Thursday, January 26, 2005
Good morning everyone! Well, my intent was to bring you my Fantasy Perspective for the hitters of another division in the American League. However, I am going to have to push that back a day. So, if you're here to check out that, be sure to come back tomorrow. But today is going to be very brief. Why?
Well, as you know, January has been a big month in the town of Warroad. On January 4th, the United States Olympic Women's Hockey team came to Warroad to play a game against the Warroad Boys Hockey team. Warroad 2, USA Women 1. Last Wednesday, the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan came to Warroad. The group was comprised of manager Ron Gardenhire, pitching coach Rick Anderson, outfielder Lew Ford and shortstop Jason Bartlett, along with WCCO's John Gordon and TC Bear. That was a very fun night.
Last night, another event came to Warroad... The Minnesota Poker Club came to Warroad, to Springsteel Resort if I'm being specific, and is conducting a ten week Texas Hold 'Em tournament. The final prize at the end of the tournament is entry into the World Series of Poker tournament. The best part about this is that it is absolutely free to participate. Now, those who know me know that I am a really poor poker player. I have finally come to that realization and I think it has been good for me. I used to try to 'poker face' a strong hand, but I'd end up giggling out loud or something. I'm just not good, so free is a great thing! Obviously, it is illegal to play for any real money, so why not just play for fun.
The tournament is played on a point scale. If you play on a given night, you get ten points. If you play in all ten weeks, you get an extra 100 points. Of course, to have any shot at competing for the top spots, you have to place in weekly events. Since there were 32 participants last night, there were additional points for the Top 10 finishers. I believe 1st place would get 182 points and spots 2-10 obviously got less points.
I'll just start out by saying that I was very proud that I was not the first player out on my table. Actually, I was the third player out on my table! I was happy with that because the other three tables each had lost more. So, overall, I probably came in somewhere between 22nd and 25th, out of 32. However, again, those who know me or have played Hold 'Em with me would probably be shocked to know that I finished that well! I was happy!
As of now, I do intend to continue playing. As bad as I am, Texas Hold 'Em is very fun. Also, there are some very good, very experienced players. I think I can learn and hopefully become better just from playing against these people. It is also just fun for me to see the reaction of others. I love seeing the people who take it very seriously lose... especially when they lose to a hack like me!
I won't bore you with too many stories. However, one deserves to be told. When I got there, I was put on the same table as a guy who quit his job to become a professional poker player. In this area, I honestly don't know how that is possible. Anyway, the guy played with his hat backwards and much of the time, he wore sunglasses. A few hands into the tournament, we each got our cards. On the flop, there was a Two, Six and Four. I was feeling good about my cards still. This guy raises 300. I think about it for a second, and I call him. On the turn, a nine is thrown. I'm still feeling very good about my hand. I check, and the guy raises another 400. I again hesitate, but call the 400. Finally, on the river, a king is thrown. I immediately check. The guy raises 600. I throw my 600 in right away. He is pretty excited about his pocket Jacks. He starts reaching for the chips as I throw down my pocket Aces. That was a fun hand!
On another hand, I get deal a 10 and Jack of Hearts. I'm hesitant, but I decide to call the blind. On the flop, two more hearts are thrown, and I'm happy that they are the four and seven. Even better, a king of another suit is thrown. So, the bets are made, and of course, I call. On the turn, another Heart is thrown, I believe it was a Queen. So, I'm already sitting nicely with the flush, but there are still others playing, so I wonder if there are others with pocket hearts. On the river, a three was drawn. I was very happy to again beat Sunglasses Guy and his two kings!
I do need to point out that I left when there were just nine players remaining, and Sunglasses Guy was one of them!
Of course, others who play with me know that I am not a 'smart' poker player. I don't even pretend to be. So yeah, if I have a 3-6 suited, there is a very good chance that I will at least call the blinds so that I can see what the flop brings. That may be my biggest Hold 'Em problem. I will match blinds simply because I want to give my pocket cards a chance with the flop. My problem is patience. I hate not playing, so sometimes I will even call on a 5-9 off suit, just hoping for a straight, or that the flop will bring a couple fives and a nine!
I know. I shouldn't give away my strategies in such a public setting, but oh well. I mean, only one of the 32 people that were there playing last night is likely to read this anyway. And she is way better than me and laughs at my playing style anyway! Ha!
So, what was my final hand? What ended my evening of play? Well, I got a two and a four of clubs on the deal. Of course, no one should really play that hand. But I do! On the flop, two 2's are thrown down. Suddenly, I'm pretty happy. I check, and someone else raises 300 or so. I figure he's got the 10 (the other card on the flop). So, I hesitate and call the bet. The next card dealt is a six or something unimportant. I check, and end up matching another 300 bet. When a 3 was thrown on the river, I checked, the guy bet 500. I had 650 left, so I raised, and he called. By that time, I knew what he had. He had the other 2, and my 4 just was not going to be a likely winner. He had an ace kicker. So, that's it for me!
Oh well. I got to play for an hour or so in a real tournament. My plan is to continue playing each of the remaining nine weeks because I do enjoy. First, I enjoy playing Hold 'Em, but second, and I people who read this understand, it gets me out of the house and away from my computer! That is probably a good thing and something I should do more.
And on that note, I wish you a great day. Also, I have decided that I will be attending Twins Fest this weekend. Let me know if you will be there and we can try to find a way to meet up inside the Dome! If you have any questions or comments on anything you have read above, please e-mail me.|
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