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playing poker and teaching science: Finally…..some poker content!
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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. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Finally…..some poker content!

Wrestling season is over and it is with mixed emotions I let it go and return to the poker tables on a more regular basis. I’m sad to see it go because it was my son’s last, but so happy that it ended as well as it did for him. It’s also my last season as a high school wrestling coach. Next season I’m stepping down to let some younger teachers move up to the high school. As a wrestling addict I could never get out completely however so I’ll be taking over as head coach at the middle school where I teach 8th grade science.

Should be fun!

Back to the tables!

Taking inventory of my on-line accounts I found that I made a little money during wrestling season while I explored the low-limit games. I’ve always wanted to be proficient at ALL poker games so I’ve been playing some 7-card stud and 7-card stud 8b and Omaha 8b. These games have a little less variance and so it seemed a good idea to explore them while I wasn’t able to put a ton of time into the tables.

When I had 45 minutes or so to play and didn’t want to risk much money, I would open up a low limit sit-and-go on UltimateBet while simultaneously playing stud 8b. I’d play only good low hands and quite when I made my S-N-G buy-in, so I was usually freerolling the S-N-G.
Between the low limit S-N-G’s and the split pot games, I chipped up $50 or so over the last couple of months without ever playing above the low ($.25-$.50 blind) limits. Some of the profit came from the UB bonus money I’m still working off two or three cents at a time.

The profit graph is still inching upwards, and that’s an important piece of data.

Jumping back into the fray, I played two $5 Omaha 8b S-N-G’s last night, starting the second when I reached the third level on the first. I thought it would be a very bleak start when I was in level four and had yet to win a single pot. Not scooped, not split….. I’m talking NO part of a pot. Zero. I wasn’t dealt A2 or A3 one single time.

Level five, six people left, the next hand will have me all-in and the blind is coming so I raise under the gun with A4xx and everyone folds. Cool. I made it through the blinds. Next hand I have A2xx and raise out of the big blind, get one caller and everyone folds to the continuation bet when two small cards fall and I have a few chips to work with and more importantly, this table is getting bubble scared. Also cool.

If I’m in a pot now I’m raising and I pick up the blinds twice and then catch a monster flop to scoop two players out and I’m in the money with chips to spare.

Meanwhile, on the second table I chase a little too far two hands in a row before I tighten up and play smart before I enter with A254 and flop 554. I jam all the way and a king and queen come on the turn and river. I get raised when the king hits and I think I got out drawn by KK, but the donkey has 44 and I scoop a monster pot to get back into the game.

On both tables the last three players know that you can push the high hand a little more short handed and I lose with KKxx to AAxx and am short stacked on table two.

Play went A LOT faster on table two than table one and so while I’m in the top three and the blinds are huge on table one, I’m in the top three with lower blinds on table two, but with three players left the play is fast and furious which makes me evaluate the board as quickly as possible. Good practice.

I end up winning the crapshoot and finishing first on table one and placing second on table two. Not bad for the first real day back.

Thanks for reading!

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