Saturday, February 28, 2009

All Hail the All-Blue

Item Photo

I thought I had taken a photograph of part of tonight's dinner: a cast iron skillet filled with slices of All-Blue potatoes, baby white onions and red peppers. But alas, no photo. The batteries need changed in the camera. (The photo above is from Seeds of Change's online catalogue.) However, that won't stop me from singing the Blue's praises.

We started growing All-Blues a few years ago in order to offer our farmers' market clients something different than the usual Pontiac Reds and Yukon Golds. They also made for a good conversation-starter/sales pitch. Taking most of our talking points straight from the people we bought our seed potatoes from, we'd say that kids love the novelty of blue french fries. And although I am certain children would indeed get a laugh, these potatoes are so much more diverse.

One reason we use them to make the aforementioned concoction of spuds, onions and peppers (home fries) is because they hold their shape better than some other more starchy potatoes. We also have a large supply from last year's harvest. They're good in a potato salad as well. Some folks make a red, white and blue potato salad for the Fourth of July. Yet, by and large, our favorite way to enjoy them is baked. We just pop them in the oven, without foil. The skins take on a nutty flavor that is absolutely incredible.

Have I sparked an interest? If so, I must point out that you may have a difficult time finding them in your major supermarket chain. You'll be better served finding a store that specializes in organic produce (I'm not going to mention the big chain that does this), and when summer rolls around, definitely go to your local farmers' market and ask the growers if they will have All-Blues this year. And if they will, tell them you'd like some of the bigger ones, big enough for baking, and of course, for french fries.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I had just sat down and posted in the CO. I knew about 50% of the players at the table. The villain, however was new to me in that I had been at another table with him earlier today for the first time. I noticed a certain aggressive tendency that seemed misplaced. Something didn't smell right, just as a raise from the SB. Of course I put him on Aces, yet the longer I play PLO, I have started to see folks using any double suited hands as an excuse for raising, regardless of position. I'm fine with that.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Hero (CO) ($10)
Button ($7)
SB ($9.20)
BB ($10.85)
UTG ($3.20)
UTG+1 ($11)
MP1 ($15)
MP2 ($17)
MP3 ($1.30)

Preflop: Hero is CO with 8, 7, 2, 9

UTG calls $0.10, 1 fold, MP1 calls $0.10, 2 folds, Hero (poster) checks, 1 fold, SB bets $0.60, BB calls $0.50, UTG calls $0.50, MP1 calls $0.50, Hero (poster) calls $0.50

My call was nearly a pure position move, plus I was getting pretty good odds, even with the dangler. It could happen...

Flop: ($3) 10, 6, 5 (5 players)

...and it did. If he did indeed have Aces, unless he had the nut flush draw, he was vulnerable.

SB bets $2.85, 3 folds, Hero raises to $9.40 (All-In), SB calls $5.75 (All-In)

His bet didn't make sense, unless he had the aforementioned draw. Well, he could have Aces and tens in the hole I suppose. But his big bet preflop suggested that now he was protecting, not drawing. If I called, I'd have so much of my stack in anyway, so I ran with it, like on TV.'s Omaha Calculator shows that I'm a 2:1 favorite here.

Turn: ($20.20) 10 (2 players, 2 all-in)

And now I'm a 2:1 dog.

River: ($20.20) 4 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $20.20 | Rake: $1


SB had Q, A, 10, 9 (three of a kind, tens).

Hero had 8, 7, 2, 9 (flush, ten high).

Outcome: Hero won $19.20

After seeing his cards, I was somewhat stunned. How he can lead out with top pair only on an unfavorable board with no redraws is beyond me. I gave him credit for Aces, which in actuality my intial gut on him was a better read. He was inappropriately aggressive.

Cowboy Up

No, not pocket Kings.” Cowboy up” is a phrase one will see from time to time out here, and I suppose in other areas where one finds ranches. Cowboys are okay in my book. Real cowboys, that is. Maybe not when they’re drunk…but even then, I imagine they’re more tolerable than a drunk who thinks he is a cowboy.

Last night I was at a PLO table with one such character. How do I know he was drunk? Because I know him. It’s tragic. No, maybe just pathetic. (Tragic in that I would imagine he capable of a solid game; pathetic in that he has allowed alcohol to impact on his judgment and makes him an overall consistent loser.) Anyway, he’s taken to showing up in rooms I playing with his very dynamic style of poker. He raises most pots, regardless of position and holdings, and predictably, gets the action (attention) he is seeking.

Three players to his left was his cosmic counterpart and another version of the make-believe cowboy, the calling station. They engaged many, many times.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

BB ($9.05)
UTG ($15.45)
UTG+1 ($23.30)
Hero (MP1) ($12.40)
MP2 ($10)
MP3 ($13.10)
CO ($5.20)
Button ($6.60)
SB ($6.90)

Preflop: Hero is MP1 with Q, A, 7, 6

1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.10, Hero calls $0.10, MP2 (poster) checks, MP3 calls $0.10, CO calls $0.10, 1 fold, SB bets $0.80, 1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.70, Hero calls $0.70, MP2 (poster) calls $0.70, 1 fold, CO calls $0.70

Flop: ($4.20) 8, 7, J (5 players)

SB bets $4, UTG+1 calls $4, Hero folds, 2 folds

Turn: ($12.20) 9 (2 players)

SB bets $2.10 (All-In), UTG+1 calls $2.10

River: ($16.40) 10 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $16.40 | Rake: $0.75


SB had A, K, 4, 7 (one pair, sevens).

UTG+1 had 10, 3, Q, Q (straight, Queen high).

Outcome: UTG+1 won $15.65

Both of these hands are folds preflop, at least in my book (Mine probably was as well, but given what both players had been showing down with, I figured I wasn't too far off of having a comparable hand.) The caller lucked out with the straight draw and the idiocy of her opponent. Drunk cowboy rebought and started to rebuild, yet the onslaught continued. Both players had huge fluctuations in their stacks, which eventually slowed them down. The drunk player left after a while. He may have ended even on the night. Maybe. The calling station stuck around, so I did too. The great thing about calling stations is that they think their two pair is always good. Yet, by the time I started catching real hands, I managed only small pots with my flopped boat and, later, quad Jacks, both of which she paid off with value raises.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can't let it go

I know what I'm up against on the flop.

PokerStars Pot-Limit Omaha, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

UTG+1 ($9.85)
MP1 ($11.05)
MP2 ($8)
Hero (MP3) ($12.70)
CO ($8.30)
Button ($8.40)
SB ($9.70)
BB ($0.75)
UTG ($7.85)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with 8, Q, 9, A

1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.10, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.10, 1 fold, Button calls $0.10, SB calls $0.05, BB checks

Flop: ($0.50) J, Q, 6 (5 players)

SB checks, BB checks, UTG+1 bets $0.30, Hero calls $0.30, Button raises to $1.70, 3 folds, Hero calls $1.40

Turn: ($4.20) 5 (2 players)

Hero checks, Button bets $4, Hero calls $4

River: ($12.20) 9 (2 players)

Hero checks, Button checks

Total pot: $12.20 | Rake: $0.60


Button had K, J, J, 9 (three of a kind, Jacks).

Hero had 8, Q, 9, A (two pair, Queens and nines).

Outcome: Button won $11.60

I'm a 2:1 dog on the flop, and a 3:1 dog on the turn, which I find rather surprising. I knew I was up against a set, yet I had seven diamonds, three sevens and three tens as outs. 13 outs should be enough to call, right? The answer is no, 13 outs aren't nearly enough. The only nut draw I had was to the flush, and if I hit it, I'm not getting paid enough even if he does call with his remaining stack. The sevens were good as a gut shot but the double gut if the ten hit is not to the nuts with the JQ on the flop. It's a clear fold on the turn.