Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Missing Hyde

The glass is still half-full after last night.

In the two bad losses of the year (Cards and Panthers) the Vikes showed their ineptitude for the entire game. Last night they did that a for half, then came out and fought tooth and nail for the second half. On the road. Outdoors. In the cold.

They should have lost on the second Bears score in the 2nd half, but rallied down the field for a score with 8 seconds left. #reasonforoptimism if I were to hash it on Twitter. The team could have rolled over and died along with its purid first half "effort" that looked like a dress rehearsal for the football version of the Bad News Bears. Think Chilly wouldn't make a decent Buttermaker with a Coleman cooler of Schlitz in his hand giving the team pointers on proper beard grooming techniques?

Even down 16-0 in the first half, I girly-chatted with one of the many suddenly very interested Eagles fans and thought the Vikes would still win the game, but not cover the spread. They didn't of course, but again, at least they gave an effort in the second half unseen in the bad losses to Arizona and Carolina. Something to grow on? Yes. Another reason to line Purple Jesus' gloves with rubber cement? Please do. The kid with the iron tight handshake and ability to fumble like there's a contract stipulation for it baffles even the biggest homer of a Vikings fan. How can someone who can crush every bone in your hand with minimal effort hold on to a football?

From what I've seen, most of these fumbles occur when PJ tries to eek out 1 or 2 more useless yards by staying inbounds and gets stripped while being stood-up or poked out on the way down. Whatever it is, it isn't going to stop. No amount of coaching is going to stop the kid from his I-will-run-thru-a-brick-wall-for-an-extra-inch running mentality.

The defense should also bolster a big part of the blame as their pass rush has reverted to 2006's version without the stiffling run D. Jared Allen has been a non-factor thanks to double teams (awesome quote from the mulleted one: “If I could cuss right now, I would. … I mean, we’re playing bad right now. We’ve got to play better”. Pat Williams is hurt. And the secondary is getting burnt more often than the 1997 version of me trying my hand at "clubbing" and "dancing with the ladies". Awkward, tall white guys shouldn't be on the dance floor attempting to look good while Salt N' Peppa's "Shoop" is blaring over the 2 for 1s and glitter filled spaces. Thank god there wasn't YouTube back then or the world may need some serious eye bleach.

This isn't to say the Vikes saved themselves from a quick 1st round exit. Far from it. Without a complete effort against the lame-duck Giants AT HOME next week, the Vikes just might be launching a team they beat twice into the divisional round of the playoffs.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No Vikes, No Cry

Saints losing this afternoon put another sting into the dreadful loss at the hands of the Panthers, as the window of potential home field advantage is still not completely closed.

Or should they be called "resurgent" Panthers after pummeling the Giants 41-9 today? Yikes. Rallying behind a third-string QB and super stars Peppers and Smith they put the Giants on the brink of elimination while having to shake their heads at what could have been.

Eagles/Broncos are on with all the Brian Dawkins returns to Philly talks while the second round of the Battle of the Planets tourney plays on that I'm covering today. Wyatt's Bionical's are all constructed, Kyra's room full of Disney princesses has grown to flood water levels as the parents are recovering from the holidays with football and a calming drink this afternoon.

No Vikes today as they're playing tomorrow on Monday Night Football against the Bears. ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network, and CBS Pregame show all had FavreChilly watch 2009 on their agendas even though the game wasn't being played today, and frankly the media saturation of the situation resembles a used maxi pad. Time to shed the blood and hope the team starts running on all cylinders because the problem ISNT the quarterback, isn't not the suddenly mortal running back, isn't not the defense (although some flash cards on "how to tackle" wouldn't hurt). Its the offensive line's dreadful play over the past four games that resulted in the correct All-Pro (McKinney) finally getting benched last week.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Did I Ever Do To Waffles?

Sorry Vikes fans, but the ultimate cooler has selected our team to win against the Bears this week.

Guess we'll enjoy being 11-4 and another week of Favre vs. Childress soap operas.


On a better note the new Truckin is out!

December 2009, Vol. 8, Issue 12

Welcome back to the new semi-Holiday issue of Truckin'.

1. Stiff Santa by Paul McGuire The Beverly Center had one strict rule -- never under any circumstances remove the bunny head in public. That would mortify young children. Josh turned to Ritalin to solve his problems... More

2. Christmas Money for Misty by Johnny Hughes Misty laid her best story on Sam, her road story. She was temporarily broke, like most casino folks, but she was to inherit the historic Morgan Ranch, 473 oil wells, 47,000 acres, and a bunch of cows in the Texas panhandle... More

3. The Hobby by Milton Burton The driver himself was a small-time coke pusher and wannabe heavy metal musician named Ronnie DeLoach who would never make it big, partly because he was void of any real musical talent. But mostly this sad fact could be attributed to his very limited life span... More

4. Dick-Hole, Part II by Bobby Bracelet Most guys will yank it twenty times a week but they won't feel their balls for lumps. I see it all the time... More

5. Absence of Fear by George Tate The turns became hard to handle and Gatlin knew it wouldn't take much to be over a guard rail and down the side on his back, load, tractor, and all. He suddenly cleared his mind and focused on the words, "Turn off the engine, that's it."... More

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Looking Up From Coming Down

At bottom of a small hill on Friday there was nothing but clear blue sky with a wisp of clouds hanging for decoration. Laying face-up on the frozen pond after my seventh run with the midnight blue rocket sled on my left and a very happy daughter whose little legs couldn't negotiate the sharp drop off between our land and the reedy pond on my right it seemed right to try to nap.

Until of course the other sled in use did a snowplow stop just short of my head causing a mini-avalanche of frozen white stuff over my already fridge face.

It was perfect.

Not too cold, not too warm, the laughs were genuine, and there were no pulling rank of parent to child, just smiles.

I'll remember that short hour in the backyard as the holidays roll on which is sure to bring more tantrums from lack of sleep, lack of treats, and lack of patience as we truck between various relatives and greetings.

Speaking of lack of patience, WTF Minnesota Vikings?

Three weeks ago the "on paper" Vikes were mirroring the "on field" ones for the first time since those years before Chris Gamble ended Culpepper's career (aside from some horrible bloated attempts to regain form) and Randy Moss was busy showing off his ass to a stunned Lambeau Field crowd. On Sunday night versus the Panthers you were the epitome of people's perceptions of this franchise.

Great names with poor execution and worse results. You were Peter North needing a roadmap to a vagina. You were Louis CK killing the crowd and suddenly trying out a knock-knock joke better suited for your kids' preschool class. You were Scarlette Johansson on a bad hair day (which actually now that I think about it, sounds kinda sexy). But, damn you guys for making me believe.

Lets start with the big "schism" talk first since people who follow sports much better than I (and someone I owe a poker post to in the near future), think this isn't a bunch of blown smoke and its ready to ignite a sizable flame in that media circus tent that surrounds Favre. As you know the Vikes newly signed coach tried to yank a 100% first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback from the game with THEM LEADING for unknown reasons. Now another starter did get the hook and it was well-deserved as Bryant McKinnie was doubling as a blocking sled made of sugar and spice and everything nice against a resurgent Julius Peppers. But aside from injury concerns or possible injury from Mr. Peppers mistaking Favre's head for a slab of Carolina's best BBQ, why would you even broach the idea of taking the leader of the team out of a tight game?

So Coach Chilly isn't doing this team's cohesiveness any good what else is going on? Purple Jesus having to shake off hits in the backfield is a major downer for an O-line that was supposed to be one of the NFL's best. Can't reel off those highlight film open field breakaways or plowing thru cornerbacks if the 350 lbs. fat-ass nose tackle is sitting on your franchise player two yards behind the line of scrimmage. Pass blocking until a few weeks ago has been solid but even that went to pot on Sunday as Favre went down several times, not helped by the fact PJ only rushed 12 times.

The defense gets a little ribbing here as well for not exploiting what was a cobbled together O-line from Carolina. Our front four has been excellent in getting pressure on the quarterback all year and came up limp, especially in the fourth quarter with tackling better used during a 8th grade flag football P.E. class as Stewart became the first 100 rusher against the Vikes in 36 games thanks to several second and third efforts to take a two yard loss into a seven yard gain.

I wasn't able to watch the whole game, just peering up from the laptop as the Sunday Warm-up folks thought it would be awesome to bust out in clumps versus spacing it out a bit as the steam rose from my typing fingers :) But, I got the gist of this team's effort that is/was a Super Bowl contender, it smelled like defeat before the final gun, and its rotten carcass is now prepping for a trap game in Chicago against an awful Bears team with nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking a flailing playoff team down another peg.

Will the Brett Favre that dazzled us earlier in the season return. Most likely not, a case of the "olds" is creeping in, and unless the O-line gets their collective heads together and starts plowing the road for Purple Jesus and the defense knocks up Sulkathor (wrong Jay Cutler sorry) like they did in the Dome win, Viking fans will have to wear their 2009 NFC North Champs T-shirt from Target with spite as they lose the bye to the Eagles and a probable 1st round bomb from the playoffs.

I still expect victory at Solider Field, but how they get the win is more important.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Smells Like Christmas Spirit

The WSOP schedule is out and I'm already thinking about making a return to the Rio this year for another shot at an Omaha Eight-or-Better tourney.

I'll catch back on this subject later in the year, and closer to tourney time. If there's an interest for a partial staking again, I may make the trip.

No post tonight just ready for the holiday season to come to its peak over the next week with screaming kids from the shuffle from house to house, lack of sleep from the mounds of chocolate dipped pretzels and Hershey Kiss centered sugar cookies. Its also a great time to catch up with the relatives whose company I enjoy yet only find a rare golf outing or birthday to say hi.

Be sure to check out the PokerStarsBlog this weekend for the Sunday Majors recaps, I'll be on the bag for the Sunday Warm-up this week, and the two promotional tourneys next week (Battle of the Planets SnG Challenge and $1 Million Turbo Takedown with PokerStars Pro bounties).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WPBT: The Obvious

From the desk of Ric Romero (of Fark fame) and Captain Obvious:

Sexually active girls run greater risk of catching STDs. As opposed to, you know, those who don't have sex of course. But where's the fun in that?

Also painfully obvious is the integration of bloggers from this weekend's WPBT festivities has been less than optimal since they did not install Let It Ride and Pai Gow tables into our respective cafeterias and break rooms while dancing in Vegas. No dealertainers welcomed the masses back to cubicial enclosed employement, no bundled up people of Mexician decent laced the walkway to your building handing out business cards with shapely women who couldn't even find enough clothing to wear this winter and for $79 and a call to 1-800-Sex-4-You these ladies would gladly accept any form of donation.

The bankroll is back in the bank minus the amount I paid to Expedia yesterday for a 10th anniversary gift to my wife (coming in August to a bar near you). A trip to Vegas with me and another couple at the end of March. So much for staying away until we can watch Betty and Al show the denizens of Imperial Palace how to Two-Step (watch below), and the proper way to celebrate a gathering of friends.

Here's Pauly's 2009 WPBT video, plus a link to some of the pictorial highlights of the latest memories of these grand gatherings:

Until we meet again Geisha Bar, next time more Cowboys and Hookers please.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WPBT: By the Numbers

One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.

- Sigmund Freud

The years of struggle may not yet be behind, the years of true pain may not have come out yet, but the present years are ones I'll choose to cherish.

Even today, a quick smile pops out randomly from a quick conversation at the WPBT, a quip, a bet, a toast, they all gather up into one awesome time with friends that I yearn for the very next time we meet.

By the numbers:

Number of days spent in Vegas: 5
Number of dollars won gambling: 1,100 (despite losing $450 on slots)
Number of dollars in profit taken home: 700
Number of dollars I'll get to keep after wife finds the money: 0
Number of dollars won prop betting: 40
Number of dollars should have won prop betting: 400 (Otis: BET MORE!)
Number of extra hours spent in room recovering from prop bet: Too many
Number of dollars lost because Waffles bet the Bengals: 50
Number of meals I ate in 4 days: 5
Number of Cap'n Cokes at Lagasse Stadium: 3
Number of lace purple panties viewed: 1
Number of times I jumped around like an idiot: Lost count after Caesar's Palace
Number of scared 7-Star high rollers because of jumping 6'4" 200 lbs. man-child hitting a point: 1
Number of tramp stamps spotted at Steel Panther concert: 14
Number of racks bought at Green Valley Ranch for $2/$4 game: 7
Number of racks cashed in at Green Valley Ranch: 8
Number of dollars for WPBT tourney buy in: 100
Number of minutes I lasted in the tourney: 15
Number of dollars won playing craps with Maigrey, Betty, and Chilly due to busting early: 750
Number of times Betty explained to me I needed water with each drink: 5
Number of laps I ran around slots while playing craps at Excal with GRob, Otis, and G+G: 6
Number of times my ball was used during the WPBT Golf Tourney: 5
Number of strokes the team had: 70
Number of temperature while golfing: 35
Number of dollars spent on a new jacket at the turn of the golfing round: 58
Number of consectutive hands of Chinese Poker won against Oh Captain during flight delay: 5
Number of wheelchair rides taken: 0
Number of quads hit on Let It Ride: 1
Number of dollars won on Let It Ride: 850
Number of inches of TV in the Lagasse Stadium luxury box: 103
Number of score at Galaga after Vikings game: 325,670
Number of friends I miss today: Too many

You bring the fun, and this time I was able to hear more of it brightening the trip a hundred fold. Thank you.

Until we meet again, stay thirsty my friends.

Monday, December 14, 2009

WPBT: Stills of a Weekend


I guess I possessed a camera inside my head using my eyes as shutters and reproduce those photos on to these pages for the images I've taken in this weekend. Some pictures of course would remain off, only brought out for a good laugh between those who hated their livers and sleep during the WPBT Winter Classic for the past 3-4 days.

But other stills of the action could be used to show just why this group of professional degenerates decents upon Vegas every December to tilt a cowboy and leave with another story of friendship and gambling woes.

I didn't bet enough, yet bet plenty. I possess a $100 t-shirt from Harrah's. I watched Maigrey carry a couple of us to an empty craps table and haul away a lion share of cash while watching "Mr. Important" 7-Star high roller slink off with empty pockets because he was too wrapped up in his self-importance to have fun (not to mention hitting his number for ungodly sums that would have doubled my yearly salary).

There may come wrap-up post, there may not. For now I'll enjoy images in my head of Steel Panther's lead singer grabbing his crouch with the tall well-built blonde directly behind him trying desperately to keep her Fredrick's of Hollywood g-string hidden from the masses despite wearing low cut jeans and skin tight baby-t.

4 more inches of snow and below zero temps await me at the Lindbergh terminal tonight, until then its hot chocolate time while doing a little people watching for a few more photos before getting home to Minnesota.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

WPBT: A Short Yet Long Day

Its after midnight here in Sin City as this will be wrapping up my third night of blogger hijinxs while in town for the WPBT Winter Classic. To the front and center Ron Jaworski and Merrill Hoge are explaining the NFL lineup that will be viewed tomorrow at Laggasse stadium in the Venetian (Palazzo). To my right are the silky concrete structures of the Belliago and Caesar's Palace. Viewable are dancing water, drive-by ads for 1-877-sex-4-you, and the Penthouse that Terrance Wantabe prceeded to give Harrah's 6% of their net earning via all the negative expectation games his alcohol-soaked brain could handle.

Caesar's Palace was also where I spent approximently half the day today. No, not from playing the annual WPBT Winter Classic Poker Tournament sponsored in part by PokerStars. That part took about 10 minutes for me to walk into the poker room, pay my $100 entry fee, and promptly ignore Derek's signs that hey YOUR TWO PAIR ISN'T ANY GOOD. I may have claimed such a hand was a cooler, and busting out 2nd from the tourney wasn't what I had in mind when I explained that I did not want to last long today. There was time to say hi to the table, clap for the annoncements and muck Ace-King while slinking over to CJ to inform him that my loser ass was done.

Could not sit afterwards. Instant grafication from slots further showed just how big of a drain those are on my gambling bankroll. No bonus game could dig me out of the hole, no fun was emitted from the cold machines as I was on the verge of packing it in for the day to further detox from a non-stop beginning (this part of the trip will be told at a later time). Back to the Palace part of the casino to attempt some Pai Gow-infused adrenaline. Push, lose, win, win, lose, push. End up winning $14 after a few hours of getting dangerously close to busting my buy-in for the day ($500). Instead those chips were better used back at the poker room.

Sitting down at a $1/$3 NLHE table with $300, I made small talk with a older figure that was soon-to-be divorced gentleman and couldn't understand why Omaha was such an action game. Not much materialized since NLHE live cash games in a casino are completely foreign to those who call Minnesota home. Until things went very right in a hurry, calling a small raise in the big blind with KdTd and four players in the hand we would see a bet to $30, a raise by the cutoff, putting the decision on the Qd Jd 8c flop. For those of you at home who know a bit about poker that is called an Open-Ending Straight and Royal flush draw. I couldn't call because he "only" at $120ish behind.


$30 better went back to rockin his fedora and the other guy pondered on what to do. He would make the call with a set of queens? Sure there's a straight posible but not prombable.


turn Ts, river Ad.

Suckout complete chips acquired), begin the ride to winning. Went back to the Palace casino station to sweat the St.Louis/G-Vegas/LA Douchebags convergence on a three-card poker table. No spots became open so I thru a hundred on the $10 craps table for shits and giggles and took a $40 profit from five shooters. By the time I turned around the lure of the sleek looking sirens Maigrey and Betty Underground were there to direct me to the unused $10 craps table and play our selves. And we would do so for the next two hours. An ultra-high roller would find himself stuck $12K while trying breach our run by putting those chips in play only AFTER the phenomial roll of the hazelnut-skinned lady hit hard sixes with the ease of getting your pajamas on before bed. He would leave at least $30K-$50K in lost bets on the table, but we would not. Actually amount will not be disclosed but we were able to make Derek's nipples raise from the texture of a $500 chip hitting his ribbed shirt while railing the final table as Astin, AlCantHand, and Speaker battled it out for the upside-down golden hammer.

From there our group would float from Casino Royale's e-coli caked roulette chips and back to the IP for a nightcap. I instead took leave from the group to enjoy a few moments in front this laptop screen and admire my view towards this town that has been the focial point of many extreme highs and lows of my life. Yes, I am and always will be a child wrapped up in adult clothing, I may cheer a little too loudly while a $5 blackjack hand becomes a winner, but my time in Vegas a growing experience with each visit. There's more I learn from the conversations over General Tso's chicken in a food court, leaning against a vacant poker table, or just admiring my newly found sense of seeking conversations with others simply because their voices make complete sentences (except for CK who for some reason I have the hardest time understanding despite her crystal-clear voice).

The journey continues from here as I sign off this evening as NFL Sunday is coming in few hours for yet another awakening from this pair of bionic ears I now possess. My thoughts are for a few friends who are having inner-struggles that could be much similar to my own over the past seven years, and if they need to sit down in that quiet corner or at the bank of Reel Em' Slot Machines, I'll be there with a good set of ears and hoping some words of encourgement for him or her.



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Brief Space of Time

For the next couple of days I'll have an internet connection in my room which means I'll drop by twitter and throw a quick tweet up:

Follow me here: TWEET TWEET for me here.

Short recap:

Jumped a bunch
Shed a tear at Geisha Bar
Ran around like an idiot at Excal playing craps with G+G Makeout Factory, G-Rob, Otis, Texan from the panhandle at 4am
Made a bet
Steel FUCKIN Panther
Bought in
Won at $2/$4 with bloggers
Won Prop Bet, will rub G-Rob's $20 all over myself with peppermint lotion
Getting ready for WPBT Winter Classic Tourney.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can't Wait One More Day

Winter is officially here in Minnesota:


In other words. Yuck. Especially for someone who's intending to leave on a jet plane only to come back again on Monday night. 45 mph winds happened in January/February here I doubt going outside for the paper would even be advisible. As is, just a winter storm nasty to pump gas in and shovel, but excellent excuse to warm up some hot chocolate and fire up a few tables of online poker on the day before I meet up with 100+ friends scattered across the US and Canada in Vegas.

This has been said before but I'm glad the degenerates I'm so anxious to meet up with are living in different climates and states because it keeps a check on my personal degeneracy to a weekend once in a while versus being knocked sideways every Friday and Saturday. A little nudge to cubical confinement, a little excitement to the cries over not eating dinner, a personal spa weekend without the $500 acai berry scrub and lava rocks chi-reviver. Instead we'll spread that money over the Geisha Bar at the IP, MGM's poker room and adjacent bar, Gold Coast trying to make the Ice Queen pit boss smile (I've been successful twice in four years) and throwing the horns at Steel Panther.

But, tonight will be the calm before the real storm brewing up in Vegas and holding on for one more day...

See you on the other side of sobriety.

One day folks.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

2009 WPBT: A Prelude

Don't worry, the Wilson Phillips video I play every year is going up tomorrow.

Yes tomorrow as in we're just two days from WPBT-gasm all over the Geisha bar and various poker tables spread across the Las Vegas Strip.

My itinerary is a road map, but as many people have gotten to know me on these pages, I'll be sure to find myself somewhere even the legend of the map doesn't have a symbol for. These things are locked down however:

Thursday -

  • Wheels up from MSP around 5 ish, meet OhCaptain at the airport taking separate planes around the same time, place first prop bet and drink first drink of the trip.
  • Land at LAS, promptly put first wasted money into a Star Wars slot machine. Make lightsaber noises when three Luke Skywaker symbols line up, tell random person to "may the force be with you... always"
  • Catch a cab (probably with OhCaptain) to the Strip, remind Abuzzl that I do not wish to take the highway
  • Unpack, sadly since I'm here five days will need to bring a suitcase get shafted by the airlines for the baggage fee.
  • Head to Geisha Bar, be wary of The Rooster buying birthday shots while partaking in the first late night Pai Gow session of the weekend


  • 9:30am in front of the IP in a collared shirt and khakis ready to destroy fellow bloggers in the four team golf scramble
  • Hit golf ball aproximately 140 times, curse 139 of those and cheer the one time it actually leaves the ground
  • Pay Speaker for all of the golfing prop bets I lost AND take him over to the Nine Fine Irishmen for a Bucket O' Sausage and pints. This doesn't really feel like a loss.
  • Time for -EV gambling
  • Mixed games at MGM, get told I cannot purchase $1,000 in $1 chips. Pout. Get $500 and have blogger chip runner bring me more.
  • Maigrey knocks over pretty chip tower. Pout more.
  • Show table that 789T rainbow in O8 really isn't a "premium" hand despite the pretty four card straight.
  • Actually understand 85% of the conversation (up from 10%!) at the bar behind the MGM poker room. Shed a quick tear for all those who helped with the hearing aid purchase and drink more.
  • Put on spandex and mullet and head to Steel Panther for headbanging to "Death to all but Metal" and "Asian Hooker" and pray I haven't passed out at this point
  • 3am $2/$4 limit poker with fellow concert go'ers? Yessir.


  • Get wheeled into the Caesar's poker room as the captain of Team Wheelchair (Al and StB).
  • Mention every tournament I've won online, and the chop I took at Binion's Poker Classic were done while having a BAC around my age and start drinking again after ability to sit upright comes back
  • Bust out in 12th place while holding pocket queens against 53 offsuit. Smile, grab a hot chocolate and watch Team Wheelchair take home the PokerStars infused prize pool.
  • Rage solo and try not to end up dead


  • NFL at Lagasse stadium hope Emeril's buffalo wings dont suck
  • Ogle at The Wife donning her newly minted Vikings #4 jersey
  • Take a second and third look
  • Cheer the Vikes to victory over Iggy's WHO DEY!
  • Say good byes to those leaving that night, find out who's sticking around for a run to the Gold Coast for my favorite Ice Queen pit boss while playing $10 Pai Gow and attempts to make her smile or perhaps bowling?


  • Detox by playing $2/$4 limit hold em' with hot chocolate on an IV drip in the Flamingo poker room. Tilt locals by hitting two pair with the hammer after capping preflop
  • Flight back to MSP in the afternoon, prepare for stories of how the other Vegas demolished the house while I was gone, do dishes like a good husband, kiss the kids good night, promptly pass out and dream of doing it all again the next year.

Two days folks. Tonight I have hot birthday date with my wife that will consist of eating and drinks at PF Changs at 6:30pm then sleeping by 8:00pm because that's how old people roll.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Blue Balls Inside the Pink Taco

The better team won last night.

In what was bizzaro world in the NFL yesterday, Pats losing to the 'Phins, Steelers defense looking more broken up then the current Berlin Wall giving up late TDs to the Raiders, and the Redskins having the game gift wrapped against the undefeated Saints miss a chip shot field goal and fumble their way to a loss.

Then the Vikes took the field against the Cardinals in the Pink Taco and watched them turn into Super Bowl contenders. Swarming defense, solid front line protected the recently rattled Kurt Warner, and wideouts that made our safeties look foolish to say the least. A huge asset for the past two years suddenly has become a serious liability. The Vikings vaunted running game with Purple Jesus and Chester Taylor combined for 40 yards. Not on one run mind you, for the whole game. Neither one could match the 41 yards in two rushes that Percy Harvin put up in their 18 rushes.

Favre detractors were plentiful last night, quick to jump on the "HERE'S THE OLD BRETT FAVRE HAHAHAHAH ROFLCOPTER!!!!" bandwagon. Incredibly short-sighted if you're in this boat, as I thought he played average just not the 110+ rating 24TD/4INT type quarterbacking god he's been thru 11 games. Point a finger at the savior of team from his drafting three years ago. The run game that has been the key to victories until this year has given way to glutony and famine. No consistant 5,6,7 yards a rush, instead its -2, 1,0, 56, 3. This has a direct effect on Favre going down to sacks three times last night (as the talked-up Minnesota line put up exactly zero sacks). If the team is going to look towards Miami they need to find that crushing running game, that one move that makes her scream your name in bed, that loving feeling before its gone gone gone whoa whoa.

They need to find that running game, Favre did throw a couple of bad picks with one or two more that could have gone for a pick six (I hate that term), but generally did fine for the action I was able to see over the top of my laptop while working at PokerStarsBlog last night (Sunday Warm-up wrap found here). To add insult to the loss, EJ Henderson is gone for the year after this hit turned his left leg into jello (click here), McKinney and Loadholt were hurt turning the solid offensive line into a mis-mash of back-ups and back-ups of back-ups. All around it was similar to getting cockteased all day and night by your spouse only to get told while brushing your teeth that "I'm tired" complete with lights off by the time you spit out the Wintergreen Fresh Scope.

Started out fast, ended with blue balls quickly.

Three. More. Days. (well, tomorrow is my birthday as told by yet other white hair plucked from my chin this morning so that one should fly by quickly).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

PSA: Dr. Pauly's Notes on Surviving the WPBT Winter Gathering

A quick hit since its my day/night to relax with an unclear beverage (or eight), sing 80s hair band songs, play some low limit donkey MTTs while fighting off the temptation of hitting up the cash games to make the money back. But an important post for all you WPBT go'ers next week. Most of you are hardened veterans of the cowboy-tilting, Geisha Bar clearing, Dick-Bro sighting weekend of revelry that this weekend always brings.

Dr. Pauly has your back as a Vegas regular (who has a certain book upcoming you've may have heard about... Lost Vegas). Here are the tips on surviving the weekend with your fellow bloggers AND coming home without a missing limb/missing iPhone/missing on the good time you are going to Sin City for.

Here's Pauly's 6.0 version of Invading Las Vegas. Detailed post of the first 23 here.

Make special note of #34, cribbed from friend of all poker bloggers, Wil Wheaton

34. Don't be a dick.

Have fun, but don't be a dick. Nobody likes a dick.

I'll add one:

35. Do have a conversation with me this year. As people who have seen me since I've gotten my hearing aids can tell you, I'm more likely to not just understand what you're saying I'll probably even respond with sarcasm!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One Night in Bangkok Minneapolis

Gray hair.

I has it.

Looking in the mirror before five a.m. and seeing the sign that I'm no longer the awkward college student, but the awkward man-child parent of two husband to one that is currently doing a 45 degree head tilt to get a better look at the unpigmented piece of stubble on his chin.

For the first time I was hoping it was just a zit.

Last night there was a taste of what is to become the 5th annual WPBT Winter Classic (with the Luckbox Challenge and $2,000 added bucks by PokerStars) next weekend. That taste came in the form of a fellow degenerate rolling through town on business, along with a fellow Minnesotan and finding a few hours to watch Tom Izzo's team get blown away by a University of North Carolina squad that looked like they were shooting ping pong balls into Lake Superior for baskets. It wasn't the game or the excellent Tripel served by the flirty dark eyed waitress at Rock Bottom Brewery. It was a brief moment to see a couple of friends that due to life getting in the way makes tying one on and making new friends $20 for three minutes a time unattainable but delightfully blank with a glass of imperial stout feasible.

No deadlines, conference calls, or having to tell your daughter that swiping something from your brother and being asked to return it but instead taking the item and dropping it behind the couch is wrong. Just a chance to chat without a 140 keystroke or internet connection limit. This is life. Mine at least. To some its reaching for that next corporate rung via late nights and cross-country flights. Noting the action of people with too much money as they flip over cards in exotic locales. Or dropping by the cube for 10 hours a spot to enjoy the company and hope that a challenge is thrown your way so that your not spinning your head about not doing enjoy and can enjoy the benefits package which keeps your kids healthy and under a newly shingled roof. We do these things for different reasons, but one should hope that once the veneer of work clothes are stripped away there's something that gets you to go back tomorrow and be free of resentment. Whether its the job itself that drives you, the rewards of financial stablity, or the ear-to-ear grin of a child that just got that Nintendo DSi they've been pawing you for, earned by those extra hours of overtime that drive should never fade completely.

For myself during those dark years of recent past there was nothing but resentment toward my wife, my job, myself. Only thru the patchwork of friends scattered in towns like Albertville, Brooklyn Park, Hutchinson and across the US did I get to the point sitting this chair and saying "I have it pretty fucking good right now". It wasn't my wife's decision to better her life, or mine to hear what I missing out on for so many years, it was my friends and family with their unabashed support. Whether it was a quote from a long dead Greek philosopher, funds and a note to turn me into a new person with the ability to chat about a decent way to cook edamame (ginger and soy sauce will be tried later in the week) in a crowded noisy restaurant, or a simple nod with a raised glass of barley and hops while the Purple destroy another team on the gridiron its the reason I get a little misty around this upcoming trip.

And before you ask, no I won't wax poetic the whole time as that should saved for quiet 4am chats in a dark corner of Sherwood Forest, its better to discuss who has a better rack between Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johansson or the whole Tiger-gate thing (my opinion, leave him the hell alone) at the Pai Gow table than discuss a mid-life crisis while you're shouting at Xi to finally turnover a 10-high pai gow.

Eight days folks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Playing the Bully

- I read the short article on the Hadron Collider achieving a new beachmark that only those with scientific backgrounds or teaching would understand. Immediately after reading I visualized Christopher Lloyd hopping around after being told he would need 1.21 gigawatts to send Marty back to the future. Anyone know exactly what the end game is for that thing?

- Thanksgiving rocked as I shaved almost two minutes off my time at the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Trot in downtown Minneapolis from last year. Working out helped, but I had to stop three separate times from being winded, we won't mention the late night of online poker and still carrying a buzz to the starting line. One negative was the mass of people you needed to weave through to run at EVERY point of the race. In year's past after the half mile marker it would expand and you could just pick your line and run versus hitting the hole between the tackles every five seconds.

- Last night/this morning was PokerStars' monthly Turbo Takedown and Battle of the Planets promotions. Seriously, if you want free money playing SnGs or some use out of those FPPs end up these promos (it makes it more fun to have someone to root for, like Alexandre Gomes making it really deep in the Turbo Takedown yesterday). My own poker play sees a possiblity of hitting GoldStar status which relates to playing way too fuckin much lately. But I need the practice especially with the annoucement of Up for Poker's last longer challenge. PokerStars is adding $2,000 to the prize pool for the team challenge which will be won by three drunks representing Team Wheelchair, so just enjoy sipping on those Mike's hard lemonades while the champs steamroll the bloggers to victory.

10 days shopping days for bust out prizes at the tourney folks. After watching the kids for my Black Friday rabid wife this weekend I'll be taking a little time this week purchasing things my wife will just return and a little gift for the person lucky enough to take me out.

- The Vikes game yesterday avoided the trap, exposed the gaping weakness of the immortal Purple Jesus via two fumbles (one lost, one should-have-been-lost), and more Favre to Rice/Harvin/Berrian/Shinacoe magic. Going into the season I assume the aging Favre would play field general and hang back in the tent with the radios and maps in the command center instead of going all King Leonidas on the ass of opposition and chucking spears into the hearts of those who oppose. 36 times in Favre's career he has thrown three interceptions in a game, this YEAR he has thrown three interceptions TOTAL in 11 games.

A personal season-long "F U" to Ted Thompson or just taking advantage of an offense that seems to improve with every game? The defense also continues to excel even without Winfield's contributions as they gave up a very nice touch pass by Sulkathor that hit Knox in perfect stride for the touchdown. Aside from that 147 yards passing and 43 rushing yards given up and they didn't have a late third/fourth quarter letdown.

A comment from Yahoo sports: Let me do this in a way that might get your attention...... ready...... BEAT A REAL FOOTBALL TEAM, BEFORE YOU GO BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR GREATNESS!!!1 Something tells me the way they are playing it won't matter who they're playing, there's no team in the NFL clicking the way the Purple is right now on both ends of the ball. Not the Colts, not the Saints, not the Pats.

1998 indeed. SKOL!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

1998 Vikings Revived

Its Vikings Sunday and the kids were up early playing with a mini-bowling game that was bought years ago and found after some massive cleaning around the house. Much like the Vikes will be doing today against Sulkathor and the preseason NFC North favorites Chicago Bears.

A "trap" game perhaps but the Vikes seem to have hit their stride the last few games easily putting away the woeful SeaChickens and Lions. Purple Jesus should be limited today due to an ankle injury but this game should present the return of defensive glue Antoine Winfield meaning Sulkathor won't be able to rely on Matt Forte to overcome a sure four interception day especially with Vikes becoming a top five rushing defense even without their backfield run stopper for the past month. Winfield is a late scratch, gah.

I mentioned at the beginning of the season how the media was going to start with comparsions of these team to the fabled 1998 squad should their record match the expectations. Here's Star Trib writer Jim Souhan with a comparsion of the two offenses (it appears to be "premium content" sigh.). Let's hope Longwell hits the field goal this time in the NFC championship game.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Black Friday shopping done WITHOUT getting up at a crazy hour or camping out at Best Buy (seriously there were over a dozen tents and folks with chairs at NOON on Thanksgiving day). Say hello to my new friend:

With all the spending last year going towards needs (big needs) a little frivolous spending was needed especially after that unexpected Binion's tourney windfall. As someone mentioned last year while handing out the WCOOP paychecks: "I hope you have a little fun with that money".

I think killing some zombies constitutes as fun :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lazarus of Vegas

PSA picture to remind you to always bet the bonus and have more fun than the craps table

Post #1,300.

A sign of futility at life or a self-proclaimed benchmark that shouldn't be ignored while denying that blogging can be pretty cool in a you-live-in-your-mother's-basement sort of way. Yes, the pictures of my cat and occassional worn-out bad beat story-type lazy post will graze across the screen but for the most part you'll get some fresh content from the eyes of a lanky Minnesotan who is trying to nail down the responsible degenerate moniker while cheering rabidly for the Vikings.

Most people who read here are currently updating their Vegas travel bags, unless of course you're currently just getting home from Costa Rica after shooting rifles with ex-Marine snipers or enjoying the night time paradise sky while covering the LAPT event. In 16 days the WPBT will invade Vegas, their poker rooms, their hooker bars, and sportsbooks once again for a gathering of minds in attempts to catch up with friends that seem to live right next door yet are behind a barrier of state lines, cubical walls (not a peep out of you Al), and family life. To some its escape, four days of zero responsiblity to relive a time of college-like collage of degenerancy and not having to worry about deadlines, frantic dashes with toddlers to the bathroom at 2am, or whether or not that TPS report was filed correctly.

Its about being you around like-minded people who express their opinions on Twitter, Facebook, and even their blogs once in a great while. If you are a blogger or enjoy reading them, grab a chair at the MGM Friday night and chat football with anyone at the table while triple flop Omaha is being spread or pull up a seat at the Pai Gow Table and ALWAYS bet the bonus, we don't bite. Each person there is as genuine as the words you read. You'll find my aloofness both parts annoying and funny at the same time, if there's a desire to slap me at some point because I can actually hear you now but still have trouble getting the snark out of my mouth by all means go for it.

The WPBT represented both a high and low in my life on the same day. After hitting rock bottom being passed out after I decided to ignore every warning my body was giving me on the infamous Wheelchair Ride three years ago, I took a long look at my life after that. Granted the poker tournament was an after-thought when people started filling me in on the details that left me facedown on a bed with my wife shooting daggers across the room through her black belt sudoku book and the tournament beginning in three hours. To say we were married at that point would have been a fallacy. There was no connection besides the bouncing toddler at home, just days that strung together while we retreated to our corners except to face each other for another round of trading verbal barbs that left us both on the brink of exhaustion.

It was friends who dug me out of the hole. Friends that carried that lifeless body with a BAC that should have gotten me into some Clark County hospital. That body was lifeless for other reasons beside the concoction of Patron, Captain Morgan Rum, and Absolut running thru those veins. There was no fight left, no standing up after the eight count, by all means if I'd been flushed into the Imperial Palace sewer systems it would have been a fitting end. Instead, because of those friends I got a ride back to the hotel, I played in the tournament the next day (busting on a bad beat with two tables left), and from that point on to typing these words today things have gotten nothing but better.

Slowly for the past three years we put back the building blocks of our marriage and ourselves in the process. First was admitting the problem which consist of yelling Jerry Springer style at each other until the donkey-like stubborness finally wore off and changes were made. Two years ago another burden was dropped as seizures from the head injury vanished and she no longer had to double as a caretaker to an oversized kid with a gambling problem and be a mother of two. Last year we both finally admitted to long standing gray areas that prevented us from being friends instead of two signatures on a marriage license. She got help for depression, but this time stuck with the program and medication. Whereas I finally took the leap and got hearing aids (with a big dose of help once again from those who still read these pages) which opened up a world of sound and easy conversations. Along with gym memberships to stay active, the want to improve ourselves instead of slinking behind a Facebook page came back into the picture.

To say I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the people I'll see huddled around inked-up bottom barrel ladies of the night and a shot of SoCo at the Geisha bar in 16 days is literal, not figurative. My soul was restored that night, and now armed with a true friend for a wife three years after that night I'll be returning to Vegas a more complete person ready to write another chapter of this tragedy turned comedy. And yes, I'll have a Captain and Coke in my hand waiting to buy you one.

See you there folks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sulkathor You Are Next

Holiday week means quick hits since everyone looked my calendar and said: "hey let's schedule everything for Monday morning since we know Dave is a bright and chipper morning person!"

Bright? Not so much. Chipper? Despite finishing up the Sunday Warm-up wrap up around midnight I could say my step has a certain bounce to it. Why? Doing those write-ups and various blog posts (paid or unpaid) gives a certain satisifation that after five plus years (I guess I missed the five year Nickleanddimes "anniversary", guess I'll treat myself to some Nordic dominatrix porn that takes place in an ice hotel and involves Swedish meatball vendors and hockey sticks). The fire to write about this card game won't ever go away, it may simmer at time underneath a layer of ash and kindling, but there will always be a spark to chroncle that last river card coming out.

Or writing in general for that matter. Whether the subject is my kids (as seen by Kyra's game face), being a homer for this "fly-over" state's teams, or a pissed off rant about people at Costco who can't calculate the force neccessary to push their jumbo sized cart in a manner that doesn't ram them into my ankles. I know my ass is becoming a thing of beauty better enshrined on the pages of GQ but please keep your distance.

You could quote Denny Green's "they were who they thought they were" line yesterday as the Purple broke out of their slumber after the first quarter to put away the anemic Seattle Seahawks 35-9. After the 0-0 tie, someone got Favre out of his afternoon nap time by turning off the World War II synopsis on The History Channel just in time to go out and tear down the SeaChickens' defense for two quarters and get back to the 52" Tobisha during the fourth quarter just in time for the D-Day invasion complete with milk and cookies.

The old man jokes won't fade here, but good grief he looks someone playing Madden 2010 on easy mode. 22 of 25 and four scores, including another cartoonish catch by Sidney Rice in the back corner of the endzone (to those who selected Mr. Rice in your FFLs and dropped him after a few weeks, I point and laugh in your general direction). The talent was always their since this Gamecock arrived a few years ago, but injury and T-Jack's wounded ducks limited his potential. The receiving core has fed off the 40 year old number four, and vice versa. Combined with seemingly unlimited time to throw and giving himself time to throw, Favre alone with Purple Jesus have given the team the balanced offense they've been looking for.

The real shut out was on the other side of the ball as the defense locked down the Seahawk's offense with a parade of three-and-outs and limiting their running game to four yards. Four. Not forty, not five, just four on 13 carries. Which was to be expected since Hasselbeck has been called on to throw more than 50 times a game throughout the season.

The Vikes did what was expected of them unlike the team who gave the Purple their only black mark this season. The Chiefs? You let a team led by a backup quarterback, suspended All-Pro receiver, banished All-Pro running back, and all around asshole coach, win? Not good was seeing Big Ben taking a smack upside the head as the Steelers will need the oversized quarterback if they want to defend their title against the Vikes this winter.

Another WTF goes to the resurgently retreating Bengals who have scored several big wins this year only to lose to Oakland yesterday? Who Dey, not OK. Which team is going to show up at the Metrodome in three weeks? The one that beat the Steelers and Packers on the road, or the one that laid an egg yesterday against a squad better suited for the soon-to-be defunct UFL. I know the promising season of Cedric Benson was curtailed by injury but Palmer has a decent crew of receivers to go with a top five league-wise defense to overcome this.

T. J. Houshmandzadeh might be contemplating his career choice as he been on the opposite side of the sidelines yesterday, but another high priced free agent that was rumored to land here will get his shot this week to prove he made the right decsion. Sulkathor Cutler threw passes to various green-tinted jerseys last night much like the week before when it counted and lost the game for the Bears who come into town in a game that would wrap up the NFC Central divsion with a Vikings victory (yes, I'm aware that is fuzzy math go have another triple latte and smell the over priced coffee). Jay was also rumored to be coming here and had this author rather giddy at the prospect, except its Favre throwing touchdowns like Cutler, while Cutler throwing interceptions like Favre was supposed to. The pick by many NFL talking heads at the beginning of the season to win the NFC Central is one toenail away from going over the cliff into non-playoff territory. Lovie Smith will have even more on his gameplan plate as Winfield should be healthy enough to start this week and will benefit from Cutler's ability to hit cornerbacks in the numbers versus having to dive or annoyingly cut in front of receivers to obtain interceptions.

Tomorrow: Team Wheelchair is born for the Up for Poker Winter Classic poker tournament and a few tips about the upcoming WPBT trip. First tip, don't ever become a story about being wheelchair drunk in Vegas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Its the Stuff in the Middle That Counts

Busy relaxing weekend?

Wrote posts for Poker From the Rail and MNPokerMag today and yesterday.

Will be covering the Sunday Warm-up at PokerStarsblog tomorrow.

But much like the Oreo, the best stuff is in the middle. Guys night complete with some much needed live poker before the big WPBT trip (you are going right? right?) in 19 days. And tomorrow afternoon will be reserved for Favre-gasm and recovery from the previous night's Jameson and Gingers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Degen Night Wheels On

I play a bit of Omaha eight or better, a fair amount.

This was only my 3rd Steel Wheel in five years of nearly 6-8 tabling this game. Sadly it was at the beginning of a $5 tourney. Poo.

Cada on Sportscenter

While I plan on grinding out the fun low limit tourneys on Stars and Full Tilt tonight, our current world champ will be appearing on ESPN's Sportscenter tonight...


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pot Limit Prisoner

22 days. (this clock will stop once I can't count anymore and I have the G-Vegas gang surrounding me at the Pai Gow tables with an icy glare from Slavka the long legged former Ms. Kyiv after I turn over my fourth straight bonus hand)

We may love our double fried cheese curds wrapped in a pork chop over syrup, but Minnesota ranks as the 6th healthiest state in the union according to Forbes. The only thing this blogger contributes to that is going to work out for an hour then hoping over to Buffalo Wild Wings for two tall beers, a dozen wings, and buffalo chips with cheese.

It balances out.

My foray back into the world of online poker and poker in general (I'll have a post going up at MNPokerMag by the end of the week, my apologies as my blogging time became playing/other working time) has been going well lately. Aside from donating in the local blogger Skillz game last night where bluffing will get you called by ten high after playing tighter than Red McComb's wallet even in Omaha for two hours, it was another profitable night. That wasn't the case after a cooler hand of top full house meeting a 989:1 shot as I watched running queens give my opponent quads. My takeaway? I laughed.

Only due to the absurdity of this guy who plays 15+ tables at all hours, always starts the $50 buy-in table with $16.85 (shortstacker, which I hate) and procedes to shove preflop with any AAXX or any ace with wheel cards. He bemoans his bad luck consistantly if he loses the preflop flip, or taunts you should you get scooped. Yes, I already envision the mirrored sunglasses, hoodie, and bad teeth from downing cases of Red Bull while mommy changes his catheter every six hours so he can earn a couple of extra t-shirts from the site's VIP store.

Worse off, he ratholes (if poker lexicon isn't your thing click here). After doubling up he'll stick around for an orbit or two, then disappears only to reappear after the 30 min wait time with a fresh $16.85 stack. The real reason I stayed up to have the good fortune of taking one of his double stacks (and make a profit for the night) was because Ms. Gracie (or rather Mrs. Sweet Sweet Pablo) mentioned a show on TV worth checking out.

While 24 hours of college basketball on ESPN didn't pique my brain on a Tuesday night, a sci-fi mind fuck did. The Prisoner which I found on AMC started with the last episode as I was busy folding my way into obvilion in the blogger tourney, got my interest enough to stay up until watching the three episodes and getting gist of what was happening. A corporation with alternate utopia world created by the creepy number two (played by Gandalf!! errr... Ian McKellen) follows the characters around this "village" where everyone is known by a number. Former company man "six" (played by Jim Caviezel) is a corporate black-bagger who took care of folks that wanted out of this Pleasantville-esque place and now finds himself attempting to leave with his mind intact.

Been a long time since a TV show caught my interest like that, not back to the days of Central Perk or Mrs. Garrett's troupe but this show got you thinking along with every turn from the real world to this alternative one versus waiting for the punchline/laugh track. If you want to check it out, it will be replaying the first episode this Sunday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Handy Discoveries

If you were expecting me to rush to the computer after Sunday's victory over the Lions for a gloat post punish yourselves with watching a complete replay of the Monday Night Football game last night between Baltimore and Cleveland. We won, didn't play well, Lions were the Lions, move on to the SeaChickens. Due to my wife's newly found need for all things athletic, she was playing volleyball late into the night and after the kids were down I found myself playing online poker like it was 2006.

(Sidebar: Last week I went to watch and a rather tall, built in feminine shape that makes guys do a double-take and get slapped for woman was playing the team opposite of my wife. She had, um, consistant wardrobe malfunctions that left an unmistakable view of odd tan lines, one regrettable tramp stamp, and some piece of floss that doubled as panties. The thing I didn't get is she spent the entire night pulling her shorts up knowing that said drafty view was out there. Since this is an all-womens league, who is she trying to show her fake-bake bikini lines to when her husband was there picking her up at the end of the night?)

The weekend with the kids was adventurous to say the least. Yes, normally that is parenting code for OH WILL YOU PLEASE STOP CRYING FOR THE LAST TWENTY HOURS BECAUSE YOU LOST YOUR HAPPY MEAL TOY!!!1111 But this was a good adventure as we trekked to our state capitol for the Minnesota Children's Museum on Saturday (I found out after reading the huge sign with a certain company's logo on the front that every third sunday of the month admission is free, you'd think someone who is familiar with the inner-workings of the aforementioned corporation would have such knowledge).

I never claimed to be smart.

As can be expected on a Saturday afternoon other parents had similar ideas to creatively expanding the minds of their offspring and brought their wunderkinds to a place that will see my children dancing with the exhibits in the future. I thought there would be a magnetic ball that makes your hair stand up and maybe some distorted mirrors to make funny faces at.

Not so.

Everything was hands on for sure (note: load up the purell that is provided). There was a loading dock complete with a two-tier receiving and shipping area so kids on the top could send the blocks they tackled for like the Ray Edwards hit on Stafford this weekend (shown below NOT IN THE HEAD), down to the below receiving area which in turn spun a crank to send the blocks back up a belt.

Fierce children at play

There was a "water world" exhibit that thankfully did not include horrible Kevin Costner movie-lines but rather soapy goodness with bubbles warbling in every direction and more competion for playthings. This time the object of desire were little wooden boats that floated downstream while passing thru a canal complete with locks. Kyra needed a little side discussion of how to throw an elbow properly without the refs seeing it.

After moving thru the wonders of light there was a complete grocery store and Korean restaurant for the kids to grab various plastic items and pay for them with plastic money. I received some kimchi and about five bottles of Dawn dishwashing soap while attempting to brush up on Korean geography with the map provided on the mini-me table set.

In all a good day minus my daughter's ability to spill anything liquid within minutes of being handed those McDonald's milk jugs and Subway's inability to make bread. Really Subway? No bread? It was like going to a strip club with no strippers for the $10 watered down Cokes and 80's hair metal being pumped out at exactly 3:30 minutes a pop. Even the free cookie peace offering was stale as the kids were left to fend off their dad from robbing their chicken nuggets.

Match that with a fairly profitable weekend at the virtual tables of Full Tilt and Waffle-like play at PokerStars, there's a little extra fundage going towards a certain trip in 23 days that I have a few words about later this week. Since this will be my fifth WPBT Vegas trip, there's an excitement I can't explain fully to see all my invisible internet friends once a year but will try.

Friday, November 13, 2009

PLO: I Fail To Suck

Chopped first last night for I don't know how much, but another win and a burnt handle of Captain Morgan.

Thank goodness I have an understanding wife and such good friends. Shit stairway to heaven had to come on while typing this.

Now I'm in tears, I love you all!

It's Late and I'm Tired but...

Wow. Thanks guys, give up for Special K and the Kilted one in their podcast. Already waiting for the next one!!

“Press release”
from bloggers Falstaff and Special K

Gambling Tales Podcast is now available.

Join Falstaff (John Hartness) and Special K (Curtis Krumel) as we take you through the best in lies and legends about gambling today and through the ages. . Show #001 with Badblood and the origins of gambling is available immediately. New shows are scheduled to appear every two weeks. Guests scheduled to appear in future shows include Dr. Pauly, Lee Jones, Dr. David Schwartz (UNLV – Roll the Bones)

The podcast is available at gtpodcast (click on the link please)

RSS Feed: RSS here!!

Available on iTunes here.

It will be searchable on iTunes by the weekend.

Email address for Questions, Comments, and Suggestions: gtpodcast@live.com

Subscribe today!

Bloggers: Become a friend of the podcast (FOP) by posting this information on your blog. Drop us an email with a link to your post and we’ll link to you on the Friends of the Podcast list. See you in Vegas Dec. 10-14!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mullet Mania

There are no words, no adjectives cool enough to describe this guy.

So I'll let him talk about his mullet instead.

And yes I will be rocking my Jared Allen jersey in Vegas. Hope to get it signed before I go.

Lions, Bengals, and Bears Oh My

Trying to get hyped up for some NFL football to be played this week yet find myself in a weird spot. A dominate home team playing against a team that always keeps the game close no matter how horrible their season is going. A concession about last year, the Vikes should not have won, the Lions should not have gone 0-16. Period.

This year there's reasons to believe such a close game to rely on a flunky-flukey pass interference call or some miracle play should not factor into the outcome. But, the Vikes have been horrible in the second half on Defense while leaning too hard on the offense to bolt down the game after opening up decent halftime leads.

Purple Jesus should nail down a 150+ yard performance, Favre should throw for the minimum but still notch two TDs, and despite Winfield being out (a rube suggestion to sit out one more game, but one that hopefully the injured CB will take) the front four should introduce Stafford to the Metrodome turf no less than five times.

Those are the shoulds, but the Lions will keep this game close so those of you trying to hop on some double-digit line this weekend, beware. Thus, why I don't offer the Nardi brothers +10 as a prop bet. Number of Stafford picks, TV shots of 100% Cheese Free in the stands, mentions of the guy in Purple wearing number four (I'd make this a drinking game but work on Monday would suck), number of dollars Jared Allen will use to bribe the refs after Stafford runs out of the endzone and it goes to instant replay.

Think one up, and I'm game.

Prediction: 34-28 Vikes. Take the points and the over. Daddy always said "fade the public". Those are words to feed to your fattening gambler's wallet.


The wife is taking a "girls day" on Saturday thus my pristine parenting skillz will be on display while whipping up chocolate chip waffles and five pounds of bacon for breakfast. The time after breakfast will be spent at one of the following:

Expect gushing pictures of said children from a crappy camera on Monday unless we end up in Hennipin County lock-up from starting a bar room brawl at Hooters afterwards.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It Hurts So Good

Image from Time.com/Isaac Brekken AP

No matter much I tried to become uninterested in poker the itch to watch, play, and write about it comes back three-fold everytime. This weekend was working the Sunday Warm-up and Sunday Million at PokerStarsBlog and here I am at 3:00am watching turns of the virtual cards for tens of thousands of dollars and trying to pick apart the game as to who was going to win along with trying to make the play interesting to read (I hope I'm accomplishing that for you readers, if I'm not drop me a line with a suggestion or two).

My picks came in fourth and second, both knocked out by suckouts by the same guy. One was a nut punch for the title and a $66K difference between first and second when the four flush fell on the river after just one hand of heads-up play. To think I was pissed about the rivered flushes over the past month that costed me the maximum of a plane ticket to Vegas, this guy just lost a few cars with enough to get fuzzy dice or one of those cardboard pine trees in the windows of each one.

Knowing in the back of my mind I wanted to watch the donkey slaughterfest at the WSOP Main Event final table, last night started off with supporting my wife's new found committment to getting back into a shape we used to enjoy before spitting out the occupants of the other bedrooms in our current house. While you won't find me downing Herbalife shakes with G540-T muscle max protein shakes with a wheat grass chaser, I've been trying to hit the gym 3-4 days a week minimum. More energy to shake off those late poker nights has been most welcome, not to mention gaining a little self-esteem while tightening the belt.

But to give up breakfast sandwiches, pints of Surly and dozen happy hour wings at 3 Squares? Let's not talk crazy here.

Most of the time if I'm hitting up the gym with my bride its to hop into a "class". Yes, I admit to being one of the two male presences in the aerobic classes. Since balance and stamina are the reason I go, it only made sense to put up with the potential embarrassment of doing poses and pirouettes. Usually we attend a Strike class which consist of kickboxing with weights and a weighted pole (not just the one in my shorts HA!). This class is manliness cubed. You kick, you punch, you grunt, and best of all you sweat a lot.

However I tuck my balls in while hitting up last night's class called "Yoga Fusion". You bend, you twist, you try not to check out which color thong the stripper in the front is wearing that night but fail miserably. Before you ask, no, I leave my Hello Kitty pink leotard in the locker opting for the black one which has a slimming effect.

Essentially its dancing which I hate unless I'm wandering around Chicago looking for a hick bar at 2am with The Rooster and DP after endless beers throughout the day, or celebrating a birthday with a hippie in the middle of Phillie-land.

After getting my groove on (last night the thong was black with a lace trim if you must know) we returned home just in time to pass out from an exhausting day, but wait there's poker on TV! All it took was watching poor Schaffel's bullets go down hard versus the quad kings of Buchman and I was locked in on the Sony for the next 90 minutes. Despite knowing every outcome thanks to wonderful friends who kept us abreast of the going ons of Saturday at the Penn and Teller theater via Twitter and their various media outlets, I soaked up every minute of it.

Every set hitting with baby pairs over the painted pairs, every Ace-Queen that Moon held that turned into gold, ESPN's production crew kicked ass splicing the right images. True, the hard-core poker fan would want more four-bet preflop bluffs and find out how these players really battled their ways to those place changing hands over the 21 hours of play. But, the entertainment value for a card lover like me was there.

Officially the WSOP Main Event ended Monday with Cada defeating unmoving logger from Maryland heads-up after 88 hands, but tonight the fanbois of this game will get closure after watching the hole cards come out on those hands that were not flipped over.

And I'll be watching with an ice pack on my back, as a prolonged Warrior pose didn't agree with my girly muscles last night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tonight We Pimp, Tomorrow We Dance!

WSOP Spoiler: Joe Cada is your 2009 WSOP ME Champ.

Now if you were a good blogger/poker fan then you followed along at PokerNews, PokerStarsBlog, Poker From the Rail, or of course the original Dr. Pauly's Tao of Poker as Darvin Gump went up against a seemingly invincible Joe Cada for the title heads-up. Leads changed, fans got more sloshed and what was supposed to last a few hands went the distance as Joe Cada will represent the new face of poker after his 88 hand heads-up victory over the logger from Maryland.

As I'm typing this ESPN has Schaffel getting de-tainted by Buchman's quad kings. Yuck.

And... the 3s-4s-2d hand, ok I definitely see Begs reason for betting and going all-in with the straight and flush draws and two overs but good god, the fold, hor-r-i-b-l-e (but mathmatically correct if you factor the cards, which you shouldn't, still horrible).


Anyway... on to the pimping. Its Truckin' time again! Despite being knee deep in the November Nine hoopla at the Rio, Pauly has his monthly blog-zine up on the stands for consumption (which I'll consume after the kids finish off the popcorn and I finally stop chasing flush draws on the NLO8 tables).

Read on folks:

1. The Stoop by Paul McGuire
I convinced him to meet me at shit hole in the East Village instead of stalking the hooker. He showed up to the bar totally rejected, like his heart had been ripped out of his chest and nailed to his forehead... More

2. A Young Man and Road Gambling by Johnny Hughes
One time coming out of Mexico with my pals, we had the cash stashed for the 300 plus miles home. Smuggling rum brilliantly, we had the backseat floorboard covered in bottles of rum. It was brutally cold, and we had our coats over the rum. The guys in the back had their knees up real high, and we got caught... More

3. Brain Storming by Betty Underground
One comment leads to another and like the winding road that brought him to that beach house, we are all over the mountain of topics that are just 'life'. The non-specific, yet charmed, lives of two souls who have a lot of blanks to fill in and it seemed this time I was doing a lot of the filling-in... More

4. Dick-Hole by Bobby Bracelet
Chlamydia is sort of like the strep throat of the genito-urinary system. It's killed by an antibiotic, but while it's there it causes symptoms that really aren't any worse than strep, just more embarrassing because of the area of the body... More

5. The Ride by George Tate
While fueling he noticed a young long hair in a robe and sandals looking much like a scriptural disciple who had begun to walk across the I-10 bridge then down the east bound ramp towards Phoenix... More

Sunday, November 08, 2009

WPBT Tournament Details

Quickie since the WSOP media crew is getting their well rest today/tonight after watching some horrible beats and ending with a Gump vs. Cada heads-up match for the bracelet tomorrow.

(side note: I don't recall seeing a final table with so many under pairs and dominated kickers getting there for eliminations, was really pulling for Ivey).

And tonight I'll be on the bag for PokerStars' Sunday Warm-up and Sunday Million. Drop by for the recaps tomorrow morning.

If you are reading here, most likely you either know about the WPBT Winter Classic and have signed up or you've read about the blogger's exploits in our once-a-year gathering of the minds to discuss writing about poker (ok, not really and mostly just a reason to enjoy the faces behind the blogs). The lovely April has the tournament locked down at Caesar's Palace with a rockin' blind structure should I find myself awake at 10am for sign in.

The $100 buy-in tourney starts at noon, so waltz thru this link to check out all the details.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quick Hits: The Favre Loyality Edition

Quick hits:

I wish I'd found this video before the Packers-Vikes game last week:

Leroy Butler, Kallie Wong, Touchdown Tommy Kramer jerseys? Not on the bandwagon, these people love their teams and kudos for the funny.

- The World Series is over.

That's the sound outside of New York and their fair-weather fans that spread like H1N1 across the country. The Yankees wins their 27th World Series and it feels like Daniel Negreanu just won two buy ins at the PokerStars $0.01/$0.02 tables. This slight does not apply to those for faithfully rooted on their teams during years that they didn't spend over $200 quadrillion dollars to pluck every available superstar off other teams.

Mike and Mike this morning posed a question to a baseball talking head "teamwork" got the Yankees their championship last night. And the bobblehead agreed that's what is was. Bullshit. For all we know the Washington Nationals were the most cohesive team but lacked the bucks to surround true company men like the Yanks did with Posada, Jeter, Mo Rivera (what a monster!), and Cano.

When asked by Ms. Dawn Summers what to think about the dude with the Yankees cap at her poker table, I quipped "he'll probably try to buy every pot".

So congrats on bullying the table sirs, maybe next year you'll just hand out Yankees uniforms to the AL team with bricks of cash at the All-Star game and finish the season with them.

- For the past two weeks I've played a little more poker than I have in probably 6 months time. No idea what brought on the spurt but I played enough to gain SilverStar status at Stars and almost have enough FTPs at Full Tilt for that Mini Cooper. Ok, a camera but its about the size of a Mini Cooper if you were to look at the car from 5 blocks away.

Some takeaways. Instead of "bonus whores" you now run into "points whores". For example there's a Supernova on the tables I frequently play (lower stakes than a player of this status should be playing) who will complain to no end if he/she is not receiving points at the end of each hand (its based on rake, sometimes the pot isn't big enough to rake for a FPP).

Here's a hint sir or ma'am: No one cares. Because here's your playing line for every hand you play: AAXX (Shove stack preflop), Any ace with two wheel cards (limp), Any combination of all broadway cards (limp), all else pot odds be damned, fold. Post flop, you hit you bet, you miss you fold to any bet, no check-raises, no flatting, no floating. Also, NEVER betting without either the current nuts or a wrap draw to said nuts.

Why would I continue to play such tables? There's never a shortage of people who will call or people have a clue and fold button. It might seem pompus to describe this sort of play as I'm prone to bad calls just as much (you'd think I'd learn by now!), as I'll find my fingers clicking call once in a while against one of these super-nits knowing full well my full house/lesser flush is no good.

That makes me an even bigger donk and a leak that needs to be plugged should I continue this 6-8 tabling across two platforms like its 2006. We'll see if the action junkie in me finds its way to the tables after the missus and kids are tucked away for the evening. Despite losing for the past few weeks I've found the challenge to play again fun and with good friends heading off to Vegas today and tomorrow to set up for the WSOP Main Event final table, my poker interest will only heighten from here. Not to mention seeing said friend in a mere five weeks.

Case in point, I finally sat down to watch an entire episode of the WSOP Main Event on ESPN the other night. Pauly nailed the Darvin Gump moniker in his recent recap. I could visualize the logger going over to his wife on the rail after that unexplainable flush over flush hand against Billy Kopp saying "aw shucks Jen-nay I thinks we's gonna win some money".

Play catch up to the TV coverage with the doc's recaps below:

Main Event Day 8 on ESPN - Liquidity Crisis, Mucking Winners, and Down to 18
Main Event Day 7 on ESPN - Donkeys in the Rye
Main Event Day 6.5 on ESPN - Four Heavy Hitters, Jaws of Ivey, and AngryJulie
Main Event Day 5.5 and Day 6 on ESPN - Introducing the DonkeyBomber
Main Event Day 5 on ESPN - ElkY and Happy
Main Event Day 4 on ESPN - Bubbles and the World Series of Ivey
Main Event Day 3 on ESPN - Aussies, Ivey, and No Shake for Hellmuth
Main Event Day 2B on ESPN - A Kinder and Quieter Hellmuth and the Always Aloof Ivey Time
Main Event Day 2A on ESPN - The Fossilman and Costanza Show

Good luck to all making their ways back to Vegas this weekend.

* and sorry if I missed linking you

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Measuring the Tenacity of a Three Year Old

This story I told briefly thru a twitter-like status update on Facebook (okay that sentence sounded 15 degrees of social media gone wrong). It sounded better than posting about poker but to keep my card-carrying poker blogger membership I'll write about that latter this week especially after watching my first night episode of the 2009 WSOP Main Event last night.

Me and wife made the executive decision midway thru the kids' grab for candy known as Halloween to split the kids up as she would take little Optimus Prime (sadly my wife turned down the suggestion of going as Megan Fox) back to our place while I would guide the four-layered fairy princess around the short block back to my parent's place. Last year this was a neccessity since the doe-eyed two year old morphed into some kind of Dungeons and Dragons sub-level middle earth creature Wil Wheaton might describe as a dungeonmaster with unlimited hit points and could not be contained without the +8 Pacifier of Rage.

But this year after picking up not one but TWO full-sized candy bars from good friend's parents that still lived in the area since I stopped attending the elementary school four blocks up the road years ago, me and the princess had a nice cool jaunt around the block.

"Can we go to that house Daddy?"

Politeness is something I'm still getting used to as daddy's little girl is growing up a bit (yes, I'm full aware this will change again but I'm going to soak it up while I can). Trying despirately not to trip on her overflowing dress, she approached every lit house alone to give a quick "trick or treat" with a pigtailed smile. For the most part after the first houses she remembered to say thank you eye-to-eye versus a fleeting salutation once the goods were handed over.

Lawn-side bonfires seemed to be in vogue this year as many parents had a spot for a quick warm-up and no driveways to lurch up to retrieve those bite-sized Snickers bars. But for the houses without flames, she would try desperately to reach the doorbell. Unfortunately, despite being tall for her age, she couldn't quite reach the button and would resort to banging on the door even if I could see a disorted shape approaching from the end of the driveway.

On to the last house before reaching nana and pa's home base her $.50 plastic pumpkin is nearly full and I've taken to carrying it before sending her up the last concrete slab pathway to one more piece of candy that will be going to my co-workers the following week. After climbing two steps to the front door she would try again to reach the doorbell to no avail...

... but this time she would have a plan

After three quick hops to hit the button she put down the candy holder and began climbing the lit jack o' lantern in hope of getting the attention of the people inside. Instead she got my attention as I shout to her "NO KYRA, that pumpkin is lit you're going to burn yourself!".

She would give her father an unapproving look and began studying the pumpkin.

After a couple of seconds, the solution appeared.

Just blow out the candle.

So, my daughter went into a squat position and made like a birthday cake presentation and blew out the flames. Since fire was no longer a detour, she promptly took the jagged top of the pumpkin, twisted it, and made an extra step to reach the doorbell to Oz.

After regaining my senses after my jaw dropped at her innovation I told her "No, just knock on the door". This time I was met by my wife's scowl like I just got home covered in stripper glitter smelling like an opened handle of Captain Morgan. Complete with hand on hip, facing me I calmly informed her that there was someone at the door waiting to hand her candy.

This melted the icy stare as she grabbed the bite-sized M & M's thus completing Trick or Treat 2009.