Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bye, Bye, Bye

Quite the night for Minnesota sports and I'm left with just a few words.

Favre - Done. Those who love a conspiracy theory may make a play that this was all some last dagger number four has thrown from Green Bay at the Minnesota Viking in tossing their QB situation into a deeper abyss then it already is. The ultimate tease, the champagne room, the promises of something more while the person dishing out skin piece by piece is just looking for a payday for themselves while using you for the fool.

I will give Favre credit for pumping up excitement about training camp and possiblities of an NFC Championships, but now the Vikes will settle back into being wild card contenders while the talking heads at KFAN, ESPN, and local news media will drive home the fact that this team lacks just one thing from becoming a legit squad while the fan base watches 9-3 games while drowning their heavy sighs in a pitcher of Surly.

On top of all this T-Jack was being named the starter before training camp on ESPN (but all Vikings know that Rosenfelds is a 50-50 shot of becoming the starter).

For Favre, NSYNC has this to say.


Watching Mark Buehrle carve up the Twins lineup with precision not power last night until the 6th inning was a textbook pitching performance on how to get outs without blowing a 95+ MPH heater past the batter. The spin, the placement, the change of speeds baffled the Twinkies as much the Rays during last week's perfect game.

Then the wheels came off. Walking the Twins worst batter, not just worst starter, worst hitter sitting in the clubhouse at the dome and at AAA Rochester. Alexi Casilla is not a major league player but will be known as the guy who broke up the 45 batters perfection for the next couple of weeks on a pitch that missed low by inches. Then the no-hit was broken by a meatball over the middle of the plate for a very decent Denard Span, that rolled into the hometown golden boy Joe Mauer to lean a double into the stands to tie the game.

The Twins would go on to win the game taking the first two in the three game set with the South Siders (of which my wife will be attending tonight while the perfect husband takes care of the kids), and have managed to grab three games on the Tigers this week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In need of an extra pip

With a typical day starting around 4:30am and ending somewhere north of 10:30pm the time to write and/or indulge myself with a little online poker becomes non-existent. The summers are made for getting everything done and doing everything possible before the polar ice caps move back in for their extended stay in the front lawn.

Softball, T-ball, cabin, sprinklers, picnics, beach, working out, landscaping all part of the summer whirlwind that seems like Wyatt just got out of school last week. A note from last night, by the time me and the wife got home, kids in bed, laundry and assorted Transformers/GI Joe/Barbie princess bedroom set were put away Joe Nathan was sweating a deep liner out to Denard Span with 1 out in the 9th inning of the Twins game on FSN North around 9:30pm.

Welcome to life.

Hi, nice to be here.

Plus the things I love doing such as writing a few words on card games that don't end with "em'" have to lag a bit (I promise a post for the website by the end of the week if the Strike aerobics class doesn't kill me tonight). With WCOOP on the horizion, sleep and sanity will have to take a back seat to enjoying this run as long as I can fool people into enjoying my typed letters and careless puns. Is it not cool to enjoy poker and or online poker anymore? Sure, the poker-centric surroundings of this particular blog have taken a turn into a more personal rant-filled space where I air out my marriage sheets, Viking blurbs, and parenting stress.

Cards are a hobby (and a well paying one), its how I grew up. Cards have been and always will be a part of life regardless of bankroll, writing assignments, or family size. From the days of 10 cent Pinochle at the cabin in Elk River, to my first live tournament at Canterbury (Stud-Hi, and yes I made the final table thank you very much), to celebrating my first "real" score on the forgotten Freemont Street Experience surrounded by friends via poker, to chronicling online rounders from across the globe bad beat and check-raise their way into six-figure scores in the Sunday Million and other tournaments, poker will always have a place here regardless of the UIGEA, and whatever "National Poker Week" did to get the government to overturn the legality of transferring buy-ins across the interwebs.

Don't worry, it just take one "Favre-ism" to get the subject changed, such as yesterday while I was impressing no one while buffing up for the Badblood-Drizz arm wrestling re-match sure to take place sometime in the next blogger gathering, my favorite needle-in-a-toenail land baron Favre was on TV quoting something along the line of "I really hate people who can't make up their minds" while on the set for a commerical.

(head explodes)

Really? If that's the case I suggest the next time Favre walks by a mirror he should do the right thing and give himself 4-iron to the face and dunk your balls in one of those ball washers while a raccoon takes a swat at them. Play or don't play its not that tough when you're going to get 8+ million to do so with a decent front-line, receivers that don't completely suck especially with the potential of Percy Harvin and an all-world defense to allow you time to cut the lawn in Mississippi before its time to go back out hand the ball off for the Purple Jesus or Chester Taylor.

Throw for 300+ yards, 5 picks, and 3 TDs and the local media will crown you the next local sports hero next to Touchdown Tommy Kramer minus the binge drinking and Tim Laudner who hit under .200 but any Twins fan worth his/her salt could come up with the name and fond memories.

Tomorrow is "the day" (until the next day of course) after that the Viking faithful will look towards the depleted egos of Rosencopter and T-Jack Attack to lead our team to a Wild Card road loss with a series of 12-3 games that even the most rabid Purple fan will keel over from boredom with a half eaten Johnsonville brat in his/her mouth before halftime.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Ramen Noodle Post

Question of the day (and this all you get since I'm still feeling a bit jet lagged from the guy's weekend/work-all-night work-all-day string):

If you had met some of your best friends/girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse 2 years earlier then when you did, would they still have become your friend, bed buddy, "the one".

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Erin Andrews Vs. Brett Favre: Who wins in creating drama?

You stay classy New York Post.

I'm all for nudie videos and pics but almost certainly knowing that the Erin Andrews video (beware of spyware, malware, Andre Ware being attached to the video) was shot without her consent and posting pictures of it in a major publication and not a blog that receives under a hundred hits a day (THANKS GOOGLE!), crosses as many lines as Purple Jesus dashing for a 76 yard touchdown run.

There's a reason why distributors get more time in jail versus users.


Since my mind is firmly on this weekend you get my going away video I usually post during the last work day before shoving off into a degenerate weekend. This time there's no plane trip or eight hour drive, just an hour north to a golf course off I-35 then heading east towards Wisconsin to relax with a few fine beverages, be the bank for some Pai Gow, and argue all night about My-Favorite-Favre coming with mixed emotions to my beloved Purple.

The land baron will make his decision by the time I get back and being disconnected from all internets and media you will know before I if those Monday Night Football tickets for the Vikings vs. Packers are to become worth more than Super Bowl tickets due to the rabid fan bases. For a decent grip on the NFC North outlook the boys at KSK will quench your thirst for all things football, and rip on those assholes who keep you from a decent glass of MSG or Bud Light at your next keg party.

But, without further adieu take it away Wilson Phillips!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This Not That

Its Chinese Take Out day WHOO WHOO!

All orgasmic things about MSG and Kung Pao chicken go down the shitter because I will not mention my run-in with US Bank as they deserve a herpes-infected cashier's check down their eardrums after the robots at the "lost claims" department decided to not listen to my sane suggestions to avoid having to pay a fee or another two week delay for an insurance check I need to sign over to the contractor who finished the siding job on my house three weeks ago.

Can't cash the check without their signature. 3-5 days for this, pay a $25 fee, then another 5-7 days for that, all because they won't accept the inspections done by the CITY GOVERNMENT or the INSURANCE COMPANY WHO APPROVED THE $7,500 CHECK.

Sigh. This after two weeks of working with their local office and calling them yesterday just to hear a totally different story. I hope next time that banker rolls thru the Arby's drive-thru he get shafted with no Arby sauce packets.

Two day to guy's weekend at my trailer/cabin that never disappoints for good ol' hick fun consisting of golf-casino-golf-drink-drink-drink-poker-drink to forget about the US Bank affair.

As my mind is firmly on knocking wedges within 10 feet while forgetting my drink count and chomping down on a decent Gurkha cigar here's Pauly once again roll out the best short stories on the web. Check it out early and often folks:

Welcome back to a (very) late summer issue of Truckin'.

1. Trading Pickles by Paul McGuire
Sven worked in the largest pickle factory in Western Norway. It was a dreary town, but Sven's options were limited since he had a terrible habit of holding a steady jobs. In the four and a half years since he graduated from university, he held no less than 76 jobs. All of them had something in common... he was fired from all 76... More

2. Learning to Steal in the Boy Scouts of America by Johnny Hughes
We had a code similar to the Boy Scout code in some ways. There was no stealing from the mom and pop grocery stores that were on every other corner. No stealing from houses. No vandalism. And as I said, we did not steal while in our Boy Scout uniforms... More

3. Yellow No. 2 By Betty Underground
He had pulled the mirror and the little box from the coffee table shelf and was cutting and lining up the next round. It was the 90s in Los Angeles. We had fallen into the alteration that cocaine had provided for our creative minds. Neither of us addicted to the drug, but walking a fine line of destruction to our relationship. Being almost unable to communicate with each other without it... More

4. The Grays by Milton T. Burton
We froze and they smirked, their bright, gleeful eyes drinking in our fear. Then two of them pulled knives. Large knives. I put my arm around my daughter and drew her close. Cozart was calm beside me but I could hear him whispering a prayer in what sounded like Latin. Old habits die hard, I guess... More

5. Justin Masterson By Broseph
The game was interesting enough, but I needed more excitement. I noticed two young ladies standing on the rail near us, decked out in Bosox regalia and holding a bottle of sun screen. About my age, they were attractive and fit the profile of girls I would normally bone sober... More

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Out At The Plate


Think the Twins would hand over 1% of that for me after the disaster last night?

Luckily I was in bed watching something called "Kirby" with my son at 7:30pm in effort to pass out from a lack of sleep thus missing my softball game and of course having to watch the Twins vs. A's game be the headliner on Sportscenter which ran the entire course of my Raisin Bran Crunch and breakfast sandwich starter meal.

In the course of this six-sigma loss, it even had to end with Cuddy getting the shaft from the ump at home where ESPN and their magicial camera angles couldn't find one solidary viewpoint that would cause the man in black to think he was out.

Granted the game should never have come to that point as the bullpen should have preserved the win far beyond needing that run in the ninth but how does Gardy not loss his shit when interviewed after the game? Personally I would have rather have seen a tossed bat at the media or some Ozzie Gullen-esque antics to wake up this talented team that seemed to have gotten a case of the who cares after two tough losses in a row (if I were a betting man, money on the A's tonight would be a decent bet regardless of who's throwing).

Wrong on many levels yet still going to fork over some poker dollars by the end of the season to bring Wyatt to a game just for a father/son type thing and hopefully not have to sit thru the purid pitching shown last night.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can Someone Find My July?

Much like my friends who just returned from covering the WSOP, I'm currently wondering where the hell July went.

While I'm not fully functional having zero sleep in the dream bank since the Sunday Million ran a bit long this morning. I'll implore you to check out the write ups at the PokerStarsBlog as I managed to fall asleep at the screen this morning thanks to my rule of no drinks with caffiene that doesn't contain alcohol.

Sunday Million write-up
Sunday Warm-up write-up

Maybe I need to re-think that one especially when these early morning hurt while I go to work for 11 hours, dentist appointment, take the mohawk'd one to T-Ball, work out, then head over to the big-boy field and play softball myself.

I think I'll squeeze in some time to breathe and chew gum at the same time around Thursday.


I looked around the Mall of America for Dawn Summers and Betty Underground but couldn't find them. Perhaps security took them away after their attempt to pounce on the World's Largest Cupcake this weekend.

MINNEAPOLIS – A 151-pound cupcake in Minneapolis has been certified as the
world's largest. The 1-foot tall, 2-foot wide cupcake on display Saturday at the
Minneapolis Mall of America had 15 pounds of fudge filling and 60 pounds of
yellow icing.

Guinness World Records adjudicator Danny Girton Jr. called it a "fun
and creative achievement."
The cupcake was made by,
which is run by cake-decoration supplier and marketer DecoPac.

More likely they were found up at Hooter's checking out the local talent.


You know those weekends that were fun only if you cut out the time your kids were sleeping? That was this weekend.

I love, adore, would-die-for my kids but having to my daddy-voice one too many times attempted to break this calm me and the wife have been enjoying lately. "Go to bed" means, please get up and grab the tupperware container full of cookies with the blinds drawn and make like a band saw with a fresh 2 by 4 using your freshly washed sheets as a napkin then make faces thru the door taunting me to toss you back in bed.

But, one hug and kiss later and you forget all about it until they try to wake up too early the next morning blaring Scooby Doo vs the Australian Vampire on VHS while bouncing on your bed.

I think I had the monster's BLLAAUURRRGGHHHHH noise down pat while Daphie and Fred rounded up clues to putting the bat-thief behind bars.


Question of the day: If a dentist is worried about your general oral health, why do they give you those crappy toothbrushes that make your gums bleed with their office information on it instead of the newest Oral-B triple action Super-Cleansing that turns your brush into a mouth-wide car wash complete with undercarriage scrub?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

Amazing how the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon applies to meeting people from your past and zoom forward to give your present a new twist. While I won't be dancing in a barn to illegal rock music anytime soon, due to a co-worker of my brother who works closely with a friend that used to be my neighbor growing up there might be a new place for poker-esque writing in the near future.

As posted here before Minnesota Poker Magazine debuted a few months ago and my scribblings and metaphors may find their way over to their blogging page soon. Bonus, that I might even find a home game where the people don't suck and actually enjoy discussing the game while kicking back a few drinks.

Stay tuned.


Did someone forget to pick up their degenerates at day care again?

(Photo credit: Lotus Media)

Awesome job guys, for all your hard work covering the WSOP, we salute you on your Dream Team Win.

As for the WSOP Main Event coverage... Darvin Moon will be your chipleader that poker agents are currently jerking to as the rest of the poker tables are broken down in the Amazon Room until November. I doubt with Jeff "Happy" Shulman and something called Phil Ivey at the final table the chipleader will be the main story for the next four months.

If this Ivey character decides to hook up with an online site for free poker coaching and logo'd hoodies, the other eight won't even need to bother to reserve suites at the IP in November. He is short-stacked but its Phil Ivey damnit, the bankroll of the poker world who most likely has won more in prop bet making the final table than the first place prize they are playing for (1st place = $8.2 million if I'm not correct).

A bad prediction: Full Tilt Poker may give this journeyman red letter pro status and 100% rakeback as well. Just a guess.


Brett Favre-gasm of the day: The Brett states he'll wait until the begining of training camp to solidify what he's already stated. If healthy, I'm a Viking.

Sigh. This is about as hidden as your spouse telling you she's really doesn't need that new dress/iPod/pair of shoes while shopping. Stop fucking around Favre, man up, say you're in and go have a porterhouse with Purple Jesus at Manny's and become a teammate not some rented gun Allen Iverson-type "Practice? We talking about practice?" that just wants to show up on gameday.

Oh, you may want to acknowledge the dude wearing the severed kodiak bear on his head that still has the warm blood dripping down on his Cher t-shirt. He'll be making sure you get to rest in-between interceptions.


The Phil Ivey of golf is not leading a golf tournament, sportsbook give a sigh of relief.

Tom Watson leading the British Open (or The Open for those across the pond) which is shocking since anyone other than rabid golf followers didn't even know Tom Watson still played anything besides Tuesday shuffleboard events at various South Florida retirement communities.


Find and take my money tonight as I'll be donating to the various low rolling MTTs this evening after softball while enjoying Coca-Cola laced with alcohol as prep for a 75 minute! aerobic class my wife signed us up for on Friday morning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mid-Summer Dilly Bar Update

Other shinning example of "poker bloggers/media" can't play the game they cover...

I don't know about you but I've heard of Dr. Pauly, Dan from Pokerati, and the lovely LJ who just took down the WSOP Dream Team event for $31K plus individual prizes. Dream Team sent some photos yesterday and I'll get them out tomorrow, but check the link for Mean Gene's excellent photographic eye for capturing degenerates handling bricks of cash.

Seems like we're doing alright on the felt in this part of the interwebs. As sprstoner (who doesn't like to be lumped in with the bloggers but will anyway) and cashed for six figures at the WSOP, is on Day 2 of the Venetian Deep Stack Main Event.


If you had to chose between listening to John Madden, Joe Buck, or Chris Berman for an hour which announcer would cause you to rip your pubic hairs out one by one the least?


Is there ever a point in marriage where you can sit back and say "yep, we finally get it"?

Not that I'm at that point nor make any claims as to how to get to such a lofty place in matrimonial bliss, but are you in a good marriage when you can blow through getting snapped at and assume an apology is coming by the end of the day?

I for one will never "get" marriage but rather just try to enjoy the ride no matter how many times my soft head hits the top of the minivan going over the ski mogul-like highway. Worrying about the daily spills has caused so much stress in the past that I've lost sight as to why I help pay the mortgage, take that extra peek, and fold a load of family-sized laundry every other day.

Actually I know why I take an extra peek is because boobies are boobies and they need attention too.


The All-Star game was a bit of a bust in terms of excitement. The only moment I took to gaze on extended action was to watch Mo Rivera mow down the National League in the ninth, further cementing his bust in Cooperstown. After all $6 Sit n Gos are much more important than knowing the Twinkies will have home-field advantage for the World Series this year :)


I'm buying Dilly Bars after T-Ball tonight, so if you're in Champlin this evening around 7 CST and are faster than my mohawk'd son, the ice cream with chocolate coating is yours.

Not to be confused with the urban dictionary definition of "dilly bar" which sounds like the vagina would invert from the cold shock, unless of course the lady is use to sticking her dildo/partner's man parts in the freezer before use.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Score One For the Good Guys (and girls)

This chick made her second largest tournament cash ever last night at the Sunday Million at PokerStars. Drop by the PokerStarsBlog this morning/afternoon for the recap.

Any chance she took Mean Gene out for drinks at the hooker bar and strip club hopping afterwards? One could wish for Gene.

Me? I'm fighting gravity today with Sobe Energy, ice water, and forehead against cement to stay awake and productive.


Awesome weekend with my dad's side of the family that traveled from different points of the US just a half-day of food, golf, lakeside boating, and drinks. Right now the description eludes me because what should have gone on for two or three days we were forced to make do with the several hours together.

Much like blogger gatherings, so much to do, so many people to reconnect with, so little time to do it.


WSOP Main Event is down to 185 people (I think) but the real story is Pauly and Dan going super deep into Day Two today of the Dream Team Poker tournament. Per @taopauly on twitter their team is the last standing and he's coming back with 158K in chips while the anti-cooler Dan M has 113K. I stand to reason that with the team format they're looking at a decent cash today (I can't check for a press release/Dream Team Poker website until later).


I don't know who gave poker bloggers a bad name for their playing ability, but with the several cashes around the WSOP and other tourneys during the poker holiday season known as the WSOP, people should try cutting away from applying fish tags to anyone that hops onto WordPress, Moveable Type, or Blogger to crank out a few words about this game that we love.

True we are "writers" "fluffers" for a reason, as many of us who write have actual responsiblities and can't take their tournament score and use it as a buy-in to the next level. Are we ahead of the curve for stashing it and using proper bankroll prudence, or behind the arc and acting like a stone nit for throwing the cash into our houses, children, or buying the understanding spouse a little something extra for her birthday instead of using it to play higher with the potential golden ticket at the end of a WPT or WSOP tourney?

My opinion stands that I'd rather use the money to see some friends, and some bigger smiles on the people I wake up with daily versus dumping it off on a four or five figure bad beat story to some Scandi robot who was "just gambling and got lucky" after you snap off his bluff and he catches perfect-perfect to make table drink the most expensive one you ever purchased besides the beer you had before purposed to your life mate.

Personally, broken toys and half-eaten kids meals are worth more than those 5 by 7 table assignment seat cards.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We Just Want Your Moneys

Its a strange place to understand the logical explanation behind the illogical premise of the "customer service" at the bank.

Bear in mind my love for banks is at an all-time low due to an on-going struggle with Wells Fargo that ends with a 30 minute call to their call center (which I'm pleased to announce has English-first speaking individuals) about a $12 fee that gets tacked on to my Super-Wonderful-Get-12 Cents-More-In-Interest checking account that the slick banker told me would cause no issues transferring to this "higher" tier of service. That's been going on for eight months with a new explaination each month TAKE SOME CALL NOTES YOU DOLTS.

Yesterday after working 11 hours I rushed over to US Bank before closing to get their signature on an insurance check which I would then turn around and sign over to the contractor that did an awesome job putting up new siding on the abode (picture coming soon after the wife picks up the new lighting).

Easy right? Its not your money, sign it off and away I go back to my bank.

Not so fast pal.

"What was this for"

"Hail damage, I need to get this to the contractor to pay off the remainder of his invoice"

"Where's the proof of work and insurance estimates"

/points to easily seen stack of papers neatly stacked behind the check along with signed invoice of work completed by contractor

He tries looking important while re-reading the papers for the next five minutes...

"I need to make a call"

Dials phone to some office.

"They need some forms filled out, I'll be right back"

Meanwhile my patience level went from complacent to annoyed that the waitress gave me the wrong drink.

He returns with four well-used forms, two of them look like Ad-Libs that I'm hoping he'll let me use to return the favor of this annoyance.

"We need to fill all these out"

Take five to seven minute to fill out forms, consider five rapid knees to the head but see adorable picture of daughter and wife behind him, decide to dream of free Cap'n Cokes and fake 36D's at a strip club instead.

"One moment"

This is now twenty minutes into something that should have taken about 15 seconds.

Comes back with spiffy self-important guy who judging by his dress and handshake enjoys pantsless parasailing and all night Bette Midler movie-a-thons while snacking on bon-bons.

He tries to be cordial, I attempt the same but feel a rage like I didn't get my extra Arby sauce packet again. He tries the same shuffling of the papers for five minutes then looks up.

"We need to wait until the head office is able to review these forms and may require an inspection of the home, notary signature from the contractor, your tax forms for the past 10 years, blood and semen sample, and proof that you know how to play Badugi"

/jaw drops

"Ok, this check is made out to me, tell me again why I need to jump thru all these hoops just so the contractor can get paid?"

He attempts to mumble some apologetic line from the employee handbook.

"Fine call me tomorrow"

I take leave before dropping the file cabinet on his Homer Simpson-sized head, fuming that I just wasted nearly an hour intangled in the bank's red tape.

For the record, I understand the need to protect assets. US Bank holds my mortgage (currently) but what I don't get is why the hell would they care what happens to the house as long as I'm making payments on time on the debt?

Its paperwork for nothing, an attempt to make someone at their home office feel important and have gainful employement because even if I was in cahoots with the contractor to bilk the insurance company out of money for a job never done (which 100% isn't true) they shouldn't care what shape the house is in as long as I'm paying down the debt ON TIME. There is no reason to believe I'm a financial risk besides the fact that I'm prone to overplaying AAXX at the $100 NLO8 tables.


Aside from that waste of time, there's golf and waterparks in my future as we travel up north this weekend to see my father's side of the family. Six brothers and plenty of cousins my age to sit around a lake-side cabin with cold drinks and homecooked food with my musician cousin strumming out tunes.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

WSOP Main Event Semi-Reading Guide

Let's play link-o-rama today shall we? After all tis the season for poker players, bloggers, and degenerates as the World Series of Poker nears its conclusion having blown through 4,000+ players who plunked down the $10,000 for the Main Event.

At least those who were smart enough not to rush for the last helicopter out of Saigon, or finally taking the last past-her-prime stripper on the floor up to the VIP room at 9am before the brunch buffet was spread the next day after blowing thru your recent tournament score.

- Dr. Pauly's brand of tournament reporting fills the needs of the five degenerate senses on top of solid up to date live happenings around Rio not just inside the den of purified beef jerky meat being grinded out with every "ALL IN AND A CALL". Even if you've walked the hallowed ground of poker heaven and sloshed your feet in the pools of donkey blood left there yearly, Pauly finds the new story then like something from those Final Destination movies, you know the characters are going to die, just not how.

- PokerStarsBlog with Otis, Bartley, and Howard Swains tilt the coverage towards the namesakes site, but provide enough ambience of the tournament you can get the updates on your favorite Team PokerStars Pro and not feel like they're rushing out to get the corporate logo emblazed on their lower backs. Not to mention some kick ass photos of the different pros in their natural environment.

- LasVegasVegas Blog speaking of WSOP photos... Flipchip is the authority on such things, do yourself a favor and gaze into his lens pointed out onto the tournament floor. Especially look for the yummy female pics like one of Shannon Elizabeth who survived the first wall of players and made it to Day 2

- Pokerati with a disappointingly lack of Dan M's pink shirt reports is still managing to provide a double-take of outside/inside reports around the Amazon room including rounding up the Day 1D debacle that left several "name" pros with $10K in their hands and nothing but a video poker machine at the Hooker bar to play. The pros could always hit a few quads then hop over to media row and tilt a few scribes with a brag instead of the steady stream of foul bad beat stories they're used to.

- Poker From the Rail it's Al, it's Full Tilt. The mashing of a huge online poker site and the walking Mardi Gras parade spells fun for the readers at home. Pictures and updates on donkeys like Ivey, Harman, Jesus, and Lederer make you proud that you spent those 25,000 FTP points on the jersey with your name on it.

- Bill Rini He of course is NOT at the WSOP but is pumping out information from Thailand about the online poker world that is a must read for anyone serious about the direction of the industry. While I hope sometime soon I'll be able to hand him a pint, I'll settle for pimping a couple of his projects.

Rakeback Report

Poker Jobs

- Mean Gene at UB UltimateBet's blog as Gene covers the next Hellmuthion meltdown but with fine photography as the one-man show covers the donkeys and pros alike from the site trying to gain some positive feedback in light of last year's major cheating scandal.

- PokerNews no introduction needed here. Go to watch the live reporting coverage and use the tweeter-like message board to hit up a scribe to possibly get John Frend's chip count out on Table 143 behind electronic Roulette table.

Good luck to all my friends, and make it safely home after rinsing that donkey blood and those purid bad beat stories off you. Or my suggestion is to have one of those beyond hot white shirt wearing massages while banging out a story for the guy who busted with quads over quads in 2,365th place.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Redemption of Skill or Fate of Luck

Now that the alcohol has run its course and sufficient bodily rest occurring it was time to sit down with Sportscenter running in the background to write down a few paragraphs about the first Vegas trip that ended with more money than I left Charles Lindbergh International Airport with last week.

This was supposed to be a trip to reconnect with friends spread across this land of the brave who come together once a year to chronicle a month long festival of poker degeneracy in their unique voices for those at home who cannot join the carnival themselves. They put you at the final table, in the bathroom, in the middle of a juicy cash Pot Limit Omaha game and occasionally jump into the fray themselves to show some poker chops behind the pen.

A trip to reconnect with my wife, trying to strengthen a marriage that has seen much and not received the attention needed. Of course, she was in Vegas for work reasons so this did not pan out as much as both of us wanted. We settled for enjoying our time in bits and pieces: a dinner at PF Changs, a decent variety show at Planet Hollywood, hitting up the penny slots, or the best pool/beach I’ve been to in Vegas at Mandalay Bay.

The highlight will be the trip downtown to Freemont Street where dreams of Vegas past are illuminated for a few minutes every hour during a free song and light show that doesn’t suck. Lower limits and lower expectations are found along this stretch of casinos that have done well in carving out a marketing plan to keep the coupon toting crowd coming back for more 99 cent fried Twinkies and afternoon shift strippers at the Glitter Glitch.

My Vegas dream started with the Las Vegas Monorail ride from MGM Grand to Sahara with $160 earmarked for the Binions Poker Classic Event #38 Limit Omaha 8 or Better (listed as NLHE but we know I wouldn't play that) event starting at 2pm. Due to my ten cent head, I walked from the Sahara to the Stratosphere for a cab ride since I had forgotten about the $2 bus ride that would have saved me some time in the dry 106 degree heat.

After arriving at the birthplace of the World Series of Poker, and handing over a good amount of money left in my wallet thanks to a cranky ATM machine there was a wait for CK to leave the boys at the Wynn cash game to join me so I sat down at a dime keno machine to channel my inner PKP Neil Fontenot by throwing down an American dollar and hitting nothing, but threw in second dollar and bounced around with it until my last solidarity dime hit six out of six for $160.00 meaning the tourney was a freeroll!

For the first eight hours of the tourney I spent my time chatting with a couple of locals about the dangers of ice fishing at 30 below, my choice of alcoholic beverage which they noticed came by far too often, and enjoying a leisurely live game of O8 that I don’t get to indulge in very often. My stack was the table leader by far after five hours, but my cooler wife walked in and I managed to lose the next three hands I played but still retained the table lead and was around the par stack after the dinner break. Looking up I could see CK was doing well for herself, plugged into serious poker mode yet remembering to shoot the boys a smile hidden with meaning. “Yes, I will be taking your chips soon”.

After I rinsed out the horrible Benny Binion hot dog with a few Captain and Cokes, three tables were left and I was moved to the left of the chipleader for a spell. Nothing significant happened except learning he was from Minnesota and moved out to California while my stack stayed the same thanks to a crap board hitting my big blind special. Once into the money the fun stopped.

There was a new table coach in the form of a green shirt sporting blob that once taught Phil Ivey a thing or two about split games. There was no stopping this douchebag’s runaway train of filth, spilling a cargo load of insults on good natured players who were either having fun, or hey there seems to be seven grand we’re playing for! I was in the fun boat having blown through my twenty singles nearing the twelfth hour of the tourney and starting to feel tired or the after-effects of that rat meat in a sausage casing. Having the table covered with authority this waste of oxygen managed to blow through so many penalties he didn’t play a hand for nearly two hours and still would end up chopping.

I was pissed because he managed to kill my well-labored buzz and having to turn off my hearing aids wasn’t helping. Nor was his harpy wife who had missed her clonazepam dose and shock treatment down at the dollar store back room pharmacy, she managed to catch the ire of the brush and also had to take a break away from the table while clutching some assortment of crinkled Fed-Ex wrapped papers like they were a sick child.

Were we playing poker? Ah, yes. Somehow I missed a bunch of draws and found myself down to a small blind with 14 or 15 left. Won the hand all-in preflop. Next hand all-in again, tripled up. Three hands later, doubled up again after calling a raise and forced someone off their hand with just one bet behind while the other table people dropped like recent celebrities. With five big blinds, I watched a lady with many years of poker under belt lose the last of her chips as the final table was announced!

FREE FUCKIN HAT!!! I love swag more than money, and was very excited to win it due to my very short stack I wasn’t looking to make more than the bottom money anyway.

But I did.

Caught a strong double suited A-3-X-X in the big blind with someone raising into me, doubled up. Very next hand catch A-2-6-K double suited, someone raised into my small blind, doubled up again to go from shorty to mid-stack in short order. Meanwhile places 10th, 9th, and 8th took leave to set up the reason why I chopped third place.

Folded around to CK on the button she raised as I looked down at a very welcome A-A-4-8 all red. I three-bet as CK elected to call with the flop coming down T-8-2, I bet she calls. Turned 3 gave me the nut low, so I bet as she raised, and the rest of my stack went into the middle turning over the black aces good for ¼ of the pot until…

… river 5

Runner-runner wheel scooped the pot from the friend I did not want to beat. Shortly after she would bust holding all crubs and I was forced to make a few bluffs due to the cards turning ice cold. The doucherocket returned to the table and immediately took a pot or two to salvage a few chips as we headed into the break, 25K/50K blind level coming back with me only holding three big blinds and in third place. Since the crew of Otis, Mean Gene, F-Train, and the walking party himself AlCantHang dropped in I tried to play the part of serious poker player but couldn’t help but smile seeing my friends travel downtown in the wee hours of the morning after their hard workday at the Rio.

Double fisting drinks with Al during the break, chatting about non-poker things we headed back to the elevated final table to find four anxious players awaited the Joe Mauer draped player to return.

“Do you want to chop?”

Having just three big blinds it made sense to me, but as the TD wrote down the stacks even the big stack only had 10 and we were left to playing Casino War for differences in the thousands. Even the deep-throating tampon was in for the chop, doing a 180 from prior requests.

$4,900 for 1st, $4,300 for 2nd, $3,270 for 3rd-5th, as I sat in third in chips.

But wait there’s a jacket for the winner! Oh man. Torn between my love of stitched garments to be worn at the gym and the biggest cash ever for this low roller, Al was the voice of reason and told me to take the money, stop being an idiot, and stop scaring them.

With the chop in hand with a glob of chips the crew reconvened at the bar for a couple round of celebratory drinks as the amount of 100s laid out was for once for me. We would head to the Gold Coast for a continuation of my luck, that’s a story for another time.

(I'm hoping the guys with their camera phones have a few pictures as my 90s style phone can hardly handle text messages)

From PokerPages the official results.

Hey, I have my own ranking!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Oh, Is That Money For Me?

Spam blog? WTF.

I may compose dreck here most of the time, but that's a little way fetched to call this a spam blog. Hopefully the all-mighty Google powers will see the same.

Glad I had to get online for some business or this writing haven would have gone the way of Billy Mays and Michael Jackson this week.

As for the business, I'm shipping Tuscaloosa Johnny his cut of the money I won at the Binion's Poker Classic. If you perspective how much Johhny made, add in that the beautiful and deadly CK made the final table as well (I'll expound on the severe Bayne roaching I did late in the tourney to get to the 5-way chop for first), Johnny unofficially made 14th place money out of 210.

Not a bad day.

As I told the rail of Otis, Al, Mean Gene, and F-Train who came out in the wee hours of the morning just to see a wide-eyed surburban hick make his biggest cash in any kind of gambling. "Oh wow".

My babbling went on for several hours washed down by a multitude of Cap'n Cokes and Greyhounds while they cooled me down at the Gold Coast afterwards (the cards did not cool, again a story for another time) and smiles that a peppy cheerleader would have envied. I only hope those mentioned understood just how out-of-body it felt (and I still haven't composed myself) to chop up that cash.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to grab a McGriddle then join my wife at the pool to stare at some pretty people and perhaps not worry about the price tag on those poolside drinks for once ;)