Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pre-Holiday Catch Up

Been sick with a nasty cold for the last few days, but thanks to the Good Doctor Mondo, I'm feeling very well taken care of. I haven't been so sick that I couldn't make it out to see the amazing Dead Confederate on Saturday night, along with pieces of Apollo Sunshine, and great local bands Hawks of Paradise and The Knew. Oh yeah, also popped in for Jason Cain's solo EP release -- very good stuff!

Despite spending most of the weekend sick in bed, however, my online poker hiatus continues. However, I was fortunate to have been sought out to check out an upcoming poker training site (which for now shall remain nameless), and all I can say is, two thumbs up on the site, one way up. It has one rather revolutionary feature in particular, that really gets me energized to use. I look forward to seeing this site go live, at which time I'm sure I'll appropriately pimp it up here on the blog.

The more I step back from the game, the more I feel I'm ready to ease back in, so don't be surprised if you see me in the Bodonkey next Tuesday the 2nd. That will make three weeks off entirely, and I'm in a really good space right now.

But something else may keep me away, as I've just confirmed the first New Ben Franklins gig in our current lineup. The show's not until December 26th, at Denver's glorious Larimer Lounge. But we have a lot of work to do, and we're readying to start recording an EP, hopefully for late winter/early spring release. So things are busy on the band front. Still, if a certain former member of one of my favorite Denver bands needs a 4-stringer for his solo project, I hope he knows to reach out.

Oh yeah, I'll also be DJing at the Larimer on December 15th. I'll try to remember to post the set list here. I'm doing two 30-minute sets of old school garage rock, and one set of spy-fi instrumentals. Kurt Ottaway of the most excellent Overcasters is rotating sets with me that night, and I think he's doing garage rock, as well.

Well, that's pretty much a catch all. The Good Doctor Mondo and I head out for North Cackalacky on Turkey Day, to spend a few days with her family. (And hell no, I'm not taking my laptop.) So I wish you all a great Thanksgiving holiday, if you're in to that sort of thing. (I know you Canucks probably celebrate something else....)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Like Governors to the Slaughter

"This was neat. I was happy to get invited to participate in this. For one, you need a little bit of levity in this job." - Sarah Palin, explaining why she thought it was a good idea to agree to be interviewed in front of a turkey slaughter taking place on camera directly behind her, complete with mechanized bird decapitations.

One gets the feeling she would have liked to have been the Abu Ghraib naked prisoner pyramid cover girl.

Oh, if there is a god, please to be ensuring Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012, after spending the next few years watching over Russia from her front porch.

Minor Bit of Random Coolness

Yesterday, the Denver Business Journal named my employer the Best Place to Work in Denver.

It was our first year in the "large business" category, but the last two years saw us rate 2nd and 3rd in the "medium business" category.

There's a longer article in the paper version, but whatev. I will say it's a pretty damn decent place to come to work at, as far as law firms go. At any rate, I like the attorneys I work for, and I like winning, which is something our firm does an awful lot of. I don't think they'd go as far as being cool with loading JokerStars on to the network, however...

We finished above Microsoft, but hell, being a shit scraper working the walls of the 15th Street Tavern probably wouldn't fall too far short of that.

Three Weeks Until the Winter Gathering

...of donkeys extremely talented and witty online poker bloggers.

Just about the last time to get the great air bargains, maybe, so hop to it.

That's what I told myself before checking the dates. Sadly, I will not be there (once again, as I've never made a winter event).

The culprit? The date.

You see, the Good Doctor Mondo and I tend to live rather low-key casual lives. You know, jeans and sweats outside the office, bare bones scruffy (one of us, anyway). That is, except for one night a year, the night of my firm's annual Holiday Party. It's the one night a year when wifey very much looks forward to going full on to the nines, and party it down high-stylee at the Cherry Hills Country Club (home to several U.S. Opens over the years, most recently the 2005 U.S. Women's Open).

To me, it's just a shindig. To her, it's a chance to get all fancy watusi, and it really means a lot to me to see her enjoy the experience so much. In fact, this year, we're getting a hotel and staying down there for the night.

The downside? It's December 13th, right smack dab in the midst of the Gathering of the Bloggers. Quelle bummer. The weekend before is my birthday giving me pretty much carte blanche. As I recall, last year, both events were a week earlier than this year, and I still got hosed by the calender, but such is life.

I was really looking forward to the idea of taking live chips from live bloggers, especially as Falstaff has put together a SWEET tournament deal with the folks over at the Venetian:

Private Blogger Tournament
Venetian Poker Room
Saturday, December 13th
$135 ($100 buy-in, $25 juice, $10 toke)

Please email Falstaff your real name and blogger name if you want in. I need to let Tim at the Venetian know by a week beforehand. If you have FOBs (friends of bloggers) who want in, let me know how many.

You have to have a Venetian Player's Card to play, so if you don't have one, get there early.

Bring knockout bounties, that's the coolest part of a blogger gathering.

Perhaps next summer, the more unofficial gathering won't be spread out over two weeks, like it was this year, and I'll get to see more of you than I did this past June. I'll miss the fun, but will thoroughly enjoy the huge smile on the Good Doctor Mondo's face on the 13th, which makes so much so worthwhile.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Return to Bar Poker, and a Waffle-Bounty

Since I'm sitting out the online poker game for several weeks, I went back and played the bar poker game at the Bit on Tuesday, for the first time in five or six months. Mostly, I went because my favorite dealer was bugging me to, and partially just to catch up with some old donkeys friends.

It was almost as if no time had passed at all, given how the very same uberfish were making the very same plays with the very same cards. My run in the main game was cripped early, when I made obnoxiously stupid turn and river calls with trip AAA (AK pf) when I correctly read my opponent to have hit his boat. From my 3k starting stack down to 175 chips, I worked my way back to nearly 1800, when I picked up AJ sooted UTG. I made the standard "get no respect at all" raise to 3.5x the BB, and the abject fish who just sat down shoved her 2k stack. I quickly made the call, and was in a race with 88. I'm not sure her play was horrible for bar poker, but with no read on me, and to my early position aggression, and not being particularly short (and having only sat down in the game 3-4 hands previous), I'm not sure any reasonable player shoves that hand in that spot. Anyway, I lost the race, but no biggie, as I'm not invested in playing at the Bit these days.

I ended up making 3rd place in the consolation tournament by virtue of winning only a single pot that quadrupled me. But everyone fell out left and right, two and three at a time. So I've got points for their final in another few months -- which will likely be the next time I go back.

For the second time in two weeks, the Bodonkey folks are jumping the gun on announcing bounty events. Nevertheless, the Waffles-bounty is in fact on the table for tonight. I won't be there, but don't let that stop you. Even with me out, there's plenty of dead money out there -- we'll start with Chad's (to whom I can't link because he deleted his blog yet again...)

T$109 Bounty on Wawfuls Tonight @ 9:05pm ET

9:05pm ET: Bodonkey II
Buy-in: $10 + $1
2500 Starting Chips / 15 min blind levels
Prize Pool will be distributed as per Bodog's standard multi-table payout table.

1st place: T$109 ($100K Buy-in) + $25 Casino Credit
2nd place: T$75
3rd place: T$50
3 bubble players: T$11 (entry refunded)

More posting to come...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marrying Well

Marrying smart, at least.

The Good Doctor Mondo is now the Most Excellent Doctor Mondo, for just yesterday, she won won the College of Applied Human Sciences Tenure-Track Teaching Excellence Award for 2008 at her particular Rocky Mountain land grant university employer.

This means two things. One, a really bright shiny plaque to go up on one's "I love me" wall (no, she doesn't call it that, but back in the USAF days, we all had one...). Second, and more important, it's about as close as you can get to being told you're getting tenure. It is unheard of for someone getting this award two years before going up for tenure, to not actually get tenure once you go up. So yeah, while she's gotta keep plugging away, I can't think of a better endorsement for her future in academia. She's smart like that, and I am incredibly proud of her.

Of course, only one of us married smart, and it wasn't her.

Bar poker tonight. A piece of me wishes I was going after the Waffle-bounty tonight, but I'm still sitting out the online poker game, certaintly through November, if not through '08.

But really, nailing the Wafflestack is like taking money from tourists at the MGM, it's that easy, so you should be there, even if I'm not. Read about it here, and sign up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everybody Likes a Big Muff

Waffles and Al, get your minds out of the gutter -- I'm talking about my new toy:

The Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi. Designed specifically for the bottom end, yeah. Thick thick fuzz, true bypass, and enough sustain to pluck a low E and leave it until you're feeling the brown notes.

Cost me less than I ususally donk off in buy-ins on a Tuesday, and since I'm on hiatus, I figured a new toy was in order. I've been using a Big Muff for years, but it wasn't for the bass, and was sucking out enough bottom end for me to think that pedal was a river two-outer. Besides, there's enough demand for Big Muffs that I should be able to recover 2/3 of the cost by selling my old muff. Read into that what you will, heh.

Anyway, this is one badass pedal, especially when added behind the overdrive I'm already using.

No live poker action this past weekend, and I haven't played a hand since Tuesday since I began my online poker hiatus. A piece of me is thinking about having my hiatus just go through the month. But that's only because I haven't yet filled up my dance card with other stuff. I'm pretty damn sure I won't be playing online till '09. So far, I'm using some of the down time playing more bass, and working New Ben Franklins toward playing shows as of January. But in the meantime, I'm actually planning on a couple hours of bar poker at the Bit tomorrow, just for old times' sake.

For those of you at the tables, may all your stacks and pots be huge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bofixin' the Calendar

Okay, so I boofed. Evelyn Ng wasn't a bounty in the "Send Mondo to the Rail for the Year" edition of Bodonkey on Tuesday.

But she's here tonight, and she's hot to give up her chipstack.

I won't be playing, but you should. Details of this online poker extravaganza can be found here.

As for me, I'm enjoying the beginning of my self-imposed six week vacation. The real goal is to be able to actually enjoy MTT play when I return next year. Or maybe jump to SNG play and enjoy that. When I come back, I'm still sufficiently rolled for Stars $4/180 and $6/45s Put in a bit less volume on a night so that the sheer number of inevitable beats at one time overwhelm me.

I appreciate what Hoy's had to say on the subject, but people who focus on the $10 MTT nature of the events sort of miss the point. It's not the volume of $$$ nearly as much as it's been the sheer number of gross beats of 80%-90% and better hands, that drove me over the cliff, to the extent that a less logical person would ascribe the same kind of cheating tendencies to every online site that those shitbirds over at UB/AP were guilty of.

But I digress. Last night was good to just get out and rehearse, and not even give one thought to online poker. Still, I'm hoping to make at least one more Blackhawk run before the end of the month...we'll see.

When I wish you good luck on the felt, all I really wish is that you don't have my luck. So good luck.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking A Break For 2008

Yeah, after last night, I'm taking the rest of the year off from online poker. I'll be frank, I just can't take the beats any longer, particular when applied by certain players I used to think were pretty good, until they started calling off near pot size raises out of position with 76o, and then calling off most of their stack with middle pair no kicker, knowing they're going to hit their miracle river. TonySoprano knows who I'm talking about.

I've lost half my online bankroll in the last four days.

The last few days, where I've been able to put in much more volume than usual, has instead turned into my worst downswing ever. Given the buy-in levels of most events I play, it's hard to even fathom how much I've lost.

I've lost my sanity and bruised my hand, by reacting poorly.

For the most part, I can't play any better poker, and simply can no longer handle having good sized stacks stolen by people who play shitty cards out of position and put their stacks to the test with bottom or middle pair, or even worse, calling off stacks with nothing but turn gutshots -- only for the non-random number generators to fuck me every time without benefit of a reacharound.

I'm not quitting poker. I may start showing up at the Bit (at least next Tuesday), as my old dealer friend Cory's been bugging me to show up. I expect I'll still play live.

And to be honest, I've still got about 7-8x as much online now as I had at the start of the year even after pulling out about 1/2 of an amount that I have left (which may make me better than breakeven Rogues). My 80/20 hands are more like 30/70. My hands that are 95% on the turn to win, in reality, hold up no more than 60% of the time. My pocket AA are no better than a coinflip, at best. So yeah, I need a break before I find myself having to replace a laptop, or drywall, instead of just a wireless mouse.

So, no more Skillz. No more Bodonkey. No more JokerStars. Not until 2009.

Maybe I'll even find a 2nd band to join. If that happens, I'll probably just pull what remains of my roll offline, since money sitting unused is truly dead money. But no more online poker, not even freerolls because really, it's not the dollars, it's the crushing internal head injuries.

On a good note, congratulations to Waffles for taking down BOTH bloggerments last night (and yeah, a chop for 1st is still a win - don't listen to the haters!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hey Poker

Fuck you.

That is all.

Bodonkey Bounty Night

Think you have what it takes to knock out a poker superstar?

On Thursday November 13th 2008, poker sensation Evelyn Ng will compete in the Bodog Blogger Tournament Series.

There will be a bounty on her head for T$109 to play in Bodog's $100K Guaranteed Tournament occurring each Sunday at 4 PM. If Evelyn wins this tournament, the T$109 credit to play in Bodog's $100K Guaranteed Tournament will go to the poker blogger that places 1st runner up.

This blogger tournament series is open to poker bloggers worldwide and runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 9:05 PM ET.

More details are available at the official blogger series site at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com

Learn more about professional poker player Evelyn Ng right here

Just what is Bodog's 100K Guaranteed Tournament?
With one of the biggest overlays in the industry, the value of this tournament is literally unbeatable!
Find out more about the 100K right here

Sign up for this tournament at http://www.bodoglife.com/promotions/poker/blogger-tournament/
So what are you waiting for?

Good luck and may the best poker blogger hit the bullseye on Evelyn Ng!

And that's not all! In a sorta extra special, extra bloggerment, in honor of the WSOP Final Table, Bodog will be running a special November Nine tournament:

9:09pm ET: November Nine Special on Bodog
Tournament Name: November 9 Special
Date and Time: November 11th at 9:09 PM ET
Buy-In: $9 + $0.09
Levels: 9 minutes
Starting chips: 1999
Payout: As per standard prize structure
Bonus: Final 9 wins a bonus of T$109

How can you beat that, a $100k buy-in just for being the shortie stack at final table?

(thanks and big props to bloggah bud $mokkee, and his partner in crime Nadia for putting this together)

Of course, since it's Bodog, you already know who the champion bubble boy in both events will be.

Into the Sunset

Photo by Chris Schneider © The Rocky Mountain News

Matty, we're going to miss you. But you sealed your fate when you signed on with Scott Boras. I'm not suggesting the 4-year $72 million contract extension (through 2013) you turned down last spring represented full market value. But when you sign on with Boras, you sign on to 100% hit your free agency, and not agree to any contract that buys out any free agent years prior to hitting the opon market. If you'll recall, your current deal only runs through arbitration years.

So when you picked up Boras a couple years ago, you had to know the ship was leaving the harbor, with regard to you staying with the Rockies. That's the part that makes me sad, that you pretty much decided two years ago that you would be leaving the club, even before leading us to the playoffs on your chin.

Here in Denver, most of the low-info types are having the predictable reactions on the Denver newspaper messageboards -- fire Dealin' Dan now! fire the Monforts!!!! we'll never go to another game!!!!

To you guys, I say, fine, better seats for me next year. Holliday getting traded became an eventual fait accompli two years ago, and to that end, what we got for what is essentially a one-year rental, is a pretty decent haul, with the chance to be even better. Carlos Gonzales is a stud with true All-Star potential. Above average speed, outstanding defense, and will hit for more power as he matures. He was a bit overmatched this year in his big league debut, but he was only 22. My only concern is sa lack of plate discipline, but that doesn't seem to hurt Vlad Guerrero, and I see similarities in the two players.

Huston Street? Well, we may spin him in a deal with Garret Atkins or Willie Taveras, for a real quality young pitcher (and by that, I mean a lot better than Greg Smith, the third piece in the Holliday deal). The Rockies may also keep Atkins for one more year, which would be my preference, depending on whether they make a move to sign Orlando Hudson or not. If they don't sign Hudson, I'm comfortable trying Ian Stewart at 2nd, and still leaving us with flexibility we need in the infield corners, given the inflexibility in Todd Helton's back.

As for Greg Smith, I'm not that familiar with him, except that I see he's a soft-tossing lefty who suffered the worst run support in the American League last year (contributing to his win-loss record, which is a meaningless stat in so many way), but that he walks too many hitters without striking out enough. He's probably a reasonable #4 or #5 starter, but if he can pitch to more groundballs and less walks, he may improve. He looks to be an innings-eater, but just had bone chips removed from his elbow. The Rockies have several young options for the bottom of the rotation, but they haven't proven themselves yet.

In a reasonably perfect world, we try to spin off some combination Garret Atkins and either Greg Smith or Huston Street for a better quality young starter (say, Kevin Slowey or Nick Blackburn), and then make free agent runs at Juan Cruz (as closer) and Orlando Hudson (at 2nd base). I'm also okay with plugging Street into our closer role for next year, given Brian Fuentes' imminent departure for $12m a year to the Mets.

If, in the end, it's effectively a trade of Matt Holliday and Garret Atkins, for Carlos Gonzales, Nick Blackburn, and one of Smith/Street, I'll actually be more than pleased. Ian Stewart is more than ready to take over the hot corner, and while it's unlikely to replace Holliday's production in full, Gonzales should be a big improvement over Taveras, and a combination of Ryan Spillborghs/Seth Smith will do a credible job in left -- at least until Dexter Fowler is truly ready, and Gonzales slides over to left or right field (I see Hawpe as Helton's eventual replacement at 1st base...)

I'm not going to make any excuses for the Monfort's, I think they're clearly in the bottom rung of major league owners, and I really wish they'd sell the team to someone like Mark Cuban. But I also recognize how badly they were burned by long term deals in the past for Todd Helton, Mike Hampton, and Denny Neagle. Signing a player to a 6- or 8-year guaranteed deal taking them into their late 30s is simply poor risk management. The Rockies said they would go higher on a per year basis for Holliday, but they weren't going to meet Boras' demands for a contract that runs through 2015, by which time Holliday would be two years older than Todd Helton is today.

I'm sad the parties couldn't meet in the middle, but again, Matt Holliday hoisted up that sail the day he signed on with Scott Boras.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Got Aloe?

I need something cool and smooth to relieve the pain in my junk. Yeah, my weekend of online poker was truly that bad.

I'm not feeling busto, but losing about 1/4 of your roll solely on tourney buyins, in the span of one weekend, when you're only playing because your spouse is outta town, well, that truly hurts. I thought it would have turned out better, as early on, I won a $15 satellite into the JokerStars $50+5 $70k guarantee. But that was just a cock-tease, really. (And yea, I could have un-registered and kept the fiddy-five, but As was my heads up runner up in the 2nd round of a triple shootout, where the final four players got buyins into the Sunday Million. Used up all my tokens on big Tilt donkaments, and have nothing to show for it.

Really, the entire weekend can be summed up by what took me out of my final tournament. In the Bodog $12r, which I'm into for $36, on the absolute bubble, my shove gets called out of position by someone who calls off 70% of thier chips holding A5o (I'm holding AK sooooted spades)...and after a QQT flop with two spades, giving me broadway, frush, and royal draws), the asshat catches a three-outer five on the river to send me home. That made two tournaments on Bodog in the same weekend where on the absofuckinglute bubble, my early position shove of AK soooted not only gets 3 outed on a river, but in both cases, the only caller was a) out of position on the hand, b) the person couldn't even conceive of having one over at best (we're talking calls with A5o and A3o; and c) the player calls off around 3/4 of their chipstack with such a marginal hand.

In both cases, I was UTG or 2nd to act, with stacks were below average and an M of between 3-4, so I think the shoves were okay in both circumstances. Yes, I would expect a call from anyone holding, say, AA-TT, AK-AQs, to be broad, in this spot. But given my position, and my relative table image, seriously, how does anyone call off that much of their stack off with that crappy a hand? Those players can't think I was open shoving from early position with KJ, QJ, 22 or some other random crap that would make their hands be any more than 30% to win, can they? Really? I just truly do not understand that. And of course, these weren't the $5 tourneys, but the ones I'm in to for $30 bucks or so, which pisses me off more, because my Bodog roll is now under $500 again, and I'm now restricted to playing the micro buy-ins, because a couple of shitbirds with no talent at all an absolute inability to find the "FOLD" button on the bubble, with hands of near zero showdown value knocked me out of my best two chances for build up the roll.

So yeah, Bodog gave me a right kick in the balls all weekend long, but really, every site I played at, it was the same. So atrociously bad. There were a couple of tournaments that I busted out of by semi slow-playing big hands, (as in, not overbetting the pot just to protect AA, when ideally, I'd like one or maybe two players to see a flop with me). But even then, most of the time, it was shitbirds nevertheless calling 2.5x BB sized bets with hands like KJo, and calling down my bullets on each street with two queens on the board. I got knocked out of three consecutive tourneys while holding non-slow played AA -- once by a rivered straight, once by a four flush, and once by a two outer.

Saturday was so gawd-awful bad that I felt I couldn't go up to Blackhawk on Sunday running so bad. So what do I do? That's easy....lose as much of my roll on Sunday as I did on Saturday from the discomfort of my own home, that's what. My roll is now down a full third from it's high a month ago, and I can't remember the last time I actually made a final table, much less a top three. And the few cashes I'm getting are deluged by the number of times I'm finishing just out of the money.

So yeah, I'm hating online poker right now. Enough that I'm considering joining a 2nd band, which would eliminate any time I have to play online. Don't get me wrong, I still have a bit put away on there, but I know I'll just lose it all, it's just a matter of when. I honestly think I'm in the middle of my worst downswing ever. It doesn't matter what buy-in level, what site, whether I'm playing TAG, or whether I'm amping up the aggression. It doesn't matter whether I'm trying to overbet for value, or whether I'm trying to get cute and complete AA from the small blind. It doesn't matter whether I'm firing continuation bets, or playing stop-and-go, or whether I'm making pot-sized, 3/4 post-sized, or minraises with turned nuts. It just. Doesn't. Matter.

Of course, none of this will stop me from playing the Bodonkey events tomorrow, because heck, I'm already registered, and there's a nice overlay. But now, I'm really looking forward to our Thanksgiving trip, and the week before, when I'm out seeing bands four nights straight, and will thus gladly give up my online pokering for the week.

Okay, so enough whining.

Weekend Roundup, Part One

This past weekend was the 2nd of two consecutive weekends where the Good Doctor Mondo was out of town at a professional conference. My original plans includes going to see some *really* good bands on Saturday, sandwiched by yardwork and poker on Saturday, and a trip up to Blackhawk on Sunday.

Well, the only thing that went according to plan was the show Saturday night. Overcasters remain one of the best bands to come out of Denver this year, and their CD release show at Moe's (former the Falcon, and the coolest combination music venue/bowling alley/BBQ joint) was a strong set indeed. I honestly don't know of a band in Denver right now that can fill every molecule in space with such sonic power, and even the spaces between molecules, quite like Overcasters, nor with as much texture. And wow, what a thunderous rhythm section. In an extra random bit of coolness, their next show is the night before my birthday, so I'm pretty damn sure I'll be there.

Blue Million Miles and A Shoreline Dream played cool support sets, as well (though I wish A Shoreline Dream showed a bit more breadth in their songwriting), and Mike Marchant led a stripped down version of Widowers through material new and old. The new songs are really quite pleasant, and reflect well when run through two acoustics and a . Unfortnately, Moe's soundguy clearly hadn't worked with acoustic instruments much, and the sound reflected that. But the electric acts were...well...electric.

Of course, the minor irony of the night of tasty indie music goodness was the fact that KC & the Sunshine Band were playing right next door, in a theater venue owned by the same folks. I don't think there was exactly much crossover crowd, but the KC show was over by 9pm. The senior set must have really dug it, after all, he's your boogie man, yes he is.

The rest of the weekend? That's a whole 'nother post entirely...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Big McCain, and an After Action Report

Okay, I'm still a bit hungover from last night.

Some very incredible things happened in our great country. Liddy Dole and Marilyn Musgrave found spots at the end of the unemployment line, as did that shitbird from North Cackalacky, Robin Hayes.

Sadly, that civil liberties hater Michele Bachmann kept her seat in the House, but she'll still be about 4,000,000th in power and authority, and she only pulled 46% in a heavily Republican district.

Even more sadly, virtually every discriminatory anti-gay marriage amendment passed. I never understood all this talk about "marriage is under attack", or "defend traditional marriage", in that if it's not YOUR relationship, who the fuck cares? Do you think that becuase Joe and Steve want to wed, that your kid or your cousin or your spouse is all of a sudden going to get divorced from his wife and become gay? Really?

Perhaps the real concepts "attacking" traditional marriage is quickie no-fault divorces, or stupidity of people getting married before they're mature enough, or rampant infidelity which is at least as common amongst those on the evangelical right as in other parts of society. Perhaps if people like Ted Haggard and Jim Bakker kept their dicks in their drawers, their marriages wouldn't be under attack. Or perhaps it's all just been one huge lie, this concept of a party of "small government", when all they really want is for the government to stay out of every aspect of *their* lives, while they legislate the government becoming involved in every single aspect of yours.

I mean, I've been married twice, and I'm more than reasonably certain that my marriage has never been under attack by a gay man or lesbian. If your marriage is under attack by one, maybe you've got far bigger problems in your personal relationships than worrying about what Joe and Steve want to do with one another.

Colorado Amendment 50 passed, which is GREAT for us Colorado poker players. Not all the hurdles have been crossed yet, but the next ones are basic formalities, and by next June or July, most likely, we'll be able to play real ring game poker in the local casinos. Not no limit, but really, $1/2/100 spread limit should effectively play in most instances similar to a $1/2 game that caps buy-ins at $200-300. Plus, you'll start seeing games such as $4-8 and $10-20 run, if all goes well.

All in all, last night was a real watershed event for this nation. I'm still in awe.

Now the hard work begins, and while I expect this country to be in a lot better position four years from now, I sincerely hope people aren't expecting a 12-month miracle. The economy is certainly going to get worse before it gets better. Even a withdrawal from Iraq starting tomorrow would take 18 months to be done safely. And just because Bush is leaving power doesn't mean North Korea and Iran suddenly drop their nuclear games. But there is great reason for optimism.

But really, what I wanted to share with you is this - The Big McCain.

Some language not suitable for small children and office environments.

Mark it zero.

Dear Red States

Something the Good Doctor Mondo e-mailed to me today...I thought it was rather cute and ironic. I make no assertions to the factual accuracy of the numbers cited...

Oh, and no far right wing conservatives were ostensibly harmed during the cribbing of this letter.

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and
we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware,
that includes California, Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe
this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the
people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave
states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the
Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You
get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of
America 's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We
get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay
their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the
Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. Please be
aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're
going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need
people to fight, ask your evangelicals.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent
of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple
and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of
America 's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners)
90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most
of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and
condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal
Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to
cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected
health care costs), 92 perc ent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100
percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent
of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all
televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the
University of Georgia. We get Hollywood, Yosemite, and most of the Rocky Mountains, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was
actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred
unless we're discussing the death penalty, gun laws, or minorities, 44 percent
say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was
involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy morons believe you
are people with higher morals than we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed
they grow in Mexico

Peace out,

Blue States

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hard to Find the Words

No pictures, no funny asides, no sloganeering...today is simply one of the greatest days in the history of our nation. Not because a black man was elected president -- but because a man who, 45 years ago, would not even be able to drink out of the same water fountain as I, or go to the same universities as I, or even be able to shop in the same stores as I, can now lead our entire nation.

Enjoy today. The work begins tomorrow, and it will be difficult. We've dug so many deep holes for ourselves around the world, and our fate won't be turned on a dime. But it can now happen.

Yes We Can.

Nice Election Results Widget

This thing will be updating every two minutes. Thanks to MSNBC, you can put it on your own page of many forms, or just follow along here. Kinda a neat widget, really. You can even put it on your MySpace page.

Change Is Coming

Look out over the horizon, and you can see it.

Now go VOTE and exercise the only right you really have in this nation that matters. Do it. Do it now.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Be the Bodonkey

Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament

Don't forget, Tuesday night is the 2nd Tuesday in the one and only Bodonkey!

Don't Miss Bodog's Poker Blogger Tournament This Tuesday and Thursday Night!

Poker bloggers worldwide are gathering Tuesday and Thursday nights in the Bodog Poker Room for a chance to play to win a share of $3,000 in prizes!

This weeks tournaments fall on Tuesday, November 4th and Thursday, November 6th. Start Time 9:05 pm ET.

Sign up to play this tournament at http://www.bodoglife.com/promotions/poker/blogger-tournament/

Official blogger series site at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com

Series promotional banners available at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com/tournament-news/bodog-blogger-tournament-series-promotional-banners.html

So what are YOU waiting for?

I did not manage to score any points last week, but after two events, it's completely wide open. There were no repeat points scores between Tuesday's and Thursday's events, so plenty of time to get on the leaderboard of the best blogger online poker tournament series of the season!

I'll be missing this one for election coverage, but you guys on the coasts should make it just find.

Register NOW and may the best "Bodonkey" win!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Blackhawk Trip Report

Around 2:45 Friday morning, the Good Doctor Mondo kissed me on the forehead and split to Memphis for a couple of days, for one of her professional field's two big conferences. (Oddly enough, the other is next weekend -- weird scheduling.)

So I get to work as per normal, and find I've got pretty much absolutely nothing on my plate. Reminded that a lot of my vacation hours won't necessarily roll over, I say fuck it, let's go to Blackhawk! Okay, what I actually did first was log on and check the day's tournament schedule first, but I digress.

If you know me, you know I love deeeeeep stack poker. Well, the noon tourney at the Golden Gates looked promising. An $80 buyin plus $80 rebuy up front nets you 40,000 in chips. Woo! But don't get excited, it's really not deep stack, because not only do blinds start at 100/100 (followed by 100/200, and 100/200/25), the levels are only 20 minutes. So truly, it's not deep, but for Blackhawk, it actually pretty much is.

I get the clearance of my bosses, and roll out right at 10:50. Fortunately, traffic was very light, and I managed to make it up the hill in enough time to register. There were only 40 players, so only four spots would pay. P'shaw, I hate that one pay spot per table, but whatev. I understand you can't pay the whole final table when there's only 4 tables. Still, I'd like to see 5-6 spots pay but again, I digress.

The first hour was pretty routine, lots of folding, a bit of stealing. Unfortunately for me, my image was tight enough that when I did get cards, I couldn't get action. For instance, at 100/100, I call an UTG raise to from mid-position with 99, and eventually, 5 players see the beautiful flop of K9x and two hearts (Pot is 1750.) First three players check. Real men bet sets, and besides, I didn't want anyone to get their heart flush for free, so I bet out. But I want action, so I only bet 350, around 20% of the pot. And everyone folds. A pot's a pot, but I would like to have been paid off. Still, I end the first hour around 47k in chips. Considering at least 1/4 of the field didn't take rebuys up front, I was actually probably above average chips, but hardly dominant.

The only notable aspect of the first hour was the old man whose play and table demeanor I can only describe as Alzheimer's-affected. He claimed to be colorblind, but wanted a cheat sheet for denominations. He played out of turn so often that he suffered a nine-hand trip to the penalty box, and *still* collected at least one more warning button by the 2nd hour. He'd throw one chip out for his ante every time, and it would be the wrong color. He'd try to call all bets with one chip. At first, I thought he was an angle-shooter, but his actual play was so atrocious, I couldn't give him that much credit. In one hand, at 100/200, he called an UTG raise to 1000 from the BB. Flop comes 2xx, and he calls a 2000 chip bet. Turn comes 2, and he throws a 5k chip out there. Okay. UTG shoves, and he calls. He had Q2 for the turned trips (UTG had QQ, and rebought after that hand.) So he calls 5x the BB out of position with Q2 off, and then calls a basically pot size bet with bottom pair. There are other examples, but suffice it to say, the table was convinced he was just that bad a player, and not a schemer.

Anyway, the guy he busted took his rebuy, and a little while later, he raised UTG to 2000, when blinds are at 200/400/50. After a call in MP, I wake up to find AA. SCOREBOARD! Hmm. There's about 4800 in the pot, I've got about 48k, and while taking the pot down here would be okay, I really need to try to chip up here. So I kick it up to 7,000 to go, and UTG flat calls (MP folded). UTG seems like a solid player, but I'm thinking AK is his likeliest holding, because he's aggressive enough to have 4-bet a smaller pair. On a KJ9 flop, he bets out 5,000 into the roughly 17,000 pot. Is his fishing for info? Is he trying to take it down now? Was my read correct? If I can get him to commit way behind, I'll be in the top 2-3 in chips, and primed to make a deep run. Let's find out..........SHOVE. Well, the read was bad, he had JJ for the flopped set, and I'm down to about 6,000 in chips with an effective M of about 4, at most, given the blind structure.

Well, I manage to ride the microstack for about an hour, open shoving in various late positions, doubling up and then folding a few, and just staying alive. Sadly, I missed a chance for a near triple, when I got to see a free flop from the BB that gave me top pair and OESD, and my flop shove was called by bottom pair, OESD, and the straight hit the river. I'd have been thrilled for my pair to hold against his pair (same villian from the AA v JJ hand). But eventually, it crashed down. I picked up AQs UTG, with an M of about 2, and shoved. The same old man who'd now collected four warnings and a penalty, and who hadn't shown down a decent preflop hand all day, winning with garbage, actually woke up with a hand. QQ, to be exact. Ugh, there go my outs, and there go my chips...and out before the third break.

Given the timing, I stuck around for one more tourney, a $50 buyin with 20 minute levels, 8,000 chips, and starting at 25/50. This tourney turned out better, but with the Golden Gates only paying out three spots (30 entrants), my fourth place bubble finish was only good for an agreed-upon save of $20 from each of the remaining three players. When we got to 4-handed, there was one dominant stack, and three shorties, of which I was one. We were pretty much equal, and all amenable to the save. All three were decent players, and the final table with them was enjoyable.

I don't truly mind going out fourth, but 3rd would have given me a profit for the day. And my exit was on back to back hands of irony. In the first, my A7 could not hold up against villian's K9, and on the very next hand, my K9 couldn't catch up to the same villian's A7.

Still, before that sequence was a pretty hilarious hand where I was on the big blind and committed to call with something like 53 sooted. Well, the raiser had Ax, and the flop came AA9, so I'm putting my hoodie on to leave, when the turn and river come deuce four, for the miracle runner runner straight to beat flopped trips. So every hand after that was gravy.

Wow, long post. Lost money on the trip, but felt I played well, and really, just had a good time. I ran into Jamal Saqwiddeh (sp?), and finally got to congratulate him for his deep run in the WSOP Main Event. What an easy going dude.

Anyway, have a great week at the tables.