Thursday, August 27, 2009

End of Minnesotan Summer

Today mark the end of Minnesota’s summer.

No, don’t check your calendars for fall equinox or changing leaves from the maple tree outside your window.

The Minnesota State Fair opens its doors today to its tradition of fried everything on-a-stick, John Deere tractors that newly acquired land baron Brett Favre may find tempting, and overpriced midway games and rides for kids and the kids only. Ok, I might plunk down $20 worth of game coupons using a mini-mallet to fling rubber frogs into an oversized lily pad to win a five itch hard plastic replica of Bart Simpson while pleading with the wife that this is a good idea.

Growing up it was traditional to hit up this gaggle of horticulture and ShamWow booths promptly at eight a.m. and stay until the midway lit up the night along with half the people in the crowd who looked like they could hop behind the fence and start barking for the contestant to valiantly try dropping a 12 inch softball into a 13 inch milkjug hole for a stuffed animal that would have to tied down by bungee cord to the roof of the car. It’s the simple frozen cider that used to cost a quarter now a dollar (GET OFF MY LAWN!) that I enjoyed as a kid and one glimpse towards the apple growers booths brings back flashes of my father gnawing on a ham bone sized turkey leg found on Dan Patch Ave. while my mom would wander close to the grandstand for a bucket of Sweet Martha’s cookies to share at the all-you-can-drink milk for a quarter (now a spiteful whole american dollar, again GET. OFF. MY. LAWN.).

Whether my kids grow up to take their family/gang/children to enjoy the freshly made cheese curds while strolling thru the booths in the Grandstand displaying the next SHOWN ON TV kitchen gadget that turned raw chicken into five star chicken cordon bleu with the twist of the patented Photo-Meculizer technology and five minutes in the oven, will be determined in the far off future as keeping the two as young as possible is enjoyable right now.

Yes, the tired pleas come early as their little legs wear out by the time the 4-H exhibits of artwork and perfectly churned butter are reached, but the occasional OH WOW looks on their faces to the food on-a-stick, the sweet smell of cooked pig wafting from the Big Fat Bacon stand, or even the next Billy Mays wannabe dicing up a celery stalk with an edgeless knife in less than three second makes up for the inevitable cries of two kids under six out weary from being in the sun for more than five hours.

It may not be Vegas or Amsterdam, but Minnesota’s carnival of lights and corn make for a little fun before the glacial weather rolls in and the run on snow plows at Home Depot starts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Online Poker Freerolls

There are several ways one can start an online poker bankroll from scratch and poker freerolls represent one of the most reasonable ways. If you feel that you have absolutely no money to spare on poker, you can still break into the real money online scene through poker freerolls. Freerolls are MTTs (Multi Table Tournaments) which do not require a real money buy-in (registration is basically free) but award real money prizes. Due to the nature of such tourneys, the prize-pools will usually be rather shallow (there are exceptions to that rule though) and even if you do finish in the money, you’re not likely to take down a significant amount, regardless of the number of participants.

Some poker freerolls are offered to actual real money players as a reward for something (signing up, reaching a set number of FPs etc), while others are completely free to enter, as players are not even required to have made a real money deposit beforehand. Most freerolls are only available to depositing players though.

As far as strategy is concerned, poker freerolls are one of a kind. Because they have no money riding on the affair, most players will adopt a radically different strategy approach to freerolls than to real money MTTs. In a word: they’ll take things much more lightly. Some of them go for the do or die move as soon as the first cards are dealt. They figure that this way they either double up early, which pretty much doubles their chances for making the money, or they’ll bust out, in which case they’ll probably save the time they might’ve spent playing and not making the money anyway.

Past a certain point though, poker freerolls play the same way real money MTTs do. Look for MTT strategy advice to whip your freerolling skills into shape.

Quick Hits: The Blink and Its Gone Edition

Two quick hits as my close friends knocked me sideways this weekend and left little to no gas in the tank for thoughts.

- How do the journos at the Star Trib come up with not one but two feature articles the next morning on Brett Favre's "performance" in his first preseason game? And I thought poker writers had to fluff with the excitement of one of those hand-held dogs getting a beggin strip waved in front of their faces. 1 for 4 and this deserved over 3,000 words?


Yes, the Brett will get overly cushoned words in the daily rags until the battle against the Browns then its put up or shut up time as the expectation of this team is in Peter King's words "lofty". Anything with Favre at the helm below an NFC Championship Game and Chilly is looking for coordinator work else where in the NFL next year.

Make it happen captain.


Thought number two: If you're not going to play hard, why bother working hard?

Had a whirlwind weekend thanks to close friends and I woke up at the 9 to 5 today feeling like I just punched the time clock on last Thursday. I understand responsiblities are the key to not ending up living under a bridge with your kids in social services but after they're safely tucked away in Transformers/Strawberry Shortcake dreamland shouldn't the adults be allowed their kid time?

I think so.

I think so often.

Its a reminder that despite every "OMG SHE HIT ME" and dinner not eaten after fifteen not-so-subtle hints that parents need to bust out their kid or begin the journey to brainless couch potatoes watching the 7 to 9 lineup of sitcoms and drama on CBS.

Alcohol doesn't need to be involved, the fun does. I lost the want for that fun once and almost ended up with visitation rights and an alimony payment, this humble suburban white trash will not be letting go of that again. Equal parts hard work and partying make for a full life that may be shunned by fundies and other finger-pointing humans, but if you're not here to have a good time when one is available why bother living?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Witty Favre Title Goes Here

Favre was not the lead-in story on Sportscenter this morning.

That is all.

Be back tonight with another final table brag and gearing up for a rare home game tomorrow as I will veer these writings into poker for this weekend.


Question: Two kids, day with dad do you:

1) Go to the beach, watch kids go nuts and possibly hit up the Elm Creek disc golf course (I have to pay $3 for this?!!?) in the park for the first time while acquiring some proper gear for a G-Vegas visit some time next year to take down some Frolf pros in that part of the country knowing a certain newscaster will pay for all of your Frolf gear and plane ticket later that night in the home poker game.

2) Take tots to Canterbury Park which has a full fledge park as the kids enjoy the races after they get bored with the tire swing and rope bridges and you get cheap beer, get your degenerate on despite no chance of touching the Copags and check-raising douchebags off their pair draws. Also there's checking in on the Twin Cities Poker Open which will be covered by my friends at Minnesota Poker Magazine and get to see them in action.

(sidebar: Should I take a vacation day to play in the O8 Canterbury Park Fall Poker Classic on October 14th? The structure looks all kinds of good and hey the buy-in doesn't blow a porn star's backdoor sized hole in my bankroll for once!)

3) Enjoy a very rare summer day at the parks near home or in the backyard where enjoying a Surly on the back porch would be optimial for a stress-free day where everyone gets what they want

4) Attempt the trifecta and do all the above and collapse into a puddle of unfrozen ice cubes afterwards

Your suggestions are appreciated as this confused sports fan will be watching his new quarterback take the field tomorrow against the Chiefs with sterilized excitement.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Forbbiden Fruit

Yesterday on Facebook I made a comment about the newest member of the Minnesota Vikings.

"Its like Jessica Biel standing naked at my front door ready for sex with my wife standing right behind me."

Of course being the family man I am the logical thing to do would be to get the wife drunk and have a threesome. Problem solved and everyone goes home happy.

Except here comes the possible savior to a long suffering football team that never made that one signing to put it over-the-top (actually its a theme in Minnesota professional sports: see the last decade of the Twins and Garnett-led Timberwolves for examples), in the form of a player that a true Vikings rube has grown to desist with every playful snowball thrown or Wranglers jeans commerical. He was the best player on our arch-rival's team for over a decade, daggering the Vikes slim chances of a fifth Super Bowl loss with every below zero temperature victory on Lambeau Field's frozen blades of grass.

If there was an association test, a picture of Brett Favre wouldn't get a one-word description, just a resounding BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Some fans have reacted to the NFL career leader in just about every quarterbacking statistic's return in a not-so-favorable-light (see Big Daddy Drew's first rant at KSK, expect him to lay it on thick for the next six months no matter what Favre does on the field). I can side with Drew, because as a Vikings fan since my Irish-born grandfather first slid a purple and gold stocking cap with the plushy ball at the top over my four year old head, I rooted on this team through the Les Stuckel year, the Herschel Walker "Let's Give the Dallas Cowboys a Few Super Bowls" trade, the 1998 super season that ended with a thud, the Smoot-boat/ticket scalping fun, Jerry Burns years of almost getting there.

A lot of teams that looked awesome on paper then folded into an elaborate paper airplane which glided for some majestic moments before running into an industrial sized shredder turning all those all-pros and stats into confetti for someone elses parade.

There's Otis who shows a side of Favre that many non-Vikings fan have tried to argue to me over the years. Country boy who took his lazer arm and dominated his era with his "I don't give a shit what the media says" attitude and played the game to the best of his abilities and won more often than not.

And we're back to staring at those perfect stems of Biel with the wife looking ready to take a Stihl to certain parts of my anatomy if things don't get said. Personally, the feeling of being a sellout for wanting this is tough on a true fan. Would a Red Soxs fan openly invite Derek Jeter to play position number six if it meant a better shot at another title?

Granted we're talking about a 39 year old guy who's arm whittled away last season after Week 10. My fanboishness will not oversee that this is someone who won his 3- time NFL MVP awards when my thoughts were more on playing volleyball all-night and trying to get laid in college. Age, shoulder that would only take one good smack from an unblocked nose tackle to send him back to Mississippi but why not take the chance?

I await the first blogger/writer to make the 1998 comparsions of an older All-pro quarterback stepping into the mix in his twilight years (Cunningham) and tossing high lobs to an rookie/emerging troubled wideout (Moss/Harvin), sideline passes to the established receiver (Carter/Berrian), cutting routes to the big WR unknown nationally (Reed/Rice), and of course the running back that spread the defense (Smith/Purple Jesus). The Vikes defense didn't suck with a bat-shit crazy defensive end (Randle/Allen) and Jerry Ball (Williams Wall) plugging up the middle.

Will it happen again? Or will the age and injuries (rotator cuff) be too much for the long season?

Its why we're fans, there's always the possiblity that your team can come through.

My hope is to see Gary Anderson put it through the uprights this time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Rash Returns is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Sigh.

How would you like to be Rosenfelds right now after pitching a 10 for 13 game, work hard at training camp, and still have this wall of white stuff that hangs from the sides of your mouth when you're dehydrated ready to swoosh in stunt dick style and steal the scene. (Kare11's story showing quotes from Brett Favre ballsack carrier Peter King and Fox's Jay Glazer)

Even my favorite morning radio crew is hanging their heads that Favre will make his return. Has Vegas set a line yet on this? Would anyone gamble on that? It might be more unpredictible than facing a Phil Ivey river bet and twice as tough to get paid off since his decision flip-flops more than a incumbent two months before Election Day.

UPDATE: Glazer appearently knows more than I, per Favre is on a team plane as of right now coming here to sign. Drama over.


Still amazed how quickly the summer has past as the weather here in the Twin Cities has begun to fade into Fall-like crispness in the afternoons with a hint of the smokey humidity happening once or twice a week versus the 150% invisible cloud of sweat residents of this state are used to. Last weekend at the cabin had all the seasons except the polar ice caps. In a span of eight hours the temp swung some 30 degrees going from baking heat, to calm outside card playing climate, to downpours and tornado warnings.

Despite the fact that The Great Minnesota Get-Together is next Friday officially marking the end of summer for this lefse-loving state, its been a good two hours of summer that was enjoyed to its fullest this year with many trips "up north", the VERY profitable Vegas/WSOP trip, and of course enjoying a game of baseball and a top 5 dinner with my invisible internet friends in Chicago.


I have a confession to make.

I enjoy play money online slot machines.

I actually shot up a fist pimp when my son correctly picked all of the bonus round selections on the Tomb Raider "nickel" machine to win 30,000 virtual coins and Lara Croft starting bouncing up and down.

I live a sad existence but least I do it with a smile on my face and have a family to put up with my dorkiness.


Tiger's downfall has surely been beaten to death by the virtual and real media and I had the chance to be there yet I sat at home watching the lack of life on my TV screen versus the plush fairways of Hazeltine (by the way if you type "Hazel" you get Keeley Hazell as the first search, not there's anything wrong with that, take your time there).

Chance of a lifetime sure, but two kids needed someone to climb over and on, for some reason I put my frantic sports rube in the closet and decided being a daddy was more important.

To tell you the truth, it was.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Favre Must Have a Vagina

Because he can't make up his damn mind and guys are going crazy over it.

Can someone inform Jay Glazer over at Fox Sports that April Fools Day is in fact in April when no NFL-ish football is played?

Brett Favre maybe kinda doesn't like training camp which is why he'll magically appear in Week 3 of the preseason in the Purple and Gold.

My favorite part of the article is Glazer mentioning he'd "bet the farm" on Favre's return.

O rly?

Placing that kind of wager on a man who sniffs too much John Deere exhaust fumes and can't be relied on to make a decision on Strawberry or Grape jelly on his daily PB and J with the crust cut off, is akin to backing Waffles into all of the World Series of Poker tournaments and expecting him to win.

Thus ends my mini-rant, you can thank Miss Dawn Summers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Thought Is a Terrible Thing To Waste

I thought when I didn't make the 3rd grade hockey traveling team, life was over.

I thought when I learned I would never hear as well as a normal person, life was over.

I thought when my ex-girlfriend was found face down eating gravel, life was over.

I thought when I broke up with my college girlfriend, life was over.

I thought when our firstborn did not get the chance to live, life was over.

I thought when my wife was pregnant on bed rest with bills piling up, and I was disabled, life was over.

I thought when we fought to the point of not being able to be in the same room, life was over.

I thought when my kids took my words for air, life was over.

I realize more and more each day life is to be enjoyed and not weighted against some bad breaks no matter how loud the yelling or how intense the euphoria of the good times. Reading Otis' post yesterday made me reflect a bit on the recent speed of all things parenting and marriage. The summer is heading towards Labor Day and all fried things on a stick await at the Minnesota State Fair with the first day of school shortly behind. The boy will be eating his first official school lunch as a first grader as Kyra will terrorize her first teachers in preschool after the roads get slicked with salt and ice.

The signs they are getting older are heard with every question, seen with every new batch of clothes some Children's Place, but with the daily 4:45am wake up call and seeing their little bodies wrapped up in clutched blankets; the brain's camcorder switches to record and freezes time for awhile as soon they will be arguing about getting enough money and staying over at someone's house that I don't approve of. Soon the immediate hugs and screams of "DADDY!" after work each day will segue into teenager's hormones and possible distancing of the uncool parental units. My thoughts will go back to those mornings and let their current rage drift by.

Someday is now today, as life has opened up for me where it seemed closed in the not-so-distant past. Thanks to friends far and near, my five senses have been opened up to the world (especially my broken ears). Thanks to my kids I have a reason to live for the future. Thanks to my parents for providing the soft mattress that enabled me to get back up after every fall. Thanks to my wife there's someone to live with for today for tomorrow, and although I'm far from the easiest person to live with and understand she is there to ensure waking up is a far better option than become a statistic in a newspaper.

Now that the sappy stuff has flowed to the page, poker will be played this evening with a fine beverage after watching sweaty women play volleyball at Mama G's tonight. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

He Who Throws, Controls

All you need to know about the Minnesota Vikings chances this year were found during KSK's regular Peter King segment this week. Read the relavent section below with King's comment first then KSK's (normally Big Daddy Drew, but Unsilent Majority nails it here):

11:45 a.m., Thursday (Minnesota Vikings camp, Mankato, Minn.): I came here expecting to see the fastest man in the NFL, Percy Harvin, ripping up Vikings camp. And I did see an incredibly gifted player, Harvin, getting coached very hard because the Vikings want him ready to play a big role on opening day 2009, not opening day 2010. But after seeing Adrian Peterson sprint around left end on an early-practice reverse like he’d just taken the baton in the Olympic 400-meter relay, I didn’t know who was faster. Especially on the fast track of the Metrodome, I have no idea how teams are going to defend the Vikings when Peterson and Harvin are on the field together.

By tackling the shitty quarterback?

And done.

While I may be a homer for my beloved Purple, and I wait patiently for every bit of training camp infom coming from Paul Allen and the KFAN crew, I honesty acknowledge its the man (who ever it might be) taking the snaps that will be the downfall of this team again this year. Hell, I was cheering for a player that any Viking fan in the past decade grew up to boo with a vengence to join the team even if he was playing at 50% of his hall of fame past.

Purple Jesus will get his 1,700+ yards and 15+ TDs, Harvin will turn in some Deion Sanders-like punt and kick returns, and the defense will rank in the top 5 and top 2 in run stopping. But, the lack of talent in the QB position will kill the chances of going for Super Bowl loss number five and the veteran base of this team will shake their collective heads on a Lake Minnetonka party boat next spring wondering what happened.

Now if you'll excuse me, its Tiger-mania in Minnesota for the next few weeks. My brother had PGA Championship media tickets lined up for me but family plans trump walking the grounds of a course little peons like myself would never have the chance to do.

Big sigh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PokerStars Odds and Ends with WCOOP Incoming

PokerStars weekly round-up: 11 August 2009A new WCOOP CoupWith the start of the World Championship of Online Poker just weeks away on ( where better to enjoy the buildup and plan your own WCOOP campaign than on the new website ( created by PokerStars as a platform for all the news,coverage and results of this year’s series.

You can also enjoy the recaps onlast year’s events including interviews with Shaun Deeb and Carter King via ahead of highlights shows hosted by David Tuckman and Nick Wealthall. Needless to say all this can be done from the comfort of your own home so check out ( for the latest.

Kiev a week away If you want to get out and about a bit before buckling down to four weeks ofWCOOP ( action indoors then why not dust off yourUkrainian and head east to Kiev and the start of season six of the mighty European Poker Tour ( As the world’s leading poker tourthe EPT enters its new seasons with new destinations and innovations instore, the first of which being the opening event. Despite the disappointingcancellation of Moscow, Kiev is set to host a record breaking debut event onthe banks of the Dnieper at the Kiev Sports Palace. Team PokerStars Pros,PokerStars qualifiers and the best of world poker have already booked their seats for the start next week. All the action will be reported on thePokerStars blog ( with video reports (

MACAU in August

If you prefer things a little more Oriental then head south, way south, tothe PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour ( which beginsits third season in Macau on August 25th. Last year season two proved to bea massive success with 1,772 players creating nearly $5 million in prize money. With stops in Seoul, Auckland, the Philippines and Sydney to come this year the third incarnation is unlikely to disappoint with bigger fieldsand bigger prize pools on the way. Check out the APPT webpage ( for details of last year and what’s in store forseason three as well as how to win your seat.

Americas Cup

It attracted more than 35,000 players and now the PokerStars Americas Cup of Poker ( is in full swing with the event favourites taking a commanding lead. The tournamentthrows countries from North and South America together in a battle for bigmoney and bragging rights as well as a chance to win a trip to Patagonia in Argentina for a live final in September, a trip that demands you pack theskis. Early group stages saw the USA and Mexico dominate, as did Canada and Columbia, Argentina and Brazil. The situation in Group C remains tightbetween Costa Rica, Chile, Venezuela and Peru. Full details of that scrap and all the others can be found on the results page(

ANZPT winner

The first season of the Australia-New Zealand Poker Tour ( played out the grandest of finales last week. Thehugely successful down under tour began in Adelaide back in February,swinging through Sydney, Melbourne, Queenstown in New Zealand bestowinghundreds of thousands of dollars on players from across the region, before drawing to a close in Queensland.

That’s where 21-year-old PokerStars qualifier Scott Kerr from New South Wales, won the first grand final title( and AUD$168,075. The 249 players in Queensl and added to a tour total of1,309 (334 winning their seats in PokerStars) and a combined prize pool ofnearly AUD$3 million in the first season. Team Australia Pro Tony Hachem was named the first ANZPT Player of the Year having cashed in four events. Eyes are already looking towards season two which PokerStars has confirmed starts in Adelaide next February.

Champs or Chumps

There's a co-worker at the big box that signs the bi-weekly paychecks that approached me several months ago while snow still tapped various street signs and sidewalks to play softball for a team mostly comprised of fellow cube dwellers who get 10% off their favorite store that you enter but cannot physically walk away with just the items on your shopping list.

"I'm retired" I told him in my best Kurt Russell playing Wyatt Earp voice

But, this was around the time stress in the house really started to fall off and better days were showing ahead. After a brief nod from the wife that playing again would be fun, and give the kids a chance to mock their father as he picked up a "sport" that let me touch the feeling he had growing up on the diamond throwing a ball from 60 feet 6 inches with hopes that the unfortunate batter wasn't maimed from the errand inside fastball.

Eventually with incentives of a virgin a day with bedside drink service for a year at the most posh Motel 6 he could find, I relented. He had played softball for 20 years without sniffing the smell of a freshly minted trophy or my favorite free t-shirt emblazed with the sport bar waitress panty-dropping words "LEAGUE CHAMPIONS".

This team was different from those he assembled in the past, players were recruited and omitted for a shot at fielding a team with a shot at taking home those wearable ego boosters that are important to no one but those who don them. The average height and weight for the batters 1 thru 7 was 6'2" 210 lbs. and six of those guys could hit home runs. Unlike teams in his past where a home run over the lengthy 310 foot fences came on a fluke 25 mph wind blowing straight out night, these guys could hit some when it counted, wind aided or not.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, the team goes 10-1, crushing most teams with one game remaining against a team who posted a 9-2 record. A loss meant no t-shirt, and a very sad co-worker. Immediately we fall behind by a few runs giving up 6 in the first, and fall behind 16-6 in the bottom of the fifth.

But, something clicked as the top of the order was up and both batters ahead of me got on and I managed to not screw-up my role and hit a ball that if you've ever split a fairway with length where the ball barely tickled the club, thrown the perfect spiral on a fly pattern, or shot from 3-point range and immediately headed back up court without looking because you knew it was perfect, that's how the ball traveled. The best feeling in softball/baseball aside from those parking lot beers after the game, is hitting a ball so the outfielders cement their feets and just watches the ball travel over their heads landing somewhere in the grain behind the fence.

A couple more home runs and hits, and we found ourselves winning 18-16 going into the last inning due to time constraints. They would blank and gruffy umpire would call the game since we were the home team and didn't need to bat as the field timer ran to zero and free swag makes this guy very happy.

The story behind this one, would you break up a team for the sake of winning just one time? In this case my co-worker didn't have to choose much as we were already friends outside the office along being friends with some of the added players.

But, a relavent question to this site... if the poker bloggers were to have a Dream Team-type event, would you find yourself choosing the team that would have the most fun. Or the one who is more likely to take home the bricks of cash?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Steak and Stakes

Yes the microphone is still on here, just summer/work craziness has my writing time down to beyond nil.

(a side note: has anyone been successful from getting listed on Google again after being de-listed?) Drop me a note.

After nearly a week of watching the kids alone as my wife trucked up north to Duluth for a drinking engagement work conference, came home for a day, then left for her annual “girl’s weekend”, I have a new found respect for those who stay home or interact with little humans on a daily basis in a classroom.

The thirst for adult conversation at the end of the day after listening to your mouth say “please turn left” and they go right for a solid week was near Gobi desert desperation on Saturday. Sure, my little walking genes were adorable and attentive some of the time, but what the hell wires these kids to do everything but what you say to them. It was like talking to women (which I’m sure the fairer sex would say the same about guys)!

Parental learning experience put into the database for later use as the boy’s sixth birthday party in the artery clogging humidity at Elm Creek park on Sunday went as smoothly as possible with the kids enjoying the massive timber structured playground and adults relaxing in the shade with iced down beverages. The real treat was the little ones’ batteries were spent by the time they hit the bathtub a few hours later that not one “GET BACK IN YOUR ROOM!!!11111” was uttered/screamed/threatened.


Tell me. If you make millions of American dollars or Euros and enjoy a certain amount of fame due to your athletic ability/acting ability/gag reflex ability would decide that someone deserves a Anderson Silva on Griffin beat-down because the service person lacked enough change to purchase four pieces of Bazooka gum at the dollar store?

Patrick Kane, your karmatic taint punch is coming after mistaking a cabbie who was 20 cents short for Tie Domi. My hopes are the next time you pass out while tipping back too many lime-flavored Zimas at the local Dave and Busters, someone tattoos the word “Asshole” around your mouth.


Anyone feel bad for Padraig (cousin of WSOP champ Dan) Harrington for chunking a chip on the 70th hole of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and literally giving away the tournament to the Phil Ivey of golf?

As if Tiger needed the “help” but what kind of pro hits a chip over a green and into the water from 20-30 feet away (that’s feet, not yards)??? That’s the kind of shot better left for hackers like myself to perfect on exotic locals like Three Rivers executive nine off Bass Lake Road in Plymouth, MN. But I wasn’t hitting the little white ball for a paycheck the size of all my assets put together Indecent Proposal style hoping that red comes up for the fifth straight spin.



Another choke may be not finishing off my sixth place finish in the $1,000 PLO8 guarantee at Stars after outlasting 692 runners and being 2nd in chips with 14 remaining. A good run for sure, but the sheer horrible play of those near the final table fueled a very easy run to the decent ROI and a hanging head that I didn't finish in the top two.

I’ll save poker-heavy stuff for a post at Minnesota Poker Magazine’s site, but this run of tournament success (I cashed in a 4-max PLO8 tourney at the same time with another deep run) has me thinking about the 2010 WSOP for taking another shot at the big money for this small operator of four card crack. Maybe its false pride and the cards just fell right over the past few years but the itch to take another shot (perhaps with the help of my fellow degenerates as consulted by my financial advisor The Rooster), is definitely getting in my thoughts.

If I can extract enough time to play a few more of these (my run ended at 3:00am after starting at 9:30pm), and hit up Running Aces for some $4/$8 w/half kill O8 action, you might see a Captain sailing Drizz at the Amazon Room next year in a playing capacity unless I get tapped for a writing gig to chronicle the 2am $10 min bet blogger Pai Gow game at the Gold Coast.

Time will tell as will my wholely amateur review of Pittsburgh Blue steakhouse in Maple Grove stemming from next week's anniversary dinner is still being pan seared with butter.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

When Stress Turns Into Fun

Today I have been married for nine years, I'll reserve judgement and comments on my partnership with my wife until tonight where I'll be expecting a show only seen in Amsterdam's red light district in the bedroom.


Actually, a quiet dinner at Pittsburgh Blue without dashing a three year old to the bathroom while catching a thrown mini corn dog mid-flight before it hits the blue haired lady behind us would surpass five seconds of naked fun.

A sappy marriage post may be in the works, adjust your internets while clicking here accordingly.


I hope if StB ever takes a journey south to see his beloved Cowboys that he's holding a winning Powerball ticket.

Original story from Lincoln Journal Star:

Tuesday’s tour took our group into a suite that can be leased for $800,000 a year — which doesn’t include the price of game or event tickets but does offer a large pizza for $90 (no toppings), 12-packs of domestic beer for $66 apiece and a four-pack of Red Bull for $22, among other ridiculously priced items.

The beer price isn't horrible, actually cheaper than most places if you think about it but $90 for a cheese pizza and $800K for suites without being able to get into the stadium? Are these prices you want to trot out during an economically unstable time for the US of A? I wonder if Mr. Jones' merchandising director is Gordon Gekko.


Yesterday I got a rare reprive as what stressed me originally actually became a blessing. The US Bank saga continued as I was told 8:30am sharp there would be a super important inspector guy at my doorsteps waititing to take a fine tweezer to my abode that was recently sealed with lavish mountain gray siding to procure a simple signature of a bank that has no rights to the insurance check that holds a final payment to the contractor sitting beneath a pile of coupons and Mr. Potato Head parts on my kitchen counter.

8:30 rolls and my daughter decides that its a good time to see just how much toilet paper our commode can handle after making into the bathroom on time (a win or a push?). But, no Dickies-dressed bank rep.

Call comes a few minutes after with apologies that he'll drop by a little before noon. Now, I'm torn. All dressed up for work but a beautiful day out and two kids that I don't get to spend enough time with. Quick thinking, I check with work and they're covered so Kyra got a daddy to play with for a few hours outside while collecting 67% of the dirt of the backyard on her "Catch Me If You Can" pink t-shirt. And Wyatt got to see Transformers 2 for next nearly three (really?!?!) hours.

(Sidebar about the movie: First film I've seen in a theater in over a year, hearing aids made the action pop out which rocked, but words were still a little difficult to follow. Megan Fox's ass shots however were very easy to gaze at, but they seemed to try too hard to get those shots and it didn't blend with the movie that well, not that I minded the skin of course and what was with that metal tentacle tongue thing coming out of the hot chick's blue lace panties trying to strangle Sam, me thinks the writers spend too much time in Japan recently.)

What started as another bitch-fest at a bank I will never do business with again if I can help it, turned into a day of fun for the kids and a night that would end with me meeting my father-in-law and my wife's half-brothers out at Running Aces for cards and ponies. The poker part I'll probably post here in the next few days. Sadly the $4/$8 w/half kill O8 game was not running so I took my six racks of whites to a $2/$4 LHE table and watched various people with $20-$60 stacks get pissed versus having fun with the overdressed guy in the seven seat seemingly giving away money and drinks.

I made $13 beyond tips, drinks (which you had to pay for), and playing 95% of the hands some blind some not. Entertainment for one I guess despite my efforts to play the part of the drunken gambler in front of an audience that was more suited up emotionaly for a funeral.

Le sigh.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Write Kind of Work

Did I get the story out? Use too many sappy puns? Not format it corrrectly? Would the players agree with the action?

Fretting over my recaps used to be a cause for extra stress come Monday morning with emails and IMs to people who do this for a living and much better than any Dollar Store to their Macy's/Nordstrom's ways with putting out poker action for the small but loyal audience on the interwebs. But, I enjoy every Sunday (at least its been that way for the past two months) that I get to sit down with nine players from around the world and watch them play online poker and translate the pixels into (hopefully) a readable format.

While I understand that change will alter this fact some time in the future, my hopes on keeping this gig for as long as I can not only for the money but to break the monotone, underachieving grayness of my decision to stick with the corporate world in a job where my "talents" get shoved aside for the sake of production versus creativity. I enjoy the workplace, but the 9 to 5 work could use a fresh coat of paint whereas every Sunday night I get a blank canvas as 4,000+ or 8,000+ online rounders provide with their great or downright fishtastic play in a game that my enthusiasm seemingly has a bottomless pit for.

Poker media will change, I just hope my brush is bright enough to be included in that.

Navel gazing done. And so is this Sunday Warm-up write-up at


T-Jack goes down with a knee sprain while I was at the cabin/trailer trying to figure out the physics behind my bedcovers not pulling upwards while sleeping sideways on the bed after a late night of play money Pai Gow and sailing with the Captain and of course Dawn Summers is there to gleefully try to tilt my life with visions of Chilly running to the nearest phone booth for Brett Favre's tractor phone.

But, this news was completely offset by the announcement of mountain sized Phil Loadholt and Percy "I might be Randy Moss Jr." Harvin signing and getting into training camp.

A shored up front line after losing Birk to free agency and another play-maker on the outside to spread the defenses for the Purple Jesus to not have to run through 9 players in the box. All looking great on paper, we'll see against the Browns in a little more than a month if the paper turns into reality and if The Wife will be wearing Purple and Gold in December again :)