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playing poker and teaching science: May 2015

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?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The dreaded pocket Kings

There are some things that are almost beyond comprehension in poker and this one can be added to the list:

I am dealt two black kings on the button with a $15 raise in front of me so I re-raise to $40. The small blind deliberates and raises to $140. It folds to me and I go all-in for another $150 on top of the $140. He tanks for awhile and I say, "Let me help you," and TURN MY CARDS OVER.

"I have too much money in there," he said as he call and flips over two queens.

Yes. Queen on the river.

What are you going to do except rebuy?

Nice hand, sir...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lady Antebellum and slow playing top two

The concert season got off to a stellar start with Lady Antebellum at Klipsch Music Center. The outdoor center previously known as Deer Creek and then Verizon is consistently in the top ten outdoor music venues in the country and just a great place for live music.

At one point the performers moved to a small stage near the sound board to do a set and ended up within spitting distance of my seat! Not that I would actually spit on them. That would be rude. It gave a real up close experience however!
One concert down and four to go!

In poker news, I'm building the sockroll for the my August 3rd trip to Vegas and had another winning session at the local VFW booking a solid $257 win. At no point in the evening was I down, but hovered just above my original buy in for the first 90 minutes when this hand occurred:

I look down at AQh on the button and raise to $12 after four limpers, a standard raise for the table which will get any range of callers. This time however I got only one. The flop was A8x and checked to me. I bet out $16 expecting to take it down right then, but was raised to $37.

I've read that poker players decide what they are going to do in the first five seconds after presented with a decision and I usually feel I do just that. I don't take a long time to act in general but lately have been telling myself to think things through just a little longer.

The only four hands I'm afraid of are AA, AK, A8, and 88 and only A8 felt right for the situation. I finally decided to push. I counted out the raise and announced, "I'm all-in."

I've decided that the best feeling a poker player can ever have is when you say you are all in and don't immediately hear the villain call. The longer he's in the tank the better you feel because you're already way ahead or your bluff has a good chance of not being called.

He tanked for a reasonable amount of time, said "I didn't put you on an ace," and then called with his suited A4. Not a bad calling hand PRE flop, but all in?

Nice hand, sir.

The games can be soft or action-packed at the VFW and Friday was a pretty soft game. Most st the table were laughing and having a good time. I folded a lot more preflop this week as I've been trying to focus on only playing in good position and it really paid off. I had a solid table image and slowly kept chipping up.

One player tried to get creative slow playing top two pair and it checked around on a board of  AKx. If he had made any bet at all I would have folded my late position QJ. The 10 on the turn though gave me the mortal nuts and I won a very nice pot.

His response was, "I always get drawn out on!"

I didn't tap the glass...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Running it twice

Situation one:
I flipped ove my hand and said, "I have the nuts, do you want to run it twice?" Villain said, "Of course!" He made his flush on the first run and and broadway held up on the second turn and river. That's when the fun began.

The dealer told us to pull our stacks back and Villain started asking why, stating that he had the nuts. Apparently he honestly didn't understand what "running it twice" meant. The best part about playing at the local American Legion is that the regulars may be a bit predictable in their play, but they are knowledgeable about the game.

Villain was in seat nine and I was in seat one so I didn't even have to look at him. I just leaned back in my chair and let the table handle it. They spent five minutes explaining what happened, but very time one said, "He had the nuts," Villain would counter with, "No. Look. I have the nuts," as he matched his A8s to the cards on the table.

Finally one nice old guy said, "His heart was in the right place when he offered to run it twice."

At long last the dealer chopped the pot.

Situation two:
LAG Asian gentleman (who always shows up late to play on Friday nights after his restaurant closes), makes a big bet with rags to push player A out, then offers to chop the pot with the all-in player B. Player B declines and wins with 10 10 to a board conatining an Ace. Player A was PISSED as he folded had an ace. I thought it might come to blows.

Another fun night at the American Legion. Also profitable thanks to the regulars enforcing the rules of cash play.