January, 2008:

Weekend Poker Update

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We spent the day with our friends in Leesburg yesterday, and had a very nice time.

Got back to the hotel to relax for the evening. After dinner, I decided to enter the nightly Omaha Hi-Lo. I didn’t have a free entry queued up, so I ponied up the $22 to get in.

170 entrants, top 20 paid. Some crazy hands along the way, including having my very nice stack cut in half by someone who got extremely lucky on me after being way behind. But, all’s well that ends well. I finished fourth, and got back $289 for my $22 entry fee. In the last hand, I had such a fantastic draw for scooping the pot, which would have put me in first place, but it didn’t happen, and I was out.

I was already entered into tonight’s big one. Here are my detailed notes. For those who don’t want to read all the way, I missed the money, but just barely. 🙁

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I had an entry already banked, but when I won another entry
on New Year’s Eve, they automatically entered me into this
one, and I didn’t “unregister”, so I am playing tonight, and
still have one entry in the bank for a future tourney.

20 minutes in, and I’m down a drop. Never been above my
original chip count, so it’s a slow start.

A little patience paid off in back-to-back hands against the
same person. In one, I had a read that he was bluffing, and
I called his raise pre-flop, then his bet on the flop and
his bet on the turn (where I paired my K). He checked on the
river and folded to a large bet on my part.

The next hand, I limped with A9s. The flop came A49
rainbow. I checked, he bet, I raised, he re-raised, I
re-raised all-in. He had A7, and he’s out, and I am
breathing a little better now.

1063 entrants, top 110 paid.

980 left, in 41st

Made it to the first break. 🙂

862 left, in 104th
796 left, in 149th
591 left, in 145th

Made it to the second break. 🙂

498 left, in 200th

Lost a number of hands where folding was likely correct, but
who knows. Then I got very lucky. I had 99 and I raised. The
big stack at the table called. Flop came JT8 with two
diamonds. I had the 9 of diamonds, but it’s the straight
that emboldened me to bet with two overs. He called. The
turn was a J. I went all-in, he called. He had KJ, so he was
crushing me. River was a 9, so I caught a full house and
doubled up. Since then, I lost with AQ to AK, and with 77 to
KT when he flopped a straight.

So, while I’m ahead of my double up, I gave back a ton of
chips on those two hands…

393 left, in 208th

After losing the blinds for a few rounds, I had AA on the
button, and the same big stack raised. I went all-in and he
called with TT. AA held up, and I’m back to nearly where I
was when I last doubled up. Whew.

325 left, in 128th

I folded JJ in the small blind to a raise and a large
re-raise, both of him had me covered. One had AK, the other
KQ. JJ would have held up. Oh well, no guts, no glory…

Was getting low on chips. Got AK in the small blind. UTG
raised, everyone folded, I re-raised all-in, and he had
AT. AK held up and I’m in better shape now.

208 left, in 119th

Made it to the third break. 🙂 Crunch time is coming.

184 left, in 125th
168 left, in 144th

Got AA in the big blind, with the same guy raising when I
last doubled up with AK. Everyone folded, I re-raised
all-in, and he called with KQo. AA held up, and I’m now in
much better shape than even before. I can easily make the
money if I “shut down”. So, we’ll see how it goes…

144 left, in 87th
130 left, in 97th
126 left, in 101st

Might be tighter than I thought. Oh well, some things never
change…

Went all-in with AK. Got called by someone with JJ. I
flopped a K, so I was in great shape, he had two outs. The
turn was a J, so I was toast. I finished in 120th, 10 out of
the money. Like I said, I could almost definitely have
folded my way into the money, but I’m a drop tired of doing
that (though the “money” is nice), so I’m not upset with
myself for “going for it”. Also, considering that I was
ahead, I had a real shot to move way up in the standings if
I had more than doubled up there.

So, can’t really complain, even though it didn’t happen this
time…

Hotel TV Victory

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In this post, I mentioned that it wouldn’t be until January that I got to try out my new low-tech cable solution for watching our own stuff on the hotel TV.

We just had the longest stretch in six years of not being in a hotel. Our last stay ended on November 20th, and tonight is our first night since (we’ve stayed with friends for five nights during that stretch, so they weren’t all at home).

Tonight I pulled out my low-tech cable and connected it to the TV in the hotel. I then put two AAA batteries in my programmable remote and looked up the code for a Philips TV. After a moment of panic, when I noticed that there wasn’t a button labeled Input on the remote, I finally found (by trial and error) that there was a button labeled A->B which did the same thing.

Sure enough, I was able to change the hotel TV to all of the inputs (S-Video, Front RCA, Rear RCA, something else, etc.).

I then connected to my home DVR (the DirecTV Hughes HDVR2 that I’ve recently resuscitated) through my SlingBox, and we watched a two hour show that I had recorded months ago. It worked flawlessly!

I enabled a second monitor and extended my desktop to it. I then ran the Sling window in that second monitor and maximized it (800×600) which was the perfect size for the TV. I was able to play Poker on the main laptop screen, without interfering with the show on the TV (also very cool!).

But, there was one last problem. I like having the sound on for the Poker tourneys, so that if I look away from the screen, and it’s my turn, I hear the beep. But, to get the sound on the TV to work, I really have to crank the sound to the headphone jack on the laptop. That would make the Poker beeps way too loud on the TV.

My solution is almost Rube Goldberg, but it worked! 😉

I have a tiny USB sound adapter (I can never get the Microphone input to work, and the volume on the output is deafeningly loud, but, it works). So, I first connect the Sling when the normal headphone jack is enabled. Then I insert the USB sound device, and set that to be the new default sound device. Poker (and most other apps) immediately switch to the new default device, but the Sling keeps playing through the device that was the default when it was launched.

So, I listened for the Poker beep through earbuds that were connected to the USB sound device, and the low-tech cable was connected to the S-Video port and the headphone jack.

Total Victory! Sweet! 🙂