Ups and Downs, Hernias and Acting out of Turn-ias(?)

First off, congrats to Jeremy Gaubert for his second title at the WPO.  Lots of respect for the Chemist who was overdue for another first place finish.  122k is a nice payday.

Alright, what's been going on.  Went on a family vacation to Pensacola Beach.  I had every intention of playing at the Pensacola Racetrack and never made it over.  Maybe next time.  Thanks to Michael Kmetz who offered to show me around.

That being said, the trip was one bad experience after every good one.

For example, we had some of our best beach/pool days in years.

Then at around five or so, the bad would start to happen.  On one day we watched helplessly as our three year broke our fairly new tablet after about 5 minutes of use.  Tile floors are not forgiving.  Minus a few hundred dollars there.  The next day, one bite into steak dinner (the highlight meal of the trip) the fire alarm went off and we had to descend 12 flights of steps.  With six kids under 8, my mother who has to wear leg braces and is officially "handicapped," and a crowded stairwell of retirees it wasn't easy.  I hefted our oldest the entire trek (which might have had something to do with the titel).  Wasn't easy.  Thankfully, the fire was small and contained in somebody's kitchen.

That wasn't all bad, as we caught the tail end of a dance party at the resort pool ( we didn't dance but the kids did) and then got a fireworks show we had no idea they were shooting off.  We returned to our dinner about an hour later.  Lots of fun to fill a 20+ floor building at 10 o'clock pm with a lot of tired cranky people.  We waited patiently in the line that formed on the ground floor for the elevators.  Within minutes the impatient folks that are too good to wait in lines took the obvious angle and cut them by going up a few flights of steps.  I love "angle" shooters especially the hordes of them who caught the down elevators, only to arrive at the ground floor in an already full car.  Obviously none would get out as they were just cutting the line for the up trip.  Well, I got a good look at a lot of them, but unfortunately never had the moment to pee next to them in the pool (not that I would ever do that but... hey, the idea hit jumped into my mind).

On another day, we took some professional family pictures with my Grandmother who has just turned 96.  Light was good, kids were well behaved, and I suspect we got some great shots.  All in all a great afternoon.  With two new babies and a new in law since we last did this two years ago (and another baby in my wife's belly making a cameo pre-appearence) the photos had some new faces and some rapidly changing faces.  Then we discover my Grandmother immediately after is feeling ill and has had another blast of the extremely painful shingles.  Oh....  so much for spending time with her the rest of the week.

One day we went to the Air and Space museum and my son loved it.  He wants an Air Craft carrier for his birthday.  Told him it was a little out of our price range.  When we factored in the broken tablet we were going to have to replace it was going to keep us just under the 100 Billion dollar budget for this years birthday--so no aircraft carrier for him.  Spent much of the afternoon pressing him skyward to look at jets I suspect and that our stairwell evacuation this would influence another bad happenstance later.

That night I spoke with the insurance company who tells us the police did not report a name, or insurance company of the driver that hit my wife's car.  Uhhh... New Orleans PD what a city I live in.  Obviously, my wife was hit by a friend or family of an officer and they "lost" the information.  You'll remember this is the guy that jumped out of his truck brandishing a crowbar and speaking aggressively to her after rear-ending our car.  She retreated to her car and didn't exchange information, fearing for the safety of our unborn child and of herself when he implied she somehow wanted to be hit.

The cop who I'll likely out by name and badge number in another blog told her the stories conflicted and he couldn't assign fault (yeah, this type of accident when rear-ended like that the ticket writes itself buddy).  He hurried her away, before she realized they hadn't exchanged information.  At a later date he assures me on the phone the police report will have all the other guys info... but he can't legally give it to me on the phone... but of course the report says nothing.  It's also bullshit that he "lost" it, because after I pestered the records department for months for a report that was supposed to be up in ten days and no later than 30, he called my wife's number.  Yes, the only way he'd have my wife's number is if he had the piece of paper from the accident report with the other guy's information too.  I had been calling from my phone and leaving my number.  So, I'm going to lawyer up I guess.

That was one nightmare after another, with my insurance company being quite the dicks themselves.  As it stands now, they gave me the bad news that we are out the 1k deductible and the insurance company has given up on pursuing it, but I was free to do so on my own and if I found anything they'd pursue it for me.  Thanks State Farm.  You're the BEST!  Yeah, this isn't a blog but a complain fest, I know.  Anyway, so -1k on that night.

Next night, another good beach day but I'm stricken with a hernia.

Off to the emergency room, worried it's another kidney stone.  I tell the nurse the pain and she tells me it's a kidney stone.  I tell her I've had one and  I hope it is, and she looks at me like I'm crazy.  "Anybody that has ever had a kidney stone would never wish for one."  She gives me the squinty eyes like I'm some sort of drug seeker, and I'm faking.  I try to explain that if the stone was already down to where the pain was, it had to be small and I'd take that over hernia surgery.  Especially since I didn't have to deal with the 8 hours of stomach and back pain that preceded my previous stone until it got to my groin.  I could tell she thought that story suspicious and she managed to give me Renee Zwelleger eyes for the rest of the pre-checkup.

Why would she think I was a drug seeker?  Maybe because of the two in the waiting room.  One lady humming in pain and rubbing her hands together for an hour in a wheel chair complaining about the wait.  I didn't know if she was having a kidney stone or a baby, but I sure felt sorry for her.  Then she decided she's waited too long and she stands up out of the wheel chair seemingly cured and walks out with her husband.  Guess the withdrawal pains had subsided or she figured out the staff was on to her and she'd have to go elsewhere.

Another lady stepped in to take her place, like they were on a relay team of benzo seekers.  While the other lady groaned this one would huff and puff until someone, anybody would talk to her.  Miraculously her huffing and puffing pain went away only to be replaced by a stream of chatter that never stopped.  Because she spoke at the roar of an airplane engine, I learned some stories about her "life."  She was dead for nine minutes on a table earlier in the week and she also started the special olympics in Italy where she had to get the Pope to sign off on that.  Him and a lot of Mayors.  But Italy is eternally in gratitude for her service.  Also, her son is a golf prodigy and the very first time he played, the Pros that were at the course for a PGA Tour event saw him and told her that he could be the next great one.  He's only played a couple of times since and already has shot under par.  Yes, the holes in those tales are so obvious we could drive a Mac truck through them, but I didn't want to engage her at all.

Humorously, one old lady, cornered, tried the "I'm deaf" routine to keep the drug seeker psychotic from shouting any more outlandish fabrications to her.  The lady pointed to her ears, her daughter caught on and explained to the drug seeker that her poor mother was essentially deaf.  To my mild amusement the drug seeker didn't stop talking she just moved one seat closer and then  yelled at the side of the poor woman's skull.  Thankfully, I got the call to the back, hearing the last of her globetrotting gallivanting tales that seemed not mesh with her trailer park attire.  She wore two large, seemingly meaningless braces on her forearms, that hung so loosely they had to be merely decorative, and as I walked away, I wondered if I landed in the twilight zone.    

Once out of earshot, by way of two doors and several feet of concrete, I prepared to wait again.  To my surprise, within seconds, a Doctor (or a P.A.) walked in closing the door and curtain asking "Where does it hurt?", and I awkwardly drop trough in the cold waiting room, I think maybe shocking him with my immediate nudity.  I pointed to the spots of pain.  I was trying to rip the band-aid of awkwardness off as quickly as possible and I don't think he was quite ready for it, so in effect I made it 100 times more awkward.   That being said the dude immediately felt the inguinal hernia after doing the cough test.

He said to pee in a cup and that someone will pick it up, the lab would have a quick turnaround and then I'll be out in 20 minutes.  I do, and nobody picked up the cup as twenty minutes pass. I curse myself for not knowing better than to believe him.  Maybe it was that tender moment of awkwardness that earned him my trust.  I look out into the main room and see the nurses huddled around the middle station.  Eavesdropping I hear them talking about the crazy woman in the waiting room who apparently comes there every week.  Failing to make eye contact with anybody before they disperse I shuffle back into the room and just stare at my lonely cup of pee.

Ten minutes more pass, a girl in scrubs walks in, eyeballs me up and down, and takes the cup away.  She didn't speak.  She returns a couple of minutes later, and suspiciously re-closes the door and curtain.  She walks right up to me and says, "So, where does it hurt?"  Weird.  I immediately thought of that Saturday Night Live skit where a series of people walk into a guy's room cup his boys and ask him to turn his head and cough again.  None of them actually are doctors or work there.  I stand up.

Wait...  I already showed the doctor my junk.  Did I really need a nurse's second opinion?  I decided there was going to be no free show for this woman and I definitely got creeped out by the way things unfolded. I pointed to my groin and said, "There."  Like a salesman who has just offered a price in a negotiation knowing that whoever talked first loses, we commenced a staring contest.  She didn't say anything but just waited.  I didn't move.  She didn't blink...  at this point I would have started telling a psychiatrist every dark secret...  the silence was heavy... we wait some more...  I wanted to pull my trousers down(?)...  I stayed strong and didn't.  After even more very prolonged uncomfortable silence, she finally showed defeat and she said, "Okay, my name is... let me know if you need anything."

Then the stare shifted in tone.  She gave me those certain type of eyes, girls give to guys that imply a lot, and I got a even skeevier feeling that now she was flirting with me.  WTF?  Even if I wasn't married, I think the last thing I'd want to do in an emergency room with a hernia is flirt with a woman.

She left, and two minutes later a guy came in asking where my pee cup was.  Uh, double WTF?

"Somebody... took it?"  He looked confused and walked out.  Triple WTF!

Before my mind could race to too many conclusions,  the doctor walked in, told me that there was no blood in the urine and prescribed me a mild pain reliever.  He said that I could make it home and I might need surgery when I got back to New Orleans and sent me on my way.  So apparently the lab got my cup and the woman actually worked there.

I tried to figure out what went down.  Either the nurse was a pervert, or the first guy talked about how I showed my junk within 15 seconds and she wanted to see if I was some sort of flasher for laughs, or she was just spell bound by my declining middle aged beauty and wanted me to "show my world to her", or some combination of all those.

If she was a pervert, I gotta admire her tactics.  She basically set up the whole exchange to give herself an out.  She never told me to drop my drawers but she did give me the privacy to do so, by reclosing the door and curtain, and patiently waiting.  It was implied I was going to get naked.  Then, she'd always have an alibi that the patient just showed his junk on his own.   So if, you hear of any female nurses getting a little to handsy with patients in the Pensacola area in the future that's probably me girl.

I return to finish out my week essentially on bed rest and downing advil and vicodine.

Literally, probably the best AND worst beach trip with my family in years.  Least I had some highs for the all the lows.

Poker wise, I'm continuing to run good.  Cash continues to be profitable.  Here's how good I'm running.  In a hand I played badly recently, the guy next to my limps,  I raise in late position with Queen 9 suited.  I get raised  from the button who is called by the limper.  I call.  Flop was 1078 with one of my suit and two of another.  Check to me, I lead out hoping to pick up a flush card, or hit my straight or my over, or just take down the pot there.  Both call.  Turn is another 10.  We all check.  River puts out an 8.  Checked to me.  I look at my shortish stack and think I can take it down with a shove.  Neither player protected their 10 on the turn or flops so it was hard to give them a big hand unless they had 108 or 88.  J9 was vulnerable so I think they would have played their straights more aggressively.

  The p/f raiser might have an overpair but I thought I had enough chips to force him to fold as much as jacks or especially with the other guy in the hand squeezing him.  I never like the tactic "the only way I could win the hand was to bet" in spots where it's better to recognize there is no way to win the hand, but I thought I could get A high, K high, underpairs and a lot of hands to fold.  Maybe Jacks.  Far less likely Queens but possible I guess.  My image of tight I think allows me to bluff in that spot.  Course the raiser just sat down so had no image of me and the other guy it turns out was terrible and didn't have an image of anybody.  So probably the wrong time for the play.

So, I shove.  Hey, I said I played it bad.  The first guy pauses for a little bit and then the other dude out of turn makes the call.  Ugh.  We tell him it's not his turn, but this can't be good.  Hate bluffing off my chips.  How badly did I misread things I wonder.  I'm pondering if I rebuy or if I go.  The pauser finally folds and the caller calls again.  I prepare to muck and the caller turns over pocket fives. Yes.... lol... playing the board.  I turn over my queen nine and motion the dealer to see queen high is good, because I feared like everybody else at the table the confidence at which he showed his hand might get her to misread the board and sweep the pot to him.  Have no fear she saw it correctly.  I'm a little dumbfounded.  The first guy says he was considering calling with Ace high.  Hard to do with another to act behind I thought, but very lucky the guy shoved out of turn if the dude wasn't lying about calling.

Later, I opened with AK.  Kid called.  Flop is A high two diamonds.  I check (he's aggressive) he bets.  I call.  Turn is another diamond.  He doens't check his hand... hmm and quick bets as soon as I check.  I don't want to do my flush draw check but I'm confident I have the King of diamonds.  The river is another diamond and before I can double check that I have the nuts, he bets out of turn for most of my stack.  Angle shooter.

I don't say anything because in cash games you can bet out of turn and even if the action does not change not be bound by the bet (stupid rule, I know).  So, I played along like I checked, just long enough to look down at the King of diamonds and put in an all-in bet that barely doubles what he put in.  I'm  hoping he'll be shamed into calling.  He insta mucks.  Lol.  Thanks.  His bet was substantially bigger than the value bet I would have put on him had he acted in turn.  Rare that acting out of turn by my opponents actually helped me, but here were two very clear cases.  Turn into a nice little session too.    

I've been really trusting my gut in a lot of spots I've previously been reluctant to pull the trigger such as bluffing rivers and calling down with third or fourth or even no pair, and been mostly right.  It's a tightrope.  Sometimes you do it too much, and you are no longer listening to your gut but just calling off.

To that notion, another fun hand I had was this one.  I had 57 of clubs in a raised pot with a lot of callers, I'm in the cut-off.  I call.  Button calls.  Big Blind, a very good aggressive player that is skilled in tournaments by having the guts to take pots with bold bets and prey on any weakness threebets big.  Folded to me.  I call but don't have a lot of cash game experience with him.  Button comes along.  The flop comes J53 two clubs.  I like my hand.

BB c-bets pretty big.  I consider a raise but just call.  We are fairly deep.  The button folds.

The turn is a Queen.  He checks.  I consider stealing the pot here but now feel I may have the best hand.  Also the chance I could improve with a shared out and take a big pot on the river is there.  The river is another Jack.  He leads for a sizeable bet that is most of my stack.  I stew.  I study him and my gut says weak.  The only hand I can give him credit for is pocket queens that might check the turn when they improved to a set--though I think he bets them for value and is wary of any draws considering the now big pot.  He's also not getting scared by one over card if he had say AJ or J10 on that turn and I think would fire again.  He'd also want to protect his hand.  AK makes more sense, based on playing with him in tournaments and the bet-sizing and action.

I stuff in my call and he says nice call.  He flashes AK and I show 57.   He says "You called me with a pair of fives."  People murmuring and I get heaps of praise.  I can't help but reply to people's praise with some of my thinking on the hand and then instantly hate myself.   Then I say, "Maybe I'm just a call station."  My opponent said "That's exactly what you are."   Lol.

.  Alright this is to long, and my hernia is killing me sitting here and typing this.


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