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playing poker and teaching science: December 2008

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. 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?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pub Poker update

Another final table and another second place cash Sunday evening. I added it up yesterday and determined that I have made almost $500 in this free game in the last six months. If you subtract the money I spend on beer while playing, I'm ahead approximately...

Let's forget about the beer.

I'm up almost $500!

Yoda at the Horseshoe

Long ago in a casino far, far away...

Actually it was yesterday, about two hours away.

I was sitting in a newly opened $1/$2 No Limit Hold Em game at Indiana's version of the Horseshoe casino. We had not made two complete circuits when the player to my right (chubby, taking up a lot of room guy) raised to $12 as the first to act.

I looked down at two red 9's and called, and as most $1/$2 NLHE games go, two other callers came along for the flop, which brought a lovely Kh, 9h, 4d.

I always make a habit of checking out the chip stacks of the two or three players for my right whenever I sit down in a game. Those stacks are sometimes hard to see and I want to know if I might be playing for all my chips when I enter a pot. I had bought in for $250 and had only played one hand. Chubby Guy had about the same amount.

C.G. bets out $15 into the $51 pot and I immediately raise to $30 to push out the draws and to see where I was.

At this point I could possibly be behind to KK, but C.G. says, "It looks like it's going to be one of those days," under his breath as he raises another $30. It was one of those times where you know beyond a doubt that he was being serious. I'm not really sure if he knew he said it out loud.

He absolutely has Big Slick and he might have the ace of hearts.... I am WAY ahead.

This is one of those times where a little finesse is called for. How do I impose my will on this man? He has $87 in the pot, but he has more than half his stack left behind and, more importantly, he's only been sitting at the table for about 20 minutes. He might not want to bust out early. There is a chance he could lay down AK.

I only win a really nice pot here if I can get him to call my next bet.

It's like that early spring morning when you're in the boat and you've hook a monster. You play him until he's NEAR the boat, but you want him IN the boat. When you see he's really hooked however, it's okay to yank him in.

That's when decided to employ the Jedi mind control technique.

"If you're going to re-raise me, there's no chance you'll lay this hand down. I'm going to put you all-in."

He didn't even think about it.

As I mentally urged his hands forward he pushed his stack in and proudly flipped over AK..... no hearts.



Raise me now, I think you will...