Monday, December 28, 2009

The Cruel, Cruel Mistress

Ah poker, how I hate you so. Sometimes. So after my last post, I've managed to put in two lengthy tournament sessions, with the expected horrendous results. As the Good Doctor Mondo reminds me, at least I'm doing a far better job of not letting emotional tilt ruin my days post-poker.

But my last two sessions have resulted in 15-18 tournies per session, with only a single min-cash each time, usually in my lowest buy-in of the day. Out on the absolute bubble twice, both times on 70/30s, losing on the river each time.

Had a nice stack in one of the early Daily Doubles yesterday, about 100 spots before payouts begin, when I picked up KK in the small blind, where I reraised an EP raiser. Bet out the Q high flop. Bet out the turn (which didn't improve the board and left no draws; call the overshove raise to find I'm up against KQo of all things. Naturally, the 2-outer Q hits the river, so fuck it, I piss off my stack in the other early DD about 40 spots short of $$$.

Go out the absolute bubble boy in a $10 NLO8 tourney on Tilt, when my A842 double suited (yeah, not great, but I was short) was called off by A862, who naturally hits trip 6s by the turn and left me with less than one BB in the BB.

Naturally, given my terrirunbad these days, on the absolute bubble of a $5 LO8 tourney, and the final remaining tourney I'm in, Full Tilt decides to polish off the day by sending its software tits-up. At least I got to share in the prizepool in that one.

Oh yeah, made a couple bad plays, shoved KK on the river into a QQ high board (had him on AK) when villian held....QQ. D'oh. This was in the Stars 1/4 Mil after tripling up early. Also went out near the bubble of the World Record (well, I guess finishing 31,000-something can be considered the bubble of 30,000 get paid and 160,000 started)...when I lost another 95% hand on the river. But not going to whine about a 10 FPP tourney.

Yeah, poker sucks for me these days. I won't even play Bodog given the abuse it's given me, though I've got a few hundo left there. No more whining.

Christmas was actually a pretty wonderful time in the Mondopad. The Good Doctor Mondo's dad came out last Wednesday to join her mom, who's been here for five weeks. The Good Doctor Mondo received a Wii for Xmas, which has been invaluable in her continued rehab, for balance and fitness reasons. She used one in her rehab hospital, and it's been a real aid in parts of her recovery. Of course, we both agree that Rock Band must be on the horizon. ;-)

Not much else to report. After 44 years on the miserable hunk of rock, I'm actually giving a half-hearted attempted at growing a pathetic beard. We'll see how it goes...

Happy New Year, and to 2009, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh How I've Missed Thee

Not much to say on the poker front, as I haven't played a hand in over a week. Last weekend was spent doing an online document review project for work which remains ongoing. I'd be working on it again this very moment, if not for a server crash...

It's been pretty impossible to find time to play any cards at all these days, what with all the interruptions that would ensue if I tried to sit down for even a 45 player turbo SNG. While the Good Doctor Mondo continues to improve incrementally nearly every day, the fact remains that our daily lives haven't returned to anything resembling normalcy. Since her own abilities to do the most simple things, such as getting up to get a glass of water, require someone to go to the tanks to turn up her O's, or being behind her every step of the way on the staircase..well, I just can't trust starting a tournament with any sense that I can actually play it through.

In better news, the Good Doctor Mondo's oxygen requirements continue to trend down. At rest, we now have her on 1/2 the oxygen she was at when she first came home, and her needs under exertion are about 18% lower, so she continues to progress. In fact, her doctors do now see a likely eventual 100% recovery. This is great news, indeed. Given how terribly sick she was, and the normal 12 month horizon for lungs to reach whatever final recovery level they tend to plateau at, her current pace indicates a higher final plateau than anyone would have thought as recently as two months ago.

Hoping to find a way to get a "day off" of sorts to get some play in this weekend, however. Of course, poker is of little importance in the grand scheme of things, but I'm feeling a real sense of withdrawal, especially having missed out on the recent #WBPT shenanigans, and seeing a fellow blogger take down a tidy $27k score in the mini-FTOPS...well, I miss the game.

Which reminds me, while I do think Hoy can reach levels of internetz douchebaggery at times unmatched by us mere mortals, he's a hell of a player whose game I've respected for some time. Congratulations Hoy, on your huge score. Not your first, won't be your last.

Speaking of fellow bloggers, one of my favorite bloggers in the pokerverse has just written a well thought out piece on the pitfalls and vagaries of staking arrangements -- well worth the read. Thanks, CK!

Oh yeah, one lil' band snippet -- New Ben Franklins got our pressed CD back from the manufacturer yesterday, well in advance of our CD release show next month.

This makes me happy on so many levels...those who've known me for a long time know that this is either the 6th or 7th album I've been a part of recording, and yet the very first one to actually make it all the way to getting a proper pressing (even if it's just a short run EP). Feels good to actually have something you can find on the shelves of local independent record stores soon. Previous bands of mine may have hand-burned small volumes to sell at shows, but having one properly packaged, shrink-wrapped, and all that other jazz, is just kinda cool.

Well, good luck at the tables...glad to hear none of the #WPBT crew got hooker-rolled in Vega$, or lost a kidney, or got to be a bad man's boyfriend in the Clark County Jail....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Onward, Mighty Bloggers

Ahhhh...I wish I were there. Be safe, be sound, be excellent, and most of all, do not be weak tight.

Set Twitter to Stun.

Monday, December 07, 2009

CD Review - The Woggles - Tempo Tantrum

The Woggles
Tempo Tantrum
Wicked Cool Records

From my most recent assignment at Hybrid Magazine:

Over nearly two decades, Atlanta's prime purveyors of reverently retro rock and roll, The Woggles, have released a veritable cornucopia of albums, singles, compilation and tribute tracks, spanning a handful of lineups. Most of The Woggles' releases have had at least one toe firmly planted in a sort of southern trashy garage soul vibe. Yet their catalog has also clearly indicated an abiding appreciation of a wide swath of vintage flavors, such as surf music, spaghetti Western soundtracks, and other appropriate drive-in sonic fare. This appreciation is demonstrated by the way the band has sprinkled various tracks reflective of this admiration throughout their releases over the years, often either as b-sides to singles, or on tribute compilations.

Which brings us to their new release, Tempo Tantrum, which is essentially a retrospective collection of instrumentals (originals and covers), all but one of which have been previously released, though many on very obscure, out-of-print, issues. For those relatively new to The Woggles, this is pretty much a must-have record, in large part due to the inclusion of their instrumental cover of The Monkees' "Valleri", and their cover of The Fleshtones' "Theme From The Vindicators", each an homage executed with deserved respect, yet tinged with the raucous sweaty energy for which The Woggles have long been known. Even longer term fans who may not have kept pace with The Woggles' exhaustive release schedule over the years will find this collection an interesting recapping of the band's instrumental lexicon, underscoring the various lineup changes and guest players who have aided the band in its exploits over the years.

A couple of songs in particular stand out above the others. Notably "El Toro", a worthy homage to the spaghetti Western soundtracks of Morricone and Nicolai, but brought to date with rock drums and a driving bass line. Another highlight is "Los Angeles No Niseimaturi", which originally appeared on a vinyl only EP release a few years ago, and was apparently recorded as an act of sonic reverence towards Nokie Edwards-era Ventures. "The Elbow Twist" is a fine go-go combo organ driven stomper. Even the one true vocal track on the album, a cover of Dick Dale's "Mr. Peppermint Man" (taken from a 15 year old 10" vinyl tribute release appropriately titled "Dickheads") has 1962 stamped all over it. Given the very nature of The Woggles as a band, this is a good thing indeed.

The above notwithstanding, the band is now at a point where two of its last three full-length releases have been retrospective collections and The Woggles, who are indeed still active, have only put out one new release of new recordings sine 2003. Here's hoping that the Professor, Flesh Hammer, Dan Electro, and Buzz Hagstrom get back to the business of penning the best in balls-out revival retro rock and roll sooner rather than later. After all, as Meredith Ochs (of NPR's All Songs Considered) once said, a Woggles show "will change your life," and there is nothing like a brand new release of brand new songs, to give cause to bring The Woggles to your town.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Number of The Beast

It ain't 666, because that would be one too many. Effin' 66...goddamn I hate that hand. Played a few turbos tonight, after the Good Doctor Mondo went to bed. Seven of them, in fact. All my play in and out in less than two hours.

Ran into 66 three times, in AIPF situations.

First time, AJ lost to 66 when the devils held up.
Second time, AQ went down when the ace in the door was followed by the case devil (another player noted he folded one devil).
The final fucking of the night? AK lost to 66 in the worst way. Ace on the flop, but two diamonds. Diamond on the turn. Diamond on the river. Yup, he held the fucking devil of diamonds.

Now up to 18 straight non-cashes in a row. I know that's hardly a long streak, but it's pissing me off. Especially as some of them have included large stacks, only to go out just a few spots off the bubble. JokerStars hates me these days.

I guess it's a good thing after all that I'm not in the WPBT Last Longer competition. Given how JokerStars is putting up the mobnies, I'd be sure to screw whatever team I was on.

Edit: Of course, right after I type this, I break my non-cash streak...with the mini-est of min-cashes, a whopping $3.52 in a $2.20 PLHE/PLO turbo MTT...naturally AA78 double suited couldn't keep up with 6543 rainbow in PLO.

Wha? December Already?

What a long, strange trip it's been...2009, that is.

A lot of you poker bloggers worth your weight in bytes, or in cheeseburgers, or even bananas, will be taking your own long, strange trip next weekend for the 2009 Winter Blogger Gathering, WPBT, what have you. Drunken wheelchair races, getting rolled by hookers at the Geisha Bar, collecting bounties at Caesar's...what a way to start a winter, no?

For what it's worth, I would have loved to join the Last Longer on a team with Waffles and $mokkee, just to watch the incendiary fireworks between my teammates.

For the umpteenth time in a row since starting this pathetique excuse for a poker blog, I shall not be taking part this year. Oh, that was not my intention, to sit out. Not at all. But the events of this year have taken their toll, and it is too important for me to take care of the Good Doctor Mondo, now that she's at home, to take a few days off out further west than here. I do wish to all of you much much merriment, and lots of Aleve-laced waters when you wake at 3pm each day. If there's another such gathering next year, I really do hope to be able to join. As it is, perhaps I can make a run for the Vega$ border shortly after next April (when I have to be in North Carolina for a trial, for several weeks).

So how is the Good Doctor Mondo doing? Better every single day. Her first week at home was sort of a transitional week, where her mom and I were getting used to managing all the various oxygen-giving appliances, learning and administering the various medical routines (which the Good Doctor actually does much of herself), cleaning her trach tubes, and the like. But for the last few days, she's actually been able to sleep upstairs (gasp!) in our own bed. We truly feel like we are somewhat returning to some sense of normalcy.

Normalcy is relative, as she's limited to one trip up and down the stairs each day, and each trip takes a good 8-10 minutes with several breaks to restore her O2 saturation. But being in her own bed carries other benefits...she can now use the hand-held shower I installed last more sponge bathing in the downstairs foyer bathroom. And now that we're together, we're both sleeping much better.

As I suspected, the Good Doctor Mondo's return home has, naturally, put a crimp in the amount of poker I've been playing these days, but it's more than a fair tradeoff. Typically, I'm either too tired to play after working a full day, then coming home and taking care of her until her routines are finished around 9:30 or so...though once or twice I've jumped on to play a couple of low buy-in 180 man turbos, to pretty much little success. It's hard to get in a groove when you start late and force the action, and feels like you're playing just so you can remember where the click buttons on your mouse are located.

I do hope to have a nice session on Sunday, though, depending on the weather. We've had a pretty significant cold snap here, and even with all the supplemental oxygen, it's really not a good idea for the Good Doctor to go outside in low double digits. So maybe Sunday will be a pokering day, we'll see.

Oh yeah, in other tidbits, my band just sent our five song EP off for pressing, so our January 21st show will be a CD release of sorts. We were hoping our Holiday Hootenanny show next weekend would have worked out as a release show, but we spent too many sessions mixing and remixing to have pressing/manufacturing done in time in an economical fashion. Sweet!