Sunday, March 27, 2005

I'm watching the Astros-Yankees game today on MLB.TV - it's great quality, and we're up 2-0 after Willy Taveras singled, stole 2nd, and was driven in on an opposite-field double by Luke Scott, who was then driven in after a single by Lamb and a sac fly by Jason Lane. Both Taveras and Scott looked great at the plate to me.

I had a great time in Phoenix for a few days. I arrived Wednesday afternoon and met a friend for the Rangers-Royals game at Surprise Stadium. The starting pitchers were Chan Ho Park and Jose Lima - I wish I was sitting in the outfield. Mark Teixeira CRUSHED an early HR nearly out of the stadium, and Alfonso Soriano and Matt Stairs also had HR's. Oh yeah, and my friend is the nephew of Rangers manager Buck Showalter, so we had great seats, and I got to meet Buck himself after the game. He went to Mississippi State and I went to Vanderbilt, so we had some good-natured SEC competitive trash-talking going. He was a heck of a guy - very personable and polite - probably because his team had just won.

Then I crashed on the coach at my roommate's girlfriend's house that night; the next day, I got to the Cubs / Angels game about 3 hours early - no problem getting a ticket, right? Wrong. Cubs fans are EVERYWHERE, and the game was sold out. Quite a few guys were still waiting in line at the ticket counter, and one of them told me that the players usually send back a bunch of tickets before the game starts, so I hopped in line. Almost instantly, about 50 more people got in line right behind me. An elderly couple approached me and asked if I would buy them 2 tickets. I said sure, and after waiting in line for about 45 minutes, I bought 3 tickets at 6 bucks each. They gave me a 20 dollar bill and said "Thanks!" Sweet; free game for me. I got lawn seats, so I was out in left field. It was Kelvim Escobar vs. Carlos Zambrano - a pretty good pitching matchup, but I figured Vladi or Aramis Ramirez might hit one out to me. The first HR hit that day? Carlos Zambrano took Escobar DEEP to right field. D'oh! Then Derrek Lee homered to center, Darin Erstad homered to right, and that was that. K-Rod came on late for the Angels and made a bunch of guys look silly to get the save.

I was then planning on going to the San Diego game, but I was pretty sunburned, so I decided to stop by Casino Arizona and play some poker. They've got a great poker room - 45 tables, tons of big screen TV's, no smoking. I didn't do much for the first hour or two, and then came the hand of my life (so far):

I call with 55 in 1st position.
A few guys limp in middle positions.
The small blind raises. I call, all the limpers call.
The flop comes 3-5-7 rainbow. I check, all the limpers check, the small blind bets, I raise, everyone folds, the small blind calls.
The turn brings another 5! So I've got quads. I bet, the small blind raises, I 3-bet, he 4-bets, I 5-bet, he calls.
The river is an A. I bet, he raises, I 3-bet, he 4-bets, I 5-bet, he 6-bets, I 7-bet, he calls, and flips over AA (the 2nd nuts).
So I raked what must have been a 200 dollar pot, almost all heads-up!
Man, my heart was pumping...what an experience. My victim took it pretty well, too - he was way up before that.

The next day I was planning on going to the Giants game, but I felt like coming home to Flagstaff, so I did.

It was a hell of a trip, great weather, good baseball, sleeping on a couch.

I'll post later today with this Astros summary (and more Biggio / Burke comments by Phil Garner).

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