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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

MLB Picks, May 31st

It looks like there's only one game of note on tonight's MLB menu.

$40 on NY Mets (-160) over ChiSox
Matz (7-1, 2.36 ERA, season) takes the ball for the Mets. He faces the Nationals in his last start, shutting them out for 8 innings. Latos (2-1, 7.09, last 5 starts) toes the slab for the Palehose. He surrendered 3 runs in 6 innings of work against the Indians. New York has won 7 of their last 10. The White Sox have dropped 15 of 19.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                    $170.00
Current Bankroll                                        $1,670.00

Action is considered dead unless both listed pitchers start.

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

MLB Picks, May 25th

There are two games on today's schedule that look worthy of a wager. One day game in St. Louis and a night tilt in Arlington.

$20 on ChiCubs (-160) over St. Louis
Arrieata (8-0, 1.29 ERA, season) throws the horsehide for the Cubbies. In his last outing he held the Giants to one run in 7 innings of work. The Redbirds counter with Martinez (0-4, 5.76, lat 4 starts). In his last start against the Halos, he surrendered 5 runs in 4 innings. I'd like this one better if the Cubs (5-8 in their last 13) were playing better. 
$20 on Texas (-120) over LA Angels
The Rangers send Lewis (1-0, 1.71 ERA, last 3 starts) to the bump. He shut out the Astros over 7 innings his last time out. The Angels start Santiago (1-2, 5.13, last 5), who lasted only 2+ innings against Baltimore in his last outing. Texas has won 12 of 17 and LA has won 8 of 12.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                    $140.75
Current Bankroll                                        $1,640.75

Action is considered dead unless both listed pitchers start.

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

An Afternoon at the Ranch

After our winning session at Silverton, Ms. Duck and I drove to Green Valley Ranch. We have stayed here on several occasions and have enjoyed each visit. Our only complaint with the casino was the temperature. It was always cold. This time however, someone had located the thermostat and turned it up. Much more comfortable.

We didn't visit the pool, but I have this picture of it (there really is a pool if you look real close), and thought you wouldn't mind.

We parked our ride on the parking garage roof and made the short walk into the casino. After locating the video poker area, we sat down in front of a couple quarter machines and ordered drinks (margarita for Ms. Duck and a rum and coke for moi). Although my wife was still struggling to win, my "run good" continued. After an hour or so, Ms. Duck mentioned she wanted to do some browsing in the shopping district next to GVR. We both pressed the cash out buttons on our machines, with my ticket showing a $15 gain for the ol' bankroll.

The District at Green Valley Ranch
She headed for the stores and I walked over to the poker room to see what games were running. After a little bit of a wait, I got on the waiting list for the $1-2 no limit game. I found a nearby deuces wild machine and won another $20 before I received a text that my seat was ready.

I bought in for two Benjamins and sat in the number six seat. My first hand was K-Q offsuit from middle position. With one limper in front, I raised to $8 and received two callers. The player to my right checked the king high flop. I pushed three redbirds out, receiving a call from the button and my other opponent folded.

I bet another $25 after a blank on the turn and the button folded. It's always nice to win the first pot you're involved in.

Still running good!

The only other hand of note began with me holding the A-6 of clubs. Once again I was in middle position, but was first to act, so I open raised to $6 and got two customers, both of whom had position on me.

The flop had two clubs, so I bet my nut flush draw and received a call from one of my two opponents.

The turn completed my flush and I bet 1/2 pot, receiving a call.

The river was a fourth club.

"I think that card just cost me some money," I said, assuming my opponent would know I had the nut flush. I slid a 1/3 pot bet out, hoping for a hero call. I got more than that when he 3 bet. After studying the board again, I noticed there was a possible straight flush. I checked my hand and found that I held one of the cards needed to complete it. I four bet and the villain shoved the rest of his chips in the middle. After calling and showing the nuts, he flipped over K-5 offsuit, with the king being a club. I guess he thought I had a small flush when I made my statement.

Bad read.

There were two short tables and shortly after this hand our table broke. I had a nice stack when I was seated at the new table. Once again in the six seat. But, as I was about to learn, my luck had run out for this day and the storm clouds were forming.

I played for 2- 2 1/2 hours at this table and did not win one hand. River draws that hit against me, second best hands  (think two pair versus a set), and admittedly, some tilty play contributed to a $135 loss for the session.

Ms. Duck sent a text and asked if I wanted to grab a bite. It had been ten hours since we enjoyed the buffet at Silverton, so we agreed to meet at Grand Cafe in the casino. We are both fans of the Feast Buffet at Green Valley, but it was too late to eat a big meal. Instead, we chose the soup and sandwich special. Both the chicken noodle soup and deli sammich were tasty and the service was good.

It was getting late (for old timers like me) and we decided to call it a night. We trekked to our chariot and made the drive back to our home base at the Cosmopolitan.

A nice start to my day, but a poor ending.

Stay tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MLB Picks, May 18th

Tonight's MLB schedule features only one game that is worth an investment.

$20 on Baltimore (-110) over Seattle
The Birds trot Tillman (4-0, 1.32 ERA, last 4 starts) out to the hill. He tossed 7 shut out innings against Detroit in his last outing. The Mariners hand the ball to Walker (0-2, 7.11, last 2), who surrendered 4 runs in 5 innings of work against the Rays in his last start. The Orioles are 7-2 in their last 9. Seattle has dropped 3 of 4.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                    $122.50
Current Bankroll                                        $1,622.50

Action is considered dead unless both listed pitchers start.

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Food, Fun, and Found Treasure in Las Vegas

Ms. Duck and I were up and at 'em around 7:30 Tuesday morning. After a shower, shave, and a couple cups of coffee, we began our morning ritual.

Me: "What do you want to do today?"
Ms. Duck: "Oh, I don't know. You pick."

After a few minutes of this, we decided to drive to the Silverton Casino for an early lunch. We took the elevator down (if an elevator is going down, is it still an "elevator?") to the Cosmopolitan valet booth and picked up our car. As usual, the valet service was efficient and cordial, and in just a few minutes we were on Dean Martin Drive, headed to Tropicana and then south on the freeway.

We arrived at the Silverton in just a few minutes and had some time before the buffet opened for lunch, so we decided to sit at a couple video poker machines to try our luck. We played a half hour or so and I cashed out $67 of my original $100 investment. I was afraid my run good at VP may have come to an end.

As we walked to the buffet, Ms. Duck spotted one of her favorite slots, "Invasion from the Planet Moolah." As she started punching buttons, I sat next to her and played the next door neighbor machine (another Moolah), losing around five bucks quickly before hitting a nice payout and walked away a $50 winner.

Sah-weet! Free lunch.
I won some moolah from these alien bovine!
We made our way to the buffet, and saw they had just opened. There were only two people in line, so we were seated almost immediately.

The lunch buffet is a good value at only $10, and I enjoyed my fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and salad. A nice slice of German chocolate cake, washed down by a tall, cold glass of iced tea fueled my engine and I was ready to go. Ms. Duck went with a large salad, spare ribs and  a couple pieces of catfish. Sweet tea and a slice of cheesecake completed her meal.

The selection is limited, but both times we've eaten there has been a good experience. The food is not exotic, but it's tasty and the service has been good.

We then walked over to the 117,000 gallon aquarium in the middle of the casino. With over 4,000 fish, including sharks and stingrays, it's a very impressive display. To my disappointment, we missed the daily Mermaid Show, but I have a stock photo for you below :)

Mermaid Show at the Silverton.
They also have a huge Bass Pro Shop that connects to the casino, so we wandered in there for a bit. If you're into camping (no), fishing (yes), or hunting (yes), it's a great place to visit.

Ms. Duck wanted to play some more video poker, so she selected a machine, ordered an adult beverage, and seemed content, so I went to look for a table game.

The craps table only had three shooters, but the table appeared hot, so I waited for a point to be made. Once that happened, I bought in for $100, put a redbird on the pass line, and waited for the come out roll. Once the number was established, I backed up my $5 pass line bet with two more redbirds, then placed the 6 and 8 for $6 each.

The shooter continued to hit numbers, and hit both my 6 and 8 a time or two. When he sevened out, I had made $35. Not a bad start.

The dice were pushed to me, and after placing a $5 pass line bet, I picked two square ones and tossed them towards the far wall.

"Winner seven!" hollered the stick man. Not a bad start.

I established a number on my next throw, backed my pass line bet, and placed the 6 and 8 again. I had a decent run, hitting three or four numbers before crapping out, and turned another nice profit.

The dice were passed to my left as I dropped a redbird on the pass line. The shooter fired a hard ten, which is a tough number to hit. I dropped $10 to back my pass line bet, and then tossed $12 to the dealer, who placed half on the 6 and the other half on the 8. The shooter hit both my 6 and 8 before tossing a 10, paying off at 2-1 behind the line. Nice!

By the time he sevened out, I had doubled my $100 buy in and decided to cash out. I tossed a couple dollar chips to the dealer and said, "One on the bride's delight (hard 10) and one on the bride's nightmare (hard 4) for the dealers!"

I walked away before the next shooter threw, so I don't know if either (or both) hit, but it was a nice payout for them if it did.

I found Ms. Duck and asked her if she was ready to leave. We stopped at the sportsbook on the way out so I could bet on the Pirates, but the line had moved too high, so I put my money back in my pocket. I saw something on the floor as we were leaving and picked it up. It was a portrait of Andrew Jackson, a $20 bill! A nice finish to a fun time.

We had several hours of fun at the Silverton as my run good continued. But, as Ray Wylie Hubbard sings in his song "Mother Blues," there were dark clouds on the horizon.

Part three to follow.

MLB Picks, May 16th

One game north of the border looks like the only one on the schedule worth a peek.

$20 on Toronto (-125) over Tampa Bay
Happ takes the ball for the Jays. In his last start he shut out the Giants for 8+ innings. Smyly toes the slab for the Rays. He surrendered 6 runs in 5 innings against the Mariners in his last outing. Neither team is playing well. Toronto has lost 3 of 4 and the Floridians 5 of 6. 
Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                    $142.50
Current Bankroll                                        $1,642.50

Action is considered dead unless both listed pitchers start.

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Friday, May 13, 2016

MLB Picks, May 13th

The only match up worth a peek is in the Bronx.

$20 on ChiSox (-140) over NY Yankees
Sale (7-0, 1.79 ERA, season) toes the slab for the Palehose. In his last start he held the Twins to two runs in seven innings of work. The Pinstripers counter with Severino (0-5, 6.12, season), who was knocked around for 4 runs in 6 innings against Boston. In his six starts the Yankees have been outscored 37-7. Not good. But, they have won 7 of their last 10 at Yankee Stadium.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                    $128.25
Current Bankroll                                        $1,628.25

Action is considered dead unless both listed pitchers start.

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!