Monday, April 30, 2007

The Last of a Generation

I have been blessed. I am the oldest of the youngest group of grandchildren on my mother's side. The same can be said of my father's side. My mother is the youngest of her siblings, my father the oldest of his. That said, their parents weren't far off in age. Why have I been blessed? I had all four of my grandparents alive and well throughout most of my life. My parents tell me, and there are pictures to back them up, that I also knew some of my great grand-parents, but I have no memory of them. This started to change when I was in University. My mother's father died of prostate cancer when I was 21. My father's mother passed away in October of 2005, possibly of pneumonia, possibly of a stroke, likely of old age. My mother's mother passed away last November while I was in Banff.

The last of my grandparents passed away on April 13th. My father's father, John. 91 years old. From what I've been told, he just gave up. He stopped eating, stopped talking, and slept his last few days away. I don't blame him if this is true. As a friend of mine said, if I ever reach 91, I think I'd be pretty tired. When my grandmother, his wife of over 60 years, died, he slowly starting slipping away. Those who saw him claimed his memory was failing and his mind was slowly going. I think there was just nothing worth remembering. The same four walls, the occasional visit from one of his few surviving friends, scheduled meals, and regular nurse visits to make sure everything was still alright. On my most boring day, I have more excitement than that.

My grandfather was a bear of a man. Growing up, he was the biggest person I knew. At least 6'2" (although when you're 6, that may as well be 10 feet tall), and built like a grizzly. Even as he grew old and stooped, he still filled a room. A voice like thunder, but more bluster than storm. I never feared him, but you knew not to cross him.

The farm always had dogs. Duke was the first I knew, the greatest German Shepherd that ever lived. Then came Rex, the dumbest German Shepherd that ever lived. Next came Thor, the meanest German Shepherd that ever lived. Thor liked nobody. He chased my cousin and I around the farm until we fell, scraped and terrified into the living room (to be fair, I imagine we thought it was fun at the time); he nipped at my grandmother when she tried to feed him, which she never did again. However, he NEVER crossed my grandfather... until one day. He leapt and snapped at him as he was being brought food, and he was cowed by one holler. The next day Thor was back at the pound.

As the years passed and we both grew older, I discovered the unbelieveable amount of charm this old farmer had. He'd flirt with waitresses a quarter of of his age and have them legitimately blushing. He had dozens of phrases that he pulled out regularly that always got a smile, even if everyone in the room could sing along with them. Anyone who was his friend stayed his friend for decades, and loved to visit and shoot the shit. He regularly "stole" flowers for my grandmother or vegetables for the table. The fact these came from the fields of old friends didn't change the tale of thievery.

Even though he spoke less in recent years, he was still as sharp as they came in his 90's. This is a man who never had anything worse than a cold into his 80's. No health problems, no disease, no hospitalizations, nothing. He was briefly sidelined by an infection when most people his age are taking a pharmacy's worth of pills, and was back to normal in a couple months. I can only hope I have a fraction of his good health and vitality.

He loved us all, but had no idea what to do with children. As we grew older, he became more comfortable with us. This was a man who loved to go out golfing with his friends, spend his winters in Palm Desert, and go to his "hunting lodge" to hang out with the rest of the codgers. How much was he that guy? He founded a golf club near Chilliwack, started an annual tournament in Palm Desert, and founded the lodge his memorial will be held at -- an old boy's club that still has a waiting list.

I've always called him a farmer, but in truth he never had more than a large vegetable garden on his hundreds of acres of land as long as I knew him. Once there was livestock and workers, and the farm was at one time the largest chicken providers in the Fraser Valley. Lillydale chicken? Some part of that is the old Willows from days of yore. Bought out at least a few times since it was in the family. The farm was sold years ago, but the house still stands, and there be cows there again. It was always odd for me as a teenager and through my twenties to go out West to visit and take an elevator up to their condo... not the long service road past the farm smells in Yarrow on the way to that poplar-lined drive.

I'll be heading out that way again next week with my family to pay our respects, see the well-wishers, and say goodbye one last time. I imagine we'll swing by the farm on the way to The Hole-in-the-Wall, and stay in the condo, and visit with the ghosts who will be waiting for us. You are already missed Grandpa, but at least you have Granny and enough friends to fill a barn waiting for you.

I have been blessed with an endless supply of happy memories and love that I will carry with me until my grandchildren are remembering me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Changes...

They are coming. Maybe. I perform the equivalent of verbal doodling in this blog on a regular basis. I believe the time has come to elevate my game. In the realms of both poker and writing. This means being more analytical and dedicated in my approach. We shall see what develops.

Of course, those who know me know that despite what talents and virtues I may possess, laziness and procrastination reign supreme. Too often do I take the path of least resistance, and this will be the largest obstacle to overcome. Wish me well, but do not expect miracles.

Why now? I'm not sure. Boredom is the most likely answer. Perhaps hope as well -- hope that this will be stepping stone to distributing this effort into other aspects of my life. As I often say, we shall see.

Poker Can Go...

...fuck itself. No, I'm kidding. I love me my poker, and even my shitty performance last night in the Mook won't sour me. Out something ridiculous, like 65th of 72 or something. Certainly out of the points, so that streak is over.

In the first 2 orbits I saw KK, 88, 66, and a bunch of other perfectly playable hands that caught zilch better than a draw. The 88 is the ONLY one that netted me anything. KK I folded to an ace and two hearts on a flop when Prophesy reraised me. He had JTh... I fumed a bit, and got the snowmen on the next hand, the 66 ran into Smokkee's TT. I so suck.

I very quickly found myself with about 450 in chips and blinds at 30/60... so I came over the top of Iak's min-raise when I found AQo. He called with 33 and sure enough a 3 came on the flop. Then the 4-flush by the river, and me with no club gave him the J-high flush to overkill me. Not my night.

Maybe it was the drink I poured myself a couple hours earlier with dinner... apparently 3 types of vodka, cointreau, and some blue cura├žao, whilst tasty, don't make me a better poker player. Next time I'm just making juice. At least I got to bed at a more reasonable hour than usual.

Didn't play a lick of poker afterwards... I almost loaded up a token game, and realized I wasn't in the right state of mind to play even a play money tournament. Good fold me.

Anyway, I may play in the Donkament on Friday... I'll definitely play if I've got no other plans. I'm going to miss the bracelet race on Sunday though, since I have a home game to play in and a title to reclaim after I missed the last one. Always a good time that game. Next week I'm out of everything due to my being on the west coast for the week, so I fully expect that I'll have to fight my way back up the leaderboard when I get back.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Long Time No See

So, there was a Monday at The Hoy last night. Strange that it would fall on a Monday. As I've rued in the past here, I tend to bubble in these things. If it's not a cash bubble, it's a final table bubble. I'm sure looking at past results would reveal that this is all in my head and I actually do far worse.

Regardless, I know it's been a while since I've actually cashed in one, which is a shame since the prize pool has been rather large of late with the BBT in full effect and The Hoy becoming a token buy-in. So getting 3rd last night felt pretty good, both for the cashing and the points. Especially since I almost didn't make it in.

You see, I thought it started at 10:30. Heroes was back, and a friend was over to watch it. Luckily, Heroes is on at 8pm here in Toronto (because the station airs 24 at 9), and my friend was ready to head home at 9:30. I signed up before driving her and made it back having missed only 3 hands. Fascinating stuff, I know.

As usual, don't expect any insights into my play. I played the cards mostly right, and quickly focused after folding a winning hand to a well-played Hammer on the turn. I have no problem losing to a hammer, but I do have a problem when I think "This smells like a Hammer bet" and then get scared. I trusted my reads a lot more after that, and it saved my skin a few times, and got me some chips the rest of the time. Traps, bluffs, and the usual fun (including one or two suckouts) saw me hit first with 33 runners left. I stayed near the top for the rest of the game, regaining 1st a couple more times, and holding it into the final table. I dropped as low as 6th due to eventual winner scots_chris catching cards whenever I raised. Lucky me they were calling cards, not raising cards. Unlucky me, they caught regularly. However, I was smart enough to fold, and he was kind enough to show.

Once the bubble burst, action was quick. I'd say it was maybe 15 minutes from 6 left to the end.

And for those keeping track in the home game, I saw pocket aces 3 times last night. One of them knocked out someone, another got folded to pre-flop, and the 3rd won on the flop. Does my hammer that flopped a pair of aces count too?

Probably missing The Wheatie AGAIN tonight, but should make The Mookie tomorrow. Then I'll be missing all the BBT events next week as I'll be attending a funeral in BC and staying for a few days. Flying out Monday night, coming back Friday. I'll have to drop Schaubs and Fuel a line and see if we've got some coinciding free time to meet up.

1am Quickie

Hoy's done. Once the bubble burst, things went quickly. More after I've slept.


Haven't seen this at MATH in awhile.


Still there at the final... although there was some up-and-down.


Hammer Position!


How it ended... quickly. Not a bad return on 3 hours.

Congrats scots_chris, that should help with the bad run... amazing how "fuck poker" never really works. Now please, I don't mind you calling my raises, but STOP HITTING YOUR DRAWS AGAINST ME! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Not 723rd

But 383rd out of 574. Hey, does anybody else hate poker? My pocket aces meet snowmen. 665 flop and I bet 1/2 the pot (and 1/2 my stack) hoping to look weak.. and get re-raised all-in which I call. Yay me, doin' great. 8 on the turn means I'm in 2-outer land and the 6 on the river, whilst giving me a boat, doesn't give me the better one. So it's true that there's an element of luck involved here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I DO Believe in Suckouts!

Riverchasers tonight. Short version? I finished in the points at 36th of 85. Longer version? I was sitting in dead last (70th) with 25 chips at one point.

My all-in 53o vs ATs and some folded limpers = 3A3Tx for 100 chips.

My J8h all-in vs Kx that flopped a pair? River straight in the Riverchasers. 360 chips.

Pushed/ground my way to 1,510 at one point and foldfoldfolded to the points. Out when my 99 met DDionysus' KK and IGH. Oddly enough, on the very next hand, DDionysus gets cowboys AGAIN and knocks out TOPKING333's 99. Sticky cards I tell ya.

So yah, not a great showing, but in the points and one hell of a lucky comeback to do it, so I'm not complaining. Now I get to chill and get some sleep. Yay!

Donkament tomorrow again? I could be in...

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Addendum: Just checked the results of the Riverchasers... holy shit... Congrats Waffles! He was sitting around my chip level as we waited for the points bubble and took it all down. Sellthekids had an $11 bounty on him and Waffles got him to triple it if he won (thereby taking himself out). Nicely done Sir.

Eh

First - In December 1900, Ladies Home Journal published this list of predictions for the year 2000. It's a great list. Some are bang-on, some get it half right and the take a strange left turn, some are relegated to extensions of the existing technology of the time, and some are completely nuts. One thing that struck me was how little knowledge of the interconnectivity of species in an ecosystem there was. There was little thought to wiping out entire populations of insects or the decimation of large mammals.

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I was completely wiped yesterday. Out with coworkers for drinks, a fantastic dinner, and more drinks, I strolled in at 1am, and was in bed around 2. I have cat. He doesn't do well when he gets all night alone to sleep and then I come home and don't pay any attention to him... so I didn't sleep well due to many a meow and batting of items off my nightstand. I do, however, have a spray bottle handy, and one very wet kitty (see I avoided the obvious joke?) later, I was able to snag a couple hours of rest before my alarms went off.

I also happened to receive my Wii that night, although I was too tired to unpack it. What's all this leading to? The Mookie. I'd come home, set up the Wii, played with that, and then fired up the Mook on about 4 hours of sleep and a full day of work. I finished 31st, which met my meager goal of finishing in the points, and maintaining my played/points streak (6/6, I missed two events). I was reading everyone right last night, but didn't realize that until after I folded my ladies to osu's AQs that caught nothing, but his all-in was enough to get me out of the tiny side-pot we were fighting for (the main went to the rockets that were all-in). I did make the right call when someone (TripJax? Not sure), re-raised my 3x BB bet with AQd and I called with my short stack and pocket 4s. Too bad about the A on the flop.

Al's Riverchasers tonight at 9 at FT. I've played in this once, maybe twice before, so we'll see if I can make the points this time with a very different field of regulars.

It also seems the next WBPT (#4) event is Sunday, and it's Limit HE. I have yet to ever play in one of these due to orignally not being a blogger, and then the events always falling at inconvenient times. I might actually make this one... although I'll be multi-tabling with that WSOP ME satellite on Stars methinks. Well, I HOPE to be multi-tabling and not grumbling about how I went out in 732nd.

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WPBT in Vegas in June. Looks like it's finally starting to gather steam. I plan on going, but I'm waiting on the seat sales to kick in, since I plan to fly out Thursday night and back Sunday night, meaning premium Vegas ticket prices (althought it's still < $700 CAD non-stop). Orleans? That's off the beaten track. Not that it matters as long as you go where the party's at and can slur your hotel name to the cabbie. But I wonder if cab fare will wipe out hotel savings? I'm still undecided on where I'll stay. I've got me a soft spot for TI, but that's on the other side of the world if everyone's staying at Orleans. Regardless, I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow donkeys

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hoy Redux

"I'm going to take down the BBT with 11th place finishes." - Me, tonight, post-knockout though.

I'll add a +/- 2 on that 11th though.

Not too much to say, played my game, got in trouble early on, but double-stacks means I can make some mistakes and loosen up a bit. Pokertart on my right was NOT helping though. Crazy westerners (well, west to ME) and their aggressive play and big blind stealing from their fellow Canucks. For shame! Naw, she played a solid game, I just had nothing to go to war with. Apparently though, InstantTragedy did.

It was suckout city tonight, especially near the final table. In the span of maybe 7 hands... AJo beat QQ with flopped trip Jacks, 88 beat 99 to knock out #10, I got knocked out 11th (hence the quote) when Tragedy's K6o beat my KQs with a 6 on the turn, A4 beat KK with a 3-6 straight, etc, etc.. It was nuts. We were calling each suckout, and they were hitting.

Other highlights? (note: I'm not in any of them), Wigginx and Sir Al facing off with AJo each (GOLD), and this hand.. only numerologically speaking:



So, I got me some points, added a couple more to the Yahoo list, and had fun... all before midnight. Can't complain.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Landlord

Ok, this had me laughing out loud at work today. Enjoy.

The Landlord

Mixed Success

Well, a less successful weekend than planned. The Raptors game was a ton of fun, if only because of the 4th quarter. Poker, on the other hand...

I couldn't have won a token if you'd held my feet over hot coals this weekend. I think I played 6 or 7 Tier 1's and won 2 of them. I played 3 Tier 2's and lost 'em all. I think my best showing was 8th. Between these and the 2 or 3 attempts during the week, I spent more trying to get into The Big Game than if I'd just bought in. So I ponied up and paid. 53 runners, which is fantastic. Top 6 paid, and 6th paid more than 1st usually does in any of the other games. THIS is what The Big Game was meant to be. So, top 27 would get points... I finished 22nd. Yay points!

The deep stack at the club was abysmal. The phrase "card dead" doesn't begin to do justice. My BEST hand (statistically) pre-flop the entire night was pocket tens in the 3rd or 4th hand of the game. After that? Pocket 4s once, and pocket 3s once. I think I saw AQo and AJo a couple times, and missed the flops by a mile. I pushed at the end with M=5 when I saw A9c in the SB with the action folded to me on the first hand after the 2nd break. BB had KQo and called for probably 2/3 of his stack. KQJ rainbow on the flop, and no T for yours truly sent me packing. I think I went out 15th out of around 20 or so players. I don't think I've ever folded so much. Normally with that level of decrepitude in the cards, I'd be picking spots to steal, taking advantage of table image... but these tables are mildly LAG-y, so I was almost always facing raises. That or it's a weak-tight cash player who will call to the turn (if that makes any sense). With my stack dwindling fast in relation to the blinds, I couldn't afford to gamble that much for long. I think I would have cheered if I saw matching faces or aces at any point last night.

On the upside (other than ranking in TBG), there was the $3 rebuy mentioned below. One of the smoothest 4 hours in poker I've played. I was inexplicably tired at the beginning (despite a solid night's sleep and large brunch). But only paid 4 times total, including initial buy-in and add-on (so an inital re-buy and one additional one), and found myself with a comfortable stack at the break (M ~ 20). I sat out for a bit to make some coffee and returned with gusto. Blinds were easily stolen and big hands were winning. I dropped low (M ~ 5) once or twice, but chipped back up and took down big pots when needed. Cards were catching, and if I lost, it was when I had my opponents well-covered. The final couple tables were a bunch of fish with one or two halfway decent players left, and since I had chips (but not the lead until there were 4 left), it was easy pickings as nobody wanted to go out so close to the money. Top 3 is tough to actually play for at that point -- everyone hopes to fold to the win and let the others take themselves out. I exploited this, as anybody should, and the ATC and bubble philosophies worked brilliantly here. As the final tally indicates, it was a walk for the last 30 min or so.

Small tangent here - I love the whiners who have no argument. I turned a straight against a guy's AK/top pair. His comment "3 hours wasted. Who calls my raises with 9T?" Well, let's see... 9Ts in the BB and you MIN RAISE, I call every time. I put out a feeler bet at the flop draw and you min raise AGAIN, I call every time it doesn't commit me. Straight on the turn and you're history. Grow a pair. A REAL bet anywhere before the turn and I'm out.

I didn't make it back in time for the WSOP qualifier, but that's fine. I was in no mood for such a long haul after the club. I had already pulled my entry and will probably use it next week. As Fuel said in the comments... great start, now I have to finish. But if I don't, there's still plenty of time.

Here's hoping my Wii shows up soon... because I need more things to waste time with.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Time to Turn it Up a Notch

So the big game has cost me a double buy-in. I spent as much as just paying would have in tokens yesterday, and failed miserably. So I bought in. What's this mean? I'm going to have to cash. Unless I kick as at the club today, then I'll be less concerned :).

Not that I don't want all those points anyway.

Colour Me Impressed

It's not a new joke. In fact, it's been around the web a few times I'm sure. But Saturday Night Live just had a "Sofa King" sketch on. I'm sure it'll be on Youtube (and then off Youtube) tomorrow.

Our prices are 'Sofa King' crazy!
Our delivery is 'Sofa King' quick!
Our loveseats are 'Sofa King' comfortable.

The beauty of live TV... but it's impressive it got on, and past the censors. Let's see if it makes it to a repeat.

Still doesn't beat Sneed's Seed and Feed from the Simpsons though.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

So Far...

Well... no token to speak of yet. 4 tries, 4 failures. Not even close really.

But THIS did happen:



Shame I've already got so many games going on tomorrow already. Maybe I'll play, maybe I'll keep it until next week. Regardless, 4hrs 18min. First win into the satellite after a bunch of the $16 DS and other rebuys. It was actually a pretty easy win. I think I've mentioned my love of rebuys in the past. Donkey play for the first hour, and then continued donkishness beyond that's easy to take advantage of. One just has to dodge the suckouts.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Winds of Change

This article, and this article feel like seeds. Do I expect sweeping reforms to take place in the next couple weeks? Nope. But the right people are finally getting the message. Of course, this just increases the rank smell of base-pandering that the original bill has, but so be it. For those of you who have contacted your reps in the past, and those who haven't... now is the time to start driving that message home again, take down the gambling bill!

A Weekend of Degeneracy Awaits!

Went out 25th of 77 in Das Mooken on Wednesday. Good for 36 points in the BBT. AKo apparently is no good against cowboys. Stupid cowboys... and the horse they rode in on.

Anyhoo. Went to The Rocky Horror Show last night and had the expected level of fun. I didn't have time to get dressed accordingly, but mayhaps those days are behind me anyway. That said, I was just about the ONLY audience member who participated vocally. Sure, some people picked up on SLUT! and ASSHOLE! or "Boooorrring" chants when the Narrator was on. Post-intermission a couple more participants spoke up for the obvious lines. But really, I was the only one who kept it up with any sort of regularity, and I missed a TON. On the plus side, it's not often that one is solely responsible for getting a sold-out 876-seat theatre laughing heartily. Ah dick jokes... do they ever get old?

Tonight I'll be missing the Donkament for the Raptors-Pistons game. Raps win, Heat lose, and the good guys get 3rd in the East all locked up, with 2nd still in reach. Andrea Bargnani may be making his return tonight as well. Plus, the 1st place Pistons vs the 3rd place Raptors should make for a great game.

Tomorrow will be focused on getting a token for The Big Game. I played a couple tier-1 peeps last night but really wasn't into it. Although I went out 7th (stupid bubble) in the first. I've only been able to play one of the Token Frenzies this week, and came damn close to tokening there too. Worse comes to worst, I'll just buy in on Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday - now that will be a day of pokering. As usual, the Big Game and my club's monthly deep-stack long grind tournament fall on the same day (since they both happen on the 3rd Sunday of the month). Luckily, they're 6 1/2 hours apart, so I'll have plenty of time for both, and probably some cash in between. Could be either a very profitable or very costly day.

There's a couple holes in my tournament game I might work on getting plugged tomorrow... we'll see.



Uh-oh, Happy learned how to putt.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

That Was Unexpected

As expected, I missed the WWdN due to seeing The Host instead. A worthwhile trade I believe, as the movie was plenty entertaining. I did, however, make it home with plenty of time to play in the second chance. What's this? Why it's PLO. Excellent. Not that I'm any good at Omaha, but at least I can lose quickly if need be. So up I did sign.

10:30 rolls around and so starts the tournament! Why, I am all alone at my table. In fact, not only am I all alone, but there is but one other seat. How queer! It's a head's up tournament and I have a bye! Off to Wil's table to see what's up. It seems he mistakenly set it up HU. Silly Wil. So I get up and do some things and return to round 2. I find Hacker at my table and we enjoy a brisk back-and-forth game until I finally take enough of a lead and a solid enough hand to move on. Then comes the waiting for the last table to finish and Wigginx appears across from me. This match lasts all of 5 or 6 hands. It seems that Omaha is, in fact, a game of the nuts. When one holds a J and a 2, and a J and a 2 appear on the flop, followed by another 2 on the turn and one's opponent is playing just as weakly as you are (but you're cleverly setting up a trap), it is possible your opponent has the other two jacks. Also, jacks full of twos beats twos full of jacks any day of the week. After that crippling loss, it took about 3 hands for me to give it all to The Wig. I hope he did well.

As much as I'd like to say I should have laid that down, I think I'm going broke with boat-over-boat every time. Although with a pair of twos on the board I should maybe think that 2's full of anything will get beat.

Mookatron 3000 tonight. More points needed. While Don and Oossuuu are running away with the top spots, I can't help but think that If I was able to play all 4 tourneys, I'd be close. Seriously. Extrapolating from my 2 data points (what? 2 isn't statistically enough? Fie to you!), I'd have over 200 points, putting me in 5th if I'd played in all 4 tourneys instead of 2. Fear us near-bubblers! So, I'm just going to have to win tonight... and Sunday.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Close?

Considering that I wasn't supposed to be around to play in The Hoy at all, I guess it's a bonus. I had a spare token sitting around, so I used that instead of buying in, so it only cost me $8.70 or whatever a level 1 peep costs. There were 52 runners, which is just scary for a MATH. Throw in double-stacks and this was going to be a looooong game. As expected, eliminations were slow to start, but picked up with the blinds. I played a solid aggressive game, but in the end, a series of boneheaded moves lead to my elimination in 12th. I'm not sure, but I think this means I missed At least I made the points in the BBT. as well (if they're going with the Poker Stars scoring system, then only the top 15% of the field gets points). That stings more than missing the final table and the money.

I'm at my best in two situations - either being the agressor or trapping. When I play a hand weakly (which happens), I usually end up shooting myself in the foot. My last hand went down like this (or a close approximation thereof):

I'm in the BB with KQo and an M in the same ballpark as 10ish. Button limps, SB limps. I think both were known bloggers, but I can't remember who exactly (edit: Lightning36 was the button). I go to raise and then decide to check and see what develops instead, figuring it's a strong enough hand to catch something with but weak enough to get away from.

Flop comes TQT and it's checked to me. Button puts out a weak bet and I call. Turn is an ace, I bet somewhere in the neighbourhood of the pot and the button re-raises. I'm shortstacked completely at this time and push. Easy call by the button as he happens to be holding QTc for the boat. River doesn't bring that 4th queen to split the pot and IGH as predicted by Waffles mere moments before (except he put me on KJ, which would have at least looked better).

Bah. Can't complain about the hand because it wasn't anything but a legit beat. I made two mistakes that I almost never make. I checked an unraised pot with KQo late in the tourney near the bubble in the big blind, and I gave no credit to my opponent holding a monster (or even a set). I walked right into a trap and got eaten by a Grue. Hell, I helped set the trap. It's not that I didn't trust my read, it's that I didn't make enough of one. My thought? "Q with a worse kicker than me. AQ gets raised pre-flop." I was right.. the kicker was the T, and it was suited, which is a perfectly acceptable "let's see if I catch" hand, especially on the cheap. Not like KQo, which is a hand that should be thrown in the garbage with TQTA is in front of you on the board and you're facing a sizeable bet by a solid player. See how earlier I said it was hand that was easy to get away from? Apparently not when your brain decides to reset after 2 1/2 hours of play.

Hypothetically, if I raised pre-flop, I imagine I'd be called on anything less than a push. So let's say I put a raise of 3-4x the BB in, get called and then TQT rainbow comes down. Do I still go broke? I make a continuation bet that will get called or possibly pushed... I probably still call in this situation because of the money I've put into the pot (and my now very short stack) and I still lose. Only chance I have is that QTs gets folded pre-flop.

Ah well. Wheatie's tonight, but I think I'll be going to see The Host instead. Maybe I'll make the second chance, as long as it isn't limit Razz/HORSE. Oh how I hate those for second chance tourneys.

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In other news - as expected (and I think I predicted pre-season) The Leafs missed the playoffs by ONE point. Let's look at the bright side... umm... that's one more point than they had last year? WAY TO GO TEAM!

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I'm a bit perturbed by these pullouts of deposit/withdrawl systems in Canada. There is NO push in Canada to ban online gambling or poker, hell it's provincially, not federally mandated. If anything, Canada would look to tax it. No, all I can figure is it's due to the U.S. situation. Tools. Both the US gubmint for the laws, and the payment processors for being such chickenshits.

So, no Neteller. Lucky me, I can still use a credit card to deposit on Tilt, but not withdraw. Can't use the card on Stars (gets denied by the bank), but they did have eChecks. Now that's down for some undisclosed problems (which worries the hell out of me security-wise). So that leaves ePassport which is for US accounts, and I have no desire to pay $50 to do a wire transfer to a Canadian account. On Tilt there's still Click2Pay, but I'm getting sick of signing up for more services... but since I never win enough to warrant a withdrawl, I'm not affected by that... yet.

Grr....

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Donkery

Had fun in the Friday Donkament. I barely played, since I was up and down cooking, but I luckily septupled up on the first hand when most of the table went all-in. If I'd rebought to start, I'd have quintupled up instead. So I was able to coast on that for awhile. Ended up out in 9th of the 17 who joined.

Then I played a cash game on Stars. First time in awhile. I only half bought-in with $100 at the 1/2 NLHE. Got up to $250 when my multi-out straight/flush draws caught on the river against two fools.

Then on my last hand (button hit me and I was going to bed after that hand regardless of what happened).

Dealt QTo. A LAG who's been raising everything if it's unraised to him raises to $8 (standard for him). I call. One other caller. Flop comes QQ2 (two spades) and I'm laughing. Bet of $12 from LAG ATC and I re-raise to $36 to show I'm serious. Caller calls, and ATC raises another $24. I'm reading flush draws, and MAYBE another Q. I push all-in. Caller calls THAT and ATC calls (has me covered by about $20). $500 pot. 8 and 6 fall on the turn, the flush isn't filled.

Any guesses what ATC and the other caller were holding?







ATC = Ducks. Caller = does it matter?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Take It Back

Well, my trip to Paris has been cancelled. The reasons are perfectly sound, but I am still disappointed.

On the flipside, I should be able to make the Riverchasers tonight (Al should be pleased) and The Hoy on Monday. AND I'll be able to watch the Leafs sputter to a near-miss of the playoffs. Go Raptors. Oh, and I'll get to watch Grindhouse on opening night. Unless I find myself in BC this weekend. I'll wave to Fuel and Schaubs if I'm there.

Played The Mookie last night - holy shit! 78 runners! I played my game, and bubbled in 10th. I was first for a bit, 3rd at the first break, 5th at the second, and generally stayed in the top 10 most of the night. Except once when Waffles took my chips when the card that gave me a straight also gave him a flush. I wasn't surprised.

Pissed off Al when my A7h beat his Jacks with a rivered straight. Something about me being a donkey. I dunno, my M was < 10, I had two all-ins before me, I was last to act in the BB and it would cost me 1/5th of my short stack with 4:1 odds... I think Al's the only one who disagrees with my call. I felt dirty about the straight though.

Went out when my JTh met the chipleader's 77. At least I wasn't crushed.

So 10th in The Mook puts me 25th in the BBT leaderboard. Not too shabby after one game. Still, would've liked to cash.

Vegas? Vegas? June 6-10 or something like that, right? Guess I should get on the booking of that.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rise of the Jays

Okay, so big Leafs game tonight, because they all are now. Go Buds! Also, go Bruins!

Raptors now aiming for a division clinch and a home-court advantage.

Jays season started yesterday.

Yes, I'm a homer. But not a bandwagon jumper I thank you very much (okay, maybe the Raptors, but that's because I'm not a huge basketball fan).

Jays = wow. This is possibly the best team they've fielded since the back-to-back (+ strike year = 3 year champs! :) ) World Series teams. When the meat of your batting order goes from 1-6, (Johnson, Overbay, Glaus, Thomas, Wells, Rios), and then a guy like Aaron Hill who hits for average, and a clutch hitter like Zaun are in your bottom 3... well... I'd say you'll see a lot of hitting.

Roy Halladay is, bar none, the best pitcher in the majors. If it wasn't for freak injuries and a mediocre bullpen backing him up, he'd have at LEAST 3 Cy Young awards instead of 1, and he's a workhorse. A.J. Burnett at #2 is no slouch either, especially once his arm healed up last year. Chacin at #3 could be interesting - he reminds me of Jack Morris... he'll only give up as many runs as you can afford. Leading 1-0? He'll pitch a shutout. Leading 6-0? He'll give up 5, but not 6, and this team should be all about run support. Ohka's got something to prove, and Towers has a paycheque he wants to justify. I like what I've seen from Josh in the spring, and his attitude is great. Hell, he's learning from Halladay now, and that's got to be good.

Bullpen is tighter than last year, with the only big question mark being who's going to be doing the setup for B.J. Ryan?

Oh? And all those hitters? Pretty damn good in the field too.

2nd in the AL East last year behind the Yankees and ahead of the Bo Sox... 1st is VERY possible this year, and the Wild Card should be no problem at all. If everyone stays healthy of course.

I'm missing the home opener, but I'll be at the SkyDome (Rogers Centre be damned) a fair bit this season methinks.

----

Oh yah, missed The Hoy last night, plan to make The Wheatie. I love the BBT concept. Unfortunately the only one I'll be able to make this week is the Mookie (maybe), and I'll miss the Hoy next week as well. See... I'm heading off to Paris for Easter weekend, and won't be back in time for the usual Monday fun. I can think of worse predicaments to be in.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring, When the Leafs Fall

Argh.

That's about as much frustration as I can muster as a Leafs fan. 40 years of losing. Maybe 4 or 5 years in there where the team played beyond their abilities to make it to the semi-finals.

Argh.

Missed the playoffs by what, a point, last year? Looks pretty good that they'll do it again this time. After that 7-2 debacle last night against the Rangers, it's do-or-die now. The Leafs have lost control of their destiny. Philly, the Isles and the Habs are left. They need to win 'em all or forget about it. Maybe it's a good thing I'll be out of the country when the last two games go down.

Can we please get an owner? Not an ownership group concerned solely with the value the franchise adds to the pension plan, or a guy who is more concerned about condos than championships. You know, someone who says, "Hey! I like the Leafs. I want to see them win the Stanley Cup again." and MEAN it, instead of just blowing smoke up the collective arse of the fans. Maybe a GM who knows how to make a trade and has a pair. I like Yanic Perrault just fine, but he ain't the guy to put us over the top.

Bah. I'll try an be positive - good young talent, great coach, great captain (although he'll be retiring in the next few years), and an alright goalie. Let's lay off Raycroft here shall we? 36 wins. Only Belfour had more in the blue-and-white, and there's 3 games left. A bad stretch in December does not a season make... although it does a season break.

Argh.