Monday, May 26, 2008
Thanks for stoppin by, ya'll come back now, you hear.
Game 1: (1+.25)In the first hour I worked my way to 20 out of 46 without having to put my stack at risk or finding it necessary to enter into any races. I had a run of kk, AJ, 66, and JT s, wich allowed me to doubl up. No one follwed me to the show down, and I feel like I was able to extract the most I could out of each hand. I lost a quarter of my stack shortly after the first break when my 2 pair lost to a higher rivered 2 pair. My opponent had top pair with A kicker and was short stacked I had top pair, bottom pair, and A fell on the river. Don't know that I could have avoided that one. I lost another big chunk when my trip K's were out kicked. I fianlly said good night (23rd) when my A7 on the button brought an A7x flop. BB and cut off checked - I raised pot, got called by both. Turn brough Q, BB checked followed by cut off's AI. I was left with 800 chips and was getting a little better than 7:1 odds, I called. BB turns AA (nice play) cutoff turn QQ, meaningless river brings 7. No cash, no final table. But I am not disappointed by my play.
Game 2: (3.30)--Looked at 1 flop through first 20 hands-small pp, out of position, got to see it cheap, but no help- three overs on flop---bye. Patience brings jj in the sb, modest raise 3 players, 99j flop (sweet), pot bet all fold. . .ah well, perhaps I was too agressive. I make it to the booobulous arena, only to run out of steam and be sent packing in 14th. I made my way to 14th without a single bounty.
Game 3: (3.3) AA cracked early, bye, bye.
Game 4: (3.3) Picked up two bounties early. Caught pocket J's, jqx flop, ended up AI v (what else) pocket q's. I am left with 450 chips. With a little luck I work my way back to 10,000 chips, but run out of steam again in the booobulous zone. 14th again. I hope this is not an omen.
Meanwhile, I have been steady playing 1/2 and 2/4 lhe, and doing fair. My monthly allowance is in the positive as I type. Haha, I know how to take care of that, my precious. There's a no limit cash game out there just one notch above our comfort zone. . . wait, the nasty bagginses is there, waiting for us to do something foolish so he can takes the precious and bag it up with the rest of our foolishly lost preciouses. . . . On second thought, I'll enter another 90 sng, maybe a $1.25 this time. Then I can really show off my donkish figure at the Tuckfards, I and II, hope to see you there. . . I'll be back
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Sunday we spent time at my brother-in-law's house (David) where he gave his daughter (Jaime) a graduation party. All in all it was a top notch affair. When it was all over the kids went bowling, and the adults went off to the casino. This time it was the Sandia. While the Isleta has that nice "homey" atmosphere, Sandia is spacious with much more variety. The smoke is not quite as oppressive, the lights are brighter, the ceiling is higher, and and the food is a little better. It really is a nicely run poker room.
Enough about cards. I actually have two brother-in-laws who live in the Albuquerque area. David works for the railroad. He has raised three girls and seems to have a nice life with his wife (Karen) and kids (though Jaime is the youngest and the others have moved out and actually live in North Dakota) The other brother-in law has had a slew of miscellaneous jobs throughout his life. . .mostly he has battled his own booze and dope demons. The most exciting thing about this trip thus far has been seeing him (Tom). He has turned a corner, or pulled himself together, or just plain gotten it. Either way, he is working at his job, and he is a fine father to his two boys. He had a truly humble attitude that leads me to believe he is genuine.
I have seen drunks and addicts clean up long enough to keep the heat off only to turn around and dig themselves a deeper hole. It can be a painful cycle to watch. Tom's turn around was quite the pleasant surprise for us. It brought joyful tears to my wife's eyes. She does not understand a lot about addicts and alcoholics, but she is definitely not an enabler. She is quick to forgive and has no problem giving second chances when they are merited. By the same token, she has very little problem telling some one to get it together or pack their shit. She did this to Tom several years ago when he was living in Charleston. He eventually found his bottom (his own words) when the rest of the family stopped taking care of him. He spent a couple of months in jail and no came running to bail him out. I am leaving out a lot of the other painful details, but suffice it to say Tom did some pretty hard bottom dwelling in the past few years. I know there are no guarantees, but it did my heart and soul a lot of good to see him doing so well.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
That being said, today I have found two more heroes: First, there is Kat of Kattitude fame. Her glass half full posts have made a positive impression on at least one person. It is not always easy to find the positive in life, nor is it always gratifying to invite those around you to do the same. But Kat's efforts are heroic to me. The posts help me pause and reflect every time I see one and they make me think of something that I have to be grateful for, which is not a bad thing. I gotta be honest here. I have a lot of stuff in my life to be grateful for. I just forget sometimes until someone or something reminds me.... then I get to add that someone or something to the list. If I am really lucky, I get to add them to both lists, the hero list and the gratitude list.
Second, and no less important, is Donkette. Her series of posts on her recovery are well worth the read. I understand, appreciate, and relate to every word. . .Her adventures before and after have helped, and will continue to help, allot of other addicts and alcoholics to find their chance at recovery. Keep up the good work, one day at a time!!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
More than likely, I would have been the Steve Howe kind of role model. For those of you who do not remember, Mr. Howe was quite a talented reliever in the 80's, but cocaine got in the way. His exta-ordinary talent at throwing a baseball made the powers that be more than willing to take a chance on him time after time. And after each failure, we stood aghast that he could throw it all away again and again. Like Mr. Howe, I loved to drink and party throughout the 80's too. But unlike Mr. Howe, I had no particular athletic talent that made anyone think I should be paid life changing money. Nor did the general public think I should be a role model for anyone. Truth be told, I am probably luckier that I lacked such talent and/or scrutiny in my youth. I may not have lived to tell my own tale.
Very rarely are me heroes public figures, but I do not exclude them. This brings me to today's hero: Josh Hamilton. He was the number one pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and he was sent to Charleston when their class A franchise was here. He, very publicly, and very painfully dismantled, decomposed and destroyed his career and his life with booze and dope in a way that made me wince and cringe more than once as I followed his demise. I have equally cheered as he has battled back from a front row seat seat on skid row to a spot in the starting lineup for the Texas Rangers. The Reds gave him a shot at redemption last year and he made the most of it.
It is not because he can knock the cover off of the ball with a talent that has and will command more money that I will see in my lifetime, that he is my hero. Nope, it is because he has had the grace and humility to face his demons and that he has had the courage to overcome what was taken from him by his own doings. And he has the gratitude to try to give something back. He did not have the option melt down in the private, anonymous way that most people live their lives. He has had to do it in the public eye and for good or for ill, under a scrutiny that would crush the spirit of many a human being better than I.
He may never be HOF material talent wise, but he is exhibiting HOF character, at least for today.
Monday, May 19, 2008
My heroes are real life human beings with real human faults, who somehow make the lives of the people they touch each day a little bit better. Sometimes the know it, sometimes they don't. But they are not going to toot their own horn to tell you or me what wonderful people they are or things they are doing. We have to look, listen, and notice. Really they are just plain people who go out there and do what it takes to live their lives each day without trying to draw any special attention to themselves for doing so.
Yes, I have a lot of heroes. and I am going to write about one or two of them every chance I get. Sometimes it will be an individual, sometimes it will be a trait that I find to be heroic, sometimes it will be both. Today's heroes are those men and women, step mothers and step fathers, who make a child's life a little bit better. Those who give a safe home, shelter, clothing, guidance, love to children who are not of their blood for no other reason than that the child needs it. All we ever hear in the news is the bad stuff. But there are millions of heroes out there who we never read about on the front page of the paper or on CNN.
My brother married his lovely wife and she was a single mom. He adopted Ashliegh and she is his daughter, just like Rachael and Conner, her younger siblings. There is no favoritism that I have ever observed, but I notice a lot of love in that family. My brother in law has a similar situation. His first wife had a daughter prior to their getting married. Her natural father remained somewhat in the picture, but aloof, never spent a lot of time with the child. When b-i-l and first wife split up (she actually left--abandoned her children, from what I understand), oldest child stayed with b-i-l. He had no legal obligation there, and little moral obligation, but her prospects were bleak without him. He gave her a home, kept her safe, warm, and got her through to adulthood along with her two younger sisters. She is an adult and has child of her own, he is still more of a parent/ grandparent to her than either her bio mother or father.
Look around yourself. We all know someone who fits the mold. To me these are the real heroes in that they make a difference-not necessarily a perfect difference, but a positive difference in the lives of those who need them not out of obligation, but out of love.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
These were my first excursions into real life casino poker rooms. While I limited my exposure to 2/4 limit he, I am no longer a casino virgin, and I enjoyed the experience. Yes, it was good for me. Nothing beats holding the cards in your hands. Looking at your opponents, talking, commincating, enjoying a laugh.
Friday we drove to Sante Fe . What a nice drive. The landscape is nothing like what I am used. Kind of like being at the beach withut the water. Then there are those huge mountains. We really don't have anything to compare in the low country of South Carolina. The air is so dry it is taking some adjustments for my body to work right. . .sore sinuses and nose bleeds have been the irritation thus far. I am told that my body should adjust about two hours before we leave for home.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
In my tourney play of late, I have regularly been able to make it to that area that I like to call pre-boobulous with a decent amount of chips. Pre-boobulous is the area where I am not quite on the bubble, and I have not quite made a boob out of myself--but the potential for both or either wafts through the air. Finding myself on this sea, where all players must pass through should they wish to reach the shores of nirvana (a win) or even just splash around on the beach (a cash), I have managed to puncture my life raft and lose myself in the swells of the ocean of despair. In the past this has sent me back to making stupid choices earlier in the tourney. My choices there have been somewhat questionable- though I seem to be able to rationalize them in my own sick head. I should like to learn from where I am--with some self examination and a kick in the pants, i will endeavor to explain.
Two recent examples-Monday in the MATH, there are less than 20 of my brethren remaining in this most hallowed event, and I find myself with a stack between 20 and 30 times the blinds. First, I blow off a little better than half on a AK sooooted in the cutoff, that I don't quite have the courage to call AI with after I miss the flop. I then find myself with about 5,000 chips with a bb of 500. Out of position I catch a KQ and push in 1000, I get pushed back and end up moving AI where I face and am eventually sunk by JJ. Now, I was certainly not favored, and did not overly expect to be, but I was in a position to be bullied, so I was making a stand where I could hope to get a reasonable return on my investment in this particular hand. In other words, I wanted to be in good enough shape to make a run at the final table, or I was willing to go home. I was also not in a great position with my chips, so I figured that as long as I wasn't facing AA, KK , QQ or AK, AQ I had a chance that was worth the risk. Needles to say, I did not pass go, I went straight to jail, where I was denied bail until another tourney should come along. At least my cell mate was none other than my lovely bride.
Well, Thursday nights RiverChasers, I find me in similar position at the end. I donk off chips with decent enough starting cards that either catch no help, or I fear have been outdrawn, and I eventually am faced with playing an AK aggressively into a missed flop which included a Q. I called an AL, for the same reason as above. If I hit, I am in good position, if I miss, I get to go to bed. . . . . This time I run into an AQ and I get that familiar feeling while watching my stack go away like I suck at this. I wish everyone GL, and go to bed. The call before the flop was fine, but I knew I was in trouble when I missed. I was praying for a lower pair and a miracle. Of the two--this is the one where I think I was most stooopid in looking back, but it is where I had the most "feel" that my opponent was trying to make a move with less than what I he eventually showed. I figured him for A9 or AJ.
In both cases, I know I was behind when I went AI. In both cases I was crippled pretty severely before I was pushed back into the AI choice. I chose not to fold because I did not want to face the possibility of playing the next 2 or 3 rounds before being swallowed up by the blinds, or not having enough chips for it to make a difference if I did catch a hand. Also, even though I was behind, I had respectable hands that could have sucked out if they were behind, and even had a chance of standing on their own- goddess knows, it is not the kind of place I like to play. It seems like the pre-boobulous area of a tourney lends itself to this type of situation. It just seems that in tourney play with the blinds jumping, there is a bit of skill in managing a stack that I seem to be missing.
It may be beyond this tuckfard to overcome, but I am open to insults, commiseration, or, goddess forbid, constructive criticism. . .or even a reference to an author or a blog.
Thanks for reading
Monday, May 5, 2008
TuckfardI & II
A starting at 7:00pm and 8:00pm, Mondays
Fun people, nice set up, and it's over at a decent time. It doesnt keep me up past my bed time. What more can a donkey ask for?