Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poker gems, #312

Daniel Negreanu, in ESPN's World Series of Poker Main Event coverage, broadcast September 22, 2009.


I don't think bubbling is a bad thing at all. If you're a bubble boy, that means you've got guts. It's the guys who squeak in the money like little rats--those are the ones who should be embarrassed. The guy who goes out with a blaze of glory and says, "I am the bubble boy," y'know, he should be applauded. This is a guy that's going to make it some day.

Guess the casino, #277





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Paris

Friday, September 25, 2009

Guess the casino, #276





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Imperial Palace

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mac King

There are a bunch of magic shows around town. I've seen a few of them, and they're pretty much interchangeable and forgettable. For a long time I assumed that the "Mac King Comedy Magic Show" was another of them. But then I saw some random comment from Penn Jillette about Mac King being the most innovative magician on the Strip. That caught my attention, and I started looking for opportunities to see the show. When Cardgrrl checked into Harrah's on a recent visit, they gave her a discounted coupon for the show, which she passed on to me. Yesterday I finally used it.

The show is really great. Except maybe for the cutting-the-rope trick at the beginning, essentially everything is presented in ways I haven't seen before. He is constantly foiling the expectations you have developed from a lifetime of seeing other magic shows. Because I never knew for sure where tricks were going, they surprised me, and made me wish I had a videotape of the show so I could go back and watch to figure out how things were done. Most magic shows leave me much less curious than this one did.

It is far and away the funniest magic show I've ever been to. The guy is just naturally funny. For example, at one point a female audience member was instructed to keep a few cards secure. She chose to tuck them inside the front of her bra. When it came time for the cards to be revealed, he asked for them back. She seemed a bit unsure of what to do. She tentatively reached toward the top of her shirt, and but then stopped to ask, "Should I take them out?" Without missing a beat, he responded in deadpan, "Just the cards."

At another point, a young woman was told to write her name across the card she had selected. She was a little unclear on the concept, and used the giant black pen to write her name across the BACK of the card. He rolled with it, and had a great time pretending how difficult it was to pick out the right card with the deck face down.

And if you don't laugh when he dons the "cloak of invisibility" and tiptoes around the stage, well, there's just something wrong with you.

I've never seen free tickets for this show, but it was well worth the discounted $10 apiece price, and I would readily go to see it again.

Famous pros' blogs, real or otherwise

Just a quick note to point you to this funny post from Daniel Negreanu's blog, in which he parodies what other well-known professional poker players' blogs actually are like, or might be like if they wrote them. Enjoy.

Something I hadn't heard of before

I use Yahoo as my home page, and the news feed on it has a "local" section. Today it featured a story from the Las Vegas Sun on the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Erotic Heritage Museum, which had somehow escaped my attention before now. Something, well, different to do when you're visiting next time.

Guess the casino, #275






To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Suncoast

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guess the casino, #274





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Palms

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

That's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it (uh-huh, uh-huh)

Mandalay Bay has recently become my default place to play on Sunday afternoons. I have played there four Sunday afternoons of late, booking no losses and averaging $353 per session. This week was no exception, even though it was actually the smallest of my wins.

It was one of those rare sessions in which nearly everything went the way I wanted it to. Because my ex-wife is visiting, I have had to modify my poker schedule to leave more time for playing host. Sunday that meant that I had only three hours to play while she did shopping and window shopping in the Mandalay/Luxor/Excalibur complex.

I hoped to be able to pull in $200 in that time frame, though it wouldn't really be right to consider that a "goal." I know from long experience that one has only limited control over hourly win (or loss) rate in a given session, so it's pretty silly to set specific monetary goals. But $200 was enough that I wouldn't feel like I was hurting my income to have just a short session, so it was what I was hoping for.

The ex arrived back in the poker room five minutes before the three hours was up, and I was up exactly $201, having hit that mark just about three hands before, which was very satisfying. Moreover, I had not had a single difficult decision to make the entire time. Every bluff I ran won me the pot (though that was only three or four). I made only one erroneous river call. I built my stack gradually, with no huge pots; I never won or lost more than about $60 in any hand. The only time my entire stack was at risk was when I was all-in, but I had the nuts at the time, so the risk was minimal--and we ended up chopping that pot.* I used table image and position to get enough respect that I usually won with a raise pre-flop or a continuation bet or check-raise on the flop. Few hands went further, which is why I wasn't faced with any really difficult decisions. In fact, I only lost two hands at showdown. One was the call I shouldn't have made for about $30. The other was when I made a pre-flop raise with some junk, a very short stack moved all in for so little more that I was compelled to call, and I didn't get lucky on him.

Overall, it was the classic Aesop's "slow and steady wins the race." And that, in turn, meant that it was basically stress-free poker.

Days like that are rare, but when they occur, they make me think, "Gee, this is EASY!" Then I usually get snapped back to reality the next time out.


*Here's how I Tweeted that hand. It's worth retelling because it was the only funny (though unintentionally so, on the part of the speaker) thing that happened all afternoon:


Unclear on the concept story: Board is Q8KK. Opponent and I both go all in. We
both show KQ. He says, "I knew I was good unless you had pocket kings."

Guess the casino, #273





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Hooters

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another reader learns the 2-4 lesson

See: http://six8suited.blogspot.com/2009/09/this-ones-for-grump.html

Cheap stuff to do in Vegas

I won't ever make this blog primarily about Vegasy things, but today's email from http://savelv.com pointed me to this L.A. Times article about things to do in Vegas for under $21. It listed a bunch of stuff I had never heard of before, so I assume it will be helpful to others, too.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-vegas21-2008sep21-pg,0,450572.photogallery?track=rss

Lookie what I got!

I got a package in the mail today. My dear friend Cardgrrl had told me to expect something. (Did everybody notice that she changed the title--or, more precisely, the subtitle--of her blog after the big decision of last week?)



It's a hoodie sweatshirt! Yay! I love my hoodie sweatshirts for cold poker rooms.

But look more closely:



It's Grumpy! With my name!

Is that the most awesome thing ever, or what?!

Thank you, Cardgrrl. I love it. Instantly my favoritest sweatshirt EVAR.

Guess the casino, #272





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.

Comment: This one breaks a rule that I had set for myself, which is that features not accessible to everybody would be off-limits. As you might be able to tell, this photo was taken inside of a men's restroom, which puts female readers at a disadvantage. However, for all I know there are the same or similar doors in the women's restroom. Besides, I think you can take a pretty good guess at the casino just from the general motif, even if you haven't personally been inside this room.




Answer: Caesars Palace

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guess the casino, #271





To reveal the hidden answer, use your mouse to highlight the space immediately after the word "Answer" below.




Answer: Texas Station