Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finally Broke the JokerStars Jinx

For years and years, I've done nothing but suck major hind tit at JokerStars, my least favorite poker site. In fact, for the last couple of years, I've subsisted there pretty much solely on an occasional sponsor transfer into my JokerStars account, which I manage to stretch out for three months before I donk it all off, just in time for another sponsor to step up.

I've never really took it as "mondogarage sucks at poker" (even if I probably do), because I've had my share of success at Bodog, and even at FTP, I've managed to cash about 6x as often, even playing more high variance Omaha tourneys, and am lifetime ahead there.

Until tonight, the best I'd ever done is a 57th in the Sunday $10+1 $100k guarantee (shows how long ago that was, at least over a year), and I think I took down a $4/180 once, and I did once take either 2nd or 3rd in a HORSE MTT for some sorta decent holla dollas.

Well, tonight that finally changed, when I managed to take down a $3 Turbo Triple Shootout, besting something like 728 other players to score my first real BOOOM on that sickest of all sites.

The one odd part of the tourney was that each of my first two shootout tables was just about the very last one to finish of its round. In each case, I played slowly and patiently (for a turbo), managing to steal just enough to stay in the top 3 until I could get a hand big enough to take someone out with. Also in each case, the heads up felt a lot shorter than the final three, but still took a good 13-14 hands.

Anyway, the chips were obviously even going into the final table, being a shoot out. The final table was pretty tough -- I don't think there was an elimination for the first 20 or so hands, which strikes me a lot at what was at the end a 1-table turbo SNG.

Another round of patience and chipping up helped me get to heads up with my 2nd massive HU chiplead of the tournament:

Fortunately, heads up didn't last too long in this case, when my opponent (who'd played pretty strong for the most part) open shoved from the button when I was holding KK:

And that was that.

Does that fully restore my faith in JokerStars, or did many years of variance finally catch up to me in my favor...um....ONE TIME. You be the judge.

Still, not only did a victory here feel GOOD (and was my 2nd MTT takedown overall in September), the payout actually added about 450% to what my mini-me JokerStars roll was. Gosh, I don't think I've ever had a roll on JokerStars that even matches the payout of this tourney. I'll try not to donk it all in one place.

I'm still not going to run up for HPT, since the $340 qualifiers are starting to wind down, and frankly, I don't see how I can find the time to get up to Blackhawk this week...such is life.

Good luck, all!

Monday, September 29, 2008

12 Angry Men

Seriously, did 12 Republican members of the House of Representatives actually change their mind and vote no on the boondoggle bailout today because Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings? Really? Really?

Wow. I never thought it would be possible for twelve grown men, likely millionaires all, and some of the most powerful men in the country, to be so small and petty as to vote a certain way on one of the most significant pieces of legislation in our nation's history on being sensitive. Just when, exactly, did Daniel from Season 5 of Project Runway become a member of Congress, exactly?

There are certainly a lot of arguments to be made on behalf of the bailout, and at least as many to be made on behalf of no bailout whatsoever. For myself, I'm increasingly growing of the mind that Congress should stay out of this entirey (but if it does go for a bailout, it is a must that it include the ability for bankruptcy judges to modify the payment terms of defaulted mortgages).

However, I can think of nothing more shameful than deciding to vote a certain way because you think it's best for the country, and then changing your mind because someone made your butt hurt by a couple of lines in a floor speech. Seriously, if that represents the size of your stones, just drop your re-election campaign now, because you twelve are a bunch of abject pussies who don't even have the guts to cast a vote you believe in. I truly feel sorry for your constituents, knowing that you've spent your careers on the Hill voting not your conscience or your brain, but on whether or not someone ate the last Thin Mint on the box.

Oh poor poor pitiful me, that big bad old Pelosi bruised my ego. I'm gonna take my ball(s) and go home.

You think that's harsh, just wait until Barney Frank visits you to talk uncharacteristically nice.

Hey Johnny Mac, you still want to take credit for the bailout bill?

The Republicans no longer get to talk about the "angry left", but here, have a tissue and go have a good cry now that Nancy Pelosi hurt your poor feelings.

No poker the last couple of days, so no poker content.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Unexpected Awesomeness


Even the National Review is begging Sarah Palin to drop out of the VP race.

Just weeks ago, every right wing pundit and talking head was proclaiming the entire Democratic party as quaking in their collective boots, at how this gun' totin' hockey mama from the Yukon was going to blow up the political landscape, and sweep John "I Don't Know Economics, but Let's Not Debate About It" McCain all the way up Pennsylvania Avenue.

Then she opened her mouth. Then, she opened it again. Then, she couldn't even handle a ten minute sitdown with Katie Couric. No knock on Couric, but she's no Mike Wallace or Chris Matthews.

The National Review really said it best -- Sarah Palin is "Clearly Out Of Her League".

Forget Putin "rearing his head and invading our airspace", Palin should really just lower hers and quit invading our airwaves. Or better yet, please stick around. Because as long as you do, not even Joe Biden could hurt the Democratic ticket.

What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Mr. Irrelevant? Lipstick.

As for tonight's debate, we may just see a bit of this:

Speaking of Bash(ing), I know a ton of you bloggers are hanging with Al (who says AlCan'tHang anyway?) this weekend -- have fun, I wish I could be there, but Pennsyltucky is a long way from my lil' battleground state. Be safe and rock hard.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Man, you have no idea how much I'd like to be able to play in the Mookie tonight...

I pretty much don't care whether or not the world's most break even player wins his prop bet with LJ tonight...it will be worth playing just for the table chatter.

If the Mookie can get 80 runners, Waffles will drop an additional $109 to the winner, which is pretty awesome, pretty manly, and significatly less than break even for him. Good luck, Waffles.

Alas...twice-already-rescheduled band rehearsal's got me by the short and curlies tonight, especially since my recent bad cold caused one of the postponements already...

Oh Let There Be Another Donkey

Thanks to the fine folks over at Poker Bonus Codes, even in this age of having page ranks deGoogled beyond recognition and belief, I've got a few sheckels in my Poker Stars account again. (and yeah, it's already back to below three figures, thanks to people who like to get their money in as 6:1 dogs...)

Anyway, come get some while the getting's good, because it's not likely to last long. After all, it is JokerStars we're talking about here, where the best way to take my money is also the most common...just be one of these:

Equus asinus

Hee fuckin' Haw, Roy Clark, are you spinning in your geeeetar case yet?

Bodog Poker Open

Yeah......it's on.


Thanks to my win last night, in a 143 player turbo MTT, I may actually try to play an event or two of this. However, I'm still not rolled to go after any of the juicier events, so tourneys such as the Kickoff Event and Main Event, both of which are on Sundays, are definitely out. Besides, I essentially don't play online poker on the weekends (except for very rare occasions when the Good Doctor Mondo is out of town).

Of course, I typically only play Tuesdays now, which leaves the $20+2 Pot Limit HE event my most viable option.

On the other hand, I've final tabled two Bodog turbo MTTs in my last three attempts (with one win), so Monday's $30+3 Turbo Bounty Tourney ($15k guaranteed) may be a better call. Both have double starting stacks.

The event I'd probably most like to play, that is actually within my roll is next Friday's $25+2.50 $10k gurantee, also with a double starting stack. But that seems unlikely, given there's bound to be a band that will take precendence.

Anyway, as I'm definitely not rolled for the biggest events, I send my support over to these guys, I'd dig seeing one of you take down the Main Event.

(Not to shortchange any other bloggers, but I don't know anyone else playing these events...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skippin' the Heartland, and Pulsating MTT Action

Well, good luck to everyone going up to Blackhawk for the Heartland Poker Tour. I decided tonight not to go, as my temperment is currently unable or unwilling to deal with the most atrocious donkey beats imaginable.

The online poker world has been, with one notable exception, kicking me in the junk beyond belief this week.

I swear, if someone calls my reshove (holding AK sooooted) with J8 off and hits, two from the money in a $5k...or calls my 4 bet shove (with QQ on button) with A9 and hits A on the river, for a stack big enough to take me to $$$ in a $40k guarantee...or runner runner flushes me three spots from the money in a 500 player tournament....

Anyway, I'm embarrassed at how loudly I was swearing in my living room last night...loud enough for the Good Doctor Mondo to hear as she pulled up to the garage last night.

If that happened to me up at the Golden Gates during the HPT, I think I'd be as likely to literally throw a fist at someone, instead of just slapping my fist on a barstool or pillow. I am simply not presently in a mental state to take the horrible beat by a horrible player three spots before the $340 qualifier bubble. A race is a race. And I can totally deal with running QQ into AA, or say, having KK outflop AA, or even having AQs catch an AK, etc. You know what I'm talking about, the kind of battles for stacks where, whether or not the play was optimal, it was at least understandable or justifiable...where your stack is truly short enough that it's +EV to shove any two broadway cards from the cutoff in an unopened pot, or restealing from a button who you've seen to be raising light and showing down trash, etc.

But those incomprehensible plays by terrible players, who these days are invariably hitting their river miracles on me...I just don't think I can deal with that in a high buy-in live event right now, because the online poker world has just been truly abusive of me of late. It's so bad, I'm correctly predicting the river that beats me just about every time now. "Here comes the case K.............and there it is."

I did mention above about one notable exception, and here it is:

BOOOOM!, I actually took one down, the Bodog $10+1 NHLE Turbo, that runs at something like 9pm in my time zone. There were around 143 runners this time around, and for once, I didn't take any atrociously horrible beats. I mean, I did lose a couple of pots where I was heavily ahead when the chips went it, but in each case, they plays were completely reasonable under the circumstances, and I never felt hosed.

This almost didn't happen. After chipping up big early, and coming into the final three tables either 2nd or 3rd in chips, by the time we got to the final table bubble, I was just about on the morphine drip. However, I was able to last, and got in a strong position when I called all ins by two short stacks at the final table and my AQs held (I belive the all ins were A7 and A4s). This put me in 2nd of the final five, and I was on my way. Heads up looked like this:

Heads up went somewhere between 18-20 hands or so, with a bit of back and forth. At one point, we were nearly even in chips, but there was essentially no button limping on either side, and pots were taken preflop or on the flop, until this hand:

I believe I raised pot preflop, and he smooth called. What is he shoving that flop with? At this point, I don't care, I'm not folding bottom two pair with backdoor possibilities here.

Well, guess some of my backdoor options are knackered, but I'm ahead (less comfortably than I thought), and may have made the same shove myself. Frankly, I think check-shoving the flop is as good a play as shoving. Is it better or worse, what do you think? If villian put me on a random A or K, or small pocket pair (given preflop action), he probably thinks he induces a fold here. Anyway, I think his play was fine.

And it actually held up. Wow.

Once again, the final payout was pretty small. It's always the 400+ runner and more MTTs where I get truly hosed. So maybe the ticket for me is to stick with 150-180 player tournaments, no matter the buy-in? Does that make any sense. This was my 5th MTT victory at Bodog this year, but none had more than 220 runners, and two had less than 100. I suppose that's variance, or maybe the 15-20 table starting range is just a sweet spot of sorts for me. I haven't figured that out just yet.

At any rate, I've been able to work my Bodog roll just about up to what it was before my recent withdrawal, so I'll take it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Return to the Heartland

If you haven't already read, the Heartland Poker Tour is back in Blackhawk, once again at the Golden Gates, home of the nicest poker room in Colorado. This will be HPT's third stop in Colorado, and they've finally named the event the Mile High Poker Open. Of course, being Colorado, home of restrictive casino limits, there is no direct buy-in to the main event which starts on Friday, October 3rd. Instead, you have to qualify for the main event by way of $340 qualifiers, which are really supersats. One in five players in each qualifier gets in to the main event, which makes the main event equate to a $1700 buy-in.

The first of sixteen $340 satellite events is this coming Saturday, October 20th. There are also $80 and $110 single table sit-and-go's where players can win seats into a $340 qualifier. The satellite events have nice structures, but the SNGs are truly donkeyshovefests, with 1500 in starting chips and blinds that increase every ten minutes. I swear they play almost just about like playing the chippies on Full Tilt. There is a rumor that if you win five satellites, you are entered into the main event, but a) I have not confirmed this, and b) this would seem to run counter to Colorado gaming law, especially as the SNGs pay out in cash, not qualifier tickets.

I have yet to decide whether or not I'm going to try to take part. Work schedule requirements dictated that I miss the last two events, and that does not look to be a factor for me this time. However, until last night, I've been running extremely poorly, for the most part. I started writing this post before yesterday's play. I'm hoping to go through another week and see how things hold up. I can afford the $340 to take the shot, but if I'm running like ass, I just don't see the point. But I feel confident enough after my play last night to give it a go -- I just want to see if I can back it up with more solid play first. We'll see...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Night Live Blogging

8:02pm - So far so good, mostly. I'm still alive in all the tourneys I fired up. I did add a $5.50 PL O8, which I'm barely alive in. But in the Daily Doubles, at first break, I'm sitting 87th of 658 in DD A, and 101st of 596 in DD B. Very few showdowns, a few steals, and both times I hit AA, I was able to checkraise all in on non-scary flops or turns, to knock out others.

8:08pm - Just doubled up KK v 66 in the Bodog $10+1 $5k, when I really needed it. Got a bit above average chips. Was pretty much unplayable first hour, and just sat tight.

8:11pm - Tripled up in the Omatard, but still 45th of 55, 27 pay, 219 runners started, so I've got my work cut out for me.

8:14pm - More than doubled up again, versus table large stack...20 of 52 in Omatard, and almost at average chips; can be much more selective.

8:29pm - Huge hand in DD A gets me to 6th of 519. In BB with AA, late position minraised, button called, I 3 bet to 1100, with one call. Flop is Q high, all diamonds (I have A of Diamonds). I was trying to decide what to do, when aggro player on my right shoves (he had KT with one diamond, I think. AA held (no flush), and off we go.

8:39pm - Well, phoo. Out of DD B, when I shoved QQ into AA. I should have known better, as I'd made standard raise pf, villain min-raised, and he checked the 667 flop. I should really have checked behind. So no double cash bonus for me, once again. However, I'm sitting 9th of 434 in DD A, and still alive in all my other events, including the Omatard game.

8:54pm - 2nd break in the Omatard game, and we're on the exact money bubble. 27 pay, 28 left. Sitting in 21st, so if I can be disciplined, maybe I can make a run. 26th of 336 in DD A, but the two players on my immediate right are in the top 10. Lots of chips at this table = lots of opportunity, and I have position. Still, I can't get stupid here.

9:11pm - 2nd break in DD A, and I've had to fold for the last 15 minutes, except for one steal. Still, 49th of 253, with 150% of average chips, but only 3rd in chips at my table. Money broke in Omatard, and still kicking. Also still kicking in the Bodog $5k and $5 rebuys, but not in the moolah just yet.

9:42pm - DD A bubble broke, as did the $5k. Unfortunately, I've worked my way backwards in both, and need to double up if I want to have a chance for a deep run.

9:59pm - In the very same minute, just went out of both Omatard (14th), and the DD A, somewhere like 120th. The funny part is I had AA on the button in DD A, but less than 3 BB. I had the worst cards ever for about 40 straight hands. BB *had* to call preflop with something like Q8o (less than 1/2 BB for him to call), and he naturally caught his gutter on the river. Still kicking deep in Bodog $5k (29 left, above average), and the $5R (about 20 spots from money).

10:18pm - Nice. In the Bodog $5k, I called a raise and a smaller all-in preflop with KQs. Button overshoves, and original raiser folds. I think if original EP raiser calls here, I fold. However, EP folds, so I call. My KQs is up against JJ, and JJ. Yup, JJOK. K on the flop, and everyone's drawing dead. Down to final two tables, and while I'm now below average chips, it's skewed by one massive stack on other table. I like my chances at this point.

10:25pm - Ugh. Just got AA cracked for the first time, in the $5R. Folds to me in the small blind, so I min-raise and get a call. Flop is Q high. I check, he min bets, I bet about 2/3 pot. Of course, he shoves, I call, and he flips KQ for 2nd pair, 2nd kicker (donkey). Well, Q hits the river, and I'm below average, and still not quite in the money. I would have been top 5 if my AA hold. But I've had AA 6-7 times tonight all told, and this is the first time they were cracked, so no whining.

10:51pm - Okay, now I whine. Bodog $5k, five seats from final table. I pick up QQ under the gun, and raise pot, for 40% of my chips, hoping to get a 3-bet, or shoving any flop. Get one caller. Obviously, an AAK flop, and I check fold. Two hands later, I pick up KK, and player to my right shoves. Obviously, I call and am facing AQ, A on flop kills me. fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. Instead of a shot at $1500, I score a whole $45.00. So fuckin' awesome. As I type this, we're on the very bubble in the $5R. Funnily enough, I can end up cashing in 4 out of 5 events tonight, and barely pick up any ground on my bankroll.

11:11pm - Three tables left in the $5R, and I just saw a dude flop a royal...and get paid. I'm on the drip, trying to at least pick up two spots to the next pay tier, but after getting three outed, my M is about 4.5.

11:18pm - Wow, more than doubled up on two consecutive hands. Caught a miracle A on the river for my AQ to beat JJ (for my only suckout all night, believe it or not...except for Omatard 8, which is and was suckout central), and the next hand, KK held up against AJs. Who knows how this song ends, but I now have a final table stack in the $5R. Hoping to catch a repeat, this is like one of the only MTTs I've won online, and I've actually won it twice, if my recollection is correct. LOTS of work left to do.

11:28pm - AJs beat KJo, funny part being after my big pot bet, he's got 4k left, I bet 3k on turn, and 3k on river (there was already about 130k in pot after flop). I didn't need the flush, but I'll take it. Twelve left, mondo 2nd in chips.

11:44pm - WOOT, FINAL TABLE, coming in 4th in chips, let's see what happens! Almost made three final tables, but I'll take what I can get, and try to rebuild the Bodog roll.

Midnight - Aaaaaand, out in 5th. I raised A9o under the gun, and was 3 bet. I should have either folded or shoved pf, because my pot bet was over 1/3 of my stack. Ran into JJ, and the A on the flop didn't help me when a J followed for his flopped set. So no victory, but I would have been pissed to get so close to so many final tables without making any, so I'm pretty happy. Not to mention, my restarted Bodog roll (post withdrawal) ended up doubling tonight. As long as I keep my buyins small going forward, I should be good for the year.

Good luck all, I'm beat.

Poker Goals For the Week

As others have observed, the online poker blogosphere's been pretty bereft of real strategy posts these days.

As I've never been a strong contributor in that area, I don't suppose I'm going to start now. I suppose part of this is that I don't use PokerTracker (as I virtually never play cash tables, and am such a small baller), and I've gotten bad about copying/pasting hand histories into a .txt file to upload to a site later. I'll try to get a bit better, at least insofar as occasionally saving a hand that's more interesting from a decision-making perspective, than it is just another exemplar for a brag/beat post.

However, I do resolve to try to do a better job of not pushing marginal edges in marginal spots, particularly early in tournaments. Why 4-bet your AK out of position when you're sitting on 50 big blinds? Why put your tournament life at stake with presto, against a tight player, when you're sitting on 80 big blinds? (Even this guy probably folds that hand once in a while...)

Oh, and keep myself to four tables or less. I suppose that means the FTP Daily Doubles, the Bodog $10+1 5k, and the Bodog $5R, and then see what happens in those. Of course, this means no Skillz game unless I'm out of one of the first three tournaments first. But it's Stud, anyway, so I'll just be avoiding an epic fail if I sit this one out. I figure, I've actually come pretty dadgum close to a final table in a Daily Double two of the last three Tuesdays I played them (with 23rd and 18th place finishes out of 1000+ fields). Maybe if I minimize my number of games, I can actually take that next step.

A little birdie is whispering in my ear that our beloved Bodonkey may actually return. Of course, when I say "little birdie", I really mean "gambooooling degen", but I kid because we care. And because we can. Anyway, I say bully to that idea, time to keep those Tuesday nights open!

How Can You Not Find This Funny?

Okay, maybe it's not Tiny Fey-as-Sarah Palin funny, but then, Tina Fey is a trained professional.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Well, I Did Promise A Poker Post

Believe it or not, things have actually gotten a bit better for me over at Bodog these days. Last week, I even managed to final table a $10 turbo MTT. Of course, Bodog being what it's been to me, after coming in to the final table 2nd or 3rd in chips, I go out 5th when I see nothing at the final table better than J8o. Still, I can't truly complain (and I'm not), when after nearly a full month of non-cashes, I've managed to hit two Bodog final tables in my last three playing sessions. Of course, since I previously cashed out most of my Bodog roll, I'm playing much smaller these days, and will have to get a couple of top threes before thinking of starting to move back up. Fourth and fifth place finishes don't really accomplish that, when winning pays at least five times fifth place.

Came pretty close to a really deep Daily Double run, again. Made final 2-3 tables of Daily Double B. Of course, I stank up DD A when I re-shoved, only to see my AKo v AKs v QQ. K on the flop was okay, but getting flushed by the turn by the AKs kinda sucked. I'd raised PF from early position, he instashoved, and was called by a smaller stack. I thought pretty hard about folding, but just couldn't find any button but the shiny one that said "Donk Off All Chips With Obvious 3rd Best Hand".

Absolutely no WCOOP for me, as I think I've got about $25 sitting at Stars, that I'd rather use towards a few $4/180s, in the hopes of taking one down to start a roll there again.

I may try live blogging my online poker tomorrow, as it's been a while. Will definitely check into the Skillz game. I need to atone after showing absolutely zero skillz in my play last week. Of course, as we're playing Double Stack Limit 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo, I'm expecting to see 5th street 90% of the time, zoom up early, and not make first break.

Feeling Monolithic

I Spent the entire weekend at Red Rocks, for the 2008 edition of the Monolith Festival, and boy are arms tired (rimshot!).

It's not often when you can see top flite bands as varied as TV on the Radio, DeVotchKa, Atmosphere, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Band of Horses, all in one weekend, in such a visually striking environment. Frankly, I'm more drawn to some of the smaller up and coming bands, and the real highlights for me this past weekend were:

The Muslims - A sorta pop-garage rock combo out of San Diego, who specialize in crisp rockers, and who pulled a most unlikely Spaceman 3 cover outta their ass. Now if I could just actually get my hands on their CD, which may have only been a bonus to their vinyl LP which is not nationally distributed (as far as I know).

A Place to Bury Strangers - What can I say about this band? They were an absolute total unadulterated sonic assault of epic proportions. I really didn't know a guitar could keep feeding back for four minutes --- without even any strings left on it. They're on tour and playing a small club show at Denver's Larimer Lounge next month. I, for one, can't wait.

The Night Marchers - Balls out driving rock and roll, and with hygeine and a pedigree to boot. Pretty much legendary dudes from pretty much legendary bands (Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Delta 72, etc.)

Dressy Bessy - Denver's own rock and roll sweethearts. They've got a new album coming out tomorrow, and have grown to a five piece, but most of their show features favorites from their last couple of records. Anyway, these guys can do no wrong in my book, and getting to see them play on the main stage was a joyous occasion. They're on tour for the next couple of months, and for all you NYC poker bloggers, they're at Arlene's Grocery on Thursday, September 25th. (Much better than donking Riverchasers, right?)

Port O'Brien - I have to admit, I'd never even heard of this band prior to this past weekend, much less heard their music. Still, this band left the audience awash in such joyous feelings with their delightful songs. They actually reminded me just a bit of Danielson, but much more in spirit than in sound.

Snowden - Probably some of the sickest bass playing I've seen in ages. I guess folks call them post-punk, which I suppose I can agree with. They actually remind me a bit more of Mission of Burma; their record strikes me as much more danceable. At any rate, their live set was more angst-fueled, and just huge.

Moonspeed - When all is said and done, I think the band that blew me away more than any other this weekend, is in fact one of Denver's own, and a band I'd never been fortunate enough to see previous to this. Moonspeed is a virtual Denver indie all star collective, made up of players from bands past and present such as Bright Channel, Monofog, and Moccasin. As I understand it, Moonspeed was until recently pretty much a songwriting outlet for Jeff Suthers, and had really pretty much not played out, or had even taken on any kind of fixed form. That seems to be changing, as Monolith was at least their 2nd or 3rd show in the past couple of months. There's a CD in the works, and I really hope everyone takes the opportunity to listen to their lush and layered psychedelia. Not many can pull off a 10-piece, with multiple drummers and even melodica, and not have it come off as little more than a jumbled mess. Moonspeed seems to be one of the very few who can, as every ingredient seems to have found its obvious place. I would suggest them for those who are fans of old school shoegaze and west coast psych pop in equal measure.

There were certainly other acts I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the expected horrendous Broncos home game traffic on Sunday led me to take a different path to Red Rocks, and I ran into even more horrendous lane closures in Arvada, and ran horribly with regard to traffic lights. Thus, I missed all but the final song of The Rosewood Thieves, and that of Pomegranates (they played at the same time on two different stages), these were two of the bands I was most looking forward to checking out.

The above notwithstanding, there's a worrisome aspect of Monolith that bears mentioning. First off, the brief negative. Judging from attendance, and from a short conversation with one of the curators, I suspect and fear there may not be a 2009 Monolith Festival, which would be most unfortunate. Never before have so many of the more interesting bands on the indie scene gathered at such a uniquely beautiful place to hold a festival as this. (Trust me, the webcam shot looks far more dramatic during a show.) I would dearly hate for this to end, as the event truly enriches the Colorado music community. Seriously, how much does adding a fourth Dave Matthews Band show to the schedule actually add to anything but the seriously deep-pocketed AEGLive's coffers, whereas an event such as Monolith helps to put Denver on the national music map.

The problem is, once you add up the cost of that many bands on the top indie tiers, you've pretty much spent about as much as you would hiring a band like Foo Fighters for a night, if not more. And that means you need to sell out the bowl, and thus far, that ain't happening. The biggest crowd I saw was this weekend was for TV on the Radio, and even so, I don't think there were more than about 5,200 people or so. Still, I'd like to see Monolith given another couple of years to build the critical mass it needs to thrive, because the event, by its very existence, simply contributes so much to the growing culture of music. I really hope the current corporate sponsors (Esurance, Dell, Southwest Airlines, Qdoba Mexican Grill, New Belgium Brewery, and several smaller entities) are willing to stay on, and that the promoters can bring in a perhaps a couple more in the future.

I recognize how much tougher it can be to bring in dollars in a declining economy, but as long as there is some perceived value in subsidizing events at all, Monolith is an event worth being a part of.

Okay, I've rambled long enough -- I promise my next post will actually include some poker.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The World According to MiamiDon

"The leaders of the Republican party have always been smarter and way more organized that the other party and it's starting to show again."

I guess that explains these:

(Clearly has not seen "Top Gun" just yet)

(This would be using Walter Reed Middle School as a backdrop instead of the intended Walter Reed Army Medical Center)

I dunno, it seems to me that for the alleged "angry left", liberals are continuing to show a greater sense of humor.

I think the real difference is that I can accept being wrong (and have certainly been wrong on more than a few occasions), while the extreme right can't really accept anyone having a differing opinion than they do, without hurling invective and personal animus. That's okay, I'd wear the uniform to defend your right to insult me again, just the same.

A small irony amongst this lil' poker blogger community is this. I wonder of all of you who have decided to deviate from the path of debate, to simply insulting those you disagree with...how many of you have ever actually performed any service for anyone other than yourself at all? Any military service? Any Peace Corps vets? Any Americorps? Any soup kitchen volunteering? I'm sure there's a few of you out there, please share with us your stories of service for the benefit of others.

By the way, a HUGE pair of congratulations to Evy for her fantastic finish at Event 1 of the Borgata series. Very well done!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Problem With Palin

The problem with Sarah Palin as Republican veep candidate has absolutely nothing to do with unwed pregnant daughters, or being a former beauty queen, or being the mayor of such a small town, or any of that. It's that she's a lying sack of shit, and no different than what's come out of the White House for the last eight years.

She claims to be against pork barrel projects, yet as mayor, hired the city's first ever Washington lobbyist for the sole purpose of getting earmarks for Wasilla.

She claims to be a corruption challenger, but used to head a 527 group created for the sole purpose of supporting Ted Stevens.

She claims to have said "no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere, yet fully supported it prior to becoming governor, and only stopped the project AFTER taking some of the money from the feds and reallocating it to other projects.

Alaska has some of the worst high school graduation rates in America. She claims that human-caused climate change is unproven and based on vague science (and yet she supports teaching Creationism in schools as actual science).

She is against federal funding for stem cell research, yet claims to be an advocate of special needs children. By "advocate", it's clear what she meant was that she's an advocate of using special needs children as political props, particularly her own. I can't wait for the campaign button of lil' Trig that says "Vote for Mom!"

The problem with Sarah Palin is not that she's a woman. There are plenty of women in politics today qualified to serve as vice-president (and by that token, as president), from either party. Whether or not you agree with their views or politics is one thing, but wonderfully smart and accomplished women from Olympia Snowe, to Janet Napolitano, to Mary Landrieu, to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, to Hillary Clinton, to Kathleen Sebelius, Democrats and Republicans both, all are far far far more qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. The problem is not that she's got ovaries and children, because that is certainly not a problem.

The problem is that she is as dishonest and conniving a politician as anyone who has ever been part of the Bush administration. Palin claims to be a maverick, and yet is no more than a parrot of the most extreme positions of the current administration. That she wears a skirt, skort, or pantsuit is utterly irrelevant and immaterial. That she's attempted to have certain books banned, and abuses power to fire a state police chief, as part of a petty family squabble, are problems. That she practices the Karl Rove guide to law enforcement hiring and firing is a problem.

What's sad is that the Republican party has stooped to such pandering. The right wing pundits are crying wolf by complaining about alleged sexist rebuttals of Palin's qualifications and candidacy. The real sexism is that practiced by McCain and the Rove-trained operatives who decided along the lines of "hey, let's put some young hot female politician on the ticket, surely that will capture the former Hilary vote". Now that is sexist, particuarly so in that it completely discredits the notion that women will care more about the candidate's gender than they will about her positions, which stand in diametric opposition to virtually everything Hillary Clinton believes in.

What's sadder is that it represents the final destination of John McCain's long trip from being an actual conservative yet independent minded politician, to the desperate trench of following Rush Limbaugh's beckon call, for the sole purpose of fulfilling his lifetime naked ambition of political power. If candidate McCain believes in "straight talk", why does he choose for a running mate someone whose actual actions stand completely apposite to what she says they are?

And to candidate Palin, why do you feel the need to lie about your record, if you're as proud of it as you claim to be?

Frankly, of all the post-veep nomination speech commentary I've come across, on both sides, feminist stalwart Gloria Steinem seems to have distilled the issue the best, in today's Los Angeles Times, including the following highlights:

"Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax."

"Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for..."

Of course, post-convention, the Republicans will enjoy their brief bounce, that's only natural and expected. However, well-reasoned commentators will soon latch on to the fact that there is so much wrong with Palin as a candidate on things that have absolutely nothing to do with her gender, her motherhood, her children, or anything else. You want to link McCain to a "3rd Bush term"? Why not, McCain did so when he picked Palin, straight out of the extreme right wing casting pool. And that is why November is not going to be good for Republicans this year.

I know Miami Don's going to disagree, as he cites Real Clear Politics' reviews as being 100% positive on Palin's speech, and claims Palin is a far cry from Bush, when the evidence indicates the opposite to be true. After all, that's where I found the Steinem review, as well as those from Jonathan Alter, Froma Harrop, and others.

That's okay, I support his right to be wrong. In fact, as a veteran, I helped defend his right to be wrong. It's not the left that's "angry", it's the right that is not only angry, but spiteful, vengeful, and hateful of everything and everyone that's not exactly like them. And Palin has shown herself to be cut from the same cloth.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Meet the New Rox

Same as the old Rox.

Coming into September 6 games back, and the team may be catching fire once again. Of course, our record is about seven games worse than it was this time last year, but then, so are the records of the teams ahead of us in the division. Being able to soulcrush Tim Lincecum helped.

Anyway, it's been a very poker-lite week for me. Skipped the bloggerments for my anniversary, and was more than happy to do so.

One drawback of having pulled most of my roll off Bodog is that I'm playing at much lower limits, such that when I managed to take 4th place in a $2R MTT last weekend, it was only good for $30. Talk about playing small ball. My poker weekend consisted of winning a $4 SNG for a $12 score, the $2R MTT, and finishing up 20 big blinds at a cash table that was....drumroll......05/.10. Ha! At these levels, I can't even really get interested in hand analysis, as I'm a firm believer that most online donks don't actually put much thought into how they play buy-ins this small, such that the idea of making plays is lost on your opponents, for the most part. Just stick with solid TAG, saute with a few well-timed blind steals, and you'll do okay long term.

But that's okay, we can rebuild him, we have the technology.

Since then, all I've played is a pair of the superturbo chippies at Full Tilt, where I went out 3rd and 5th, respectively, for one mincash. Of course, when I went out 3rd, it was to a river 2-outer, but at these levels, I no longer care. It's pennant chase season!!

In fact, how can you tell your wife loves you as much as you love her? When she gives you a Jeff Francis-autographed ball for your anniversary.

In fact, I gotta start finding more topics to blog about, simply because I'm not playing a lot of poker these days. That's really just a phase, as my loves of baseball and music are taking center stage lately, and that's fine. It's allowed me to let the bad beats that still come, totally slide off my back now. This is one of those times when poker just isn't that important.

Monolith is coming up in a couple weeks, and while I'm still excited, I have to admit I'm not nearly as jazzed about my VIP passes now that Neko Case and The Black Angels no longer appear on the schedule. Those were the two artists I most wanted to see.

Still, Monolith is a great place to find some of what's likely to be the most interesting music of 2008-2009, and I'm really looking forward to seeing White Denim, Superdrag, Blitzen Trapper, and many more. Just not nearly as over the top excited.

Nevertheless, the weather's gorgeous here, and I've got a club-level seat for our sweep game against the Giants today, as Aaron Cook is about to lead us to a pounding over Barry Zito. I can't believe we haven't been fortunate enough to face Zito yet this year, as he's become as hittable as...well...as Leeeeeevan Hernandez. Bring your own broom!

Update: That game was fuckin' weaksauce. Still a nice day at the ballpark, but thanks for making Barry Zito look like CC Sabathia, boys.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's More Important Than Pokerz

Love is...

...spending your third anniversary with your spouse watching your favorite team shut out a division rival, shopping for matching Rockies hoodies, and then enjoying a lovely take home of panang curry, yum talay, and the best damn fried wontons ever.

It was three years ago today when the Good Doctor Mondo and I tied it all up at midnight, with Elvis as our witnesss (thankyou...thankyouverymuch), in good old Las Vega$. And pretty much the best three years of my life since.

Jenn, I do love you.