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playing poker and teaching science: June 2005

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. I also try to give back a little by volunteering for a month or so each summer at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Painful truth update

I know if I keep doing this I will have to stay honest with myself about money won or lost playing poker:

2005 on line totals:
April 30, -- $179
May 30, -- $375
June 30 -- $610

Okay..... I'm not the Internet Poker Pro, but anything in the black is good.

reed 'em

I went for a beer and a poker game broke out…

I headed out to the local Buffalo Wild Wings for some hot wings and cold beer and as we were walking in a man asks, “Hey, you guys want to play in a poker tournament?”

Now the really odd thing is that I’m with my buddy Brendan, who usually organizes a Tuesday night poker game, but there weren’t enough players for this week’s game and so we went out for a bite.

Let’s see….it’s poker night….the game was a bust….and someone asks if I want ina game? Sounds like a rhetorical question to me.

So Brendan and I sat down with 6300 in chips and the blind at 100/200, increasing every 15-20 minutes or so depending on whether or not the organizer is paying attention. The Amateur Poker League sponsored the game and the place winners received point towards something I didn’t ask about because I didn’t expect to be playing again. BUT, the winner got a $10 gift certificate to their website. SCORE! Ten dollars on a website I’d never heard of?? Now you’re talking!

We’re playing for points, the beer is on special, and the first hand is won with a J6 offsuit…… not the most serious game I’ve been in.

I still refuse to play poorly and work on reading the other players and it’s pretty obvious what they’re playing by their betting. They bet small with middle pair, big with top pair, and chase just about any draw. Perfect.

I happen to be at the same table as Brendan when he bets at a board of 926 out of the big blind. I’ve played with him before so I know he has a top pair, but I call him down with overcards and spike my queen on the river to take down a nice pot. Then the table’s two short stacks call my all-in with A 10 when an ace hits the flop and I have a nice stack as we go down to one table.

Shortly, two players immediately go out when my big slick pounds their middle pairs and I’m in the top four, along with Brendan, and that $10 gift certificate is calling my name when number four bites the dust.

Side bar: I think it speaks well for Brendan and I as reasonably competent poker players as we both made the top three.

The blinds raise once more to astronomically high when Brendan pushes his short stack all-in under the gun. I say, “Ouch, man. I have to call you,” when I look down at pocket rockets. I didn’t know at the time, but that obvious tell worked in my favor. The chip leader folded pocket 8’s face up saying that he was going to call too until he heard that and the eight would have rivered him a straight, giving him the win.

Brendan didn’t improve his AQ and I was head’s up.

The lead shifted beck and forth, along with THREE chops as the blinds made it a crap shoot until I called another all-in when my 10 7 of clubs flopped a flush draw, which turned into a STRAIGHT FLUSH ON THE TURN and then a HIGHER STRAIGHT FLUSH on the river to go out in style.

I proudly accepted my $10 gift certificate, paid my $15 bar tab, tipping generously, and went home to surf their website, finding I could buy the $10 money clip if I pay $7 in shipping fees.

Too much fun!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Toto, we’re not in Vegas anymore…

Back home again in Indiana! I had a wonderful time in Las Vegas. The bloggers are an eclectic mix that I’m sure will always make for a great time and I am definitely making myself available for the next blogger’s gathering.

Friday evening I strolled into the Excalibur and bellied up to a $2/$6 spread table and sat between Maudy, Dr. Pauly, and his brother Derrick. As a matter of fact, the first hand I won was off Dr. Pauly when he jammed the pot with a pocket pair of 9’s against my AQ which turned two pair.

Does anyone else thing Dr. Pauly looks a little like Gilbert Godfree?

More to follow...