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.


Heading home for Thanksgiving

I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it home this year because of the high plane ticket prices, but things have worked out just in time. I was able to get my return ticket paid for by my company, so that means I only have to buy a one-way ticket to Jacksonville, which I got for a reasonable price. Basically, I’ve arranged for a training session in El Segundo the week after Thanksgiving. I’ll fly to J-ville on Wednesday, the 23rd, hang with the family for a couple days, go to Gainesville on Friday or Saturday and hopefully get a ticket to the FSU game. Then I’ll continue hanging in G-ville for a few days and I fly to El Segundo on Tuesday afternoon. I’ll be in El Segundo until Friday afternoon, then I finally head back to Dallas to return to the grind.

Christmas travel plans

Tentatively, I’m leaving Dallas around December 15 and driving east. A friend of mine might be accompanying me so we can hit Shreveport on the way and maybe go to a casino or two. If he joins me, the plan is that he’ll fly out to Dallas (one-way) and then ride with me back east. After Shreveport, we’ll go to Atlanta (where he lives) and hang for a few days before parting ways to go spend Christmas with our respective families. Of course, there’s a 10-day gap between when I’ll leave Dallas and Christmas day, so I’ll have to see about visiting G-ville and maybe going to a Gator basketball game during that week.

After Christmas, I’ll probably head north to Atlanta to hang with all the locals I know and also to see all the Crusade Staffers that will be there for Christmas Conference. Last year, a friend of mine threw a pretty sweet New Year’s party, so hopefully she’ll do that again.

I’ll head back to Dallas around January 2nd and prepare to begin another year of boring work.


Three weeks to Florida

Well, since I went to Florida in April, I’ve been looking forward to getting back. I’ve already bought my plane ticket for September 2 and I’ll be there until September 12. I chose this week because Labor Day is on September 6, which means I’ll get an extra day without using any more Paid Time Off, and the first two Florida football games are on September 4 and September 11 at home. I’m hoping to get some tickets, but one thing at a time.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to going home for a while and I’m sure I’ll have a fantastic time.

California just over a month out?

Also, it looks like I’ll be going to L.A. for some training for work, but that won’t be happening until late September. I’m thinking I might take a few extra days to stay out there and take a little more vacation time, but I’ll have to clear that with work, first. I’m pretty sure it’ll be alright and it’ll give me some time to check out L.A. After all, I could be living there before I know it.

Florida again?

Also, I might be heading to Florida in late September or early October for work. Apparently, they like to send out some younger new hires to interview kids at the career fairs and showcases at Florida. I seem to be a good candidate, but they’re not sure if they’ll have the budget for it this year. Hopefully they will and I’ll get sent out to interview some folks and take a little vacation time on the company dime.

Thanksgiving trip, too

Also, I bought a plane ticket for the week of Thanksgiving because it was just too cheap to pass up. $164 round-trip. Anyway, I’ll be going home for that week and it’ll be nice to see my family at Thanksgiving. I was afraid going home for holidays wouldn’t be too easy, but at least I know I’ll have the chance during my first year.

And finally, Christmas

I guess I missed “Christmas in July”, but at least I can talk about it for a second here in August. My company has it arranged so that the whole company takes a vacation from about Christmas Eve until the New Year, so that means I’ll be taking about two weeks off at Christmas. That’ll pretty much use up the last bit of my Paid Time Off, but that’s ok with me. I’ve actually been told by those who’ve been working there a lot longer than I have that there’s no sense in trying to “roll over” vacation time. Just go ahead and use it up is what they tell me.

So, I’ll be heading home to Florida and probably spending a week up in Atlanta during that time. Campus Crusade’s Christmas Conference will be up there after Christmas and before the New Year, so I’ll go see some of my friends while they’re there. Also, I have several good friends that will be living in Atlanta then, so I’ll really be going to see them. I’m really looking forward to that week.

So, that’s a summary of all the traveling I hope to do for the rest of the year. I figure I only took Paid Time Off once during my first seven months here, so I have some time to make up. Here’s to cheap airfares…