Friday, June 30, 2006

Random Pics from Charleston

Little Drizz cooling off in his Thomas the Tank Engine roos.

The way he was acting on the trip this seemed like a good idea. I tried so hard not to laugh when he had a tantrum from not sleeping.

The missus with the boy who loves the water but hates when he can't touch the bottom.

Me > You

Those cini-minis at Burger King in the Airport were not half bad

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Shifting Gears

Yes Vince Van Patton, I tried to put in a serious session of poker.

I really did.

Too late to sign up for the Mookie tourney I had the pleasure of watching Facty tilt her table for a bit and root on CJ in his quest for an O8 tourney cash (YOU PLAYED IT CORRECTLY!!!) before finally getting up to play a little on my own. Sadly I couldn’t justify jumping in with the sharks I saw at the $200 PLO8 tables since a little more then nut-peddling is necessary to make any money there.

So I settled with my second favorite game, a $100 NLHE table. And for awhile it had my complete interest. I even turned off the Drew Carey at the World Cup show (on the Travel Channel, just watch for the many soccer babe shots they filter in while Carey and that dude with the wacky hair from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” go to different German points of interest). Making steals in position with any two cards, throwing bluffs and dangerous boards, and value betting passive playing idiots (I’ll point at myself on this when I finally get the time to move in limits). I was really into the game and not just pushing buttons.

Then after an hour I decided I had enough notes to catch up on my blog reading from vacation. I viewed this video (NSFW!!) found by the Wicked Chops guys who can tie in any supermodel/porn star with a poker article (keep up the great work guys!), and I ended up racking up my four nickels (that’s twenty cents, not twenty dollars) of profit to um, take care of things.

When we had the second child, I thought it would be a reason to stay up for long sessions of poker. The interest is still there, especially while reading Otis and Pauly’s adventures on the green felt at the Rio. But, the three and four hours of sleep per night (even without playing) leaves me wanting my king sized bed for dreams of a naked pregnant Britney Spears *shudder* (I’ve had my fill of naked pregnant chicks thankyouverymuch and would like my regular sized wife back soon) more then potting a nut-nut draw or throwing some coin and sarcastic wit at the various blogger tourneys that can be found almost nightly now-a-days.

So it’s left me with a want without the means. Kind of like sex after marriage.

How I am supposed to make a serious run at moving up limits if I can only manage an hour or two of solid play before some distraction (kids, wife with baseball bat in hand, UFOs, thoughts of that fried chicken from the deli last night) leaves me wanting to just pluck at buttons rather then actually pay attention to the game and learn a thing or two.

Because of the rubber necking, poker and I are at a crossroads. Not in the “can we be friends” and parting ways sense. No, I love the game too much to not try to call her even though she’s married with two kids. But rather if I reduce the intensity at which I progress this self-punishing relationship. Instead of multi-tabling games and trying to build a bankroll as quickly as possible, take a more leisurely approach and play one or two tables a night.

Instead of burning through poker book after poker book, slow down to really soak up the lessons of the Q and the M. Take the time to see why every author’s perception on correct play can be argued and not become so rigid to Sklansky/Miller/Carson/Harrington/Ciaffone’s style of play that I make my own decisions while using their suggestions.

My dreams of playing in the WSOP this year were dashed early as I had no time to participate in several satellites and really make an effort to qualify like I wanted to. Sure, the birth of Kyra had a little to do with that, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about playing with too many distractions over the course of this year. That lesson cost me nearly 1/3rd of my bankroll and took decent part of my ego towards my perception of being an above average player with it.

I came out of it last month with a profitable month of play and a refreshed view of the game, mostly due to play changes and several whiny IMs for help to my friends in the poker blogging community. Sure poker can be a skanky $25 crack whore with enough teeth to rival a 15 year NHL veteran’s smile. But over time I hope to learn that we can co-exist despite those nasty “beats” and her straying tendencies like when I decide to become a World Class Player and pull off an awesome check-raise river bluff on a tough board against someone who has refused to fold even a pair of twos for the past two hours.

I am still confident that by the end of the year you’ll read in this space about my moving up to the $5/$10 and $10/$20 limit O8 games, or even to the $400 NLHE games (or at least that I haven’t gone busto).

But that progress will hinge on real life as I know I am not the only one bound by matrimonial and parental duties, this part of my life is taking up a very large chunk of time at the moment. Those duties cause my time to make value bets on the river in spurts rather then the regular two or three hours I was able to get in prior to the arrival of my daughter (who is finally sleeping mostly thru the night).

In the meanwhile I’ll live vicariously through the many successes that our little community has enjoyed over the past year, and will be basically a railbird with a bankroll waiting to be played.

Thanks for dropping by, now what is your favorite line to use when a stranger commits a vile act of stupidity?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Two Thoughts (if I can manage it)

I was going through the sports page reading about yet another victory for the Twins yesterday (and they managed to hate on the Dodger blue again last night thanks to Joe "Soon-To-Be-A-Superstar" Mauer's bat and Liriano continuing to make major league hitters look silly) and I glance besides the box scores to find an ad with a fairly attractive female in a bikini bouncing into the arms of a muscular man with some sort of bathing suit on.

What do you think the ad was for?

a) Yet another product for Bob Dole to feel like a man again

b) A trendy energy drink ad

c) Colonic and herbal cleansing

d) Improve your sex life video instruction

Can someone explain how colonic cleansing gets you laid by beautiful swimsuit models? I'm pretty sure the first verbal attempt at courtship with one of these leggy women isn't "hey baby I can shit like a racehorse after an all-you-can-eat buffet at Rancho De La Munchos". Then again, I'm not sure what the heck you'd used as a visual grab at the market for such services.

Ignore me, I'm pissed about softball last night. I play for fun, but still get irked having a bad night of missed catches and an even worst night at the plate. Competitive Mens league, I hit 8 for 9 with three home runs, three doubles, and a triple... lower division co-ed game last night fouled out and hit a weak fly ball with bases loaded.

Now I lost my other thought...

Oh wait, I got it back.

On a message board I frequently drop by to the following question as been posed:

"Why isn't soccer (football) popular in the States, and is the World Cup helping?"

My reply was that I'm loving the games, but these horrible penalties and losing a game after 90+ minutes of a stalemate because of a Bill Laimbeer styled dive or because the one ref on the entire field couldn't catch up to the action quick enough to see what really happened is killing my interest. I like the rough tackles and dazzling ball handing skills of these international all-stars. The crossing passes into a sliding forward for a goal or a bent kick from 20+ yards hitting just outside the reach of a outstreched goalie is excellent entertainment and thrilling to watch.

But losing on a penalty kick due to an acting job that would make the Academy Award panel stand up for applause and shout for an encore, needs to cease because its like getting a hand job for 90 minutes (maybe that's a little excessive) and being told "I'm on the rag, sorry not tonight" and having the female company turn over into a bear-like snore.

Blue balls I think is the proper way to describe my feeling towards some of these World Cup matches. So exciting for 90 some minutes, but some little foul or just one bad call makes my balls ache from action I thought I was going to get.

A word to FIFA... get more refs on the field. Very easy fix.

I promise some pokery stuff tomorrow as I'm planning to hit up the Mookie tourney tonight and maybe taking another swipe at the $1/$2 PLO8 games again to see if how rusty I am.

Thanks for dropping by, now if you were compiling a list of 10 "Living Legends of Sex" (as seen in Maxim magazine) wouldn't you have Hugh Hefner instead of Lemmy Kilmister on the list?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

City of Brotherly Love

PBR… good beer to drink, bad beer to wake up from. I would have had some pics put up today but my friend Burnsie decided to spin some tales from my less constrained times for the softball team last night. Not sure yet if I really wanted everyone to know how I accidentally groped him instead of the girl on the couch with us during the wee hours of a party that I threw at my parent’s house.

But we won’t mention things like that.

And I blame tequila!!! Yeah, nice cop out there.

Not much to write about today since getting in late leaves little time for pokery goodness and sleep, so I’m going to defer you to BG’s most recent installment of “BG Rates Your Home Game”. These get better and better as he does more of them, but doesn’t that look like Lee Jones on the left with the fat guy in the wife beater shirt?

A true rounder that Lee is. And if you’d like to make sure he still has a job, make sure you’re taking advantage of the most recent reload bonus at PokerStars up to $120. The FPP requirement has gone up however to seven times the bonus, but playing SnGs can make those go by quickly. Just ask PokerNerd, throw 25 $55 turbo SnGs up at once and BAM! There’s almost the whole requirement right there and you’re done in less then two hours!

For those of who are less inclined to multi-table like a meth freak on a case of Red Bull and Full Throttle or don’t have $1,500+ to throw at the sharks in a glorified slot machine with cards, limit O8 ($1/$2 and above) is excellent way to whore the bonus with the least amount of variance. I’ll defer you to Felicia for O8 tips as my game is rustier then the Plaza’s urinal stalls.

I do regret not being able to attend the next WPBT live tourney next week in Vegas as I’m sure the players will show much restraint with the Republicans sitting across the room from them.

I’m setting over/under on the number of trips by the poker room staff reminding the bloggers to “please refrain from boisterous political remarks” at 25… by the first break

Alas, I do seem to have this flight locked up, not sure why…

Minneapolis to Philadelphia
3:55 pm - 7:37 pm

Philadelphia to Minneapolis
2:25 pm - 4:20 pm


I’ll be the tall, skinny powder snow white guy with the slurred speech and bad music taste trying to figure out which way is up after being with Al for more then five hours (no getting called home this time!!!!). Lock it up and leave me a clear line to the bathroom!

Thanks for dropping by, now are there any Twins fans out there who wished the head office would have gotten their collective heads out of the inner regions of their colons sooner?

They won’t win 100 games obviously, but I think its time for another prop bet of Macha’s All Star T-Ball team vs. Da Twinkies with Speaker for best post All-Star game record. I’m feeling a little more confident now and its not their recent play, it’s the new lineup.

Are you game sir?

Monday, June 26, 2006


No, I wasn't playing A7 offsuit again.

Vacation used to mean ball games in the outfield of the baseball diamond behind the house. There were bike rides up to Kenny’s Market for NewYork Seltzer and candy cigarettes after the games. Sometimes it was just a quiet afternoon smashing a bright yellow Wilson tennis ball while perfecting a Boris Becker-esqe top spin against an Oscar the Grouch colored wooden wall. Or just a night of watching TV with the family, too bloated to move after mom made her delicious slow cooked pot roast and taters.

Before we had kids, as couple, vacation meant heading to Vegas to seek new levels of alcoholism and debasement. Shooting craps at 2am with a Cap’n Coke firmly in my hand shouting for the point to be rolled or getting all excited about a five dollar bonus game on a penny slot was a common night. There were no worries about making sure the kids had enough sunscreen on, or pleading that they’d please walk in the 90+ degree heat instead of being carried, or taking a nap when all signs of sanity have clearly left the ballpark.

Kids change your life in ways that no one could ever prepare you for. Not your parents, your friends who had kids before you, or any of the experts in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble. Vacation is just another event of a parent’s life that changes meaning after you’ve signed off on the birth certificate and purchase all those wonderfully cute and impossibly tiny outfits that your son or daughter will wear once before being hawked for a quarter at your next garage sale.

Did I have fun on vacation?

Hell yeah, I did.

I got to see my relatives that are ALWAYS fun to be around. Not too many families party almost every night playing beer pong and a drinking game called “Moose” until its time to sleep/pass out. They definitely helped keep the vacation on the fun side when the little one was doing his best John McEnroe impersonation.

The sights of Charleston were definitely a step back in time as we checked out Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. Walking through the halls of crumbled brick and imagining the cannon fire from the many different iron beasts of war was definitely a sight no one should pass up. The history lesson alone was well worth the $5 at Fort Moultrie and $14 boat tour at Fort Sumter (the walk-in museum on shore is free). Well displayed artifacts and story boards showing how United States slowly inched towards civil war as the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter was a little more educational then studying that crabby local in the one seat at a $2/$4 table. I tried looking around the fort for answers but… any history buffs out there that could tell me why some of the walls were covered in tar?

Next up was a trip to Patriot’s Point Maritime Museum to check out the several displays of US military’s past. The USS Yorktown was cavernous as we only managed to go on three of the six self-guided tours that included tips on how to make 10,000 chocolate chip cookies and a breathtaking view of Charleston from the flight deck. The Navy Advance Tactical Support Base was a step back in time for my dad as he spoke about his time as a helicopter pilot for the Marine Corps while describing the different planes they had on display. Never before has my dad given more then a passing comment about his tours of Vietnam, and to see his eyes light up as he gave my brother and sister-in-law a “tour” of the helicopter was something to be remembered.

The walking “Ghosts of Charleston” tour was something I wasn’t ready for after a long day of hauling the toddler around. We got a personal guide since our family group numbered more then the other groups combined. A very spirited, white-bearded, large man whose name I can’t remember walked us through the side cobblestone streets and gave us tales of ghosts appearing in restaurants and out of windows. Once again the history lesson was fascinating but some of the younger members in our group decided that the huge cockroaches were of more interest and possibly woke up a few ghosts with their shrilling screams. Nonetheless, definitely a worth while touristy thing to do, but bring comfortable walking shoes because the tour lasted over two hours and several city blocks.

Orange barbeque sauce? What the fuck is this?!?! I’ve heard that barbeque was something to be sampled while in South Carolina so we checked out Tommy Cordon for a pint of Irish beer and hopefully some ribs. The food was excellent (but a bit small for portions) as my baby back baby back baby back ribs were tender and the sauce was nothing I’d ever had before, two thumbs way up. Everyone had compliments for the food around the table; the service was a little meh however. My brother tried to order a Jameson and ginger ale and got… a ginger ale. I attempted to get a Smithwick but when I was informed they were out (at 2pm in the afternoon?!?!) had to settle for the black tar of goodness known as Guinness.

Next was the entire family heading to a seafood place called Hyman’s. Wow. Me and the wife ordered the six piece meal that included halibut, swordfish, soft-shelled crab, lobster tail, shrimp, and some other fish that left us in need of a wheelchair to leave. I’d never seen so much food on one plate in my life. The southern hospitality really shined here as the waiter was attentive and prompt to drink orders, one of the owners swung by to joke about free food if I finished this monstrosity of underwater delicacies, and atmosphere just felt like you were welcome and not getting pushed out despite the huge line sitting outside. Highly recommended.

The beach was a little disappointing on the Isle of Palms, as it wasn’t the hopping fun time like Myrtle Beach. A little more subdued but still had a couple of bars and shops worth checking out. Coconut Joe’s had a live band each night for a small cover charge (that could be bypassed by slipping into the small bar and ordering a drink then heading up to the deck above). I had a friendly time there, but my sister and cousin went up to the bar to ask for a Pina Colada and got rebuffed by the drink slinger with “what do you think this is the Caribbean?”. He was not “in-character” or trying to be funny either. A news flash to coastal bartenders… yes ANY beachside bar will seem like the Caribbean to a Minnesotan that doesn’t have the means of taking yearly trips to islands that start with “Saint”.

My only relaxing times were spend at the house pool with its proximity to “free” booze and Sudoku puzzles (ugh, those things are addicting!!). Plus, I could pop in and watch The Incredibles with Wyatt for the 532nd time and thanks to a DVD player in the rental car we never got to miss Jack-Jack’s giggles on the road as well.

Fun trip? Yes.

Relaxing? Meh. I’m worn out this morning due to Kyra’s colicky crying for the remainder of the weekend but thankfully the mother-in-law was gracious enough to take care of her last week.

I did manage a little poker, coming home and donating $20 towards the bankroll of a fellow poker blogger in the WPBT Razz tourney last night. After getting hit with bricks for a solid hour and a half, I clawed a short-stack long enough to finish 10th (that's out of 17 for those scoring at home). *A note to Al, please don’t make me play Razz at the Boathouse, I just might start sobbing uncontrollably*.

Now I’m off to catch up on a week’s worth of work and blog reading. Hopefully I’ll have time to upload some pics before softball tonight.

Thanks for dropping by, now its time for the WSOP… and if you’re not reading Dr. Pauly’s updates from the Rio, its time to finally move out of mommy’s house and enter real life. And do your mind a favor and hit up the latest “Truckin” issue in between his reports on famous urineators and professional poker players spending yearly salaries on flush draws.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Three Things About Charleston

1. Why is my BBQ sauce orange?!?!?

2. Yes, my face is burnt and no, I do not like the heat thank you very much

3. If your business name doesn't start with "Palmetto" it obviously sucks.

Hopefully have some pics up tomorrow. :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Out of the Office Reply

Future $25 NLHE pro at Party Poker. Found by PLO8 terminator Wintermute.

God have mercy if someone sucks out on his aces.

I was going to breeze up another thought-provoking post, but I need some rest and blankness for the next week or so.

The only things on my mind this coming week are going to be:

"Wow, how does that fabric manage to keep those things falling out?!?!"

"I hope the liquor store doesn't run out of Cap'n Morgan"

"FUCKIN GOLF CLUBS (*&%$&$^@# SLICIN PIECE OF SHIT @$@#@#%$!! I HATE THIS GAME!!#e!@#!@@, now where's that hot beer cart chick again?"


"Should I have another? Stupid question, let's call Al and get his thoughts"

I'll be dark for a week, but tonight I'll have time to throw up a few pics from Grand Old Days and maybe a few brag pics of the spawns before I leave Saturday morning.

And... I'll be up for playing some tourneys tonight since I doubt any attempt to sleep will be productive. Up for swapping anyone?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Return of Ron Davis

Jessie Crain is currently trying to emulate one of my favorite Twins from the past… Ron Davis!

R.D.!! R.D.!! R.D.!! R.D.!!

No one left the Metrodome early when R.D. came to the mound. This bespeckled, curly haired master of disaster was beloved by fans not for his ability to shut down the opposition in a Sutter/Fingers/Rivera manner. No, his idea of a “save” was to load up the bases in the ninth with a one run lead and get the next batter to a 3-0 count, and either give up the winning runs or get the batter to bounce into a game ending double play. I remember grabbing an extra malt cup if the score was close in the ninth because R.D. was coming in to keep the game interesting. I mean who wants a closer with an E.R.A. that matches AlCantHang’s B.A.C. after a bender at the boathouse?


Enter Jesse Crain. Although he’s not the big time closer (Joe Nathan gets the nod to protect a Twinkie win in the ninth), Crain knows it’s his duty to go out and stir up some excitement for those mid-game innings when people are on their third Dome Dog or second gallon sized watered down beer. What better way to get people to watch the game then to come in after two masterful pitching expeditions and give up a run in the 12th inning to set up a future everyday player’s (Kubel) heroics in the bottom half of the inning against a very tough Red Sox’s team.

As those suave black and white cut out cartoons from the Guinness commercials may say… “BRILLIANT!” (by the way… Google “brilliant” and look at the 8th link).

In defense of Crain’s exciting outing, I DID see some improvement in his pitching. More movement on the ball, more breaking balls, but the end result when he went back to his straight as a pussy-whipped frat boy fastball, was more of the same. In fact after Crain gave up the run, I turned off the game and went to sleep assuming a loss, especially due to the Red Sox’s solid bullpen. But, Sportscenter showed the middle of the order deciding to wake up again last night and set up Kubel’s grand slam.

Think you can stop dangling those plane tickets back to the minors in front of his face Gardy? I’m sure the kid has a couple more hits like that in his pocket if given a chance without the scare of being reassigned.


Sorry for all the baseball talk as my poker playing has been regulated to being an IRC chat groupie and professional railbird lately. Places to go, people to see, racks to stare at, leaves little time to sit down and play on the virtual felt.

Plus tonight I got box seats to the Saints game with my co-workers plus some tailgating to do before the game. Maybe this extended, un-intentional “break” from playing will do some good. After doing more observing and “guessing the hands”, it has given me more insight as to why I was losing for those five months. Other then the “I was cold-decked” or “I have bad luck” cop-outs, I can see significant holes in my game. Not stealing enough blinds, only playing “premium” hands even in loose games where odds are there to lower a starting hand requirement, shoving my stack in on bad draws.

All things a profitable player avoids in their sleep while playing, yet I left it out because I was too busy playing ABC poker and counting on those dominate hands to full out my bankroll. Of course when those hands get cracked, or you don’t get paid off for your monster hands, you get a bunch of whinny “boo-hoo I lost again, the world hates me” crap that every player has said at some point.

I did play a $100 NLHE cash game on Sunday night because I was itching to play since I haven't touched a cash game in almost two weeks and the first hand I get dealt in the BB was… AA. My mental fortitude was tested by the dude with a Jerry Garcia pic as he promptly cracked them with KTo after the money went in on a K 6 2 flop. Granted he was shortstacked, but I felt the check-raise play was correct, but the result wasn’t in my favor. Did I tilt? Nope, I said to myself “good hand, bad result” and plunged on to ending the session up a half a buy-in.

My most profitable hands?

K7s and T6s.

Both played with position after a raise and had the odds to call. Two hands I would normally muck without a second thought while 3-4 tabling. After hiding under that safe ABC poker rock for so long, I’m beginning to actually play the game, rather then wait for results. This is not to advocate a loose-aggressive game, or to “play any two or four cards” but rather take a look beyond the cards if you want to improve yourself. I look back at my play and see a lot of waiting to be dealt a pat hand and not enough actual “poker play”. Bluffing, slow-playing, check-raising, farting, these are commonplace things that happen at a poker table, but not at mine, except maybe the farting (but those chicken soft taco at Qdoba's were sooooooooo gooooood). My weak-tight game is going into the trash, and hopefully with a little created luck I’ll come out a better player because of it.

Thanks for dropping by, now everyone in the poker (and hopefully beyond our little niche) blog-o-sphere has pimped Pauly’s Born to Gamble series, but if you still haven’t seen some of his best introspection posts, do yourself a favor and check them out.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Do I Win the Prize?

Is there a cure for “I fucked up” days?

Yesterday was Murphy’s Law laughing at me from a funhouse mirrors set up. No matter which way I turned, ducked, or stepped I was running into something verbally or physically. Maybe Adam Sandler’s “remote” movie has a working prototype not used on the set so I can rewind and pause before running my knee into a wall not once, not twice, SOLD three times while performing activities that require extreme athletically inclined moves such as “bringing my workbag into the house” and “pouring a glass of milk”. That carried over to softball at which I blew a gorgeous night on the diamond by making Timmy Lupus look like Willie Mays in the outfield.

Hit the cut-off man?

Naw, lets over throw him by 30 feet and mock him for not having Michael Jordan’s vertical.

Run around the bases?

Simple, but lets make sure to twist an ankle while running hard around third and the base coach is telling you take it easy.

Catch a fly ball?

TOO EASY! But making it pop off the top of your glove and letting the go ahead run come in. You can’t buy that sort of talent folks.

Hitting a 12 inch ball that’s lobbed over the plate?

Its commonplace to hit a pitch that goes over the plate, but swinging at one that hits the opposite side batter’s box gets you on Chris Berman’s “Plays of the Week”. I rule.

Maybe I was too shocked about the calm, crisp weather or worried that the guys were going to drink all the Milwaukee’s Best in the parking lot before I got there.

Am I petty for writing up a night like this?

I chat up about little things like this and my buddy is over in Iraq working half the week (literally) in 110 degree heat, makes me wonder how can I enjoy living the “soft” life I have knowing people are putting themselves out there to help another nation (don’t see this as a forum to state “we shouldn’t be in Iraq etc. etc.” take that somewhere else please). Personally I think it’s great for things our armed forces are doing, and it’s too bad that more of the humanitarian efforts are glossed over or left out by the mass media. Everyday we read “civilians blown up by roadside bomb” or other assorted cruel headlines; instead how about a story on how a village got a new school built?

I just wrote back to my friend wishing he was here to tip back some beers, have his cute daughter play with all my other friend’s kids, and curse at buttonhooking a 3 iron off the tee which almost took out another foursome (we won’t mention my awesome golf skillz though).

Is it selfish or petty to want a friend back?

Come home soon.

Thanks for dropping by, now I can’t promise but I’ll attempt to keep my poker blogging card by actually playing poker sometime this week, maybe even throw some hardly earned cash at a WSOP satellite. That depends if Kyra decides against a moonlit dinner at 2am.

One can only hope.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet?


Are we there yet?


I haven’t been on a vacation in nearly 10 years that didn’t involve green felt and clay chips, drinking 72 hours straight, or receiving escort cards from porn slappers along Las Vegas Boulevard in quite sometime. My wife and I have gone to Vegas every year for Spring Break and never really gave much thought to going anywhere else. Its cheap, it has big pools, and there’s all the entertainment one needs in a semi-enclosed space. She doesn’t gamble per se, as a nickel or penny slot here or there followed by grumpiness and a return to the pool for the next two hours after her credits run down to zero. A PAI GOW!!! game usually gets her attention, but since losing a pricey sum (for her) at an unfortunately cold Treasure Island table, she’s back to plunking down 1 cent per line on some Monopoly or other cartoonish casino creation.

Ok, I admit to loving penny slots too but if they had PAI GOW in Minnesota casinos I’d be there if the poker room looked unpromising.

Vegas is a great get-away for two but it’s really not a family vacation spot despite casinos like Circus Circus trying to lure tired parents to its Adventuredome to squeeze a couple extra bucks out of the family’s wallet without having to give free drinks to Mom and Dad at the blackjack tables. I think our yearly trips to Vegas are done now, no more three a.m. “Honey, I’m not tired I’m going downstairs” spiels and proceeding to feed hungry slot machines enough that the late shift waitress (who fills out her casino themed uniform with some efficiency) offers another Cap’n Coke to the player who actually tips while the old nits grumble when they miss the bonus game despite wagering a shiny Lincoln penny per spin.

When I’m not giving away my bankroll playing slots, I’ll usually walk by a blackjack or craps table and take in the excitement of people wagering my weekly/monthly/yearly salary in a haze of alcohol and Cohibas. I’m sure to those who hang around casinos enough this sort of energy is commonplace, but for the degenerate who cannot indulge too richly, its enough buzz to share the excitement of a doubling down to receive 16 and watching the dealer lay out five cards to equal 22 or a hot roller in the craps game that has railbirds playing behind for his/her throws are red drops like tears of gold from heaven as point after point is hit.

I’ll have to save my poker and Vegas bankroll for swapping laughs and shots with bloggers every six months (just not this July with deep regrets).

Nope, on Saturday I’ll be boarding a plane due to fly over G-Vegas (still upset that I won’t be able to give away my poker funds to some of Greenville’s finest, or have that Orangetini with Badblood) on the way to the coastal town of Charleston, South Carolina.

South Carolina, home to horrible gambling laws (unless you love the lotto!) and newscasters with perfect hair. For one week, I’ll have to figure out how to relax without asking a busty waitress “are those real???”. Maybe I could do that at some oceanside seafood restaurant but I’m sure the reaction would be a little different then if her name tag said “Tawny from Peoria, IL Welcome to Caesar’s Palace!!”. The weeknights won’t be totally lucid, as I’m planning on putting a dent into the city’s Morgan supply when I’m relaxing by the pool after the daily trips to museums and amusement parks are done.

Any suggestions from those who live in the area on site seeing for a family? I’d like to hit up a minor league baseball game and possibly Myrtle Beach for a day. Beyond that I just figure on turning into a lobster on day one and spending the rest of the week in a tub of Aloe.

Do I still play poker? With the baby still not figuring out that 3:00 a.m. is not the same as 3:00 p.m. poker has taken a back seat to getting sleep whenever possible or just railbirding people like Absinthe who nearly cracked the final table on Full Tilt’s big Sunday tourney. I’ll have some pokery content sometime this week, as well as, some pictures from Grand Old Days in St. Paul and a Canterbury Park visit (pending on figuring out this new camera).

Thanks for dropping by now, anyone have a spot to get a webcast of the World Cup US/Czech match? I watched Mexico/Iran yesterday and I’m getting hooked on this soccer thing.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Life On Mute

(No poker content today, so advert your eyes if you're coming here to listen to an inane brag about cashing in a dime tourney again)

I celebrated my ten years of servitude to my company yesterday with a fine luncheon at Buffalo Wild Wings. Granted I’m sure others would have gone for something a little more refined but I’ve never dined at a restaurant before that requires a Miss Manners book of instruction on how to use the cache of silverware, plates, and glasses.

Fancy I am not.

After my supervisor named off the jobs that I’ve had the pleasure of performing over the years, I wondered “have I accomplished anything?” Jobs, not career type positions she named to my college-instructed co-workers that will more then likely be moving on to bigger and better things, climbing relentlessly up the corporate ladder in the next couple of years. The jobs she named sounded more like a guy who doesn’t mind the glass ceiling of management/salaried position even though he’s been told to just go back to school and study things in overpriced textbooks to earn a sheepskin with fancy writing and break thru that invisible line between job and career.

Why would I?

I like my job, I like the people around me, and I can stand the somewhat monotonous work. Since I cannot drive and may never be able to, I cannot be on-call to attend a meeting in Eagan or go downtown to meet with vendors at a moment’s notice. Basically the only position I can hold is one with set, yet flexible hours for times that my ride needs to vary how and when I get to and from work.

It’s taken a long while to come to peace with the road I’m traveling. Scrapping my knees several times from fighting within myself to figure out why I was here and not there. The scabs have been picked at relentlessly over the years, as I’m a motivated person in an inhospitable body, not unlike a former world-class athlete trying to pick up his/her sport again after being told after their 7th knee surgery its time to hang up the skates/gloves/running shoes. I'm sure people have stories about their friend/uncle/co-worker who has no arms, no legs, no face that became the CEO of Wal-Mart or something, I'm not THAT motivated. Many introverted nights were spent pondering “if this would have happened I’d be a lot better off” “why why why me!?!?!?” “why the hell is American Idol so popular?”.

Maybe I should watch sometime.

My hearing problem among other things hold me back, it always has, but until recently I fought and fought against it causing nothing more then stress and undue grief towards friends and family. I get laughed at often, mocked for conversations I try to take a part of only to realize the subject matter was about something totally different. I live in a world of context; I hear some words and piece together the conversation in order to contribute to banter. Often I’ll miss more then a bad comic’s improv routine. The internet has been a blessing in this regards, the ability to converse semi-intelligently without misunderstanding (except the ever elusive internet sarcasm). I can put my two cents in about poker, baseball, and bOObs without worrying that the subject matter was actually how to cook a pork roast properly.

(Overused quote alert, advert your eyes!!!) I can’t change who am I, or the cards I’ve been dealt but I can choose how I play the cards and whether or not I fold. After ten years, I’m ready for the next ten, and the ten after that, and after that I’m going off to play golf and be a crusty old nit in an Arizona Cardroom.

I see the life I have ahead of me, getting there will be the fun part, even if the TV is on mute.

Thanks for dropping by, now I know I promised a picture post but a certain woman in the household has decided to shower us this week with mood swings that go against all the “I’m a Princess!” in bright pink sparkly type oneies (sp??) she wears. Hopefully I’ll have time tonight to figure out the new camera’s software and have the pics up before I head to the cabin for the weekend and determine a winner when I get back.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Phil Hellmuth Makes Felicia's Head Explode

Phil's Poker Tip of the Day (per Rini's EXCELLENT calendar he dropped on me this winter):

"Hold'em is to poker what G-5's are to airplanes --- the biggest, fastest, and best!!"


Of course if Phil held 9 WSOP bracelets in Razz then we could expect that NL Razz would be all rage on UltimateBet right? GODDAMN BRICKS!!! I HAD A 6-PERFECT LOW GOING!!!111!!!!

Naw, kinda hard to get worked up about Razz, the game just slowly drains your life force despite being a rather addictive and challenging Stud variation.

Short post today as I just wanted to pop in and congratulate Wil Wheaton on a fine 3rd place finish in his self-named tourney last night, almost causing one of South Carolina's finest to sport this fine hair style to his next broadcast if the former Star Trek actor would have been victorious.

Think BadBlood or Otis would have paid to do the honors of The Hair (tm) styling?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mentos Fresh!

God I’m a tard.

Shut up.

Yesterday I was trying to link up Pauly’s excellent article about playing online without distractions for PokerPlayer and tying it in with my final table run at Stars on Sunday but my wonderful cut and pasting skillz left the whole paragraph out. Can’t write, can’t edit, and I’m not even a decent lay. Sheesh, where’s my gun.

Anyway, after reading the blogs lately I’ve been reading about several huge upswings, not counting Mr. Bracelet’s recent visit to Hooter’s. Hoyazo took down the 40K Guaranteed at Party, Cmitch has several recent scores including a WSOP ME seat and a second in Full Tilt’s big Sunday tourney. Me? Hell, I’m happy just to be playing profitably again. Its not an variance thing either, its more of an epiphany of sorts. I’ll be repeating myself about this for weeks to come, but after five months of getting beaten around like President Bush’s approval rating, I can actually feel good about entering my logon ID and password into various poker sites and playing some profitable poker.

When I get the chance.

Over the summer I have softball two nights a week (Monday and Tuesday) and we normally head to the cabin unplugged for the weekend (Friday and Saturday). Mix in some time with friends, saying hi to the spouse once in a while, and acknowledging the screaming probably means Wyatt doesn’t want to eat his dinner, well there’s not much time to play. I try to make time by logging on after reading a Spongebob Pop-up book and watching a few innings of the latest Twins disaster with the wife before she goes to sleep.

But is that “productive”?

Do I learn a poker skill by being able to play in between drifting off into the dreamland of naked women volleyball players, Cap’n Cokes on tap, and annoying people getting beat senselessly by midgets wielding mini-sledgehammers like that guy who special orders food at McDonald’s and holds up the line for 10 minutes causing the 16 year old high school kid to freeze up in fear that he’ll be put on mop duty if he fucks up the order again.

You hear about Danny N. and the players in “Bobby’s Room” having these 254 hour sessions and think “WOW, I need to do that if I’m going to move up”. Really? Think about it if you’re a causal yet serious player with a life outside of a card room. If your life goal is to be playing $2k/$4k with that crew or play for a living, by all means, learn how to play your “A” game without being in “A” game shape.

But if you’re a part-time player and would like to improve your game, cut out the distractions (as mentioned by Pauly), get enough sleep (amount of sleep varies from person to person, as I need about 5 hours to feel fresh), and sit out of the game/tournament if have the sudden urge to hunt down the latest gossip on Bradgelina or Brittney Spears’ latest how-not-to-be-a-parent story. If you’re not into celeb stuff, I’ve heard there’s always porn.

Thanks for dropping by, now I’m sure if you’re a Twins fan you read Aaron Gleeman (if you don’t you should be) but if you’re not into the stats (like I am) and need a more satirical look at our beloved Minnesota baseball team stop by Bat-Girl (thanks to Stacie for the reminder of this site).

Monday, June 05, 2006


The title says it all. There are changes that have been made in both attitude and style, thus far have shown on the poker ledger as… encouraging. No break out super prizes like a four buy-in win at the cash tables or a win in a MTT but encouraging. In the past, I relied heavily on catching cards and only actually “bluffing” or bullying when I had an above average stack. But, after reading in several places how my weak-stupid game leaned on the right combination of numbers to come out of Lee Jones’ random number generator I needed a different way to win.

I know he’s been quoted five billion times, so I’ll make it five billion and one.

“Your opponent cannot fold if you do not bet or raise” – Abdul Jalib

Why did it take so long for this piece of granite to get this information into the logic sub-terrain part of my brain?

Most poker players know there’s one way to win at showdown if you do not bet: Have the best hand.

But, if you bet or raise, now there’s several ways to win on each street, the other player could GASP… wait for it… FOLD THE BETTER HAND! SHOCKING! To think that poker is a stale concept of betting on the best cards coming out of a dealing shoe isn’t the reason why this game retains its excitement. Otherwise we would be watching the World Series of Baccarat featuring a bunch of European players in Monte Carlo shuffling those marbleized Visa card shaped chips while laughing about boorish Americans. Watching the cards being flipped over and the players being defenseless against a dealer’s blackjack or better hand in three card poker isn’t compelling entertainment or competition no matter how OUTRAGOUS the players personalities are (see King of Vegas).

Ok, I admit to liking Chainsaw and taking a second look at the ladies. But, what would the WPT crew say about a game of 21?

Vince Van Patten: You know what Mike, Chainsaw’s blackjack here was like Moses parting the Red Sea, he opened up his chip stack to the Promised Land.

Mike Sexton: Right you are Vince, and now see how YOU can log on to and fill up Dikshit’s bank account by playing blackjack at home!

Yesterday I did something that wouldn’t have been possible in the past. I started up a $20 180 person SnG on PokerStars despite little Kyra Vegas being less then complacent. Ok, she cried a lot, then cried some more, then calmed down only after I turned on Ocean’s 11 on CBS and she cooed to seeing George Clooney’s merry band of thieves steal from the Bellaigo despite a protest from a Pat Riley slicked Andy Garcia. After she calmed down I was able to getting into playing the game rather then folding if I didn’t see two cards matching or silly little “paint cards”.

This is exactly the point that an exiled poker sage mentioned often... I didn’t play “pussy poker”.

In the past, I would have been blinded out long before that point and bemoaned my “bad luck” of cold cards.

Not anymore.

Thanks for dropping by, now a big thanks once again to Biggestron for hosting the WPBT circuit event on Full Tilt last night. My H.O.R.S.E. game consisted of winning a lot in O8 and catching in Stud enough to place 11th, standard. I didn’t play the best, but I can say that I tried my best under the circumstances as little Kyra decided to flip out at the wrong time and needed some parental attention.

Its all about the kids isn’t it?

Glad I learned THAT lesson a long time ago.

Tomorrow I hope to have a picture post up, plus a caption contest where you could win a whopping five dollah (transferable to your poker account) if you make me and the general population laugh the hardest.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

This Is What A Big Win Looks Like


I think I can afford that WSOP trip now!

Have a good weekend folks.

Update... me = @ Canterbury Downs! Live pony gambling goodness whoo whoo!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Profitable Month

Its been almost as long as the last time I’ve gotten laid since I could speak of being profitable playing poker for a month. This does not include having a one-outer pay off to the tune of a Bad Beat Jackpot, just profitable play at the tables. Over the past couple of weeks the poker playing has been sparse due to an almost 10 pound woman who enjoys long walks at sunset and clean diapers. In fact, it’s been almost a month since I’ve open up a PLO8 cash game table. But, I have managed to change my play (and attitude) for the better and the results are turning slowly around. Even if I’m getting less time to battle the mouth breathers at the tables, I’m having more fun playing (results aside).

Have I jinxed myself enough yet?

Am I crusin’ for a brusin’?

MTTs were surprisingly profitable lately (till last night’s cold-decking/my donkey play) as in the last ten tourneys entered with fields from 100 – 2000, I made three final tables and two penultimate tables (four of them were Omaha tourneys). Standard I’m sure for those who actually know how to play tourneys, but for this hack it was renewed faith that this game isn’t just trying to shank me with a sharpened toothbrush.

Last night’s Mookie tourney was another great gathering of bloggers far and wide. I even got to chat it up with a total rock who “only plays Hellmuth’s top ten hands” that I haven’t heard from in a while (if you haven’t read the latest “Truckin’” then I suggest coming out of your nuclear fallout shelter and click on the link, excellent stories once again). It’s always fun to take on fellow bloggers and throw around a few jokes while playing a semi-serious game. Watching Pauly’s aces go down to KTo was painful, especially when there were only four outs by the turn. I however did not go down with the best hand as I was fortunate enough to pick up Kings vs. the button’s Aces. Not sure if I can get away from those dreaded cowboys with only 10BBs behind after a re-re-raise.

Cold deck? Maybe. I think I made a good decision; it just wasn’t the right result.

A bad decision was made by me in the 180 SnG when I got down to 40ish people left holding 15BBs and deciding that AQs was a good hand to make a stand with. Pushing right into AKo after a re-raise. Smart play sir. The player had been pushing any Ace for two levels, unfortunately this time; he had the gin card for a kicker. I was UTG which makes my decision to call his push even worst and calls for a public flogging or having to listen to the Macarena as sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks for the next 24 hours.

No Ward and June Cleaver stories today as Wyatt was being a brat yesterday and ended up spending quality time in his room… only to come back upstairs with an innocent smile an hour later and watch Riki Tiki Lake host some bastardized C-list celeb version of the Price Is Right with us. At least the chick from Trading Spaces appeared to be having fun, the rest looked like they were reading emotions from a teleprompter. I love game shows, I love the Price is Right, but it seemed too scripted to give the show its “CMON ON DOWN” spontaneous excitement that has gotten people to watch for over 30 years. That or they could have included more close up shots of the Barker Beauties jumping on the trampoline.

Tonight barring spousal and parental roadblocks there will be a night of poker goodness to attack a few cash games and see if I can continue to not suck this month. Maybe even gather up enough dead money to visit some ministers of sobriety in a few months.

Thanks for dropping by, now if you haven’t heard about the next WPBT event, follow to link and be amazed! H.O.R.S.E. is the next event and may even attract a Princess to attend.