AZDuffman's Blog

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The thrill of (near) victory!October 14th, 2014 at 5:05:54 pm
I swear to God that the first poker tourney I ever played I made the final table and we chopped (5 players.) To this day I still cannot believe I did it with some of the stupid plays I made. Until yesterday I never came close again. Always too aggressive or too docile or just caught a frozen wave of cards.

So a buddy an I decide to enjoy Columbus Day and go to the poker room at Meadows. As I will not be able to blow off many more of these federal days with the new client (enough online that the courthouse doesn't matter) I was extra up for it. He had a dentist appointment later but ever the optimist says, "won't matter, we will both be knocked out early."

Early it was about the tightest tourney I ever sat in. One fish got knocked out fast. It was the true, "If you can't spot the sucker......" moment. I spotted him as a sucker right off. I saw one guy he just kept calling and I knew at the second call he would go all-in and lose. He did and did. When he went out it was about 23 of 26 still left, and stayed that way to near the break.

The tightness along with only 8-9 at the table was good for my style of play. It hurt that you could get no action on premium hands, but no all-in idiots either. I was near fading when I called an all-in with KQos to an A?os. It was just a tourney moment where you have to go all in or go home. I drew to a flush and essentially knocked the guy out as he had just enough for an ante left.

We fade down to final table and my buddy decided to cancel his dentist appointment (dentist or poker, hmmmmm......) Still tight play and I have a stack on the low end of the high stacks. My buddy fades and dies at fifth, leaving us at the bubble. Guy to my left has a small stack but keeps winning a few. Eventually he has to go all-in and loses. WE HIT THE MONEY!

The chip leader would not chop so on we go. The guy between me and him, to my right, is who I want to pressure. I get some fair but not good cards at the right times and make some all-in raised. Chip leader keeps thinking and keeps folding, saying if I do win he will be too dented. The other guy keeps folding.

Eventually it is just two of us. I get a flush on the flop and go all-in. He calls and says, "FLUSH TO THE 8!" As if in a movie I flip my cards and say, "to the Queen." He is critical so I get KQ suited and push all-in next hand. He calls and wins. At this point he asks for a smoke break. What am I going to do, deny him? This isn't ESPN and he is actually a cool guy.

So we go to the bar and my buddy is there, I tell my buddy, "check this out, last two players we decided to be friends!"

What happened next made my day. The guy tells me how great I have been playing. I say I had to go all-in and he says, "don't kid yourself, you were watching us and played the all-ins right. You are no maniac." As if I was not happy enough he says he will do a "gentleman's chop" if I want. My term. He suggests a more balanced payoff but the casino is not involved because he just wants to see how it plays out.

Well, I got really bad cards with really high blinds and just shoved. Came in second. But having never had any sports ability I never had an opponent on that level say something like that. What a last day before a new day gig begins.

October 15th, 2014 at 3:17:01 am
>he says he will do a "gentleman's chop" if I want

You don't say what that is, and you don't say if you accepted [to continue playing sounds like you did not accept?]

Please clarify, thanks
October 15th, 2014 at 3:17:21 am
and congratulations
October 15th, 2014 at 3:51:01 am
Sorry, a "gentleman's chop" is my term. Meaning that we agree how we will chop but we keep playing just to see how it turns out as if the casino is in on it the game would end. So in reality the winner could have said "up yours" and took the winner's share, but we put it on our honor to chop.

The winner was getting $500 and the loser $243. So the deal was loser kicks the $43 to the dealers for both of us and the winner kicked $100 to the loser. And surprisingly they paid us in cheques, not in cash which is what I got in AZ.

And thanks!

“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.'”October 9th, 2014 at 2:08:07 pm
An up and down week up here. For those who do not know, the project I was on ended one week ago today. The last few days of it the signs were all over. The last day I turned in one more tract and then kind of read the news and posted here, my boss sitting right next to me doing essentially the same. At the end the parting words were, "take tomorrow off and wait for a call" and a "well, hopefully I see you when you are back from vacation."

The email then came with the following in it, "It is our intention to re-engage your services as quickly as possible, hopefully within the next 7 calendar days." Some more about hopefully working with them again and, "but it is our hope that you elect to continue providing the agreed upon services."

This was Friday of last week. I rested Friday and put a few resumes out on Monday because in this industry there are no guarantees. By Tuesday I had a new gig with a new client, a touch more flexibility, and get to learn 2 new counties, one neighboring Ohio. The offices of the new place are in a 100% nicer part of town, a trendy part of town at that. One of the trendiest.

Oh, yeah, and a few more bucks a day! Not killer-more, but enough for a nice dinner for one.

All happy times until the old client calls and you feel like talking to the old girlfriend who went on a break and you found someone new. Yes, I liked it there, I really, really did. I would not have even explored much but for the hiatus. I got picked up fast. It didn't sink in on the call, it sunk in on the email where it said they "acknowledged and accepted my contract termination." I mean, of course it is terminated, just feels so final at the moment I read it.

I would say it is the first time I left a job I liked for an unknown, but it was not a "job." It was a "gig." A "client." Few are the W-4 jobs in this industry. "Long Term" can mean a year, sometimes less. Not to forget, but the move was sold as "an opportunity." I don't begrudge the Chief who told me that, she could not have known. Business is business.

The lessons for the client are if you like the work of a person, find a reason to keep him because even a few days on the street and people will look elsewhere. The lesson for the contractor is keep doing good work and know where to find the next client.

And that is that. One day I may work with them again. Or they might have been a break-in house and I did not realize it. I like the new place so far, they came in on the high-end of my rate request. But remember the motto:

“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.'”--Don Draper

November 17th, 2014 at 8:13:54 pm
Job security in my business is when the boss said, see you in the morning.

This is what will be coming out in the world in a few yearsAugust 22nd, 2014 at 9:22:51 pm
College Freshmen say some weird things, but this one I never heard a player say before.

"This is called free odds and is the best bet in the casino as it has no edge."
"Is there a way to bet evens?"


August 24th, 2014 at 4:57:37 am
I don't know how dumb they are, but they are different.

From what I can tell, this current bunch is quite cowed compared to us. Their Educators have convinced them to trust what the Enlightened Ones want for us. In the matters of environmentalism, racial equality, control of their lives by the state, and even the imperative of volunteering for charity, so many are sold on it. Watch out for the Disillusioned though, there is always a group of those, some of whom have made it to Ferguson MO.

By the time I was 20 or so, a group of us were remarking on how different the incoming underclassmen were from us. "A different breed". Already. It only gets worse with further distance. I looked for and couldnt find Guy de Maupassant's observation that when you pass a graveyard of only the last generation you are observing what's left of a remarkably different "vanished race" of another age. This is so true.
August 26th, 2014 at 3:07:33 pm
It was a rare time I had another dealer with me. Before the games opened we discussed how his kid was a HS Junior this week and what he should do with his life. I gave my now-standard speech against college unless he is getting a very technical degree as a waste of money and get some trade skills.

I am lucky in that my job attracts misfits and not go-along types. Even when I was in college you could see the indoctrination take hold in a bunch of the class. At least none started going on an anti-fracking rant at the table.
September 1st, 2014 at 12:46:40 am
All generations have their moments. We've been gone from youth for so long, we've forgotten how it was and half the dumb things we've said and done ourselves.

Asking a square for a square but not the square the square thought..........June 28th, 2014 at 12:42:48 pm
I know I'm a square, but.......

So I'm by the garage with my dad, ladder on the house, getting ready to cut a board board for a shelf for an A/C unit. This black girl is walking down the alley and asks, "do you have a square?"

Immediately I think she is talking about a carpenter's square, as is my dad. She quickly senses we didn't get it and said "cigarette." I politely replied we didn't smoke and she moved on.

Now, I do know what it meant. But my thought is a person on the street is asking about a carpentry tool.

Am I that big a square?

June 28th, 2014 at 1:23:01 pm
didn't know that slang usage about "square", but had a similar thing happen to me involving a "case quarter." Somebody asked me for one some time ago, but I thought I had been around the block a time or two. I had no idea what he was talking about. In case anyone doesn't know, some call an ordinary quarter such. He got pretty disgusted me since he thought I just didnt want to give him one.
June 28th, 2014 at 5:35:55 pm
I believe calling a smoke a "square" is prison talk.
July 3rd, 2014 at 12:06:24 am
square is prison slang for a cigarette as opposed to some other item that might be smoked.

Case quarter I thought would be archaic. It means I want a quarter not two dimes and a nickle, since its going into a vending machine.
July 3rd, 2014 at 11:06:32 am
>not two dimes and a nickle

exactly. He had offered me the change, so he wasn't bumming
July 13th, 2014 at 12:24:05 pm
I had no idea of that usage either. I'd have offered hear a chessboard, saying "Is this square enough for you?"
July 23rd, 2014 at 12:21:35 am
You have black girls walking down your alleys
bumming smokes? Where do you live, man.
That would scared the hell out of me.

Here's why. Most blacks are totally innocent,
nice people. But all of them have family
members who aren't. And that's scary.

Blackjack at a Prom, 2014April 28th, 2014 at 10:59:10 am
"Blackjack" was spelled out vs the initials "BJ" to avoid any confusion like last year.

The kid says, "I just realized this is our Prom and we are sitting here playing Blackjack."
So I am thinking to myself, "and????????"

Assuming the powers that be kept booze out, and no reason to think otherwise, it is the most I have seen non-drunks hit on 18, soft or hard. For some time this would drive me nuts, but lately I have found some kind of Zen at the table and simply DUAD.

April 29th, 2014 at 12:22:16 am
Well, its good that there is some alternative entertainment provided.
I would expect the kids to be expert players though. Strange these days what is not learned by the young.
April 29th, 2014 at 7:28:12 am
Can't find "duad" in the slang dictionary online, dude. [g]
April 29th, 2014 at 3:02:59 pm
DUAD Dummy Up And Deal
April 29th, 2014 at 5:41:05 pm
@Flea: they had lots of entertainment. There was some kind of hypnotist as well, which was good for us since it killed our first hour. Some charachature artist, maybe more not sure that was all I saw. Not bad kids, either. Security said they some tried sneaking to other parts of the stadium (Heinz Field) but they were pretty laid back at my table.

As to learning young, I'm doing my part trying to teach my 6 year old niece. She turns 7 next month which means no more double-exposure and she get to learn basic strategy. My hope is when the youngest of the nieces and nephews turn 21 there are still shoe-dealt games I can take down and end up as a special on History.
April 30th, 2014 at 3:08:17 pm
Your niece will remember the time you spent with her. Its good for a girl to learn blackjack and how to shoot dice. Some states allow gambling at 18 and I expect more will as time goes by. Foreign casinos are often lax in enforcing rules.
April 30th, 2014 at 4:45:45 pm
Well the best part is she is very mature and said, "I'll teach my brother when he can count better!" She is the kind of kid who wants to be an adult. (I was the same.) I'll wait a few years before teaching dice. I think that can wait until age 10-12.

A real goal is show her how to run a game. That is a skill that will pay in college.
May 2nd, 2014 at 9:28:08 am
>show her how to run a game. That is a skill that will be useful at college...

I'm curious. Do you mean she could hire herself out as a Casino Night Dealer to some Party Firm or do you mean she could run real money craps games in the dorm? Might be more profitable but the school would eventually call the cops when losers complained.
May 4th, 2014 at 4:27:28 pm
Well kind of both. I wish casino night dealing was around when I was in school. Lets do the math on todays' numbers.

Two hours monte carlo night dealing=$65-70. To get $70 on a minimum wage work study gig takes 9-10 hours. Taxes on the MC night are also lower as you can write off mileage, though the work-study gig you could walk to in most cases.

Now running a craps game in the dorm is a bit much, but if you had an RA who was easygoing it would be hard to get caught. BJ games I don't see students playing, either. But POKER, now that is a different story. I think that could easily be run as the cops hardly care about low ante games in an apartment. $20 an hour can easily be made.

Sadly I never had such guidance when I was a young lad.
May 5th, 2014 at 3:38:14 pm
Sadly the CalStat Santa Barbara professor died in a scuba accident at a fairly young age, but his novels were semi autobiographical and between his fiction and non-fiction works it was obvious he had come across a poker book at a very young age and memorized all the math stuff. He played in his home town until he overheard someone saying he won too often to not be cheating. That was his cue to leave town and he hit pool halls in small towns as he generally headed westward. He reached California and after satisfying his residency requirements playing poker, he enrolled in college paying for it with his poker winnings from both "town and gown" games. He even financed his Masters degree with poker money. All because he was lucky enough to have encountered a textbook on it in his early youth.

Its similar to Louis L"Amour's yondering days. Some think he bummed around the world working odd jobs to get material for his stories, but in reality he did it to eat. Sailor, longshoreman, tug boat deck hand, skinning dead cattle, sleeping in thirty cent a night "hotels", manning a bucket brigade as an entire town burned. It was a life of adventure but it was done to eat, not for later writing material. He just later used his experiences as a basis for his writing. In reality he really was flat broke, he really did get marooned in the Mojave desert. And he really did learn to play poker for what was in the Depression considered high stakes.

Some people simply lead adventuresome lives and learn useful skills.

Make sure the niece learns Bridge too though. Its often played non-stop in womens dormitories, grad schools, etc. Poker ofcourse, she will meet competitive men who have money, what more could a young girl dream of?
May 5th, 2014 at 7:03:45 pm
Can't help her with Bridge as I do not know how to play that one. I do know how many people have no clue on how to play poker. Others learned from family like I did but we just learned how to play, not how to PLAY. It was a social thing and if you lost all your pennies our grandparents let you play "on poverty" meaning you could collect a pot without betting. That was bad way to learn to play. My mother still doesn't get it as when we played at her house once and I refused to allow "on poverty" she thought we should have it to "let everyone play." I retorted that games have winners and losers and to play cards without a winning objective was kind of a waste of time.

So the at college you get I guess three groups. Those that learned to play like I did, IOW you know the rules but your family never taught you to win. Those that are sharks and will not hold back. And those that do not know how to play at all. I would be remiss in my duties as an uncle if I did not do all I could to get all nieces and nephews into the "shark" group.

As a side note on that while at college I learned to play "Scat/31" which we played for dollars. When I came back and my sister had some friends over they asked if i wanted to play cards. I said I would play Scat but had to be for $1 stakes. So it is her, a gf of hers and some guy. So I sit in position behind her gf who is behind her and the guy, who is a shark, behind me. From the get-go it would be he or I who won but either he didn't take me for a player or he did not grasp the advantage of playing behind a weak player. After two hands he did notice and wasn't happy where I chose to sit. I didn't care because I know he would have done the same thing and I figured it was not cheating just smart play.

So anyways my idea is show them how the world works. Show them they can be sharks or be fish food. I still can't believe how many people reach adulthood without even learning rank of hands.
August 18th, 2014 at 1:37:51 am
It's funny the experience taking Greyhound to Atlantic City being around Philadelphia for a while. I'm outside and guys walk by offering drugs and although I have no idea whatsoever what they're saying or the lingo, I can tell it's drugs. Lots of drugs being sold at these bus stations and even one in Pittsburgh just had to be stupid translating the lingo flat out saying he had cocaine for sale. Even I know from the movies, they should never do that and just say candy makes you dandy.

Should you had just assumed you knew what she meant, no just because that doesn't make sense for her to want the square you were thinking. Must have been paint fumes or exhaust you were inhaling in the garage.
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