I'm a slacker but the hiatus is over

Been trying to do a 1000 things at once. Going through the hard part of buying a house, inspections, estimates, all that crap. Also, planning a wedding, hosting family, putting the finishing touches on the dead money final table and trying to get the satellites off the ground. So, I haven't been playing much poker and missing some juicy sessions at Harrahs. I heard the Ohio State fans were looking to donate money. The Hawaii fans were really nice and the Georgia fans also pretty generous.

Today I saw a guy in an O-HI-O T-shirt looking beaten down. He had a small stack of reds at a black jack table and a beer. I'm guessing he missed his flight. They say when you are down you should avoid the casino, from the looks of things he should have.

Played in the Wednesday tournament and my time off really sharpened my concentration. I was in tune on every hand and I felt like my opening table was an open book. I saw everybody's hands before they turned them over. I need to learn when I'm in that kind of zone to play more hands, even if I'm not getting dealt anything. No need to be tight then. The only money I won, was when I got involved with folks that had nothing and I knew it. For example I had A5 o/s on the button, call, Big Blind raises, a couple of limpers fold to me, I call. Flop is three bricks except for the low card which was a five. He bets just a little too big, I call. Turn pairs the top card. He checks. Hmm. I check. I think he's got big cards, K-J or something like that. River is like a 6. He fires a go away large bet. I trust my read and call. He says I got King high and doesn't turn over his hand. I show my A5 and he's slightly peeved.

Another read I made was button vs. blind. I got 86 offsuit in the catbird seat. Small blind raises preflop to 500 with 5 limpers in the hand. Everyone calls, position and pot odds dictate I call. Flop comes 86brick. I bet after it's checked to me through the limpers. Two spades on the board meant they were going to have to pay to see their flush completed. Blind calls.

Turn is another low card. A straight is out there but I'm putting the blind on an overpair. He checks, I fire, he calls. The river is a 10. He does a tell which is so money I'm not even going to repeat it but I know the 10 killed me when he does it. He then checks setting the trap. I check behind. He turns over pocket 10s and I show my two pair.

So that's good. Later I laid down A9d with the board showing Ad8d7s6d. It was actually an easier fold than I made it. Though top pair, open ended straight draw, and flush draw seems like a lot of outs they weren't enough. After the flop, which I checked thinking my A might be good but wanting to get a read on my opponents, he bets 3k. I call but consider reraising. I got a feeling he was married to his hand a bit. I, probably wrongly, thought a reraise wouldn't tell me anything. He could call with too many hands. The turn brings the 6d. Then he acts out of turn.

"I'm all in." I stare at him and wait for the dealer to tell him to pull his chips back. Here's why the hand was made more difficult than it needed to be. I hate the out of turn action by a player that clearly knows where the button is. Usually it's weakness. Yet, his body language was all strength. I was at the same table as Parfait from Houma who later told me he thought I should insta-fold and was trying to will me to. I gave the guy my smile test. He gave me a smile that was weak enough to be fradulent but was kind of in the middle. Damn.

I get the clocked called on me, as I mull over betting. I took forever so I didn't mind. Then I checked and he went all in. I told them to start the clock anew because I knew I couldn't make a decision. Ultimately, my gut said fold. He did radiate confidence and I concluded he wasn't angling. I think he was just so excited he hit his flush he lost himself. Problem was his smile failed, and for those of you that have Read "Read them and Weep," and implemented those tell detectors you'll know what I mean. That's normally a big weapon in my reads, so I probed a bit and asked if he had AK with the king of diamonds. Nope. Yet, now he radiated more strength. He had a made hand and being under the cooker wasn't cooking him any. I asked if he'd show. He said yes and because I am still a frickin' rube I have to admit it made my decision easier.

I folded, and I got to see what Parfait obviously saw, his made queen high flush. I was drawing dead.

Course I bubbled again going out 12 or 13th. Parfait also got shredded by two rivers and neither one of us cashed. Again, half the remaining players were in over the heads. There were several solid players still alive but there was some money to be made at that final table today.

One regret I had, short-stacked in the small blind I almost had to call with anything. Then there is a raise and I see a woman in the big blind getting her chips ready to call. The raiser was tight and the woman was a call station. I have K3. I fold. Sure enough it was AK v. QJ. Neither player hits anything and I would have rivered a 3 to triple up. Probably should have called even though I knew I was beat. I was pot commited.

Melvin, Ray and the fellas run a good tournament on Wednesdays. However, I've been meaning to talk somebody about the color ups. The last time I played there on one color up they made two separate mistakes not in my favor. The dealer and floor person also seemed irritated that I made them recount to get it right. If they need more than 10 minutes to do the color up and do it right, they should take it. The players won't mind. Gene D has also experienced some problems with this. Plus, there are a couple of players there who I don't think are above chip thieving off stacks. Always leave your baby chips up top fellas.

We are hoping to get Darryl, the Harrahs dealer, and part time pro to start blogging and maybe address some questions similar to this.

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