2015 May 10 | LABV, Chuck E Cheese's, online poker

A rather satanic license plate.

I was trying to get a picture of hummingbirds with the full moon...

... but I couldn't get both the moon and the birds in focus at the same time.

With a flash might have worked a bit better...

... than without.

Even zooming out didn't work. I didn't get a single decent picture. Oh well, try again in 30 days.

A lot of cops to pull over food vendor working out of a little trailer.

Cool old car.

I like that I can now make deposits at the ATM machine, but occasionally it doesn't read things properly. I'm pretty sure that's not a check.

I've been using this bag for my laundry detergent for like 10 years. The holes are finally big enough it's time to move onto another bag, but it held up for quite a while.

That's about the most unsafe cord I've ever seen.

These three dogs were running around in traffic. They all had collars, though, so hopefully their owner found them.

The pillows in this motel were super dirty. Then when I asked for clean ones, it took them around 10 minutes to find some.

Yeah, because I can write that exact error message down in the few seconds it's displayed.

Someone put one of the multifocal +0.25 with a +2.00 add contact lens in the +2.00 single vision lens container. That would really mess with a patient.

Cool clouds.

A bit bigger view of them.

Interesting lights under this bridge.

I still see a fair number of personal trainers out here; I wonder if they all have permits.

This tree was propped up by a piece of another stuck into the path.

An interestingly-painted car. From the looks of it someone lives in it.

A fun flop at poker. Someone in the hand even had an ace and a king; a bit of overkill.

Watching professional play. This is a perfect example of why don't don't want to play "dominated" hands like AJ or KQ; other people can have one of the same cards and a better one of the other, like AK or AQ, so even if you hit your hand, they can hit slightly better and you can lose a ton of money.


Volleyball at Playa del Rey. If I come in the morning, I can have the ocean behind the players instead of the houses and rest of the city, so the pictures are much simpler and prettier. Especially with a sailboat.

Tapping the ball around a block.

Big dive.

Popping it over.

He took a lot of sand up with him.

Eyes on both the ball and where it's going next.

Great platform.

Big swing.

Nice hit.

George with a curved-body shot.

The SuperShuttle logo looks like the blue shell from Mario Kart.

I don't think horses count as passengers to allow you in the carpool lane.

Dark clouds.

This cheater came into the FasTrak lane right after the section where it checks to see if you have a transponder.

Really smart to have those little phone charger rentals at the casino.

I flopped three kings, we both ended up all-in, and he turned a straight flush.

I'm doing OK.

But not compared to this guy. It's still pretty early in the tournament and he's destroying everyone.

Some people playing soccer tennis at a nearby park.

This Chuck E Cheese's is only a block away from our apartment, so we can walk there, but they have free valet parking.

I was really in the mood for chicken strips, but they didn't have them.

Ogii playing her Tippin Bloks game.

Whack a shark.

You put your kid in here, turned the handle, and it would take them way up in the air.

Exercise game; you get more points the farther you walk. Reminds me of the giant wooden one in the playground in Bowdle; I loved that thing.

The bonus slot is super-tiny and only worth 50 tickets; not a great deal.

I think this was easily the best game in the place for getting tickets consistenly. You drop your token, a missile slowly fires, and if you get it into one of the little holes in the side of the central circle, you got 50 tickets. The spaceships would sometimes get in the way, but once you figured out to drop the token right about here, when the fat part of the middle circle was almost exactly facing you, you'd do pretty well.

Oops, we won so much it got stuck.

Squirting water at wolves attacking sheep. The hit detection seemed a bit off, though.

Lots of tickets.

Counting them in the chomper.

If you don't have enough tickets, you can simply buy prizes. That's actually probably much cheaper, but they all have dumb Chuck E Cheese on them.

These are all too expensive for us.

We wanted some sunglasses, but they were 400 tickets, and we only have 329. So we went back to the space game to get 70 more tickets and ended up with 288 more.

Ogii with our prize.

And me. I actually lost my wedding ring here. There was a game where you throw footballs into holes and when I threw with the hand with the ring, the ring went flying off. Thankfully it just went onto the floor a few feet away instead of into the bowels of the game.

Online poker tournament, one of the first hands. We got all the money in on the turn and I got super lucky on the river. Getting lucky and doubling up is one way to start.

Dumb 5 on the river made me pay off his turned straight because I made two pair.

Well, I did not put him on that hand. Good river for him.

Time to give up on this hand. It had so many potential good cards on the river, but none came.

Two pair over two pair, but then I made the flush just to be sure.

He could have easily folded the river when his draw didn't come except he hit the king, so I got paid a little more.

That's a good flop.

I three bet this preflop, bet on the flop, and the other guy still in the hand folded.

I basically bluffed at this on the river, he called, and my paired nine still won.

I bet on the flop and everyone folded.

This is a tough spot. I raised a bunch of limpers and then got three bet almost 4x by someone who's not too deeply stacked. This is probably a bad call for me, but I decided to see a flop and go from there.

And I got really lucky. I checked the flop, he shoved, I called, and my three 8s held up to crack his AA. Another player was quite angry about it.

I'm in first place for now, although it's only an hour into the tourney, and the chip leader this early almost never wins because he's playing too loosely and just getting lucky. It'd be nice to win the $20,000 for first place, though.

I bet on the flop and won.

Aw man, that might have been a nice flop to call. Although with a potential flush already there, maybe not.

I would have been ahead on the flop, but the river would have killed me.

I'm actually getting really good pot odds here, and I should probably call, but 57o is just such a bad hand.

I actually would have won the hand on the river because A-high won, but since they were betting, there's no way I would have stayed in the pot.

Yep, he's quite good there.

Straight on the river, and almost a straight flush. This hand really made the other player angry...

... and he shoved all-in preflop the very next hand with QJ. A decent hand, but probably not a shoving hand, and he lost to AK.

He shoved again the very next hand and met QQ to knock him out. Actually, looking at both flops, he might have been doomed in both hands anyway, but shoving preflop with those hands with his stack size and the current blind levels is horrible; he had 40 big blinds, and you don't want to shove those hands until you have under 10.

The opponent folded on the flop. Glad he didn't have a 2.

To play small pockets pairs, you really need to think you can win at least 10 times what you're putting in preflop to get the correct odds to set time. Since I have to put in 650 to win and both players have more than 6500, it's fine, especially because there are two players I can win money off of, not just one. Although you really have to plan on getting all of the other person's money; if they just fold at some point, you're back to not getting the correct odds.

Well, so much for my plan of hitting a 4. However, everyone checked the flop, so I decided to bet a bit on the turn and they both folded. Which I guess is exactly how I'd play if I had a K. So you don't always need to hit your set to win.

I bet on the flop and he folded. The turn would have been pretty good for me.

Again, betting on the flop wins, even though I don't have anything.

This is tough. He makes a huge overshove, over twice the pot. Nothing he could have makes sense. If he has a 2, I'm almost never calling that big of a bet with anything else, and if he doesn't have a 2, there's a small likelihood I do. It does kind of make sense if he thinks he's ahead and just wants to win the pot now, though, since the current pot would be a pretty big win for him, and doesn't want to even risk a diamond draw getting there. I think it's just a little too much money to risk, especially considering I could be almost drawing dead against any higher pair.

Now I'm down to 15th place. Still quite good considering there are around 1,000 total players.

KJ is one of those easily-dominated hands, especially against someone who just bet a fifth of their stack; if he has AK or AJ, I'm in real trouble. Better to just fold and find a better spot. If we were deeper I could possibly call, but he doesn't have enough money left to make it mathematically correct, assuming he's not just bluffing.

I bet the flop, checked the turn, bet the river, and he called. I only bet 1/3 pot on the river, so perhaps if I would have made it a bit bigger he would have folded, but if I have a Q or a 8, I think 1/3 pot looks more like a value bet. So I'm not sure if he's ever folding a 6 here.

Aw, now I'm down to 84th place. The last pot wasn't a huge loss, but it was around 20% of my stack, and my stack is going down overall, not up.

Won another pot; good thing he didn't have a K or a better kicker.

This is a touch decision, but I don't think I'm ever ahead with one shove and one call.

Aw man, what might have been. I could have another 20,000 chips. Oh well, I still think I made the correct call; when you run it through a poker simulator, A8 is 43% to win, AQ is 37%, and KT is only 20%. I was getting 30% pot odds, so mathematically I should have called, but that's also a call for 30% of my chips, and it's probably better to protect my stack. Especially when if you consider someone could have a straight already and I'm drawing dead. This could have been the swing have of my entire tournament.

I bet as a stab, one guy raised, the other called, and I'm done with the hand.

Yep, good decision. Neither made their flush, but I was still dominated by at least one player.

I raised preflop, he reraised, and I called. I bet the flop, he called, and when I turned a flush draw, I shoved and he called. I don't think I have nearly enough fold equity or outs here to shove a flush draw; even if he has a single Q, he's still probably never folding. I just got lucky to win.

I raised, bet the flop, and bet the turn. He took forever but finally folded. I think the J of spades is a good card to bluff here.

The last paying place is 135 and there are still 253 players.

I'm doing pretty well still in 17th.

Player 739 raised preflop, and we both called. I bet the flop, he raised fairly large, 3x, and I probably would have folded except player 699 called, which increased my pot odds a fair amount. I'm really hoping for a diamond, 2, 6, or 7 on the turn, but I got an even better card; a third 5. I bet a bit over half pot, enought to put 739 all-in and hopefully not too much to fold out 699.

Player 739 called but 699 unfortunately folded. I guess I could have checked or bet smaller to try to get 699 to come along, but maybe not. Either way, still a huge win for me.

I hit a set on the flop and we both went all-in.

I'm back in first place by a fairly-wide margin and first place now wins $25,738.59.

This was the beginning of my downfall. I raised preflop, he reraised, I called. Which, with AT, is pretty iffy, as shown by the flop. If I hit my A, I have to be worried that he has a bigger kicker, and if I hit my T, I have to be worried he has an overpair. So when he bet the flop, I only called. Then the turn was horrifying because a J is definitely in his range. We both checked the turn, and he bet very small on the river, which I called, figuring I was beat but it was so small it didn't matter. Turns out he got super lucky and made his straight on the river. I should have just avoided playing against another big stack, especially with such a questionable hand.

KQs, I raise to isolate 870. I don't think he's ever folding, but maybe I have overcards to a smaller pair, and it's not too expensive for me.

I didn't not have overcards to his pair.

Down another 10,000, but I have AA, and I have another player all-in. Unfortunately he only has just under 10,000 that I can win, but I'll still take it.

And he hits one of the two 7s he needs. He actually wins lower pair vs over pair 20% of the time, so he's not quite as lucky as it looks, but still, it hurts.

The top-right player shoved preflop for 10k and the other player called, also all-in. I almost called, but small suited connectors are better to play against deep stacked opponents, not shovers, so I folded. Would have won, but still think I made the right decision. However, I'm actually more likely to win the hand than KJ because he's dominated by AJ. I'm actually around 30% to win here and was getting 50% pot odds (have to call 10k to win 20k), so perhaps I should have called. But again, that's a huge percentage of my stack when I'm behind mathematically.

This was just bad. I three-bet bluffed with 35o preflop (which I had read about in some book, although I think this hand is just not good enough to do it with), he called, and then I thought maybe I could represent the K on the turn and he'd fold TT, JJ, or QQ. However, he actually had the K. I lost 30% of my stack here. Horrible idea.

And with that, I've changed from trying to win $20,000 for first place to just hang on long enough to win anything, which is $243.01. They pay to 135, there are 139 players left, so it's almost the money bubble. "Bad" players who only want to make any money at all will tighten up a ton here and only play their best hands. That lets "good" players who want to try to win and aren't too concerned min-cashing play very aggressively and pick up a lot of blinds and antes. Since the last tournament I tried to act like a "good" player here and got knocked out before making anything, I decided to take the "bad" player route and play no hands at all until the money bubble broke.

A couple more players got knocked out, and I was now in the money. I figured I'd shove with any pair or any A since I'm down to 6 big blinds, and this was my hand.

One player called, he had me dominated, and he won the hand.

At least I made a little money. $20,000 would have been nice, though.

Reading a poker book on my phone.

One good point: better to make a small mistake in a small pot (by folding even if you might be ahead) than making a big mistake in a big pot (by calling when you're behind or folding to a really tough bet later).

Enough tournaments for now. Time for a little cash. I bet the flop, bet the turn, and decided that when my flush didn't hit the only chance I had to win was betting the river, and he folded. Although who knows, maybe he had a better flush draw.

AA holds up against a flush draw.

That's a pretty good flop for me. I raised, and he folded. Maybe I should have just called to draw him in more, but I wanted to get a bit more money into the pot.

A pretty sick suck-out for me to make my flush on the river when he makes his straight.

An opponent made a pot-sized shove on the turn. I called, and he had 33. Yeah, I don't think he has a 4 very often.

I like that flop.

I like it even more now; I have a full house.

Nice, the flush draw got there, and maybe some weird straights. Hopefully he made one of those and will pay me, but nope, he just folded.

I bet the flop and the turn and he folded.

Hmm, this is tough. I have two pair, but he only needs a single T to win. I called, and he did have AT.

I have a straight draw and a backdoor nut flush draw; that's pretty good. However, the guy with $23.71 shoved, and I'm not getting very good pot odds with those draws.

However, I called, and yep, I should have folded; he had two pair.