Thursday, December 30, 2010

Checking Out

And here is how my final online experiences ended:

(all in on the flop)

(all in on the turn)

(all in preflop)

Cashed out 95% of my roll a few weeks ago, and just played the rest. My last three $24+2 took my account to zero (Stars and Bodog already zeroed out). No regrets. No deposits since 2007, and I withdrew in the very very low four figures. My time is worth more per hour than what I ever got out of online poker, and frankly, when 80% hands play as 40% hands in reality, and a coinflip means you're actually a 6:1 dog, I just don't see the point.

It's simply not fun getting it in repeatedly ahead and loving almost every time, while having to read about the more successful exploits of others, who all to often seem to simply benefit more from living on the anointed side of variance.

So I leave it to the rest of you, I've got better things to do in 2011 and beyond. I'll leave the blog up for a bit, but I doubt I'll be writing here any further.

Take care.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Workin' On Da Cash Money Tip

I must say, this has really been an up and down year for me, poker-wise. I've had some fairly decent successes (well, given my low buyin levels), and I've had at least my share of failure. But it's been an interesting year, to be certain.

Not too long ago, I took a look back at all of my records, those I've kept at home, as well as those from events recorded over at OPR and the like. As it turns out, I learned something I found interesting, and a bit unexpected. Of all of the best poker sites to make money over the long run, over all of the sites I've played on over the years, I've actually made more profit over at Full Tilt than at any other site.

I credit a lot of that to that long old chestnut of taking 2nd in a $16k guarantee ages and ages and ages and ages ago, (such that it doesn't even appear on OPR). Does my lack of ability to exceed that cash in the intervening time mean anything? I don't know, maybe I just got completely balls out of my skull lucky back then. But there were successes afterward, just not as much.

Which brings me to tilt issues this year have been legendary, at least in my own home. So, I've taken a bit of time off of poker, and cashed out a nice chuck of what I had, in order to make The Good Doctor Mondo's birthday a lovely event. There's zero risk of tilt in that.

The most pleasant aspect of the whole deal was how fast the checks came in, especially given UIGEA. Of course, only one of them was in the four figures...and low four figures, at that, which probably helped.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here? - Part Deux

Continuing from my previous post on the impending Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, if you haven't heard by now, there is one issue of great importance, and near-immediate salience to the Tea Party movement, that will surely make its presence known very shortly into the 112th Congress, and it is this:

The current statutory debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion will be reached some time between February and June 2011. At that point, if the debt ceiling is not raised, the federal government can no longer borrow any money, and can no longer pay its bills or service its existing debt, the government will be in financial default.

And on top of that, the government will reach that ceiling based on already passed current spending and debt service, meaning that no band-aid of cutting a few programs of discretionary spending here and there will prevent the ceiling from being reached. It could postpone it by a few weeks, hence the somewhat wide range of expected target dates.

Think about that for a moment.

There's a whole metric assload of brand new freshly minted Republicans and tea partiers storming in to Washington on a platform of "NO MORE DEBT", "STOP THE SPENDING", "CUT TAXES FOR THE MILLIONAIRES", etc., etc., etc., who will soon be forced to take a stand on a bill that will either allow the government to take on another trillion or two in debt, or cause all government borrowing to stop, the government to default on its existing loans, and immediately push the world banking system into panic, likely sending stock markets down 50% overnight.

There's no middle ground there, it will have to be one or the other.

To paraphrase, Whatcha Gonna Do when Debt-a-mania runs wild on you?

This brings us to a fascinating dilemma for Mssrs. Boehner and McConnell, as well as the entire new incoming class of Republicans, and their likeminded predecessors (Demint, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Issa, etc.). No extension to the debt limit can pass in 2011 without significant Republican votes. Same goes for the Senate.

Here we have an entire subset of Congress who adamantly refuses to add on to the debt. Well, here comes your chance to prove it. And just to add to the intrigue, to see how tightly you'll cling to those principles, a smart House minority leader (it won't be Pelosi) will tell his caucus to vote against it, thereby forcing the new House majority's hand. The Democrats may have learned a lot from watching two years of the Party of No...perhaps they put those lessons to use, putting the new far right on the ultimate spot.

So, you're the Republican-led House of Representatives. Do you want to be the party responsible for plunging the free world into an instant depression and worldwide bank panic when the United States defaults on its debt? Or were all those Tea Party friendly sentiments just more of the same common campaign lies, with you willing to sell out all those who believed you when you were preaching your "END THE SPEND" in front of your grassroots gatherings of a couple dozen folks? Are you willing to put yourself on the 2012 Tea Party hitlist like Scott Brown has already done? Are you willing to turn your back so quickly on those who got you there? Or, do you dance with who brung ya and stand by your principles and shut down the entire free world economy to prove a point?

If you're Rand Paul, you're already declaring "no compromise" in your victory speeches. Okay....goody gumdrops.

If you're Harry Reid (or the next Senate Majority Leader, please), let's put Rand to the test. No raise in the debt ceiling can pass without a lot of Democratic votes, but one can pass with the votes of all Republicans and a wee couple of Democrats. First thing you do is, you don't even schedule a vote on it until after the House votes. If the tea partiers in the House do show their backbone and vote down the higher ceiling, then you don't even have to risk anything....but if it passes the House and comes to you, just make sure you get about 46 "no" votes, and there you have it. The Senate Tea Partiers will be held to the ultimate test...and America will be able to see in very short order how strongly they hold their alleged core values.

I, for one, can't wait to watch this play out.

Now, this is true, even if the most hard core Tea Party members all vote "no", and the Democrats in the House vote no, a "yes" vote by the remaining Republicans in the House could still put such a bill at the 218 votes necessary for it to pass. Maybe. Depends on how you define "hard core". But then that makes vulnerable all of those who do vote for it to being put on the Tea Party 2012 hit list, as well, and there are plenty who won their 2010 races by slim enough margins that they won't take that chance.

From an Associated Press article via Huffington Post today:

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, planning to take over as speaker now that Republicans have won the House, said that over the next few months he'll look at ways to work with his new tea party caucus to pass legislation they will oppose like increasing the debt limit.

Of course, there are already plenty of indications of how this is going to work out, given how some of the Tea Party stars are already showing their stripes. After having campaigned as the ultimate Washington outsider, who does Rand Paul hire as his chief of staff? From the same article:

Tea Party hero Rand Paul moved immediately to name an insider as chief of staff for his Senate office. Doug Stafford, a longtime GOP operative in Washington, has been his top political consultant and is vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and as a consultant to the Campaign for Liberty.

So much for bringing a fresh outsider's perspective to Washington. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Personally, I'm banking on the Tea Partiers caving in to Boehner and McConnell's demands, for the most part, in exchange for some really sweet committee assignments and earmarks. You know, business as usual. Much like how Rick Scott led one of the greatest Medicare frauds in history and now runs on a "cut government spending" platform. Ambitious folk will say anything to get elected. But when the rubber meets the road, the newly minted members of Congress will lose their moral bearings the very moment the Armey/Koch troops come in to demand legislative repayment for all the attack ad funding that got them their seats in the first place. And so it goes.

Really, it's no different than their insistence on maintaining the unpaid-for Bush tax cuts for the top 2% wealthiest Americans, who are anything but middle class, and eliminating the estate tax which already affects less than 1% of the entire United States population, both of which scenarios are unpaid for and add to the federal debt precisely because they are unpaid for. But it's what the deep pockets that funded Crossroads GPS and the Tea Party Express wanted, so those are the positions you get.

This is not to dimish the serious nature of our rising debt at all. It is a major issue, and it needs to be tackled. We can start be eliminating all existing loopholes in the tax know, the ones that let companies shift all their costs to U.S. subsidiaries while shifting all their assets to subsidiaries in tax haven countries, so they can pretend they're not profitable here for tax purposes while they continue to make money hand over fist. There's a recent wonderful article about the phenomenon here.

We can also start by ending all farm subsidies now. Why the hell should your tax dollars (and mine) go to a direct handout, right? Sure, that will drive up the cost of food products, and probably put some U.S. farms out of business. But hey, no more government handouts, right? Though it's rather ironic how much of tea party country is in rural, farming America, ain't it. But I digress....

We can also stop with all these science and technology grants to companies where, you know, you build your 30 person design shop here, we'll waive all of your taxes and pay your infrastructure improvements with local tax dollars while you offshore the 1,000 employee factory that actually builds what you design, but in India. We can also stop buying future ultra tech weapon programs that we don't need today and aren't effective against small mountain terrorist insurgencies. Those are all places to start. I'm sure there's more. Beyond, of course, bringing back our entire expeditionary military from Iraq and Afghanistan and South Korea right now. That will save hundreds of billions per year.

But then, even if all of the previous two paragraphs were to come true in the next few months, none of it will prevent us from hitting that dreaded debt ceiling in spring of 2011, which brings us right back to the impending dilemma.

Time to go buy some microwave popcorn. In bulk.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So the 2010 elections are pretty much in the books, pending a few likely recounts, and what did it all mean? What did we learn, and what lies ahead of us now?

Well, the most obvious takeaway is that the Democrats got their hats and asses handed to them on a paper plate. Nationally, the Republicans pretty much wiped the floor with the Democrats on every level, from U.S. House and Senate races, to governor races, and certainly in state legislative races. I wouldn't be surprised if electoral earthquakes were felt at the county dog catcher level.

The Democrats lost the narrative, and they very clearly lost the outside expenditure battle by a factor of about 37452 to 1. More notably, they failed to accurately portray the obstructionist nature of the minority party in the 111th United States Congress. The filibuster tactic was employed in the U.S. Senate more times since January 2008 than in any other Congress ever. Ever. The Republicans managed to filibuster more judicial appointments (and continue to do so) than at any time in previous history, and have acted in a manner completely contrary to their own position five years ago that holding up presidential judicial appointments is unconstitutional.

However, Harry Reid has also been an abject failure as Majority Leader, in my opinion. Faced with such a record number of threatened filibusters, he failed to actually require the Republicans to go through with their threatened filibusters by actually filibustering a bill. You know, by actually having to get up on their feet and prattle on for 96 hours straight about nothing in particular until you either give up or convince the majority to withdraw the bill. This candy ass tactic of pulling bills back without actually making the minority filibuster the old fashioned way allowed and further encouraged McDonnell in his obstructionist game.

If the Democrats learn anything from yesterday's elections, I hope it's that Harry Reid has no business continuing to serve as majority leader, because he sucks at it. His and Pelosi's lack of congressional leadership have at least as much to do with yesterday's failure as the Obama administration's failure to highlight the things they actually accomplished, that a majority of Americans would consider as good things (and yes, those accomplishments actually do exist).

I would have rooted for Reid's electoral defeat entirely, had Nevada Republicans not nominated such a batshit crazy basket case to represent them. Which brings me to my next subject: What of Sarah Palin, and what was the real value of her endorsement?

Patient Zero Mama Grizzly handed out endorsements to a few dozen candidates nationwide, in U.S. and statewide races. And how did things turn out? Well, approximately half of her endorsees won their electoral battles. This doesn't sound too shabby, right? But think again. This was an election Sarah Barracuda called an "earthquake". A greater number of House seats changed hands than at any time in the last 62 years. The Democrats were running scared and dropping like flies on the side of the road. This was the most encouraging environment for Republican candidates in decades, and yet Sarah's preferred candidates won only about half their races.

More notably, some of her highest profile endorsees (Christine O'Donnell, Tom Tancredo, Sharron Angle, Carly Fiorina) all went down hard. And it appears Joe Miller's candidacy is crashing, as well, though results won't be official there for a while. What does this all mean, other than the fact that she can't even get a candidate elected in her own home state?

It's instructive to take a look at her actual endorsees, some of whom ran effective campaigns and stayed away from some of the most outrageous sentiments expounded by those who lost. Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Marco each case, these individuals managed to present themselves as thoughtful, bright candidates without a history of hypocrisy, and they campaigned on platforms of conservative-friendly policies, but without the most extreme rhetoric, without the most extreme positions, and without Palinesque levels of vitriol and vindictiveness.

In other words, people such as Haley, Martinez, and Rubio were just plain old-fashioned good candidates and most likely candidates who, in the current electoral climate, were perfectly capable of winning their races with or without Palin's endorsement and did not even need it. And those candidates who probably "benefited" the most from Palin's endorsements (O'Donnell, Miller, Angle) still lost either in spite of, or because of, those endorsements. Why? Because they were bad candidates. Either their own actions betrayed their candidacies, or they simply proved their own lack of qualifications. Ultimately, Sarah Palin will likely pay a higher price for those misplaced endorsements, as she as seen as even less unqualified as a presidential candidate than she was viewed in 2008.

That said, my contention all along is that she actually has little to no interest in (or stomach for) the two year presidential election process. Rather, the entire "will she or won't she" narrative is about keeping her in the public eye while the speaking engagement checks continue to roll in. It's all about the filthy lucre for Clan Palin. But hey, that's the New American way...prove your lack of job qualifications, but get yourself on TV and quoted often enough, and there's a seven-figure commentating gig for you on FNC. The ink's probably already being laid to O'Donnell's new daytime talker as I write this. The 2008 presidential campaign was the most financially successful reality show starring role. Lauren Conrad probably wishes she'd thought of it first.

So....okay. Given the jobless nature of this nascent, teetering economic recovery, and given the nature of midterm elections, the Democrats were likely going to lose a lot of seats. And they deserved to.

And now?

The next two years are going to require actual Republican contributions to any and all legislation that passes. They no longer get to be the Party of No. After all, they'll have the majority in the House, and no legislation can pass the Senate without the support of at least, at a minimum, no less than four members of the party not driving the bill, and that's just to get to 51 votes. It will take at least nine Republicans to get to a filibuster-proof majority on Dem-sponsered bills, and thirteen Democrats to get to a filibuster-proof majority on McDonnell-approved legislation.

This means Obama will not be dictating any sort of congressional agenda for the next two years (and given the watered-down nature of both the health care law and the Wall Street regulatory law, it's arguable how much he ultimately dictated those bills). It also means the Republicans have to actually be productive members of Congress and no mere procedural obstructionist roadblocks.

You wanted a chance to come off the bench and swing the bat? Now's your chance. Batter up. Prove you can actually legislate and not just bloviate. We're waiting. But beware, there's some pretty big traps out there, the biggest and baddest of which I'll address in my next post....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When Good Punkins Go Bad

Don't let your Halloween end up like this.

Been a pretty transformational fall over this way...will explain soon...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Once More Into the Breach, Please

Nope, it's not that time...not just yet. But it's getting close, the World Blogger Championships of Online Poker. Tasty, verily.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Royal Frush, No Crubs

I finally got a decent session in, over the weekend. Felt refreshing to get to play prime time poker, and to come out a wee bit a head. Funnest moment was getting paid on a turned royal flush in PLO8:

Oh, what to do, what to do....

I came in the hand with what I recall was around an average stack, and made a smallish raise preflop (prepared to call a 3-bet if necessary). This flop was actually a bit tough for me, given villian's possibility of a Q or two...but I figured if I checked here, villian could pot, and I'm faced with a tough decision for all my chips. So I elected to bet out about 1/2 the pot as a feeler, and got min-raised. Damn.

But then, the pot wasn't huge...bah, I'll see one more card.


The most beautiful jack of hearts ever. For all I knew, I'd just caught the ultimate one-outer. Stone cold nutzo. Pot. Mine. Ship it. But how to get more in it.

I didn't figure villian had a flush, and given the flushy board, I thought villain was more likely to have boated than to have hit broadway or trips, but who knows? All I knew was that villain raised me on the flop. So if I check here, he bets, and I can minraise and maybe start a raising war? Maybe I made the ultimate donk call on the flop and had chased down quad queens? That should get me paid. Okay, check.

Villian checks behind. Ugh. Wasted opportunity.

King of crubs on the river....this could only be a good card, I suppose, because it makes more boats possible. I know I can't check here. But damn, villain could have hands that fold any bet here, so I don't want to overdo it. Can't pot it. Bet about 3k? Sure.

Bet 3k.

Villian calls, and shows this:

Wow, guess I gave villian way too much credit, or he was simply trying to use the minraise bluff to try to show more strength than he had. Or, he's just a fish. Just now, while writing this post, I bothered too look him up on OPR, and he's actually not a terribad Omatard player. In fact, he's certainly been more profitable than I have in the game, so I'm now inclined to believe he was trying the minraise bluff.

Which means, I guess I can take my river bet as an actual good bet that extracted real value. He's not likely enough of a fish to have called a pot bet in that spot. And who knows, given his actual holding, a turn bet may have lost him entirely. So I feel good now. That pot certainly went a long way towards helping me to a final-two-tables finish. Unfortunately, once we got down to about 20 players, I caught nothing but junk and never connected again, going out 15th of 234.

Oddly enough, while I've only cashed in four of 24 PokerStars events in October thus far, my two best finishes have been in the same $22 PLO8 event. Neither resulted in a final table, of course.

More oddly, all four cashes have been in Omaha events. Which also includes my Sunday heartbreaker...Down to 30 players of nearly 400, and I flop trip kings on a KQx board with one low card. All the money goes in. Villian did have a broadway draw an a Q.

Turn Q. Boom, guess who boated.

River Q. Fuck me. Too pissed to take a screenie.

Well, guess that's Omatard. Win on a perceived one-outer that was anything but. And lose to perfect perfect turn/river to lose in the one possible way you think you're safe.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Little to Post, So Sentences Are Short

Poker? Total meh. I did learn a valuable lesson, though, in my last session. When you're already on mini-tilt because you're sorta not allowed to play the tournies you want (because of time constraints), you're far better off not playing at all. At all.

New rock project coming along....recording to start in a few weeks (as soon as our guitarist can finish up the three records he's engineering for other bands).

Baseball season ended the day the Rockies gave up a five run lead against the damned Dodgers and tanked to losing 13 of their last this point, I don't even care. As long as the Gints and Yankees fail.

Time to start focusing on writing a few CD reviews, once again.

Parties with friends equals reduction in weekend opportunities for pokery goodness.

And, oh yeah, it's now been 90 days since my last cigarette, yo.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Story

A picture is worth 37 words.

All the money went in on the flop. Villian called pf, I popped it x3 or so, villian called. I shoved the flop, naturally. Notice the number of chips in the middle, this was very late in the $32k Rush. So I go out around 65th for $114, instead of a deeper run towards four figures. Yup. Figures.

An awful lot of close calls this month, and pretty much nothing to show for it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bad Beat Story (Non-Poker Division)

Recently you registered at for the opportunity to purchase 2010 Division Series tickets for games to be played at Coors Field. Unfortunately, your entry was not selected.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzt, you lose.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200, you are forced to watch WTBS and Skip Carey instead.

UPDATE: But for the ultimate post-river suckout, so to speak, a friend of mine got picked and gave me his code, so yay Mondo, and yay Rockies! First round playoff tix to be in the can in about 19.5 hours. Now, all we need to have happen is to actually make up that pesky 1.5 game deficit...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brutality Hits More Than Once

Yeah, this was my exit hand. I bet roughly 3.5x pf from UTG, he called. I shoved the flop:

Okay, so that stuff happens, but not usually for a 1.5m chip stacks deep in the 3r, gah:

I'm still rather curious about that call. Yes, I was gambling that he didn't have an over diamond (or two), by representing a big diamond draw myself. But facing the all in from me, how do you call there with nothing but 3rd pair and an OESD, when there's already a flush on the board? Interested in any thoughts. Was that call proper?

Three times 5+ hours deep in that tournament, I'd managed to get a top 20 chipstack, but a rivered chop about 45 minutes before this, blue my chance to get a truly dominant stack. Oh well. Frankly, I'm far more pissed off at the Colorado Rockies blowing a five run lead against the "phoning it in" Dodgers.

So what about hitting more that once? Well, I also had a deep run going in the JokerStars 1/4 mil lottery today, until another sick suckout took me out in 608th, where winning the hand would have given me a top 100 stack. Bah.

Really close today. At least I eked out a very small profit on the day (had tons of non-cashes...)

Fancy A Cuppa For the Road?

Aside from yesterday's donkarama, this weekend has been about things a hell of a lot more fun than poker often is. Yeah, British cars, British car shows, and mountain drives. Of course, not only does my very non-smart phone take crap photos, it doesn't help when I inadvertently delete a bunch of then while trying to e-mail to myself. Multi-point fuel injection? Fuck that shit. Multi-point epic fail, is what that was.

Anyway, yesterday was the grand tour of the Colorado Conclave, where just about every British car club in Colorado put their wheels on the road for a four hour cruise/rally through the mountains west of Arvada. We made our way through Clear Creek Canyon, back roads to Morrison and Evergreen, all over Jefferson County, out to Idaho Springs, over Lookout Mountain, and Squaw Pass. Beautiful times.

Of course, the Good Doctor Mondo and I do not own a British car. At least not yet. Our dear friends Mandy and Evan had invited us to join them on the sojourn, as a caravan of sorts. the Doc and I took turns driving Evan's lovely red 1972 MGB:

Mandy and Evan made the trip in an even cooler 1959 Jaguar XK150. This is one seriously badass coach:

V-12 power, deep throaty exhaust, and some pretty serious pickup for a fifty year old car. I mean, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. agents would drive these cars. The XK150 was actually the predecessor to the iconic Jaguar E-Type. Back in the day, Jaguar was known for making the fastest production cars over there, period. Wow. I could listen to that exhaust note all day long.

Anyway, the day started off great. Damn, chilly, and foggy. Perfect. I mean that! I mean, if you're driving British cars, driving these cars in British weather just adds to the experience. Everyone at Starbucks was looking at us weird, as we pulled up with the top down, but we didn't care, we loved the chill. We grabbed our coffees and scones, and rolled down through the mist, to Arvada, where the tour down all the way. The entire cruise was just a thing of beauty...the aspen are changing color, and we got to see an awful lot of it.

Unfortunately, the day didn't quite end as well as it started. The XK150 had developed an arcing problem, and once we were back down into the Golden, CO area, the car kept cutting out, and eventually needed towing. So that certainly didn't make Evan and Mandy's day.

Our scare was a wee bit worse. The Good Doctor Mondo took two oxygen tanks with her, since we knew we'd be out for a long time...all well and good. Well, once back in Golden, we were going to enjoy lunch together before the drive back to Longmontucky. Seemed like a good point to switch her tanks out...oh crap. The backup tank had been left on, and was absolutely empty. Emergency, yeah. Her first tank had just a wee bit left. The Good Doctor Mondo didn't want to go to any kind of emergency center...but by sitting perfectly still, and not talking, she was able to keep her oxygen saturation around 80% (ours is normally 95% or so), while I drove the MGB like a bat out of hell for 40 miles. I really didn't know I could get one of those going so fast. Anyway, all was made okay in the end...

Sunday was much less dramatic, really. But it was really cool to go back to the car show proper, and lay eyes on everything from a dozen Sunbeam Tigers, to Jensens, to E-Types of many years (among many other Jags), Lotuses of every flavor, back to the early Elites, and even a Lotus 7, an Allard J2, some beautiful big Healeys and Sprites, more TR-4s and TR-6s than one could shake a stick at, and even an immaculate DB4. Very inspiring.

All in all, a great weekend.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Do As I Say, Not As I Do"

"I don't think Americans should be pitting Americans against each other," - Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), while trying to justify $700 billion in non-offset spending directly into the pockets of the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

That's right, Jon, you're all against your self-styled concept of class warfare....that is, except when you're trying to punish those long term unemployed because...well, they're not in your class.

"[C]ontinuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," - Sen. Jon Kyl in justifying his party's six week filibuster of extended unemployment benefits.

That's right, you're only against helping those who are probably too poor to donate to your endless campaign PACs. I get it. I understand. It's hard for those without any class to avoid either class warfare or hypocrisy or, in your case...both. Simultaneously. It's really hard for your most moneyed supporters to host fundraisers for you on their new yacht when they won't get that second yacht until they can get the working class to pay for it.

I've got your new campaign slogan, for when you need it:

Jon Kyl, taking bread out of the mouths of babes to feed caviar to investment bankers since 1986.

How about:

Jon Kyl, helping to subsidizing shipping jobs out of America since 1986.

Hmmm...maybe lacking a bit of pizazz, but not missing any truthfulness. Note to self, hire Peggy Olson away from SCDP to come up with ten better taglines in the time it took me to write this post.

Hmm, Jonny boy, if you're so against this perceived "class warfare" would you care to explain why you've voted at least three times against raising the minimum wage in this country? Oh yeah, because subsistence wage dollars don't go into your PACs...

Yeah, if there's a hell below, we're all gonna go. You too, Jon, you fucking hypocrit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rocktember is the Slow Time

For posting, and for poker. At least over here. After last weekend's session of 20-something tournies, 33% ITM, and yet still saw my bankroll drop....actually, finishing 16th in a 1000 player MTT sucks when you're out because AA < 44 and QQ < TT, both times losing to gutshots on the river. Shot in the gut, indeed. Woulda coulda shoulda been a very profitable day.

Well, let's just say it's time to refocus for a few weeks on something much more fun. The 2010 Colorado Rockies!!

Rocktember is a time when fresh players bloom by stealing their way to home plate and into your hearts.

Rocktember is a time when fans of the San Diego Padres begin quaking in their boots (a 2007 to remember, yo).

Rocktember is a time when the boys in purple just. can't. lose.

Rocktember is a time when the usual national media suspects begin diminishing the peformance of Rockies' hitters because they play 1/2 their games in Coors Field...and yet completely disregard the success of Rockies' pitchers who also have to play 1/2 their games in Coors Field. (Oh yeah, for the SABR nerds out there, the Colorado Rockies have the most valuable pitching staff in baseball, as measured by WAR, for the 2nd year running. Smoke that.)

Anyway, Rocktember is simply that month before Rocktober, and yeah, good things happen then, too. And it's hard to focus on recreational poker weekends when the boys are in town. Went to the game yesterday, going to the game tomorrow, and next Wednesday, and outta fairness to my one good half...well, there will be no poker this weekend, for sure. I'll just have to do with watching Troy Tulowitzki cross home plate after another game-tying dinger:

Best seat ever, thank you Stubhub.

And to the San Francisco Gints, your season is about to climb into a hot air balloon. Those who know me know where that's going...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ending August On A High

Played my last session of the month this past weekend, and it was a pretty good one. Somehow, through hook or by crook, I managed to cash in seven of fifteen events. Most of them barely more than mincashes, except for one notable deep run, and one that was aided by my catching a most fortunate four outer on the river.

This was a $4.40 buy in NLHE tourney, limited to 1000 players. I've been playing quite a few of these $4.40/1000 max events on PokerStars lately. I like the somewhat-limited field size, insofar as NLHE is concerned, because on the rare chance I can survive the donktastic play long enough to make a final table, the entire event can still be done early enough for me to get a decent night's sleep. And yes, by "donktastic play", I can sometimes be referring to myself, as happened here.

This was a 4-max event. With only four players per table, it usually stands to reason that marginal hands can gain increased value, as you're unlikely to be running into monster starting hands as often. So I actually like AJo in this situation. With around 8-10 tables left, and me holding around 10BBs, I decided to shove my AJo. Oops, ran right into AKo. Doh. The K on the flop made things a LOT worse, but the ten on the flop also gave me a tad bit of hope. Wha? Queen on the river? BINK!

So yeah, I will fully admit that every payout jump from there to the end had more to do with a lucky ducky river four outer than anything else. Cool.

Well, eventually, I did manage to parlay some good cards and well timed bets to make it to the final table, but in a pretty woeful chip position, holding around 5% or so of chips at the table:

At this point, I really expected to make it no further, and I was okay with that. However, I was not to be entirely denied. After a few orbits at the final table, I got it in BvB, and found myself in a classic race:

And once again, it took another bink on the river to stay alive and double up:

To be fair, I had a lot more outs this time, as any ace, queen, jack, or nine would have given me the hand. But once again, I'm reminded that no matter how few seats there may be at the table, just having a couple of high paint is no guarantee of leading preflop...

After a very well played game, chco9 lost his way soon after. Unfortunately, the near 600k in chips I had after that hand pretty much equated to my high water mark (though I would get back there when AK > the chip leader's A9o a couple orbits later.

In the end, with blinds and antes at 12500/25000/3125, I shoved my last 9 BBs on the with QJo on the button, and went down to K8s. The other two players each had six times my meager stack, so I was looking for a spot to get it in, and I was quite happy to just have two live cards at the time. But such is life.

Nevertheless, I once again set a personal best for most levels deep in a tourney (35), and really, how can anyone be upset about turning $4.40 into $280, especially given the four outer that should have ended my night at around twenty bucks?

So yeah, I'm pretty sure my August is done. I haven't done a great job of tracking month to month results. However, seeing as I've been pretty much a break-even MTT player at PokerStars, and yet this August saw me reach a 108% ROI and 30% ITM, I'm pretty sure this has to be one of my top three or four months ever, even if all of the actual profit came from two third place finishes.

Anyway, good luck on the felt, ya'll....and here's to August.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Because You Drive A Firebird...

...doesn't mean you can drive one like Burt Reynolds' stunt driver

Brendan S. Eden is the luckiest man on the planet right now.

The 19-year-old Mason, Ohio, man reportedly was speeding at more than 100 mph when he hit a guardrail, went airborne and slammed into an overpass. The car broke into three pieces and threw him from the wreckage. The dashboard-mounted camera in a police cruiser caught the spectacular crash that left Eden in critical condition and shut down an Ohio freeway for more than six hours this morning.

Read More


Hope he lives through it, but I honestly wouldn't mind if he's never in a position to get behind a steering wheel again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Feels Like Forever

So goes the summer, I do suppose.

I haven't played much in the way of poker lately, and except for one horrendous marathon session (which ended badly), it's been pretty much a break-even proposition. Still having somewhat more consistent results in the various Omaha variants than elsewhere, but just not a whole lot going on.

For at least 7-10 days, I've been dwelling on the idea of writing an uber-post of sorts, detailing my thoughts on the proposed Islamic cultural center at Park51, Cordoba, whatever you want to call the location. Certainly, a couple bloggers I consider friends have written well thought out and articulate pieces on the matter. Both of which I disagree with (for differing reasons), naturally, but both are writers I respect and enjoy.

But then, for a while it seemed that anything I could possibly contribute to the discussion has already been better articulated by others. That, and I'm still lazy. And that I spent four days in hotter-than-ass Austin, and wasn't going to spend that time blogging...and I'd already spent enough time and words and energy debating this issue with friends in their Facebook comments, and in other forums.

At least I felt that way until the recent LOL-worthy highlarity over on Fixed News, where, in some rather ignorant, mean-spirited, misguided, and completely stepping-in-your-own-shit manner, the morning douches over there attempted to create some mythical guilt-by-assocation conclusions that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf somehow both supports terrorism, and is directly connected to some shadowy Saudi benefactor, and therefore, cannot be trusted or believed:

Yes, it's true, the "shadowy figure" funding the imam is none other than Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal....the SECOND LARGEST SHAREHOLDER of News Corp, the parent company to Fox News. C'mon boys, follow the money!! Really, if you actually think the proposed cultural center at Park 51 is to be a bastion for future terrorist training, because of the source of its funding, then you clearly have no other choice than to shut down Fox News, as it's clearly funding by terrorist sympathizers, and profits from terror, no?

The most awesome part of this is after Fixed News complained for months about how no one else would cover the supposed ACORN scandal (which was actually manufactured by intentionally misrepresented video editing), and how only Fox News Channel will actually go after the hard news, they're far too chickenshit to even name the person they're accusing as being a shadowy terrorist financier of Iman Rauf, even those that very same person is their own boss.

C'mon, Fox, keep following the money, that's right. I guess perhaps one could say that Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal does support terrorism...after all, he financially supports Doocy, Kilmeade, O'Reilly, and Beck. Maybe Fox News should relocate out of Manhattan, after all, dem dere's some turrists.

Really, if that's the level of intellectual honesty that comes from the portion of the media driving the anti-Park 51 bus, that's all that needs to be said, for now.

Good luck on the felt, y'all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Goody Gumdrops

You got eight minutes or so? Snatch a dose of awesomeness. Pretty NSFW unless you got earplugs and can resist busting a gut.

And get us a cuppa tea, would you, Errol?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Let He Who Is Without Hypocrisy Cast the First Stone

(WARNING - The post below does contain NSFW language, and opinions that are likely to offend the sensibilities of at least a couple of my friends. This is a rant against certain political hypocrisies, fear-mongering, and hatred, and is not intended as a personal insult to anyone not specifically mentioned by name, read at your own risk. Carry on.)

There's nothing quite like the hubris and hypocrisy of a twice-divorced man who cheated on his second wife, and divorced his first wife while she was in the hospital fighting cancer, now carrying the mantle in sacred defense of marriage.

Hey Newt, "Which one of your multiple marriages was the most sacred to you?"

(found and shared on Facebook)

You know, I can respect that opinions on this matter run wide and deep in this country. I really can. There are a lot of passionate arguments to be made in this matter, though I note that passionate argument does not equate to argument based on law and facts, one does not necessarily equal the other.

However, there are two fundamental arguments against marriage equality, that come from two different sources of people, which underscore the fact that for these two groups, their positions are truly rooted more in fear, bigotry, and ignorance than anything else.

The first is this -- all those who base their arguments on the principle of "marriage is under attack", or some other description rooted in a position that the sanctity of marriage is somehow vulnerable here. Well, if you've ever divorced your spouse, than fuck you, you don't get to make that argument, because you didn't give a flying fuck about the sanctity of your own marriage, so you forfeit the right to preach to others that marriage is sacred. Because it sure wasn't for you. And if you divorced because you were unfaithful to your spouse, like Newt Gingrich was (the 2nd wife, you know, the one he left his cancer-ridden wife for, in the first place), then that goes doubly so.

And second, there's the argument that Judge Walker somehow violated the constitution and is a "judicial activist". Never mind the fact that Judge Walker is a Republican named to the bench by the right-wing's hero Ronald Reagan, and has shown himself over the body of his work to be anything but a judicial activist. It should be noted that nowhere in the United States Constitution does the word "marriage" even appear. The Constitution is utterly silent on the subject. So no, gay marriage is not unconstitutional.

What is unconstitutional, however, is a state initiate designed solely to deprive basic citizen rights to those who already have those rights. In California, gay people had already obtained the right to marry, and Proposition 8 was intended solely to take away a right that already existed in state law, and that is clearly unconstitutional. Think about it. If California voters passed an initiative that took away a woman's right to vote, would that be any different? Of course not. The will of a state population to violate the United States Constitution does not make that violation constitutional.

Which brings me to my point. Many of the same far right dittoheads who claim that either gay marriage or Judge Walker's ruling, is unconstitutional, also claim to be "strict constructionists" when it comes to the Constitution. In other words, their normal argument is that the Constitution is to be read on its face, and not to be interpreted in any fashion. Except now, those same people want to claim that the Constitution somehow doesn't apply here, or says something it does not say. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin (among others), who after decades of claiming yourselves as strict constructionists, now to apply a completely different standard to Judge Walker's ruling. You don't get no longer get to make that argument. You forfeit the right to argue against your decades-long positions of strict constructionism just because you don't like a ruling that actually strictly follows the Constitution.

If your argument against marriage equality is based on either of the above two positions, and you've ever been divorced, or cheated on your spouse, or even if single participated in a relationship with a partner outside *their* marriage, or even one time carried the mantle of fighting "judicial activism", or even once used the the argument of strict construction to support, say, the NRA...then fuck you, you don't get to make that argument now, because it makes you as intellectually dishonest as a newt. Or a Newt.

Of course, now there's the mud rising to the surface of those claiming that Judge Walker should have recused himself because he is gay (allegedly), and thus impartial in any situation involving gay rights. Really? Is that what you really think? Do you honestly think that a woman cannot judge a case involving, say, workplace harrassment, or a black man is de facto barred from judging a case involving alleged racial discrimination or profiling? Bullshit. You didn't stand up when Justice Clarence Thomas voted in the recent Massachusetts firefighter promotion lawsuit. You know why? Because you don't actually believe that, except when it comes to the gays.

Judge Walker shouldn't have recused himself anymore than a straight judge should have recused himself for the very same reason. One's sexual orientation isn't a basis for recusal anymore than the color of a judge's skin, or the form of their genitalia.

Obviously, the legal battle is far from over, for both sides of the argument. This was only a United States District Court ruling, there are certainly appeals to follow. And really, no one knows how this is ultimately going to turn out. I'm no lawyer, and I certainly don't know how this will end up, though I am extremely curious to see how the issue is ultimately decided, and the impact on the American legal landscape.

I do think it speaks volumes that one of the two lead counsel for plaintiffs in the case is none other than Ted Olsen, he of impeccable conservative credentials, even serving as President George W. Bush's Solicitor General.

But one thing is for certain. The usual windbags on the right are going to have to come up with a new toy to talk about this time, because on this, they're going to have to actually live by the same words they've preached to us forever. In fact, they may want to wear longer pants, be careful, their bias is showing.

Monday, August 02, 2010

If It Weren't For All You Pesky AA's

I'd probably win more often.

Weird day. Truly.

Had AA eight times. Once got a walk with them in the BB. And once won a decent pot.

But also saw AA go down to JJ, 77, 33, 44, and in the ugliest example:

PokerStars Game #47587147383: Tournament #294420658, $4.00+$0.40 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level XXXV (15000/30000) - 2010/08/01 18:41:57 MT [2010/08/01 20:41:57 ET]
Table '294420658 17' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: thepescis (141558 in chips)
Seat 2: Mondogarage (824833 in chips)
Seat 4: BadB19 (375429 in chips)
Seat 7: fudgeisback (359738 in chips)
Seat 8: Alphadoggg (1040442 in chips)
thepescis: posts the ante 3750
Mondogarage: posts the ante 3750
BadB19: posts the ante 3750
fudgeisback: posts the ante 3750
Alphadoggg: posts the ante 3750
thepescis: posts small blind 15000
Mondogarage: posts big blind 30000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Mondogarage [As Ad]
BadB19: folds
fudgeisback: folds
Alphadoggg: folds
thepescis: raises 107808 to 137808 and is all-in
Mondogarage: calls 107808
*** FLOP *** [4h 6d 7d]
*** TURN *** [4h 6d 7d] [Tc]
*** RIVER *** [4h 6d 7d Tc] [8h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
thepescis: shows [4d 5c] (a straight, Four to Eight)
Mondogarage: shows [As Ad] (a pair of Aces)
thepescis collected 294366 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 294366 | Rake 0
Board [4h 6d 7d Tc 8h]
Seat 1: thepescis (small blind) showed [4d 5c] and won (294366) with a straight, Four to Eight
Seat 2: Mondogarage (big blind) showed [As Ad] and lost with a pair of Aces

Notice the tourney's level number and blinds. Yes, this was the final table of a near 500-runner MTT. Wow.

Unlike the above hand, most of the instances where my AA lost involved me raising up anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 the BB, getting 3-bet, and then either having my 4-bet shoves called with far inferior hands, or me calling 3-bet shoves with AA, and seeing 4:1 dogs catch miracles.

So yeah, today was pretty gross, and I spent a lot of it on tilt, yet at the same time, pretty awesome in its own way, because after all the horrific beats, I was neverthess at the aforementioned final table, which by itself was a bit of a miracle.

From the final 24 players or so to the final table bubble, I was never more than 2-3 players from the bottom of the chip standings, but somehow managed to steal or catch just enough to not be the next man out. And then, with 10 players left, I was the low stack:

At was at this point (an orbit past the photo) where things really began to turn my way. First, I doubled up on arpoker35 when AKs beat either QQ or JJ (forget which), and the very next hand, I picked up KK UTG and, knowing arpoker35 might be on tilt and hyper aggro, I elected to flat call UTG. As I was sure he would, arpoker35 shoved, and my KK actually held, which brought us to the final table, and me in a much more comfortable position:

Eventually, we got to five handed, with all of us between 578k and 517k in chips, with blinds at 8.5k/17k/2.5k. The chip leader proposed a five way even chop, which I was okay with, but no one else responded, so we played on. And on. And on.

Still five handed, and I woke up once again:

Yes, that's the hand historied above. So gross. Instead of getting to 4-handed and being 2 BB shy of the chipleader, we had far more to go. At least that was the last time I had AA get cracked on this day. Of course, it was the last time I saw AA on this day...which was probably the only thing that allowed me to make it to a 3rd place finish.

I didn't stand much of a chance from that point:

So yeah, the day was both extremely frustrating and, by my standards, extremely profitable, probably my best day in nearly a year. And yet, my success was in one of my lowest buyin events. I had a very nice stack in the huge Sunday $3r get crippled (got kneecapped by my own AA yet again), and similarly in a couple other events.

But I still managed to nearly double my Stars roll (2nd place would have more than doubled it). And I do believe this is the first time I've made it as far as level 36 of an online donkament. Even the big FTP donkament I took 2nd in (for my all time high cash of about $1900) was over at level 26. So overall, I feel good...except for the level of tilt which caused the Good Doctor Mondo to have to leave the room. Yeah, it was bad at times...

So today was sunny, but with a few melancholy clouds on the horizon. Today, I'll take this. Next time, I'd like to order up the same, but without the side dish of tilt, please. And perhaps I can do without ever having AA....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good + Bad =/= Indifference

Ahh, got a few tournies in tonight, and ended up with a fairly reasonable night.

Made one final table (in Limit Omaha 8, 'natch), though I went out fifth when I got my chips in on the turn, whiffing my draw on the river.

I was actually in pretty good shape at the start of the final table:

Entered the final table in 3rd, but was pretty much alternately whiffing, and card dead, for most of it. No complaints there.

However, I do think I've got Jestocost beat for teh sick of teh night. Yes, all the chips went in on the flop:

And, oh yeah, before I forget, nezzi77 on PokerStars can felch the runny turds out of my ass, 3-bet overshoving 74o preflop on me a few players from the bubble (catches the 4, of course), to knock me out about 15 players from the money. Of course, I'd been playing tight, never showing down junk, and had raised the hand UTG...and I had a stack that wasn't really close to being in the danger zone, so there was no reason to think I'd suddenly expanded my range. 74o, really?

Naturally, even after that donktastic douchebag move of his, he must have tried the same stunt again, because he managed to crash and burn his entire stack and go out only four spots closer to the bubble than I.

Jeebus fucking crisps, if you're going to play like a douchenozzle, and manage to get just lucky enough to actually pick up the pot, the least you can do is learn something from the hand and not piss it all away two hands later.

And yes, I even looked your ass up on OPR, and yes, you've actually hit five four-figure cashes over the last year. All I can say is, it must be fucking nice to have the easy button when you play as badly as you did tonight. Ahh, I can be more compassionate than that...maybe you're just a tilt monkey, given your single $12 cash amongst nearly 30 tournaments covering over $200 in buyins since yesterday....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Doors That Open Are Double Doors

Let's get the poker out of the way first...because it's less painful that way. Jeez, my last couple of marathon tourney sessions have completely sucked. Hard.

And, with all due respect to blogger buddy Jestocost, there's been some horrific beats in the process, such as AA < 32o, when the 32o called my 4-bet AIPF. I'm not kidding. Or when KK lost to to two different players holding JJ, when one four-flushed. Gross. Also a bit of spewtardy play after beats. So ugh.

Like when I knocked myself out of a $10+1 HORSE MTT on the exact bubble, when I tried to bluff my way through a Stud hand against the bring-in. 32 paid, I was 16th going into the hand, and I was last to act with an A showing. Why I didn't check/fold by the 5th card, I'll never know....

Okay, that's outta the way. At least until I get hosed again another 15-20 times in my next session, whenever that is.

But yeah, about those damn doors...

Well, just last week, I finally started making music with a new project that is still taking shape. The idea is something along the lines of psychedelic space rock, or what some hear as stoner rock, or in between. Think bands like Dead Meadow, Spacemen 3, parhaps a bit of The Black Angels, if you're familiar with any of those, but leaning much more towards the former.

Yeah, I'm feeling really good about this, though it's early, and we're still composing, woodshedding...hell, we haven't even decided on a name yet.

It seems promising, but perhaps potentially destined to be short-lived, as the singer/guitarist and drummer both have other bands. In fact, the singer is also the bass player in the drummer's other band, in addition to fronting his own other band. To them, this may ultimately just be intended as a side project for a few months, especially as one of them is putting the final touches on an album to be shopped to indie management, booking, and labels (his last band charted on CMJ, and has gotten some of the requisite indierockier love).

Still, I've been friends and big fans of both for a long time, and our bands have played many shows together over the years...I'm planning on riding this one as long and hard as I can, but yet the double door opens...

I was just asked to join another band that I've played many bills with over the years, going back as far as early 2006. An existing band I like a lot (have at least five of their records), and can pick up the material pretty quickly.

Being spoilt for choice can suck at times. I've been out of my previous band for three months, and was quite bummed I had no one to play with, and now, I'm getting more than I can possibly do. I don't have the space in my life to play with two actively gigging or recording bands right now. Or at least I don't feel like I do. It was different when the Good Doctor Mondo was in grad school and we had mostly weekends together. But that was a long time ago.

Ah, what to do, what to do.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Raise Your Hand, It's MeMeMeMe

Um, meme time.

Obviously, this is in no way accurate, but I must say I like the results (taken from my last three pathetic blog entries):

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Ernest Hemingway

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

What, no patient of Dr. Gonzo? Well hell, since I can't have grapefruit these days anyway, what am I gonna do with all these syringes?

The silly irony is that all three of these posts were about my recent Omaha run. Which is now most definitively over. At least the run hot part of it. No doubt I'll continue to ride that horse way too long and lose my ass. Yeah. Ass.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keep Hittin' It, Not Quittin' It (PLO8 Edition)

The horse, she will not be broken. Well, maybe a bit dinged, but sweet that sweet little PLO pony, well, geez. I have to continue to stay away from NLHE, I guess. Played three events on Thursday...well, one was NLHE, but it's the $3.30 triple shootout I love so much (lost HU in the first round for the third straight time).

Two Omaha events. One cash. Not a mincash, but soooo close. This was the Stars $4.44 4-max PLO8 event, so going out 12th wasn't exactly quite bubbling the final table. Now, had my hand been able to improve (or even hold) on the river, who knows? But given my relative chip position once we got to 24 players or so, I really can't complain, and won't. Just continue to ride that pony, is all.


Lotsa fun for the Good Doctor Mondo and I at the Colorado Irish Festival. Of course, I don't have a lick of Celtic in me, and she's got a lot more Scot than Irish in her (we'll avoid the jokes about when she's got a little German in her...). But I loves me some Celtic music, Gaelic football, and yeah, even pipe bands. Should be tons of fun.

Part of me will still wish we were at Coors Field tonight. After all, not only have the Rockies won five in a row for the first time this year (to climb into the wild card lead and within two games of the division), all but one of those games has involved wild comebacks from several runs down, dramatic home runs, and three were walkoffs. Naturally, the only game I've been able to attend of this run was a rather pedestrian 4-2 victory over the Cards. But thank you Saint Ubaldo, just the same.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Avoiding NLHE, Part Deux....

...and the Fangraph from Heaven (below).

Last night, the Good Doctor Mondo and I were watching the Rockies fall to the Cardinals 9-3 in the bottom of the 8th inning (more on that later), when I cruised the 2+2 forums and found the magic words "Turbo Night". Wahoooo!!!

What is Turbo Night? Well, it's nothing official, but it represents a night where PokerStars (and probably FTP as well, for all I know) is getting ready to reset all their servers. In order to get things wound up, they replace a lot of their tourneys for a number of hours with turbo versions of the same (and replace turbos with super turbos). FAST FAST FAST action yeah.

Anyway, I'm hardly about to start increasing my overall volume, but as the beloved Rockies were on their way down (more on that later), I thought what the hell, sure, I'll jump into this $8.80 PLO8 tourney. Heck, it'll be over in like 90 minutes, right? At 1500 starting chips and five minute levels? Sure!

Well, I still don't know whether it's simply continued run hot, or choosing better spots than my opponents, or simply better play (considering I pulled off at least two successful semi-bluffs), but my streak of relative Omaha success continued, with a 3rd place finish in a field of 112:

No complaints there whatsoever. I came into the final table 7th in chips, and really didn't think I'd make it past 6th with my stack. Once we got down to 3-handed, things were desperate, with 4 big blinds and an M of 2, and I had no room to maneuver, needing a big hand and no time to wait for one:

I did manage to get as high as about 26k, but back down to 18k and with a halfway decent but hardly dominant combo draw (I believe it was something like ATT5 double suited), I potted preflop and lost out to MIXX. But as I suspected, my 3rd place exist was a mere 90 minutes after the tourney started, so I'll take that super-small-sample-size hourly rate, thanks to Turbo Night. And, I'll take my current ROI in Omaha-flavored tourneys, which I'm thinking must be around 280% over the last couple of weeks.

Yeah, now that's sustainable.

Of course, my deep tourney run did cause me to miss certain moments of only THE GREATEST 9TH INNING COMEBACK IN COLORADO ROCKIES HISTORY. As those who follow baseball probably know, we put up a 9-spot in the bottom of the 9th last night against the colossally overmanaging Tony LaRussa. This on a night when former Rockie Matt Holliday punished us with a three run bomb.

I saw the clock and knew it was time for Mr. Late Night (Seth Smith, whose nickname was well earned during many notable PH appearances over 2009 season). And he did not disappoint.

Really, better than all the highlights, all the ESPN-hyperventilation....oh, scratch that part, ESPN would run a LeBron James ass-picking story over a massive humongous 9th inning comeback even during Baseball this, the Fangraphs WPA graph of last night's game. Unbelievable:

Anyway, I probably won't play much (or at all) until this weekend, but yeah, I'mma gonna stick with this Omaha kick for a lil' while.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why Do I Even Bother With NLHE?


I played my major online session of the week yesterday, and as has been the case lately, most of my NLHE action went for squat. Squidoosh. A big dump. What have you. I ended up playing a total of 25 events yesterday, all for pretty minimum buy-ins, the greatest being of the $10 variety.

Of the Hold'em section on my dance card, I only managed to cash in one two of fifteen events, and basically had my ample ass handed to me throughout the day. Crashed out of both Daily Doubles, and lost a potential really deep run in the Stars $3r when I took a bad river beat and staggered towards a semi-decent, but unfulfiling finish. All of my AA hands invariably seemed to be in the BB and got walks, and in some events, I really didn't play optimally or aggressively enough.

Flavors of Omaha, however, were again quite a different story. I played llll Omaha events yesterday, and managed to make it to the money in four of nine tries. Now, as usual, most of these were relative mincashes, where either decent draws on bustout hands whiffed, or hands ahead, sometimes with redraws, were run down.

However, my only truly deep run yesterday was, again, in an Omaha event, this being the 9:15pm MT PLO event on Full Tilt. It took me a while to get started here, where most of the first two hours found me well under average stacks, but not in any real kind of danger zone. Eventually, I was able to use a key triple up in hour 3 to build a stack, and found myself chipleader entering the final table:

As you can see, I had a decent lead, but not a truly dominating stack. Fortunately, I was able to pretty much stay on top for a while, usually taking pots down before the flop, or on the flop. There was one point where claptonic managed to take out two shorties on the same hand to jump over me, but I got my stack up, and once was as high as around 180k or so, at 4k/8k blinds. As things would have it, we got down to the final four, but that would be my high point of the day, as I began to see a steady diet of hands such as K973 rainbow.

And by the time we got to the final three, I was generally 2nd or 3rd in chips at 6k/12k blinds:

Alas, it was all soon to end, but not quite in tears:

No complaints here, in that I managed to fade 161 of the other 163 runners for a $100 cash on a $5 buyin. I don't think I missed a lot of opportunities in this one, I just couldn't get playable cards at the very end when I needed them.

But my recent Omaha runs have really left me wodnering why do I bother with HE events at the present time? I suppose the biggest reason is that I do like to multi-table, and there's just not enough Omaha MTTs firing up at a given time to let me play 3-5 events at once, especially in my $5-10 buyin range. Still, it wasn't an unsuccessful day on the whole, though it took that final event to be my Saturday saver, of sorts. And really, all of my significant cashes (being a relative word, of course), have come from Omaha, where perhaps antes don't kill me, or perhaps I can see four card possibilities better than two cards, I dunno...and so it goes.

Happy Birthday America, yo.

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Has the Worm Turned?

Perhaps, or perhaps not. But the horrendous bankroll slide seems to have stopped for now. "Horrendous" is a strong word, considering how micro I tend to play, but half a roll is half a roll, ya know?

But the last week has ultimately been pretty good. I only played two sessions, focusing mostly on non-HE action of varying types. Lots of HORSE, LO8, Omaha, etc., to a set of pretty good results, including at least three final tables. For once, I didn't go out 9th, 8th, 7th, or whatever. And the greater irony is that my best success this week came on Full Tilt, normally the scene of most of my ugliest crashes. In fact, I managed to nearly triple my FTP roll to get out of the danger zone, thanks to taking 2nd in a Rush PLO tourney, and chopping heads up in a $5.50 LO8 tournament.

No real hands of note there. Mostly, I found good spots, hit draws, and scooped more than I chopped. Though this one felt pretty good, because I was fairly certain I was only pulling the low:

What's the danger zone? Oh, a two digit roll that requires me to play no more than like a $2 buy-in. Or just put the whole damn thing on black.

That LO8 tournament was fun, but perhaps I should have played it out. Got to a 2:1 chiplead at one point before giving half of it back. Nevertheless, it was 12:30am here, and I really wanted some sleep before the Red Sox came to town for a three game set. I'll probably blog about that a bit later, but I managed to attend all three games, and we pulled off a series victory that feels a bit like a loss all the same.

I can only hope this is the start of something better.

Good luck on the felt ya'll.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Looking Back

For the Good Doctor Mondo and I, this week has become both a time of reflection, and of celebration. It was a year ago yesterday, that my darling, sweet, wonderful, caring, generous wife went into the hospital with what was first diagnosed as pneumonia -- only to become a five month ordeal of comas, intubation, code blues, decisions about DNRs, hypoxia, neuropathy, re-learning how to walk, rehabilitation, and more and more fear, sleeplessness, PTSD, and emotional exhaustion than anyone should ever have to endure.

And seven months' time of constant forward progress since...rapid early on, and much more incremental now.

So here we are, a year later, and things are looking up. Way up. The Good Doctor's recovery continues, and we continue to be blessed with the love and support of many friends, family, therapists, and an entire community of well-wishers. I look at her every single day and know just how fortunate we both are to still have each other, and to grow even closer to each other each moment. I look upon each step she has been able to take towards health and independence with great pride, from when we got to give up the wheelchair, and then the walker, and now next week, we get to give back two of the four massive tanks that have supplied the Good Doctor with life giving oxygen, given how much lung operation she's recovered.

There is still a lot of uncertainly going forward, and an awful lot of healing left. But while I wouldn't wish this last year on anyone, and would do anything to set the clock back and somehow stop all of this from ever happening, I would not trade the effect this year has had on our relationship for anything at all.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Reason To Be Lazy

Yeah, for the last couple of weeks or so, I've been meaning to dash off one of those typical bad beat posts. You know, the kind that come after 2-3 weeks and all sessions of nothing but losing to river 2- and 3-outers, every KK getting cracked open like pistachios, going out on absolute bubbles on 70-30s, etc.

Because, truth be told, it certainly has been like that lately. In fact, my bankroll's down about half from the start of this year, which is pretty much the height of ubersucktitude, from where I sit.

But then came the last lil' crumbs thrown my way.

Last night, I managed to win a Badugi MTT, of all things. Ya, Badugi. Whouda thunk it. Actually, my heads up opponent and I chopped heads up, because it was getting late for me on a Sunday, and after playing down 300 fricking hands just to get to heads up in a 45 man tourney...jeez. But I was marginally ahead in chips, so got the credit for the win and the TLB points, yay me.

Of course, it was a $2.20 buyin with a small field, so ship the whole twenty-five bucks.

This was at the same time as I made the final table in Stars' nightly $330 triple shootout. (Of course, 88 < 33 AIPF, thanks to the flopped trey, but this is not going to be a bad beat post, after all.)

On the one hand, yeah, my bankroll is still down 50% from January. On the other hand, I've actually made three final tables in my last three tournaments, so at least it kinda sorta feels okay at the moment. Of course, it's never in the tourneys that actually pay decent money, but sometimes, you have to dine on the crumbs you find on the ground, ya know?

Good luck on the felt, ya'll.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Next, Deliverance?

I have no idea what is more embarrassing for the hickish town of 90,000 in which I live...Longmontucky, the fact that Dog the Bounty Hunter nabbed some local coke dealin' drug dealer in town yesterday (who had basically been couch-surfing in town for the last several months), or the fact that Dog the Bounty Hunter's capture of some local coke dealin' drug dealer in town was the front page story of today's Longmont Times-Call.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

I've never seen Dog the Bounty Hunter, but my first impression is that BP's tried a junk shot on his hair and wardrobe.

BP Spills Coffee

Gotta love the Upright Citizens Brigade. Let's get Kevin Costner on the phone, stat.

To borrow from Goat, your daily does of awesomeness.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Worthy Cause, Donkin' For the Kids

In what is perhaps a beneficial fit of approaching middle-age self questioning (I keed, I keed), fellow blogger
Oh Captain
has worked together with Full Tilt to put together a charity donkament for next Wednesday, June 16th.

So one last time, here's the details:
Date: June 16
Time: 9PM CDT (Same time as Mookie)
It will actually be running in place of the Mookie. BDR will be broadcasting it.
Charity: Ronald McDonald House
$5 + $5(Tournament, charity)
Password= vegas1
Tournament#= 164273435

Tossing around a few chips for a great cause, you can't beat that. I'm planning on being there, won't you join us?

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Sure Sign of Spring

Standing on my back patio this morning, I heard a series of blasts, which reminded me of, say, a blowtorch. Turns out it was this, just behind my house:

Of course, those who know me over at the Purple Row know this balloon was probably filled with San Francisco Gints fans. Or not, since it actually arrived upright.

Congrats to the winners of Main Event seats in the BBT5 Tournament of Champions last night, especially NYRambler and JJ, whose blogs I've read on occasion.

Here's to hoping you actually play the ME with your ultimate token, for the once-in-a-lifetime experience, instead of taking the cash. And let's hope your journey to the Main Event ends up more like this picture, and less like the landings over those over at McCovey Chronicles.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last Chance at the BBT5

Piffle. Bubbled the Mookie in 11th. So meh. I think I made a bad play play with about 15 left. I raised a suited A (hearts) UTG. Folded to the BB who called. Flop came ten high, I believe, but gave me the nut frush draw. Checked to me, and I thought hard about c-betting to protect my hand, but I was about 8th in chips at the time, and if I had to fold to a shove (maybe I call off there with the frush draw), then I'm hurt bad.

Check/check turn.

Blank river, so I didn't hit my flush. Check/check, BB had AT, so he won the pot. I think I could have taken it down on the turn, maybe. But I played it so weak tight.

Of course, I ended up 12th of 14, and never got any kind of hand again. Ended up shoving KJo UTG, and got overshoved by 88. AQx on flop, giving me 10 outs, but I whiffed, and went out 11th.

I'm pretty certain that's my last shot at TOC glory, for real this time. Only played two events (both Mookies), and took 9th and 11th. Not fucking good enough.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the Band Front...

....or in the rear view mirror...

I've been sitting on this post for a while because...well, because first, it doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things, and second, because the epilogue sorta sucks. This isn't meant to be a rant, though it will likely come off as one. This isn't meant to be vindictive, though I readily admit it does not come from a good headspace. I blog it because after about a month, I feel I have to...maybe afterwards, I can Leave It All Behind, so to speak.

That said, about a month ago, I left New Ben Franklins. And I'm still not even really sure whether I quit, or whether I got the boot. It doesn't matter really, but the taste in my mouth is still bitter, but perhaps some background is worth shedding light.

My participation in New Ben Franklins began back around 20 months ago or so, after I answered an ad on Craigslist looking for a bass player. As it was put to me, the band was to be a melding of alt-country songwriting, with big shoegaze tonality. Hell, I was excited. I'm not a country guy by any stretch, despite my abiding love of The Sadies, but I've always been a big fan of shoegaze, even if the term is somewhat amorphous at times.

Now, New Ben Franklins wasn't exactly a "new" band, but a new old band. The frontman/guitarist of the band started the project back around '92 or so, and had run the band a couple times over the years, in a couple of iterations. But it was new to me, and it felt fresh. Having been bandless for the previous two years, most anything would, and the situation felt welcoming.

Anyway, as bands go, the beginning weeks were fits and starts. We had to replace our drummer after a month, because he'd missed half the rehearsals...okay, so we did, and we moved on. We eventually picked up the Wedge on drums, and we started playing shows in late November or early December of 2008. Hell, we even did an instrumental surf tune I wrote years ago for The Florenteens, slightly westernized. Matinee Idol Tommy joined us on pedal steel, and stuck around. Things were good.

Winter into spring, the gigs became fairly numerous, at least for a local band without a huge fanbase. I had no trouble booking us shows at several of the local Denver haunts, we even got to play the Bluebird Theater, we shared bills with some bands I really enjoy, and we started talking about, and eventually, recording.

Somewhere along the line, things started to go sideways.

The new songs were more country, less sonic, more sorta singer-songwriter-y. It felt like more covers. More slow tempo, more desire by the band for me to play, as I now put it, mostly whole notes with dotted whole rests between notes...and yeah, I started to chafe against this direction. Time to digress...I'm pretty fuckin' far away from being Jaco, or Stanley Clarke, or Victor Wooten. I hope I'm never asked to play pop and slap, because that's just not what I do. Count amongst my heroes the Ox, Bruce Foxton, Graham Maby, Paul Simonon, so yeah, I probably do overplay. I'm certainly not one of those who's going to be happy just playing root notes on the 1 and 3 all night. I mean, I can do that, but if a band wants their bass player to do that more than about 15% of the time, then we're probably not right for one another. And that's fine.

But I felt like this band was changing, in ways that were just making the music not fun for me. And I became petulant and surly during rehearsals at times. Yeah, I can wear my heart on my sleeve, consider it a fault, I suppose.

But we *were* a band, and a team. And no matter what else, everyone connected with the band was so incredibly loving and supportive and helpful and understanding during the Good Doctor Mondo's hospitalization and afterward. We were a family -- sometimes a bit more dysfunctional than before, but that's like, what...98% of all bands that have ever pulled into a PA.

And then I felt dissed.

The 5-song EP was finished, and of the songs had no bass. Okay. And then the last song had a bass player that was not me. Fuck. Seriously. Fuck. Our frontman decided to have a mutual friend of ours come in and play bass on a track. That's when I really felt to begin I wasn't part of a band. No one had asked my opinion about it first. That's when I decided what was a band was really the frontman's show and project, 100%. The rest of us were just sidemen. That's how I felt, anyway.

But I stuck around. We continued to play a few shows. Our shows were usually pretty well received. But my attitude didn't really get any better. I'm not sure why it would. I was the only member of the band who'd been replaced for part of the recording. The one song that had no bass had no drums, either, and I get that. Still, if you're going to leave half the band out, it's a bit less dismissive of those guys if it's on, say, a 10 song full length record, ya know?

And new songs were being written. And more shows played. Even learned a bunch of Waylon Jennings tunes for a tribute show. And yet, nobody in the band...well, at least not the front man, liked any of the bass parts I came up with for the new material. Too busy. Not enough pauses, not what he wanted. Okay. I try something else. No dice. I try something else. No dice again. Fuck it, back to surly Mondo.

Then I go from beyond dissed to pissed. Or, dissed and pissed.

Randomly surfing Craigslist, I see an ad for a bass player that didn't mention the band, but was unmistakably an ad for a replacement bass player for New Ben Franklins. It had all the code words that made it unmistakably clear that I was on my way out. Of course, I immediately quit the band via e-mail, even with gigs booked out in advance.

And then I had that little tiny shred of doubt, the kind you get after you've 4-bet KK preflop, and are min-raised. Does he have AA? A 5-bet always means AA, right? Could I have been wrong?

Well, I wasn't wrong. Good read, Mondo. Shitty situation, but good read.

The frontman put the ad out on his own, without telling the other guys. He came clean to us about it a couple of days later. I guess his plan was to just keep me around until he found someone he liked enough to take my place, and then just spring it on me. And I'm not going to be anyone's punk. I do respect him for coming forward and admitting it after the fact, though because of the way it went down, I doubt he would have done so if I hadn't figured it out myself first and called shenanigans.

In truth, I was on my way out. As I told the band, I probably would have muddled along in the band until July, because playing the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase is one of the coolest things ever. It really is, and the band's been slated to make a return appearance this year. It's going to hurt not to be a part of it. Yeah, I think I was planning on sticking it out that long, and then leave. But not sneakily, like bailing the night before a show, or anything.

Like I said, New Ben Franklins has always been his deal...he's certainly entitled to do what he wants, like when he was interviewed in the Westword a few months, and made no mention of anyone else in the band at all. Whatever, I don't think any of us have any real ego in terms of press and adulation. But I'll readily admit to having a certain ego when it comes to bass playing. I've been told many times that I write interesting bass lines. Other bass players I respect have complimented me on what I've contributed to songs. But in New Ben Franklins, I felt as if my creative input was unwanted. Whenever the band wanted to add a cover to the set (we'd do 2-3 covers a show), it was never anything I wanted to play, despite what I most often pushed for being a song by one of the frontman's favorite bands.

Anyway, yeah, I'm still bitter. In a cruel epilogue, I'd spent 18 months trying to get the band into one particular Denver venue, my favorite, because I've seen so many bands there I love and used to play shows there in a previous band. Each time I came up empty handed, the room wanted nothing to do with us. Now, the very first gig the band actually booked after my departure (not including already-booked shows), is at this very venue, an irony that is not lost on me. Now, the band was added to the bill by the headliner, and it wasn't booked directly between the band and the club, but that's splitting hairs.

We are still family. I don't forget how genuinely friendly, generous, and human those guys are. Hell, I love them, even the frontman. Though I haven't seen any of them since the break, we've been in touch. I hope to remain friendly them. I hope exorcising my anger this way allows me to be friendly with them. But I can't, and won't, forget the way in which I was dumped.

I wish them each well both personally, and as a band. Though at present, I have no desire to see the band play.

Fortunately, there is no small amount of excitement for me coming up real soon, on the musical front...more on that later...