Thursday, December 08, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Small update on me. Since getting that off my chest and not keeping it to myself and letting it eat away at me, I have been in a better mood. I have decided to go back and get my MBA, but have to bust my ass over the next few weeks to get ready for the GMAT and apply by Jan. 9. The school of my choice will still accept applicants during that first week. So, it is a great goal to have and one that I'm excited about. I don't know what it is about school, but the interest is there for me to continue my education. Funny ... when in school all you want to do is work ... when in work all you want to do is go back to school.
Also, I'm seeking outlets to recapture my love of sports writing. Back in high school, I won several awards for my sports reporting for the high school paper in state competitions. It is something that I haven't done in a while, so I will have to get back into that frame of mind, but again, something to look forward to. So, I have that going for me.
Friday, December 02, 2005
The issue lies with “Am I happy?” Happy about what? Well, that pretty much means anything right now. It stems from the issue that I don’t have a fuckin clue what I want to do with my life. I have ideas running rampant in my head, but don’t have any plans. It drives me fucking crazy. Now, I’m talking about occupation, future, career, etc. I know what I want to do with my life as a family-man and we’ll get there. But, I have to find a way to be happy taking care of my family through working. What I’m doing right now isn’t it. I go there and get pissed, try to come home in a good mood and can’t fake it any longer. The Wife has it figured out and feels like this is her fault because we have to have her finish her higher education.
I know not everyone finds their “dream job,” but I have to at least find something that will keep me interested. The work I do would be great, as long as it was for someone I was happy with.
I don’t know … am I making any fucking sense? I’m going to try to figure this out through the blog for sometime. I know I’ve been distant as hell from this thing because when you are constantly in a shitty mood like I am, there isn’t anything that you really want to write about. Maybe I will just try to get some ideas and bounce them off you all. I just need to figure some things out.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
But seriously, it took 12 DAYS before you declare it a STATE OF EMERGENCY?!?!?! Hell, we had rioting here in Cincinnati a few years back and we put the curfew in effect after a couple days! Doesn’t take a genius to figure this stuff out.
How long until they ask for help from the USA? Any websites out there taking bets?
Friday, November 04, 2005
Now, be mindful that we are still several years away from having kids, so this argument was really moot at this point.
Anywho ... talking about Santa Claus. She is under the opinion that we need to tell the kids the truth from the get-go that S.C. doesn't exist. This blew my mind! She said she didn't want to lie to our kids, and them losing trust in us.
Can I please get some perspective from those of you out there that have kids and how you deal with Santa?
For me, I remember as a child trying to stay up so late into the night to catch Santa. I would watch the news at night and wait for the reports where he was. I would set out cookies and milk and a note and try as hard as I could to catch a glimpse of the fatguy in the red suit.
I know I have seen my little cousins eyes light up when they see presents under the tree that weren't there the night before. I just think that is too much fun. I wouldn't want to have my kids be the only ones in school going around saying Santa doesn't exist and then trying to explain that to the other parents.
So, we argued about this for a while. How for me, Christmas is all about the presents and for her it is about the birth of Jesus. Note: she is infinitely more religious than I am, and her family more than mine too. I'm awfully spiritual, but still have issues with my Catholic faith/Catholic Church. I don't have a problem incorporating the religious aspect of Christmas into our family at all. I do have a problem not allowing our children to believe in something like Santa Claus.
Please, share comments in the comments section and let me know if I'm out of line here. I guess I don't see it as a lie. I don't think really think my children are not going to trust me because I kept up a facade that Santa was really doing all this.
Friday, October 28, 2005
If I were the principal of this school and some parent threatened me by holding their children out of school, I would have said, "Fine. But this will go down as an unexcused absence." I wouldn't have cancelled anything.
This country is becoming too fucking PC. Seriously, what is next? No days off because of Christmas because it is a Christian holiday? What about Martin Luther King Day? George Washington's birthday? Fuck! Everyone can take offense to something. You know what I say to that? Boo Fucking Hoo!
Here is the story that prompted this.
Friday, September 30, 2005
The traveling for work has taken quite a toll on me the past few weeks. I'm going to need to change up the routine a little bit and get refocused to the on-line game.
Look forward to playing on PokerStars with everyone.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
It wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time, I’d been to N’Awlins. To me, it is one of America’s best cities. The life down there was just amazing. I love Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, the great food and festivities.
Those are the images I want to have of New Orleans. Not the amazing destruction photos on the news. It is truly unthinkable to see this city almost completely under water. Really, one of those things that you don’t think will “happen to us.”
My thoughts and prayers go to everyone still stuck in the region, waiting to get to drier and safer land. My heart goes out to you as you begin to rebuild everything. I cannot begin to imagine the strength you have to persevere. But, I know you will. New Orleans will be back. We have to do all we possibly can to help and rebuild that infrastructure. Once N’Awlins is back, the best we can do it bring back the tourism and funnel money so desperately needed.
I watch the news and sympathize for the victims and then I see the looters. I don’t have a problem with people looting food and water, and even some of the clothes (to an extent). You have a family to feed and need to take care of them. The clothes and shoes are needed since you lost everything and the stuff you are wearing is soaking wet and ruined. But … but, how in the fuck can you justify plasma televisions, guns, throwback jerseys, etc.? You have to truly be some low-life shithead to care more about that, than trying to help your fellow man/woman and save some lives.
Finally, I love to listen to talk radio. I am the oldest young man you will ever find. The stupid people that they let call in to these shows amaze me. And, for some reason, I love to listen to the liberal talk radio here in town. As you know, I am a moderate conservative, from earlier posts during the election. Anywho, I just heard some woman call and say George W. Bush was behind Hurricane Katrina. Yep, he orchestrated the whole thing by blowing up a bomb under the ocean and working with meteorologists to replicate the air currents. She wasn’t joking. She was dead serious. I have no idea what the host said because I threw my headset across the office.
I hope you all will contribute to relief funds in some shape or manner. I am donating money through my company and will try to join one of the PokerStars tournaments. Go check out the PokerStars Blog or Wil Wheaton for more details.
Lastly, this post was more about New Orleans, but Biloxi and the rest of the Gulf Coast was also devastated. We need to help the entire region with relief efforts. I’ve never made it Biloxi, but I promise, once you rebuild, I will visit too. Keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers and be thankful for what each day brings.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I watched Hoop Dreams the other night and absolutely loved it. It was about so much more than the two kids hoping to make the NBA. It was as close as someone from the outside could get to growing up in the ghetto and living with the drugs and gangs right around your block. Basketball was all these kids had to get themselves and families out.
This has quickly become one of my favorite films. I guess I didn't pay too much attention in 1994/1995 to this movie or to the Academy Awards, but to find out that this movie was snubbed from a nomination was ridiculous. I guess rules were changed once people found out there was a plot against this movie because everyone knew it would win hands down.
I had to do a little research about the players in the movie and found the following article from the Washington Post.
LOOKING BACK AT BROKEN 'DREAMS'
Film's Key Players Have Moved On
By Mike Wise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 5, 2004; Page D01
"People say, 'When you make it to the NBA, don't forget about me.' I feel like telling them, 'Well, if I don't make it, make sure you don't forget about me.' "
-- William Gates, in the final scene of "Hoop Dreams"
The asphalt is still cracked and dried, just as the neighborhood is still cracked and dried. Weeds sprouting from the concrete, muscling up to breathe in the heat of another Cabrini Green summer.
Ten years have passed, 10 years since one of America's most dangerous public housing projects became a laboratory for a documentary film director and his crew, who set out to find the essence of athletic hope among black children hypnotized by basketball in the inner city.
"Hoop Dreams" chronicled the NBA aspirations of two adolescent boys and their families. Their pursuit unveiled broader themes of struggle and adversity -- in a world constantly telling young William Gates and Arthur Agee they were not supposed to make it.
"If you think about it, we were the first reality series," William Gates, a pastor, said. "We just didn't bank in like everybody else. Nowadays, even the 'Survivor' losers go on TV and get paid."
The film's $8 million box-office take made it the highest grossing documentary of all time. Since its theatrical release in October 1994, the only documentaries more successful have been Michael Moore's most recent film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," and the IMax movie-like "Winged Migration."
Viewers first meet Arthur as a doe-eyed 14-year-old on his way to see NBA star Isiah Thomas at a prestigious basketball camp, hosted by a private Catholic high school his parents cannot afford. William soon fills the screen, emerging as his family's last beacon for pro basketball stardom.
Their disparate journeys play out over three unsparing hours. Two teenaged protagonists use their skills and desire to try and vault them over every hurdle of urban blight: teen pregnancy, poverty, crime, crumbling public schools, parental drug use and abandonment.
After the credits rolled, their lives moved on.
William is 32 now. Arthur is 31. They have eight children between them, closets full of sneakers and trophies, unresolved issues about why they didn't make it and how close they came, and a deep friendship, rekindled at least once a year.
Gates, still self-aware and socially conscious, is a senior pastor at the Living Faith Community Center in Cabrini Green, where he works at the Kids' Club, sometimes nurturing third-graders who cannot yet read and other times telling a young genius she tested in the top 3 percent nationally.
He came back to the neighborhood begrudgingly, after he was out of work for a time and his brother was gunned down in the street.
Remember Curtis Gates? He was the former playground king who gained weight, lost self-esteem and lived vicariously through his younger brother -- "All my dreams are in him now," he said in the film. He was murdered almost three years ago at age 36.
Arthur is still an infectious dreamer. His sole income now is derived from launching a "Hoop Dreams" clothing line (slogan: Control Your Destiny). He has partnered with MTV's Rock the Vote for a 50-city tour that he hopes will help promote the line.
"We're talking about writing $60 million in orders," said Agee.
In one of the film's most powerful scenes, Arthur's father, Bo, wandered off the court to complete a drug deal, steps from where his son played. Viewers peer inside the Agees' darkened apartment after the electric bill could not be paid.
The maternal struggle of two women trying to keep their families together is another central theme.
You can almost smell Emma Gates's battered chicken crackle and pop in her fryer, and feel the empathy in William's mother when she says: "I really thought Curtis was going to make it, so I just wanted this one to make it. I want him to make it so bad, I don't know what I'm going to do."
And the suburban Catholic high school, plucking talented children from the playground and then playing God with their lives -- keeping one enrolled, discarding the other.
You see Sheila Agee as she extricates herself from welfare and enrolls in a nursing class. She finishes with the highest grade-point average and graduates quietly in a large room with a few other classmates. "I didn't think I could do it," she says, crying. "And people told me I wasn't going to be anything."
"You thought everybody else was crying when they saw that scene, I 'bout lost it," Arthur said. "To this day, everybody that comes up to me, asks, 'How's your Mom doing?' "
The filmmakers also captured the day when Arthur plays his father in a game of one-on-one. By then, Bo Agee's crack addiction had put the family through hell. He had spent seven months in jail for burglary. He had physically abused his wife, Sheila.
Bo got religion and asked for forgiveness, and his family took him back. But his son never forgot.
They dueled shirtless on the asphalt, in the humidity of a Chicago summer, until Arthur began taking it to his father, who at one point tried to rearrange the score to his liking. Bo was laughing. His son was not.
"Ain't no con game going on anymore, Dad," he says before he reels off a string of moves and shots to beat his father. "I'm older now."
"We called it 'The Great Santini' scene," Steve James, the director, said over lunch at a Guatemalan restaurant a few blocks from where the film was edited. "We thought it was going to be poignant -- boy plays dad before he goes off to college. And then it suddenly exploded into this thing about Arthur's anger and resentment."
After James and his partners had paid their bills, he split the profits with the families, which he estimates totaled between $175,000 and $200,000.
Arthur's family pooled their shares, and eventually moved out of the West Garfield Park housing projects and into the neighboring Chicago suburb of Berwyn, where they now reside. William estimated he received about $150,000, but concedes he "wasted some, gave a lot of money away and gave above and beyond to the church.
"I wish I would have known what a 41 percent tax bracket was back then," he said, ruefully. William married Catherine Mines, the mother of his infant daughter, Alicia, in the movie. Alicia is now 15. They had three more children -- William Jr. 9, Jalon, 6, and 7-month-old Marques -- and live in the Austin Community on Chicago's West Side.
"Oh, it's still the 'hood," he said, laughing. "But it's a lot safer than Cabrini."
Bo Agee, Arthur's father, is now a pastor at the Upper Room Outreach Ministry on Madison and Pulasky, where the movie was partly filmed. He celebrated the church's third anniversary two weeks ago with Steve James in attendance. Sheila is a private nurse who mostly works with well-to-do families, and William's mother, Emma, is still at the same job, working as a nurse's assistant. She was able to move out of Cabrini Green two years ago and now lives five minutes from William, Catherine and their children.
Arthur has four children, too -- two boys and two girls from four mothers, ranging in age from 13 to 7.
"They weren't planned kids, that's why I know they're here for a reason," he said. "They're here to teach me a lesson about responsibility."
"Where would I be if 'Hoop Dreams' never happened?" he asked. "I don't know. I'm very, very happy. It helped my family out. Not only financially, but emotionally. It put that love back -- it put what was important first."
Said Gates: "What would have been ideal was for me and Arthur's family to live happily and that we have enough money to do whatever we need to do. But it didn't pan out that way. We never caught that next wave."
Agee starred in junior college and played two years at Arkansas State. He said his dream flickered when he turned down playing for the CBA's Connecticut Pride in 1996. Agee had worked out with the team and felt ready but instead decided to take a small speaking role offered by James in "Passing Glory," a TNT film about Louisiana's first interracial basketball game.
"I was going to put another two- or three-year run into trying to get to the NBA, like these guys," Agee said last month, amid the squeak of sneakers at the league's annual pre-draft camp in Chicago.
"Instead, I made $17,000 for what? Seven weeks. I look at that now and I know I didn't make a real, 100 percent run. Outside, other social things intrigued me. I lost a little bit of the hunger.
"But it also opened my eyes up to reality: That ball is going to stop bouncing. That knee is going to give out."
He formed the Arthur Agee Role Model Foundation, which helps inner-city youths strive for a higher education, and visits Washington annually for a local Hoop Dreams scholarship fund's three-on-three tournament.
Gates committed to giving the game one more try at the outset of 2001. He put his ministry on hold and began working out with Michael Jordan during early preparation for Jordan's second comeback.
When Jordan began inviting NBA players to ratchet up the level of competition, Gates stayed home. Until Jordan called and insisted he come down.
"Will, we got your spot," Jordan told him. "I didn't give it away just because these guys showed up."
Gates held his own against NBA players, and Jordan promised him a tryout with the Wizards. He was all set to play in the team's summer league when he fractured a bone in his foot. The youngster in the film whose knee betrayed him was suddenly cursed again.
"That was my NBA dream," he said. "I never put that uniform on, but I knew I was good enough to play."
Curtis was murdered on Sept. 10, 2001, caught in an apparent love triangle. The family was later told by police that he had been kidnapped by a man who was seeing the same woman. According to police reports at the time, he had run through the rear door of a home and actually telephoned police that he had been shot in the arm.
The assailant followed the trail of blood and fired three shots with a rifle as Curtis lay on the ground. William was in so much denial, he asked to see Curtis's lifeless body at the hospital the night of the murder.
Curtis's funeral was on a Saturday and William's workout with the Bulls came the following Tuesday. He performed well, but with so many guaranteed contracts the Bulls said only that they wanted to keep him on the reserve team and promised nothing.
"Curtis was the only one who knew about my comeback," William said. "He met Michael. He told me, 'If you make it, I'm quitting my job and travel where you travel.' "
The man police charged spent 2 1/2 years in jail, but circumstantial evidence led to an acquittal.
Gates played at Marquette and graduated with a communications degree. He scored well on the LSAT exam, before deciding he did not want to go to law school. He lost his counseling job and was unemployed for much of 2002.
"I was installing bathrooms, doing odd jobs," he said. "It got so bad at one point I was trying to go to grocery stores and, like, 'I'll bag.' "
He went back to the ministry, and between the Kids' Club and his own parish, Gates now pulls in about $40,000 a year -- "Or $30,000 less than what you're supposed to for a family of six," he said, half-smiling.
Will Jr., now 9, wants to see the entire movie, but for now Gates has only shown him the first two years of his high school career, before the knee injury and disenchantment creeps in.
"I'll show him the rest when he gets into high school," he said. "Psychologically, he has this image of his dad being successful right now. If he sees the adversity now, I think that could play heavy in his perception of himself. Any time stuff start going wrong, he could think, 'Well, it's supposed to be this way.' It happened to my dad. When he starts facing a little adversity, then I can work that in, to show him that I faced it, too."
"Hoop Dreams" still brings them celebrity. An intrepid student doing a term paper on the movie -- Northeastern University actually had a "Hoop Dreams" class as part of its curriculum -- got Arthur on the phone a few weeks ago and nearly fainted. "I said, 'Dude, calm down. I'll help you out,' " Agee said. He got an A-plus.
Last week, William spoke at St. Joseph's summer basketball camp -- just like Isiah Thomas did when he and Arthur attended. One of the campers this year was Will Jr.
At the Kids' Club in Cabrini Green, Gates arrived for work recently in a steam-pressed cocoa dress shirt and matching slacks, burgundy shoes and a ring of jingling keys, larger than a high school janitor's, on his waistband. He is still the responsible kid who gave $50 of his paycheck to his family in the movie.
Agee joined him an hour later. He wore a platinum rope around his neck, diamond-studded earrings and enough fabric in his baggy jeans and shirts to construct a five-man tent.
"What's up, A-gee," William said, affectionately.
"What up, dawg?" They clasped hands, embraced and laughed long and hard.
The family man and the class cutup, together again. They were supposed to hang out on Saturday, but Agee forgot to call Gates back.
"What happened?" Gates said, laying on the guilt. "I keep tryin' to tell you, man, you my only outlet. You the only cat who can get me out of my element."
Later, when Arthur leaves for family court to make sure his child-support payments are current, Gates reflected on his bond with Agee, a bond transcending the film 10 years later.
"Arthur was always doing the things I wanted to do," he said. "I think we need each other. I keep his feet on the ground and he keeps mine off of it."
If you get a chance, I highly recommend sitting down for a couploe hours and watching this great movie.
This 6-year-old kid lost his grandfather at a Reds game in early August. The Reds organization stepped up and took the kid away from a bad situation and Reds players took his mind off it by including him as a member of the team.
And to do it all over again a couple weeks later goes to show that the Reds have a top-notch organization. But of course, this isn't the stuff people care about, so it doesn't make it to national media.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Now my only problem is accessing the Internet at home. Unfortunately, I have lost the WEP network key to logon. It was in a .txt file on the computer for easy access when friends came over with their laptops and such. Not sure how to find the key on the Wife's computer. Also, don't want to reset the key until I know that it won't screw everything up. I've told y'all before ... I'm not too smart as these computer issues.
If anyone has any advice as to how to find the old WEP key or how to reset the whole damn thing altogether and keep the other PCs on the network, I'd appreciate that.
Also, if anyone knows how to recover information from a hard drive that has gone kaput, please, please let me know. I didn't think about it until a day or two ago, but I have lost all my hands/stats in PokerTracker, lost all my documents, all the before/after photos of home improvement and everything else I valued.
This is such a pain in the ass.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I find it convenient that they discontinued the particular model PC, especially after a rash of complaints about them getting too hot and frying hard drives. I have done my research on the damn thing and now I'm pissed. I feel that for the kind of money I spent on the thing ... I shouldn't be having problems like this.
Anyway ... I am without the basic necessities of life right now ... home PC, Internet and on-line poker. The wife is back in school, so time with her PC is limited.
Glad I bought Madden 2006 to entertain myself for a while at least.
If anyone has any tips on how to wage a war with Dell and win (no refurbished laptops ... please feel free to drop me a line.)
Blogging opportunities will be few ... I don't really like to do this at work since I have to logon everytime I connect to the InterWeb.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Warranty ... oh yeah ... went out two weeks ago. Fucking figures!
I think I have lost everything. If any of you techy people out there know how to recover anything off the hard drive, I would greatly appreciate that. I have a few things that I would like to recover. I don't care about the music/movies/porn (well, I am upset about the porn), but there are documents on there that I would like to get back.
Fuck everything right now. Supposed to catch a flight for work in a couple hours and now I have no PC to do work on! Fucking great!
Noble Poker Releases the First Ever $1 Million Dollar Sit N Go Giveaway
I haven't played a SNG on Noble's software, so I don't know the type of games out there, but I couldn't imagine they would be that difficult.
Good luck to anyone out there trying to accomplish this.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
“That’s how you measure success. One dollar at a time. One chip at a time. That’s how you keep score.”
—Stu “The Kid” Ungar
I found the quote above on my poker desk calendar yesterday and thought it was appropriate since I am finishing the book on his life. I also received the movie, High Roller – The Stu Ungar Story, in the mail yesterday from my Blockbuster Online account. I must say I was really disappointed with the movie, especially after reading the book. The movie doesn’t do his life justice in any way. I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable at all, but the book is so incredible. In my opinion, you can always paint a more vivid picture with words in a book than you can on the screen.
The kid cast in the movie was completely wrong for the part. He may have had the look they were looking for, but he didn’t have the attitude of Stu. Granted, I’m not sure any kids have ever had Stu’s attitude. That is part of what makes his story so appealing. Stu had the mentality that he was indestructible and played every game and life that way.
I thought Michael Imperioli did a decent job acting. I doubt Stu was a character many good duplicate. I guess I struggle seeing Imperioli doing anything other than Christopher on The Sopranos. Vince Van Patten was a complete douche bag in the movie and that’s all I have to say about that.
Speaking of gambling, an obvious theme to this blog from time to time, this past weekend was an event to remember, or try to remember depending on who you are. My brother, his fraternity brothers and I (an honorary member of the fraternity) began a tradition of golf, gambling and booze one weekend a year at Pine Valley Golf Resort in Elizabethtown, KY. Arrived Thursday night and proceed to drink and gamble into the wee hours of the morning. I think six of us played five games of hold’em and I won four of them and finished second in the last. It might have had something to do with my inability to decipher what cards I was holding in my hand. After several Red Bull and vodkas and many, many beers that tends to happen. I was grateful that I had essentially paid for the entry fee in the weekend’s festivities.
Instead of trying to recap a weekend full of drinking, golf and gambling … let me sum it up by saying for the past two nights I have had the shakes and felt as if my heart will come out of my chest. I don’t tend to go on 64-hour binders, so weaning off a weekend of such magnitude takes a while. I give incredible amounts of respect to those that can do it for a living (AlCantHang).
Friday night held another poker game with all 20 of us. Many donkeys in the group and everyone being incredibly drunk made this a virtual crapshoot. My table was about half donkeys and half decent players. I finished second in this game too. Only one hand worth mentioning. We were down to five players—needing to eliminate one more to combine tables. I cannot remember seat positions, but Mole was to my right and limped in. I raised the pot $500 and everyone folds around to Mole. He says, “You wouldn’t do that if you had a big pair. You would have wanted me in the pot if you did have a big pair. You have to have Ace-Jack or King-Ten.” He thought for a little while and finally called the $500. Flop came 867 rainbow. He moved all-in for $650 more. I thought for a few minutes, looking at my stack, seeing how much it would cost me to win the amount in the pot and how much I would be left with I lost. I counted out the chips and set them aside. I told him that I didn’t hit the flop, but I don’t think he did either. I put him on a small pair, but not a set. For the same reason as his read on me, I know him well enough that he would have checked for me to bet, then come over top of me. But, I knew I was still behind in the hand. I had overcards to his small pair in my mind.
I was drunk anyway, so I finally called his all-in. He turns over pocket 4s and I show my AT of spades. Fourth Street was a blank and the River brought an Ace. Nice suckout. Finally, one went my way. Ever since Vegas, I have been catching breaks like this. Like I said, I went on to finish second.
Golf was great as usual. 72 holes in two days is more than my body can take though. Thanks to the golf gods on Sunday for raining and letting me keep my one-stroke lead in the two-day tournament (w/ handicaps).
Last couple of items. Sorry I wasn’t able to play in the Charlie Tuttle Charity Game on PokerStars the other night. I struggled to know my name, much less play poker for a few hours minutes.
Congrats to Pauly for an awesome job covering the WSOP for the past almost two months. Truly a masterpiece and if the book does become a reality, I will be first in line to buy one. As far as Joseph Hachem winning the whole thing … congrats to him. I was pulling for Mike Matasuow at the final table. In my heart of hearts I wanted to see Ivey to win his sixth bracelet and his first WSOP ME. I would have liked to see Raymer make back-to-back final tables.
Question: Do you consider Greg Raymer’s accomplishment of winning the 2004 WSOP ME in a field of 2500 and making it to the final 27 in 2005 in a field of 5600 better than Harrington’s back-to-back final tables in fields of 890 and 2500?
Also, would you still believe I have fired up Party Poker since the end of May?
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Go check out his site and hit the top of the page for more links. I'd try to do more, but I'm at work and spending too much time on his site already.
Hope those IT guys are poker fans?!
Also, been reading "One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar" and it is an awesome book. I can't put it down and that isn't easy for me. I'm not a book reader at all, but this is the type of story I enjoy. I like autobiographies/biographies more than anything else.
Monday, July 11, 2005
My big hand of the night was heads up with the 26 offsoot. Made a straight and took a huge chunk out of his hand with the A2.
Won when I caught a K and he only had a six. I ended up making a boat. I must have seen the Hilton Sisters five times tonight.
Finally was able to rent One of A Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar - The World's Greatest Poker Player.
Really looking forward to reading that book. Also got Phil Hellmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros.
Wanted to learn a few other games and I knew that book took care of some of those lessons.
Anyways, the actual reason why I posted ... go check out the BEST WORLD SERIES OF POKER COVERAGE IN ALL OF THE LAND!!!
NEW! World Series of Poker News
NEW! 2005 World Series of Poker Photo Gallery
NEW! 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament Results
NEW!His Latest Fox Sports Article
Hopefully that will work. I dunno. I just copied and pasted from Pauly.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I was pulling for Chuck Hayes more than Kelenna Azubuike and Randolph Morris. Chuck gave his heart and soul to the program for four years and was a winner in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, he just didn't have a wealth of NBA talent. I predict he will sign a free agent contract and will make a team.
The other two players, KAZ and Randolph, won't be as fortunate. They have given up college careers for a life without basketball, NBA basketball at least.
Reading the Wildcat Faithfulmessage boards is downright depressing as fans spew their venom on these two players and their decisions. Don't hate the players for doing what they did. You can dislike their decisions because of the impact it will have on the team, but they are kids that made bad decisions. No more, no less.
I don't have any ill will towards KAZ. His situation is different than most underclassmen. Not his fault his father is a criminal and cost his family hundreds of thousands of dollars. KAZ was trying to step up and take care of his family. I admire that. Just unfortunate that one more year probably would have put his name on a draft board somewhere.
Randolph, on the other hand, handled his situation with poor class. Faxing your declaration for the NBA draft to your college head coach and avoiding any contact was a piss poor decision. He had terrible advisers along the way that fed him incredibly bad information regarding his draft status. One or two more years at UK could have done two things for him: possibly be a national champion and potential lottery pick. Instead, he will be working out for teams in the NBADL and making a couple hundred bucks a game.
I hope each player can realize their dreams. I just wish they would have made better choices and stayed at UK. They are forever linked to UK and I appreciate the time they gave to a great program.
Finally, I have grown up reading Pat Forde, now with ESPN, in the Louisville Courier-Journal. I honestly think he is one of the best sports columnists out there. Great piece about the players I have mentioned here on ESPN today.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Decided to show the Wife the Strip. Start walking down the Strip and go in almost every casino along our walk, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, Bally’s, Paris, Aladdin, MGM Grand, and the Mirage to name a few. Oh yeah, not necessarily in that order either.
Walking into each casino I had the urge to check out each poker room. I had seen several on previous trips, but with the poker explosion, I didn’t know if the others would have renovations to rooms or not. Walking into the Mirage, we weren’t going to walk past the poker room. The Wife actually said, “Yes lets go look at it.” Boy am I glad she did.
The World Poker Tour Mirage event was going on right before my eyes. Now, I have met professional athletes and actors before. I have the autographs to prove it. So, being star struck wasn’t something I saw happening to me. The attempt to play that off wasn’t very good.
Began to look around at which players were still in the tournament and those already eliminated, possibly hanging by the rail. The overall atmosphere wasn’t all that impressive at the Mirage … seemed quite cramped to me and being right next to the sports book seemed a little distracting. Guess that is why I’m not a professional … distracts easily.
Here is a short list of those I saw playing: Mike “the Mouth”, Jesus Ferguson, Huck Seed, Phil Ivey, Erik Siedel, Tobey Maguire, Jennifer Tilly (hot or not?? You decide), Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington and the green hat, Scotty Ngyuen, David Phan, David Williams and my personal favorite Paul Phillips wearing the now famous shirt “Jopke! Jopke! Donkeys Always Draw!”
Stood around for several minutes and absorbed it all in. While others were watching the people in the middle of the action, I stood and watched how the players play while not in the hand. Ivey was incredible. It looked like he would absorb everything through osmosis.
After leaving the Mirage, we thought we would end the trip with an excursion through Caesar’s Palace and the shopping mall there. Probably not Shawn and mine’s brightest idea. The women of course loved it. We saw Pete Rose signing autographs at Field of Dreams. Shawn (a big Pete fan) couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get an autograph … so he ponied up $100 for a ball and photo. Me, I’m not too enamored with the a-hole. Plus, I knew that Pete is in Vegas like 15 days a month.
Continue through and run into two boxers from The Contender. Ishe and Sergio were relatively small fellers. I didn’t expect them to be huge or anything, but even I thought I could go a round or two with these guys … ok not really. I had only seen the show twice and it happened to be the weekend before we left for Vegas. Great show. Hope it comes back for another season. The final match was being decided the next night on live teevee, but we were unable to see it. Three bills for a ducat.
A little happy hour at Margaritaville before dinner was a brilliant idea. Great service and a very nice dancer/show to boot. Jumping down into the volcano and emerging soaking wet while wearing little always gets an A+ in my book.
We went to Roy’s Restaurant, just a minute or two off the strip on Flamingo. Abso-fucking-lutely one of the best meals I have ever had. Six of us at dinner for a little more than $350 with food and wine/beer. It was Hawaiian food and boy was it spectacular. I recommend it to anyone the next time you are out to Vegas. It truly was too good to put into words.
From dinner we go to the Aladdin for some more gambling. Let’s just say that I officially HATE the ALADDIN. Piss-poor service and dealers who wouldn’t talk to you. Absolute dicks. I was sitting a blackjack table and tried to get the attention of a waitress to take our order. Waited and waited for about 35 minutes. She never came by the table. The Wife was at a slot machine and the same treatment.
I’m sure my mood wasn’t helped by playing with some stupid ass clowns that didn’t know how to play fundamental blackjack. Can’t count the number of times I saw people hit 14 with the dealer showing a 5 and them going bust and the dealing squeezing out another 5 for a 20 beating my 18s and 19s. I finally remarked to the table, “Did you notice that you took a face card there that would have been the dealers? Instead of us all winning on that hand, we all lost … thanks to YOU!”
After an hour of no service from the shitty staff, we left. Absolutely the last time I step foot in the Aladdin.
DAY 3 – MORE POKER
Woke up to sign up for the same tournament the next morning. Got there around 9 a.m. and only eight people signed up. Umm, no thank you. Thought I would employ the wait-and-see approach. Hung out with the Wife by the pool and checked out some amazing beautiful babies and saw a few not so.
Get to tourney time and see that 26 players have signed up. Shawn and I decide to play and the field almost maxes out at 28. Play begins. That is probably where I should leave it for this tournament. I didn’t see any cards worth while. I did have the opportunity to play 92 offsoot 10 times. There was a lot of preflop raising on my first table. I was able to steal a blind here and there to get moved to another table after ours busted up. At that table I played two hands, both in LP. I had KJs and lost to KQo with both of us making top pair. Then went out with AJo to AKs with both having ace-high. Those were the best cards I saw the entire time. Not one pocket pair. Even had I played some marginal hands, I wouldn’t have won any of those pots either. Finished in 11th position. I wasn’t too happy, but I beat the two fellers from the previous day. It wasn’t much fun. Too many people treating it like an WSOP event. I wanted to win, but I wasn’t about to be a dick to the entire table.
Side Note: Here is what was especially frustrating. Shawn and I have played many a game of poker. I respected his play since he would win his fair share of our home games while I continued to sit in poker purgatory. We went into the trip with the idea of splitting our winnings on tournaments. I felt pretty confident on this theory. Well, I was the only one that pulled any weight in the tournaments. Not that my 11th place finish is anything to write blogs about, but it was better than the quick exits Shawn displayed. I saw him fold pocket 6s in LP with no raises on the board. Just fold! I would have killed for pocket 6s at my point in the game. Oh well … our next trip will focus on individual performance.
More touring needed to be done. Bought a 24-hour pass on the monorail. Really enjoyed that to get around quickly. In my opinion, it was awfully nice, but hardly the most convenient mode of transportation. You still had to walk for a day and a half to get to a lot of locations. The Wife and I got to check out the Wynn Las Vegas. WOW! Absolutely amazing. Definitely one of the most beautiful hotel/casinos I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe the number of tables, none cheaper than $25 minimum, and the shear number of people that filled each and every table. Several $500 minimum blackjack tables out in the middle. I guess that isn’t high stakes for the Wynn.
I was impressed. I bought the most expensive golf ball ever to add to my collect. $500 for a round at the course. No thanks. $5 for a golf ball … ummmm sure.
Seriously, even if I were a scratch golfer and could afford to play that course, I wouldn’t do it. It is a) too fucking hot and b) $500 for a round of golf. I don’t know. Maybe if I were a scratch golfer I might play. No way would I try to take part in this with my game right now.
A few hours go by … not real sure what happened between those times besides drinking and dinner at the Bellagio buffet. While standing in line, talking about the day’s events, I hear a voice that I recognize pretty well right next to me … Scotty Ngyuen. I ask for a quick picture and he agrees. Extremely nice guy. He is seated before us (OBVIOUSLY) and I’m just giddy for getting the photo. The hostess begins to seat us and I make a joke to Shawn about sitting next to Scotty and sure enough, that is where they put us. I didn’t bother him while he ate dinner. I hate when I see people do that. Plus he was there to meet his girl and they put down more crab legs than I thought humanly possible. After watching them act like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for a little while, I continued to go to the buffet and shovel food into my mouth. Excellent buffet by the way. Scotty took approximately seven phone calls in the 45 minutes of eating before he left. He left his girl and took care of the tip. His girl remained for a little while longer. She got up to grab some desert and left the table unoccupied. The thought crossed my mind and Shawn’s to quickly grab her phone and get Scotty’s number, but smarter and sober minds (read the Wives) prevailed.
After the buffet, we hunted down the one table that had a World Poker Tour table game. Interesting. I really don’t remember how it was played, but it was fun and enjoyable. It was heavily favored to the house, but if you hit just one hand you were going to be up. Luckily for Shawn and I, we both did well at that table game.
That was essentially the end of the night. Nothing else really to report. More drinking at one of the casino bars.
DAY 4 – I’m on the Floor
Honestly, didn’t do much in the way of gambling on Day 4. The wife and I had to make a trek to the Stardust to see some family friends who basically live there.
Met our friends for happy hour and proceeded to kill some drinks. Last night in Vegas. But, before we can do that, I have more gambling left in me. I don’t feel like anymore blackjack. Not just for the trip. NO. MORE. BLACKJACK. EVER.
I hit up the Three Card Poker game. If you remember, that is my favorite game to play. I continued to do real well there going up $150 in a matter of a few hands. As much as I was enjoying my play … I wanted to be sitting in the guy to my left seat. I was doing very well there. Won on a couple straights, a flush and a three-of-a-kind. Only thing was that I never put more than the $5 minimum bet in the Bonus. The guy to my left had the following four hands in a row, with each bet carrying $25 in the bonus and a $75 bet:
Three 10s, straight, straight, and three Jacks. Trips pay 30-1 and a straight is 6-1. He made his trip up in a matter of four hands. I did well myself and got to even for the previous two days. After he cashed out and left, I felt the karma from the table leave, so I quickly colored up and headed off to a wonderful Italian dinner behind the Flamingo.
After dinner, Shawn and I head back to the Flamingo poker room for the last night of action. Everything came to screeching halt at the tables. Women head upstairs to pack up.
DISCLAIMER: Below consists of several bad beats and incessant whining from the author.
Bought in for $200 and sat down at the 9-handed table. I’m Seat 8.
Dealt KhKd in EP. Button on Seat 4.
Seat 7 – Calls $2, Hero – Raises to $4, Seat 9 – Folds, Seat 1 – Folds, Seat 2 – Calls $4, Seat 3 – Calls $4, Button – Calls $4, SB – Calls $4, BB – Calls $4, Seat 7 – Calls $4
Seven players in - $28 pot (minus rake)
Flop: 9d 3s 5c
SB – Checks, BB – Checks, Seat 7 – Bets $2, Hero – Raises to $4, Seat 2 – Calls $4, Seat 3 – Folds, Button – Folds, SB – Calls $4, BB – Calls $4, Seat 7 – Calls $4
Five players in - $48 pot (minus rake)
Fourth Street: Kc
SB – Bets $4, BB – Folds, Seat 7 – Folds, Hero – Raises to $8, Seat 2 – Folds, SB – Raises to $12, Hero – Raises to $16, SB – Calls $16
Two players in - $80 pot (minus rake)
SB – Bets $4, Hero – merely calls $4
I show my trip Kings. I didn’t like the three clubs on the board, but I seriously didn’t think he had two clubs in his hand. SB flips over the 6c9c for second pair/flush. Trip Kings cracked in an $88 pot. I lost $28 on that hand.
A couple hands later:
Dealt AA in MP. Button on Seat 3
Seat 6 – Calls $2, Seat 7 – Calls $2, Hero – Raises to $4, Seat 9 – Calls $4, Seat 1 – Folds, Seat 2 – Calls $4, Button – Calls $4, SB – Calls $4, BB – Calls $4, Seat 6 – Calls $4, Seat 7 – Calls $4
Eight players in - $32 in pot (minus rake)
Flop: Q 9 3 (rainbow)
SB – Checks, BB – Checks, Seat 6 – Bets $2, Seat 7 – Folds, Hero – Raises to $4, Seat 9 – Calls $4, Seat 2 – Calls $4, Button – Folds, SB – Calls $4, BB – Folds, Seat 6 – Calls $4
Five players in - $52 pot (minus rake)
Fourth Street: 6
SB – Checks, Seat 6 – Bets $4, Hero – Raises to $8, Seat 9 – Calls $8, Seat 2 – Folds, SB – Folds, Seat 6 – Calls $8.
Three players in - $76 pot (minus rake)
Seat 6 – Bets $4, Hero – Raises to $8, Seat 9 – Calls $8, Seat 6 – Calls $8.
Seat 6 – Shows QJ for two pair
Hero – Shows AA
Seat 9 – Shows A5 (played any Ace down to the end)
$100 pot goes to Seat 6 with a rivered two pair. Why Seat 6 didn’t reraise me in that position I’m not too sure. Unless he thought I had Trips, he had the top two pair. I lost $24 in that pot.
Last Hand of the Night:
Dealt Pocket 6s in LP. Button on Seat 9.
Seat 3 calls $2, Seat 4 calls $2, Seat 5 folds, Seat 6 raises to $4, Seat 7 folds, Hero calls $4, Button calls $4, SB calls the $3, BB calls the $2, Seat 3 calls the $2 and Seat 4 calls the $2.
Seven players in - $28 pot (minus rake)
FLOP: 5 6 T (rainbow)
SB – Checks, BB – checks, Seat 3 – checks, Seat 4 bets $2, Seat 6 calls $2, Hero raises to $4, Button folds, SB folds, BB calls $4, Seat 3 calls $4, Seat 4 calls $4 and Seat 6 folds.
Four players in - $46 pot (minus rake)
Fourth Street: 4 of clubs
I begin to cuss in my head because the premonition in my head told me to get out of hand then. Remembering my luck from the previous few hands, I should have known better.
BB – checks, Seat 3 – checks, Seat 4 – Bets $4, Hero – Raises to $8, BB – folds, Seat 3 – folds, Seat 4 – Calls $4.
Two players in – $62 pot (minus rake)
River: 3 of spades
Seat 4 – Checks, Hero – Checks. I know I am beaten here, especially after the 3 hit the board. I knew he was holding a 7, but I was at least hoping he held a pair of 7s. Nope. He flips over his monster J7o. Luckily, I only lost $16 on this hand.
Preventing myself from going Hellmuth on the table, I flip over my trip 6s and walk away from the table. Cash my chips in and head upstairs to end my Vegas trip.
Those three hands cost me $68 from my stack alone. Playing other random hands here and there cost me the other significant portion of my stack. I started with $200 and walked away with $60. Should have been approximately $180 in profit coming my way.
Tell me if I am wrong here on this play or any play in particular. After calming down and analyzing everything, I don’t think I can be overly pissed anymore because I guess the pot odds were screaming for him and everyone else to play. The amount he stood to win for the little price it cost to play. On the hand with my trip 6s, I understand his play after 4th street, but I cannot believe he stayed in after the flop.
Feel free to lambaste me if I’m acting too much like Hellmuth.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Check out yet another media release about their success at the WSOP.
Full Tilt Poker's Professionals Dominate World Series of Poker with Five Final Table Appearances in the Past Three Events
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Anyway, this marks the return of the PGA to Pinehurst, the site of Payne Stewart's incredible U.S. Open victory over Phil Mickelson. It was incredible to watch the tournament come down to the final three holes and have four players in contention. But, the best part was to see the excitement in Payne's face as he won. He had a love for life and the game of golf. He was my favorite player. I tried to imitate everything he did on the course, minus the knickers. It was a sad day only months after that victory when he and a few others were killed in a tragic plane crash.
I haven't seen anything yet on the U.S. Open, but I hope some type of tribute is planned on Sunday for Payne. For the golf nuts out there, such as myself, I hope you take a moment to reflect on Payne Stewart and what he meant to the game we all love.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
I will try to finish the whole thing in the next few days and just give you all the gory details.
In the meantime, go read this Poker Bot article.
Oh yeah and why you are at it ... go check out the best World Series of Poker coverage on the planet here:
Pauly is kicking ass with at: Tao of Poker
Absolutely the best place for up to the minute World Series of Poker action.
For more stuff - photos included - go check out Poker Player Newspaper and the Poker Prof for more tournament coverage.
Finally, check out Phil Gordon's podcast from the WSOP. I've enjoyed downloading and listening to it every day.
Next year's Vegas trip is scheduled. Happens to fall around the same time to hopefully see her.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
This is pretty cool of Full Tilt to do this type of stuff. Pieces of the Pros and now the GreatFull Red Series.
I have no idea how many players each person had to beat to get the 1%, but how awesome would it be to see an extra $7,000 or $2,000 in your bankroll for someone else doing all the work?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Sign up for the tournament. Table 2. Seat 1. I hate seat 1. Sitting right next to the dealer and can’t see the people in seats 8 or 9. I had to dispel these thoughts before they clouded any judgments I would make in the tournament. Starts at 10 a.m. so plenty of time to clear the head.
Go back outside and lay by the pool. Read a little bit of my favorite poker book, Championship No-Limit by T.J. Cloutier. I don’t know why I just said who it was written by … the three people reading this know that already. I’m sure I looked like a dweeb out there reading “the gambling” books. To those people who think that way … eff off!
About ten minutes before the tournament was to begin, I get up and head inside. Take my seat and see that about 24 people had signed up. Not too bad, but I wanted the full 30 players.
Info on the tournament. Buy-in = $50+5. $48 went to the pool. $2 went to the dealers. Players begin with $1,000 in chips. Blinds begin at $25/$50 and double every 20 minutes.
Payouts: 1st – 70%, 2nd – 20%, 3rd – 10%
Based on the payout structure, I felt it was appropriate to read T.J. Top three is where the money is—so focus on finishing there. I was gunning for first nonetheless.
Before the tournament kicks off, I had to listen to this woman who wouldn’t shut the fuck up at the $2/4 table. I could tell she was from Boston from her accent. She was inquisitive to what was beginning. I explained it was the daily tournament and it was capped at 30 players.
The following conversation only lasted approximately two minutes.
“Well, you don’t have a full table,” she says.
“It’s still a few minutes before it is to begin and people are still coming,” I say back politely.
“But your table isn’t full.” I try to ignore her. “How many players?”
“You only have five at your table.”
“Right, that is what the other tables are for.”
“But, you only have five at your table.”
Another player sat down at that moment.
“Know we have six. Make you any happier?” I say.
“How much does it pay?”
“Not sure. Depends on the number of players.”
“You only have six at your table.”
“Do you not see the other people sitting and standing around the other two tables?”
“They’re playing in it too?”
“Yes, that is what makes this a 30-person tournament.”
The other players at the table could tell I was getting pissed and they began to try their best too. If the poker room would have allowed headphones, I would have reached into my pocket to pull out mine.
“Should I play?”
“No. Sign-ups are over,” another player says.
“Guess I’ll stay here. I won $500 for hitting the royal flush.”
“How much you have in front of you now?” he said.
“How much you start with?”
“How long you been playing?”
“About six hours.”
“So, you’re only up $20 bucks after six hours?”
“No, I’m up $500 or more.”
“No, you didn’t beat anyone for that money. The casino gave that to you for high hand of the day.”
“Yeah … maybe you should try another game,” said the player to my left.
And with that, she got pissed and left. Longest. Two. Minutes. Ever.
After some table rearranging, the tournament kicks off with eight players to a table. I still had shitty seat one! I began to survey my table. Several people wanted to play the part of “badass” with their sunglasses and hats pulled all the way down. I really wanted to ask why, but I didn’t.
Started off pretty tight for the first two orbits. I didn’t see anything worth playing. The other tables were a little crazier. I was going to be too with the blinds doubling every 20 minutes and only starting off with $1K in chips. I think three or four people were eliminated in a few minutes.
Finally in LP, I see 77. Only two limpers ahead of me, so I pop it for a raise of $300. My goal was to take the pot right then and be happy with the $175. Everyone folded so I guess it worked. I didn’t want to get into a footrace with anyone holding overcards.
Not too much was happening. A couple players from each table were eliminated, so they consolidated tables. I was stealing some blinds and protecting mine well mostly. I looked up and saw we were down to 18 players. Well, I've beat six right?
I really wish I would have been taking more copious notes during the tourney to keep track of average chip counts and the pertinent information.
Long story short. I win a couple decent pots and we make it down to a final table of nine. I was roughly 4th or 5th in chips at that table. I decided to play conservative and treat this table just like a Party Poker SNG.
We got down to the final four and I was third in chips. Just waiting for one person to make a mistake. I knew it wasn't going to be me. Ultimately, 2nd chip stack and chip leader got into it. Chip stack two went down and we were in the money. Now I was 2nd in chips. Third place guy was down to the felt two or three times and kept catching a little life. He took a pot off of me and took a pot or two off the chip leader. He was all-in against the chip leader with 83o vs. K7 and spiked a 3 on the river.
"No offense guy, but I just want you to leave," I said. Blinds were somewhat high at this point and my stack was getting low too.
I look down at my hand and see A5o after Guy goes all-in again. I call. He flips up Tc9c. Avoid clubs, but cannot avoid the T on fourth street. Again ... he would not go away.
I'm down to $2,000 in chips with the blinds at $500/$1,000. This is where I was a little on tilt from the previous couple hands from that Guy.
I moved all-in in the dark. Guy of course calls me. The guy in the safari hat stays out of the way. Guy flips up 77. Great. Guess I'll take a look at my hand ... 72o. At least I went out in style.
So I cashed anyways. Apparently those two guys made a deal after a few hands.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
The day that I couldn’t wait for finally arrived. No, that was not the departure day, but it was at least the last day of work for over a week. We were leaving
Still needed to pack a few things, so I was a little rushed gathering my final things. No biggie … all the important stuff was packed. Took off and headed to Wife’s hometown.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Had to handle a few things at the lake house. You know – simple stuff such as launching the boat, making sure the boat lift is operational, launch the wave runner, and get the house in order. Now, the weather hasn’t been the hottest in recent weeks, so the water wasn’t real warm. Let’s just say that I had to check for my manhood after the getting the wave runner back.
Caught some shut eye … as much as I could. Anticipation was building!
Sunday, May 22, 2005 – DAY ONE
The Wife wasn’t in sensory overload as much as I had predicted. She adjusted really well. Since we arrived at Vegas-time, she wasn’t as impressed because all she had ever seen were photos with all the glitz and glamour of the neon lights. I told her the sun hadn’t gone down so don’t get upset yet.
First tour of duty was to check-in and get our rooms, except we knew that wouldn’t happen for about four hours. Shawn and I swing by to see the Flamingo poker room and all of its glory! Yep, all six tables! There was one limit game going at the time and we were curious about the daily tournaments. Got the info and then we had to appease the women. They had one thing on their minds …
Thunder from Down Under
After playing cabana boys and
finding our lovely ladies chairs kicking older ladies out of their chairs Shawn and grab some time for poker. We knew we could check on the girls in about five hours and they would never know how much time passed. Bought them each a yard-long Flamingo drink to keep them tidied over.
Head inside to sign up for the tables. Just opened up a new table and looking for two to three more people to fill it up. How appropriate! Unfortunately we had to sit right next to each other. Shawn being the
dickhead nice friend he is sat directly to my left. Now Shawn and I have played many a home game together and I respect his play a great deal. We had an agreement going to Vegas that we would split any tournament table winnings, but not side games. Simple enough.
Bought in for $100 at a $2/4 game. I usually like to have 50BB for my buy-in, but I quickly surveyed the table and saw that is what most players had in front of them. Plus, this was my actual first poker room experience in Vegas. Start slow and gain momentum, right?
I didn’t grab my pad and pen before we checked our luggage, so I wasn’t able to take any notes on the hands doing this session, except for the one hand that I memorized. Watched Shawn blow most of his stack. I don’t know why he thought Ace high was good for a lot of hands. Maybe I won’t respect his game as much from now on. He got down to $20 bucks from his $100 buy-in when he was dealt KK. I don’t remember the position he was in or the flop. I know he ended up getting his last $20 in the pot with three callers and took down the almost $60 pot (minus rake) and he was back in the game.
Several hands later, after watching some guy catch Trip 3s with his monster 83s hand and win a nice pot, I’m dealt KK. Again, I don’t particularly remember my position in consideration to the button, but as you can probably tell, that didn’t matter much for these players. I remember that preflop it was raised twice before it even got to me. I sat there, and I’m sure I gave away a tell with a dumbfounded look on my face, thinking, “I’m sitting here with KK and it has already been raised twice?” Now, in a NL tournament, I would probably fold in that situation (unless it was these players in the tournament). I decide to cap it at $8 and three players see the flop.
3 3 J (rainbow)
I begin cussing in my head (you’ll notice I do this a lot on this trip) because I’m sure some dickhead, no, not Shawn (he folded already) had a 3. I decide that I’m going to fire away regardless. A bet of $2 is out there, I raised it to $4. Both players call. I begin to think that if I had the 3 I probably would have raised? Maybe not.
A bet of $4 is out there. I raise to $8. One folds. Down to two players.
River – 3
“Motherfucker. Rotten son-of-a-bitch!” Just screaming that in my head, not out loud. The Flamingo has rules against berating other players or screaming obscenities. Hellmuth won’t be playing there. Well, now I have the decision to make. I like the amount in the pot but I hate seeing that third 3 remembering that one of the players still in the hand played the 83s earlier.
Player 1 checks. Hero bets $4. Player 1 raises to $8. My poker face here wasn’t so good I’m sure. Hero raises to $12. Player 1 thinks for a few minutes making me think “I’m good!” Player 1 calls.
Player 1 flips J5. Hero flips KK!
The guy looked defeated (and he was). He flopped the highest two pair on the board, but I would have at least thought he might think the other 3 was out there too. He finally said nice hand and I scooped up the $89 pot. That got me to about +60 for the time being. I wasn’t going to be the guy who scoops a large pot and walks away either.
Unfortunately, I got a little lax after that and chased some flops and wasn’t very smart. I ended up giving a good amount of it away, some to Shawn when I had the best and gave him credit for a better hand … so I mucked. He played that hand well. About the last one I saw him play really well.
Some more time lapsed and we had to get up. That was the only pot worth mentioning. I ended up about $20 for the time being. High hopes were floating in my head.
Go check on the women and find them about 2½ sheets to the wind. Just about 3 sheets. They had a couple more of the Flamingo yard drinks and were feeling quite good.
A few hours pass until we grab a little bite to eat (nothing good to report there) and went to ‘O’ at the Bellagio. In time to pick up the ducats and get a good drink or two. Two rows from the top for $100 per ticket. Another $40 bucks for two drinks, a chocolate covered strawberry and bottle water for the Wife. I figure the theatre sits about 2,000 people. Tickets range from $100-300 (I think). Just doing a safe estimate that every ticket is $200 and every couple spends another $40 in drinks/snacks – that’s $480,000 per show. Two shows per night - $960,000 per night. They are dark on Mondays and Tuesdays, so that leaves five nights a week to make some money. By my calculations that comes to $4,800,000 per week. Not too shabby huh? For the year – $249,600,000. I know it took me two months advance to book my tickets. I would tend to think this isn’t the only way the Bellagio turns a profit.
About the show. I cannot go into too much detail because I was on visual overload. There was so much to watch. The performers were amazing. They did stuff that I didn’t think was humanly possible. The contortionists had me thinking dirty thoughts. It was amazing. Let’s just leave it at that. Oh yeah … I had a thought about that girl I met one night talking about going to Vegas to try out for a Cirque Du Soleil show. Man was she hot. I love gymnasts!
Left and we were about gassed for the night. I know. I know. Like I said, this wasn’t my typical trip. Normally I can go for two days straight with about 30 minutes of rest. But I didn’t feel like coming home alone.
More to come.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Friday, May 27, 2005
We are off to Michigan tonight to go fishing on the Lake for Memorial Day. I doubt I will catch anything like this.
I will let you know that whatever winnings I had had were successfully given back to the poker tables after three incredibly bad beats. Just know that AA, KK, and 66 were cracked and cracked big.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Not too much else to report on the $2/4 game.
Saw 'O' at Bellagio. Had to take the wife to a show. Awesome to say the least. They did stuff I didn't think was humanly possible.
Sat down this morning for a NL tournament at the Flamingo. $50 + 5 buy-in. I finished 3rd for my first real live tournament in Vegas. I'll take it. I should have been in for 2nd, but the guy wouldn't go away. Caught a river 3 for pair of threes against the big stack to stay in the game when all he had was the small blind.
Playing in tomorrow's tourney.
Check back for more.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
The wife is done with her first year of law school tomorrow at noon. I will be taking her out to Pauly's favorite place Hofbrauhaus for some one liter beers and table dancing.
I unfortunately won't be completely away from work while in Vegas, so I will have an update or two while out there.
Wish I could be going one week later to attend the convention.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I wasn't able to play in tonight's WPBT WSOP event on Noble. Tried to get home and watch and chat, but unfortunately the chat is restricted to only those at the tables. Good luck to all.
Aside from the amount of beer that would be consumed, at that very moment, I knew this was one hell of a way to conclude a great weekend – playing a home game with Iggy and his friends, along with Pauly and Daddy.
Great to meet up with Pauly and Snailtrax (Daddy), who quite possibly has the best post ever about things you can do with a donkey. Fun to sit around a table with some very good poker players, and Sam – who absolutely killed the table, but reminded me of some of the fish I lose to on Party Poker.
I’m sure I won’t be able to give much justice to the game and events of the day, so I recommend checking out Pauly, Snailtrax and Iggy for more sordid details.
Lost my original buy-in, to come back and regain most. Only lost a little at the tables … mostly to Sam.
Iggy’s friend GMoney took a good pot off me flopping broadway to my two pair QJ. Watched Iggy take a good hit playing the Hammer down … so when I got it, I pushed hard to just show it off for fun. I can’t remember, but I think it was the only successful hammer? Someone please remind me.
Well, I have alluded to many topics last week and over the weekend that I guess I need to finish thoughts on, right?
Let’s start off with my golf game on Saturday. I used to be a very good golfer, but the last two years I haven’t played as much as I like and unlike riding a bike for a while … it just doesn’t come back that easily. Plus, tinkering with a swing change complicates things further too. I would love to spend countless hours refining the swing, but that little thing called work seems to get in the way.
My friends and I played a local public course that isn’t very difficult, but is extremely tight and unforgiving for any missed shots. Off the tee, I was very long and straight. That hasn’t happened in quite a while. I loved that part of my game and couldn’t have asked for a better start. For most holes it was a driver-wedge combination. Sounds great right? Not for me. I lack confidence and seem to lose all control with the one club that should exude confidence and incredible control. I sprayed the wedge all over the place and lost strokes here and there because of it. I finished with one birdie and a couple pars and several bogeys and a snowman. I was displeased with the final outcome of the day, but I felt confident with my swing. Some more work to build confidence with my wedge is in order. If I can bring my “A” game from 120 yards and in, I will finally have put it all together.
Bausch and Lomb and Nike have developed some kickass contacts for baseball players and golfers! These contacts apparently make it easier for baseball players to see the seams on the ball and identify the pitch coming at them. Tinted red, they give an intimidating appearance at the plate. I guess they are also like sunglasses directly on your eye. The golfer version is tinted green so you can see your golf ball better in the air and grass. I look forward to these coming out for the public.
My eyes usually look like this after a good night of drinking.
**********I was going to talk about Van Gundy's fine ... but who cares about that now. What else did I have in mind?
The alledged rape at Wildcat Lodge. Let's just say that I am happy that nothing has come of it. Glad that Chuck Hayes did not have to have his name drug through the mud. I'm not going to bother linking up to any of the articles sense I don't want to really draw any more attention to it than need be.
I will post more tomorrow. I have more to say, but want to watch the rest of the Blogger tournament.
Oh yeah - t-minus 11 days until I leave for Las Vegas. Take care everyone.
My last thought for the evening ...
I'll leave you with this wonderful photo of Scarlett Johannson. She is quickly climbing up my charts.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Plus everything else I've been wanting to say.
And, you'll thank me for this - Tiffany Fallon - PMOY 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Go read BadBlood's thoughts on "Playing the Game."
I feel the same way most times. I am comfortable with the level I am at, but I tend to get bored at that level. My only problem is that I don't like to put a lot of my money out there ... just yet. I'm getting there. I will become more confident and will move up in levels. But, right now I will stay where I am.
Also check out Wil Wheaton and his latest conquest on the PokerStars SNG. Well written and hilarious.
I have lots to talk about. Some things will consist of more local politics and the stupidity of this City Council. Also, the new contacts by Bausch and Lomb and Nike called MaxSight -- quite impressive. Van Gundy's $100K fine from the Commish. And lastly, a story that I hope is not true - an alledged rape at Wildcat Lodge at the University of Kentucky.
I also plan on updating my blogroll. See, I'm a lazy blogger when it comes to putting things on the side, etc. Mainly because I'm not a web guy -- me no understand html. There are a lot of good and well-written bloggers out there. I'll update over the weekend.
Oh yeah, while I'm thinking about it, you can subscribe to my site through Bloglines. Several months back, The Fat Guy helped me out getting the RSS stuff set up. See, I told you I don't understand this web stuff much.
That's all for now.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Hit up Iggy's site for the details.
Also ... answer to the trivia question I asked a few posts back:
What 7-letter word becomes longer when the third letter is removed?
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Am I proud of the ‘hit-n-run’ style that I have been using? Not really, but I am enjoying the results. I don’t really consider what I have been doing as ‘playing poker’ and that makes me feel a little dirty. But, you can’t argue with results. The quick strikes that I have been doing have been great. Now, from time-to-time I have gotten burned and it is not a pretty sight.
Well, the title should give you a clue of how my poker night was last night in the fishy waters of Party Poker. Getting home from work and waiting on the wife, I plop down in front of my computer and fire up a Party.
The Good – Decided to start the night off strong on a $1/2 6-max table. Now, I could multi-table these games, but I’m not a that big of a fan of multi-tabling. You would think I would be since my ADD wouldn’t have time to figure out what else to do. Back to the $1/2 6-max table. I had no intentions of doing a ‘hit-n-run,’ but sometimes the power is out of your control. Played a couple premium hands and they actually held up and was paid nicely for that. Up $30 in 20 min. Off the tables.
Fired back up and sat at a $10 SNG. I ran into the anti-Party Poker SNG table apparently. Super tight table and I wasn’t catching any cards (that part isn’t new). We were in the 50/100 range and I had only played my blinds once. I hadn’t made any moves at this point ... figuring that when I did, my table image would reflect strength. I’m in the BB (JTs) and it is folded around to the SB who smooth calls the BB. I raise up 300 to push him off the pot, leaving me with about 400 or so chips. He reraises me back. Now I’m thinking that this guy is just trying to force me off my bet. I go all-in. Nope ... he had me. Hilton Sisters underneath. Board hits me with a J, but nothing else materializes. I’m out in 7th.
As I sat there watching the table unfold, he wrote in the chat that if it weren’t for the fact he had the Hilton Sisters, he would have never called my original raise. Thought I was strong. Well, that’s all fine and good, but hey, he had the cards and I tried to be a little too aggressive. I realize that it probably was not my strongest play, but I have to get aggressive at some point. Can’t always be happy just finishing in the money.
Hopped to another table, only this time I played a little $25NL game and won a few bucks back. Not too much. People weren’t calling too many bets on the flop ... so I bullied a little bit there to win about $10 before I was bored and had to tend to things with the wife before her volleyball game.
The ugly came at the next $1/2 6-max table. The table was just the way I like ‘em. Lots of preflop betting and when you hit your premium hands, you were rewarded nicely. Unless you were me! Not rewarded at all. Rivered a few times and a couple other times my stubbornness reared its ugly little head. I had trip aces cracked on the river when he finally makes his flush. I know he has the King flush (his ace is on the board) but I call anyways. Why, because I’m pissed and verbally assault him through the chat window. Lost $60 before I stepped away. Took waaaayyyy too long to walk from that table.
That was a decent size loss in recent memory, so I decide to call it a night right there. Sleep it off and come back another day.
That was until I couldn’t sleep. Had to be at work by this morning. I guess this weighed too heavy on my mind. I slept until about before my body was telling me that it wouldn’t let me sleep any longer. I meander downstairs to try and lure myself back to sleep. Turn the teevee on, push the button that makes that wonderful “diung” noise for my TiVo list and see “WPT - Caribbean Poker Adventure.” Thought, hey, I can watch a little poker. I’ll rest my eyes and hopefully fall back asleep. Well, that didn’t work out so hot either. I watched as the poker gods blessed this gentleman in his first live tournament and thought that maybe the poker gods have something to spare for me? Lets fire up a Party again and catch the
drunks fish playing at Pacific time, eh?
Do I want to sit at the $1/2 6-max or a $25NL table? Decisions, decisions. I pick $25NL and settle in. I’m definitely not going back to sleep. I played tight for a bit until I figured how the table was playing. Not too aggressive ... so I don’t plan on making too much off the table. I’m sitting in the BB and I “take a peek” and see AcJc. Get a few limpers and I raise it to $1.50. I get 3 callers. Flop J28 rainbow. UTG throws out a small bet of $.50. UTG+2 folds and so does SB. On to me. Well, I know this guys has a J. Does he have the other J too? Surely not. I have one...one on the board. Well, at this point it would only cost me $.50 to see the next card. You can’t build a pot that way. I raise him $3. He calls. An A hits on the turn. Top two pair for me. I start thinking, “Well, I know how this will end...he’ll actually be playing KQ and a 10 will hit on the river totally effing me out of another pot.” I lay out a $2 bet ... I thought a relatively small-sized for the $7.00 pot. Hoping to entice a raise so I can re-raise. He raises all-in. $15 buckaroos. Wow, he could have JJ. Are the pots odds correct here? Am I actually ahead? I figure WTF? It’s in the A M and I’m gambooling. He flips over ... yep you guessed it ... J2o??!?!? WHAT??? You called a preflop raise with J2? I understand you actually flopped two pair, but seriously! I scoop the pot and he calls me lucky for catching my Ace on
Quite the up and down sessions. Nothing to mind-numbing, but I essentially broke even for the night ... maybe up a few bucks.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Sunday, May 1st
Same password as last time
I know I said I wouldn't be playing in another poker tournament ... at least for a while. But, I can't pass up opportunities to play for a seat to the WSOP.
And this time ... I'm not playing like a scared schoolgirl like last time. I will re-read the most influential poker book to me, Cloutier's book, and I will be aggressive.