Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coolers...get your coolers here!

One evening while it was raining in Albany I had the opportunity to play a little bit of online poker. I was just trying to kill some time before heading over to see the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight". I would really recommend that movie if you haven't seen it yet as it is one of the better movies I have seen in the last couple of years. Anyway, I digress. I was playing at the $.25/$.50 No Limit table when the following hand came up. For those of you that don't know my name at the Full Tilt tables is "Phantom Aces". As usual, I will try to interject my thoughts as the hand plays out:

Full Tilt Poker Game #7335581850: Table Huxley Cross - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:31:10 ET - 2008/07/22
Seat 1: FTP paramedic ($6.30)
Seat 2: Bockcara ($50)
Seat 3: bobontilt ($99.75)
Seat 4: Phantom Aces ($22.85)
Seat 5: Farodealer ($46.50)
Seat 6: riffraff999 ($34.85)
Seat 7: karway ($81.55)
Seat 8: major penalty ($50)
Seat 9: CORNpoo ($34.55)
Farodealer posts the small blind of $0.25
riffraff999 posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Phantom Aces [Ks Kd], I'm always happy to see this hand dealt to me. Now I just need another player and have to avoid the dreaded Ace on the flop!
karway folds
CORNpoo calls $0.50 - Hello other player!
FTP paramedic folds
Bockcara folds
bobontilt folds
Phantom Aces raises to $1.75 - you have to put in a raise with Kings, but I don't want CORNpoo to give up yet so I'll keep the raise small
Farodealer adds $3.75
Farodealer folds
riffraff999 folds
CORNpoo calls $1.25 - Sweet! Now, no Ace on that flop
*** FLOP *** [2s Kh 2c] - This is a GREAT flop! I've flopped the nut full house. In fact, There's almost no hand my opponent can have that the flop will have helped him, so I'm going to have to let him "catch up" by not betting and giving him a card that may help his hand.
CORNpoo checks
Phantom Aces checks
*** TURN *** [2s Kh 2c] [7d] - With that card, I'll still let him take any initiative here
CORNpoo checks
Phantom Aces checks - OK. I'm guessing that he doesn't have much. Let's give him one more free card.
*** RIVER *** [2s Kh 2c 7d] [Td] - I hope he bets SOMETHING here, or I'll have to do that.
CORNpoo bets $3.50 - Nice! Hopefully he hit something with the board! Time to raise!
Phantom Aces raises to $8.50
CORNpoo raises to $32.80, and is all in - Wow! This is an automatic call here.
Phantom Aces calls $12.60, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $11.70 returned to CORNpoo
*** SHOW DOWN ***
CORNpoo shows [2d 2h] four of a kind, Twos - Holy coolers, Batman! That really sucks. What are the chances of him flopping quads when I flop a full house?!?
Phantom Aces mucks
CORNpoo wins the pot ($44.15) with four of a kind, Twos
Phantom Aces is sitting out
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $46.45 | Rake $2.30
Board: [2s Kh 2c 7d Td]
Seat 1: FTP paramedic didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: Bockcara didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: bobontilt didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Phantom Aces (button) mucked [Ks Kd] - a full house, Kings full of Twos
Seat 5: Farodealer (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 6: riffraff999 (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: karway didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: major penalty is sitting out
Seat 9: CORNpoo showed [2d 2h] and won ($44.15) with four of a kind, Twos

That, friends and readers, is about as much of a cooler as you'll ever see in poker. For those of you unfamiliar with poker jargon a "cooler" is when you hold a very strong hand, usually the 2nd best possible at the time all the money goes in, and your opponent has the one possible hand that can beat you.

Once this flop hit the board there was no way anything but getting all the money in was going to happen. My opponent was clearly going through the same thought process I was when that flop hit, it's just that his hand was the stone cold nuts! I actually had one of my friends ask me what I thought he had when he raised at the river. My only answer to him was, "Does it matter? I'm not folding to that remote of a possibility!" I'm not going to fold a Kings full full house in this situation. I'm just glad that the stakes at this table were so small when it happened because I'd have paid off anything at any level with the hand I held and the board that hit. For those of you that are curious the odds of flopping a full house when you hold a pocket pair are about 0.7% (about 136 to 1). The odds of flopping four of a kind, quads, when you hold a pocket pair are 0.25% (about 407 to 1). I don't know what the odds are of having both of those occur at the same time are, but it can't too high!

...Coolers, get your coolers here!! Only $22.85...

Sunday, July 27, 2008


A friend of mine had this blog "tag" in her recent postings, and when I read it I sort of deduced from her answers that I was supposed to also do this if I had read her blog. Her blog can be found here. As it so happens, on the day I initially read it I happened to wake up at noon thanks to some hard drinking the night before and when I saw question #1 I decided that maybe that day wasn't the best day to answer the questions. After all, I rarely get up at noon and I wasn't feeling well that day.

I had to work in Albany this past week and forgot about it, but now I'm home and was going to do a post when I realized I hadn't done this, so here goes:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:00am
2. Diamond or Pearls? not big in to either, but diamonds I guess
3. What was the last film you saw? The Dark Knight (excellent movie! Thumbs Up!)
4. Who always supports you? my family
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? a bowl of cereal, two pieces of toast, and two slices of turkey bacon during the week; eggs, bacon, and toast on the weekends
6. What is your middle name? Richard
7. What food do you dislike? Zucchini and Squash
8. What is your favorite CD? most CDs by Collective Soul
9. What type of car do you drive? Hyundai Sante Fe
10. Favorite sandwich? If you're referring to homemade sandwiches, I guess a tuna sandwich with honey dijon mustard; otherwise, from a restaurant/sandwich joint it would be a grilled chicken sandwich of some sort.
11. What characteristics do you despise? Aloofness / big ego / arrogance
12. Favorite item of clothing? shorts and a comfortable polo
13. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? Australia or Hawaii
14. What color is your bathroom? one is light blue, the other is a dark yellow
15. Favorite brand of clothing? Not big on shopping particular brands
16. Where will you retire? I like the people I know in Wisconsin, so it'll be here
17. What was your most memorable birthday? I guess my 18th or my 2nd; I got a baby brother for my 2nd birthday!
18. Favorite sport to watch? Football or Stanley Cup Playoff Hockey
19. Furthest place you are sending this? Not really sending this, but hopefully someone far away will read it!
20. Who do you expect to send this back to you? Not expecting a response because this is a blog post
21. Person you expect to send it back first? see #20
22. Favorite sayings? Most people would expect me to state "I raise" or "All in" here, but I think it would have to be "I'm picking up what you're putting down."
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night person
24. Pets? none right now. Traveling for work prevents that (among other things)
25. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut (what boy didn't?)
26. What are you today? Software Instructor / Consultant
27. What is your favorite candy? Peanut Butter M&Ms
28. What is your favorite flower? You do realize you "sent" this to a straight guy, right? I don't think I can name 5 flowers
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Well, it was this past June 1, but now it's going to have to be next June
30. What are you listening to right now? music through my iPod on my stereo system
31. What was the last thing you ate? salmon
32. Do you wish on stars? Yes
33. Do you believe in Angels? Yes
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? purple
35. Pet peeves? Constant dragging of feet (literally), and poor driving skills
36. Favorite Television show? Tossup between Lost and Smallville
37. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Dan
38. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes
39. Favorite soft drink? Diet Snapple Half Iced Tea/Half Lemonade
40. Favorite restaurant? South Woods because of the service; The Brat Stop because of a good experience there
41. Hair Color? Brown
42. Siblings? 1 brother
43. What do you like most about yourself? I'm pretty laid back
44. What was your favorite toy as a child? Matchbox cars
45. Summer or Winter? Summer
46. Hugs or kisses? Kisses
47. Chocolate or vanilla? If it's just those two, chocolate, although I'm a sucker for vanilla bean
48. When was the last time you cried? It's been a while
49. What is under your bed? nothing, it's pretty low to the ground
50. What did you do last night for dinner? grilled some chicked
51. Favorite smell? Iroincally, coffee, although I'm not a big fan of drinking it
52. How many keys on your key ring? 2
53. How many years at your current job? 4
54. Favorite day of the week? Friday or Saturday, they're both pretty good, although during football season it's got to be Packer Sunday!
55. Do you make friends easily? Yes

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top Ten list of Cochenbalz 2008

I've seen several "Top 10" lists about the 2008 Cochenbalz Invitational along with other people's highlights. I'd like to post mine here along with other pictures from the weekend. My Top 10 highlights of the 2008 Cochenbalz Invitational (in no particular order):
  1. David nearly acing the elevated par 3 that had the fans surrounding it (Great Birdie!)
  2. Constantly being amazed by Thimmesch's length and accuracy off the tee.
  3. Getting accustomed to calling the first 18 "the front" and the second 18 "the back" and still trying to call the first nine of 18 "the front" and the second nine of 18 "the back".
  4. John's 40 on the "back of the front" on Saturday in the two-man best ball matches which pretty much slaughtered David and myself.
  5. As usual, feeling like I'm a midget whenever I'm around Pru. I just haven't seen you in a while.
  6. Our foursome making an incredible putt for birdie in the scramble with Vallee playing the "Humpty Hump" from his cell phone, and then needing to have that playing for all our shots the rest of the round.
  7. Making an 8 on Canyon #1 on Sunday. This may not seem good, but you likely didn’t see me play Canyon #1 on Friday or Saturday, did you? If you did you know why this is a highlight.
  8. Watching Adam try and use the cart girls as his "beard" (see picture of Trav and Adam in blog)
  9. Fitting 6 of us in a BMW to ride to Marley’s. This seems more improbable when you realize that in the backseat was a 6’8” person (Curt), his only slightly shorter brother (Keith), myself, and another 6’+ person (Trav) sitting on Keith’s lap. Saj and John appeared to be quite comfortable up front, while I’m sure anybody watching us get out of the car at Marley’s were waiting to see the clowns get out after us.
  10. Getting a ride back to the Ramada from Marley's from the Kalahari shuttle, who drove four of us on his bus that seats 20 from Marley's and never went to Kalahari. This also included a stop at some guy's house along the way.
  11. and of course, having a great time with some good competition and lots of drinking and camaraderie.

OK...so there's 11 instead of 10. I had more fun than I thought.

20 Dudes. 3 Days. Zero Class.

OK. We don't really have Zero Class (at least not all of us), but the shirts we got for the 2008 golf outing had that phrase on there, and it was pretty funny. I got an invite to participate in this year's outing because some people had moved/dropped out/couldn't make it/etc., and had a great time golfing at Trapper's Turn. We played 36 holes on Friday, 36 holes on Saturday, and 18 holes on Sunday. That is a lot of golf! I had never played 36 holes in a day before, so I wasn't sure how I'd do over the 5 rounds of golf.

The outing was organized primarily by Trav, and many kudos to him for getting it all done! Kurt provided everyone with the great shirts for the outing. I'll have to post a picture of one of the shirts up here at some point. Thanks to Kurt and
SmokeStacks, Inc., for providing the shirts for all of us. Please check out his site to see the work he does. Also, Saj provided everyone with some Miller products (cooler, golf balls, golf towel, beer). Thank you very much for that!! Because we had an 8:30am start on Friday we had to leave extremely early that morning. Adam, Bass, Marty, Trav, Vallee, and myself were on the road by about 5:30 or so. Bass has got a sweet conversion van that had a huge flat screen TV along with plenty of space for the 6 of us. It was a nice ride.

We arrived at the course, and found out that we were going to start a little late because of some rain that came through that morning. The rain delay allowed us to run to the hotel and check in, saving some time later on that evening.
When we finally got started, I had one of the worst holes I've ever had on the very first hole (Canyon #1). In fact, the first 9 happened to be the worst 9 holes of golf I've had in about 5 years or so. I picked things up on the back (Arbor), and was golfing OK by the time we started our second 18 holes. The second 18 (Canyon/Lake) was significantly easier especially since it was a scramble. I started hitting drives solidly and making golf shots and was feeling good about my golf game. Because of the late start we didn't finish our last hole of golf until about 9:15pm. We had a little bit of fun on the last hole, with our foursome hitting shots simultaneously on the hole.

There was a lot of drinking to be done that night, and when it was time to golf on Saturday I was in rough shape. With the help of some Alleve I was feeling OK by about the 6th hole or so. For the rounds on Saturday we were playing two 2-man best ball matches for the first 18 holes (one match per nine), and the second 18 holes were to be a scramble. The two best golfers in the group of twenty were the team captains, and based on their knowledge of everyone's golf game and the scores shot on Friday morning two teams of ten were formed for the match play. Our matches were split 1 each, with us taking the front nine (Canyon) 2 and 1, and John and Tim taking the back nine (Arbor) 3 and 2. John shot an absolutely incredible 40 on the Arbor nine which pretty much crushed David and me.

The second 18 of the day was the scramble, and I was grouped with Thimmesch, Bucki, and Vallee. We came out of the gate hot, but bogeyed the 9th hole of the Arbor nine to make the turn at 4 under. We started the turn with a couple of birdies on the first three holes, and after making a spectacular putt for birdie with Vallee playing the "Humpty Hump" on his cell phone. We started playing that for all of our shots from that point forward. Because we were the last foursome we were able to find out that the leaders in the clubhouse were at 9 under par. We were at 8 under heading in to the par 5 18th (Lake #9), but after we all chipped a little long from 50 yards none of us were able to bring the birdie home (it would have been an outstanding putt from the back of the fringe if we had), and we finished at 8 under par, tying for second place.

We found out while eating dinner that the match play had ended with my team, Team USA, leading over Team International 6 1/2 to 3 1/2. Sunday's 18 was to be individual matches, with each nine consisting of a match, so 20 points were up for grabs. I was matched up against Dan. We started on the Canyon nine, which I wasn't too excited about since I had scored my poorest nines on the Canyon nine. For the third straight day I played very poorly on Canyon #1, although the 8 I posted on Sunday was the best of the three days. I found myself down 1, but managed to put together a very solid stretch of golf and was able to win the nine 3 and 2. Dan got me on the second nine (Arbor) 2 and 1. Dan made a great up and down on #7 to steal a hole that I thought I would win and then he tried real hard on #8 to let me back in the match, but I couldn't get the job done and was only able to halve the hole. As it turned out, the matches were split 10 points apiece on Sunday giving Team USA the win 16 1/2 to 13 1/2. It was a really good time, and I met a lot of really great guys that I look forward to doing some more golfing with soon!