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Friday, April 17, 2015

Hockey Picks- April 18th


One game looks good on today's menu.

$18 on NY Rangers (-180) over Pittsburgh

The Rangers have won 7 of their last 8 and are also 7-1 versus the Penguins. Pittsburgh has lost 6 of their last 7.
Starting Bankroll                           $1,500.00
Profit/Loss                                       $44.00
Current Bankroll                           $1,544.00

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

Good luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hockey Picks- April 16th


A couple games look good on tonight's docket as we drop the puck on the first round of playoffs.

$17 on NY Rangers (-170) over Pittsburgh
The Rangers have won 6 of their last 7 and are also 6-1 versus the Penguins. Pittsburgh has lost 5 of their last 6.
$16 on Tampa Bay (-160) over Detroit
The Lightning have won 3 straight and have beaten the Red Wings 7 of the last 9 times they've met. Detroit has lost 6 of their last 9.

Starting Bankroll                           $1,500.00
Profit/Loss                                       $50.00
Current Bankroll                           $1,550.00

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

Good luck!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Worst. Beat. Ever.


Not as in a one outer, but the stakes were as high as I play and the beat was brutal.

Going into the final tournament of our Vegas or Bust Poker League, I was leading Tin Man by one point and Ranger Rick and Stamps by six. Our league awards WSOP seats (plus airfare and lodging) for the top two players, so all I needed to do was finish no lower than sixth in the tournament and I would secure one of the seats.

My strategy was to play tight early and avoid getting into any big pots. The only way I would put myself in danger would be if I was holding the nuts. Just sit back in my easy chair and let the other player knock each other out.

My $1,500 opening stack was down to ~$1,100 about 45 minutes into the tourney. Blinds were up to $40-$80 and I was on the button. Ollie the Accountant had been eliminated just a few hands before and we were down to nine players.

There were four limpers in front of me and I looked down at pocket jacks. As I noted before, I wasn't interested in getting involved in big pots this early so I played the hand as a small pocket pair and just called.

The flop was J-4-T with two hearts. It checked around to me and I bet $300, figuring it would take down the pot. As expected everyone folded, except for J-Dawg. He hem-hawed for 30 seconds or so and then pushed all-in.

He had me covered, so I knew if I called and lost, I would be out in ninth place and would put my WSOP seat in danger. On the other hand, I had ~$650 chips left, $380 in the pot already, and I was holding the nuts. J-Dawg never bets on draws, so I put him on either two pair or hopefully, a smaller set. I just couldn't bring myself to fold and made the call.

He surprised me by turning over Ah-7h for the nut flush draw. The turn was the 9 of clubs and I only had to dodge one more bullet. The river was a red card, but lucky for me it was a diamond.

J-Dawg asked for a count and started counting his chips that were now mine. "Whew," I thought, "that could have been disastrous."

"Hey, wait a minute!" I heard Stamps holler. "J-Dawg has a straight!"

"What," I said in disbelief as I looked at the board.

The river diamond was an eight, hitting J's gutshot straight draw. I was so focused on hearts that I didn't see the straight. Hell, nobody did.

Oh. My. God.

Talk about a kick right in the nads.  Just brutal. The very thing I didn't want to happen, had. I was out in ninth and had opened the door for both Stamps and Ranger Rick to move past me in the standings.

I won't bore you with the details after that hand, other than to say that Stamps finished in second place in the tournament, which was enough to move him into a second place tie with me for the final seat to the WSOP.

Our league rules state that if there is a tie for second place, the player have two options. They can agree to split the prize money, which is enough for a buy in and most of your lodging, but not enough to cover airfare, or play a heads-up tournament for the entire prize. Stamps and I plan on meeting Tuesday to decide what we want to do.

So, as I write this I'm very disappointed at the way I finished league play. However, I also realize it could have been worse. But... damn.

CLICK HERE for the final standings.

Till next time, win the flips.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Monday Night Poker

Bobby Dee and I attended a local poker game Monday night, the same one I wrote about recently. This time however, we went to play in a NLHE freezeout tournament.

The buy in was $30, with a $5 add-on. If you do the add-on (and everyone does), your starting stack is $4,500. Opening blinds are $25-50, with 20 minute levels.

"Not too bad," I thought, but soon realized that the blinds doubled each level. It took about an hour before the shove-fest began.

I lost about a quarter of my stack early when I flopped a set of sevens, only to get run down by a rivered straight. A gutshot at that.

I took down the blinds plus one limper when I raised from the button with pocket jacks. The only other hand I remember winning before changing tables was when I once again raised from the button with 6-7 soooted. The SB called, along with one other limper. After both my opponents checked an ace high flop, I bet half the pot and took it down.

Blinds were at $100-200 when I changed tables, and I was sitting on $4,600. Time to get busy!

I won my only hand at the table when I open pushed "the dreaded pocket kings." It folded to the button, who hem-hawed before calling with K-J. He hit a jack on the flop, but didn't improve and I got a much needed double-up.

My final hand was 7-7. I again open shoved for 8 BB and was called by Q-J offsuit. The flop was harmless, but a jack on the turn did me in. Out of 28 players, I finished tenth. Bobby was able to hang on a little longer, finishing in fourth. Unfortunately, the tourney only paid three spots.

Can you say "Bubble Boy?"

After busting the tourney I walked over and joined the $1-2 cash game, buying in for $200. Interestingly, most of the players were of the female persuasion and were also pretty easy on the eyes. The men had a pool going on the NCAA Championship Game and were more interested in watching that than paying attention to their poker game, so I thought that might give me a little bit of an edge.

* Victim of my set of fours

As happened the last time I played here, I got off to an quick start. Limping from UTG on my first hand with pocket fours, I had one caller plus the BB.  The flop was a beautiful 3-4-A. After the BB checked, I bet $5 into the $7 pot. The caller folded, but the BB raised to $15. I thought just calling was my best move in order to build the pot. The turn was an harmless ten and my opponent lead out for $30 and I once again called. The river wasn't scary and the beauty to my right slid her remaining $75 out. I insta-called and was shown two pair (A-3). Another nice start!

* Pocket jacks relieved her of some chips

Two hands later I raised to $10 with pocket jacks, getting one customer. I checked an J-T-5 flop (two spades). My opponent pushed forward $20, ran her hand through her blonde locks, and looked a little dismayed when I popped it to $60. She called and we both saw a red duck on the turn. Not wanting to let her draw on the cheap, I tossed 15 redbirds in front of me and she released her hand.

Three hands in and I had doubled my buy-in, but I wasn't making any friends.

* Bitten by the River Rat

My stack stayed around $400 for the next hour or so, then I won another nice pot when I looked down at Ad-Kd  and raised to $14 from the button with two limpers in front. I got one call from a bespeckled beauty and we saw a flop of K-8d-4d. Nice! My caller checked and I bet $20 into the ~$35 pot and got a call. The caller checked the off suit T on the turn and I bet another $70 with my opponent coming along. The river was the Td, giving me the nut flush. She removed her glasses, trying to read my soul after I slid out a healthy river bet. She made the correct decision and mucked her hand, ending our brief, but volatile relationship.

I headed home after another half hour of play with a nice $300+ win in the cash game.

Can't wait to go back and give it another shot!

Till next time, win the flips.

* The ladies pictured above may not be the exact players at my table :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oh Happy Day!


I received the following notice via e-mail yesterday.

What has it been, almost four years?

Dear Lucki Duck,

The purpose of this email is to inform you that your Petition for Remission has been approved and you are entitled to receive a distribution from the assets forfeited in connection with United States v. PokerStars, et al., pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

A payment in the amount of $---- will be paid electronically via ACH to the bank account that you specified in your Petition.  This payment represents the full amount of your Full Tilt Poker Account Balance, which you confirmed on the Full Tilt Poker administration online filing site.  Payment will be made within the next seven business days.  

If you have any questions, you can call us toll-free at (866) 250-2640, email us at info@FullTiltPokerClaims.com, or write to us at Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 9965, Dublin, Ohio 43017-5965.  For additional information you may also visit the administration website at www.FullTiltPokerClaims.com.
I wasn't smart enough to heed the warning signs that the end could be near for online poker. I let my poker roll build on Full Tilt, treating it as a "savings account," earmarked for a rainy day or perhaps a future vacation.

Once the hammer dropped, I soon learned (as we all did), that Full Tilt was nothing more than a ponzi scheme and the money was long gone. It was not a fun time. I got pretty good at sit-n-gos and built a nice bankroll. To see it vanish was traumatic and I am thrilled to recover it. Heck, I would have been happy to get half of it back.

So, today is a good day!

If and when online poker is legalized, I'll not make the same mistake. I don't know exactly where my cut-off will be before I cash out part of my roll, but be assured it'll be well below what my Full Tilt balance was.

Till next time, win the flips.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Poker is Easy


I attended a local poker game last week, one I hadn't been to in several months. The last time I played, I walked away with a $400 profit in their $1-2 NLHE game.

I had heard that the game had gotten quite wild since I had been.

"One, two, forty," is how one of my friends described the game. Some of the new players were well financed, and I've learned that it's hard to win when your opponents don't care about the money.

But, it had been a while and I had an open evening, so I made the half hour drive and hoped for good cards.

I bought in for $200 and peeked down at the "dreaded pocket kings" on my first hand. We were six-handed and I was in middle position. There was one limper in front of me and I raised to $10. The big blind and limper both called. The queen high flop was dry, with the BB betting almost full pot. The limper folded and I smooth called. The turn card looked harmless, but the BB shoved.

Well, hell.

Recalling my buddies description of how wild the game had gotten, I thought it was possible the BB only had top pair. After a moment I made the call and was shown A-Q. The river didn't help him and I doubled-up on my first hand.

Nice!

The very next hand I was dealt pocket aces.

"You've got to kidding me!" I thought.

There was a raise to $8 in front of me and I three-bet to $24 from the cut-off. The button called, as did the original raiser and we saw the flop three handed. Unlike the previous hand, this A-Q-T flop had a lot of chemistry. I had top set, but there was an obvious straight possibility and also two clubs. The original raiser checked and I tossed 12 redbirds out. Both villains called.

The turn was another Q and also hit any flush draws. The original raiser pushed for his last $160. I just called with my full house, hoping the button would come along for the ride. Even better, he shoved and I insta-called and flipped my aces-full. The original raiser had the nut flush and the button showed Q-T for queens full.

Why would you call a three bet with Q-T? This was a wild game indeed!

Two hands in and I'm up $520.

Sah-weet!


Definitely the fastest start I've had at a poker table.

I played for a few more hours, missed a few draws, and occasionally hitting a hand before racking my chips and cashing out with a $450 profit.

Easy-peasy!

Till next time, win the flips.

Monday, March 23, 2015

One to Go


Yeah, I know its been a while since we've visited on the corner of Poker St, and Sports Betting Av, but as we say in the south, "ya git whacha pay fer."

Our Vegas or Bust Poker League met on Friday the 13th for the eleventh of twelve league tournaments. I have a slight lead over Tin Man and a little bigger one over Stamps and Ranger Rick, and my goal for this night was to finish ahead the three players who could knock me out of my WSOP seat.

Alas, it was not to be.

For those of you just now boarding this train, our league is vying for two seats to the World Series in Las Vegas this summer. Second place is as good as first, so the goal is to either win or place (that's a little horse racing lingo for ya!).

Our starting ten was whittled down to five quickly, but none of the villains mentioned above fell on his sword.

We stayed at five for a loooong time. This is the third year we've played the league and I think some of the other players have figured out that this league is about survival. That means a lot of nitty play.

Finally, Tin Man found a hand he liked and pushed with K-J but ran into Stamps pocket aces. A king on the flop and jack on the turn kept him in the game. It was the start of half a dozen hands where the underdog pulled out a win and avoided the dreaded toe tag.

Unfortunately, Stamps knocked me out in fifth. I open pushed from the small blind with pocket nines and found myself flipping against A-J. The Samurai jack appeared on the flop and I felt the pain of the steel blade as my chips were dragged away.

Tin Man was next to go, followed by Stamps and Ranger Rick, leaving Big Daddy was the last man standing.

Although I didn't accomplish my goal, at least I didn't lose too much ground. After putting a pencil to it, I determined that a sixth place finish in our final tournament next month will seal the deal for me. With that in mind, I'll do my best to avoid mixing it up in any big pots early. I'm figuring that Tin Man and I will have targets on our backs.

CLICK HERE for the latest standings.

Till next time, win the flips.