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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tampa Bay Downs 2-9-06

Race 1 - 1 Keystone Point (8-1) 4 Cullen (4-1) 7 Kid Quixote (9-2)
Race 2 - 1 Right Mix (9-2) 5 Super Woman (3-1) 7 Morning Beauty (4-1)
Race 3 - 6 Bully for Rush (5-2) 11 W.R. Aire (8-1)
Race 4 - No Pick
Race 5 - 1 Howdy Pardner (8-1) 6 Americanism (10-1) 8 Harborage (7-5)
Race 6 - 3 Mr. Hogan (7-2) 4 Matchless Ability (9-2) 5 Thisoneforroger(5-2)
Race 7 - 1 Vaillante (6-1)

I think my bet for BG is going to be on 11 in the 3rd race. Otherwise, I'll be taking whichever of my picks goes off at the longest odds. Unless 8 Harborage in the 5th race eases back to 2-1...that one looks too strong.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The One With the Stuff and Some Other Stuff

Despite the recent ass-handing I've received from Tampa Bay Downs, I expect to have some picks for tomorrow's races. I didn't have the heart to post the picks and results from Tuesday's races, but let's just say I wasn't even close. I had used speed ratings as my primary key for eliminating the first batch of horses, which was an unqualified failure. Most of the horses didn't even make the top four. Ugh. I'll be returning to my "scratch the obviously bad horses" method for tomorrow's picks.

Dr. Pauly is an outstanding human being. BG went under the knife this week, and is going to be shouldering a heavy load of medical bills. Pauly took it upon himself to hold an impromptu fundraiser for him, which generated a pretty impressive response from the poker blogosphere. As a gambler, I chose the "tip the dealer" method of donating, by putting $10 down for him on one of my awful horses. I figure I'll give it another go tomorrow, and hopefully better picks will mean some bigger funds.

For some crazy reason, Mrs. Jackmama has taken pity on me and told me that I must play a tournament tonight. Wouldn't that be fun, if I could add some more actual poker content to my poker blog? Well, we'll see. After my last post on taking money away from people on Full Tilt, they leapt up and took some back. I dropped 3 buy-ins at the NL tables when my hands failed to hold up. I've earned much of it back, and I had my money in while I was ahead, so I'm not upset about it. I actually managed to cash in a single-table SNG last night, too. I was a heavy underdog when we got to heads-up, but managed to fight my way back to even. I raised a standard 3x the blinds with ATo, and he called. The flop came 995 and I pushed, since he'd folded to all of my pushes to that point. He called and showed 55. Ouch. Well, at least I played a decent game and made some money.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tampa Bay Downs 2-4-06

Race 1 - 6 Unbridled Mistress (5/2). With the possible exception of the unknown 7 Spring Star, this has got to be strongest horse in a weak field. If I weren't dodging long shots today, I would maybe throw a win bet down on 7 to see what happens.
UPDATE: Went off 2/1, didn't factor. Nice start. 7 took 3rd, so the longshot wasn't so hot, either.

Race 2 - 1 Stormy World (5/1). Some solid speed numbers, decent jockey and trainer. Another race where there isn't much good to find, and so if this one goes off 3/1 or better, it's probably a decent pick.
UPDATE: Went off 3/1, finished 4th.

Race 3 - 7 Secret Fantasy (7/2). This race actually has a couple of horses in it. 1 Sox it to Me and 8 Premiers Secret are likely to jump out to a quick lead, but I see 8 fading about halfway, leading 1 to fight off 2 Sweet Hello and 7. The last time 2 and 7 tangled, 7 pulled out the win with Clemente in the saddle, and the last time 2 won, Clemente was in the saddle. Where is Clemente today? Back in 7, so that's my pick.
UPDATE: Went off 6/1, no factor. 2 won it, followed by 1 and 8.

I may forgo commentary with my picks. I tend to babble, and I don't know if it adds much.

Race 4 - 3 Preceptor (3/1).
UPDATE: Went off 2/1, finished 4th. It's been a tough day so far.

Race 5 - Hard to pick this one, since a couple of the best horses are listed as "Also eligible." 9 Won Jenelle (5/2) has to be the best horse in the field, but 10 Killing M Softly (3/1) has a solid chance. If eligible, 12 Dance Matic (6/1) would get my win bet
UPDATE: About damned time. Dance Matic went off at 3/1 and won. 9 and 10 were scratched.

Cashing in at Full Tilt

I played some .25/.50 NL on Full Tilt last night. I actually managed to log almost two hours of play, which is more than I've played all week. Jackmama's tip #1 that you don't play enough poker - You are unable to work off a $50 deposit bonus in three months. I've managed to release ten whole dollars from a deposit in December, although I have a couple weeks left to work on it. Another half hour or so will be good for another 5 dollars. Cha-ching.

Well, let's see how much time you manage to log when you have two kids under the age of two.

Matt Matros says to play aggressively with AK. I'm not as smart as Matt Matros, so I blindly obey.

I find myself in late position with AK. It is folded around to me, and I raise to $2. The button calls, the blinds fold. Flop comes 4d 4c Jc. I bet out $2.50 and the button folds, leaving the $4.55 pot to me.

It's entirely likely that my raise not only chased out the blinds, but that it gave my continuation bet more credibility. Matros mentions that many people like to limp with AK and see a flop. If I had done that, the missed flop would have represented a losing hand for me. By playing aggressively, I salvaged an ugly situation, and lived to play another hand.

I don't multi-table. It's just not poker for me. Some people make a lot of money doing it, and more power to them. Some people make a lot of money selling cars. Neither one works for me. When I play the low-limit NL games, I generally pay attention long enough to get a sense of the players at the table, and then I browse the web or pursue other pastimes. Last night, I was handicapping today's races at Tampa Bay Downs. I'm likely to blog some picks and results later, if any of you spambots are interested in following along. If you're actually interested in winning, you should probably see if BG is blogging his picks today. BG > me.

I was reading through the racing form and folding when Mrs. Jackmama asked for a back-cracking. I don't know anything about the health consequences of said activity, but she's a fiend for it. Anything that engenders such addiction in people can't be healthy.

Wait a minute. Don't you have a gambling blog? You not only gamble frequently, but you set aside more time to write about it?

Shut up.

I look down at the computer and see that I'm in the big blind with 8dTd. I click "Check/Fold" and get back to mangling the wife's spine. "Oh my," says Mrs. Jackmama, looking at my computer.

The flop had come 8c 8h Qd. This is why I hate to give a free flop to the big blind. Since I expected to have folded this hand, I have no idea who is still in. It looks like an EP caller and the small blind stuck around for the flop. SB checks, I check, and EP bets $1.50. SB calls, I raise to $5 and EP folds. SB re-raises all-in $19.65, but since he has me covered, it's really another $8.35. I call and he shows 7h8s. Yikes. I had put him on queens and eights, and I'm glad I have him out-kicked. Fortunately, no higher cards or sevens come out, and I take down the $29.70 pot.

I like the way I played that one, even though I missed the read. A set of eights makes for a nice push in that situation, and pushing out any possible straight draws is a good idea.

Usually, slow-playing is wasted in low-limit games, especially micro-limit games on the Internet. It's like Harrington says, 95% of the time, a bet means exactly what it looks like it means. Internet players seem to have a bigger problem with ego than live players--they'll frequently convince themselves that you're bluffing, and stay in a hand even when you bet strongly into them (this can be one of the leaks in my game. Not every time I play, but often enough). Even when they wise up on the turn, it can still be profitable to play the hand straight, and by eschewing the slow-play, you may find that the suckouts don't come as frequently. After all, if you don't give them an excuse to stay in the hand, some people will actually fold rather than suck out.

UTG, I find AcJc, and raise to $2. It is folded around to the button, who calls. Blinds fold. Flop comes 6c Jd 4c. I bet $3 and the button calls. Turn comes Ad. I now have aces and jacks, but there are two different flush draws on the board, clubs and diamonds. In a tough game, maybe it's worth it to check or limp, and hope to hit my club flush or dodge the diamond flush and bet the two pair strong on the river. In these weak games, where the players can literally have anything, why bother? I bet $7 into the $10 pot, enough to make the flush draw a bad call and the button folds. I take the $10.25 pot.

Maybe in a tough game I'd try to maximize that hand, but there's no point in risking the suckout. Take the money, pick some horses until another premium hand appears, and take what the other players give you. It may not be glamorous, but it seems to be working for me in the FTP cash games.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mac Ascendancy

I should really spend more time researching things. I visited the Tampa Bay Downs website today, looking for the morning lines on tomorrow's races, and noticed a big banner ad on the side for myracebet.com. I check it out, and I'll be damned if it doesn't have a whole list of supported race tracks, and a video feed that works on my mac. Jackpot! As soon as I play through $100 on youbet.com so BG gets his referral bonus, I'm so done with that Windows-only site. Stickin' it to the man.

I've been very lax in my poker play since Vegas. I'm planning to hit the cash games on Full Tilt tonight after the kids are pleasantly dreaming, and at least work off some deposit bonus before it expires. I have tomorrow's racing form for Tampa, so I should be able to keep myself occupied as I fold my way around the tables waiting for KK. Speaking of Tampa....tomorrow is the $60k Manatee Stakes! Woohoo! Ok, I'm not sure if it's any big deal beyond being a $60k race, but it sure is fun to say Manatee Stakes. Manatee!

UPDATE: Should anyone be interested in such a thing, I stumbled upon a free handicapping contest which starts tomorrow. You don't actually need to start tomorrow, though....the rules are that you have to make 28 picks by the end of April. Two of tomorrow's races are on the Racing Form "Race of the Week" page, and so the PPs are free. Free + free = FREE!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tampa 2

Unfortunately, gainful employment interferes somewhat with my ability to play the races during the day. I should be able to check in on the races before post and make some plays, but I don't think I'll be able to blog the progress. So, here are some of my pre-race notes and picks, with morning line.

  • Race 1 - 3 Noble Carter (7-2). I like this one at at least 2-1.
    UPDATE: Went off 8-1, finished 4th.
  • Race 2 - 1 Rahy's Bachelor (5-1)
    UPDATE: Went off 5-1, finished 2nd.
  • Race 3 - 5 Meri Michelle (4-1) and 11 Sothypann (20-1) as a longshot
    UPDATE: Meri Michelle went off 5-2, finished 2nd. Sothypann went off 40-1, finished dead last. Ouch.
  • Race 4 - 4 Melon Moon (12-1) as a long shot, otherwise too many contenders.
    UPDATE: Went off 15-1, finished further back than 4th.
  • Race 5 - No pick, even though 8 Graduation Party lists Secretariat as broodmare sire (that's the term for sire of the dam, right?). It may happen frequently, but I think it's neat to find Secretariat on a Tampa racing program. I'm new...sue me.
    UPDATE: She took 3rd. I'm sure Grandpa is still proud.
  • Race 6 - 7 Queen Bastet (7-2) and 3 Starship Stripper (3-1). I'll take whichever has longer odds.
    UPDATE: Queen Bastet went off 7-2, Starship Stripper 5-2. I took Queen Bastet, who took the win by a neck over Starship Stripper. I'm feeling a little better about myself now. I also hit the first half of a daily double, with 2 Bluff in the 7th race.
  • Race 7 - 2 Bluff (4-1), although 10 Society Sam (5-1) and 5 Cat Patrol (3-1) also look good. I could be tempted if 10 & 5 go to longer odds, and 2 becomes heavily bet.
    UPDATE: Went off at 5-1, finished 3rd.

I didn't get a chance to make any picks in the later races.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: I was only playing $2 Win bets and $2 Daily Doubles today, so I was in $18 and got $9 back. A disappointing day, but excluding the longshots, I think I picked some good horses. If I can focus on trying to find winners in the 5-2 to 5-1 range, I think I have a good chance of making some money.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WWdN Washout

The WWdN tourney was uneventful. I had a couple of good hands early, but missed the flop on both, and they cost me about half my tournament stack. I managed to limp along for a while, but never got close to average again. With the blinds at 50/100 (I think), I pushed my remaining 500 or so with 77. I was called by AQ. The turn brought my third 7, but the river gave him a straight, putting me out 75th of 125. Oh well. It just wasn't my night. I got drummed out of a Sit N Go, too, after going up early and then misplaying several hands. My desperation pushes toward the end were very poorly timed, as I hit JJ and AA each time.

I only recognized one player at my table in the WWdN tourney. I choose to blame my lackluster showing on having a Platinum Star to my immediate right. Not buying it? Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I was actually aware enough to stay out of any early confrontations with Wes.

I've only managed to pick one horse for tomorrow, so it's time to buckle down. BG has been raiding Tampa lately, and so they've probably made some halftime adjustments.