Rogue Wave

Dear random guy in the Nissan Rogue with your family,  

I know you're a Jeeper. I know this because of the casual wave when we passed at the stop sign. Sure, I'm sure it's possible you're just a super nice guy that waves at everyone... or maybe you're into half-ginger-Conan-types.  Nah, I'm sure the other ride sitting in your driveway is a JEEP. I say this confidently as someone who has waved at random CJs, YJs, TJs from the comfort of the heated leather seats of my wife's Chevy Equinox...before snapping back to the reality that I'm not driving the Rubicon. 

No worries, Rogue guy.  

In Tags

Sweet Sweet Side Action

Best turnout we've had for a long time. 12 Showed up so we started with 2 six-handed tables. It's a loud, rowdy group that doesn't believe in table etiquette... "who has the bigger spade?", "Oh a full house out there now...". But, it's not my game so I just abide.
About the second hand of the night and I've got ATo on the button. UTG player (Let's call him "Don") is a reliable maniac and opens for 4x. Folds to me. I call. 
Flop : Ad Jd Tc
Don is pretty easy to read usually and he leads out for a decent sized bet. This usally means he has nothing because he almost always tries to check raise if the flop hits him hard. I call to let him bluff the turn.
Turn : 4c
He checks... I bet. He snap calls.
River :  2c
He puts out a big bet. I figure he has AK AQ JT or nothing here a lot so I think about it briefly and call. He shows me AJ and I've lost half my stack. This is where his maniac image definitely pays off because he’s just as likely to have 67 there.
Two hands later and I've got 22 in the BB. Don min-raises from the cutoff. Button calls. SB calls. I call.
Flop : Kh 8d 2h
Yahtzee. SB checks. I don't want to risk a check around so I lead for about 1/3 pot. Don min-raises. Button folds. SB folds. I 3-bet. He insta-shoves. I call and show my 22. He shows KK... and the guy in the SB reaches into the muck and shows me the last 2. Re-buy Table 2.
With the new stack I took down a couple pots with selective aggression and had chipped up a decent amount. A little later and "Marco" is basically all-in from the BB. I'm on the button with KdTc and $20 bounty on the line. Don opens UTG for a min-raise and I call. Marco is all-in for less.
Flop : Kc Jd 8d
Don checks. I bet into the (basically) dry side pot. Don calls.
Turn : Qd
Don makes a fairly big bet and I call.
River : 6d
Don moves all-in and has me covered. He can definitely have the Ad here and fumbled his way into the nut flush. But, I don't see how I can fold given the size of the pot and his potential for big bluffs so I call. If he’s got it I just take my medicine and head home. No 3 re-buys for this kid.
He shows KsJs and I drag a huge pot (and Marco's bounty). The irony is that I probably let it go check-check on the river because that's more likely how he'd play the Ad. So he could have saved his stack. But he still had about 20% of a starting stack and played it back up before we ran into each other again.
I've got Jc7c in the BB. "Carla" (UTG) makes it 2x and (of course) Don calls. SB calls. I call and we take a flop.
7d 8c 2d
SB checks, I check. Carla min bets (she has a habit of min-betting all 3 streets with anything less than the nuts). Don calls. SB folds. I call.
Turn : 9h
I check. Carla min bets. Don min-raises. I call. Carla calls.
River : 10c .... wheeeeee
I lead for half the pot. Carla insta-mucks. Don insta-shoves. I snap-call and he shows me 8s9s. No good and re-buy is over. New guy to the game (Alan) says, “Did you not see the straight out there” and gets a glare from Don. Seat open Table 2.
I had a good stack when we combined tables and didn't play a lot of interesting hands. I did knock out a short stack for another bounty but I was pretty card dead for a long stretch. We were paying 4 spots and I'd managed a good stack (probably 2nd or 3rd) into 5-handed. But as they do, blinds were getting big in the home tourney and it was forcing the action.
With blinds at $1000/$2000 I've got QQ. UTG folds. I make it $4000 (leaving about $19000 behind). Button folds. SB folds. BB (Mack) shoves his $15000. I don't hesitate to call. He's got Ad7s and here we go.
Flop : 6 8 T
Well, that could have been worse.
Turn : 4
OK. OK. Enough.
River : 9
I'm crippled and manage to get it in with K5 against KQ and, miraculously, not get there. Good night, nurse. Second bubble in a row.
One interesting thing did happen. "Gary" (regular $2/$5 player) opens UTG for 3x. Folds to "Brad" (the host) on the button… Brad agonizes and folds but keeps his cards close because he wants to show the hero fold. SB folds. I fold and Gary starts dragging the blinds. Brad is patting himself on the back for his tough laydown saying he’s got respect for Gary and knows he had it. Brad shows the 88 he mucked from the button; which I almost certainly would have 3-bet and then folded if I’d been 4-bet. Gary turns over one card, the Ten of Clubs.
Brad : “Pocket Tens. Good fold. Good fold.”
Gary : “Maybe”
Brad : “I know it was tens. I would have been dead. Good fold.”
Me : “meh. probably Ace-Ten”
Brad : “No way”
Me : “Ok”
Brad “Wanna bet $20 on the side?”
I said that’s up to Gary if he wants to show the other card. He says if we bet it he’ll turn it up. I clarify… 
“so you’ve got 3 tens and I’ve got the rest of the deck?”
Brad : “Yeah”
Me : { puts $20 on the table }
Gary turns over the Ace of Clubs.
Sweet sweet side action.

Run Good Tsunami

A slightly edited version of the email I sent my buddy Greg after a crazy day at poker room last week.

A crazy night indeed. I went to play the $70 donkament only to discover that they weren’t running it (and hadn’t updated their calendar) but were instead running a $1000/hr high-hand bonus because it was MLK day. I’m pretty sure that was his dream.

I got into a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'Em game with the max buy-in ($200). I posted in from middle position. It was playing pretty limpy as you might expect with everyone fishing for a high-hand. Within a few hands I looked at

from under the gun. I made it $8 to go and got 3 callers including the big blind.

Flop

Wowza! I’m thinking I probably continuation bet in that spot with one A about 60% of the time and with KK-99 about 80% of the time. So while I'm doing all this thinking and figure I’m going to c-bet so as not to look too suspicious... the big blind leads out for $12. I flat call and everyone else folds. He checks the turn

and I check behind to give him a chance to bluff the river. But, he checks instead

Here I didn’t know the policy for this card room on high hand as to whether or not it had to be played to showdown to win (it doesn’t I later learned) so I checked behind (he wasn’t calling anything anyway). I posted the high hand (AAAA8) with about 35min left in the hour. Somehow I faded a straight flush for that whole time and collected a cool $1000. By that time my the dealers had pushed so I went and found the guy who dealt it and gave him a tip.

There were a couple other interesting hands. There was a guy who joined and sat in the 1 seat who clearly had done something cosmically wrong… we’ll just call him “Hipster”. Hipster opens $15 from UTG+1. Two players call before the action gets to me in middle position. I’ve got  and decided to come along. One more call in late position so we’re 5 to the flop and already have a nice pot. 

Flop

Gin! Hipster leads for $23. One guy folds and another just “okie-dokie” calls. I make it $55. Late position guy folds. Hipster seems genuinely pained and finds a call. Okie-Dokie calls leaving himself only about $20 behind. 

Turn

The action checks to me. I make it $93 (what the hipster has left in his stack). He looks like I kicked his dog but finally makes a crying call. Okie-Dokie guy can’t get his last $20 in fast enough. For the side pot ($146) I show my flopped boat and the original raiser showed  and buys another $100. The dealer pushes me the side pot and I’m ready to collect the main when Mr. Okie Dokie rolls over  for flopped quads! At least the side pot keeps me afloat so I basically broke even… and broke the spirit of Seat 1.

By this point the high hand bonus was over and we’re back to $50/hr so it doesn’t really alter play at all. I end up calling pre-flop from middle position with  in a 5-way hand and flopping

Holy cow! Checks to me. I figure I stand to make more playing the hand than shipping it here to show high-hand and protect my weak kicker (that is actually allowed in this room) so I check. Button leads for $10. Folds to me. I call. 

Turn

I check him some rope but he doesn’t take the bait. 

River

and even my high-hand is safe! I bet $25 and he insta-mucks. But, I show the high hand of 77776 and fade a better hand for a full 45min to collect another $50 bonus.

While I’m waiting out my Quad-7s high hand, Seat 1 (the same hipster whose KK I busted) opens for $12. Again a couple calls including me with . Sometimes I might raise with 99 to see if I can take it down, but I didn’t figure it would work against him here so I didn't want to make the pot any bigger and have to make a tough decision on the flop.

Flop

Hipster leads for $25. I call figuring I’ve got the overpair and he might shut it down after getting called. Button calls. 

Turn !!

It’s a run good tsunami! Hipster bets $40. I make it $100 (again just enough to cover him). Button calls (for less). Hipster calls. No more action. Button shows ? Seriously?

River

I show the 99 and Seat 1 rolls over  and excuses himself from the table… probably looking for a bridge.

I should have bought a lottery ticket. Cashed out up ~$1350 for the night.

Ice Ice Coffee

I’ve made a shift to cold-brewed coffee. The benefit of cold brewing that most interested me was the lower acidity. It seems the older I get the more sensitive I’ve become and coffee is particularly problematic source for me mostly because I drink A LOT of it.

You don’t need anything special to cold brew your own coffee. You’ve probably got a jar and some cheesecloth in your kitchen. And, that’s all you need other than some coffee beans. However, I picked up a couple of items to get started with for the sake of convenience. 

A burr grinder. It’s a manual grinder that produces ground coffee of uniform size. I already have an electric blade grinder, but the grounds usually end up too fine or too coarse (or a combination of both) because there’s no control other than how long you keep the blade running. And, it does generate a very small amount of heat. Coffee hipsters purists point out that this heating of the beans can release some of the flavor and generate static that causes the grinds to stick everywhere. For me it was really about the consistency of the grounds.

My second purchase was a “Cold Brew Iced Coffee Travel Bottle” that includes a filter for brewing the coffee and makes a handy way to take it to work. Overall, I’m pleased with the bottle. It’s the perfect size for making two large cups of iced coffee; one for the morning and another after lunch when I need the caffeine boost. I’ve been using it for about 2 weeks now and the only issue I’ve had is that the screen of the filter ends pretty much exactly at the plastic “collar” of the top. Because of this, through normal handling the screen bent inward a bit allowing any ground coffee above it to pour freely into the bottle. It’s not a big deal, I pushed the screen back out and handle it a bit more carefully now, and if it was a bit less full of grounds it wouldn’t have spilled anyway. However, if the screen were just a fraction taller it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

The process is simple. (1) Grind some whole beans, (2) Put the ground coffee into the filter and screw on the cap, (3) Fill the bottle about 3/4 with cold water, (4) Place the filter onto the cap, lower the filter into the bottle and screw on the cap, (5) Put the bottle in the fridge, (6) Wait 8+ hours. Enjoy!

Ground coffee

The Bottle Filter

Ready for the Fridge