Back in DAL to ring in the New Year…on my couch

I made it back without any trouble. I spent a little while playing poker (more on that below) and then made the short drive to Dallas. On the way, I used my super freaky psychic powers to predict the exact location of what may be the only Cracker Barrel between here and Shreveport. Before I started driving, I decided I was in the mood for some of their Chicken Fried Chicken and I wasn’t going to be stopped.

After driving 50 miles or so without seeing a Cracker Barrel, I said to myself, “You are stupid and you’re almost out of gas. Just stop at the next exit with a reasonable food selection and a gas station and give up on Cracker Barrel before you get stranded…” But then I saw a sign that told me it was only 36 miles to Tyler, TX and I said to myself, “Tough it out! If there’s a Cracker Barrel in Texas, it’s in Tyler, Texas! You have enough gas to go a measly 36 miles, wimp. If Kramer had the guts to see how far he could go after he hit empty, you can push it a few more miles to score some Chicken Fried Chicken.”

Sure enough, Tyler had a Cracker Barrel and several gas stations. One a side note, I got 450 miles on my last tank of gas, which means I got 25 mpg. That’s pretty stinkin’ good in my car. Maybe the hail damage has improved the aerodynamics or something. Golf balls have lots of dimples, just lot my car. What am I talking about?

Today’s poker recap

I played $1-2 No Limit for about three hours today. The lady from yesterday (with the reliable tells) was back, but everyone else was new. Here are the hands I remember:

Not long after we started, I got QQ on the button. There were 2 limpers and I raised it to $12. Both blinds called, everyone else folded. The flop came KTx, the lady bet out $10, BB called, I thought for a while and folded. I knew there was no way I was ahead here and I was right. The lady had flopped a set of tens and I think the other guy had a K. The turn was another ten, and the lady took down a big pot with quad tens. I gave myself a little pat on the back for making good reads and not getting married to the queens.

A bit later, I got K6s in the BB. Two people limped and I checked the option. Flop came down K67 rainbow. I bet out something like $8, everyone folded to the button who called and the SB called also. Turn was the 5 of hearts, putting two hearts on the board. SB checked, I bet $15, button folded, SB check-raised me all-in (for about $65 more). I thought for a while and mucked my two pair face-up. SB told me he had 34h for a turned ignorant end of the gutshot straight to the 7. My turn bet was a little small (assuming the 5h didn’t make someone a hand), but it was more of a feeler bet with “value” overtones. I’m still thinking about whether I could’ve played this any differently, but so far it looks like the answer is “no”.

A few orbits later, I got K9s in the BB (I didn’t catch cards for a while… this seems to be a theme for me lately. I don’t know if I’m running bad, just imagining things or playing too tightly.) with, as usual, 3 limpers. The flop came down QcJsTs, giving me a straight to the King, a King-high flush draw and a gutshot straight-flush draw. I bet the pot, UTG and Hijack called. The turn was a red Queen. I didn’t like this card, but I also needed to protect my hand in case someone had a bare Queen or maybe an Ace. I also felt that I needed to find out where I was at in the hand. I bet about half the pot. This was also a value bet since, assuming no one had filled up or flopped a higher straight, I was a big favorite to win the hand with my straight or a flush. Again, both players called. Now, I’m concerned. The river was a blank, non-spade. I checked, UTG bet a little more than half the pot, Hijack called (!!), I thought for a while and, again, mucked my K-high straight face-up. Both opponents turned up AKo for a flopped broadway and it turns out I was behind from the beginning. I was pretty surprised that neither player raised on the flop considering there were many cards that could come to either counterfeit their hands or flat-out lose them the pot.

About this time, my $100 buy-in has dwindled to $33. I’m UTG+1 and I have AJs. I raise it to $12 and everyone folds around to the BB who calls (this is my buddy who turned a gutshot to the 7 with 34 earlier). Flop comes three low cards, BB bet out $12 and I fold. He hadn’t bet out like that since he sat down and since he was playing trash most hands, I gave him credit for at least a pair.

Next orbit, I have QJo in MP1 and I limp (this was uncharacteristically loose for me, but I only had $21 left so I was looking to gamble it up, I guess). Several other players limp behind. There weren’t many pre-flop raises at this table, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have tried limping here. Flop came down JTx rainbow. It was checked to me and I got one caller who held J9s. My Queen kicker held up and won the pot of about $45.

Two hands later, I picked up AQs UTG. I raised it up to $12 and get 2 callers. Flop came AK9. It was checked to me, I moved in for my last $33 and it was folded around to the lady. She studied me for a while, so I did a little acting and mostly stared blankly at the table and occasionally looked up and away from her stare. By now, I knew she probably had Ax (she probably limped into 75% or more of the pots at this table) and I definitely wanted a call. She mumbled a call and said, “Do you have Ace-King?” This pretty much sums up the action at this table. It seemed like it never occurred to her that I might have AQ, AJ, AT or A9, which would all beat her A8o. She had called 6BB cold in middle position with A8x, and then called an all-in from an early position pre-flop raiser (I was also known to be tight as one of our dealers and another player had been joking about that earlier). Anyway, the turn was a K, leaving her drawing to an Ace or King for a split and my Queen kicker held up to win a $115 pot.

I left not too long after that because I’d been playing for three hours and it was time to get back to DAL. To sum up, I was down to $21 thanks to some bad beats and a tough beat, but then more-than-doubled-up twice in three hands to go up for the session.

I write too much about live poker sessions. I need to get a life or a muzzle… for typing.


Headed home a little early

I was getting bored in ATL, so I figured I’d just head back to DAL a little early. I left this morning at about 11:30 and rolled into Shreveport about 8:00 tonight. I went and played a little $1-2 No Limit Hold ’em and made a little more than $40. There weren’t too many notable hands, so I won’t bother re-capping very extensively. My big hands were:

QQ (I was in the BB) and I took it down on the turn with very, very aggressive betting. No overcards hit the board and everyone folded to a $45 bet.

Later, I got TT, but folded on the river. I was in the CO and raised to $12 pre-flop. I got 2 callers and the flop came King high. It was checked to me, I bet $15 and got 2 callers (I had position on both of them). The turn put a 3-straight on the board (457) and we checked around. The river was an 8. First to act bet $20, next player folded, I thought for a while… counted out the $20 as I considered calling, then I saw the bettor show his cards to the player on his right. I figured there was no way he’d pick his cards up and show a bluff to his neighbor, so I mucked my tens face-up and knocked the table. I should note that I don’t think he knew I saw this tell. In fact, there were two later hands that I felt confirmed my read. One hand, he picked his cards up similarly to what he did before and eventually showed a strong winner. A few hands later, he didn’t pick his cards up after a river bet and he was called on a bluff. All in all, I’m very, very confident I made the correct laydown. He also had a tendency to slow-play top pair by checking the flop and betting the turn. I think his check on the turn was a trap and that’s why I didn’t bet to block

Later, I got AQs UTG and raised it to $12. Only the BB called. Flop came Q28 (8 of clubs), BB checked, I bet $10, BB called. Turn was the Jack of clubs, BB checked, I bet $15, BB called. River was the 9 of clubs, giving me the A-high flush, BB checked, I bet $20, BB thought and called. BB showed Q2o for a flopped 2-pair. Turns out I was lucky.

I also made a couple decent bluffs at small pots. One was against a lady who had a couple reliable tells. It was easy to tell when she was drawing and when she had a made hand that she was betting for value. Obviously, I bluffed when I knew she’d been drawing and the turn didn’t help her. Mostly, I was just using position and I turned K8o into a winner.

I think I’ll play a few more hours (either $1-2 NL or $4/8 Limit) in the morning. Then I’m off to DAL.


Back to DAL from ATL

Well, my Florida/Georgia tour has ended and I’m preparing to re-enter the real world tomorrow. I figure I should capture some of the highlights from ATL, so here goes.

I had a great time hanging with my pals and just layin’ around. Mostly, it was good to see many of my friends from UF and also to spend time with all my buddies that have moved to ATL. I went to the Peach Bowl and watched the Gators get waxed, but at least I had decent seats and went with several of my good friends. While the game wasn’t too exciting, it was fun to make fun of the drunk guy behind us and mock the lady he was with. Apparently, his special lady friend thinks it’s ‘bad coaching’ if Leak slides short of the first down marker because there are three defenders about to crush him. Yes, lady, a ‘good coaching’ decision would be for him to just continue running right for the defenders so that if he makes the first down, it’s his last play of the season.

After the Peach Bowl, I went to a friend’s New Year’s party and had a great time. There were plenty of funny people there and I had some good conversations. Also, it was great to drive people to the other side of Atlanta at 5 am by using terrible directions supplemented by the guy in the passenger’s seat saying to his buddy on the phone, “Well, we’re at this place that reminds me of Batman one.” and “This looks familiar. Let’s try this one.” about a random apartment complex in the middle of nowhere.

Back on the bike

So, the best part about being home is that I can finally get back to working out. I start a basketball league in a week and I haven’t touched a basketball in at least two months. I have a lot of work to do so I’m ready to run Point when the league starts.

Today at the gym, I was riding the bike and reading (as usual) when a guy sits next to me and, in a thick European accent, says, “Quite a reading selection there.” I looked down to realize that I’d brought a copy of Entertainment Weekly and also The Art of War. I guess those aren’t generally read simultaneously, but I like to go for variety in what I read.

I’m going to shoot around now.


Sick and stuff

So, I got back from Conference on Thursday afternoon, had a good day Friday and then woke up Saturday feeling a little under the weather. By last night, I was a lot under the weather and by this morning, I was feeling much better. I’m hoping to be back to 100% by tomorrow or Thursday. The upside is that I’ve gotten lots of opportunities to catch up on my sleep and feel justified in laying around on the couch; I only wish I could have enjoyed it more.


I’ve officially got an apartment in DAL (actually, Plano) and I think I’m really going to enjoy it. It’s about 900 sq. ft. and has 1 bedroom and a “den/study”, which I’ll use as an office or guestroom. Unfortunately, the reviews I was able to find for the place aren’t stellar, but that seems to be a trend for apartment complexes in general. It’s not really like me to go signing a 13 month lease on an apartment sight-unseen, but desperate times…


A friend of mine suggested that I see this film, so we rented it tonight. I have to say I was very impressed and I have no idea how I’d never even heard of it before. It was a great story told by great actors and I enjoyed it immensely. No, it isn’t “feel good movie of the year”, but it was solid and made some excellent points, not the least of which was essentially carpe diem.


Road Trip… kinda’

I guess “Road Trip” connotes a spontaneous trip to a not-too-near place that isn’t exactly frequented by the road trippers, so my trip to Atlanta C5 (Campus Crusade for Christ Christmas Conference) wasn’t really a road trip, though we did drive five hours there and back. (And I guess “run-on sentence” doesn’t mean anything to me right now and it looks like I sort of inverted that sentence) Regardless, I had a great time in ATL and I’m glad I went.

Several people asked me “So, how’d you like Conference this year?” and what they meant was “Dude, haven’t you been to, like, five conferences before?” I had to explain to them that each conference has different personal significance each year because much of conference is recycled (in particular, the schedule and often the keynote speakers and topics for seminars and other activities) year after year. This year, I found that what I really wanted to “get out of” conference was the opportunity to spend time with my friends and sort of say goodbye before I head to DAL. Of course, I never actually said goodbye as I will be seeing most of those people for a few days at the beginning of their Spring semester, but the goodbye was sort of implicit and necessary for me to begin experiencing the closure I’ll need to make a clean transition to my life in DAL.

Still learning

And it was inevitable that I would learn something that I wouldn’t want to forget, so here it is: In both Matthew and Mark’s accounts of the Gospel, just before Jesus’ death on the cross, He says, “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” [Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34] To me, this marks the point when God turned his back on Jesus because Jesus was covered with Man’s sin and He couldn’t bear to look upon it; it turns out Jesus was also pointing those “in the know” (his disciples and family and others that were familiar with the scriptures) to a specific Psalm that prophesied His death–this was Psalm 22. The Psalm gives a chilling account of what was to come for Christ in the last hours of His life and is a very compelling example of how Christ’s life fulfilled the writings of the Old Testament.


Reading the passages from Matthew and Mark reminded me of Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion, that is coming out near the end of February this year. I can’t wait to see it and am convinced it will stir up serious discussion about who Jesus Christ was and claimed to be. I wish I was going to be around UF during the premier, just to hear what people are saying and be a part of the many discussions and forums it will instigate.