river, and couldn't get it back. Oh well, a $4 (pretend) loss.

Unable to restore the connection, we spent a few minutes at Yahoo! blackjack. How addictive -- and as we recall mentioning here before, how risky.

We were betting $5 a time, and breaking even a bit. Then we decided to go for a "big finish," by making $1,000 maximum bets.

Amazingly (or was it really?), we started having a massive losing streak. We went from $6,000 to zero in no time. We should have wound up at about $-7,000, and with Yahoo pretend bankrolls that's possible.

But something even more amazing happened. Several times when we bet $1,000 with only $100 in our bankroll, Yahoo did NOT put us in what they used to call on Jeopardy the "minus column." Instead, we were restored to $100 and allowed to try again -- not once, but about eight times!

After being shown such incredible grace, we rallied to regain our $6,000 -- and there we stopped. Try THAT stunt at a real casino, and see if it happens!

We went to bed thankful the Yahoo account we SHOULD have had wasn't on display. And we were reminded of mercy -- shown by the blackjack computer, and by God toward us.

"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy...." (Rom. 9:15)

Sometimes at the poker table we have that option, too. Perhaps a show of mercy with an opponent's chip stack might make you a friend, and open a door. But be ready, in case other players consider it a sign of weakness on your part. "There is a time for everything...." (Ecc. 3:1)

YAHOO POKER TOTAL: $6092 (Up $350, but only +12 in poker). Blackjack giveth, and blackjack taketh away.

If we started a poker band....

What would we call it?

Maybe the "Suited Connectors"?

Other names welcome....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday at the table

A busy schedule has restricted us to online play in the last few days. But we can sum things up this way:

1. Happiness is a full house on the flop. That happened to us just now at Yahoo -- with a 2-9 in the pocket, 9-2-9 showed up on the flop.

2. Online cash games can ebb and flow in a hurry. We were just in one where we fell $-124 for the session -- then rallied and won it all back in a couple of hands. We finally left with a gain of $60.

3. A player named Buddha admitted to us he/she is "into Wiccan and Buddhism." (Quite a combination.) We asked why he/she doesn't go to church, and had no response. Some people would rather play poker than face tougher questions.

4. Yahoo blackjack can be a fun distraction -- but also scary. Ten days ago we dared to bet $1000 maximums, and dropped $2000. But then we rallied with a double and a 3-2 payoff blackjack, and hurried away with a $1500 gain.

YAHOO POKER TOTAL: $5742 (Up $1281, but only + 21 in poker)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Leftovers

1. At Thursday night's tournament at Lil Kim's Cove, I sent a man out early with three 2's. I then said something about being a "gentleman" with the person I eliminated -- and someone at the table said, "Gentleman?!?!"

"Speak evil of no man.... but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men." -- Titus 3:2

2. Wow -- we hit quads AGAIN at Yahoo poker Friday afternoon! It happened for the second time in seven days, and this time it was AAAA! It only earned us $38 in pretend money -- but what are the odds of that?

3. Are you kidding -- NBC pre-empted Saturday night's "Poker After Dark" wrap-up for something called the Olympics? They haven't made poker an Olympic sport yet?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Poker Night #42: The Eve of 8.8.08

So much for that being an Asian lucky number. Eights came up big against us tonight at Lil Kim's Cove. We wound up in 13th place, barely making the semifinal table.

The end came when we chose to go all-in with J-9 of clubs, after another woman bet big with pocket aces. A Jack came up on the flop, along with a 7. An 8 on the turn offered hope for a straight, but a 6 fell on the river instead of the 10 we needed.

As for those eights, which cost us a lot of chips....

BLINDS: 200/400

IN THE POCKET: 5-4. Standard calls occur.

ON THE FLOP: 5-8-6.

A man loaded with chips to our immediate right bets $1,000. We call, with straight chances -- and wind up heads-up against him.

ON THE TURN: Another 4. We now have two pair.

"Four thousand," the man to our right declares. He's occasionally bet big with very little since arriving at the table, so we have to think about this. Is he trying to push us off the pot, with a taller chip stack?

"I'm probably going to regret this, but I'll call," I say. Then I show my cards to a friend to my left who already folded.

"You're not gonna regret it," he assures me. "It's coming." Sometimes he has an uncanny ability to know, but....

ON THE RIVER: An 8. Having three pair in Texas Hold 'em doesn't count.

"Ten thousand," the man to our right says. Gulp. Calling in effect would put us all-in. This is too much for our taste, so we fold.

"If you had a full house, you would have won," the man to the left says.

"No, he wouldn't," says the pot-winner to the right quietly. "Could he beat quad 8's?" Why, no we couldn't.

MINISTRY MOMENT: It didn't really happen tonight. One time when someone mentioned the blinds, we said, "Every round goes higher, higher." If anyone grasped the reference to the Christian children's song, "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder," they didn't show it.

UPDATED SCOREBOARD: 20 final tables in 42 nights (47.6%) - 6 cashes.

YAHOO POKER TOTAL: $4461 (Down 138 -- but if blackjack losses are ruled out, we actually gained 194. We're not playing blackjack as often these days.)

P.S. We will have to miss the Lil Kim's Cove tournament for at least the next two Thursday nights, due to work commitments. We'll keep posting here as we can, and as the online action warrants.

Remember as you play....

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." (I Cor. 13:4)

There's good advice for temperament at a poker table in the verses that follow, but we'll focus on this one.

If the person blowing cigarette smoke in your face across the table has a big chip stack and a mouth to match, take him/her on the right way. Be patient, wait for a good hand -- then try to make the most of it.

Shut up a boastful player by politely taking a big pot, and you might find other players at the table thanking you.

Break Time is over....

We plan to be back at Lil Kim's Cove, Fourth Street and Second Avenue, for Thursday night poker tonight.

The DVD voice should say "shuffle up and deal" around 8:30 p.m. ET.

We're in a busy season, so this may be our only live poker night for awhile.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One in a million

Well, we're not sure those are the exact odds of it happening. But it happened to us late Saturday night, playing poker online at Yahoo!

BLINDS: $1/$2 (pretend money)

IN THE HOLE: A-2 of diamonds

It's a limit hold 'em game, with the maximum pre-flop bet of $12. Several players call before then.

ON THE FLOP: 5 of diamonds (plus two other cards I forget now; I think one was an ace)

I keep betting, as do a couple of other players -- but the bets are modest.

ON THE TURN: 3 of diamonds

Modest betting continues, with my pair of Aces -- but could this really happen?

ON THE RIVER: 4 of diamonds

It DID!!!!! It DID happen!!!!

I'm in the lead position, and humbly check. A woman around the table bets 4 (the standard at Yahoo tables). I raise to 8. She calls, and a straight flush wins me a $90 pot.

This has happened to me at Yahoo poker once before. But believe it or not, I never saw it in June 2007 and called a $4 bet. Call it the learning curve.

I don't rub in my win, though. "With humility comes wisdom." (Prv. 11:2)