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:

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 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.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Mid-Season Letter to Brett Favre

Dear Brett,

Months ago while you were mulling over the return to the NFL in the form of a grizzled union worker to put in 16 years of service with one company only to be forced out by a younger worker and given the opportunity to sign on with their rival corporation to show you still had something to give, a friend of mine sent you a letter. This friend grew up watching your every touchdown bunny hop and following it up with cheers as year in year out you would breathe life into the Vikings most hated rival.

While I haven’t sent a letter to someone I’m not friends with on a personal level since asking Santa Claus many years ago for that Castle Grayskull set complete with trap doors and limited edition Skeletor, I thought it would be therapeutic to fire off a few words to yourself as we’ve reached mid-season of the most exciting Vikings year since 1998. Like Packer fans would gush over their 1996 team that again, you headlined, the team that could have been here in 1998 represented this franchises best shot at breaking into football’s championship circle once and for all. Now, with a record of 7-1 and you probably returning to Mississippi this week for some much needed rest and with any luck ESPN will not be sending a crew down to your estate to give national updates on your switching from Colgate Minty flavor with tartar block to Crest with whitening toothpaste.

Being a Vikings fan since my late Grandpa Gordy could sit me up in front of the blocky RCA with the big channel knobs that only had four, five, nine, and eleven come in to watch the national game-of-the-week after the Catholic church service with an old school purple hat with gold trim when folded over and a Vikings patch in the front. Touchdown Tommy Kramer was my hero on the gridiron. Tossing passes to Sammy White and future NBA analyst and Mrs. Cosby’s husband Ahmad Rashad gave me the first taste of my fanboism for the home team. But the thing is there was no extra spark on those teams in the 80s, sure there was success in the form of Jerry Burns taking over from long time winner Bud Grant but the team sputtered through the decade with no Super Bowl chances. Same thing in the 90s, but the 1998 team had that spark, breaking nearly every offensive team record in the books with a rookie named Randy Moss and semi-retired Randle Cunningham. That season ended with a wide left and head scratching of what might have been if 72 year old Gary Anderson would have iced the game while extending his perfect kicking season and people outside of Atlanta wouldn’t even know what the “Dirty Birds” were all about today.

After that season Culpepper eventually tried to fist pump this team to the next level, but after the Love Boat debacle and a shredded knee that never healed the team’s Super Bowl dreams sailed off with every pinched penny from Red McCombs who was more interested in squeezing money out of a horribly outdated stadium with a long list of journeymen quarterbacks. Still I cheered while rooting for my beloved Purple on every Sunday that wasn’t blacked out. Then came Zygi (OY OY OY!) and his open wallet to acquire talent in the form of Jared Allen, Pat Williams, Antoine Winfield, and Bernard Berrian. The front office got their heads out of their asses and drafted quality starters like Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Phil Loadholt, and of course Purple Jesus.

But one thing was missing.

The spark.

That’s where you came in. Despite this glut of talent the team had no band leader to lead them on the big parade. T-Jack wasn’t it, as fans watched each game he played with the same tentativeness of a parent watching a two year old trying to drink milk from an open cup for the first time. We just hoped he wouldn’t spill versus doing something to win .

And win you have. I can’t recall ever having this much fun watching the Vikings as I have for the past two months all while trying to embrace the fact that you “Public Enemy Number One” as coined by John Randle years ago, are a big reason why this team should coast to another NFC North title. This the question I have for you now that the emotional games of defeating your former team for the first time at the Metrodome and running down the visitor’s tunnel at the house that Brett rebuilt have been played and won:

Now that you have given Ted Thompson the proverbial middle finger in the form of two games throwing for seven touchdowns and clutch passes against his club while the defense decided to nap in the second half, what’s your motivation to finish out the season as it has begun?

You, Mr. Favre, have done everything to solidify your spot in Canton and football lore, what is your drive to stand on the 50 yard line of Dolphin Stadium in February 2010 hoisting your second Lombardi Trophy while chatting it up with Jim Nantz about the game’s MVP award as the confetti settles into the playing field.

Even if the above scene never happens and you’re on a plane from New Orleans returning to Winter Park after losing the NFC Championship game, thank you giving this Vikings fan something to watch this year.


A Fan

P.S. I'm hoping to crash a team party before the year is out and just to shake your hand and say thanks in person.