Sunday, March 05, 2006

Birthday Bash

No, it wasn't my birthday being celebrated yesterday, but rather my 1 year-old nephew (or as I like to call him, the next Ryne Sandberg). You talk about excitement: booze, strippers, casinos. No not really. I thought poker was a stimulating challenge, but that was prior to attempting to separate children's trucks and toys from their respective packages, so the little ones could entertain themselves for hours on end. The only problem was it takes about half an hour to take each toy out of the package (that's a little exaggerated but not by much). I mean the manufacturers of these toys must think that criminals are filtering into Wal-Mart's and Toy'R-Us pilfering these huge trucks and slipping away with them in there 6 foot cargo pockets because they have about 16 or 17 high density twist ties anchoring each 2.5 centimeters of the toy to its box. After all of the presents were opened and all the one year old kids had been thoroughly covered in icing and cake it was time the party end and I get a well deserved nap.

After slobbering liberally on my pillow to signify the successful completion of my nap I was off to the virtual felt to try and reverse what has been a less than joyful visit to the negative side of the variance whore. My last two sessions had been poor enough for me to drop approximately 4 buy-ins at my usual no-limit tables, which for my style of play is indicative of a very wild swing in the wrong direction. My sessions started off positively with me advancing to the final table of my first 18 man 2-table Turbo S&G, and chipping up about 8 BB in the first 2-3 orbits of my NL cash game. Soon enough though that ugly whore, variance reared her Medusa-like head and I was out of the S&G two off the money and my chips had slipped to -15BB or so in my NL cash game. No huge mistakes but rather taking the wrong side of a coin flip here and there coupled with a passive player not raising me when my pre-flop raise with QQ to 4x BB found a K-high flop and the villain decided to call my value bet on the flop, check it to me on the turn (I check behind), and one last check followed by calling of my one last value bet on the river only to flip up AK off. I wasn't too disappointed in my play because I didn't have a solid read on this villain as of yet and most players at this level play their hand fast at least after my strong 2/3 pot bet on the flop, but this must have been one of those tricky guys who likes to get snapped off giving good odds to chase, but it was successful here so who am I to argue.

After approximately a short 150 hand session at two NL tables that found me a full buy-in in the red, and 3 solid but unworthy of cashing S&G Turbo's I was ready to get on to watching the best rivalry in college basketball history: UNC @ Duke for Duke's senior night. I've never been quite the sports gambling type, but with my acclimation to the poker and more the poker-blogging community I couldn't pass up the opportunity for some small prop bets on the B-ball game. Well that turned out about as well as my poker session from the afternoon when I went 1-3 in prop bets in which I felt I had the best of it in 3 of the 4 after considering them carefully. The first prop was set with 8 minutes left in the first have and set the over/under for the first half at 63 when there was 41 total at the time. I had the under and went down in flames on the first prop. The second prop was set for Reddick's total points and was set at 28.5. I gladly take the over after considering 3 main factoids: he started the game with 9 points in the first 3.5 minutes, he has averaged just over 30 ppg for the entire season, and this is his senior night for his last ever regular season game at Cameron and UNC was his opponent. Well after his 3 for 4 start from the field he never got going and I don't think he ever reached 22 points, so now I'm 0-2. At the half UNC was playing surprisingly well and was within a point of Duke and my compadre wanted to give me Duke -5 1/2 and I gladly accepted. That too went down in flames as UNC dominated Duke on their floor on their senior night in very impressive fashion. I snaked out my only win in the props by correctly guessing the end time of the game to be post 10:06pm CST and that was like taking candy from a baby.

After all that excitement I couldn't resist climbing my way back to the felt at Lee Jones's virtual casino to reverse. I climb into a few of my normal Turbo S&G's and enter a third at a level of 4X my usual Turbo buy-in because I figure I have to reach some level of equality with the biotch we know as variance as I am usually a strong favorite in these 18 man Turbo's. Well I start pretty conservative in the big buy-in Turbo as I just want to give myself the opportunity to reach the final 9 with around an average stack and just outplay my opposition from there. Prior to that though I was playing very fast my 2 lower buy-in Turbo's and made the final 7 in both only to find my way out after running AJ into AK and another lost coinflip. Now I was very focused on the higher buy-in Turbo and was determined to take the thing down as we headed to the final 9. I am at about half the average stack as the final table begins and I know I will have to make some moves in late position and in MP for that matter if I am to have any shot at surviving the bubble with any chips. I successfully steal the blinds and antes from the button and cut off with nothing better than 82s and am set for some actions when I find a hand. I finally do catch QQ in the BB and get some strong action and more than double up to put me in line as the chip leader with 6 players remaining. I stayed aggressive with sub-par hands in late position which keyed my strong finish as I coasted into the final 3 with very few confrontations. I gamboool it up as I have over 1/2 the chips with 3 left and put a beat on the 2 man to get it to heads up when my JQo takes down his Ax. I get it well behind when I am a 6:1 leader in chips and double my man up, but soon after I take down 1st in the Turbo as my OESD takes down his flopped second pair on the river.

That's all the ramble I have in me right now as I'm trying to pay a little closer attention to this Cubbie pre-season game. We're currently knocking it around the yard on the Giants rag-arm staff. Also, shout out to the right-fielder of the SF Giants in this one Daniel Ortmeier as I played with him at The University of Texas-Arlington back in my athlete days.

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