Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Home Game

Saturday night was my monthly home game. We didn't have a game in December with all of the holiday hoopla so it had been a while since we all got together to throw around the cards. This is simply a group of close friends and family members that like to get together and socialize, drink, and have a good time. It's very low stakes.......the max anyone can lose in a night is $30......kind of like poor man's poker. We play .50/$1 limit hold em for 2-3 hours and everyone buys in for $20. At the time limit we all cash out and re-buy in for a $10 No Limit tourney for anyone that wants to stick around and play. Play is very loose and can vary depending on whose in the hand from very passive to very aggressive. We have one participant who sees EVERY SINGLE FLOP unless there is a raise and a re-raise ahead of him BEFORE he has put any money in the pot.

Saturday night we had 8........there was supposed to be 9 but my brother had something come up and had to attend to it. I was up and down for most of the limit time. One hand I was dealt 46s in the BB and there were 5 limpers. I checked to see a flop which brought the 5 and 7 of my suit along with an offsuit J. I bet my open ended straight flush draw and was called in 3 spots. The turn brought the 9 of my suit and when it was turned I swore it was the 8 and almost wet myself as I've never had a straight flush before online or live. I bet my flush and was called in two spots. The river was a rag and I bet out again being called in two spots. I showed my flush.......someone else had 2 pair J's and 9's........and another had a Jack high flush to take down the pot. The final two hands of the limit time I was dealt KK and AA to take down two good sized pots putting me up $26 for the first session.

Everyone bought in for the no limit tourney ($10) and we began that after a short break to distribute chips etc........I basically stayed afloat stealing some pots with a couple key bluffs.....My dad commented that I hadn't had to show down a hand when I raked in the third decent sized pot and I simply smirked knowing I'd eventually catch a hand and someone will pay me off. Well I was cold decked but was able to make it to the final three with the chips I had built early. We paid the final two and one person was the clear chip leader with me and another fairly close in chips. I commented to the other short stack after he folded...."you trying to fold into the money?" I then pushed with A3s and was called by the big stack with AQo......Ouch. No 3 and not enough of my suit and I was out.

All in all the home game was enjoyable and a good time was had by all.

Baz Out

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Trump Casino?

Has anyone ever stayed at or played at Trump Casino at Buffington Harbor in Gary, Indiana?

I've got to go to Indianapolis this summer and I thought I might stop there for a night or two on the return trip to Chicago.

Anybody have any info or insight?

Baz Out

The Rest of KC Trip Report

So now that we were done with our Ameristar trip we got back to the house and began the rest of the weekends festivities. (I lobbied to return to the Ameristar on Friday but we were unable to make it due to the baby shower upcoming.......not sure I mentioned before the "real reason" we made the trip) As I said before, we definitely gamble it up when we get together and they have a sweet basement set-up with a pool table, shuffleboard table, bar (No SoCo....sorry Al), and TV with the PS2. Needless to say the wives know where to find us when they're looking.

So Thursday evening was spent on various games of pool, shuffleboard, and PS2 (Madden and Tiger Woods). We have a standing $5/game and only vary from that when someone is trying to get back to even. After several games of nine ball I was down $20 and we moved to shuffleboard. I climbed back to $10 down after we went back and forth on the shuffleboard table. We then moved to play a couple games of Tiger Woods to finish off the night and I lost both of them putting me back at $20 down for the night......not a great start by any means.

Friday, the wives had a ton of crap to get done during the day so I had the kids. The only gambling that took place during the day was during nap time and that was a game of Madden of which I won getting back to $15 down.

That evening my brother-in-laws buddy came over and we played some 3-man shuffleboard. I won 3 straight getting even with my brother-in-law and getting up on his buddy $15. ICE got there and wanted to get the cards rolling so we started playing 4 handed NLHE tourney's at $5 each.

We ended up playing 9 games total.
4 at $5 each
4 at $10 each
1 for $20 each

I won 2 for $5 each and 2 for $10 each basically breaking even because I owed $20 to his one buddy and ICE owed me $20 so he simply paid it off. The games were VERY LOOSE AGGRESSIVE. The only specific handI remember is I was getting slightly short stacked but not short enough for an automatic call on an all-in.....I still had enough to put the hurt on someone had I won.......there were three of us left and I was the small blind. The button limped and I pushed All-In with a pair of ducks hoping to pick up the blind and his bet. Well.....the BB called and the limper folded.........we turned our hands and he called my All-In with a pair of ducks! The flop came heart, heart, heart.....Turn was a heart.....flop x.......and he had the 2 of hearts. Unbelievable! It was an enjoyable evening and I was getting pumped for the home tourney following the baby shower the next day.

It was a couples baby shower which meant we ate, the ladies opened gifts, and the men drank, gambled, and watched football downstairs. When the gifts were done we began getting set-up and ready for the home tourney. We set-up two table tops and counted out the chips. There were 12 total playing with a $10 buy-in. We had two tables and drew cards for tables and seats. There were two ladies playing with one being my wife. I was happy that we were at seperate tables to start. My wife is actually getting pretty good for not playing often and has learned alot by simply listening to me talk and watching the various poker on TV with me. The play was very passive at my table and very aggressive at the other table. They lost three players before we lost any so we drew cards to even out the tables........I got moved and found myself seated to the left of my wife and short stacked for the table considering they had knocked out 3 and we still had all 6. Oh well.....hunker down and pick your spots I told myself. I won a couple of small pots and lost a couple medium pots by the time we got our final 6. We combined tables and I found myself again to the left of my wife and to the right of the other lady (both ladies made it to the final table much to the dismay of many guys) who was a HUGE calling station. She didn't raise not once all night and called with all kinds of junk. I battled and simply survived as the rest picked each other off.......I was proud of my wife......she flopped the nut straight on a non-flush board......she check-raised the chip leader all-in and he called her with top two pair.........as she began to get excited he hit his runner runner flush knocking her out. She questioned me about the hand several times over the next day and I thought she played it perfectly......she's analyzing her play now......I might have competition for computer poker time before too long.....uh oh.

Anyway.......the other guys had started a dealer's choice game on the open table and our chip leader was itching to get over there as money was flying around left and right.......he staked his cousin in the game until he was done with the tourney telling him they'd split any profits and losses were on him. I simply survived and stayed out of the big stacks way winning a couple decent sized pots and a bunch of small ones to stay afloat. I made the final two and was outshipped AT LEAST 20-1. I was getting set to hunker down for a dog fight when he asked if I wanted to chop the winnings 50/50. It was set to go $100 to the winner and $20 to 2nd so I said sure thing.......we split it up and I had my cash for the dealer's choice games. I normally don't like to make deals but that one definitely favored me and not that I don't think I could have battled back.......it would have been tough and taken a long time.

So we started the tourney around 8:30pm and split the cash around 12:30am........time for the cash games. I bought in for $40 and paid off an old $20 debt from my last visit during golf season and I was lucky it was only $20 (I hate having old debts but that one was unavoidable at the time). I started off doing well getting up almost $100 and then some of those crazy dealer's choice games reared there ugly heads and I got hammered.......3,5,7.....guts......etc....etc...etc. I ended up giving it all back plus taking another $20 out of my pocket. So when 4:30am hit and we broke the game I was down $20 for the night.

Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday night and playing games of Madden and Tiger. I ended up breaking even with my brother-in-law by winning a final game of Madden of which I was undefeated at over the course of the weekend.....which didn't sit too well with him.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend visit in KC and I definitely look forward to our next trip out.

Baz Out.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Thursday at Ameristar

So I got through my medical scare and was re-focused and pumped about our trip to KC to visit my wife's sister. Now my sister-in-law's husband and I clicked from day one. He's a sports nut, competitive, and loves to gamble. The ladies laugh at us and my wife constantly asks me when we are with them........."So, how much are you down now?" Of course whether I'm up or down at that point I always answer with my stock reponse of....."don't worry, I'm doing ok."

Once we planned the trip to KC my brother-in-law instantly started planning poker nights and a trip to Ameristar for some live poker. He had never played brick and mortar poker and was dying to give it a try. His only experience had been home game NL tourney's and home game dealer's choice games. Many times we have played heads up NO LIMIT way too late into the night with money and pride on the line. He had a couple buddies that were going to be meeting us and I was pumped to get back into a live game. I haven't played all that much live poker in a casino either........maybe a handful of times so I am not that much more experienced with the live play than him BUT the key is I have played a whole heck of a lot of online limit poker where he had never played limit hold em of any kind.

I was still weary from the flu as we landed late Wednesday night.....over an hour late due to weather but it could have been a lot worse. I had eaten a total of 2 pieces of toast and a small bowl of plain pasta in the last 72 hours so was feeling drained to say the least.......But at least I could feel that I was getting over it. We got to the house and got to sleep as we were heading to the casino first thing in the morning.

We got to the Ameristar around 9:30am and made our way slowly to the poker room. It was a little after 10 by the time we got there as my brother-in-law used to work there several years back and he was working on hooking us up with a couple buffets for later......didn't work but was worth the shot. Anyway, on the ride over we talked about how to play so he could be more comfortable playing. I explained to play tight, especially at first, but not to be afraid to be aggressive with a solid hand. They had one 3/6 table going and had a list going for a second that they were going to start. We put our names on the list and the supervisor said to get our chips and they were going to start sitting the next table.

When we returned with our chips there were 8 seated already with 2 spots left. My brother-in-law took Seat 2 and got seat 6. The button started two to my right so I was happy right off. I had forgotten that someone told me (sorry I can't remember to give credit....could have been Human Head) that it was a kill game which didn't bother me but confused the hell out of my brother-in-law at first. My brother-in-law won the first two hands that were dealt and that was probably the worst thing that could have happened to him. So we had a kill pot the third hand of the day......started out nicely.

Besides me and my brother-in-law the table was filled with old timers who seemed to be there daily. There were a couple that were less social with the group but they still called them by name so they must at least be regulars. The table was VERY PASSIVE. There were very few re-raises and only 2 check raises (both done by me and both followed by a huff and a look from the old timer who was the recipient......not that I cared). In the first hour there were 6 pocket Aces dealt, five of which were shown down and one I had and raised only to watch it fold around. The Aces got cracked 4 of the six times. Several times a couple of the old timers found themselves heads up against each other and checked it down openly.....asking the other if they wanted to check it down sometimes from pre-flop. They then later complained that their stack was getting depleted or complained that they had to re-buy.

The play was fairly uneventful for me personally. One hand I was dealt KK in the SB with 3 limpers........BB re-raised and it folded around back to me where I re-raised and he called. The flop came x K x and I check, he bets, and I call. The turn was a rag, I check, he bets, I check-raise (insert huff and dirty look), and he calls. The river was another rag, I bet, and he calls. I show trip K's and he turns over pocker rockets.

Once I established my tight image I began loosening up a little as my raises were getting a ton of respect and I stole some pots even when the flop totally missed me. About 2 hours in the table had lost 4 guys total and they were replaced by a variety of younger players.....one that announced when he sat down and screwed up his blind bet that it was his first time in an "organized game". This screwed up my image and I tightened back up but got cold decked for the next two hours dragged a mere pot or two in that time. I had been up about $150 and cashed out $53 up not including dealer tokes and drink tips.

My brother-in-law went bust in the first hour. I didn't even get the chance to tell him more specifically what I meant by playing tight......I obviously thought it was something different than what he did. He learned an expensive lesson and I felt bad about continuing to play while he was out but he insisted. Only one of his two buddies ever made it and he went bust on another table in the first hour on another table that was open. By the time we left they had around 6 tables full running.

I will definitely look forward to my next visit to KC and another day or two in the Ameristar poker room.

Baz Out

Have you ever had "that scare"?

I had a hard time being excited about our upcoming trip to KC..........I mean, I was looking forward to it but had other more serious issues to deal with prior to our trip. Have you ever thought or been led to believe you had cancer? I have had close family members diagnosed with cancer and none of them are around now.........it never took long. My grandfather just a year ago this March was seemingly healthy and happy.........having a brand new condo built in Florida to go live in..........then one day bam.........an ambulance ride........cancer diagnosis.........surgery.......death...........all in a little over a week. It's amazing how life can just drudge on day to day at times and at the most unexpecting time take a sharp turn......or 180 degree u-turn.

So there I was........feeling this pain and mass of "stuff". How could I be excited about our trip when I had appointments with doctors trying to figure out what the hell was wrong........getting ultrasounds to "see" the mass. Hearing the phrase "we might have to get a biopsy" is not a good thing in my experience. Trying to keep my frame of mind positive for me, my wife, my family.

Going in to get the results that day was a scary day.........just a couple of days before our trip.....and then as quickly as it all came.......it all went away. Nothing serious. Just take a pill a day for 10 days and all will be ok. It may bother from time to time but no "C" word. Joy. A new perspective on life. A moment in time that causes one to look at their priorities in life and reevaluate. All in all life is short.

Sorry for the deepness of this post.......about as deep as I'll ever get anyway.......this was the frame of mind I was in just prior to our trip to KC. Next post will have poker......promise.

Baz Out

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Back and Ready to Attack

Well I'm back from KC and finally getting my bearings........Work is starting to settle back down and get back into it's routine so I should be able to get some postings in in the days to come.

I have a ton to tell and can't wait to tell it..........but alas......it will have to wait. I have a ton of blogs to catch up on and seems I missed some poker blog world tiff that has begun.....or has it ended......or is it......well......whatever? I also caught a snipit of the next blogger tourney which would be my first.......February 2nd is it? I will have to download Stars and get set-up so I can be in.........if I'm welcome.......I'd love to donate.

Posts to come will involve a medical scare.......a whole lot of poker playing.......home games.......3/6 live limit at Ameristar...........other gambling in pool, shuffleboard, and PS2.........it was a fantastic long weekend. Luckily I was able to shake that flu in time to really enjoy it.

I even returned to find an e-mail from Party that they deposited $15 into my bonus account.....time to go scoop it up.

Much more to come......until then.......

Baz Out

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Down in the dumps

The last couple of days I've felt like I was hit by a Mack Truck.........Damn Flu! I finished off my Empire bonus Monday night and went to bed feeling pretty good.......I had recovered half of my 30BB down swing from Sunday night and cleared the bonus on top of that. I woke up Tuesday morning and didn't feel quite right. By the time lunch time rolled around on Tuesday I was freezing cold and had made a couple bathroom runs. The thought of eating the sandwich in my lunch bag made my stomach turn........I ordered a bowl of Chicken Noodle soup from the lunch line and got about half of it down. One more hour and I could take off for the day.......I made it.....barely. When I got home I went straight to bed and remember little else until 9pm. My fever had broke and it was at that point I was hoping it was a 24 hr. flu. I was supposed to take the dogs to my parents house as we have tickets on a plane to Kansas City tonight for a long weekend........I'm supposed to be playing live poker at this time on Thursday with a home game on Friday and Saturday night at my brother-in-laws. My wife......being the trooper that she is.....loaded up the kids and the dogs and made the trek to her in-laws. Thanks. Now if I can just get through today......I made it into work today and simply need to get through most of the day. I'm feeling shaky at best and will be able to knock off slightly early if need be. Live poker and a heck of a weekend awaits......just gotta make it through the plane ride. I love the visits to KC as it's always a gambling weekend.......we gamble on everything......shuffleboard......pool.....Madden and Tiger Woods on PS2......and of course......Poker. It's a grand time.

Wish me luck on improving as the day goes on and an uneventful plane ride this evening. I'm wishing and hoping I'll make it.

A poker tidbit.......I had my second review Monday evening and learned a lot about my play. It's great to have someone go over hands I've played with me and show me good things I've done as well as things I should have done differently. Pointing out how passive I've been playing was the main leak this time. I knew I was being more passive lately and it was painfully obvious during the review session. I improved calling down when I know I'm beat but having solved it yet. The point is......this has been a great resource for me to improve my game. The information in Poker Tracker is overwhelming to me and to have guys who play for a living go over my hand histories and walk me through things is immensely helpful to me. It's like being sweated by anyone who's better than you.....they can help you with an objective perspective of your game. It's helped me tons already and I can't wait to return from my long weekend away to get back onto the online tables and put this new knowledge to work.

This will be my last post until next week sometime.
Until then.
Baz Out.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Check it out.....

Otis just got some visitors..........AWESOME! The question is.....are the Bahamas ready.

Have a great time and I'll be looking more foward to the posts now than I was before.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

In the HOF

Ryne Sandberg gets in the Hall of Fame today...........along with Wade Boggs. He got just barely enough votes to get in but got in all the same. Boggs went in easily on his first try and it is well deserved.

This will be the first time this is mentioned in this blog but I am a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan. Sandberg was the second baseman for the Cubs when I was growing up.......I idolized him as a kid and played second base all my years of baseball.......except the younger years when the better kids always play shortstop and pitch.

My grandmother passed away several years ago at an all too young age and some of my fondest memories growing up are riding the train and taking a bus with her to sit in the bleachers at Wrigley Field for a summer afternoon game. The first game I ever went to as a kid in person Ryne Sandberg hit two home runs and the Cubs won. I'll never forget it. We always stopped at my great-grandmother's on the way home and she'd cook up a traditional Italian feast with sausage, pasta and gravy......the works. You better not have eaten too much at the park because you were eating at great-grandma's house!

Congratulations to Ryne Sandberg on this fine accomplishment.......and to all you bloggers and blog readers out there.......whether you are a baseball fan or not........there's nothing like an afternoon at Wrigley Field.....I'd highly recommend getting there in the not too distant future for a game.......you won't forget it.


Quick thoughts

I hope everyone enjoyed bringing in the New Year........it's been hectic thus far for me and I ended up not playing last night online as I got home from work late and am still adjusting to getting back up early........I'm always up by 7 or 7:30 am with two kids 3 and under but when I spent the whole extended weekend staying up until 1 am it made it tough to get to sleep at a decent time Sunday night even though I knew I had to be up early for back to work Monday.........should have been at the tables instead of lying in bed until 12am thinking I need to be sleeping.

There is no internet at my in-laws house..........hell........they just got satellite TV 2 years ago......but it's always a good time hanging out there........I have great in-laws......really laid back folks that make everyone feel welcome. My brother-in-law was there as well and we have an ongoing head to head no limit hold em contest going for $5 each game........it's good fun. We finished even over the course of the weekend.......kind of like kissing your sister.

Probably won't be hitting the tables tonight with the USC vs. Oklahoma game on tonight.....we will see how it goes.

Eventually I will get back on track and get back rolling.......2005 is starting off sluggish for me.....my apologies.....

I also need to update my blogroll and pimp some sites I frequent.

Hopefully I'll get that chance this afternoon.


Monday, January 03, 2005


It's 2005.............Here's to the New Year. The family and I are back safe from the in-laws and getting back to work this morning sucked big time.........More later.......hopefully while multi-tabling tonight.