Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zip It

SQUIRREL HILL -- While waiting for a clarinet/guitar/accordion performance at the Christine Frechard Gallery in Squirrel Hill, I took a look at some of the art for sale:

A few pieces of art decided to watch the show:

Susanne Ortner-Roberts on clarinet, John Marcinizyn on guitar, and Vladimir Mollov on accordion. Playing Klezmer and Gypsy Jazz. A packed gallery loved it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pittsburgh Poker Open -- the end

PITTSBURGH -- It's 9:45 p.m. and we're home. But it's amazing Larry lasted as long as he did in today's tournament. He played for almost eight hours and never had more than a pair. In the last hand, he ended up going all in with pocket queens. The small blind, a guy who had just moved to the table, was impossible to read because he was impossible to see seated where he was. The guy called and had pocket Aces. And then the board gave him two more.

Total number of players:  107
First place prize:  $32,100

Next time.

Pittsburgh Poker Open -- and then there were two

PITTSBURGH -- Trophy Number Two:

Larry won the second one on Thanksgiving day. Hannah and I were there cheering him on, and it was a riot.

The game was 7-card stud, eight or better. Larry taught himself the rules the night before. It's 2 cards down (to each player), 4 cards up (to each player) and 1 card down (to each player). A high hand and a legitimate low hand will split the pot. The low hand can't have a card higher than an 8, and it cannot include any pairs. So think junk hand. The best hand to get would be A2345 as a straight flush because it would be most likely the highest hand and also the lowest hand. 

There were only six guys playing, and that was good because it takes a l-o-n-g time to play. With more people, it would have gone on for hours.

The poker room was virtually empty, one cash game only going on. So we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The dealers who weren't actively working were watching, too. At one point, a player flipped a card into the air by accident. It hit Hannah's foot and then the ground, and I picked it up. They have to take the deck out of play and count the cards. I get it. People do cheat. Just not me.

RIGHT NOW is the No Limit Hold 'em tournament, a 2-day event. Larry just texted: 

"Playing well. Getting cards. But getting killed on flops. 4 drives against my aces so down 35% of stack. But not giving up."

To be continued.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pittsburgh Poker Open

PITTSBURGH (duh) -- Larry's a winner! Well, he's always a winner in general, but last night (actually early this morning), he won his first poker trophy. Ain't it a beaut?

Rivers Casino is holding a week-long series of tournaments to determine the "best poker player in Pittsburgh." Larry won the No Limit Texas Hold 'Em "Triple Chance." I think that meant that in addition to the buy-in, it included two more smaller buy-ins for chips to be added at any time during the tournament.

The tournament started at 7:15 p.m. with 65 players. Larry texted at around 9:30, "It's moving fast. Will have to make a move soon." And then I didn't hear for a while. Finally, at around 11, he said to come on down. The blinds are going up really fast. So I went there expecting to pick him up after either busting out or winning by 11:30. Wrong. At 2:44 a.m. we left with his lovely trophy. Such is poker.

Larry chopped the pot with one other guy. They each signed for their winnings and then the two piles of cash were combined to be split evenly. The other guy did the splitting. This morning, we both realized that the guy seemingly gave himself a little extra. Perhaps he'll be playing again this weekend when Larry plays again. It should make for an interesting conversation.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bagpipes for Breakfast

PITTSBURGH -- A typical day on Carnegie Mellon's campus.

I didn't get a chance to ask this guy what was up. I assume he was there for a event that was about to start, but maybe he was just out for a stroll.

CMU offers a music degree in bagpipes! The degree, started in 1990, is the only one in the world and has graduated 3 students through 2009. (I can't find data that's more current.) Some students just take lessons. Because bagpipes are phenomenally loud, students practice in a sound-proof basement studio on campus. Maybe this guy just couldn't take the closed in space anymore.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Alternative Homecoming Dance for "Wallflowers"

PITTSBURGH -- To Pittsburghers between the ages of 14 and 17, the Carnegie Museum and Library and the City of Pittsburgh are sponsoring an alternative homecoming dance this Saturday. It's for "Wallflowers and Wildflowers," any student who just might want a different homecoming experience.

Some random Homecoming photos from our past (hope you don't mind, Han):

2004, mom jeans and Homecoming chic.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Eve to Our Kiddo

PITTSBURGH -- We'll be on the road tomorrow, so I want to send an early birthday blog wish to Hannah.

I wouldn't dare use cliches like "where has the time gone" or "it seems like only yesterday that you were born" or "how is it possible that you're 24?" I'll just say that we love you to pieces and you'll always be our little girl with the pony tails and the mischievous grin and the mind of her own.