Well since I've finally earned a place in the prestigious Very Josie blogroll I figure I better up my game a little and try to post more than once a week or so. I'm going to do my best to post something every other day at the very least. I can't promise they'll all be award winning prose, but I'm aiming for quanitity not quality.
Last night I played in a semi-regular home game. It plays every other Thursday night throughout the year. I'm unable to play it during the school year because it conflicts with show choir rehearsals. Since show choir rehearsals are over until late August I'm back to playing again.
The game is a single table No Limit Holdem SNG (like twice a year they'll do Omaha or HO) that usually draws between 8-10 players. You start with 6,000 chips and the structure is blinds only (no antes) starting at 25-50. The blinds basically double at each level. The first three levels are 30 minutes and then 20 minutes for the remainder. You're able to be somewhat patient, but if you haven't found some decent hands to play by the time it gets to level 4 you'll be out quick.
The regulars in the game are a mix of a couple tricky loose aggressive players, a few calling stations, and a couple of super tight nitty old men. You can make a few plays on the aggressive players without having a real hand if you've established a tight image and are brave enough to play back at them. Otherwise you better make a hand of some sort because you will get called by top pair and every straight/flush draw.
Last night I went out 5th of 8 players. There were really only 2-3 interesting hands. My nephew and his wife often play in the game and were there last night. He is one of the tricky loose aggressive players. He usually either busts out early from playing too many hands early or he goes deep. Last night he couldn't miss. All of his crappy hands were connecting and all of his good hands were turning into monsters.
I only clashed with him three times. Once I raised preflop with two black aces. He called with what I believe was a suited king. There was a king on the flop. He called my about two-thirds pot bet after the flop probably thinking it was just a standard continuation bet with a plan to steal on the turn if I showed any weakness. When I bet out again he folded.
The next time I got heads up against him it was a disaster for me. My AK suited flopped two pair while his pocket fours flopped a set (which turned to quads on the river). Lost about two thirds of my starting stack on just that one hand and was out a little bit later when I shoved with pocket 7s. He called with J9 suited and hit a nine on the flop and buh-bye JT. I didn't stick around to see how it all turned out, but he was by far the chip leader and would have had to majorly screw up to not at least cash.
And now for a bank rant. Those of you who only came for the poker content may check out now. I received notification from my credit union on Tuesday that my card number may have been compromised in a breach of their credit card clearing house company's systems. They're canceling my current card as of today, but my new card won't arrive in the mail until the end of next week. I use that card for EVERYTHING. I rarely to never carry cash anymore and this is going to be a big hassle.
I called the credit union just because I wanted to get more information and I wanted to vent a little. The poor twenty-something customer service call center girl was umm-ing and ah-ing all over the place trying to appease me. Here's the crux of my beef with them. The breach of the clearing house was reported in the news at the beginning of April. They waited until April 30th to notify me that I was affected and now I have to go a week without my card. It's poor customer service that they didn't coordinate this to minimize the interruption of service to their members. At the least they should have worked with the card issuer to expedite the new cards so I was only without it for a day or two.
Their solution is for me to come to their branch and withdraw cash to tide me over and they can issue me a temporary ATM card. It can't be used for point-of-sale transactions, but I can use it to withdraw money from ATMs. Here's the fun thing about that. I get 10 free ATM transactions and then I get charged $0.50 for each one after that. I asked if they would waive those fees for this month since they were forcing me to use the ATM more than I normally would. They said, "If you incur any charges this month, contact us and we'll waive them." I asked why they couldn't just preemptively waive the fee and they refused. If I were a betting man (and I am) I'd wager I won't have such an easy time recouping those fees at the end of the month.
Side note: ATM and PIN are two of my biggest grammatical pet peeves. Lots of people around this region tend to say PIN number and ATM machine. Since the N in PIN stands for number and the M in ATM stands for machine what they're really saying is Personal Identification Number number or Automated Teller Machine machine. If you say PIN number or ATM machine, we probably can't be friends.