Monday, June 29, 2009

When Poker Just Does Not Matter

I've really been struggling for the last few days about how much, or even whether, to share certain parts of my life with this blog. After all, aside from CK, I've never actually met any of you, off of the virtual felt, that is.

But I just felt the need to briefly express here about one of the most frightening experiences you can possibly imagine...and that is seeing your spouse, the love of your life, and your entire world slipping into very severe illness.

My wife, the Good Doctor Mondo, did not return from our Alaskan cruise in good health, and while I know I can write as much as will spill from my brain here, I don't feel I can completely express all the details just yet, as they're too painful. Of course, most of my trip reports suck, too, because my blogging skills are weak.

At any rate, over the past week, my darling sank into an extremely serious pneumonia, the cause of which they have not been able to ascertain, even a week later. By Friday midday, I was starting to seriously doubt she would live through this past weekend, as the doctors placed her in a medically-induced coma. But she's as tough a cookie now as she is at the poker tables, and she has refused to succumb to anything.

Thankfully, I can report that she's making steps in the right direction. These are baby steps, truly, and I can't even fully grasp how far she has to go. But she feels the love and support of those around her, and by extension, those around me. Still, as of now, the doctors aren't even contemplating trying to bring her off the ventilator and awaking her from her coma until at least a few days from now. And, as is common when someone is befallen with life-threatening illness, complications arise now and then. It's almost a sick twisted game of Whack-a-Mole, where doctors give her steroids to help her lungs, but then the steroids raise her blood sugar to where she needs insulin, to where the insulin leads to needing something else.

But the medical staff here have been uniformly brilliant, and she's getting the best care anyone can imagine. And she's getting better, baby step after baby step after baby step. Right now, I only wish that baby would start running, rather than crawl.

Monday, June 22, 2009


For the 2nd time in my life, I've bought a piece of the action of someone's upcoming WSOP event. Hopefully, the returns are greater this time than last time. By that, I mean any return would be greater than it was last time.

Okay, I only bought 2% of the action for 1% of the gross, so it's more of a pony than a horse. But I believe in this player's skill.

Fingers crossed for lots of "nut nut" held by my horse.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Felt Feels Good

In a virtual way, of course.

Finally got back to playing some online MTTs yesterday, with mixed results, but it felt good all the same. Managed to cash in three NLHE rebuy events, the huge $3r and a $5r on Stars, and a $12r on bodog. I don't know what attracts me to rebuys...perhaps is really a matter of being able to not have to exit after an early junk-kicking.

Came close to the final table in the bodog (there were only 131 runners), and took a terrible beat in the $3r which would have finally gotten me to average chips (60k or so), when my AK couldn't beat AQ. All in preflop, JT9 on the flop, I'm thinking "no K no K no K". The 3 on the turn was nice, but I couldn't fade the card I originally wanted on the flop.

Tried my hand at my first 8-game mixed tourney, and didn't play well. Will try again.

Ultimately, I managed to chip up my roll, but only a small bit, as my Stars cashes weren't much over my rebuys.

What truly jazzes me now, however, isn't poker. It's my Colorado Rockies. WTF, 15 wins in 16 games? That's a better run than our regular season ending in 2007. And the parallels are eerie:

In 2007, the Rox were 35-33 after 68 games.
In 2009, the Rox are 35-33 after 68 games.
In 2007, the Rox' longest winning streak was 11 games.
In 2009, the Rox' longest winning streak is 11 games.
The 2007 Rocktober run included a dramatic game ending HR by Todd Helton to cap a comeback.
The 2007 RockJuneber run now includes a dramatic game ending HR by the Toddfather to cap a comeback, his first walkoff home run since.....2007.

Anyway, the truth is that this team is actually a better team than that 2007 edition. They underperformed badly early, but some sabermetric numbers reveal some bad luck in there, too. They should end up with at least four (and possibly five) players at around 25 home runs, which is very respectable post-'roids. Overall, their starting pitching is a bit better.

Hopefully the run continues. Of course, there are still over 90 games to be played, but the upcoming trip against the Angels, Dodgers, and A's will go some way towards determining whether the 2009 Rockies are real or not.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Slight Return

Back from Alaska, The Yukon and such and such. No, I could not see Russia from any part of Alaska, but I did see the Governor's Mansion. You know, the one Sarah Palin won't live in because it's in Juneau, not Wasilla. You know, the actual capital of Alaska.

Saw plenty of whales, but unfortunately, none on the cruise ship poker table. Wow, I knew cruise ship poker was a bit dodgy with their truly horrible tournament structures, but it didn't really hit me until I played. Played five NLHE tournies on board. Won one, bubbled another, and crashed the rest. These tables were single table, 10 player tournaments with 2000 in starting chips and blinds that double. Yeah, double. Every. Fifteen. Minutes. Starting level gave you 20 big blinds, and by the end of the first orbit, even if you havent' played a hand, you're down to roughly 8 BB. So of course I found myself where I'm shoving ATC from unopened cutoffs or buttons when I'm sitting on less than 4 BBs only 30 minutes into a tournament.

In truth, these tournaments are designed to be over within about 75 minutes from the start, and the last thing any of the casino staff is worried about is providing a good structure. The one basically unforgivable issue took place in the first tournament, where the dealer would not allow the BB to raise after a button SB call during heads up. Her understanding was that "the small blind had the option". I attempted to correct her of this, but she wasn't having it, and the first-time-in-a-casino donkfish who lasted to heads up actually didn't know any different, and didn't care, and his opponent (who seemed to know different) didn't seem to care.

Oh well, such is life, and I was cool with it. I did manage to take one down, which paid for the remainder of my tourney play. The one thing that bummed me about the play was that over the entire cruise, we managed only once to get a cash table going (3/6 LHE). Otherwise, played my first live casino craps (slight loss), Caribbean Stud (broke even, but what a terrible game), and donked around blackjack for a while.

And saw glaciers, humpback whales, sea lions, otters, a couple bears, and had a brilliant time. I highly recommend cruising the Inside Passage if you can.

Of course, given my virtual denial of net access, I was left in the dark during at the time, but found my blogger catch up reading most pleasant, indeed, thanks to the deep WSOP runs of a couple of our blogger queens. CK and LJ, I'm proud of you, and surely these are only the first of many deep runs and cashes for each of you in that lil' ol' WSOP thingy. Especially LJ in her first. ever. live. HORSE. tourney. Pretty stunning, actually.

Anyway, I'll put up a couple photos of the trip once the Good Doctor Mondo gets them from her vid camera to the laptop....

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Taking Potpourri for $200, Alex

Today's the BBT4 finale, and the final finale of all BBTs. Obviously, I'm not taking part. Good luck all, but a huge thanks to Al for having worked so hard over the years getting such big prizes put together for these series. I only played three events myself, finishing in the points only once and ending up 160th of 333 on the roster of all who played. Time is not my friend, my friend. But good luck to all, and I hope the two who end up with Main Event packages actually use them to play, and not just take the cash.

There's very little in this world I'd like to see more than a blogger making the November Nine.

Oh, yeah, otherwise out in Vega$, this guy is headed to Day 3 of $2500 NLHE in solid shape...20 players left, over a half mil to the winner.

New Ben Franklins have been going gangbusters. Our recent show at the Bluebird Theater was an amazing experience, and at the same time, one of our best shows ever, musically. We're playing a show today at Denver's world semi-famous Larimer Lounge, and I'm greatly looking forward to it. It's our only gig for June, as various NBFers leave town this month.

Myself included. This week, the Good Doctor Mondo and I head to up the coast on an Alaskan cruise. Should be a blast, I'll try to get a couple cool pictures to post. Lots of whale-watching, and not just in the on boat casino.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

You Are Entering A World Of Pain

And here's Part 2 of...drumroll...the Swede Lebowski. Enjoy in it's no-budget low-fi splendor:

Too Good Not To Share

Some friends of mine, awesome movie buffs all (or at least, major buffs of a majorly awesome film), have remade The Big Lebowski, in two parts.

I now present, The Swede Lebowski:

Part Deux to follow.