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No, I’m not looking to pick a fight with you. πŸ˜‰

Girlyman is a fantastic acoustic group (well, they do use an electric guitar more as a bass, but essentially, they are acoustic). I had never heard of them. Once we locked in the tickets for Spamalot and decided to do a matinΓ©e, I searched a bit for something fun to do Sunday evening.

Lois and I both really love Joe’s Pub. It’s a really small venue, so every show there is intimate, and they are rarely too loud, which is one small complaint that we have from some other venues. So, one of the first places I checked was their site. Sure enough, they had a show that wasn’t sold out, Girlyman. I probably noticed it in my original scan of things to do for the weekend, but since I didn’t recognize them, and didn’t know whether we’d do Broadway in the evening, I didn’t focus on it.

This time, I went to their website (linked above with their name), and the music instantly started playing (Joyful Sign, the title track of their new CD). I was mesmerized. The other songs on the site are really great too, so you can freely discover this great band for yourself.

Lois and I are nuts about beautiful harmonies. In fact, one of our complaints is that many groups that excel in harmonizing, think it’s more appropriate to be understated in its use, a point with which we vigorously disagree. Little Big Town (blogged about in my Martina McBride update) are one exception, a group that understands the harmonies as one of their big strengths.

So too with Girlyman. The three of them sing so beautifully together, that it would be a shame for them to spend too much time singing solos. They pass the solos around very generously as well (none of them hog the mike), but they spend more time singing harmony than solo (both two at a time, and mostly three at a time). Wow.

Knowing absolutely zero about them before the show, it was reasonably obvious to us that they were gay when they came on the stage. At least two of them were obvious, but I’m betting all three are gay. They didn’t abuse that fact and turn the show into a political opportunity, but they sprinkled their show with enough humorous comments as to be proud of who they are, without offending anyone who would rather not know (at least, they didn’t offend any of us in any way).

One subtle example: when they introduced the song Through the Sunrise (also highlighted on their myspace site), they first said it was Bluegrass. Then they corrected themselves and said: “Or in our case, we like to call it Pinkgrass.” After people chuckled a bit, they went on to play the song, and the entire audience (us included) clapped the beat for them the entire song. Tons of fun!

They used to live in NY (Brooklyn to be specific) for a number of years. At least two of them moved to Atlanta recently. They joked that it was ironic that they were playing more often in NYC now that they lived in Atlanta. Someone from the audience yelled out “Move back here!”. To which they quickly (and wittily) replied: “Why, you want us to play here less often?” πŸ™‚

We bought two of their three CD’s after the show, and our godson got them to autograph the latest one, which is cool. We look forward to seeing them again, as soon as they’re back in NY!


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After our wonderful lunch at The Peking Duck House, we walked to Broadway to see a Sunday matinΓ©e of Spamalot. Eons ago, it was one of my favorite movies (Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

Given how much I loved the movie, and in general Monty Python, it’s a bit puzzling (to me) that I never took the time to go see this show. I wasn’t disinterested as much as just didn’t want to get out of my normal routine to go see it.

So, since this was destined to be a chock-full weekend of fun stuff to do, we scheduled this weeks in advance as well, and merrily walked over to the theater after lunch.

Like Curtains, this show is thoroughly entertaining. The music is fun and funny. The comedic acting is superb. Even Lois laughed a lot and enjoyed herself. This surprised me (quite a bit) because I would bet money that if she watched the movie (now or then), she would hate it.

While the show pays homage to the movie, and includes quite a number of the bits that were originated back then, it is not a one-for-one adaptation to the theater. In fact, there are some large themes that are completely new (and done very well). It is entirely in keeping with Monty Python style humor, so if you like that in general, you’ll be sure to enjoy the show.

The female lead was played by an understudy. We haven’t had much success with understudies lately (in particular, the ones from Wicked have disappointed mightily), but this one was amazing. Ironically, it left me wondering if the real lead is that much better, and if so, it could be worth it to go see her just to know.

All four of us loved the show (or so we all told each other) πŸ˜‰ and I am very happy to have finally made the effort to go see it. Recommended (not like Wicked, but like Curtains). πŸ™‚

Curtains The Musical

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Continuing on with our wonderful adventures this past weekend, after dinner at The Palm West on Saturday, we saw Curtains, the musical on Broadway. The main stars are David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk. We went because our godson was interested in this, we had heard that it was pretty good, but mostly, because we love David Hyde Pierce!

It was thoroughly entertaining. The singing was mostly excellent, in particular when the entire chorus was singing together, but the songs were not memorable in any way. This was more about the story, and the comedic acting of a number of the cast, notably David and Debra. There were quite a number of laughs, and a few interesting plot twists as well.

All in all, a very pleasant evening, and I would recommend the show to anyone looking for a little mindless fun, in particular, if you liked Frasier and/or David Hyde Pierce in general.

P.S. For those who are NYPD Blue fans, Debra Monk played Katie Sipowicz for a number of seasons, in case you didn’t click over to her biography. We liked her in that role, but this role shows that she has real range, since there is zero resemblance to the Katie character, and yes, she can really sing!

P.P.S. The following doesn’t merit a post of its own, but does deserve a mention. Between lunch at Jackson Hole and dinner at The Palm West, the guys went to see the new movie Superbad. I am eternally grateful that Lois decided to skip this, as she would have been apoplectic in the first sentence (no joking whatsoever!). The F-word was said north of 10 times in one sentence…

In addition to non-stop cursing, the first 10-15 minutes are so prurient as to even make a geezer like me blush (and want to wretch!). While the remainder of the movie was still over-the-top in terms of cursing and overt sexual comments, it also got reasonably funny. In particular, all scenes with the police in them were hysterical. Also, there is a character named McLovin (I’m not ruining it, as all of the commercials show him). He does a wonderful job, again, in particular, in all of his interactions with the police. Finally, the ending is actually touching, and done in a reasonably good way, an attempt to redeem themselves a bit.

Bottom line, this movie is not recommended, but if you happen to see it, or happen to like this style of movie, there are quite a number of really hearty laughs in it.

Long Weekend with Company == Food Orgy :-)

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Our godson and his friend (and for years now, independently our good friend as well) spent a long weekend with us (arriving Saturday morning, and leaving this afternoon, Tuesday). We packed in tons of fun during the 3.5 days, and I’ll post a number of blog entries about our escapades. This one is about the food, and I’ll combine all of our meals into this one post.

First, the good news: every meal that we had was outstanding. Next, the bad news: I gained way too much weight, as I purposely let myself go, choosing to enjoy every last morsel of things I should have avoided even tasting. πŸ˜‰

It started with an early lunch on Saturday at Jackson Hole (it’s a chain, and we ate at the one on 35th and 3rd Avenue). While you can get lots of stuff there, they are known for their amazing burgers. Every New Yorker has their favorite burger joint. Jackson Hole is mine (every location, not just this one).

Lately, I’m good about getting a Turkey burger. I did that this time too. But, they have dozens of specialty burgers, and I went nuts and started off a glutinous weekend by ordering a Mexican Burger, yes, with the chili. Of course, the waitress correctly asked me if I was sure that I wanted the chili. since she realized that I ordered Turkey, rather than beef. Of course, I said “Yes”, and I plattered it up with the fries as well. Oh well. It was fantastic, but I was stuffed to the gills after the meal.

At dinner time, we had a reservation at The Palm West. I recently joined OpenTable after being aware of it for a long time. It’s very cool in a large city like NYC, where there are lots of choices. This was the second time I made a reservation through them. The first was The Palm One (the original Palm) a few weeks ago, and that worked perfectly. When we showed up at 6pm at the restaurant this time, they didn’t have the reservation. Very disappointing, since OpenTable sent me an email confirming it just the day before.

Anyway, after 15 anxious minutes, they seated us, and we had an amazing meal. Of course, I had to have some of the gigantic chocolate cake that we all split for dessert… Stuffed again (the same day), but happy nonetheless…

On Sunday, we had lunch at the Duck House. I’ve blogged about it before, so I’ll spare my regular readers. For those who want to learn more, read this. As usual, it was delectable. While I was full, I wasn’t nearly as stuffed as I was on each of the meals on Saturday.

We had dinner at Joe’s Pub. We were there for a show, but that will be the subject of a separate posting. I had my usual for dinner (seared Tuna steak), which was great, but I also had a side of fries, which they nail every single time (so I have to order it every single time). πŸ™‚ Our friend did not enjoy his meal there, which was the first (and only) individual meal that wasn’t rated highly the entire weekend.

On Monday, we had lunch at Pizzeria Uno at The South Street Seaport. We ate outdoors, looking at the East River, and all enjoyed our pizzas (individual sizes and choices) immensely.

We had dinner with an additional friend of ours, our godson’s college roommate for the last two years that he was at Duke. We ate at El Rio Grande (across the street from our apartment), and I’ve probably blogged about it in the past, and if I haven’t, shame on me. It’s our favorite Mexican Restaurant, with incredible food and even better margaritas. I was expecting to use a gift certificate that our goddaughter and her boyfriend gave us when they left NYC 2 weeks earlier (they were both summer interns), but our newest companion faked us all out and pretended to go to the men’s room and instead slipped his credit card to the server, and treated us all. It was, indeed, a treat.

We had dessert and coffee at home, both Sunday and Monday evenings, and I partook of too many of the goodies on both nights…

Today was the last day, and we snuck in an early lunch at Hane Sushi (also across the street from our apartment), and also one of the best Sushi restaurants I have ever eaten in. The link shows two locations, with the one across from our apartment listed as “2nd location”. Ironically, our location was the first one, and it was written up so many times, with the only complaint being the small size. So, they opened a larger flagship location, but ours will always be the first. πŸ™‚

We then dropped off our guests at LaGuardia, and headed to our house, which we’ve sorely missed, but not this weekend! πŸ™‚

More posts tomorrow, but not about food. πŸ™‚

Alison Krauss is Awesome

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Last night Lois and I went to see Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas at the Beacon Theater in NYC. We went with our friends who took us to see Harry Connick Jr. at Radio City Music Hall.

We were all looking forward to a wonderful dinner at Ruby Foos first. Of the four of us, I was the only one who had eaten there before, the night of The Allman Brothers Band concert.

Since Lois and I buy our tickets well in advance for most shows, we have a drawer that we keep them in, stacked in the order that the shows will be held. On the day of the show, Lois typically bugs me 10+ times (no, this is not an exaggeration) to make sure I take out the correct set of tickets. I always get annoyed, but we always end up with the correct tickets when we leave the apartment.

Yesterday, for the first time ever, Lois didn’t ask even once if I had taken out the tickets. We got in a cab at 6pm heading to Ruby Foos. At 6:25pm, we were still in the cab, 1/2 a block away from the restaurant, when our friends called my cell. They were running 10 minutes late, and wanted us to order for them. While they were still on the phone, Lois casually asked me whether I had the tickets on me. Of course, I realized instantly that I did not.

Oops. Role reversal. Now I told our friends that we would be the late ones, and that I would call once we were headed back to the restaurant, to see if there was still time for them to order for us. We stayed in the same cab and headed right back to the apartment. When we got there, we asked the driver if he wanted to take us back to the restaurant after waiting 3 minutes for me to go upstairs, and he declined. So, we had a $31.00 cab ride from our apartment, to our apartment…

I grabbed the tickets and we caught a cab to start the entire journey again. At 6:57pm, I called our friends and told them what to order for us. We walked into the restaurant at 7:20pm (the show was called for 8pm). The food was late in coming to the table, around 7:36pm! We asked for the check as the food showed up, and walked out of the restaurant at 7:58pm. The food was amazing (as is the atmosphere there), and Lois and our friends all wanted to return there for a more leisurely dining experience sometime in the future.

Finally, on to the concert. We were seated in plenty of time, and even got to continue schmoozing with our friends for a reasonable time before it started, at roughly 8:20pm.

Alison Krauss has a voice that is nearly as good as Martina McBride (previously reported on by me), but not quite there. One of the few complaints (and yes, I feel silly using that word to describe her stupendous voice) is that she elevates her volume dramatically when she shifts to high notes. She hits them flawlessly, and her voice is crystal clear (at all octaves), but it’s occasionally a tad disconcerting that the volume shift is so pronounced.

While the style of music is eclectic, with a reasonable range, the heart and soul of Alison Krauss’ music is Bluegrass. For 30+ years, I have always liked Bluegrass (and Dixieland as well), but until recently, I never really knew any specific artists. For example, in the past, I used to buy Bluegrass “Collections”, with 20 “hit songs”, for $3 in a bargain bin somewhere. I have a number of those.

As reported previously, after seeing Ricky Skaggs with Bruce Hornsby, and then discovering the Bluegrass channel on XM Radio, I have now come to appreciate specific Bluegrass bands (as well as purchasing a number of their CDs). Ironically, I believe that the real first step in this new discovery was falling in love with Nickel Creek (led by Chris Thile, also previously reported in this blog). I say ironic, because Alison Krauss produced at least one of Nickel Creek’s albums.

I recognized 80% of the songs they played last night from the CDs that I own. I am not crazy about her newest one (and she played 2 or 3 songs from that one last night as well), but I’ve only listened to it straight through once, so perhaps it will grow on me. I can heartily recommend Alison Krauss and Union Station Live (2 volume set) and Lonely Runs Both Ways. They played a bunch of stuff from those CDs, and they were great on all of those numbers.

The crowd was nuts about her and the band, and gave rousing ovations after each and every song (even the ones I could have done without). πŸ˜‰

Talk about loyalty, most of the band members have been together 16+ years! They also were the award winning music behind the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

They performed two songs during the encore. After the first, they quickly (and impressively) rearranged all of the microphones on the stage, and the entire band (sans piano player) got together in the center in a tight grouping, and played an acoustic number called A Living Prayer from the Lonely Runs Both Ways album (the last song on the CD). If you were in the audience, and didn’t get chills when she sang this song, get thee to a doctor (you can pick which kind) right away! πŸ™‚

Anyway, another smashing success in our nice run of fantastic concerts. We both look forward to catching Alison and Union Station again (and again). And, we can’t wait to relax with our good friends at Ruby Foos as soon as possible!

July 2007 Poker Summary

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So, I just finished the month on a reasonable high note, coming 3rd out of 108 players in an Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. I was the leader going in to the final table, and when there were 7 left, I was in last (one really bad hand, very poorly played on my part!). So, coming in 3rd was satisfying, even though I lost on the river on the last hand, or I could have gone further.

Last month, I abandoned (perhaps not forever) the summary by tournament type, etc. I’ll skip that this month too. In fact, this is going to be a really short update, since I’ve covered the highlights already. To repeat the biggest highlight: I won qualifiers for 4 of the big Sunday tournaments in this month. I cashed in 3 of the 4 tournaments, to the tune of $900, $900 and $419.

I peaked at up $1983 (as reported earlier). After the third in my last tourney of the month, I’m up $1980 for the month (I rounded up $.03). πŸ˜‰ So, I hung on to all but $3 from my peak, over the past 2 weeks. Not too shabby!

As reported earlier, I gave back roughly $300 in a one week period after I peaked (so obviously, I won it back). At the time, I said that I would comment on my style changes, etc. That’s what I’ll close with this month.

After the second $900 cash, my account was flush, and I felt that I could do two things: take some more chances and play in some slightly bigger buy-in tournaments.

I did both. Ironically, while I splashed around a few more dollars in buy-ins (the largest was $38, so don’t think I went crazy), I lost most of them on truly bad beats. I’m not complaining, just saying that I was (generally speaking) holding my own in the larger tourneys, which I’d avoided before, simply because a losing streak could have crippled my account. Now it would barely make a dent. Well, it definitely dented the account, but I won it back. Whew.

Second was style. I decided to play a little looser. In fact, I played a little too loosely on occasion, and that cost me money as well. That said, it was a fantastic learning experience, as I definitely hit a couple of big hands that I never would have even been in, and I got to understand a little better the range of hands that other people raise with (given that often before, everyone, including me, folded to them, and playing looser, I sometimes got to see their hands).

While I don’t intend to become a loose player in general, or even as a rule, I see value in being able to do it on occasion, situationally, and it’s an addition to my game that has already served me reasonably well, and I expect it to continue to serve me.

Anyway, looking forward to continue learning. Alternatively, if I can’t learn (because of having a thick head), then I’ll gladly take some better luck, so that the account can keep growing. πŸ™‚

Final Sunday July 2007 Poker Update

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Well, got to play a bit of poker this week, but it didn’t go so well. I will still wait until the end of the month (just two more days) to report more generally.

Yesterday, I played in a qualifier to get into the big one tonight. Ironically, we were supposed to have company with us in the city this weekend (as we were supposed to last weekend), and they got rained in at the Durham airport, so we came to the house yesterday morning. For $31, I won an entry into the big one tonight.

Here is my log from while I was playing:

1048 entrants top 110 paid

Only played one hand so far, and won.

1000 left, in 129th
966 left, in 205th
934 left, in 57th
889 left, in 92nd
796 left, in 21st
684 left, in 34th
585 left, in 66th
468 left, in 15th
378 left, in 25th
277 left, in 55th
268 left, in 2nd
220 left, in 10th
194 left, in 19th
153 left, in 35th
144 left, in 47th
135 left, in 53rd
124 left, in 67th
122 left, in 48th
118 left, in 42nd
112 left, in 48th
111 left, in 50th



109 left, I’m in 52nd

I played way too tight from the moment I was in 2nd. Obviously, this was one of the shots to get a major prize, not a minor one, but I admit that cashing at all was more important to me. Oh well. At least the game is officially on now, and I still have enough chips to try and get lucky with…

98 left, I’m in 50th

That was a step up in the money!

94 left, I’m in 53rd
84 left, I’m in 50th

That was a step up in the money!

80 left, I’m in 58th

That was a step up in the money!

Oh well. Lost a “race” hand, and I’m out in 79th, and got back $419. Not too shabby, cashing 3 out of 4 times in the big one. πŸ™‚

Ironically, that wiped out most of my losses in the last two weeks. I’m near my peak for the month, but not quite there. That said, I am above where I was when I cashed in the big one 2 weeks ago, so that’s good enough for now. πŸ™‚

July 2007 Poker Streak Finally Ends

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Oh well, it had to happen. I went a week without playing any poker while we were down at Zope. Then we had an unscheduled business meeting in NYC that was too important to miss, so we cut our trip to Zope short by a week. The side benefit was that I got to play poker this past week when I didn’t expect to.

In any event, I still didn’t expect to play in the big one yesterday, because our friends were going to stay with us over the weekend. In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news, there was a big steam pipe explosion in NYC last week, right near our apartment, so our friends wisely canceled their trip to NYC. That put us up at the house for the weekend, with poker on the agenda.

The day we found out that our friends weren’t coming, I played in a qualifier for the big one, and won a seat! It seemed like destiny that I would extend my 2 for 2 streak of cashing to 3 for 3.

I’ll just paste my notes in from the tourney and summarize at the bottom…

965 entrants, top 100 paid.

I was in 3rd after the first hand.

Had some extremely tough laydowns after that, which cost me some significant chips. In one hand, I know for sure I would have won. In the others, I don’t know, but I suspect that in at least one, I would have won.

So, in the meantime, I’m now not doing so hot, but it’s early.

Before this one started, I entered a $15 tourney at 3:30 that had 364 entrants, top 40 paid.

I had some horrid luck and with 290 left, I was something like 280th (or worse). I fought back tooth and nail, and just lost (at 6pm, an hour into the big tourney!), and came in 27th. It was only worth $30 back for my $15, but was very satisfying!

Now I can concentrate fully on the big one…

726 left I am in 624th
690 left I am in 598th
676 left I am in 646th (oops!)
670 left I am in 468th (better!) πŸ™‚

Just went out in 589th, so finally, no money in the big one… There had to be a first one.

I was a very short stack. I had JcQs in the small blind. There were two limpers and I limped, and the big blind checked, so there were 4 of us. The flop came Qc8c4c. I had top pair and a decent flush draw, and I had only 900 chips left. I went all-in. I got called by a guy with Ac4c, so he flopped the nut flush. Oops for me. The next card was a club, so if someone else had called, with anything other than the Kc, I would have won, so it was a good calculated play, but it didn’t work this time. Oh well.

So here’s the bottom line on July. After the cash in the big one two weeks ago, I was ahead $1907. I had some interim successes during the past week, and while dipping below that number a few times, at one point I peaked at up $1983. After the disaster this weekend (meaning, not just losing the big one, but a number of other heart breakers), I am now only up $1685 for the month. Boo hoo. πŸ™‚

Obviously, still a fantastic month. Of course, since I won my entry into the big one (value: $215), and won a number of other qualifiers as well (which I’ve since lost as well), the real value of my winnings is higher, it’s just that I’ve already lost back some of those winnings in the tournaments that I qualified for.

I’ll report again at the end of the month, with an analysis of my play, which is definitely changing in a material way (we’ll see whether for the better or not!).

July Poker Roll Continues :-)

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So, we drove from NY to VA today. Most of the ride was good and uneventful, until we hit Springfield, which was at a dead stop, as it often is… Took an extra 30 minutes to get to the hotel. All in all, I guess we can’t complain.

Spent a number of hours shopping and running errands. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was pooped. I had one hour left before the big weekly tournament. I nearly nodded off waiting for it to start, which didn’t bode well for the necessary concentration.

I guess I caught a second wind. πŸ˜‰

813 entrants today, top 90 paid. I won my entry on July 4th, for a total of $15.50. I also played in two other qualifiers trying just to win the cash, which I came very close to doing in one (I may or may not report on that at month end). So, I really had a bit more invested in than just the $15.50.

There were really only 6 particularly interesting hands, though obviously a number of additional hands where I had to make some serious decisions. Here are the notes that I took in the order that they occurred:

  1. I had AA in early position, and I raised. The small blind thought for quite a while, then re-raised me all-in. I called (obviously). He had QQ. Flop came 3 spades. Neither of us had a spade. I knew, with 100% certainty, that the next two cards would both be spades. They were. We split the pot. Ouch!
  2. I had QQ in the small blind (200 invested). UTG raised. Another guy re-raised a lot. A third guy called the re-raise. I folded. It wasn’t that tough a decision, but it stunk to have that many people represent a hand when I had a real one, that was likely beat.
  3. Had TT in middle position. Someone in early position went all-in. I had him easily covered, but it would have cost me nearly 40% of my stack, and because I was in middle position, someone behind me could have forced me all in, so I folded. So did everyone else, so I have no idea whether I would have won or not.
  4. I had 88 on the button. At this point, I also had a nice stack. A short stack went all-in. I called. The small blind re-raised all-in which would have been for most, if not all of my chips. I folded. The original guy had AKo. The small blind had JJ. A K hit the flop, so the original guy tripled up. I would have lost my original call, and would have lost the rest of my chips to the J’s, so I’m glad he re-raised, and that I folded.
  5. There were roughly 150 players left (60 to go to the money), and I was in 88th. Technically, I was still “in the money”, but practically, I knew from experience that if I wasn’t willing to gamble a bit, I could easily bubble. I got AKh and raised. The same guy who re-raised all-in with J’s from the hand above (this was perhaps 15-20 hands later) raised all-in again, and this time had me well covered. Everyone folded. I called. He had 22 (a horrible play on his part!). That said, I was in trouble, as I still had to hit. A K came on the flop, and held up, and I doubled up. He still had a marginal stack, and played on tilt from then on. He hit some hands and built his stack way back up, and still blew up way out of the money.
  6. This was the critical hand. I had enough chips to definitely drift into the money. There were 92 players left (two to go to the money), and I had 11,000 chips, which probably put me at around 70. I had KK. I decided to risk it all, really hoping for no callers, and to just pick up the blinds. I went all-in and got called by a big stack. Three hands earlier, he called another all-in, and had AA. I was nervous that he had it again! He had AKo, and my K’s held up, and I doubled to 23,000 chips, which put me in 32nd place. Whew!

After that, I was somewhere between truly card dead, and having cards that were likely 2nd or 3rd best hands, but facing very big raises. So, I ended up folding practically every hand, and kept drifting higher and higher in position. At the same time, once people make the money, all small stacks typically go crazy, so they start dropping like flies.

Cutting to the chase, I finished in 40th, and got the same exact prize that I received for 38th last week, $900. Not too bad! Here is the “log” of my positions along the way.

Remain My Position
====== ===========
719 384
687 358
586 313
532 222
489 251
344 44
335 40
319 6
281 15
239 23
191 37
180 64
143 23
125 40
117 48
104 60
98 64
91 32



78 38

Next step up in the money!

70 48

Next step up in the money!

58 54

Next step up in the money!

50 47

Next step up in the money!

40 40

Next step up in the money!

I have nearly zero chips, and I am now out in 40th, and got
the same prize again this week that I did last week! Woo

Here’s hoping to repeat this again (and again). That said, being at Zope this week will mean little chance to win an entry into next week’s tourney until the weekend, and I have to be back in NY for an important meeting over the weekend. I might need to skip this tourney next week. Bummer!

Just another July Poker update ;-)

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I had an all-day out-of-the-office meeting yesterday. When I got home, after catching up on emails, etc., I finally got to enter my nightly $22 Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. 95 entrants, top 10 paid.

I was holding my own for a while, and then when there were 40 players left, ran into some bad luck and became a very low stack. So, while I continued to play, I entered an $11 Hold’Em tourney with 160 entrants, paying top 20. I played in both for a while, and caught a nice break in the Omaha tourney and quadrupled my stack and became a medium stack (quite unexpectedly).

Cutting to the chase on that one, I finished 13th, and missed the money by 3. I likely could have squeaked in to 10th if I would have played overly-cautiously (not definitely though), but I am very glad that I played aggressively, and even though it didn’t work out, I believe I played correctly.

I have played in the $11 Hold’Em tourney at 8:15pm once before, same number of entrants, and I came 13th the first time (got back $16 for my $11). I got unlucky on the river in that one. Last night, reasonably early on, I caught a straight flush on the turn, and thankfully, someone else caught an A-high flush on that card as well. I won a big pot and was in 4th with roughly 120 players left.

Then a few new players were moved to our table, including perhaps the biggest maniac I’ve ever played with, who was two seats to my left (generally speaking, you’d like a maniac one or two seats to your left). A while ago, I wrote about another maniac (who ended up missing the money by one after being a giant chip leader), so I’m not 100% sure this guy was the biggest, but he was in the top two.

He was also wildly lucky (as was the other maniac, until he flamed out without making the money!). So, he quickly became the chip leader. Others at the table started verbally abusing how badly he was playing, and he was arrogant and defiant, pointing to his chip stack and telling them that they didn’t know how to play. He was awful. He was willing to go all-in on every hand, as long as he had an A (any A!). He would call other people’s all-in bets if he hit bottom pair with a hand like J3o!

Anyway, this meant having to have patience, which I was able to do, given that I had already built a nice chip stack before he showed up.

If I concentrate on his play, I could go on and on, so I’ll summarize. I raised with 77 in reasonably early position. He re-raised me and everyone else folded. If I called, I’d be pot committed, so the decision for me was fold or go all-in. Our goddaughter was hanging out with us, and I explained the situation (I had commented on the maniac a bunch already, so she and Lois both were aware of the background), and she said “Go for it!”. I would have missed the money if he called and I lost, as he was the chip leader.

I went all-in, and he called. He had one of his “better” hands, ATo. That is not a strong hand to call someone else’s all-in bet, but he was in second chip position at the time (he had 20,000 chips, and I had 7,500), so this particular call wasn’t that bad. My 7’s held up (one of the very rare times he didn’t hit the board!). I had 15,000 chips, and he had 12,500! After the hand, I was in second place (there were roughly 60 players left at the time).

Then a few hands later, I had JJ and raised. He called. The flop came A66. I checked, he checked. The turn was an A. I checked, he bet a fair amount and I called. The turn was an 8. I checked, and amazingly, he checked (I’m not sure I would have called, as he had hit a few more incredible hands and was again chip leader by this hand!). Anyway, he called my original raise with QJo, and my J’s won, and I now had 17,000 chips.

A few hands later, I had TT in the small blind and he was in the big blind. Everyone folded to me. I limped in and he called. Flop was 963. I bet, he raised, and I re-raised all-in. He called instantly. He had 95o, so he flopped top pair and was willing to call an all-in bet. Amazing! My 10’s held up and I had 33,000 chips after that.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, he yo-yo’ed up and down, but went into the final table with 84,000 chips, and second place was 55,000 chips, and I was in third with 36,000 chips. He finished 5th, blowing up with an A6o, against AA. Again, a mind-boggling call of an all-in from the chip leader at the time.

I finished 3rd, and got back $184 for my $11. My account is now bigger (by $62) than it was after Sunday’s win, and that includes all of the qualifier “losses” that I’ve wracked up.

Very nice πŸ™‚