Thursday, December 30, 2004

Back Home.......Thank God

What the hell is there to say? I’m back from Christmas in Boise, and didn’t get online even once. I also didn’t get in any poker. NONE. Things turned out pretty much as I speculated before we left, in that the trip ended up being more of a job than a good time. Along with all of the folks that needed to be seen left no time to play our wonderful game.

There were some highlights, however (if you could care less about food, skip this):

The Milky Way---This is an independent fine dining establishment that we went to the day after Christmas. I was there one other time shortly after they opened up a couple of years ago, and I was glad to see that they have done well and reopened in a larger and altogether nicer location. I ordered a new dish called the The Big Huge Pork Chop. It brought me near to tears with the first bite of perfectly cooked pork and it’s heavenly Portobello chipotle glaze, along with sweetened fried potatoes and assorted veggies. Other delights of the evening included a Portobello Wellington as well as a dish that can only be described as a haute chicken pot pie. Nothing short of amazing, and along with a couple of bottles of a very respectable Cabernet Sauvignon, a very reasonable check, coming in at under $200 (w/tip)

Shige—This place is a Boise mainstay, but no less worthy of mention. I have eaten my share of sushi in a variety of places all over the country, and the fare at this establishment remains in the upper regions of my list. If you factor in the pricing alongside the sushi, it hits the top. To this day, their unagi makes me want to twirl around and sing. Yes, it’s that good. Their service is always for shit, but it is a mild inconvenience when compared to the goodness Shige offers up.

If you’re ever in Boise, get yourself to one or both of these places as many times as you can.

The last highlight of the trip I deem worthy of its own little section. Due to the generally large amount of unhappy shit that had to be dealt with this holiday, my wife has officially jumped on my bandwagon and has signed the bill (which I quickly made binding) which states that next Christmas will be in…….wait for it………VEGAS!!!!! Believe it or not, I think she may be more excited about it than I am at this point. We now have 12 months to save and plan for a nothing-short-of-fabulous, fuck familial expectations and all of the unhappy shit they come with, holly jolly Christmas. I’ve been to Vegas nine times, but was on a pretty tight budget every time except the honeymoon. Come Christmas ’05, we are gonna Turn This Mother Out (pardon the MC Hammer reference). Poker, Shopping, and Fine Dining at all times, sounds good to me. I love my family, including the in-laws, but it's time for a damn break.

My apologies to those of you who showed up here after my absence hoping for poker content, instead finding that I have blogged a couple of meals instead. For those of you out there who love food as much as I do, I hope you got at least a little something out of it, because I’m thinking of adding food thoughts from time to time, being that I love to cook and all.

If I can snatch the time tonight, I’ll be on the PL tables trying to run up my free PP cash that I managed to quadruple before leaving. Christ, if the cards drop even slightly in my favor I will keep running it up. This should probably segue into my explanation of why I hate PartyPoker, and I will try to do it soon, just not right now. Some might form the opinion that I am full-on retarded for not playing on PP most or all of the time, and they would in many respects be correct, I suppose. I can only assure you that I am NOT retarded. I am simply neurotic and not earning as much as I suppose I could be.

Thinking Big. Head Much Bigger. You know the drill. I’m still behind on my rest, cleaning/unpacking, and schoolwork, so if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, worry not. Should tomorrow find me post-less, I will definitely be speaking my New Years mind on Jan 01. Have a safe and oh so prosperous New Years holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Party mailed me tonight with a free $15 to play with.

3.5 hours later...Raked hands cleared....$15 up to $60

All I can say is, Wow. The aquarium was FULL.

Wishing all a profitable holiday

Just wanted to wish everyone out there busy grinding and writing a Happy Holiday. We're off to Boise for a few days, and hopefully I will be able to get some poker in during that time, but it doesn't look too promising, I'll tell ya that. The family from both sides seem to be going pre-holiday batshit, so if it gets too bad, the wife and I may sneak down to Jackpot, NV for a night. It's lame, but oatmeal is better than no meal, I guess.

Don't forget about me, as I most likely won't be posting again until the 30th, but if anything interesting happens I'll try and sneak in a post. Thank God for Wi-Fi at Starbucks. And remember, if your family is comprised of people who make the holidays more job than fun, you're not alone.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some chesnuts to berate for their laziness....Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Save the Children!

I didn’t plan on posting anything this morning, but thanks to The Today Show, I am morally obligated to freak out, literarily (is that even a word? If not I hope that it at least makes sense…hard to tell at 8 AM). Why the hell do you watch that show, you say? Given the sparse (like food in an Ethiopian drought) fare that makes up morning television, this at least gives me ranting ammunition as I peruse the web for some actual news.

Upon hearing the word ‘poker’, my eyes shoot up from the laptop as my fingers work to turn up the volume. Woohoo! This sounds Howitzer class stuff as far as ranting ammunition goes, and Today didn’t disappoint. All I can say is, Thank God for the “Teens Playing Poker” segment, as I was truly unaware of it’s dangers until they brought it to my attention.

Here are some actual quotes from the ‘experts’ (I don’t have names, as I was trying to make sure I got their words correct):

“Letting teens play poker is tantamount to letting them play with a gun..”

(My favorite)—“Teens who play poker are 50% more likely to binge drink, 75% more likely to smoke marijuana, 15% more likely to use tobacco, and 4-6% more likely to develop a serious gambling problem.”

Oh dear, where to begin? A gun? I have yet to hear of anyone needing to be rushed to the hospital because the poker game accidentally discharged. Anyone with an IQ above 10 hopefully recognizes this statement as probably the most ignorant thing that will escape from anyone’s mouth on December 22, 2004.

Let’s deconstruct the second statement. “50% more likely to binge drink”. As any good past/present binge drinking degenerate will tell you, it wasn’t ‘the poker’ that made them do it. As I see it, you haven’t really lived until you’ve been binge drinking at least one time in your life. I’m certainly not advocating making it a regular habit (especially for teens), as you are pretty worthless for a while during the aftermath, but I digress…I would submit that if one takes poker seriously, it actually increases personal sobriety as concentration and discipline are paramount, especially for the beginner.

75% more likely to smoke marijuana and 15% more likely to use tobacco”—Once again, I’m pretty sure that the decision to do either of these things is quite separate from the decision to gamble. The reasons behind this assertion was that poker encourages ‘risky’ behaviors. What is life in general, if not a risk taking gamble every time you step out of the house? I’d think that poker would be a one of the more 'safe' arenas in which to learn how to deal with and manage risk, but then again, I’m not an ‘expert’. With the ever increasing adoption of non-smoking poker rooms, could it not be argued that poker actually promotes healthier living? By logical extension, if I hold the above statement to be true, and considering the fact that marijuana is widely held to be a ‘gateway drug’…..should I expect to be shooting heroin within a relatively short time frame after learning to play Hold’em?

Teens that play poker are 4-6% more likely to develop a gambling problem.”—All that can really be said here is, “Flapdoodle”. If someone is heading towards any kind of addiction, gambling or otherwise, they are going to get there regardless of what anyone does or says. Making narcotics illegal certainly helped decrease the number of addicts out there, didn’t it? War on Drugs, indeed. War on Terror, indeed. I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I foresee a War on Gambling in our near future.

These ‘experts’ also derided those who promote poker as extremely irresponsible, unlike those companies who produce alcohol. As though spending money on PSA’s starring actors fresh out of rehab, and putting Gamblers Anonymous telephone numbers on anything poker related somehow makes them more responsible. Is their definition of responsibility airing commercials (similar to every beer commercial you’ve ever seen) to try and convince you that the amount of poker you play is directly proportional to the amount of beautiful big-breasted models inclined to fuck your brains out?

I just realized, after much hand-wringing and cries of “Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children?” launched heavenward, I need to stop writing and shoot up because just thinking about poker is making me feel like the risk-taking, boozing, narcotics slugging degenerate I quite obviously am. I’ll probably end up discharging my firearm a few times as well in the process. All because of poker. If only I had seen The Today Show earlier….

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sniff a Clam...(if you dare)

I want that bitch's job.....
-My Wife (referring to Vanna White)

Don’t ask me why we had Wheel of Fortune on. It was a long day and I think she was just zoned out and too lazy to change the channel while I ran around in preparation for an evening of laziness and writing.

This morning, as I went through the new blog postings all over the ether, Bob’s post stopped me cold. It was pretty eerie, seeing on the page that which I had planned on ranting about, nearly verbatim. So thanks, Bob. You stole my proverbial thunder, and now I have to do some rewriting. Seriously though, it was kind of cool seeing someone who’s views were so similar to my own (or is it the other way around since he posted it first?). What the hell, I’m gonna rant anyway, since my wife insists on watching a group of overweight folks cry a lot and try to get healthy on NBC. Nothing gets me in a ranting mood quite like that channel, so off we go…..

The more advertising I see, the less I want to buy…
-Switters from Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

I long for TV without crap advertising. I long to suckle pure programming milk from the glass teat. However, the milk is only becoming more tainted, along with any other form of media that requires eyeballs. I know, I could get a TIVO, and I still may, but with the continuous concerted effort to actually make it ILLEGAL to skip commercials, I foresee that a TIVO will be for naught within the next five years. Man, this is one of the times I REALLY hope that I’m wrong. If you haven’t heard about any of the things of this nature (is that an Arnold-ism?) that big business and Congress is trying to push through under our collective noses, start looking around. It’s out of mainstream sight, but really not too hard to find, and believe me, once you do find it you’re going to be PISSED (or should be, in my mind).

Anyway, back to the rant. Let’s hit Reality TV first, as that’s what is currently cascading over me. Reality TV, with all of the creative editing, and NOT CREATIVE product placement. I have nothing against product placement, per se, but goddamn it, the least they could do is TRY and blend it in. Then again, perhaps it really isn’t worth their time, considering the average IQ runs in the mid-90’s coupled with copious amounts of apathy. The Today Show isn’t news, it’s an advertising/marketing/mind control device. It’s consumer masturbation. Now this junk is even running over into video games, with EA (Electronic Arts) being the NBC of that particular industry. NBC=Useless vacuous crap + boatloads of ever increasing, awful advertising.

Here’s the thing…I don’t have anything against advertising or product placement as concepts, especially when done well. How else is a business supposed to grow and succeed, right? However, thanks to the decency police (see: FCC + parents of suburbia), and some creative ‘looking the other way’ in regards to decency (see my Herpes and Boners post) all we are left with is 99% crap. I swear, even if it was a mediocre product, I would support one that actually made some kind of outrageous or entertaining statement. Imagine if a seafood restaurant actually came out with a commercial in which they stated, “Come Sniff our Clams.” I would rush out and eat there. If Hummer actually said something to the effect of, “You’ll have the biggest penis EVER if you buy one of these”, I would laugh my ass off and most likely want to run out and buy one of those, too. Spare me the succulent-ness of your crablegs, and spare me your pre-pubescent off-roading wet dreams. They’ve all been done already and I’m bored out of my skull. Don’t even get me started on AOL and their ilk, as my head might explode. Considering it’s size, that would be quite a mess.

I’ll wrap things up by talking about how my life IS The Truman Show. I swear to you, dear reader, I am not making this up. I wish I was, because just when I don’t think I can grow any more annoyed by it, I do. Case in Point: On (I believe) our second date, I told my wife about my Truman Show life. She just laughed, thinking that I was waxing witty or something. Fast-forward six months, and we’re newly married. We leave at about 4:30 AM to go from Boise to Vegas for our honeymoon, and I had been bitching for the last few days as they had been more Truman-ish than normal. Our townhouse was in an EXTREMELY quite and low activity neighborhood. Yet, at 4:30 AM, I was nearly in a wreck as I pulled out onto the street and a monster truck came roaring by doing about 60. She was now a believer, as we did not see one other single sign of life the entire way out of our neighborhood. I am happy as a clam (a sniffable one, at that) now having someone to testify that I am not simply full of shit. I’m happier still that I can now add Bob to the list of someone who suffers from this awful affliction. I wish I knew how I got it, because I would sure like to get rid of it. Maybe I should start a foundation and begin lobbying for some new dumbass law to cater to my new made-up discriminated minority. The time is certainly politically ripe for such a move. I’m not sure why I decided to ramble about this, but it sure felt good.

I didn’t get any poker in at all last night or tonight. My head has been too post-work jumbled to play well. Why is it that I expect things to get progressively easier at work as the holidays draw near, when the reality is always the exact opposite? I strongly suspect it’s because I’m an idiot….

Remember kids, always Think Big, whether or not your head is Much Bigger.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Just when I thought....

...I had conquered this nefarious insomnia, I end up awake until 3 AM. Although, perhaps it's not fair to call it insomnia in this instance, as I did consume almost an entire pot of coffee at around 7 PM. What an idiot, you'd think I would learn.

...A good day of poker was in the offing, I tilt and end up even for the day. Last night my wife got an uncharacteristic urge to play some poker and did very well, scoring a first and a second place out of three SnG's. Earlier in the afternoon, I played some $.50/1 to begin to work off my PokerStars Bonus, got some great cards and played very well in general, ending up 8 BB after 1 1/2 hours. After my wife finished I decided to play in an SnG myself and ended up completely card dead. The few times that I had good hands, they were edged out by slightly better holdings, i.e. AJ running into AQ 5-handed. I should have taken this as an omen, but decided to hit the Limit game again only to be edged out on every hand much in the same manner. Instead of exercising patience, I start reaching and calling hands I KNOW that I shouldn't, and end up down 13 BB, losing my previous 8 BB gain and the bit of profit from the SnG's. What an idiot, you'd think I would learn.

...I knew how to keep my mouth shut, I find myself trapped by it, yet again. Ever had one of those days where everything is just peachy, the world is as it should be, and you find yourself being extra-generous? I had such a day about midway through this last October, so without properly restraining my oral orifice, I proceed to tell my parents that I'm going to build them a new PC. Here we are, four days until Christmas, and I am cursing myself for it. I have all the parts ready to go, but they just sit there and mock me. They are also crying out, as they are going to be under-utilized and grossly under-appreciated. Why, oh why, could I not have kept my mouth shut, bought a giftcard and been done with it? I'm an idiot, that's why. You'd think I would learn.

My apologies to all for the lack of real substance in this post, as I am still trying to unscramble my late night brain. I can assure you that I have concrete plans to get totally super annoyed and go on a pre-holiday ranting spree either tomorrow or Wednesday, as I cannot bring myself to Think Big right now, and my head feels Much Bigger than usual.

P.S.--If you're reading this Laura, thanks for helping me diddle my template code so I could get some links put up. You are the heezee (I think that means most awesome or something, but I'm unsure, as my hip-hop is really rusty).

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Good 'ol Boys, Part Deux

A temporary bout of idiocy cost our hero his tournament life. He is now in an extremely mediocre buffet contemplating his next step…..

My brother already had his mind made up about his next step. He was determined to get rid of the rest of his money at the BJ tables as quickly as possible. My brother has a problem, you see. Not a Gamblers Anonymous sort of problem (at least IMO), it’s just that he has it in his head that he must win big or lose it all in a relatively short period of time. Regardless, his bets increase exponentially as time goes on. I keep giving him hell about it and try to show him new games and convince him that it’s OK to gamble at a slower rate, but so far he will have none of it. Oh well, it’s his money, what are ya gonna do? It’s not like he can’t afford it.

After eating, I made the decision that my –EV games quota was full for the day and that I needed to do what I came to do, and that was play poker even if it was $4-8. I got myself on the list they were building to start up a new table and went to check and see if my brother had any money left. Nope. To his credit, he is not one of those people who lose their money and then whine about how they want to leave, cutting off those who are more frugal from having any more fun. He just said he would take a seat behind and watch me at the limit table since he had never seen it before. Sweet, that should give me about 2 hours to try and get something good to happen. With these thoughts, I hear my name over the PA and it’s time to go to work…

So, I run to the cashiers cage and try to by some chips. Oops, no go. It seems that here you buy chips right in the poker room. I rush over, buy in for $200, and sit down quickly in order to take in the riff-raff that will be sitting at the table. What a truly odd assortment of folks. My spidey-sense tingles a bit at this point, because it is here that it becomes pretty apparent that the folks who run this room are pretty haphazard and disorganized, and it takes FOREVER to get the game going (actual time, about 10 mins.). I also don’t like the fact that they are talking of having 11 players instead of 10. I haven’t ever heard of this before. Perhaps the more experienced among you out there can tell me whether this is a good or bad thing? I’m thinking bad, and am pretty unhappy about this development, but get lucky because they have one guy move back to the other table since it was only 9-handed. If I would have known who I was sitting with I would have volunteered to make the move….more on this in a second.

Here is the breakdown:

Seat 1: The Kid (age 23 or so, 1 rack)
Seat 2: Our Hero ($200)
Seat 3: Old guy (1 rack)
Seat 4: Middle Age Lady (10 reds and about ½ rack of white) I already notice she talks a LOT, whether or not anyone is listening. Yammer yammer yammer…
Seat 5: Bearded Safari Dude. (1 Rack) I wonder if he’s ever seen Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Most likely.
Seat 6: Random Lesbian ($60)
Seat 7: Random Lesbian II ($60)
Seat 8: Talkative Old Guy (3/4 rack + a few reds)
Seat 9: Rest Home Escapee (1 rack) Seriously, I’m not sure this guy knows where he’s at. Everyone calls him Poppi.
Seat 10: Smug Suburbia Joe ($200)

NOTE: Before anyone gets their panties in a twist, my notation of Random Lesbians in seats 6 & 7 is in no way homophobic, merely a statement of fact. For the record, in all three B&M sessions in which I have played, I have had the most enjoyable time with the random lesbians, as they seem to easily be the most affable folks at the table. I have also noticed that they always buy in short, I wonder why that is? But I digress….

I post my blind and it begins. 7 callers and The Kid in Seat 1 raises. I’m looking at a not-so-sweet 92o and opt to fold. All call. Flop x-K-x. Betting and raising all around, this kid is rammin’ and jammin’ right out of the gate. Five people go to the river. Kid turns over a KK for the set and a HUGE pot. Damn, why can’t my day start like that?

In the SB, second hand, I find a red and black AA. Oh Christ, I hope they hold up. But I’ve read my SSHE a couple of times now, and am determined to hammer away until I meet any serious resistance. Oh Jesus, 8 freaking callers. This is going to be the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced or an absolute train wreck. I heard angels begin to sing when I initially looked at that AA, but even they are silent now as the tension inside me mounts. I raise and all call. Flop is 10-Q-3, 2 hearts. Random Lesbian #1 bets out, all call, and I raise, EVERYONE calls. Turn is a 5 of spades, check to me, I bet out and all call (note here that Random Lesbian #2 is now all-in with her last $4, which begins a side pot). River does not bring the flush, I bet, and only two people drop. Holy Christ, nearly all 8 people took it to the river, I have never seen a pot so absolutely mountainous. I table my AA, everyone mucks and I get the side pot, which alone puts me up about $25. I eagerly await the rest of the chips, when Random Lesbian II turns over 55. Doh! She caught her set, dammit! I’m not too upset though, and breathe a silent thanks to the poker gods for the Lesbians who buy in short. It could have been VERY ugly if she had more chips, but I came out a bit ahead and know better than to complain. I also got a couple of pieces of good info, including some on Middle Age Talkative Lady. I saw her cards just before she mucked them, and she had called all the way to the river with a K8o, are you kidding me? Are people really this bad? Yep, they are, and beyond….

I begin to strike up a conversation with The Kid, who is pretty nice. Admittedly nervous and inexperienced, but has a good idea of what makes up proper play. By the end of the first orbit, Random Lesbian I & II are out of chips, Wild Kingdom guy buys another rack, Middle Age Lady is getting really short but continues to gamboool and picks up a couple of pots with trash, Senior to my right buys another rack. For some reason it’s here that the table begins to respect raises and bets, and Talkative Old Guy in Seat 8 buys a couple of pots, talking loudly about how if he winks, we’d better get out of the pot, as J10o is his favorite hand and he NEVER loses with it. I take no real notice, as I am still chatting with The Kid. There is a sudden flurry of movement at the table as Old Guy to my left moves (mumbling) to the seat recently vacated by Random Lesbian #1, another Old Guy moves into Random Lesbian #2’s vacated seat, and a brand new Random Lesbian sits on my left (1 rack). Also during this time, Poppi has purchases a second rack.

After the movement flurry we begin playing again, and The Kid wakes up with his second KK. They hold up unassisted with 4 callers to the river. He chats a bit more with me, but decides to bail, as he has more than doubled up. I can’t say that I blame him. Very next hand, I’m on the button and find myself with QQ, nice. The ENTIRE table calls and I raise. A few folks actually fold to my raise this time, and it gets to Talkative Old Guy in Seat 8. He looks up (as the raise has interrupted him holding court), and asks who raised. I indicate that I have. His response: “Well, I would have folded, but since it’s you, I call.” HUH? Since it’s me? Poppi calls, and so does Smug Guy in seat 10.

---About now I begin wondering anew just what the hell is going on. Do I have some kind of shitty smirk on my face that I’m not aware of? I turn to ask my brother who is observing. Nope, nary a nasty twitch present. Perhaps I crapped my pants, unintentionally offending someone with an odor most foul? This has never happened before, even at my most ugly drunk, but you never know….Nope, I have not crapped my pants. Perhaps they just don’t like my large bald head. Most children are either enamored with it or frightened of it, so perhaps the same holds true with seniors?---

Flop is x-J-x, and the guy starts in with the table direction, “Let him bet it for us”, he obviously thinks this is intimidating as I bet, all call. Turn come K, same thing “Let him bet it for us..”, I bet, all call. River comes A, and this ass-of-a-human being checks and says, “Let’s see you bet that!”. All check and I go ahead and check, as chances are the turn or river hit one of the 3 of them. Does this guy think I’m feeble-minded or something? Smug Guy takes the pot w/ AK (2 pair), I muck, and he looks at me and says “That’s what I thought” as he mucks his bottom-pair holding. I asked him what exactly he thought and he gives no answer, and it is here that the blinders are removed and I see things clearly….I have met the douchebag my brother busted out of the tourney (see Good ‘ol Boys, Pt. 1). Christ, I wanted to jump across the table and stab that guy in the throat. (No, I have never stabbed anyone before, and I also didn’t continue the back and forth as I remember the sage advice not to tap the tank)

Now that the blinders are off, I see a lot of things I should have noticed much earlier. The dealers are WAY too friendly with the regulars, often holding up hands to finish an ongoing conversation. Never too awful long, but definitely long enough to be annoying. A couple of tiny pots I took down came when the dealer suggested to a couple of the loose callers that they fold so I didn’t get any more chips. Not directly, mind you, but the point was there. This was about 15 minutes before my self imposed 2 hour time limit was up, and I had been COMPLETELY card dead for the last 45 minutes. So I calmly gathered my chips and left the room down 7BB’s (1.5 hours), as I could feel a gigantic tilt coming. Poor Poppi, I watched that guy burn through four racks in under two hours. I seriously don’t think he knew where he was, perhaps he thought we were betting ‘Nilla Wafers.

Will I head back to this cardroom? Unlikely, unless I earmark some cash to be used for the sole purpose of wasteful and confrontational play, and even then probably no, as I don’t really care for prick waving contests that much. I can handle some assholes, but when along with this you get mediocre dealers and a room with poor organization, playing definitely becomes –EV. I guess from now on you’ll just find me at the Ameristar in K.C. at the 3/6 full kill. Their room is small, but the dealers are much more professional and the room is generally better run. Christ, I wish I lived closer to a proper casino.

All in all, not a horrible day, but certainly not great either. Perhaps a nice rant is in order tomorrow..

Remember everyone, you can Think Big, but prickish old men will still hate you when your head is Much Bigger.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Good 'ol Boys, Pt. 1

To start things off, let me send another huge congratulations to Otis on his amazing new opportunity, and considering his formidable writing skills, a deserved one at that. And thanks also to Wil Wheaton, who it seems sent the opportunity his way. My fan meter is completely pegged, Wil. It would seem that you truly are a part of what is an ever-dwindling population of good people. NOTE: If you are one of the folks who believe in the inherent goodness of all people, please pardon the cynicism of the preceding sentence.

I’m sure you all already know, but just in case, PokerStars has a new 25% Redeposit bonus.

Even though it will pale in comparison to the trip reports from the recent blogger get together in Vegas, it’s time to get busy on this report of my trip up to podunk Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino in Topeka. One might also call this trip, Lone blogger alone with Good ‘ol Boys.

My brother and I pull up to what is actually a pretty decent little place, especially considering it’s out in the middle of nowhere. As casino’s go, it’s a pretty small place, but there were some little things about it that made it more enjoyable than I expected. Upon arriving a little after 10 AM, I get a replacement players card and we head directly to the poker room, as I am anxious to see what it’s like and get some more details on the $100 NLHE tourney. The details were: $103 gets you T1500 with the blinds starting at 5/10 and increasing every 20 minutes (youch, that’s quick). $3 went to the dealers and $5 went to the casino, WOW. I stood there for a minute dumbfounded, as I realized that the juice was even lower than an online NLHE tourney, and instructed the good man to sign me up as fast as his pen would allow him. After speaking to him a bit more, I find out that average registration for this tourney is about 30 people, very nice. And, I suspect they wouldn’t be able to handle many more than that anyway, as the room only had five tables in total.

This is when I received my first bit of (depending on how you look at it) not-so-good news. The lowest limit they spread in this room is $4-8. Hmm, $3-6 is the highest I’ve ever played live, and so I am wary of this development, as a 25 BB buy-in ($200) is going to get eaten up pretty fast if the table is loosey-goosey and I don’t get any cards and/or get too many suckouts, hmmm. “Oh well,” I think, “I didn’t come up here for the day to be a punk, I came to play some poker. I can hold my own at a table, we’ll just have to see what happens.”

Just then, I hear someone yell, “STRADDLE, woohoo!!” It’s only 10:15 AM. This might get ugly.

Having signed up for the tourney and taken in the poker room (which involved simply turning around, I didn’t even have to put in an entire 360 degree turn), I decide it’s time to take a walk around and see what I can see. My brother is itching for some BJ, and heads off like a shot, which is notable considering I haven’t seen him hurry for anything since my early childhood. Being in a positive frame of mind, I decide to make it a point to notice the good things about this place, despite it’s inherent Podunk-ed-ness. The first things of note: The staff were all very friendly and helpful (possibly only due to the fact the day was just getting started, but what the hey, I’ll take it), and the casino at large was immaculate and updated, not dingy and run down as I expected. It was also very well laid out, with everything very easy to get to. Then again, with it’s small size, how could anything be hard to find? It is here that I find what I believe to be the nicest thing I have seen in any casino, small or large. At strategic locations all along the casino walls I find self-serve soda fountains! This is big with me, since I don’t drink very much (if at all) when planning to play poker, and I DESPISE waiting on the slow wait staff rounds for something as innocuous as a small glass of soda or bottle of water. Even though this was a small thing that I’m sure most folks wouldn’t care either way about, I found my good mood buoyed even further by this development.

Another pro: $5 tables. This is great, as the trend seems to be $10 minimum bets no matter what, at least at the casinos in this region. So, after watching my brother piddle around at the BJ table for a while, I sit down for some Let-it-Ride, as I DESPISE BJ and had about 1 ½ hours till tourney time. I can’t really tell you exactly why I hate BJ so much, only to say that for me, it’s either poker (looking to make money) or a REALLY -EV game like Let-it-Ride (looking to relax and have fun). I left the Let-it-Ride table $75+ with good feelings, and visions of a tourney win dancing in my head. Alas, it was not to be.

My brother and I are seated a separate tables for the tourney, so I pay my fee, get my chips and start trying to size up the competition. This is when it FINALLY hits me: I am one of approximately four people in the entire casino falling into the late-20’s to early-30’s age group. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is easily late 50’s and beyond. And they are all on a first-name basis, yikes. I appears I have wandered into the land of the Good ‘ol Boys. So, I simply stay quiet, laugh at the lame jokes thrown about, and mostly keep myself to myself as we finally get started. I’m sitting in Seat 9 and after the first couple of orbits I can see that aside from a couple of notably bad players, most are pretty decent. One guy goes out on the first orbit with AQo, after going all-in when his Q falls on the flop. The caller hit his set of 8’s. I finally pick up an AJo in late position and have two limpers (blinds 15/25), so I raise to T75 and get two callers. J-x-x flop. One player bets out t50, next player calls, and I raise to t150 to see where I’m at. Bettor calls, other calls. Turn comes blank, check to me, I bet t300. One call, one fold. Flush scare card on the river, check to me, so I check opting for showdown with TPTK. Split-pot, the other guy had AJ as well. I suppose there was a chance I could have bet big on the river and pushed him out, but I felt like it was one of those things where I would only get called by a hand that could beat me.

On the next orbit I pick up KQo in late position with four limpers, and raise to t200 (blinds 25/50), all call. Here is where I’m starting to feel conspired against. Throughout the game thus far, there has been a lot of min-raising to which the whole table will fold, or a min-bet post-flop which took the post most of the time. But I notice here that every time I raise, I get called by everyone, every time. I miss my flop and fold to a HUGE bet. I don’t think these boys take kindly to the young whippersnapper invading THEIR tourney, time to adjust. I am now down to a little under t1200.

Last Hand: About 1/3 of the field is gone at this point, and we are on the last hand before blinds go up to 50/100. I catch A10s on the button and limp. SB min-raises to t100, BB calls, the other 2 limpers fold, and it’s to me. Here’s where I turn into an IDIOT, although I don’t think my logic here was too horribly flawed (if it was horribly flawed, any comments pointing out why are more than welcome). You see, SB up to this point had been pretty cocky and aggressive playing a TON of small pp’s all the way to the river and showing them. Given his min-raise, this is what I had him on, so I pushed and tried to muscle him off (he had me outchipped by about t200). He calls, BB folds. Oops, he had JJ. My overcard didn’t come and I left the poker room cursing myself for my impatience.

I watched my brother make a very respectable showing (this was only the third time he has EVER played poker), and get knocked out about halfway through the field. We had some lunch and talked about our respective play. He didn’t have too many specifics, as he doesn’t care about such things at this point in time, but he was eminently satisfied because it seems that his table drew an old and very cocky table coach which generally “rubbed him the wrong way”, as he put it. Evidently, my brother busted him rather quickly which was good to hear, and in the absence of more specifics, I didn’t give it much thought. Little did I know, I should have made a stronger note of his story……..

Later today or tomorrow I will finish relating my adventures in Good ‘ol Boy land, as I wasn’t expecting it to be this long and I imagine that I am as tired of typing as you are of reading, for now at least….

I will post again soon as I now must Think Big about some schoolwork.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Good morning, everyone! I’m finally back on a good schedule, which entails getting up with my lady, doing a bit of cleanup from the previous evening while she readies herself for work, and then doing whatever the hell I want for the rest for the rest of the morning after she leaves. Lately, and for the foreseeable future, this means getting in a good post.

Last night I was able to watch my new LOTR Extended Edition DVD, and all I can say is, WOW! Fifty extra minutes! No matter how many times I see the LOTR movies, I am still amazed at how true to the books they stayed. As I grew up, I read through The Hobbit as well as the trilogy about 3 different times, and this is one of the VERY few times that the movie has lived up to expectations. Yes folks, I am one of THOSE people. The ones who go around and bitch constantly about how much better the book was. It’s true, though. The book, in most cases, IS much better than the watered-down, vanilla, we’re gonna spoon-feed you drivel that the Hollywood machine cranks out. So here is my first exhortation of this post: Even if you are not into any of that geeky, Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy type stuff, it is still worth your time to see these movies, as they are just plain good.. My Mom even thought they were pretty good, and this is from someone who enjoys such fare as The Waltons , the Hallmark Channel, and ABC Family. OK, make it two exhortations: Read more. Well I guess I don’t really need to tell you that, dear reader, since you’re here. Just pass it on to any less literate acquaintances you may have.

I planned on doing a rant about commercials and advertising in general, but I’m putting that aside for now as I’m still getting it together in an effort to be as eloquent as possible on the subject (or at least, what passes for eloquent in my mind).

Here I go……

So I don’t end up like the Delta Flight Attendant who recently blogged herself out of a job, I will only speak in generalities where my work is concerned, on the rationale that I don’t have “fuck you” money yet and for the most part enjoy my job immensely. I have recently encountered for the first time a VERY annoying situation that I’m sure many of the more experienced tech folks out there are abundantly familiar with (as well as plenty of non-tech types, too). As stated previously, I am the Systems Administrator at one of my company’s many locations, and am surrounded by admin types and sales staff. For some reason there are people who seem to think that because I spend my time walking around and talking to people (making sure things are working as they should), don’t have specific “deliverables” day in and day out, and the fact that I rarely deal with the customer, my job is not really a “job” and it’s their duty to “keep me busy” as they put it. Huh?

Let it be said here that my actual “boss” is amazing. She doesn’t know all that much when it comes to IT issues (remember, I’m the only IT at this location, but I still have to have someone local “managing” me), and will freely admit it. Although, I will say that the knowledge she does possess far outshines that of most anyone else on staff, who think the words “bandwidth” and “router” when used in the same sentence are akin to a magical incantation of some sort. Basically, she lets me do what I want, when I want, as long as things are working as they should be and everyone is reasonably happy. I love her for it.

Now, back to my burgeoning problem. This person who has decided to be the one to “keep me busy” is a Director of another department, although I will refrain from saying which one, lest I stray too far from the generalities path I have set. Recently, the Big Boss set aside a room where all the staff is supposed to take some time to sign Christmas Cards that will be going out to customers. I’m the tech guy, for Christ’s sake. Most of these customers don’t even know who I am, let alone care to hear from me. Problem Director (this will be his/her name from here on out) decides to make it known to everyone that I have not signed said cards, and seems to need to stir up a pointless dialogue about it. This occurrence, plus several others involving the hours I work (no concern of his/hers) and what projects I am currently working on (once again, no concern of his/hers) have brought the insides of my oversize cranium to a nice steamy temperature.

Were this any other person not in a Director position, they would have already been the recipient of a verbal tirade designed to make them frightened to even glance in my direction. (Lest you think that I am a violent type screamer, let me assure you that I am not. As anyone who has been around corporate “worker bees” knows, they are by and large passive/passive-aggressive people who are not accustomed to direct aggression or confrontation, and will wilt at the slightest hint of it.) However, being as I have only been in my position for a couple of months, and even though HR is populated solely by a supreme group of pantywaists who won’t fire ANYONE, I don’t think this is a good spot for direct confrontation. This will call for a more devious brand of “Corporate-Fu” which I will begin to implement through my boss when she gets back next week.

Why did I decide to relate this seemingly pointless story? Well, thus far in my relatively short IT career, this is the first time I’ve really encountered this level of douchebaggery from Senior (Administrative) Staff, as most are simply content as long as the machines work as they should. I guess I just wanted to get it off of my chest, and hopefully induce a smile and a knowing nod from other “corporate whores”, tech and non-tech alike. I also felt the need to say that if you are one of those who find yourself being the passive type, especially where co-workers are concerned, STOP IT. Jibe back baby, jibe back. Get direct with these fools. Get the proverbial “verbal furniture” movin’ in this motherfucker. I promise you, they will come to respect and fear your directness, and your work life will be better for it.

There won’t be any post tomorrow, as I will be leaving early in the AM for a day at the casino, to hopefully return in the evening with a goodly amount of poker profit. Thanks to F-Train, I am now reminded to be wary of tournament juice (especially where Harrah’s is concerned). I was planning on playing in the $100 NLHE tourney, but if the juice is too high I’ll refrain, no matter how much I want to play in a live tourney. Either way, I’ll hopefully have something interesting to relate come Saturday. My apologies to anyone who was bored out of their skull by the above rant, and as an attempt to appease, I offer this…..

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My second entry from the “naughty fridge”. My parents on their (thankfully) infrequent visits just loved this one, as they are VERY religious and strict Baptists. Notice the wholesome cross-stitching of the curse word, tempering it’s naughtiness. It helps to guarantee that they walk away from my house, each and every time, wondering (with much hand-wringing) “Where did we go wrong?”

I’ll talk to you all on Saturday, and remember kids…Think Big but always keep in mind that my head is Much Bigger.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"Normal Hours" Meh.

Boy I want to post. Geez, I’m tired. Fuckit, I think I’ll watch my new LOTR DVD. But first….

Thanks to all of the folks who went to Vegas for posting really great trip reports so far, allowing this humble beginner of a blogger to live vicariously through your words. For me, it would have been worth the trip just to meet Marcel Luske and Tom McEvoy (BIG Marcel fan), not to mention meeting all of you folks who, at times, I feel like I know personally (I guess in a small way, I do, assuming that the blogs I read aren’t complete fabrications).

I can’t wait to hear the when/where of the next event. It better be in Vegas. It’s been over two years since I’ve been to that beautiful playground in the desert, and I’m itching for another trip. Man, I’ve got to hurry up and get back to Boise where I’m at least a little closer to the places where poker happens on a large scale.

Here’s a thought. Maybe “Poker Happens” could be the “Shit Happens” for this new millennium. Someone has already come out with it, I’m sure, but I haven’t seen it anywhere (which unfortunately, doesn’t mean a whole lot). And on the off chance that no one has yet, I’ve got this handy dandy time stamped “poor man’s patent” to prove when I had the idea, fantastic! Hell, if I wasn’t too lazy at the moment to push a damn button, I could just Google it and see, but then where would that leave the above ramble? Riches are just around the corner, I can feel it.

Finally, I don’t have to go into work tomorrow the same time as the “normal people", so I should be able to do quite a Head-worthy post. Talk to you all in the AM, as I will soon be Dreaming Big, and my pillows will continue to try and compensate, as my head is still Much Bigger.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lesson Reinforcement

Sorry there was no post at the usual time today, I had to work a full day today..don’t you feel sorry me? Meh. I had some stuff to rant about, but it will have to wait until Thursday as I have another full day again tomorrow. Please feel free to feel sorry for me again. Oh yes, and don’t forget I’m here. The posts will keep coming regularly, if not at the most regular of times.

Lately, I have done a really good job of not tilting when I get sucked out on, catch a bad beat, what have you. If I do start tilting too much, I have consistently had the presence of mind to stop playing until I stop steaming. But last night I found out an answer to a question that I never previously considered. Is it possible to go on tilt while watching someone?

In my case the answer seems to be a resounding YES. ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY.

Last night my wife decided to fire up a quick SnG since, of course, there was nothing but dogshit on the telly. $5 +.50 and the folks are playing horrid as usual. I usually enjoy watching her play, because she rarely ever does, and it’s also a good opportunity for me to try and exercise some self restraint by watching and not speaking (I’m VERY bad about jumping in with “the right play” instead of letting her play her game). On the fourth hand she picks up AQd UTG and raises to t100. Three callers and the flop comes 10 K J all hearts (dammit, so close to a royal). With her being first to act, she bets out the pot (t400) as a feeler, gets raised by the next to t834 (or some kind of weird shit like that), and everyone else drops. Now, I’m sure there are arguments either way on this one, but she felt (and I concurred) that the raise was kind of weak and generally strange, on the logic that if he had the flush, he simply would have called in an effort to get all of her money (I know, I’m probably giving too much credit for this level). So she pushed all-in and of course he goes in the tank for about 30 seconds and calls w/ a set of 10’s. You know what happens next, dear readers, as we have all been there a billion times (especially online). Runner-runner, and she’s knocked out first by the full house. It sucked seeing that, as she was 73% to win after that flop. But hey, that’s bound to happen and the guy wasn’t nearly as big a dog on that hand as I initially thought.

She agrees that it really sucks and proceeds to fire up a $10 +1 SnG. In the early levels she plays quite well and ends up tripling up when her AKs gets called to the end by A8s and AJo. Now she’s in good chip position, but misplayed JJ and lost a fairly healthy chunk, and also took a chance on a flush draw that left her with about starting (t1500) chips and the short stack. Now, during this time, there is one player who is making HORRID plays, i.e. calling all-in holding 66 with four overcardss on the board and hitting his set on the river. He did it a second time about 4 hands later with 88. Here is where I begin steaming a bit, as this offends my sense of justice when I see such odoriferous play being rewarded. The douche bag is now getting really cocky and starting to raise everything, while my wife’s chips are slowly but surely dwindling. Eventually she ends up with A10s in the BB (4 players and approx . t1400 in chips) and Mr. Lucky Sets min. raises from the SB, so she decided to make her stand here. He has K10s board comes nothing except a K on the river. TILT. SUPER MEGA FUCKING HIROSHIMA JESUS H. JUMPING JEHOSEPHAT CHRIST ON A CRACKER T. KIRK TILT. The thing that killed me was the fact that it was not a bad raise or call on his part considering the short handedness of the game and the dominating size of his stack, but where is the pendulum swing? Where is the justice?

Let me tell you where the justice is. It’s nowhere. There isn’t any. Especially not in this game. Somewhere far off I can still hear the poker gods chuckling and shaking their heads, as I have obviously not completely taken this lesson to heart, and like saddened parents, they have found it necessary to reinforce it.

There’s obviously still a very long road that lies ahead in this poker journey, but along the way you may rest assured that I will always be Thinking Big, while carrying the load that is my head (which is Much Bigger).

Monday, December 13, 2004

Middle Child Woes...

What a lazy blogger I am. Actually I don’t think that two days with no posts would be considered lazy by most people, but given the excellent run for my inaugural week, and the fact that I am mildly OCD to begin with, it feels a bit like laziness.

I did keep up with my pre-holiday poker playing aspirations by playing in two SnG’s Friday, two on Saturday, and one yesterday. Here is the rundown:

Friday #1—I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to play in the evening, so I decided to play my two tourneys in the afternoon. While not as good as the players that seem to dominate the AM on PStars, the afternoon players still weren’t as noticeably bad as the evening players. This table had mostly loose-passives, and a couple of LAG’s who of course busted early. All were busted by the player 3 seats to my left, who caught good cards with very marginal pre-flop holdings. The first hand that I decide to play, I am UTG+1 and get AJo. We’re still on Level 1, and even though I know it’s dangerous to play a hand like this from this position at such a low level, it’s as though I’ve become possessed and cannot help myself. I make it t80 to go. Of course I am called by 4 people, including Big Stack Marginal Guy. Flop K A 8 rainbow. I bet t200 (2/3 pot) to see exactly where I stand and only one player drops out. Blank turn and my spidey-sense is tingling so I check. Next guy bets t400, BSMG raises to t800 and I’m gone. He ends up busting yet another guy with his set of 8’s, I knew it! With my stack about 2/3 original size, I tread water while another passive player of many marginal hands goes on a rush 2 spots to my right, and is thus beginning to gain confidence in those holdings. This is good for me because he is likely to call some stuff when he is way behind, now if I can just get some cards. Now, we’re at level 4 and I’m BB with around half my original stack. I get 77 which I am loving because I have been card dead for quite a while. Button limp, SB completes, like an idiot I check (in hindsight I think I should have pushed). Flop A 4 A. Check all around, I smell another trap. Turn 6, I bet t200 into 300 pot, call and a fold. River is a fairly innocuous 5, I completely ignore instinct this time and push my final t600, and of course he turns up A9 for the win. When will I learn to listen to my instincts all of the time instead of part of it?

#2—Here is something you don’t see very often on a $5 +.50. Level 4 and still 7 players at the table! I played smart, paid attention to my instincts and managed to pull out a second placing. I feel better than normal about this placing as nearly all were pretty good players. Talking with them, I found they were doing exactly as I was, getting some cheap pre-holiday “farting around” time in at the tables.

Saturday I was lazy and didn’t take any notes (like an idiot) and ended up one 3rd place finish out of two.

Sunday night things are looking great. PStars is packed, so I fire up a table, and within the first orbit, 3 players are knocked out, this is gonna be beautiful. Still on first orbit, I pick up 77 in the BB. Four callers and I check, lo and behold the flop comes Q 9 7 rainbow, beautiful! I’m going to nail one of these slow-playing WPT Super Advanced Pros to the wall. I bet t40 into the t100 pot to induce calling. Call, raise to t250, fold, fold. I go all-in, fold, t250-guy goes in the tank and finally calls with his AA he was trying to slowplay. Hooray! I’m a 90% favorite here. Sure enough, an A on the river leaves me with a measly t70. This guy thinks he made a great call, and I grit my teeth and keep my mouth shut, because I know it’s good for me in the long run that he thinks this his play is good. I bring my measly stack back up to about t450 (a small miracle in itself), but get busted by the same guy when I push with 77 (blinds at this point are 75/150) and run into his KK. In my estimation this is not a good omen for the evening, so I take the loss and call it a night.

All of this recent writing has definitely helped to clarify my thinking, and I believe I’m now able to better articulate the peculiar place I find myself in. I’ve decided to refer to it as my Middle Child of Poker Phase. I now recognize good play vs. bad, good table situations vs. bad ones, etc., whereas before, I simply waded into nearly anything. However, for some reason I don’t have the confidence in my own play to risk anything but the smallest money, and getting beat up (sometimes) by the much worse players at these tiny levels makes me very frustrated, hence the Middle-Child poker limbo. Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to “Confessions of a Risk-Averse Pantywaist”. I know that a large part of the problem is being too result-oriented as opposed to focusing on the play, and believe it or not, I’m a LOT better than I used to be about it. Sometimes I just miss the sophomoric confidence that let me wade into situations I would never put myself in these days, like playing with a super short BR. I think for the New Year I will be continuing to focus on my tourney play and NL play. Perhaps working on the $10 Max Buy-In until I get up to about $800 or so before moving up? I will try to come up with a more concrete plan as the New Year gets closer.

I’m definitely looking forward to Friday, as my brother and I will be heading to the Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino in Topeka for the day. This will only be my third time playing at a B&M. My B&M experience thus far has been diametrically opposed to what Lou Krieger wrote in a CardPlayer article four or so issues ago about online games being so much looser. THEY ARE NOT. I played my first B&M session at the Ameristar in Kansas City, a 3/6 full kill game. Being very nervous, my wife and I left the game after about 3 hours up about 3 BB. I didn’t recognize it then, but the chips were flying around like crazy. For the second session at Harrah’s in New Orleans, my wife and I were much better prepared, and we mopped that game (3/6 no kill) in the 4 hours we spent playing. These people were absolutely HEMMORAGING money, and for some reason only buying chips in $40 shots. I guess that was their idea of BR management. After drinks (plus wait staff tipping), and what I now realize was extravagant dealer tipping ($2/pot, bad HumanHead, BAD!), we still walked away almost 20 BB up. If given the chance I would have stayed at that table all night long. Friday at the Prairie Band Harrah’s I plan on playing in the $100 NLHE weekly tourney, simply because I’ve never played a live one before. If the live tourney play is ANYTHING like the B&M ring game play, I think I have a damn decent chance of doing well.

I would love to hear thoughts from anyone reading about the whole Middle-Child of Poker situation I am currently going through. Has anyone been in this particular hole, and what did you do to extricate yourself?

I’ll talk to you all tomorrow, as my ability to Think Big must now be devoted to schoolwork for the remainder of the morning. (I just did a check in the mirror, and yes, my head is still Much Bigger).

Friday, December 10, 2004

Inaugural Fridge Appearance

Hey there everyone, this is going to be a short one so fear not, I promise not to take too much of your time. I plan on playing some more SnG's this afternoon or this evening so as to keep up with my self imposed pre-holiday playing guidelines. I'm sure once I get started I will be playing more than the minimum I have set out for myself.

I just saw a commercial that I haven't seen in a while that always makes me laugh out loud. I believe it is a Lipitor commercial where the older guy is walking on the beach, talking about how he's "healthy enough to go out and surprise a few clams." Hilarious. I'm not for sure if it's Lipitor or not, as it typically goes in one ear and out the other until I hear the key "clams" phrase. I am getting a rant together concerning my thoughts on TV commercials that I hope to share soon.

For now, I leave you with the first entry from the "naughty fridge", as I have schoolwork, errands, and other assorted unhappy shit that must be attended to while the other bloggers are getting together in Vegas. Bastards.

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My wife found this article in Wine Spectator and was cackling madly. If you can't figure out why the title is funny, (insert Bernie Mac voice) I'm Sorry For 'Ya. Pay no attention to the photo, as that is me shitfaced on a friends John Deere lawnmower circa 1999 when I was still enlisted. A definite poor example of partying "like it's 1999".

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Worry not, dear reader, my mini-tirade concerning the self-styled "Poker Brat" is on the way, but there are some things that must be attended to first....To start (cue trumpets and medieval flourish), found this wonderful piece of work through SirFWALGMan,and if I had some sort of prize to give for Link of the Week he would definitely be the recipient. Once again, if you are even REMOTELY literate, you must get your eyes over to Dooce ASAP.

Next, I must do some "maintenance updates". 1) I WILL be posting pics of the "naughty fridge" soon, as was promised recently. I have not forgotten. I tried to take some pics directly following my initial promise, but to say they didn't turn out well would be giving them too much credit. I finally found the manual to my camera, and am currently slogging through it in an effort to bring pictures to you that do not instantly cause a migraine. Can you tell yet that photography is not a favorite pastime of mine? Man, I sure hope this "naughty fridge" endeavor doesn't turn out to be a letdown, considering the ever increasing buildup.... 2) I will get a list of links to all of the other great bloggers I love to read posted ASAP. It's been quite some time since I did any web work whatsoever, so I am trying to reeducate myself as quickly as possible as I find bits of free time here and there. I know that more free time exists somewhere, but at present it eludes me. I promise to look harder.

Even though I'm sure that many of you already read
2+2, here is a great thread involving Funniest Lines You Have Heard at the Poker Table. Even though the thread started back in mid-October, it is still being added to and is pretty damn funny. Also, should you find that you have said any of the things listed therein in any way other than in pure jest, then you should be spending much more time reading/studyng than actually playing. If you have the ability to retain any information at all, it is pretty difficult NOT to become a better player after reading 2+2 for a while. I am confident that I can say these things without diminishing the fish count, as most folks who would take this advice and endeavor to become better players have already found this resource. The actual fish will continue to ignore any action that might lead to improvement in their game, as they are already "up a little", and would be further up were it not due to that guy with QQ who put the bad beat on them when they hit middle pair 7 on that J high board and he wouldn't "respect their raises".

And now, for (hopefully) your pleasure, I will attempt to mix ranting and poker.

The love/hate evolution of my view of Phil Helmuth Jr., self-styled "Poker Brat", finally came to it's seemingly inevitable conclusion yesterday with the new issue of CardPlayer. As illustrated in my first ever posting, and evidenced by my mistake of purchasing Play Poker Like the Pros, my love/hate level was about 90/10. These numbers began to slowly drift as the year went on and I continued to view different tourneys and interviews. I was also getting progressively more annoyed by the lack of actual poker content in his articles for CardPlayer. (BTW, does anyone reading this actually subscribe to CardPlayer, and if so, why? Perhaps I am missing something, as I will continue to simply read it on their site where it is free) Then came the infamous interview by ESPN on the '04 WSOP broadcast. You know, the one where someone decided that it would be a good idea to show him shirtless and making a complete (and I'm sure unwitting, which makes it even more sad) mockery of Buddhist principles and the practice of meditation? Love/Hate= 40/60. So yesterday, after skipping approximately the last seven or so articles he has written, I decide to give a peek at the one in the newest issue. Christ, it is even worse than I remember, To Quote:

"Greg Pierson is the man! No, you haven’t heard of him yet, but mark my words, GP’s new company, IoVation — an Internet security company — will have a billion dollar valuation by 2008. Considering how much respect I have for Greg and the fact that I’m lucky enough to be an investor in IoVation, I vowed to him that he could get some private lessons from me anytime."

Holy hell, can this guy possibly have larger self-esteem/acceptance issues? I started searching back through the archives and was actually ashamed that I hadn't taken more notice of this before, although my subconscious obviously did, hence the skipping of the previous articles. This guy's egregious name-dropping and self promotion is enough to make even Donald Trump blush. At least the Donald is 'richer than God' as well as brimming with confidence and self-assurance. Phil consistently comes off as nothing other than lame and whiny, as you KNOW he was the vengeful kid in school who always got picked on and cried a LOT, always secretly plotting some sort of revenge to be meted out in the future. If he wasn't such a great talent at poker and had to work a normal job, I would fear for his co-workers. Current Love/Hate=3/97. I still have 3 percent on the Love side because (camera close up on my concerned newsanchor face as I get ready to spew a heartfelt entreaty),

"Phil, there is no taking away from the fact that you are truly one of the great poker players out there, as evidenced by your 9 WSOP bracelets and the fact that you are the youngest ever to win the event. But for the love of God and for the good of this beloved game, please get a therapist (or two) and start acting with more class, as you are old enough and should be experienced enough to know better. Stop peddling crappy (and by crappy I mean WAY below mediocre) products to the masses in a shameless effort to cash in on your steadily declining reputation. Yes, it is making you wealthy, and all of us are happy for you. However, money can come and go, but the respect of others can truly last and will make you a much happier person."

Well, now I'm just dissapointed and sad after ranting about someone who had great potential but simply turned out to be another steaming pile of humanity. I guess all I can do is wish him well (in my head, of course), and hope that future brings us something better where he is concerned. Now it's back to for some smiles....

Oh yes, Thinking Big...head Much Bigger, and all of that :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Hump Day (I admit it, I just wanted to say HUMP)

Here is some more hard hitting stuff from the propoganda machine that passes for the "news": A hot buttered rum has about as many calories as a double cheeseburger. Acupuncture is the new Botox. Your childs foam gun could be dangerous if they swallow it, and if they don't, it's probably dangerous anyway due to the fact it's a gun *gasp*. Pomegranates are tricky.

Oh god, won't someone PLEASE think of the children. BTW, I'll have that double cheese--you can keep your hot rum. The only thing left that isn't a full-on propoganda/advertising vehicle is the weather. Maybe that is why old men spend all of their time talking about the weather. After so many years, they have arrived at the point where they realize it is a worthless waste of time to talk about any of the other soul sucking issues spouted by the telescreen. Either that, or it is simply a product of impending senility. In my humble estimation, either of these things are preferable to the alternative, acceptance and enjoyment.

As if you couldn't tell already, I don't have any poker content that would be in any way noteworthy to most, as the insomia aftereffects caught up with me and I went to bed at 9 PM, much to the satisfaction of my inner senior citizen. I slept reasonably well and was able to wake up generally annoyed with the world at large (this is a good thing) instead of being too tired to care. Christ, I just thought of something disturbing. Is this blog turning into the HumanHead sleep diary? Even the possibility of this turning into something that asinine gives me shivers, and I am hereby cutting myself off from talking about sleep issues.

Back to the criticism of random things!

This would be a great spot to begin a tirade that shares the fact that I have found somthing I hate even worse than minivans. For anyone who has ANY familiarity with me, my hate of minivans (and oversize SUV's to a slightly lesser extent) is certainly no secret. They are the bane of the American Highway, and are the nemesis (what is the plural of nemesis, nemesi?) of the HumanHead. They are predominantly commandeered by the AOL-using, George Bush supporting, morning television news show-enjoying, altogether ignorant masses who are loathsome to the extreme. Now I know that not ALL folks fit into this category, as in fact I have known several kickass people who happen to drive a minivan and/or SUV. Just know that I am aware there are exeptions to the sweeping generalities that I make.

OK, on with the tirade.....

Even more than the above abominable group, I now even moreso find myself despising those who decide that it is a good idea to put those damnable ribbon decals on their vehicle. You know the ones, containing such banal text as "I support our troops" or "God Bless the USA". It has become so pervasive (at least in this particular Midwestern purgatory) I have taken to travelling with a homemade Fear Factor bucket to barf into (OK not really, but sometimes I feel as though I ought to). These stickers infuriate me so much due to the fact that they are merely empty symbols, and the only reason most of these people have them is that everyone else does and they want to show how "patriotic" they are, even though most haven't actually DONE anything to support the troops other than this. As a former military member who was often deployed, I can tell you with great certainty that a soldier will appreciate and enjoy something as innocuous as even some homemade cookies when sitting with a bunch of other guys on the ass end of the world. I can also promise you they will feel a lot more actual love from cookies, cards, etc. than they will from those goddamn decals you have plastered all over your brat taxi. Should you find yourself in a "patriotic" mood, please, actually DO something, it's really not too difficult. Get with the Family Support Center if you have a military base nearby, or just do some looking around, as there are opportunities for actually doing something nearly everywhere. But for the love of all that is holy, STAY AWAY FROM THE STICKERS.

More schoolwork is going to be rollng my way starting this evening, so tomorrow will most likely bring little or no content involving my personal poker play. But, if your in the mood to hear more long windedness, I plan on at least spouting a mini-tirade concerning the beloved Phil Helmuth Jr.

As always, I'm Thinking Big but my head is still Much Bigger.