Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's Saturday: Poker or go see the LA Lakers?

If you're MOJO, the answer to the question in the title is simple: Do both! I scored the basketball tickets in a drawing at work. The Memphis Grizzlies have a young team with a new coach, but they've lost a lot of games. Even so, because we were playing the LA Lakers, the game was a sell-out, although probably one-third of the people were Laker fans!

We were ahead at half-time, but didn't score in the first five minutes of the third quarter while the Lakers couldn't miss. We were taking jumpshots, they were getting points in the paint -- not a good combination. After that, we never really got back in the game. Hey, let's face it -- they're the Lakers and we're the Grizzlies. The final score was 115 to 98 in their favor.

One interesting story line is that our center is Marc Gasol, their center is Pau Gasol. Notice the same last names? Yep, they're brothers, both from Spain. Pau is the older brother, and, as older brothers usually do, he outplayed Marc. He had 25 points and eight rebounds while Marc had 13 points and three rebounds.

After the game I had an itch to play some poker, so headed to the Goldstrike Casino. I called ahead to get on the waiting list for $1/2 no-limit, so when I walked in, I was next up with almost no wait. I bought in for $200 and began my patient game. I picked up J-J on the button and it was raised to $12 with two callers to me. What would you do? I just called and was glad I did when the flop was A-Q-x. There was betting in front of me and I was happy to fold after losing only $12.

The only other significant pot I lost was with A-K. Someone raised to $12 and two other players and I called. The flop was 7-6-2 and it was checked around. The turn was an ace and the guy in first position bet $15. I called and a guy behind me called. I guess you could make a case for raising, but you're either way ahead (of A-Q or A-J etc.) or way behind if he has, for example, A-6. I wouldn't play a raggy ace, but these guys do. The turn was another rag and the same guy bet $45. I almost folded, but finally called and he showed a set of 2s. Everything had aligned to suck me in.

After I had played for an hour or so, there was a commotion at the table next to me. I had folded (what else is new) so jumped up to go over and see what the fuss was all about. This was what I saw: It was a $2/5 NL game and there were two players in the pot. There was around $1300 dollars in the middle, and one of the guys had moved all in for $1750 more. The flop had been 10-5-3 rainbow. The turn was a 6. Yes, someone could have a straight, but no way. There had obviously been betting before the flop and on the flop so no one had low cards. I figured it was set over set for sure. This guy thought forever, and finally called. The first all-in guy turned over a pair of 10s -- yes, top set. The other guy turned over K-K !!! I was flabbergasted -- I'm just sayin. The river was a meaningless card, so this guy lost nearly $2500 with a pair of kings? No way, but it was true. What could he have been thinking? I'm just askin'. The guy who won the big pot, played one more orbit, then racked up and left. I don't blame him; he'd had a pretty good night.

I played until 1 a.m. and then I also racked up with about the same number of chips that I started with. Even though I hadn't won anything, it was worth my time to see the big pot -- why doesn't that ever happen to me?

The Memphis Grizzlies won the tip-off to start the game.

Kobe Bryant shoots a free throw.

Andrew Bynum injured his knee and had to be helped from the court.

The Lakers run their offense.

Lakers' Coach Phil Jackson draws up a play during a timeout.

Even if we lose, I can enjoy the Grizzlies' dance team.

These drummers performed at half-time. Since the movie "Drumline," groups like this have become more and more popular.


  1. I really like the photos - they look just like screen shots of a PS3 or Xbox game :-D


  2. Boy I'm glad I don't live near a casino. Poker and professional basketball, great night.

  3. @joxum: thanks

    @newinNov: Yeah, when you live so close, it's always *very* tempting to go play.

  4. I haven't been to a Grizz game since J Will left :(

    Heckuva pot for the 10/10 guy! I would've called it a night, too!

  5. i didn't know Pau's brother played for Memphis until i saw that game. sux Bynum got hurt again but, Kobe scored 61 tonight against the Knicks so all is well in Laker land.

  6. @Smokkee: Marc went to high school here in Memphis (while Pau was playing for the Grizzies).