playing poker and teaching science
- Name: Mr Reed
- 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.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The Fall Break
Friday, August 08, 2014
Therefore, I am officially claiming the name "Outta Town Pimps" and all the marketing rights thereof.
It's official. I'm the new leader of OTP Nation.
It's an idea worth tens of dollars!
Monday, July 28, 2014
The measure of a man
Wrestlers have a saying: "Water is for the weak." I came to find out however that water is also for the severely dehydrated and failing to keep adequately hydrated during the most grueling physical activity I have ever attempted leads to excruciating leg cramps, dizziness, and near total exhaustion.
But I digress...
When you strike out on the Kalalau trail you lose cell coverage in the parking lot of the trail head and immediately begin to climb. Kalalau hosts12 miles of exhausting trails that feature multiple treks from sea level to above 800 feet in very short periods of horizontal distance. The result being that all of your thigh muscles are engaged for extraordinary periods of time, to the point in fact that they begin to quiver with each and every step.
Then you reach Crawler's Ridge.
Crawlers Ridge is the part of the trail that turns some people back. It's a mile of VERY steep downhill. The path is volcanic and might as well be made of small ball bearings because you literally slide with every step. Also, the gail force winds pound you every step of the way. The trail is less than a foot wide in places with nothing to stop your fall from a misstep except the rocks 600 feet below.
When every step brings pain, some people just sit down and quit. On Kalalau however there is no quitting. You HAVE to go on. Quitting just simply not an option. With each step I swallowed the pain and told myself there was no other alternative. I had to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
We made it to the trail end beach and waterfall and set up camp, fighting cramping quads all the time. One day of rest later we were back on the trail, lesson learned. Even proper hydration however cannot stop the constant stress on your thigh muscles. The last two miles again were fraught with pain and exhausted, quivering muscles.
An experience like this really can't be properly conveyed with words. It becomes a true measure of how tough you are and how much pain you can endure. I know I was literally pushed PASSED my physical limits and still kept moving.
A challenge like Kalalau gives you insight into your true metal...
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
I'm just not a nice guy.
That's a direct quote from the player on my right at Friday night poker sponsored by the American Legion. I've written about this game previously here and here. His opponent called two small bets and then led out when the FOURTH diamond hit the board. He called with his two pair which were NOT the top two incidently. He went on to say that he knew he was beat but that he called anyway.
Later he bet out on the river on a board that contained two tens and little else and was upset that his 10 6 full house did not get paid off. When ask why he would play 10 6 as first to act he said it was only for $2.
This is the same guy who was critisizing his opponent's play and giving advice on the best way to play hand after hand. He was predicatble at best, a calling station at worst, and obviously a losing player and yet he gave advice non-stop.
When he ask me directly, I agreed with him every step of the way. We never want the poor players to improve, right?
The player to my left was an older lady. I re-raised to $25 with KK and she called. I bet $50 into a flop of J, 3, 6 rainbow and she called. The board paired 6 and i pushed all-in for another $95 and actually told her that she should fold if she didn't pair the 6. She called with a straight draw and missed one of her 8 outs.
She went on to talk about how she was pot committed and that she'll call down any two cards and that's why she was hard to play against. I actually told her I would have called there as well but I'm was laughing to myself. I found her very predictable and again, a losing player.
Maybe I'm just not a very nice guy. I don't want to give ONE DIME when I know I'm beat and I don't throw money away chasing a pipe dream draw.
I'll let the losing players be nice!
Monday, April 14, 2014
It was one of those days... (a trip report)
As poker players, we've all said it at one time or another, "It was one of those days."
How was it said though? Is it said with enthusiasm and excitement or is it said softly while shaking your head side to side? In my case the sentence was followed by an exclaimation point rather than three dots.
Lesson learned. I stayed at the table and played my heater, and that's exactly what it was, a HEATER. It was a 24 hour period playing poker unlike any other I have experienced. In that time frame I chopped top three, then top two in consecutive tournaments, and then won a little more than $1000 at the cash table.
To me, poker is all about numbers and patterns. There are the ever present numbers; the math of the game. And then there are the patterns of the other players. When do they bet? When do they fold? When do they bluff? CAN they be bluffed? All the things that happen at the table fall into a pattern for me. Conversly, I try to NOT let myself fall into those predictable patterns, but at the same time try to make it seem as if I AM playing those same patterns.
Tuesday morning I landed in Las Vegas and knowing I couldn't check into my room until later that day, had the taxi drop me at The Orleans to play a little Omaha 8/b, one of my favorite games. I splashed around in a game I don't get to play very often, probably played too many pots because of my desire to play, and left down a few red chips.
I checked into my room at the Luxor, a place I have never stayed before, and went downstairs and immediately got a seat. Then the cards started to hit me in the face!
It began benighly. I was dealtt pocket kings and made the standard raise to $11 and got two callers. The flop was unconnected small cards so I bet the pot and got one caller. Another small card I bet, was raised, reraised thinking I'd been cold decked, and doubled through QQ. Ouch for him. Yay for me. Two other times I had QQ over JJ and 10 10 over 99 and all were winners
You know how you're scared of the guy that's on a roll? For once I was the guy people were scared of! When I raised and missed the flop they all folded to my continuation bets. When I raised with my semi-bluffs, they all folded. I was the table captain with the big hands I hit and the way I controlled the betting.
It was one of those days!
Sidebar: I really enjoyed the Luxor poker room. They had some fun promotions in the morning where they gave a raffle ticket with every pot won and drew a number for $100 every hour (yes, I won one), and also hade out $100-$500 for quads and better hands. (I never got quads!)
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Spring Break anyone?
I had the trip booked and then I found out I had US Air points that were about to expire, so I used them for a flight to Las Vegas. Three days of playing poker sounds like a good way to spend the SECOND week of spring break this year! As a bonus, my brother will be joining me.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Hello 10 8
I was out with friends last Friday and didn’t think I’d play at the American Legion, but decided to stop in at about 10 for an hour or so of play. Most players seem to buy one bag of $50 in chips but I generally buy in for $100. This night I just bought the one bag because I was just going to splash a few pots and then head home.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Here's the situation: I had only been at my seat in the local American Legion game for half an orbit when I was dealt 85 offsuit in the small blind and limped into an unraised pot along with no less than seven other callers. The flop was 875. Turn 10. River King. Long story short, I check-call the entire way and take down a $100+ pot when the missed flush draw on the river put out a bluff that was too small to push the high pair and my two pair off the hand.
I wasn't proud of the way I played the hand, but with the texture of the board I was facing getting stacked on the first hand I played...
I felt like a fish but won the hand and the double up gave me chips to push people around as the night progressed.
Side bar: The game at the American Legion is a hoot! There is an eclectic mix of old timers with young bucks. There are two young players who sit wearing mirrored sunglasses behind the their $50 buy-in waiting for the WPT babes to pick them out to interview. The middle aged guys who are the WORST poker players ever discussing the merrits of calling a big raise with 72o, every time. Hysterical people watching!
I did have a moral delimma when I stacked a young kid (not a veteran) in a wheelchair. In my defense, he was betting into my nut flush and it was a very expensive wheelchair.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Very Josie has a favor to ask:
Very Josie has a favor to ask of you - Go read about it here: http://veryjosie.blogspot.com/2014/01/ahem-its-very-josie.html
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Things to remember 2013
1. Conducting my own son's wedding (Ok. That IS number one!)
2. NCAA Wrestling national in Des Moines
3. The Aventura Spa Palace in Cancun (great spa!)
4. Spring break in Jamaica (Lydsay was a great guide)
5. Camping with my nephew
6. Another volunteer trip to The King's Home in Belize
7. Three days on a sailboat in Key West
8. Two weeks in Italy (Venice, Florence, The Banfi vineyard, Rome, and Sorrento)
9. A December trip to New Orleans
10. The end of one chapter and the beginning of another
11. Another winning year at the poker table.
What will 2014 have in store? I already have trips booked to Cozumel and Vegas because I get TWO weeks spring break now :-)
Monday, December 02, 2013
Why would you do that? Why would you do that?
I called a $10 raise on the button with 7c9c and saw a flop of Ad8c6c with four other callers. Soon-to-be-tilted guy bets $10 and gets two callers. I have a flush and straight draw but am also happy to take down the $80 pot right there. I carefully count out my chips, put my final $13 on my cards because I had forgotten my card protector, and announced a raise to $47, a little over half the pot.
Honestly, I was raising that amount simply because it was a little over half the pot. That fact was lost on the one player left. He fixated on me holding $13 back and couldn't let it go.
He'd placed himself in a poor position by raising with a weak ace. Any solid player would fold here because I must have a better hand, right? Unless he reads me as a complete bluff, he's a dog to win the hand... But he couldn't let it go.
"Why would you do that?"
"Why would you keep $13 dollars behind? Why not push all-in? Aren't you afraid of the flush?"
Then he flashed the ace of clubs, which told me he DID NOT have two flush cards. The ace high flush calls right away. So he has ace-no-kicker and that makes me the favorite, even though he's currently ahead.
"I read a book that said this is the correct play," I told him. Now the entire table is laughing and talking about the hand and what he should do. In a casino this would be frowned on, by this is a group of guys largely just out for a good time.
That pushed his button and he called. The next card completed my flush, I pushed, he called saying "now I have to see" and I raked in a nice pot.
Showing the flush sent him over the edge. He didn't even notice that I had a straight draw as well. He went on to tilt off two more buy-ins, and every time someone made a big bet they would leave a few chips behind and bring it to the attention of the entire table.
It made for a great time, as well as profitable!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
I started to write, “They weren’t very good poker players,” but I realized that statement would not have been necessarily accurate. The players at my table knew the etiquette of poker, knew the standard plays people make, knew how to bluff, and were for the most part playing solid holdings. I decided that they weren’t poor players; what they WERE was predictable.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Sitting with soldiers
Thursday, August 08, 2013
What a summer!
The other three were all fun! First to Jamaica to stay at a new (to us) all-inclusive resort. I found a very colorful driver in Lindsay McFarland who shuttled us on a tour around the island and then to the Cool Blue Hole, that turned out to be the highlight of the week. We bypassed the Dunn's River Urine Falls trip on Lindsay's suggestion and climbed the uncrowded cascades of the CBH instead. We jumped off cliffs, swung on ropes, and swam under a waterfall and then climbed up a cave and out THROUGH the waterfall itself. Quite a treat!
Next was a mission trip back to Belize to work at The King's Children's Home again. I took my girlfriend's daughter along and she did an amazing job helping with the children and around the home. One day we made 400 tortillas and then 150 blueberry muffins another day. It was just inconceivable that the children had not tasted blueberry muffins so they were a must make. We ended the trip with a water taxi trip to the uber-quiet fishing village of Caye Caulker and spent the night in a little cabin right on the water.
The final trip of the summer was a long weekend in Key West. I took the kids there years ago and always since had wanted to go back as an all-adult trip. Key West did not disappoint. To spice things up, we slept on a 44-foot sailboat and spent the middle 24 hours of the three-day trip sailing at sea. Another great adventure in the books.
Now back to school on a "modified calendar" that allows for a two-week break in October and plans are already set for that time off. We will be landing in Venice, Italy on my birthday for a few days before heading to Florence and Rome and then ending up with four days along the Amalfi Coast. I think we'll be able to take a pizza cooking class in Sorento. Another adventure!
I didn't play much poker, but sometimes fun gets in the way of fun :-)
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A trip within a trip
Monday, May 06, 2013
A new member of the family
We never made it to the Humane Society. We'd found our new puppy and the chow mix was a part of the family for the next 14 years.
Barklie passed about two years ago and it finally seemed like the right time to add another member to the family.
Juneau is our new Siberian husky. I wanted to name her Togo, after the hero husky who delivered diptheria medicine to the children of Nome, Alaska in 1925, but didn't want to tell the story every time someone ask her name.
It's only been two days but I think she's a keeper :-)