Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cocaine in a link

If you aspire to have your blog become the next boing boing or Gawker outlet, then you have the right to demand more for your time and energy within the words you print.

If you are a writer who's income and well-being depends on the dollars given out by advertisers, SEO experts, and marketing folks.  You should want more for your time and creative expertise of crafting the written word in a way that people will pay for it.

If you are a blogger who step onto his/her webpage occasionally as a relief from the career grind to drop some knowledge about your job, life, and possible parenting adventures why bitch about someone offering a few bucks to make a simple cut and paste highlight to your page?

There were people who do this blogging/writting (and still do) thing for free and should good fortune present itself with a few ducats so be it.  This isn't some cliched Columbian national walking up to you in Miami International Airport with a rectangular hand-wrapped package giving you a $1,000 if you would kindly bring said package to the short hairy guy in the awful unbuttoned hawaiian shirt with Mr. T sized platnium bling siting outside by Gate 23a whispering "She Bangs" in his ear.

If you treat your personal blog like a business, fine. I accept ads, I reject ads based upon personal decisions, if its your decision to not accept it, so be it but why try to ruin the party for everyone else?  Its like running into the middle of a hopping party to announce vampires, zombies, and people who didn't use Axe body spray are currently ready to infest the scene thus ruining your chances to score with the drunk on Mike's Hard Lemonade chick that seemed to overlook the fact that you're not in the champange room at Cheetah's with your hands down her silk cami.  Don't be that guy.

Blogging shouldn't be a marketplace to those who hop away from a ledger sheet to rehash their horrible poker session last night.  If my acceptance to lowered dollar amounts on ads ruins your ability to do such business and this is your only source of income, I apologize and please mention so in the comments area as I will draw a harder line on the dollar amount I'll accept in the future so your kids can eat. But, there's only a select few poker bloggers who's websites are considered a business and derive the majority of their income from those sites, everyone else should just be happy there's free cash out there and a chance to be a degenerate on someone else's dime without having to deliver a brick of Ya Yo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sixty Thousand Dollar Man

Oscar"Steve Austin, astronaut; a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him."  

My restoration from head tramatized victim sitting around feeling sorry for himself and dragging those around into my quicksand filled pool of self-pity, into something that can be viewed with a chin up  as the mirror reflects that newly built person.  Each day the hugs are little are a little tighter to those within my albatross wing span.

Oscar"We have the technology."

While drugs may work for some people, like my wife, they actually stomped down the kid who was once highly regarded for his charisma and intelligence despite the awful hand his body gave him.  A speech and hearing problem are just asking for it in the schoolyard for the cruel jokes easily come when the target cannot respond.  Instead, years of speech therapy and now hearing aids that make a difference thanks to the advancement of such devices in the past two decades I could enjoy things like conversations in a crowded casino or hearing the exact pitch of my kids' whine to know what tactic to take while calming them down.

Oscar"We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man."
At this point, there's hardly a recognition to myself five, ten years ago.  Then again thanks to Sir Issac Newton's laws and weighted objects my memories of such dark times fade to nothing more than Iraq's chances for gold in Men's Hockey. 
Oscar: "Steve Austin will be that man. We can make him better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."

There's no aspiration to come more than a doting parent, a good friend, cruasder of injustice.  But, working out several times a week, heading back to school as soon as Arizona State finds my very expensive one year transcript of study in Tempe, and having a clearer mind on what's important besides yelling at a 15" laptop monitor when virtual cards do not fall the way the heavy percentages have determined.  Better, stronger, faster may sound like description of an automobile, but they can describe the recent events uptop of my head.  The mind will always be rum-soaked dripping with sarcasm at a moment's notice, it will also never release my love for gambling, cards, and nights where "puke and rally" is a theme.  But becoming something different from that death wish the person had while laying out on a puce colored hand-me-down couch waiting for paramedics to arrive after a nasty allergic reaction to medication nearly eight years, is now my new life.  That person could have just allowed the reaction to continue until his throat squeezed life from him, instead he took the phone and choked out some words to 911 which bring me to today in front of all of you as new person.

Well, same person, just rebuilt and ready to kick some academic ass in a two months.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Online Poker Reporting Goes Live

Poker players may not like money, but if they smell an overlay they're the first ones in the buffet line.  36,000+ showed up at the Sunday Million this weekend and yours truly was there for the final table (click here for the report at PokerStarsBlog).  $1.1 million paid out for a $215 tournament, amazing.  And after watching the replay at PokerStars.TV you can see 2006 WSOP Main Event final tablist Erik Friberg made some excellent 3-bets with air to stay in the running.  Biggest WSOP ME ever, biggest Sunday Million ever and the guy gets 4th place in both.  Which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill, not a bad run.

 But, that wasn't the only poker reporting I did over the weekend. 

After declamating my meager online bankroll thanks to the cards from hell and a vortex of coolers and bad beats I still had the itch for some poker action.  Knowing that Event #1 of the Minnesota State Poker Tour was kicking off its $1,000 + $100 buy-in at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, I decided to hop up there on my own dime to check out what live poker reporting entails.

It was a blast.  Sure there was no thousand mile stare at the end of the night because I promised two little ones that daddy would be home in time to collapse the massive blanket fort built in the porch and tuck them in.  Five hours to Twitter about the tournament vaguely while bouncing around the round for more of a feel versus reporting specific player's names (I'll start brushing up on this).   Also, making a prelude post of sorts on while chatting it up with the parents of one's the site's owner who knew fairly little about poker but loved to watch.  A different setting from the massive NAPT tourney at The Venetian currently down to 24 players left (as of this hour) being covered by the good folks I usually sit on an IM message box with.  Perhaps they'll have a pointer or two for the next tourney as it was interesting to say the least when there were questions about interviews (I don't have a voice recorder) and mostly friendly faces willingly to take the couple of minutes between hands to chat (ran into a Cubs fan while I was sporting my Cubs shirt from the last Gentile Summit).

Will there be a next time?  Fairly sure of it.  My free time will go from zero into the negatives once school starts in a few months but for a second job that gives me an esteem boost, I'm willing to work through the long nights to do the first job I've ever truly enjoyed.

Quick rant:  NBC you're doing it wrong.  Ice dancing, figure skating, and Bob Costas droning on about Apollo Ohno's 6th grade subsititute teacher who once completely ignored the future speed-skating wunderkind while checking the NBA betting lines on the Warriors/Magic tilt that night on your flagship channel as MSNBC and CNBC get live Curling and perhaps one of the best prelim Hockey olympic games ever?  Regardless of who won, that game between Canada and USA was heart pounding and WATCHABLE.  Even the commentary added spice while Canada blitz their much more talented players at the brick wall of Ryan Miller.

Instead you continue the same production playbook from 1968 with clips of past action that rabid fans have already seen and/or heard the results of, with musical interludes with heartwarming stories better saved for the Jerry Lewis MS telethon.  No wonder your station has dropped so far, so fast from "Must See TV" to having The Office (a re-make), fat people losing weight, and The Tonight Show as its outstanding brands...

... oh you screwed that pooch too

Shove the purely subjective "sports" onto the cable NON-HD FOR MANY PEOPLE channels, and start playing live sports like double decker luge, short track speed skating, and more downhill skiing coverage you know things that are EXCITING and bask in the ratings instead of rotting away like that Nazi dude in the Indiana Jones movie who got tricked into drinking from the false Holy Grail.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This is how you start off Saturday

If you need me, I'll be hiding out in this awesomely made fort until Sunday night's $4 million guaranteed Sunday Million


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fun With Forms in Triplicate

Brief personal going on then some pimping.

Yesterday I met with the guidance counselor over at Rasmussen College (yes, I know it's not a "big" school or even one with a lacrosse team, but considering my situation where the degree and knowledge, not to mention convenience factor, is more important than name brand it fits).  The accounting degree that is a scant three years away depending on whether some classes taken back when Clinton was in office will transfer.  Sitting in that office with the again attractive staff (it's a ploy isn't it?) I waffled hard as the dollar signs came out and the forced amount of credits needed to stay "active" so finanical aid would kick in if needed.

I thought with the smaller college she would be most equipped to handle a case like mine.  Sure, there was a script written out about all the wonderful resources and the like, but she kept giving me a sideways head turn like "what are you indecisive about, this is easy!".  Um, no.  My vision was "easy", signing papers for essentially a second mortgage minus the burly loan processor and partying like it's 1999 divorcee who conveniently forgot to tell us about the mold in the bathroom, fire hazard for a stove, and a driveway that resembled an active Mount Saint Helen crater hidden under the winter snow and ice and unable to inspect it.  My fairy tale of taking up books for knowledge was signing my name a few times and getting a student ID usable for $5 Timberwolves tickets and 1/2 lap dances at Rick's Cabaret on Tuesday night with a drink purchase.  Instead there was a minor flood of paperwork and sticker shock as to the cost of this endeavor.

It's all worth it.  Now that the path is clearer, less stressful as well.  Now to clean the Popov vodka and 10-pack of Taco Bell's excuses for tacos off my Arizona State transcript the amount of classes until that tassle goes up in my car will be solidified.

On to the pimping!

First up:  Lost Vegas is coming Lost Vegas is coming!  Hit up Pauly and Change 100's podcasts on the book many of us have been waiting for since the good doctor began the stories in the Redneck Riviera.

Episode 1 - Final Draft... The re-write is over and Change100 explains how she knew how/when Lost Vegas was finally done. She even tosses a Wonder Boys reference into the mix, while I remain moody and evasive.

Episode 2 - Lost Translation... Change100 and I discuss the French version of Lost Vegas, which is currently being translated by Benjo. Chapter 1 in French is complete and we figure out how my favorite (yet grossly overused term) "douchebag" gets properly translated.

Next up is the Gambling Tales Podcast which takes me to North Carolina each time I've been at the gym trying to catch up with Falstaff and Special K's musings on the world of gambling with a poker slant of course. Lee Jones, Dr. Pauly, and Tom Sexton are just a few of the great interview these two give with the feeling of sitting around a home game's table. Bonus is being able to listen to Short Stack Shamus whom puts up with my amateur hour during the live blogging at PokerStarsBlog

Of course Short Stack has his own podcast (which I regretfully haven't gotten to yet because I'm a techno-donk and just figured out that iTunes will automatically upload recent shows).

The MSPT is THIS week (not last week as I misunderstood up Mackey's note about staying up at Mille Lacs for nine days straight) I should I be vertical after going on another Surly Brewery tour on Friday, there will be a side trip up north to watch him and most likely Mileski compete in the $1,000 bracelet event for a bit. Well, at least until the Pai Gow tables call my name. Watch the Minnesota Poker Magazine's website for updates and photos.

And.... last but not least, this weekend is the huge $4 million guarantee Sunday Million at PokerStars as part of its 40 billionth hand promo (curse you RNG hit one of my tables!) Yours truly will be covering the action that will most likely have me up until work the next day. Your normal lovely scribe of the Sunday Million, Jen Newell will be joining up with Shamus and Otis for the kick-off NAPT pants party ON A BOAT with T-Pain as the NAPT Venetian starts this weekend.

Obligatory video:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

That Look

There's no neon sign to tell you when thoughts are going to overtake the normal everyday grind.  Nor construction posts to point you in the direction of the next bumpy road to overcome.  Riding down Highway 101 to a previously small town that has exploded with urban growth over the years due to its proximity to the Mississippi and the gateway to the excellent fishing resorts up north, I spent the time watching the sprawl of what was a quiet dirt road one shutter seasonal produce shop with chipped paint, now a full-sized year-round greenhouse with "activities" like a corn maze and pedal car track.

The night was to support a singer, an 19 year old daughter of my wife's co-worker.  She was playing a set list of popular soft country, soft rock songs along with original tunes stenciled down in lavender pen with the torn edgings from a tattered notebook.  The guitar was brand new, a gift from the doting mother and father who sat seven feet away hanging on to each of her notes the filled the 3/4th empty upper-scale bar.  The set up was small, taking up no more than corner as patrons slowly finished their tall Grain Belts hardly paying mind to woman by the smoking exit belting out hand strummed music.

While only a few kids and drink slingers at the bar took most than a few seconds to stop and listen, her parents mouthed the words to each song as they were no strangers to the "stage".  This isn't what one envisions in a day and age "American Idol" and "Coyote Ugly".  Just have a decent voice, nice body that doesn't have people running for eye bleach, and you're on your way to that seven figure contract and private jet flying you around to perform in every Hooter's location until that first album warrants a real tour.  Or maybe that closet-like space to play is the life for these musicians, as I've never been exposed to the local scene found in City Pages filled with bands and singers who are insurance adjusters by day, dreamers of the microphone by night.

When I saw her parents looks I remember getting the same look from my parents only it was a baseball field or a hockey game when their son's lanky buck-nothing frame managed to weave around a defense for a goal.  A sense of pride.  While my dreams of stepping onto Fenway with mom and dad in the stands died with a thud after a mid-80s fastball couldn't impress the scouts enough, a different direction was needed.  For years there was no direction, then the road changed completely with marriage and kids.  No more late-night volleyball and softball benders as they were replaced by mortgage payments and potty training.  No more freedom to just step in another direction and go as there were others to consider before my selfish decisions.

This Friday in the office of a small college with a counselor and cute Mimi Driver look-alike finanical aid rep with the Minnesotan accent (I declined to ask if she was auditioning for the sequel to "Fargo"), a new path will be set with the blessings of those most affected (ok grammar nazis did I use it right?) in the future.  And as Lindsay finished up her first set and my passable tall Samuel Adams Seasonal reached its bottom there's a renewed interest to see my parents in the stands with that look in their eyes but instead of Jofa-branded helmet or Osseo Orioles baseball cap uptop of my head, it will be an overpriced slate of cardboard with a tassle that will hang from my rear-view until my wife tells me to stop acting 18 and take it down.  

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Just Science Folks

condensation (kŏn'dĕn-sā'shən)


The act of condensing.

The state of being condensed.
A condensate.
An abridgement or shortening of something, especially of a written work or speech.
The process by which a gas or vapor changes to a liquid.
The liquid so formed.
Chemistry. A chemical reaction in which water or another simple substance is released by the combination of two or more molecules.
Psychology. The process by which a single symbol or word is associated with the emotional content of several, not necessarily related, ideas, feelings, memories, or impulses, especially as expressed in dreams.

Ok, people or persons driving this morning who do not understand such wild and seemingly difficult subjects such as math and sit around watching Yo Gabba Gabba all day while contemplating on whether making a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch may be too difficult, please take in this brief science lesson.  Condensation are those little droplets on your windshield, magically and not from Hogwarts, those droplets may find their way to the driving surface found below your tires.  Which brings us to the second BIG term you seem to be unable to grasp from the slow morning commute:
Friction (frĭk'shən)

The rubbing of one object or surface against another.
Conflict, as between persons having dissimilar ideas or interests; clash.
Physics. A force that resists the relative motion or tendency to such motion of two bodies or substances in contact.

You see, your tires are specialy made to create friction with the driving surface.  Without that friction you would float off to space and be shot down by a horde of Tie Fighters then ravishly raped by a 20 penis-tentacled monster from the 5th moon of Endor.  Condensation on the driving surface causes less friction in turn does not give you the ability to attempt that last second four lane change to hit the 694 Eest - 169 South off ramp.  Most likely you will end up in a snow bank with paramedics and half-awake police officers who were ready to punch the time clock on the graveyard shift, shaking their collective heads at your stupid ass as your brand new Honda Civic ran into:
Ice (īs)
Water frozen solid.
A surface, layer, or mass of frozen water.
Something resembling frozen water: ammonia ice.
A frozen dessert consisting of water, sugar, and a liquid flavoring, often fruit juice.
Cake frosting; icing.
Slang. Diamonds.
Sports. The playing field in ice hockey; the rink.
Extreme unfriendliness or reserve.
Slang. A payment over the listed price of a ticket for a public event.
Slang. Methamphetamine.

What might have seem like a nice fluffy snowbank was an NFL offensive line wall of brick hard ICE due to the transformation of slush bring cooled down by the night-time temperatures.  Now you got no money, and got no car, then you got no woman so there you are.  I suggest just going to:

Because you sure the hell aren't going to get to work today.  Thanks for the freeway light show this morning idiots.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekend With Laptops

Trying to pull away from playing more poker yet with the Mastodon weekend in Greenville, SC and a trip to Vegas next month along with the below going ons at Full Tilt and PokerStars have me throwing my bankroll onto the virtual felts.

Full Tilt has FTOPS MCDLXVIII going on and after checking out the final table of the PLO event the sites flagship tournament series is running as strong as ever.  Yes, RUSH POKER (a.k.a. freebase virtual crank) is still giving me fits and excitement.  Even after six years of playing a game with the largest dollar amount swings, Rush Poker still has my head spinning from the peaks and valleys.  But, for a full-time worker, parent of two, and soon-to-be student (pending finanical aid and transcript review) it brings the condensed full session of 500-1000 hands in a matter of one or two hours depending if I throw in a second table or even a third with 6-max PLO. 

One other promo you may want to check out the Big Little Tournament with a 200K guarantee for just two bucks AND its a turbo meaning this guy can slide in the play before work at the PokerStarsBlog tonight SCORE!

At PokerStars the milestone race is on as the 40th Billion hand promo has a giveaway with every millionth hand getting a slice of money multiplied by according to how many VPPs you've earned.  The true grinder will be walking away with a hefty score after that.  Also there's a chance for the low roller to get some high stakes action as a $40 buy in will get you into a $1 million guarantee tournament at 1:30 CST this afternoon.

If you're the live playing sort then a trip north to Mille Lacs Grand Casino for the conclusion of the Minnesota State Poker Tour $1K Bracelet event today because I suck at life I am not attending today and will be huddled under a blanket and laptop instead of having fun with like-minded degenerates.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sick Food, Sicker Beats

Yesterday I got the stark reminder that physics laws also apply at the poker tables.  In short order after a night of the real flop sweats thanks to a contaminated discount Banquet frozen chicken strip meal, there went table profits from the past two weeks.  Filtered thru the spinning tables of Full Tilt's Rush Poker and making some poor tilty decisions while mulit-tabling NLO8 games on PokerStars gone was the bloat my bankroll took and promptly placed back at square one before the feast of chips.

What once went up, came down with a thud but there would be a better feeling about it if ALL of the decisions were good ones instead of focusing on two "beats" and left shaking a tiny fist at the poker gods for those light percentages coming in.  Holes pepper my game in this regard as this is just as important as reading players and boards to make a correct decision.  Instead of losing four buy-ins yesterday, I could have been down just two due to making right moves and not turning into a turtling calling station.

Instead we move on, we learn, we look forward to things seeing the college counselor and financial aid folks tomorrow who will hopefully have some good news to obtaining some Obama bucks in pursuit of academic enrichment.  While not counting on such things, it would help not to have to pay for this degree as long as the first one which took 14 years to pay off.  Then again, a bachelor's degree should stretch a tad longer than my associates one as I soon found out after bouncing off the corporate glass ceiling enough times to leave an imprint of my 6'4" frame on the clear pane.

After watching yet another workgroup go down to "cuts", it was time to secure or at least increase my chances of hitting the ground running should one of these impromptu meetings center around my current department.  Having extra skills in the workplace besides the ability to cover poker tournaments and count poker hand outs faster than most people will prove to be essential in the future.  Far from saying I'm giving up on poker reporting as to tell you the truth (and I have many times) if the income ever warranted it and steady enough work, I would be in heaven rehashing some 22 year old math savant's rise to the latest cover of Bluff magazine after winning a WPT title just two months after taking down the Sunday Million.

But, even if the call came down the pipeline, school is the itch that needed to be rubbed the right way and I could use some knowledge beyond the latest Entertainment Tonight or Yahoo's 10 most searched topics which today are:

1. Benicio Del Toro (always liked him in Miami Vice)
2. Airport Delays (if this happens in three weeks expect another news story from MSP about an irate passenger being restrained)
3. Taliban (who doesn't enjoy reading about terrorist!)   
4. Kobe Bryant (no, he kept it in his shorts this time)
5. Ghostbusters III (Hell and YES!  Time to break out the Ray Parker Jr.?  I think so!)

6. American Idol (Ellen gets a ticket, but who wears the dress when she brings a date to hollywood?)
7. Chicago Auto Show (um, shouldn't Tara Reid in Playboy, Lohan, Brittany, or Paris be somewhere on this list?)
8. Charles Wilson (unfortunately I do not follow politics but my condolences)
9. Olympic Skeleton (personally I would have gone for the Lindsay Vonn in the swimsuit edition, but fast sleds make for just as good pleasure.  Just a different kind that doesn't involve peppermint lotion)
10. Crib Recall

No Reggie Bush getting treated to a naked Karadashian sandwich on the balcony of Bourbon street?  Lame.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back to the Nerdery

Wife approved. The long road to CPA certification begins.

Barring some horribly bad news from the college conselor on Friday, I officially become a college student again at the ripe age of 35 by the end of the week.

Hopefully the Tri-Delts are in need of someone who can buy beer :) TOGA TOGA TOGA!!

Oh, and I'd like to thank the makers of Banquet frozen dinners for the 15 hour nap I took since 2pm yesterday while twisting and turning like a fish out of water and a Rappala triple hook in my stomach. Usually pride myself on an iron gut but those imitation chicken strips knocked me out of commission faster than a blown tranmission.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Cost and Benefit Returning to College Module of Marriage

Ask any parent what sound they would like to hear again before stepping off the earth into (insert afterlife/dirt nap belief here).  As someone who has two little forms currently tearing up his house and bank account the one thing I could listen to for my final days and nothing but is their laughs. 

Prior to kids there was no reservations about going out to eat, hitting up a party, or prolonging an education.  Time and circumstance seep into every decision now and one of the biggest ones is the cost and benefit of returning to school.  Not so much the monetary form of debt, but one of time.  Growing up with a part-time dad who worked himself to the bone so he could provide a stable household gives me shocks each time we're sitting around their new widescreen displaying the Price is Right on a Friday morning.  While Drew's Dancing Dolls (do they have a monkier yet like Barker's Beauty's?) are bouncing on stage after Wilma the 320 lbs. admin assistant from Marietta, Georgia drops her Pinko chip into the $10,000 slot, here I am having a conversation about football with my father that baffles me since I barely met that man growing up.

He tirelessly worked for our benefit, but left a hole at home at times and each time I hear my children laugh I wonder just how much my father missed that versus having to resort to being an after hours disciplinarian.  Of course now he's the doting grandfather who's job is nothing more than provide hugs and a warm place to sit down for Max and Ruby on Sprout.

While researching this going back to college thing, there's a tear between losing hours with my kids, wife, friends and wanting something a little more but unsure if that something more is worth the cost.  Am I doing it for the right reasons, to benefit the house or is it merely a pursuit of self-satisfaction with a heavy cost on those whose lives I'm trying to better?  If I were single, heck if I didn't have that nasty head injury years ago I'd probably already have my Bachelor's degree instead of the dusty Associates degree that seemed to do nothing but take up a quick line on a packed away out-dated resume.

Me personally, I'm fine with the extra work load as a new challenge would be a great boost, but is there balance for them?  The websites of the colleges I looked at were very vague on completion and even worse since I haven't gone to school in over 10 years my credits may not transfer and starting completely over is not in the ballpark. Looking at the flow charts of courses for the past week I felt like that idiot 19 year old freshman at Arizona State who couldn't decide on a mild or hot sauce for next 10 pack of Taco Bell faux burritos let alone a major.  Do I go back and continue trying to become a CPA?  Or chase my love for all things computer related and channel my inner-geek that has been locked away for years in a CIS-type program?

The push and pulls of the excuses and questions has me leaning towards status-quo but possibly looking for something new on the work front instead.  A big problem is the wife expressed her skeptism towards this educational push, missing T-ball games, swimming lessons, and our renewed marriage. 

The last one being a VERY big reason in my book.

Being practical and realistic isn't for chasing a dream, it's for preventing your car from becoming inbedded in a eight foot high snow wall because you tried that cornering move once seen on Fast and the Furious Toyko Drift while trying to channel your inner Vin Diesel.  Right now I'm torn between sliding my tires sideways and hoping they catch in time to make the turn or taking the bend slowly for a smoother ride and enjoying the scenary as it passes.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Key to Enjoying the Super Bowl: Indifference

At first while watching the pre-game shows to the Super Bowl I was:

Then the commericials were somewhat-kinda-sorta funny, and the craft beers my buddy brought over made the game and the goal line stance by the Colts before halftime made me:

Enjoyable again. Decent mini concert by The Who, onside kick, untimely Manning fail, and more beer giving way to some bad attempts at television ad humor and allowing Shannon Sharpe to continue to butcher the English language worse than a lispy blogger and get paid six to seven figures for it. Oh wait, that's me but more like two figures here. And a few more chippy hits by the Saintly Saints reminding how close it was that the men in Purple could have been there, and... we're back to:

Bourbon Street probably was more hopping than Hennipin Avenue last night even if the people in this state had a rooting interest in the game.  Instead of a grandeur spread of Vikings fans coming out of the woodwork with a backyard bonfire and frat party alcohol spread we settled on indifference and enjoying the inside jokes that a group of friends have after being around each other 15+ years.  The cookies were good too, and no you can't have any because my cookie monster son wrapped in G.I. Joe jammies ate them all.  Jerk.

The weekend was a college search, a car repair search (damn you transmission JUST WORK), and some slightly profitable poker play at Full Tilt and PokerStars as with the winter months my play increases since the weather outside is more optimial for a Eskimo versus an office worker who is two shades of white from becoming translucent.  Rush Poker continues to draw me in as I've up to two tables:  one NLHE and one PLO 6-max in the search for a TomTom from the Full Tilt points store which was badly needed after trying to navigate Dinkytown on Saturday morning en route to my son's TC Marathon fun run at the U of M Fieldhouse.  There were tears and luckly a very bored criminal justice law student who took time away from tort research to draw a map for a hurried parent with two crabby kids and a wife ready to lose it in the car.

Might need to ramp up my play a bit.

And if you're one of two Minnesota poker folks reading these pages this morning, the page has been redone AND there's a week long Minnesota Poker Tour series going on right now at Grand Casino Hinckley Mille Lacs with the $1K bracelet event this weekend.  If the weather calms down and the mini van's transmission cost does not exceed salvage worth, I'll be making a small trip up north on Saturday to check out the place where I made my first LEGAL casino wager over 17 years ago.

I think I just heard my knee pop again.  Old age sucks.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

VIP for the Low Roller

Tried a little experiment last night.

No, it did not envolve my wife, the Adam and Eve diry schoolgirl pack, or copulous amounts of Captain Morgan "Bite" (if you like lime in your Cap'n Coke I suggest give it at least a try, but snobbish me likes the real thing if I can be bothered to quarter them after buying the $.49 pack of citrus at Target).  Since this is was a poker blog you get poker more often than poke her news which if her parents are reading happened just three times over the past 12 years.

Had to test the goods before breeding of course.

Anyhow...   this month is a slight dip back into the playing pool of FPPs, FTPs, and any other acronyms used at the various poker sites for their frequent player points/VIP programs.  My intent is to achieve SilverStar again at Stars, and some variation of Iron Man at Full Tilt (this is split into Bronze, Silver, Gold, IRON MAN *cue Ozzy to jump out of your laptop looking a bit confuzzled asking you to score some Oxycontin while the rest of Black Sabbath starts up the BBBWWWWWOOOOWWWW I. AM. IRON. MAN).  Thanks to the new heroin of poker, Rush Poker is allowing people like myself (low rollers who don't keep a lot of cash online) to achieve status at their site so I can purchase a couple of college educations from their FTP store.  Saves a lot of trouble scrapping by on ramen noodles and our new peddle-powered cars so that my kids can enjoy the wonders of Anthropology 201:  The Study of Ancient Byzantine Sponges at the college of their choice.

Or that nikon camera might come in handy hitting up the beach for the two weeks during the summer that we can be outside from 1:00-1:15pm without having to wear five layers.  I kid, its actually three weeks and thanks to global warming there's an extra five minutes of beach volleyball and sand castles.

To the poker!  Ok, I fired up the following to see which would produce the most "points" at the two sites mentioned above in beautiful blue underline because I enjoy both and have friends working there so please support them or you're responsible for pulling them away from the back row of Mr. Cashman two cent slot machines at the Four Queens as they try to win back their once stable paycheck while double fisting $.99 shrimp cocktails with the pissed off look of someone who just had their puppy kicked.  No pressure.

Full Tilt:  One famous "Rush Poker" table $.25/$.50 blinds (because I'm a BALLER!)
PokerStars:  Eight No Limit Omaha 8 or Better tables with $.25/$.50 blinds and a complete lack of bankroll management since I keep no more than $600 on the site at all times

The play lasted for about ninety minutes as AlCantHang hopped on the girly chat and Twitter with pictures of those delicious TastyKakes only found in the heavily wooded area of Pennsyltucky which made my mind wander back to the greatest convenience store in the world, and also the site where I spent a little time with two police officers and failing horribly to appear sober while slobbering on a freshly made philly cheesesteak after last call at the Boathouse.

Zero focus, good for writing, bad for poker.  Live and learn on the interwebs folks we're here for you.

Ok, after ninety minutes of half attention I manage to not blow my meager bankrolls at the respective sites and managed to shuffle cash from one site to the other as par on most nights when I play at both.

PokerStars:  +$42.89
Full Tilt:  -$29.24

Since I do not play NLHE cash games often without being surrounded by the good folks who normally come here, what's with the new "let's-limp-aces-and-call-everything" style of play seen at Full Tilt?  The monsters under the bed radar goes way up after a can of Surly Furious and seeing this passive to the extreme play no less than four times in 90 minutes.  While I never played them for stacks, I did crack the aces twice with two pair simply because check-call all the way down is better left for a limit game.  Nonetheless, there were no horrible stackings after being down over a buy-in, I only lost a little less than a buy-in thanks to a flopped set of jacks and someone who just couldn't fold his/her pocket fours in the last five minutes of the session.

PokerStars went better despite getting stacked five minutes after pouring said beer, and in puke-and-rally form made a decent profit on the night thanks to people who try playing Omaha Hi in a split game.

The important stuff:

Full Tilt:  147.16 FTPs  (last 15 minutes of play was during "Happy Hour" thus points were doubled, would have waited for Happy Hour to start, but sleep is a fun thing to do when your daughter is bound to wake you at 2am to search for her Rainbow Care Bear)
PokerStars:  225.18 VPPs

Note:  PokerStars gives you VPPs to "rank" you in their VIP hierarchy but gives you FPPs at the same rate while multiplied by your "rank".  Example:  as a "SilverStar" I get a 1.5 multipler so I received *gets calculator* 337.77 FPPs to use in their store last night.

I thought it would be a wash but mutli-tabling still held king over the crack table BUT the risk of ruin is much higher with funds so far spread out, I'll continue this little experiment throughout the month as time and cookie monster kids permit as there's a poker game in G-Vegas next month that I will flying out for and need the practice against people who treat chips like lego blocks.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Attempting the Triple Lindy

Poster cred:

This morning I got my Bizet on. While in a car that was purchased right after the missus and I decided to become a couple ten years ago, it is now the possession of my parent's since three months after bringing home the now defunct Black Daewoo Laganza my life took a heavy turn into the ditch.

The radio stations were not set to the usual Mike and Mike in the morning, or the local rock station for some Zeppelin to bide the time between home and the Bullseye. So, I let the car get covered in sweeping notes with an opera singer in the background and reflected a bit while avoiding the black ice that the latest snow fall covered up. Thanks to a handed-down mini van that's transmission may or may not determine if our savings account will get a bump from the federal government after taxes are done next month, I'll be riding in this reminder of a life prior to migraines and dark corners which left me shackled for weeks at a time with Jigsaw's Saw-like efficiency.

Most who read here already know the happy ending, or beginning depending on the point-of-view one would take as blogging, and poker blogging in particular have given this man-child another shot at becoming the person that was tested for "talent" back in the days of Cedar Island elementary. Two years ago there were tears shed as I climbed back into the driver's seat of a car. Not needing a ride to the airport to go to Philly for quiet, somber time with AlCantHang and the bar olympics. Actually it was the opposite of silent, and defined everything that rocks about the people I've met thru this little haven. Guinness Pot Pie, gunshot riddled walls, "skillets", good booze, better conversation, amazing people.

Then last year more facial raindrops came as I heard that annoying car beep if you leave the blinker on too long for the time after getting the hearing aids. The crackle of your egg frying up in the Bertoli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the misprounced words of a three year old sounding more endearing, and Joe Buck droning on about how football players SHOULD conduct themselves rather than focus on the play and the reason millions of Americans watch the sport (think Aikman will ever just turn to him and say "Shut the fuck UP"?)

I'd pay good money for that and throw in a basket of freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

This year after watching a good friend lose his job and taking a good look around myself and deciding that I need a little more challenge I'll be shooting to don another cardboard hat and tassle sometime in the way off future. It a scary place like the crawl space under the stairs with a suspect light and possible dark elves waiting there to kidnap you to be sacrified in front of the Spider Queen so they may stay in favor of Lloth. While I hope to avoid such a dreadful death, living without a complete college degree is one that I can't no longer justify. Right now the uncertainty of where to even start such a side road is making me skittish, but since my 2-year A.S. degree is about as good as (insert poker analogy here, cmon you WANTED IT!) there's a need to see myself with a thousand watt smile sometime in 2013 or so with a ticket to a better job.

Returning to the classroom will not have the immaturity of playing Aces, Euchre, or Cribbage in the student union instead of learning about the marketing techniques of adult toy companies. Actually talk about slinging dildos and fleshlights sounds interesting as you can't slap a billboard up in Times Square about the mouth, anal, vagina 3-in-1 attachment deal going on right now without having the moral police coming the next day to knock down your displays of Sasha Grey life-like dolls to put you out-of-business.

No, there will be focus on the kids. There will be focus on learning proper sentence structure and maybe a few creative writing courses will be needed to spice up these pages and when I get the tap for tournament reporting (especially the big tourneys like SCOOP and WCOOP at PokerStarsBlog, and possibly the WSOP). But, honestly its for those two little ones at home and a wife that I love that pushes me to try a little harder and not become complacent with being happy now and instead look at giving our family the best chance to stay this way.

Not a bad thought train for a 10 minute drive. Now I just need to buy the ticket and get on.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Seven for Ten

Minnesotans already blanketed by some white stuff as the shovels were not quite put away for the season and unless Punxsutawney Phil says otherwise we'll enjoy every flurry and flake. People who like snow most likely don't have an 5am daily commute and got stuck behind a snowplow while having to share a car for the week because the other one had a transmission that decided to cease functioning while driving 65mph down I-694 with two kids in the back that wanted nothing other than to learn how float in water.

Tax return to shore up savings? Yeah, that was a great idea at the time. Kinda feel like the couple in "Up" trying to throw change into the large jar for the trip to Paradise Falls only to have life show up at the door and say "take the hammer out again, the move is going to have to wait". It's the journey right? Right now that journey has frozen digits 90% of the day and a daughter who tries to make two gallons of cherry red kool-aid in a dixie cup then decides to clean up the mess by smearing in on the walls and tile with a white towel.

At least there's a smile.

The busy end-of-the-month Sunday's at the PokerStarsBlog give me a chance to slide on the cozy slippers of hair metal, online geniuses, and bad puns as the kids and wife vacated the porch while wrote up the Battle of the Planets, $1,000,000 Turbo Takedown, and Sunday Warm-up tournaments. While those were going on, my eye was taking a quick glance at Twitter because rumors have been swirling about a certain Minnesota sports icon looking to come back.

No, sadly if you're one of the legion of Brett Favre fans no word from the land baron as of yet. My advice is to listen for the words from Jay Glazer or local reporter Mark Rosen NOT Ed Wants-to-stir-the-pot-and-play-with-the-big-kids Werder.

Pic cred

No, its the hometown kid. "The One". The reason for the move from the homerdome to Target Field starting this season. St. Paul's own Joe Mauer is on the cusp of signing with the Twins basically a contract for the remainder of his career. Effectively removing any chance of tainting the all-star catcher with Yankee pinstripes, LA Douchebagerry or Bloody Soxs should he sign contract being floated out there instead of bagging the bloated contract he could demand from the above teams.

While I will always have an interest in the local ballclub, it's magnified when number seven is playing. Much like a golf tournament with Tiger Woods, a hockey game with Gretzky, to a Minnesota Twins fan who had to watch their hero from the 80s fall from grace and to health, because of Joe Mauer they had someone special to cheer for again. While Puckett exerted energy, Mauer's freshly cropped sideburns brings the quiet cool. Cool enough to to be in awe but friendly enough to play some catch with the fans on a side street if asked.

Mr. Mauer it is with hope that you decide to spend half a season in the confines of downtown Minneapolis for the next decade as I'll be there every month except in April because outdoor baseball in such a month in this state is borderline retarded (yes, I have played in snow several times). Just make the decision soon and leave the ESPN drama to Favre who has experience in such waffling and football fans have grown used to it.

Take the high road down newly named Twins Way and find a few fans that will show up regardless of team's record (and maybe even the weather).