Thursday, November 30, 2006

My First Mookie Win

I was eager to jump back in the Mookie last night. I haven't played much of the regular tournaments lately due to the holidays and a dwindling bankroll. I didn't have enough for a WWDN buyin over at Stars this week, but I still had a few Washingtons at Full Tilt. After playing 4 SNGs and one session at a .05/.10 table, I was up 10 bucks for the weekend. That was until early this morning. I was proud to take 1st in a 65 player Mookie. I made good folds, good calls, got lucky and played aggressive when I could. You know, the usual formula minus the ability to make reads. I know near the end I was pretty transparent to the veteran players.

I don't remember many details (Waffles did a great job blogging the tourney). I got down sometime before the first break, but managed to chip up to be in the top 6 and just kind of worked up from there. I got real lucky that I had enough chips to survive running my KK into AA. The Pontiac game changing moment for me was when I picked up AA in the SB and was able to double up to behind Surflexus and the esteemed host himself. From this point on, I was able to take pots with cards and some over the top aggression. I was lucky enough to extend to a substancial lead that allowed for a ton of steals and let the smaller stacks knock each other out of it. Before the final table, I only remember knocking out 1 player. I never felt too comfortable with my lead because there were much better and more experienced MTT players at the table (cough..Surf, Hoy, ..cough). I was able to catch some cards and eliminate a few players, steal the huge 1-2K pots preflop and expand my lead quite well.

Head's up was between Surf and I. Going to HU, I knew that he was fully capable of teaching me a lesson. I think he is one of the best players I have ever been in a game with online or live. He was my greatest fear for the final opponent. He was able to double up early and a river card saved me from doubling him again when we split. HU lasted quite a few rounds and I doubt I would have been the winner if I didn't have such a large stack to fend off his attacks. I was thrilled that he and I represented the ATL and thanks to both of our railbirds. I'm sending special shout outs to Ski and JL514. Also, thanks to Surf for calling me today and telling me he enjoyed the head's up. I owe you a call back in the morning.

I don't know this for sure, but I believe I have now won the largest Mookie (65 players) and the largest WWDN (125 players) that have been played. I'm sure someone will let me know if I'm wrong and the poker gods will smite me for my pride and bragging. Good news is I lasted 1 year on my initial $50 deposit without having to touch any more of my "real" money to fund the fun. I have 3 live games to play in December so hopefully the luck will continue.

Long Weekend, Short Report

We headed up to G-Vegas around 2:15 last Wednesday. Arrived over 5 hours later. This is normally a 2hr and 15 minute trip. I was expecting 3 hours with 4 at the worst. Good grief! I will never travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving ever again. We ate very well at my aunt's place. This is by far my favorite home cooked meal of the year. Of course, I started the holiday by hitting the Pizza Inn buffet Wednesday night for my beloved Taco Pizza.

After dinner, I played Spades with 2 of my cousins and my aunt. I absolutely love card games. Cards were always big on my Dad's side of the family. I remember watching my family play Euchre when I was a kid and couldn't wait until I was old enough to stay up and play with them. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough, the card playing gang wasn't around any more. I guess that's why I always jumped at the chance to play 5 card draw in school and neighborhood games. This is even what I did for my 21st birthday. That's right, no boobies for Brian, just cards and an awesome Cuban cigar with Chad and Ted back in Auburn.

The drive back on Friday was quick and we did a little bit of shopping Saturday. We spent most of the weekend putting the finishing touches on the yard to get it ready for Winter. This included pruning and spreading about 20 bags of mulch around the house. The weather was phenomenal and I even got in some riding time while running errands.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ATL Blogger Game, The Great White North Version

I'm a little late with my post about our ATL Bloggers Live Game. We really enjoyed Ski's house and his finished basement is awesome. He's got the bar, big screen HDTV, pool table, dart board and 2 poker tables with plenty of room to spare. It was great to meet Mrs. Ski, CC, Weak, Mrs. Weak (Transfish), Rufus, Butch, and Ski's brother. I also enjoyed seeing Ski and Surf again. We had at least 4 WWDN / Mookie winners at the table, with a few of us as multi winners. We were short a couple of the scheduled bloggers, but since we are trying to do this quarterly, I expect to see them in the beginning of next year.

CC and Ski already have good posts about the attendees and play. They both were very kind and ommitted my lack of concentration or skill for the evening. I got very lucky in the first game when I put myself in a bad postion with a stupid raise and Transfish went all in. I figured I was beat by an Ace, but possibly I was just up against an under pair. Since I had already gotten my hand caught, I finished out the bet. I managed to make a pair to knock her out and give me a decent stack. Not a good play on my part, but a good result. We got down to 3 and Weak (the chipleader) suggested a 3 way chop so we can get to the next game. That at least would allow me to be up for the night and pay my entry to the second tourney.

As if I wasn't focused enough on the first game, the second game really showed I wasn't paying attention. I really felt foolish with my lack of attention at the table. I was knocked out quickly and volunteered to be the dealer since CC had been doing it all night for us while playing. Turns out, I might have sucked more as a dealer than a player. Even though I had a good time, I didn't give a good impression about any abilities as a player. Hopefully my winning personality more than made up for my table performance.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reason #72 I Will Go To Vegas Every Year

Chad, my good buddy from college, lives in Vegas and just finished a cross country trip in his new airplane. He bought the aircraft in NC and picked up Ted, my other college buddy, in Memphis to complete the trek to it's new home in Vegas. Since it was a 2 seater, I wasn't able to join them for this awesome journey. The three of ous haven't been together for quite a while. We've had some great trips throughout the past 10 years. Good news is we'll all meet up next year in Hawaii for Chad's wedding.

This is a short trip report from Chad.

A quick hello from NV where we arrived Friday with my newly acquired 1994 Christen Eagle. I started the journey with an instructor at it's former home in NC. We worked our way to Memphis where Ted (college buddy/United pilot) jumped in. We got as far as western Arkansas before the weather grounded us for two days. Thursday we made three legs to Carlsbad-NM, then Friday four legs to Henderson Executive here in Vegas. From NC to NV was about 18 hours of flying averaging 155 mph, and we never got above 8500 feet. With only 25 gallons our longest leg was about 1+50, which is about all your butt can take sitting on a parachute. West Texas, NM, and Arizona are beautiful a couple thousand feet above the ground. Come out to visit for a hangar cookout and an airplane ride...

Chad is acrobatic rated and I have done a few loops and such with him in the past while we were flying in a Great Lakes (this is a sample photo, not the one we flew). I haven't flown in a small aircraft for many years, but I am really looking forward to doing some flights in this bad boy. Like I needed one more reason to head back to Vegas. You'll also notice the aircraft grill in his hangar that does a great job for BBQing. I guess I'll have to save/earn some poker money for aviation fuel and some steaks for the grill.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Folding My Way to Second

We had our monthly home game last night. The turnout was good and with 15 players, we were able to pay through 4th place. We had a good mix of styles and abilities at the game. I was able to avoid confrontations with the guys who were more likely to call my bluffs and concentrate on hitting them with good cards. With the other guys that play a little tighter, aggression was usually rewarded with folding when I was playing air.

I was able to take down a large pot early when my opponent convinced himself he had the lower kicker after I went all in. I would not normally have done this, but he seemed too timid and I was able to take advantage of it. He was already having the unfortunate luck of good preflop hands that quickly turned to second best. This helped me keep enough chips to pick more spots later.

We were down to 5 and I had my usual small chip stack on the bubble. I have really gotten tired of bubbling so I decided to use a different approach. The guys that were left were getting pretty aggressive so I knew my 8 2 off suit wouldn't go far against the bigger stacks. I was in the small blind and calling the BB would put me all in. The dealer and the BB both had me covered and I knew there was about to be some pushing coming soon. I folded the hand so that would give me 3 more chances to wait someone out or pick up a hand to push with myself. Well, I got exactly what I hoped for right away. The dealer and the BB got it all on by the turn and this knocked out the BB and placed me at 4th. Wahoo, I finally get my money back for once. My luck continued as I won every time I pushed or someone else got knocked out when I didn't play the hand. I was able to do this to find myself in second with about .000001% of the chips in play. Head's up lasted only 1 hand but I was thrilled with my cash. This is financing the ATL blogger game this weekend.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There Is Nothing Like Taco Pizza

I forgot to mention the other great part of the weekend. Whenever I go to visit Stacie's Mom, I have to go to Pizza Inn for their Taco Pizza. Last Saturday night, we hit the buffet and I eat taco pizza slices until I am absolutely sick. Then I top it off with a slice of chocolate chip dessert pizza. I am not a "live to eat" kind of guy, but there are some things that I can consume in large quantities and this just happens to be one of my favorite foods. Yes I am a cheap date.

We had a Pizza Inn where I grew up in Alabama, but unfortunately there isn't one close to us in Atlanta so I have to go to SC to satisfy my craving. I am luckier with my craving than Stacie is with one of her favorite dishes. Her favorite is the spicy shrimp and grits at Magnolia's in Charleston. Does anybody else have a hard to find dish or something you crave from where you lived previously?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Almost a Perfect Weekend

Stacie and I went to G-Vegas this weekend. No, we didn't go to see these guys, although I should try to in the future. Friday night, we took her mother back to her house after recuperating at ours for the past week.

We spent Saturday watching Clemson win and Auburn getting their asses handed to them by Georgia. It was a game were UGA could do no wrong and AU could do no right. The Bulldogs were making great catches, played strong defense (especially Tra Battle), and Cox was just not composed. That shot any chance we had for an SEC championship game. We just have to beat Alabama and hope for a good bowl game.

Sunday was the highlight of the weekend. We finally got off our butts and did a nice fall hike. We went to Falls Creek Falls near Jones Gap State Park in NW South Carolina. We were a little worried as we drove upstate. It was chilly and the wind was gusting very strong. It was much nicer once we hit the trail head and the sun started to warm us up very nicely. It was a rugged hike that was over a mile each way to the awesome waterfall. We passed some huge granite boulders and the view from the top was great. We missed the full fall colors by about 2 weeks, but the remaining leaves still looked beautiful mixed in with the evergreens. It was a great combination of a short hike and rugged terrain. Even though it was a fairly short trail, it was not so easy that you were in and out in less than an hour. There are many other waterfalls in the area and we will take a few motorcycle rides up there in the spring to see more.

I'll be busy this week with our neighborhood home game tomorrow, our yearly HOA meeting on Thursday, and the ATL bloggers game at Ski's on Saturday. Good luck to everybody and I'll probably be back to the regular tournaments the week after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Results

I am sure that it is just a coincidence that the steadily falling gas prices suddenly shot up 10 cents since yesterday. Yeah, right.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nice Typo

The chat at Wil's was great last night. I played decent until I decided to call a push with my pocket 8s. Oh well, I still had a blast and enjoyed rooting for Fishy and Rico. ISS Spock was kicking some serious tale, but Blinders was able to come back and mop up the table. Congrats to all.

Check out the chat and you can see why we were laughing so much.

Monday, November 06, 2006

All That Pokery Goodness

I absolutely overdosed on poker this weekend. None of it was a winning session mind you, but I had a good time. We had a small impromptu game with 5 of us doing a small tourney. With 3 of us left, I go all in on the flush draw and run into the pocket kings of the BB. Yay me! I had plenty of chips to be patient but I was going for the knockout punch. It didn't happen, so good-by $20. I also lost a couple of buy-ins in .05/.10 online and only made it to midfield on a 45 person MTT . I am new to cash games so I'm sure I am a regular ATM to some folks. I burned through about 25% of my bankroll, but did clear my first 10% bonus, so that got me about $5 back to the account.

When I wasn't playing poker, I was watching alot of TV. I am trying to catch up on some past WSOP Main Event episodes on Tivo. I am finally to the final table. Jeez, could Gold catch any more cards? I realize that they do editing, but it still seems he was getting more than his fair share of breaks. I love the look of disappointment that Johnny Chan had when Alan Cunningham popped him with the nut flush. I also tried to catch up on some of my regularly scheduled programs before I get too far behind.

Football was unkind to Stacie again with Clemson dropping the game to Maryland. They have been kings of the 1 point losses in the last few seasons. Auburn won, but unfortunately Arkansas still needs to lose 2 to give Auburn a chance at the SEC championship.

See ya at Wil's or the Mookie.