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Saturday, August 20, 2016

MLB Picks, August 20th

There is one AL game this evening that looks promising.

$20 on Kansas City (-1.5 @ +135) over Minnesota
Kennedy (1-0, 0.95 ERA, last 3 starts) takes the ball for the Royals. In his last start he held a hot Detroit team to 1 run in 6+ innings of work. Santiago (0-3, 9.42, last 3) goes to the bump for the Twins. His last start was against the Royals, who lit him up for 7 runs in 4 innings. KC has won 10 of 12 and Minnesota has won 11 of 17 on the highway.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                   $254.50
Current Bankroll                                        $1,754.50

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!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MLB Picks, August 17th

We finally have a game worth betting, as the Jays visit Yankee Stadium tonight.

$20 on Toronto (-1.5@ +105) over NY Yankees

Happ (10-0, 2.41 ERA, last 11 starts) gets the nod for the Jays. In his last outing he shut out the Rays in 6 innings of work. The Pinstripers give the ball to Sabathia (2-3, 5.50, last 6). His last start was also against Tampa Bay, where he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. Toronto has won 9 of their last 14. New York has won 5 of 7.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                   $233.50
Current Bankroll                                        $1,733.50

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, August 12, 2016

Vegas or Bust Poker League- Season Five

There were ten of us who formed the Vegas or Bust Poker League in 2011. The goal of the league was to send two players to the WSOP in Las Vegas the following summer. As the years have past, we have lost several of our original members, but have managed to find new players and keep the league alive.

After winning a seat in each of the first three seasons, I was unable to keep my streak alive last year. Although I played well enough to be in the thick of things throughout the season, I missed three of our tournaments due to prior commitments. In the end, it cost me.

Our league rules allow you to miss two tourneys without penalty, as long as you provide a substitute to play for you. Both of my subs didn't do well, with one of them finishing in last place, which didn't help.

My son received his undergrad degree on our tournament night in August and my daughter was awarded her Masters in December, again on our tourney night. I was in second place going into the final tournament, but if I missed it, I wouldn't get any points because I had already used two subs and was out of options. It so happened that my daughter's wedding rehearsal and dinner were, you guessed it, on our final tournament night.

There's no guarantee I would have won a seat, but it would have been nice to have had an opportunity.

Tonight will be our fourth tourney (of twelve) this season. My play in the first three have been disappointing, with my worst effort last month.

It was one of those evenings where nothing worked. When I receive the occasional decent starting hand, the flop would miss and I'd have to fold to a bet. My final stand was with 6 BB and K-Q soooted. I shoved and received a call from both Big Daddy and Lil' Annie Okie. Once again I whiffed the flop and turn, but thought I might have tripled up when a Q hit on the river. Unfortunately, Annie had A-Q and I was out in tenth place.

Not good.

So, a quarter of the way through our season, I find myself closer to the bottom of the standings than to the top. Tin Man is leading the pack again (he's won a seat the last two years), with Stamps and Ranger Rick close behind. CLICK HERE for complete standings.

Tin Man and Ranger Rick represented our league this past summer, with both busting out about three hours in. No cash :(

I'm hoping I got all the bad joo-joo out of my system last month and can turn things around tomorrow.

Good luck me!

Till next time, win the flips.

Friday, August 5, 2016

MLB Picks, August 5th

Today's schedule produces two games worth betting.

$20 on ChiCubs (-1.5 @ -120) over Oakland
Lester (2-0, 2.55 ERA, last 3 starts) gets the ball for the Cubbies. In his last start he shut out the Mariners over six innings. Overton (0-2, 11.37, last 3) goes to the bump for the A's. His last time out he only lasted 3+ innings while giving up 5 runs to the Indians. Chicago has won 7 of 8. Oakland has lost 5 of 6.
$30 on Washington (-1.5 @ +155) over San Francisco
Gonzalez (1-1, 1.96, last 3) throws the horsehide for the Nats. Against the Giants in his last start, he only allowed 1 run in six innings of work. The G-Men send Samardzjia (0-2,7.02, last 3) to the bump. He surrendered 4 runs in 6 innings in his last start against Washington. The Nationals have won 6 of 8. San Fran has lost 9 of 11 on the highway.
Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                   $170.25
Current Bankroll                                        $1,670.25

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!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MLB Picks, August 3rd

We have an afternoon tilts and a couple night games that are worth a wager.

$20 on Milwaukee (-1.5 @ +120) over San Diego
Guerra (4-1, 1.66 ERA, last 7 starts) toes the slab for the Brew Crew. In his last outing he held the Pirates to 1 run in 8+ innings. Jackson (1-1, 5.19, last 3)get the nod for the Padres. The Reds banged him around for 6 runs in 5 innings in his last appearance. Milwaukee has won 7 of 9 and San Diego has lost 10 of 15.
$20 on Texas (-1.5 @ +155) over Baltimore
Hamels (3-0, 0.84, last 3) throws the horsehide for the Rangers. He was impressive against the Royals in his last start, giving up 2 runs in 8 innings. The Birds hand the ball to Gausman (2-8, 4.18, season). The Jays put up 6 runs in 3 innings on him his last time out. The Rangers have won 7 of 10. The Orioles have dropped 5 of 7.
$20 on Tampa Bay (-1.5 @ +155) over Kansas City
Odorizzi (2-0, 0.87, last 3) goes to the bump for the Rays. He threw 6+ innings of shutout ball versus the Yankees in his last start. Volquez (0-1, 3.79, last 3) gets the nod for the Champs. Texas scored 5 runs in 6 innings against him in his last appearance. Tamps has won 4 of 6 at home. The Royals have lost 18 of their last 26 on the highway.

Starting Bankroll                                       $1,500.00 
Profit/Loss                                                   $179.25
Current Bankroll                                        $1,679.25

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!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Texas Lottery Chronicles- "Houston Astros"

Heading home from Lowes last Saturday, Ms. Duck and I stopped at a local convenience store for a fountain drink. I hadn't bought a scratch-off ticket in a while and noticed there was one with the logo of my favorite baseball team. It has to be a winner, right? I placed a portrait of President Lincoln on the counter and asked the cashier for one Astros scratch-off.

Like most scratch-offs, the object of the game is to match one of your numbers with the winning numbers on the first line of the ticket. In addition, if you receive a "baseball" symbol, you instantly win the prize directly underneath it. Kinda like a "wild" card in a poker game. Even better, if you receive a "home plate" symbol, you win 5X the amount of the prize listed! The top prize available is $100K.

After revealing the winning numbers (4, 16, 38, 8, 15), I took my lucky quarter and removed the top two lines of numbers.

Oh for 10. I can't believe my team is going to let me get shut out. Let's take a look at the final two lines.

Houston, we have a winner! Our number 38 is a match.

Now, the fun part. Learning how much moolah we won on our $5 investment.

Five dollars. We did break even, but once you hit a winning number, greed takes over and only winning back your original investment is disappointing. But, it's not the first time the Astros have disappointed me.

Tickets                      15
Cashes                        5
Investment             $78.00
Winnings                $30.00
Net                        ($48.00)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Spread Limit Fun!

The "Counselor" and his family moved into the house across the street from us 15 years ago. The only similarity between our two homes is the location. The Counselor's home is the showplace of our neighborhood. At approximately 9,000 square feet, it is three times the size of our humble abode.

Our neighbor had been both a corporate attorney and also had a private practice. Currently, he practices on a part-time basis and also is a partner in a local gun shop. In addition, he owns an 1,100 acre ranch in the Texas hill country where he raises exotic animals such as axis and red stag deer.

The Counselor's wife attended a garage sale we hosted last summer, and mentioned that he likes to play poker. She also commented that he noticed I hosted a game every week at our home. I took it as an obvious hint that he would like an invitation.

I wasn't sure if he knew what he would be getting into, so the invitation never came. We play a dealer's choice, limit game. The buy-in is only $20 and the blinds are 25 and 50 cents, so I didn't think our game would be big enough to keep his interest. Additionally, some of the games we play are closer to bingo with cards than they are to poker. Games such as "The Magnificent Seven," "Tic-Tac-Toe," and "Nuclear Omaha" weren't being dealt at the Bellagio the last time I checked.

Traveling home from work three weeks ago, I noticed a Hummer follow me into my driveway. The Counselor strolled up as I stepped out of my truck and invited me to a game he was hosting on the 29th of the month. I told him I would have to check my schedule (which was in my office) and let him know. It so happened that I was hosting our "Pokerpalooza" that night and I knew we had an open seat, so I extended an invitation.

The Counselor accepted and within a couple hours was seated at the table with a bottle of scotch and a twenty dollar bill. After getting over the shock of some of our "poker" games, he relaxed and fit in well with the rest of the group. We invited him back to our game the following week, and at the end of the evening he invited all of us to his game on the 29th.

He explained it was a $100 minimum buy-in, with fifty cent- one dollar antes. It was a spread limit game, with a $10 maximum bet and no more than three raises per betting round. I didn't have anything planned, so I accepted. J-Dawg mentioned he might come if he could get a kitchen pass, but everyone else already had plans. As it turned out, J-Dawg couldn't get his pass, so I was the only player from my home game that showed.

The Counselor had a nice spread of food that was shared before we started pitching cards. I had several meatballs that were made from axis deer and a couple tasty red stag deer sausage links. Add some fruit salad and a slice of chocolate pie, and I was ready to get started.

Axis Deer
Red Stag Deer
We had seven players at the beginning of the evening, with most buying in for the $100 minimum, but two players bought $200 worth of chips.

I lost $15 on the first hand in which I was involved, but made it back quickly a few hands later, winning a $45 pot. I also won the largest pot of the night, one totaling almost $200.

I was dealing and the game was Hi-Lo Omaha. As I lifted the corner of each card, I saw 3c-4c-9s-10s. There were no raises, so I tossed in four bits for the call.

The flop was Qd-8s-7s, giving me a straight flush draw. Tom, who was the small blind and had played tight all evening, led out for $5. There were three calls before it got to me and I decided to join the party, knowing that if I hit my magic card it would be a huge payoff.

The turn was the Qh and Tom tossed in the maximum $10 bet. Johnny, who had been a calling station all night, tossed in ten and I did likewise with everyone else folding.

The magic card hit on the river when the Js appeared.

Tom tossed in $10 and Johnny came along. I raised my straight flush another $10 then Tom four bet an additional $10. Ever the stubborn one, Johnny hem-hawed a while before making the call. I made the final raise, getting called by Tom, but Johnny finally figured out his hand was no good and folded. He claimed to have pocket jacks, which gave him jacks full. I don't have any reason to doubt him, but I don't know how you fold a full house with the pot odds he was getting.

Tom had horrible luck the entire evening and figured he had finally broken the curse with his pocket queens. I quickly tabled my straight flush and commented that it just wasn't his night.

Tom hung around for a couple more orbits, but finally busted out and elected not to re-buy.

When the final cards were tossed, I cashed out with $193.

Good food, good fun, and winning a big pot with a straight flush. It's hard to beat an evening like that.

Till next time, win the flips.