I shit you not, I think I do more on the weekends than I do during the week. My boss might agree, depending on the week.
So Friday night saw most of the standard crew of degenerates sitting around my poker table, with a couple of irregular faces. Dan missed the game, a real rarity, and Charles from work sat in for a change. Diamond Jim moved in to sit on my right elbow, a real rarity for him, and Special K sat on my left, getting the benefit of position on my craziness.
I mentioned earlier that there were some very specific things I'm working on in my game, and I tried to focus on them as the night went on. I didn't chase gutshots (much) and I didn't call preflop raises with trash (hardly ever). I also defended my blinds less with crap hands. It didn't really matter, because I still had to rebuy almost in the first orbit when Uncle Phil slow-played his boat and I gifted him my whole stack with the nut straight.
Charles definitely changed the dynamic of the game, as he stuck in some big raises with medium hands and amped up the action a lot in the early going. He took down some big hands, and generally moved a lot of chips around the table, but took a vicious beat from Jim midway through the night to put a big dent in his stack. Charles went all-in on the turn with J5s on a board of A-5-5-x. Jim called with an Ace for two pair, then spiked one of his two outs on the river to stack Charles.
I ended up in some big hands and with some big chips as the night moved on. Nate was my primary donor, as my streak of catching garbage straights on Special K seems to have come to an end. I also took the high hand jackpot with Aces full of Jacks, my first jackpot win since we instituted it at my game (although last week when Nate won it was like I won, since I took all that money from him later). We recently split the jackpot to create more action. There's the nightly high hand, which goes to whoever gets the biggest hand by midnight, and then there's the rolling jackpot, which builds from week to week until somebody gets quads or better. I take $.50 out of each pot that sees a flop for the jackpots, and the money splits evenly between the two. We've done it that was for two weeks, and there's about $50 in the rolling jackpot. Not anything huge, but it's a buy-in, and that never hurts. So I picked up an extra $25 in jackpot money to go with my stacks, which were fairly healthy and then got G00T on this hand.
I'm in a blind with AKo. Charles makes it $4 to go from Middle Position. Nate calls (because that's what he does), Jim calls, and I make it $20. Charles calls all-in, Nate calls, and Jim folds. Flop comes Ac-Qc-8c, and Nate leads out at me for $15. I call, somewhat concerned about the flush. Turn is a blank, and Nate fires $25 out at me. With nearly $100 in the pot, a $25 bet from the loosest player in the free world doesn't really worry me, as he could easily be trying to push me out with a Queen. I call, and the Ks comes on the river. Nate throws $35 out at me, and I call with my top two.
"I have Queens and eights." Nate says, having called $20 preflop with Q8o. Charles mucks, and I say "I have Aces and Kings" and rake in the biggest pot of the night. Special K looks over and says "nice river," and I can only nod.
It's tough playing with Nate because he's almost impossible to put on a hand, and he is going after any pot worth winning with any two cards. But if you can catch two pair or better against him, you can make the rent playing cards with him.
I made one good laydown of the night, in a repeat of the situation I found myself in with K last week. Jim led out at a flushy board, I raised 3x his bet with a made baby flush, and he pushed over the top. I thought for a minute before folding, said out loud "I made that mistake last week," and folded. Jim was kind enough to show his Q-high flush, and I avoided doubling him up like I did K last week.
All in all a good game, and I finished with another sick night, profiting 4.5 buy-ins in a home game. Good thing it's my house, because I might not be invited back somewhere else after taking over $400 out of a $50 max buy-in game in two weeks.
I luvs me some July.
Saturday I went shopping for the show and bought some costumes, then went to Le Sears to pick up the exercise bike. I'll upload photos later tonight of the serious packaging and the assemblage that was required. I had read reviews where folks said it took them 3-5 hours to put that thing together, and all I can think is that they must be retarded paraplegic amputees with Parkinson's, because my inept ass put the whole thing together in 90 minutes, and then went to dinner with Suzy and my sis before heading out to a bar to see Sam Bush.
Sammy came to jam, but the venue brought teh suck. Acoustics were on the mediocre end of mediocre, and there were not chairs or stools, so it was definitely a young-folks kinds venue. The music was, of course, smoking, and when he segued into Whole Lotta Love, it got really jumping. A lot more instrumental in this set than I'm used to, but they made up for the somewhat sedate set with a 30-minute encore including a 22-minute version of Same Ol' River where every member of the band took an extended solo, and then a screaming rendition of Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, one of my favorite old bluegrass tunes that I'd never seen him perform before. One thing that was a bit of a cooler was that halfway through the show, a guy from the venue told me I had to take my camera outside, that there were no photos allowed. I whined a bit that no one had told me this beforehand, and he said that the band just told him that after a lot of people were inside. I stuck my camera in my pocket after he wandered off, so not much on the pictures. I'll upload what I did get tonight after rehearsal.
So after getting to bed after 2 Friday and Saturday nights, I got up Sunday and recapped the WSOP, then went to the first ever Metrolina Theatre Association unified auditions. MTA is a service organization for theatre groups in the greater Charlotte region, and this was the first time they tried to hold a mass auditions. 20+ companies watched 110+ actors give a 90-second audition over the course of 6 hours. There were a lot more good actors than bad actors, and I found most of the cast for the next show I'm directing.
We still have a secondary audition for Killing Time next week, but if I knew ahead of time that there would be that many good people in the bulk auditions, I wouldn't have scheduled them. I saw a lot of new faces, and a lot of familiar faces, and saw some new things from old people, which was good. A ton of actors that I know didn't do the unified auditions, and I think once they hear about the big turnout, they'll be there next year.
After the audition I dashed over to the theatre where we had Hamlet's first technical rehearsal. There were some dimmer issues at the theatre, which made the lighting a little rough, but otherwise it went pretty well. The sword fight at the end is looking good, and the scenes that they're solid on the lines for are looking good. Act 4 is rough, because that's where people are still shaky about lines, but I'm feeling pretty good about the shape of the show. If I can get all of the cast to be as committed as some of them are, we'll be golden.
I'm working with a wide range of ages, experience levels and levels of training, so it's sometimes tough to realize what they do or don't know. There are things that are basic theatre behavior that are ingrained in me and some other folks that are just foreign to people that have only done a couple of shows, or have only done high school theatre. So there's been a lot of that training going on, and most of them are getting it. And the others think I'm an ogre and won't come back, so I won't have to deal with them again anyway.
Either way, that was my relaxing weekend - it doesn't get any better this week, as I still have to deal with getting the set painting finished, the masking luan put on the platforms, get the programs created and printed, then try and sell some tickets and live with my wife as she goes insane sewing costumes and learning lines. But in a couple weeks I'm taking a few days vacation, so that'll be nice.
If I don't implode by then into a supernova of stress. Maybe I should just drink more.