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Sunday
Jun212015

Father's Day 2015

  My first Father’s Day without my Pops. It doesn’t feel right to not be able to pick up the phone and call him. What would we talk about? Probably baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals; I’m a fan, he’s not. He’d make sure I knew they were accused of “hacking” the Astros and probably say something about “that’s probably why they’ve been so good”… as if hacking the Astros could actually improve an MLB team. He’d complain about the Reds. Every time he thinks they’re going to get it together they find a way to lose and disappoint him. I think mostly he just liked complaining about them.

  He’d ask about Parker. “How’s my grandbaby?” “Is he talking, yet?” “Does he have all his baby teeth?” “You sure it’s a good idea he’s learning 4 languages?… that’s probably why he’s not talking yet”. “Kiss him for me”. “Can’t wait to see that little stinker”. I know that’s what he’d say.

  He’d ask about my job. If I was traveling for work. If I was working too much. I’d usually lie and so no, “just work”. He didn’t know what I did, just “computer stuff” but he’d want to be sure I was being treated fairly and that I wasn’t letting work get in the way of my life and my family.

  We’d talk about politics. About the recent announcements for presidential hopefuls. I don’t know who he’d support. Even being from Kentucky I can’t imaging him as a Rand Paul fan; I know he wasn’t a Ron Paul fan. I’m sure it wouldn’t be Hillary. “We’ve had enough Clinton”, I can hear him saying. We used to talk about politics a lot more than we did the past couple years. As a subject it just became less important to our conversations, though, still almost always present.

  He’d ask when I’m coming to Kentucky to visit. “Don’t be too long”, he’d say. That was the common theme of almost all our conversations of the past 2 years. He didn’t say it make me feel guilty, though it did. He said it because he meant it. He wanted to see me, his baby boy, his little stinker.

1973

Wednesday
Jun102015

The Money for the Girl, Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Strange Connections...

An odd experience this week. Driving to work and decided to listen to the Bioshock Infinite soundtrack... what? doesn't everyone listen to video game soundtracks on their work commute? Anyway, just a couple tracks in and I was hit with a ton of bricks. I haven't listened to this collection in a long while and when "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" rolled around it was like a punch in the stomach. The road blurred. My vision dimmed. Everything was surreal for a moment.

The last time I'd heard that song was at my dad's funeral. We lost him Christmas day and that was one of the songs that played during his service. I picked out some of the music but I don't know if this selection was chosen by another family member or if it was recommended by the director. What I do know is that I hadn't realized it then and I hadn't expected listening to a game soundtrack to take me back to that day in a blinding instant.

Tuesday
Mar312015

Get in the Swing

Whenever I drive my wife's car (which has satellite radio unlike my JEEP), I find myself listening to the "40's on 4" station... unless there's a Cardinals game on. I have no idea what (if anything) that says about me.

Sunday
Mar012015

Vegas, Baby

I'm supposed to hate Vegas. I mean if you dissect it, I hate most of it's individual pieces. It's loud; I hate that. It's bright; hate it. It's over-the-top; yep, hate that, too. It's fake; It's a city built in a place there shouldn't even be a city. Everything about this town is fake from the facades to the boobs.

 The view from my bathtub (see "over-the-top")

Yet, I can't bring myself to. I love this city. Maybe it's the fact that at any hour of the day you've got a variety of poker room choices. Maybe because it's a tourist-centered hospitality city. Service workers here do go out of their way to make you feel taken care of.

Or maybe it's just because they'll sell you a "roady" at the airport bar.

"You want one to go?"

Yeah. I love this town.


Venetian canals in a desert. Sure, why not.

Sunday
Dec072014

Back to the Felt

Until this week I had played poker once since my son was born almost a year ago. That was in my “regular” home game. This week I decided I needed a mental break so I headed to the poker room at the dog track. I should write a separate post about what poker does for my mind; it’s one of the most relaxing things I can think of. But that’s not what this is about. Just a couple of hands…

I was pretty card dead for the first couple of hours and folded a lot. In fact, the guy next to me referred to me as “the tightest player at the table”… probably time to open it up a little bit. I dragged a couple of decent pots without a showdown and was up to about $275 (from my $200 buy-in) when “George” sat down. I have no idea what his name was, but he reminded me of the guy that used play 3/6 limit at Harrah’s in St. Louis and always knocked his chips on some little totem he had with him before he tossed them in and then made some sort of physical-tick motion with both hands. Anyway… he bought in for $100 and was playing every hand pre-flop. 

I’m in the BB. One limper and then folded to George in late position and he makes it $7 to go. Small blind calls and I call with

figuring to get a call behind and hopefully not a squeeze (unlikely at this table). And that's just what happened.

Flop

(Pot $28)

SB checks. I check. Old guy in early position checks. George bets $10. SB folds. I call. Old guy folds. Heads up. 

Turn

(Pot $48)

I check. George checks. 

River

 

I check. George moves in quickly for $55. This was about the third time he’d moved all in since sitting down, always on the river and so far no one had called. I thought for a few seconds and couldn’t make any sense out of his play so I called. He shows

... and re-buys.

A little later I’m on the button. Splashy guy in middle position raises to $7. George calls. I call with

Both blinds fold.

Three players take a flop (Pot $24)

Flop

Yahtzee!

Initial raiser bets $10. George makes it $25. I call. Initial raiser folds.

Turn

(Pot $84)

George checks. I bet $45. He calls.

River

(Pot $174)

Without hesitation George moves all-in for $165. I’ve got about $250 in my stack now and I hate that bet. It feels just like his previous shoves. Like he has no plan at all and just wants to apply pressure. But then I end up leveling myself… I figure he knows I’m the guy that called him down the last time he did that so he’s less likely to do it again to me and he’s probably sitting there with the naked Ace of spades.

I fold.

In hindsight I think it was the wrong play. I just feel like he would have bet less if he thought he was betting for value. I leveled myself into thinking he was playing the game on a level that he had showed no capacity for so I laid down the second nuts like a dumbass. But I’ve still got a healthy stack.

And the last interesting hand…. 

I’m in the BB with

A guy that was fairly new to the table and hadn’t really been splashing around raised to $10 from early position. George calls (did I mention he played every hand?). I called $8 more and a guy who had limped UTG calls.

4 Players to the flop (Pot $41)

Flop

I check. UTG guy bets $10. New guy calls. George makes it $30. I call. UTG guy folds. New guy calls.

Turn

(Pot $131)

I check. New guy checks. George bets $45. I call. New guy calls.

River

(Pot $266) 

I don’t know what I was hoping for because now I’ve hit my hand and I don’t feel great about it. I decided to lead for $45 to try to control the action. That didn’t work… new guy makes it $100. George folds. I tank…

His story adds up. Super tight. Overcalling on a textured board with big action. Then the raise on the river when my hand gets there. It’s never a bluff, right? Ever? Ugh. I stack the other $55 and push it in. He shows

Ouch! Terrible play by me here even if I overlook the loose pre-flop call. My gut was sure I was beat on the river and I stuck more money in anyway.

I stuck around for a couple more hours and ground out some small pots and left up $60 winners so it wasn’t a bad night. Just feel like I should have trusted my reads more.