Friday, February 29, 2008

Chris Paul and Tyler Hansbrough and some D-Leaguer...

...are the best three basketball players at their respective levels. I'll randomly say Morris Almond but can't support it for player number 3. For the first two I can.

But before I do that, one of the reasons I blog is instead of writing emails too long for my friends to read, I thought I could better not reach the masses by writing long blog posts that are too long for my friends and the casual visitor to read. At least more people can chose to skip over the content. So skip away. The intention of this blog was to also keep the focus on poker but ramble on about other subjects that interest me and the gulf. Well, I haven't done a good job about writing about sports recently and as my GCP profile sez I would, so here's my thoughts on New Orleans best athlete and the best players in basketball.

I have a lot to say about Chris Paul (CP3) and Tyler Hansbrough and I'll get to them. Morris Almond, is a bit of a different nut entirely. I think he went to Rice. I think he shoots well. He seems like he should be related to Morris Chestnut. And I think he's in the D-League. If so, I can probably say he's the best player in the league since nobody actually watches it. Okay, enough about him because that's all I got.

Let's get to the New Orlean's best athlete: I thought CP3 was probably the second best pg prospect in his draft maybe third. Raymond Felton (winner, national champion, heart of a lion, and the fastest baseline to baseline in a long time), CP3 and lastly Mr. 2nd place Deron Williams all came out together. I ranked them Felton, CP3, Williams. The NBA drafted them inversely to my rankings.

Deron Williams right now is probably the second best player of the three, fitting because just like his Illinois squad finished second to Felton, just like his NBA team Utah has never been better then second best, and for three years in college he was second fiddle to possible D-Leaguer Dee Brown, D.Will is Mr. 2nd place. Ray-Ray is third, but still has tremendous upside. At this point CP3 no doubt about it, the best of the bunch. I was wrong about the guy who turned out to be New Orleans best athlete, yes Reggie Bush, I said New Orleans' best athlete and I was talking about CP3 and yes, I've said that twice now. The kid astounds nightly.

Now to put some poker in the conversation. Paul is a decent 1-2 poker player. He's cerebral and could be very good if he wasn't busy being the best basketball player on the planet right now. He, Jemaro Pargo, and some guy that doesn't play much for the hornets, who is a very decent 1-2 player can sometimes be seen on the felt. Bobby Jackson is also decent but now that he has been traded who cares. I'd love to get into their home game. Actually I Have to get in that game. CP3 would scoop a lot of pots. He's as savvy on the felt as he is on the hardwood.

As a college player, I privately thought Ray Felton was the sort that could be in the conversation for league MVP, I was that high on him, in fact, yet, as an NBAer Paul has done everything I thought Felton capable of. He's carrying a lesser team to unseen heights. Apparently, Paul always had the intangibles I thought Ray-Ray had or at least CP3 found them as a pro. Die-hard New Orlean fan legend, the MOOSCH, advocated Paul's ascendency from the very beginning. The Moosch is known for being wrong. This time he was right.

Injuries have somewhat hurt Felton, who is a great pro, and along with Rashad McCants one of the league's most underrated and devalued players, yet it is Paul who is exceling quicker than I ever expected. Paul is outplaying Nash, Kidd, and any stud that lines up against him. He's the MVP. There's not even a debate in my opinion. Kobe Bryant? As the lone ranger said to his horse, "Trigger Please!" Paul plays big in the biggest games. Look at his supporting cast and where the Hornets are in the rankings and then look at Kobe's.

David West is a solid player, but all-star or not, and don't kid yourselves he's an all-star because of Chris Paul, there are about 10 other guys I'd take at his position. If challenged I'll list them but I'm not trying to denigrate West I'm trying to tout Paul. West is a lot better than he "should" be. He and Tyson Chandler are playing at a level well above themselves. Peja is capable as well, and the Hornets are a complete team, but the engine of the sportscar is clearly Paul.

The last time I missed so badly on an NBAer's prospects was when I thought Antwan Jamison couldn't be an All Star. Which brings me back to the Tarheels. Everybody is saying their current stud, Tyler Hansbrough, will be "serviceable" or a "role-player" in the NBA. An opinion prior to this season I shared, because much like the flaws in Jamison's college game despite being a National Player of the Year, Tyler has a lot of things that make me question him at the next level.

Yet, Pyscho-T is absolutely dominating college basketball. Why it's not a done deal he's national player of the year amazes me. The more I watch this kid, the more I remind myself not to question him ever. Everything about Tyler Hansbrough says NBA stiff. Yet, his intangibles are unlike any I've ever seen. He barrels through 3 big guys nightly. When Ty Lawson, their star point guard went down, all TH did was raise his scoring average to 27+ per. He's a stud. His most effective shot, the Hans-throw, a hip to shoulder shovel shot over taller guys with a shorter guy draped on him, seems like a steal waiting to happen at the next level, but I don't know anymore. Just like the shot, which has as a high a degree of difficulty for a go-to shot I've ever seen, is reflective of his ability to adapt, and find ways to succeed when only given a sliver of opportunity, Hansbrough takes an inch and makes a yard.

I no longer question him at the next level. He'll do whatever it is he needs to succeed. Just like Jamison "found" a jumpshot, Tim Duncan adapted to size differential, and Elton Brand developed a game to counter his undersized matchup, Hansbrough will be successful. I thought before this season he wouldn't even be an NBA starter and might go the way of Joe Forte, but now I put no ceiling on him. CP3 doesn't have one, and Hansbrough, dubbed as competitive, if not moreso, than MJ himself, doesn't have one either.

His limitations should catch up to him. But they haven't. Just like limitations never found Larry Bird. He'll be at a minimum a pro's pro, and with the right situation... why not, he could be all NBA. Somebody made a comparison to Louisiana Tech alumni Karl Malone, which is a bit much because Karl's just the greatest power forward ever, though I do see similarities. The Mailman also employed the Hans-throw, but of course TH would have to start mainling HGH to fill the lane just by standing there like Malone did. He'll also need a point guard like John Stockton to constantly get him the ball in scoring positions (CP3 to David West anybody) but TH will be a solid pro and could be great.

As far as poker, I bet Hansbrough is a terrible player. He wears his emotion on his sleeve, usually next to his own blood after barreling through an elbow, and his aggressive style is so relentless, he'd probably be busted out of a cash game within an hour (or on his lucky nights he'll have everybody's chips in the same time period). He'd be an intimidating presence and his vacant eyes probably would portray little, yet he'd be the bull and his chips would be the china shop.

As for Morris Almond's poker skills? He's the D-League's best player on the felt and off.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wrap up

Gene and I didn't get to play in the Helping Hands Invitational tournament on Friday night. We really wished we could have made it over there but we were focused on Big Ray's bachelor party. The IP is running a pretty good promotion right now. If you play 5 hours of cash play on Friday, you get to buy into their $120 tournament for $20 on Saturday. As we were playing Saturday anyway with Ray and his crew, and as we figured we'd be playing 5 hours of cash somewhere Gene and I decided to head down a day early.

We had hope to get to the Beau to meet up with Mobile's finest Reid G, but couldn't get over there. The Friday night action had some weird things going for it. I quickly got up $300. I flopped top two with AK. Guy pushed me on the turn with the queen coming. I had tried to protect myself with a large post-flop bet that he called. I was committed and anticipated him showing J10. Didn't get to see his cards as another A hit the river but he didn't act like I sucked out on him so he probably had a weak ace.

Oddly, I won another pot with AK in the first hour, then I watched my profits slowly drain over the next four hours until I won three small late pots with... AK. One pot that sapped some of my cash that I wanted to discuss was a classic example of greed biting me in the ass. I had 87 suited in late position. I don't remember the preflop action but I think it was just limped because there were 6 of us. Flop came out AA9. Checked to me with only the button to act behind me. I knew he was the type that like to fire when checked to, so I decided I'd let his money give me the information on the early players.

I didn't put anybody on the Ace but there was one tricky player that might have it. Sure enough, I check and the button raises, I had that feel he was thinking if nobody else wants it I'll take it by the way he cast the chips into the pot. He also fired smallish, which he did when he was weak(er). Folded to me. Sweet. I decide I'm going to take the pot from him.

Turn gives me a legit draw with a 6, so I decided to check again, if he fired big I'd push (with a redraw if he sniffed weakness in me) if he bet small again, I'd call. He pushed out a little bit bigger bet and I was positive I was going to take this from him on the river. Or I'd get the nuts. The river was a brick. Now, I should have just bet about half the pot and pocketed it, but I thought I could get him and his deep stack to fire one more time. I thought there was a chance he'd cast a hundo in there as he had done before with nothing against the rest of the table.

I check. He gets his chips together, I'm thinking "Bet, Bet, Bet, Bet, Bet," he pauses and rubs his chin and hesistates and starts to bet and then goes, "I guess I had better check." ARGH! He turns over K5 to win with King high. Though I pissed away about a hundo and lost the hand, in retrospect, I'm pretty happy with that hand and my progression as a player. I had 8 high and was begging in my head for him to fire on the river so I could take a pot with the worst hand.

I made a stellar read and arguably solid calls. Arguably solid, because I know I let him get inexpensive cards to hit his hand so I probably should have moved on him earlier, but at the time I rationalized not doing that as I had just checked raised a few times already so was somewhat gunshy about doing that with nothing after the flop or the turn. I wanted to be able to escalate it to all in, and I felt like if I check-raised somebody again on the flop or turn, they'd simply push and of course I'd lay down.

I had such a good feel in that hand, I was completely ready to push all my chips in if he made a move back at me on the river. So, though I squandered an opportunity and let money go, I'm definitely improving as a player.

Did well in the tournament on Saturday. I really didn't have any good hands but I had the good fortune to play with a number of better players, like player of the month leader Mike McDade and I made moves on them early because I knew they were smart enough to fold. When I got short I got my run of cards and really was lasered in on picking the correct spots. All day people were laying down to me and my confidence just kept raising.

Ray's bachelor party was fairly subdued but I enjoyed hanging out with Mitch, Alex, Sam, Brandon and Ray. We played some cards too and Sam kept getting big hands over me. I have the nut flush and he's as confident as a jaybird when he pushing me in. I ask if he has A8, for the full house. I was very confident that he did. 6 handed, raising with A8 seemed possible but I really hoped he was just confident about AK and trip aces. My chip stack pretty much mandated a call. However, my read told me it was a loser and if you know you are beat you should fold, no matter what the odds are laying you. Finally, I decided I couldn't deal with the embarrassment of laying down the top flush if I was wrong. Unfortunately, I was right.

The next game, we got into a big hand, I with AQ and him with less. Flop was rags. The turn brought a second spade and seemed like to me gave him some sort of hope. I figured he had a draw. If it was no spade I was going to take down the pot. It was the Queen of spades--sweet. He bet, I laid down. That crippled me.

It was a fun day and I was glad to be able to enjoy it with Ray. Hopefully, they'll get a home game together soon. Til next time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Couple of things this weekend

Looks like a small crew will be headed to Biloxi--likely the Beau--on Saturday for the first part of Big Ray's bachelor party this weekend. Also, there is a tournament in Lafayette on Friday, Gene and I are thinking about playing in. We are going to send out a GCP email about it for anybody that is interested. If you are not on the list email us and we'll give you the 411. It's for a great cause helping out injured Oilmen and promises to be a first class event.

I also wanted to give a heads up to Tex and Dwayne who both were in Disney World at the same time as me but somehow as Tex said, despite seeing every other Louisana citizen I missed those guys. I also missed the superbowl, I heard it was a snoozer.

Not sure if I'll be playing at Harrahs or Boomtown tomorrow but it's always a gametime possibility.

A little review, from from this past weekend. I played up a level, based on the urging of a couple of bloggers on here, and for the loose cash that was supposedly in town. I get there early, and sit down with about 4 familar faces and they all knew the 4 other guys, so it was a waiting game. Unfortunately, I probably played with three non locals over the course of the night, so it was a lot of waiting for nothing.

Though I did have Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, and Charles Oakley sightings. One of the non locals claimed to be an Indiana Pacers assistant coach named Lester. Lester was getting hit pretty hard by the cards. His stack was built mostly on one hand. Sometimes you just get feelings and your gut tells you to mix it up. I didn't and he took down this monster pot.

Lester raised 7x, when the standard raise at the table was about 4 to 5x. I look down at pocket 5s. He's sitting deep, I'm hoping he's got a big hand. Time to hit my 7 to 1 shot and double up the roughly 650 I got in front of me. I call, my gut won't let me opt out. Uh oh, a tight player also joins the fray.

Flop is Ak9. Lester leads out with a large, large bet. I'm ready to fold, it's a nobrainer, I whiffed, but my gut is saying mixing it up. My brain reminds me people lose a lot of money mixing it up, especially with that board. I fold, despite my battle with my ESP (extra-stomachery perception), and then I get some relief when the tight player calls. Turn is... yes, you guessed it 5. Lester leads again with a gninormous bet, tight guy raises, Lester calls. What can they have? River comes an A. Lester shoves. Tight guy calls.

I'm eager to see these hands, the pot is about 2k. Lester turns over... AJ. Uh, yeah... AJ. Tight guy either mucks or flashed his cards quickly or I just forgot because fricking AJ took down that pot. I'm still confused. .

Lester was sitting next to a guy me and my neighbor dubbed Mr. Two-Pair who rivered a second pair in just about every hand he saw to completion. He ran one bluff on me when I held jacks to a lower board and I made a crying call despite his history. Otherwise he pretty much hit his three outers on the river every time and overbet it.

He gave Lester another big pot, when his two pair wasn't good enough and everybody squared their sights on the 6'8 coach. Unfortunately, he went into lock down mode and took his stacks of 100s and 25s off the table an hour later. Another tight player, a guy who knew the locals that play this level but I didn't recognize, let my table image get the better of him. He raised large preflop. I had AQ suited and called from the blind. I like to hit my queen with that holding so when it came A10rag, I checked it to him. I was most worried about Ak. As his large preflop raise was atypical for him. He fired a large bet out and I call even though on my insides my ESP is saying AK, AK, AK, AK. The turn is a shaquille o'neal foul shot and I check. He mulls and checks behind me. Huh?

Hmm. I put him on maybe KK now. River is a 10, but I didn't see it because we are both staring at one another waiting to see if the river helped the other. It got a little bit awkward. I glance at the red 10 out of the corner of my eye and throw out 150. I'm feeling weakness. He stalls. He then folds showing AK face-up. I don't know if I could have laid that down.

So I got lucky and took a small loss on the night with fatigue caught up to me, and when I realized I was moving in 4 hours and six handed wasn't cutting it.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Boomtown

Finally got to get some card playing in. Had a good time at Boomtown last night playing in the tournament. Played tight early on, despite it being the chuck and pray type format. You get 1000 in chips. Blinds go up every 15 minutes. It's capped at 59 players.

I saw a ton of new faces there. Odd. Saw a few of the regulars there, and of those few I rate most as good players. I got there late so was given the very last alternate seat. At the start of the second level I was seated. 5 minutes later I heard a guy say, "This kid's already busted 10 people." I looked at the table behind me, as another disastified customer was getting up shaking his head, then I see the kid, he already had about a 1/4 or a 1/5 of the chips in play. Wow.

My man Gene was at my table, and I just folded, and folded and entertained myself by watching him make some timely raises and dragging small pots. He wasn't getting action and I thought to myself sometimes he's hurt by being rated as a good player. Other guys didn't want to mix it up with him unless they had good hands and his timing wasn't right to catch one of the weaker players getting into the deep end.

Just as I thought that, he gets called and loses a race and I was flying solo. I think I mucked a hand in the big blind after a post flop raise but that was about it. Another cycle passes and I'm in the big blind with 10-9. UTG with a ton of chips raises and it's folded to me. Normally, that's a fairly easy fold but because of my tightness I thought he might be trying to steal the blinds, and I remembered what Hoyt Corkins once said, "People are scared of playing the big stacks, but I love to because I know they can double me up." 10-9 may not be the best holding but I figured I'd know where I stood after the flop. It came out 10 high.

Hmmm... I was fairly certain I was ahead. The only thing I was afraid of was that it was a legtimate pre-flop raise with an overpair, so I fired out a small probe bet--smaller than his preflop bet--the kind a good player would punish me for and raise aggressively on my short stack. He flat called. I knew I was ahead. At best he had AK.

The turn was the jack, and being the kind of tournament it was, I decided to go all in, confident my hand was ahead and farily certain the jack didn't help him. He insta-called like the spring action on a mousetrap and I thought I'd merely be looking at the cheese not nibbling it. Hello overpair.

No... He held a... gutshot. Huh?

He rightly bricked out and I doubled up.

The next hand was three-way limpfest and a checked pot to the river. I hit my gutshot from the small blind. I fire out 6x the pot. The third player, out of turn, looks at my raise and the size of the pot and starts making faces like you gotta be kidding. But the excessive raise wasn't for him, I knew he wouldn't be calling, it was for the BB (formerly UTG) who... calls. The third player folds and the BB shows second pair or some such nonsense.

Then I sit. My stack never dips below 2k but never exceeds 3.5k and I watch bustout after bustout after bustout. At boomtown, moves are dangerous, because you'll get called for the most part... but they can be executed at the right time. The big stack came over, and I immediately noticed when he limped he'd fold to a raise, he never limped-called despite being in a situation to call everything. If he raised or called a raise you couldn't get him off a pot, but he was prepared to shake off his limps. I filed this away and used his big stack like it was my own.

Three times, people limped to him and he followed suit, and two times it made it past another guy to my right who was married to any pot he invested in. First time it got to me with my stellar holding of 2-2. All-in. Everybody before the mamonth stack folded fearing their tournament life would be on the line with him. Of course he folded. Second time in a similar situation, I had J5 o/s. Push. All fold. Third time I don't remember what I had but I think it was actually fairly decent becuase that was the time married to the pot was in. He actually folded too but he made me sweat a little bit. He probably had a tough decison to make like... J9.

This got me to the money, with no cards and no big pots. Finally, I look down at JJ after the blinds had caught up to my stack. Mitch had opened for more than I held, and I tossed it in remembering the last time I had played with him he busted me with his AK over my jacks. He turned over AQ. I told myself it's my turn on the coin-flip even if I feared the worst. Brick city. Nice double up. Now I got a little more play.

The formerly mamonth chip stack went out next at my hand. He limps (an opportunity), folded to me I raise with suited A3, 6 handed not a great holding but I have to make some moves, and the table has tightened up a bit. Plus, he orphans his limps so a good spot. He comes over the top for the rest of his chips. I ponder, he's finally trapped my thievery or he's merely tired of it and making a stand. I get a read of weakness, but I got such a little hand. F'it, I'm commited I hope he's got two face cards like QJ. I'll have a little bit left too.

He turns over sixes. I don't like it. Flop comes two 10s and a 9d. I call for another 9. Turn gives me four of my suit and another overcard to his 6. 15 outs for the river. I keep calling for the 9 and it hits. He kind of pushes his 6s forward not realizing I just counterfeited him and my ace was playing and I guess never understanding why I was calling for the 9. Tough break.

At this point I'm a close second in chips, and it just goes to show you, you need to get lucky late, not early, and patience is rewarded. We chop it with me and the other big stack each getting second place money and the other three splitting the rest. Good tournament.

The 1-2 game was full and I headed home.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Of Mice and Men

Just back from Disney World. Good time. Obviously, not much poker to discuss.

So... some thoughts on the mouse.

1. The "magical" experience has disapeared. Don't know if it is the unions, not bashing them I'm a supporter (go writers), just recounting someone else's theory, or if it is just American employees in general but service with a smile is dead. Smartasses now work the rides and front desks. I like smartasses but I do see the point of many of the disappointed people I traveled with that don't like them. Disney used to be the epitome of service and no matter the dour demeanor of the customer they replied in kind with smiles. No longer folks.

2. The exception is, the foreign employees, mostly at Epcot, still are drinking the Walt Kool Aid and not the Michael Eisner money grubbing Hemlock (another popular theory about the luster lost). Those kids are as joyful as you would expect working in perfect 70 degree weather doling out adrenaline fueled shots of happiness. The Americans are well over it.

3. The new old rides (within the last 10 years) were new to me. Some reviews and a trashing of the most overrated male personality in America, follow...

*MGM Studios now Hollywood studios (?): Rockn Roller Coaster was great. Tower of Terror and that moment of weightlessness before the free falls--awesome. The Drew Carrey Experience--Terrible, I would wish it on my worst enemy. I'd make him see it twice after he'd die of self-inflicted eye gouging his dead body would still have to sit through the majority of the second show. In my anger, seething over sitting through that drivel, I realized that anything that guy touches turns into mediocre. Why do people keep giving him money. Allow me a bit of a rant...

The Drew Carey show--started off pretty good but when he took over control completely it became completely terrible. Maybe the one case networks executives could point to to justify their jobs. I think in his last season he worked for a "google" analogue, which of course makes sense since Cleveland is in the heart of silicon valley and an uppper middle aged fat pencil pusher from a department store with a flattop and rec specs would fit in perfectly with dynamic computer programmers both from a practical expertise standpoint and from their cultural one. I get the fish out of water trope, but come on. Has anybody made the mistake of watching the New Price is Right? Don't. Insert obligatory Price is Wrong quip. Bob Barker, with one foot in the grave, tried to roll over yesterday and broke his hip. I think he said, and I quote, "F*** the pets, we need to spay and neuter the Carey population."

Let's not mention Wayne Brady (in everything but his guest shot on the Chappelle show--which was genuis), and yeah you can thank Drew for him, or the short lived Green Screen show an unmitigated disaster that outside of watching snuff videos may be the most disturbing 6 minutes video segments ever put on TV. As a sports fan, Drew cursed both David Beckham and Lance Armstrong merely by rooting for them. Armstrong went from winning major races and trying to cure cancer to dating Matthew McConaghy. Beckham is a Tom Cruise chuckle away from being Scientology's biggest convert and played about 20 minutes in America. I believe Carrey's recently taken an interest in poker. About the same time as the Absolute scandal, coincidence I think not. Anyway his Disney show was terrible. If you've never heard a radio, a sound-effect or a foley artist at work, you might be slightly less inclined to take a pistol to your temple while watching it but only slightly.

*Animal Kingdom. Couldn't get anybody to ride the Kali River falls ride with me it's a wet one, but I did ride the Everest ride about 10 times. It, the Safari and the Dinosaur ride made the park visit worthwhile. Also enjoyed the 3D show, like I did at every park.

*Magic Kingdom. Nothing was new though Haunted Mansion was upgraded. I couldn't tell the difference. I guess the holograms were scarier (?).

*Epcot. Mission to Mars. Some guy died and they scaled it back. Catching three gs and feeling your face flap was enjoyable. But not scary, and certainly overrated. Soarin' was fun if you could be in the first row, preferably the middle chair, because if you focused forward your brain really believes you are flying.

4. Did the whole trip with a 93 year old, who had too much pride to ride a scooter last year and, walked the 10 miles a day the group pushed us through. Fortunately, this year his family insisted he ride and he managed to make it through marathon days of 7am to midnight with the rest of us. He's a tough hombre that guy. He downed a pitcher of beer on his own at the Hoop Di Doo on our last night, and forgot himself a little bit--which was fun. Can't repeat some of what he said.

5. Anyway, listened to a good bit of poker stuff on the iPod, thanks Gene, on the drives down and back and don't think I learned much of anything except some gossip like an old one about Men the Master having piles of tournament chips in his hotel room. Did read a bit of Dirty Poker about collusion teams in casinos, Read Em and Weep to brush up on my tells, and some of Harrington again, yet my retention was low.

Alright, I'm beat. I'll get back to you soon. Got a busy week ahead of me moving into the new house so we'll see if I can get some poker tales to tell.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Rake the Rake and Boomtown Goodness

So Verge signed up Gene for Rake the Rake, and Gene signed up me. For every pot Gene plays Verge gets a comission, for every pot I play in, Gene and Verge get a comission. For every pot I play in, I also get a comission of the rake back too. Sound like a ponzi scheme? It's not. Online sites pay affiliates for customers by giving them a piece of the rake their customers bring in. Enterprising affiliates passed that profit on their customers to get an edge on their competition. Which brings us to today's market...

Anyway, click the garish yellow blinking thingamachig to sign up. Oh yeah, your comission on yourself is not affected by signing up under somebody (ie you don't lose anything by helping a brother out). So if you play online, and your aren't raking the rake, you should and you should help a brother out too by clicking my link. You'll also be helping Verge and Gene's bottom lines.

Basically it's like going into a casino and they keep track of every pot you play in. At the end of your session they give you money back out of what they earned. Not too shabby. You sign up other people and they give you a smaller percentage of the pots they play. Okay, that'll likely be my sole pitch for that product but it'll be here obnoxiously blinking for a while.

Enough selling, let's get to playing, I played at Boomtown last night. Leaked out 70 in 3-6 waiting for the tournament where I didn't hit anything, including an 8 way pot where I had the nut flush draw, the nut straight draw, and a winner if I hit the low end of my open ended straight pot. I'm fine with not winning that pot certainly couldn't ask for anything more with that kind of action--wasn't even a set out there to hurt me.

Always some colorful play in there. In the 3-6 game, I flop top two, guy who raised preflop drives the action and knowing him to be a loose cannon, I ignore his firing and fire back. So it goes, the river brings the Ace I just call knowing I'm beat. Yep, he flopped bottom pair and bet it like the nuts until it became them. A6 o/s of course he was raising preflop he had an ACE for pete's sake. There's only four of them in the deck. I almost didn't want to get up and play in the tournament. I forget just how juicy 3-6 players are sometimes. Plus, with the smaller stakes everybody is focused on enjoying themselves. It's hard not to laugh at a guy like that drawing out on me. He don't know better as a lady whispered to me and then smiled from behind her mountain of chips. Well, bless his heart.

In the tournament, another "he don't know better" got me to lay down ace-king preflop headsup. Probably a negative ev move, huh? I've done that once in a sit 'n go and the guy I folded to almost shot steam out his ears when I showed him. He had kings and no action. At boomtown guy in the first level raises 3x, we start with so little it's usually an all-in fest, so you have to be ready to throw your chips in, with AK I was content to, and I 3x his 3x knowing full well if he pushes I'll probably be racing. He immediately 3xed that bet for about half my chips. Body language gave me all the information I needed and I tossed my AK face up fold. Geno was at my table so I wanted him to think I was a moron and tossed them in front of him. My ruse didn't work as the other guy almost immediately after, just happy to win the pot, throws his bullets on to the table. He was beaming, not even realizing he was revealing just how badly he played that hand. He was as happy as a midget in an elevator when the flatulent guy gets off. Nice hand. If he had any subtlity he could have broke me. Of course, maybe I shouldn't be preaching I can't win with rockets at that casino if I flop a third ace.

The last hand I wanted to break down I was only in for a second, it was after the tournament in the 1-2 game where I won all my money back and then some. Guy raises in late position. I'm on the button and see pocket 5s. He's deep stacked andI feel like he's got a hand here, so I decide to call hoping to hit my set and double through him. BB is having none of the that, he's also deep stacked, and he sees something he likes. He fires out a reraise. I'm mulling over if I'm about to get priced in with all those implied odds on either side of me. Then LP guy, re-reraises and my 5s fly out of my hand, I know they aren't going to let me in cheaply. BB makes it official and goes all in. There is a hitch, so I know he doesn't have Anna's Ass (AK--Anna Kournikova pretty to look at but she don't win anything, AA--Anna kournikova's Ass, it's so pretty to look at who cares if it wins or not). LP guy, surely must be insta-calling here, huh? He's got to have the Rockets if BB doesn't. We've seen this time and time before it's KKs vs. AAs. Suddenly he goes into the tank.

I'm confused must be that even rarer kings vs. kings. He's not good enough to lay down kings. If he's thinking it's got to be less... Queens, Jacks? Nope. You want to guess the hands?

LP finally calls and he has pocket snowmen, and the Big Blind had 9s. Yeah, 8s vs. 9s with that kind of action. The 8, hits of course, not like there could be any justice on that hand and suddenly the LP is sitting pretty. Ray from Harrahs was at the table, and he me and the four other players that understood the game just started laughing and eyeing each other. The guy with the snowmen didn't have that elation--ooh I just sucked out--he's self-satisfied, vindicated even, because he thought he made the right play even though he was drawing to only two cards. As the guy next to me said, "I'll never be able to play that good."

Of course Mr. huge stack shortly got up and left and then... the game mysteriously ended.