Monday, October 15, 2007

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was interesting. I'll write of it, but out of order.

First, the poker. Played in the WBCOOP (and now I can take down that sidebar) and the Brit Bloggerment for the first time each. WBCOOP - 1337 players to start, somehow appropriate for a bunch of people who blather online. If you don't know why, Google the number. I went out about 961st or something. Somehow, I doubt I'll get a duffel bag with a 50" plasma TV inside. I was pretty card dead and played like ass for the whole hour I existed. I think I was swayed by the 10,000 chip starting stack. It didn't take long to realize that the faster blind structure made up for the largesse of the chip count. Before I went out, the only hand of great value I saw was the Hiltons, but I was sitting out when those hit. This is a good thing, as the guy with 36o flopped a straight. Best play of the game for me.

In the end, I found AKo in the cutoff with 5200 in chips and the blinds at 150/300 just as the first break is coming. It folds to me and I raise to 1200. Button calls, and SB (SilentRebel with 24300 chips) raises to 4500. The BB apparently got up to take a shit because we got to watch as 2 minute of time bank ran down for him. This gave me time to think. I was worried about aces or kings, especially with a bet that looked designed to get me all-in. For sure he had a pair, unless he had that stack from being a moron and re-raising with AQ or something. So, a coin-flip for my tournament life or 4k in chips just before the break and the blinds going up to 200/400. Fuck it, I'm doubling up or going home at this point. I push for my last 700 and he obviously calls.

SilentRebel flips over TT and I'm happy. The fact there's a K on the flop gives me about 0.003 seconds of joy, because right next to it is another T and I'm screwed. Sure, QJ, two K, AA or AK could come and make my day, but that wasn't to be and I'm done at the first break.

I give the appropriate props for the hand, and get "Astin wait" in the chat. Okay, I wait. Seems Mr. Rebel reads our good Hoyazo and recognized me as the guy he used to always talk about. A shame I couldn't live up to my luckbox rep. :)

So welcome SilentRebel to the blog, and the long list of people who have knocked me out. :)

The Brit was much more fun. I saw QQ more times than I've ever seen, along with a few other decent hands, and played aggressive, position-based poker (lots of mediocre hands came into play, but mostly only the good ones were forced into the light) to build up a sizeable lead right up until 10 were left. I did get some great Baynage when I runner-runnered a straight to knock out AA at one point. I lost a chunk when I called a re-raise push against me with KJ vs something better and didn't improve. Made the final table, which quickly got to 7. I then took a phone call from a friend looking for employment advice (everyone wants to get into the financial world, I don't blame them). This was a tactical error as I could no longer play poker, but ended up playing cards. AA won me a hand and brought us to the bubble. KJ failed to beat Kat's all-in QQ to cripple me, and my ATs ran into A-something better than T to make me the bubble boy. Ah well, it was a ton of fun, and if I'm kicking around at 4pm on a Sunday, I'll definitely take another shot.

Now, the non-poker. With pictures to go up later. I have a new cat. For the last four years I've had the greatest cat in the world - a Bengal named Spike who's known me since he was a kitten. He can be a pain in the ass at times, as he will sometimes attack me for reasons known only to him (and isn't declawed), and knows the exact pitch of "meow" to pierce my concentration, but he's easily controlled, very smart, tremendously affectionate, and cute as hell, even at 4. Every day I leave for work he tries to leave with me and stares up with the most pathetic look imagineable. When I come home he runs from wherever he's hiding to jump on me and beg for pets and love. Yes, he thinks he's a dog. He plays fetch too, and sits on command.

So he's needed a friend for a while. Friday night I drove an hour out of town to pick up said friend. A 2 year-old Bengal girl who's just been retired as a breeder. Her name needs to be changed to something simpler than her breeder/show name. Where Spike will spend an entire car ride howling like he's being tortured, she simply hunkered down in the carrier with two complete strangers (my friend was going to help me out, since she's Spike's co-owner (long story) and he'd be comfortable with her thorugh this trauam) on the longest ride of her life and waited it out. I brought her in the condo, and went directly to the room I'd set aside for her. The carrier was opened and she came out to explore.

She's the sweetest thing in the world. While she took time to get used to my friend and I, she immediately wanted to be friends with Spike. He strolled by the glass doors into the room and she ran over, meowed lightly and looked right at him. All she wanted was to be friends. Spike, on the other hand, wanted none of it. He turned, faced her, and started hissing as strongly as possible at her. Then the growling started. She continued to calmly stare and meow curiously at him, safely behind the doors.

Two days of this. Fine. I expected resistance from Spike. What I didn't expect is that he'd be SO stressed about it, that he'd make himself sick. For two days he couldn't keep any food down, and I was glad I had spot-cleaner for my carpets. Sunday was better. He can now sit and watch her without making any noise, and we can once again pick him up without facing a cat-diatribe of how unhappy he is (lots of growls, but not anger at us as there's no violence). If she gets too close though, he's back to hisses and growls. Luckily, there was no need for cleanup yesterday, and I could sleep through the night.

There has been improvement, and I'm hoping a supervised introduction can be made tonight. With luck, she'll be able to wander free by the end of the week, and they'll eventually get along. There's still the ongoing challenge of her being fully comfortable with me (I can't pick her up yet), and getting her sleep cycle in line with mine and Spike's (ie.- go to sleep when I do, and get up when I do, regardless of the inconsistency of my hours). Much like many things in life, it will take patience.

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