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playing poker and teaching science: December 2012

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.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Spring Break 2013

For the average teacher, it's never too soon to start thinking about spring break and for the travel junkie, it's never too soon to jump on a real deal! Thus, the trip to Mexico in April is already bought and paid for. I'll be traveling to a new Palace location as the result of an amazing half-price sale. A week for two at an all-inclusive resort for $1500? SOLD!

Aventura Spa Palace, here I come :-)

To the bank

It’s a good feeling to return from a trip to Las Vegas and be able to deposit money in the bank. Actually, at this point in my poker playing “career,” I expect to do just that whenever I return from a poker trip. The amounts vary, but the results are the same: mostly winning sessions, a losing session or two, up overall.


This trip was a different animal. I’m in Indiana and my brother and sister currently reside in Hawaii so when my sister suggested we meet somewhere in between for the holidays, Vegas immediately came to mind. I intended to play poker naturally, but also spend most of the time with family.

Even though I was going to be with family a good part of the time, I stuck with my basic money-making strategy for a three or four day trip and took advantage of Eastern Standard Time. Since I’m usually up around six in the morning, I still got up at six. With the time change however that put me playing with the three o’clock crowd: a mixture of drunks, stuck players, and pseudo-professionals.

Also as usual, I stayed away from the local pros and raked in money from the drunks and stuck players trying to get even. During the three-day trip, I ended with eight winning sessions and only one losing session. The lone losing session was only about a $70 loss however so overall I more than paid for the trip, even without as much time at the tables as usual. I also only played exclusively $1/$2 NLHE. I didn’t get to the Orleans for Omaha 8b and I didn’t play a single tournament.

One huge more forward I made this trip was with plays back on conservative players. I did this on four or five occasions choosing my spots perfectly and made nice wins each time. In one instance I was able to push a solid player off a nice pot when a scare card hit on the river. I missed my flush draw, bet a “value bet” sized amount anyway, and acted like I was about to flip up a monster when the player reached for calling chips. He read that as strength and folded to my baby pair.

I also raised in position against two conservative players with the mighty 2 and 4 of clubs and took down the pot with a continuation bet, confirming that I read way too many poker blogs!

One humorous anecdote: A Chinese woman who was about 100 years old sat down to my right. When she was bet into she said with a heavy accent, “When I remove my sword from its container, I fear I must use it,” as she re-raised the pot. Everyone folded laughing.

It was a great trip :-)