Friday, August 29, 2008

Math and Bias

You are offered a bet where a board of 20 cards will be laid out from a 45-card deck. 7 black cards have been removed from a standard 52-card deck. You can pick one of the following sequences of suits. If your pick shows up in the laid-out cards, you win $100. You have to pick immediately, without running through the math. Which do you pick? (d=diamonds, s=spades, c=clubs. h=hearts)

1.- dschcs
2.- scscdcsc
3.- hdschcsd

or simplified (r=red, b=black):

1.- rbbrbb
2.- bbbbrbbb
3.- rrbbrbbr

Now we're all smart people here, right? We know some probablity. #2 is right out because of all the blacks, and only 1 red. So it follows that #3 is the smart pick, since its 50/50 split is the closest statistically to the cards in the deck.



Look at #1 again... and compare it to #3. #1 is a subset of #3, meaning that for #3 to happen, #1 HAS to happen, PLUS you need an additional heart at the beginning and diamond at the end. P(A & B)<=P(A). It's called a conjunctive fallacy and is a fairly common bias when asked what seems most likely without doing the math behind it. It's also why lotteries that have 7 numbers pay more than ones with 6, or why more numbers matched on a Keno card pay out more money.

So how does this relate to poker? You'll learn more if you think about it yourself. But I'll give an instance: one word, twice - runner-runner.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


My 10 Choices for TIFF:

$5 a Day - Christopher Walken as a scam artist who claims he's dying, and travels to New Mexico with his son and son's ex girlfriend.

Adam Resurrected - Jeff Goldblum as a Jewish clown who is demeaned in a concentration camp by Willem Dafoe during the Holocaust. It's a comedy.

Afterwards - John Malkovich knows when you're going to die, and freaks out someone by telling them.

Chocolate - Muay Thai ass-kickings for everyone!

Edison & Leo - A brilliant inventor can only hear with his teeth, and he accidentally turns his son electic. Stop-motion animation.

JCVD - Jean Claude Van Damme plays himself as a washed up actor searching for meaning... then he gets caught up in a bank robbery. Self-effacing, and had a ton of buzz coming out of Cannes.

Me and Orson Welles - Richard Linklater's TIFF entry. 'Nuff said.

New York, I Love You - If it's as good as Paris Je T'aime, I'll be happy. 13 directors, 13 stories, all about love and taking place in NYC. Cast? Kevin Bacon, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Hayden Christensen, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Andy Garcia, Carla Gugino, Ethan Hawke, John Hurt, Shia LaBeouf, Cloris Leachman, Drea de Matteo, Natalie Portman, Maggie Q, Christina Ricci, Goran Visjnic, Robin Wright Penn, Anton Yelchin, and others.

Synecdoche, New York - Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut. 'Nuff said.

Waltz with Bashir - An Israeli man served in the invasion of Lebanon. He doesn't remember anything about it and strikes out to see what his role was. Cool visual style with rotoscoping sold me on it.


C'est Pas Moi, je le Jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear!) - Life in Quebec in 1968 for a young troublemaking boy with an unhappy family life. Something about the description struck me as endearing.

Control Alt Delete - Ryan Gosling's best friend from Breaker High has sex with computers.

Is There Anybody There? - A boy living in a senior's home (owned by his parents) befriends a curmudgeonley Michael Caine. I'll see just about anything with Michael Caine in it.

Pontypool - Washed-up shock jock ends up as a VERY small town DJ in northern Ontario. He heads to work... then the zombies show up.

Uncertainty - Almost made my top 10, but was pushed out by Afterwards. A young couple decides how to spend the 4th of July. The film is two stories - as at the moment of their decision, two sets of them go in either direction, and the movie covers both options, showing the differences a mundance choice can make.

Vinyan - I believe this is a horror. Rufus Sewell (SO underused) and Emannuelle Beart don't leave Thailand after losing their son to the tsunami, clinging to the hope he survived. They follow a video that shows a child that MIGHT be theirs in an orphan camp they head off to find him... it sounds far more psychological than gory, and could be a really interesting ride.

Leaving the Peasants Behind

I love the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I've been going for years. I'm not someone who takes the week off to go to all 300+ films, but I do enjoy it every year.

They're really starting to piss me off.

Originally The Festival of Festivals, and then exploding as TIFF, it's still considered the 2nd most important film festival in the world behind Cannes. Some, like Sundance and Tribeca are gaining ground (the former will stay behind simply because it's indie-centric), but there is no fetival as well-positioned for Oscar-calibre launches and geographic ease.

But it was originally a festival for the people. Toronto has (or at least had) the highest per-capita movie-going population in North America. We know our films here. As TIFF grows in industry popularity though, the people are being left behind.

Up until this year, Roy Thomson Hall was the only Gala venue in the fest. Tickets cost more, the movies were bigger, the red carpet longer, etc.. Now, they've taken over the Elgin as a gala theatre as well. This was my favourite to see movies in because it was big, opulent (it's a live theatre most of the time), and showed the much cooler 2nd-tier films for the same price as the Galas. World premieres of movies that would go on to become critically acclaimed happened here. I saw many of them. Now? $40 and not on the regular program.

Fine, the festival grows, the prestige pictures grow, and they need more space. I get it.

But there was ALWAYS a way to see these films in one of the other venues after the premiere. This year? There's a bunch that are ONLY showing at Roy Thomson Hall and the Elgin... no chance to see them for less than the $40 tickets. For a movie. So I'll just wait until they hit the theatre. I mean, Burn After Reading will be out to the public before the fest is even over.

But I just saw something in my ticketing book that really annoyed me.

The advance ticket method has been as fair as they can make it in the past. Regardless of your type of pass, you get yoru order book, pick your 1st choices, and your 2nd choices, and have 3 days to hand it in. They put your order in a numbered box. After the drop-off deadline, they randomly pick a box number to start with and move forward from there. So if you get put in box #30 and they pick box #29 to start, you're in good shape. If they pick #31, you're hoping you picked unpopular films.

But NEW THIS YEAR! If you are a donor of more than $250, you get special boxes that JUMP THE ADVANCE TICKETING LINE! On top of that, even those boxes are sorted by donation amount.

You want the donors to feel special? Give them some free tickets to the Galas. Throw a party for them. Give 'em a fucking bag with a pen in it. But as soon as you create a second class of patron, you further destroy what makes this festival so great - that anybody can go as long as they can get to Toronto... which isn't a very difficult task. So now, if you get a good position in line, you have to wait for all the donors to get their tickets first, then any other box before you.

This shouldn't affect me too much, since I tend to see smaller films without all the buzz. I live in a big city that gets lots of movies. I can catch the big ones later. But the principle of the thing pisses me off royally.

Okay, back to whittling down 29 films to 10.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Random Jetsam

Kat spoke about how her month-long ride to the end of the road and back again opened her eyes to how online poker had become a habit. Waffles agreed with her.

I've often spoken about how a break feels good, and others have brought up the post-BBT burnout combined with summertime lull. I didn't touch poker last night. I only played in the LPR on Monday. The Mookie is tonight of course, but that may be all I play.

In the time I'd otherwise be playing, I've been slowly taking care of small things that have sat undone. My Harmony remote finally works the way I want it to (after the latest Logitech update, which came months ago, but I never downloaded). My pocketable Casio camera has a new battery (almost a year after it died). Laundry's getting done, rooms are getting cleaned, DVDs are getting watched, etc.. Tonight I'll figure out my TIFF schedule. Cooking can start whenever and end when its done instead of trying to shoehorn it around poker games. I'm in no hurry to get home at the end of the day. In short - I'm feeling mildly productive, and that leads to a nice sense of calm. It's these little things that can mean the difference betweeen peace and frustration.

And when I do sit down to play? I'm more focused, and actually care more than before.


Watching CNBC, Erin Burnett revealed that she shouldn't improv. Talking to someone (missed their name) about international accounting practices being taken up in the US, he commented that poeple are looking for a "lingua franca" for accounting. Erin's comment? "Uh oh, some viewers won't like that, we're going the way of the French!"

The guest covered well enough with something like, "well, we're looking for a universal language, not necessarily French or any other established one."

A lingua franca is basically a common language within a specified field (or, alternately a language that has broad reach beyond its native speakers). The term has almost to do with French or France (outside of the original lingua franca being an amalgam of Italian, French, and some arabic languages). But Erin, in all her wisdom, must have translated these funny words into sounding like "French language"... even though they're Italian, and don't mean French.

I get that people will have things thrown at them they don't understand. It's one thing to nod and smile, or make it sound like you know what you're talking about without laying out specifics, but to crack a joke about a specific term you obviously don't know the meaning of? That just exposes your ignorance.

A Peasant's Dish

The beauty of stews is that recipes are... variable. I suppose what I made last night would be a ratatouille, especially since it's a Provençal dish that undoubtedly changes from door to door. I've had a ton of squash sitting in my fridge for a while now, and some extra tomatoes, so this seemed the logical choice.

Olive oil
A whack of garlic (let's say 6ish cloves), minced
A yellow onion, diced
Tomato paste (I probably used around 3 tbsp or so, since the stuff never gets used)
Around a cup of chicken stock
Most of the squash I had kicking around (1 green zucchini, 4 patty pan squash of various sizes, and some other summer squash), cut into medium-sized cubes (~1/4")
2 Bell peppers (I used 1 yellow + 1/2 red + 1/2 light green)
2 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (or use a can, drained)
Hot sauce
1/8 tsp Habanero salt
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
Ground coriander seed
Black pepper
Fresh basil, chopped

Heat the oil over medium heat, add garlic and stir for ~ 1 minute (until you can smell the garlic), sweat the onions (cook until they start to go clear), add the paste and stir it up.

Add the chicken stock and heat until bubbling. Dump in all the squash and peppers and cook for 10 min or so, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to get tender (but isn't soft yet).

Add the tomatoes, and stir, heating throughout. Add the spices and salts, stir. Add the basil, let cool a bit, and serve.

I used this recipe (great site btw) as a guide, but obviously our ingredients and amounts differ a bit.

Some people add an egg, which switches it to a Pipérade, from the Basque region. But as I said, it's basically a stew, which means your options are endless. Oh, and it's delicious.

Yah, there are some pictures, I'll throw a couple up when I get home.

Now I need to figure out how to use up my broccoli and green beans. I'm thinking more crustless quiche for the broccoli, with the beans steamed on the side... or perhaps used in niçoise salad, which would also make my potatoes useful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The 2008 Toronto International Film Festival is next week, and as usualy, I've got my 10-pass book lined up. The ticketing period starts today, which means a program book and a lot of time scanning through film choices.

I'm a bit annoyed though. In previous years, the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre was part of the usual program. This year, it's become a "gala" locale, which means $40 tickets! Fuck that shit.

So expect somewhere around 10 film reviews starting sometime next week.

Meanwhile, I'm going to publically kick my own ass here. I bought a Casio Exilim s600 in March of 07. When I returned from Iceland last summer, it stopped holding a charge. I looked online, and this was a known problem. It wasn't until TODAY (over a year later) that I called Casio... of course it's now out of warranty and I have to buy a new battery. This is where procrastination gets you kids.

I could go through my credit card company (1 year automatic extended warranty), but I get the feeling it won't be worth it. I'd need to mail the receipt (it's online, so no problem there), the original warranty (I never registered, but looking at Casio's online version of it, they don't cover the battery, even though they DO in this instance), and possibly an insurer's claim?? Well, it's not like I went to an adjuster for a dead battery... and then Visa might reimburse me for repairs.

But I can buy a compatible replacement batttery for $30 up the street from my place. I spend that in poker games in a night, so is it worth my time and hassle to follow up the insurance claim for a $30 battery? If I really wanted, I could probably find a US site to ship it to me even cheaper, or wander to the surplus store on my way home. Verdict? No. Next time though, don't wait a fucking year to call about the damned battery.

Which reminds me, I still have to submit my taxes for 2007...

Monday, August 25, 2008


I wonder if my horoscope said anything about travelling plans this weekend...

On the way back from Niagara, my buddy asked me "Have you ever been to Atlantic City?" My answer was no, but that I happened to know a few people who loved themselves the Borgata. So we started talking plans on going. Not sure if/when we'll head down, but I imagine it will happen. A shame there aren't any super cheap flights to Philly to make a one day jaunt worthwhile. There ARE cheap flights to Newark though. 2 hours from there to AC I think...

Then there's The Bash - Kat's out, and the Tuckfards are heading down early to golf. VinNay's willing to drive down, but I'd still need to get to Buffalo. So it looks like I'll be going solo... the question now is which means of transportation to take?

And finally, my best friend got the go ahead on a trip to her favourite place in the world - Key West! And being the best friend a person could ask for, she invited yours truly along (along with a few other less-awesome-than-me-but-still-pretty-awesome friends). That won't be until next year though... but it'll come at pretty much the perfect time for such a trip. Looking forward to relaxing by a pool with a mojito in my hand and some Cuban food around the way.


We made it to Casino Niagara yesterday for some craps. It was fun.

Departure was a few minutes early, with a stop for our 3rd pickup (E - LJ and Fuel saw/met him last Dec in the Caesar's poker room). Our traditional stop at the food court complex in Grimsby was made, where inferior pizza was "enjoyed".

Arrive at the casino at 1:30 would lead to 5 hours of dice rolling action. It was a pretty standard run of ups and downs, with all 3 of us coming close to bust a couple times before HUGE rebounds (usually on our own solid rolls). VinNay showed up after getting stuck in traffic and rain for an interminable length of time (Canada obviously hates the guy), but didn't catch one of the really hot streaks. He ventured to Blackjack for a bit, hit the video poker, and called it a day after a few hours... a shame, because if he'd stayed at the table, he'd have done alright.

A couple times, we were the only guys playing, but we kept it loud and spirited the whole time, drawing some railbirds who eventually put their money down. TWO firebets were hit (for 4 points), one by N, and one by another guy. I was one point away from hitting one myself. Of course, when N hit the firebet, I only had $1 down, not my customary $5 for friends. Someone had stepped to the table ahead of him, and I assumed the new guy was getting the dice... nope! Dammit. $25 instead of $125 for that roll.

In the end, we left a crew that liked us (being the only ones tipping or talking), and a table that missed us, with a nice solid profit in pocket. I more than doubled ($650 profit, and probably another $50 or so given away in tips), E also more than doubled (but started with far less), and N did pretty well himself.

Oh, and I played max odds the whole way.

Of course, I couldn't leave without hitting the slots. Two spins, up $200 at Blazing 7's... I played down another $50 for $150 profit total. I dropped $40 on my burger girl slots (which SUCKED), and we called it a day. Steak dinner for us winners, Tanquery Ten martini for me, and home for a rest.

Now there's talk of Atlantic City in the future... hmmmm...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Aw Craps!

Can I think of a better way to start my Friday at work than finding an e-mail - "Craps. Sunday. Niagara. You in?"

Well, yes... but those ways aren't suitable for children's viewing.

Also, being handed a billion dollars would be a better way.

Okay, so perhaps planning a Niagara outing isn't the BEST way to start a Friday, but it's pretty damned good!

So I'll be at Casino Niagara Sunday, likely around 1pm, tossing dice down a long felt-covered table.

There's a remote possibility that poker may be played after, but that depends on who comes along with me (cheapskates scared of the poker room can derail that).

So if you're in the area, feel free to put your money down.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Shortest Distance Between Any Two Points...

"Distances are only the relation of space to time and vary with it. We express the difficulty that we have in getting to a place in a system of miles or kilometers which becomes false as soon as that difficulty decreases."
-Marcel Proust

I'd never heard this quote before. In fact, I don't think I could give you a Proust quote (despite having watched Little Miss Sunshine). It's actually quite brilliant, and having not known a world without cars or planes, not something I've ever given thought to before.

Think about it. From Toronto to Las Vegas, it's over 3,600km, but I always think of it as about 4 1/2 hours. In the same vein, Montreal is 550km away from me, but I think of it as 5 hours. Meanwhile, Oshawa is 45 minutes, my work is 7 minutes or 20 minutes away, depending if I'm going to or coming back from it (subway or walking), but the distance is fixed. Maybe I'm just slow to the party, but I never realized how much we measure distance in terms of time before. At first glance, it makes no sense - If you asked me how tall something was and I gave you an answer in seconds, you'd look at me askew... but if you asked me how far away I was, you'd expect an answer like "5 minutes" not "800 meters".

Naturally, this dovetails nicely with Marshall McLuhan's "Global Village". But where Proust was marvelling at the dawn of the automobile, McLuhan was witnessing the dawn of the media and information age. Thinking of automobiles and the Internet as being similar beasts ties these two concepts into nearly identical thoughts. Las Vegas may be 3,600 km away, or 4.5 hours, but I can fire off a message to someone there in about 2 seconds and have it received instantly. So depending on my intended purpose, Las Vegas can have a zero distance from me. For that matter, Australia is in the same virtual room, let alone village.

This is made even more clear when the quote is finished with its next sentence - "Art is modified by it also, since a village which seemed to be in a different world from some other village becomes its neighbor in a landscape whose dimensions are altered."

I really have no destination in mind for this post, but the Proust quote got some wheels turning, so to speak.

*Addendum - it strikes me that Kat just went to Alaska, which was a one month round trip for her, but would be around an 18 hour round trip for me, which has nothing to do with the 20 minute distance between our homes.

This all came from this article on traffic engineer Hans Monderman. It's a great read.

Lightning Bolt

Recess touched on it already, but I'll expand. Usain Bolt is the fastest human being ever. Now I'm really hoping he never gets a positive drug test, because that would suck.

Jamaica has turned out champion after champion in track, but never for their own country. Canada's fastest men - Ben Johnson and Donovan Bailey were both Jamaican-born. Now, that country's finally getting their guys running for them.

But Bolt's getting some flack - he didn't run full out until he broke the 200m record, he stuck out his arms and turned his head and beat his chest during the last 20m of the 100m because he was so far ahead... and he broke the record anyway. His qualifying runs looked like easy jogs for him.

It's a good thing I'm not 22 and the world's fastest human. I'd be insufferable. The guy isn't cocky, he's HAPPY. You come from a poor country, and not only win an event for that country for the first time ever but break the world record in doing so. He's a national hero, and his performances were so dominating (I can't wait until the 4x100 today) that he rivals Phelps for best of the games in my mind. Let him celebrate... Michael Johnson was 10x the tool this guy could imagine being.

As for not demolishing the world record - like he said, he'll do that on the circuit, but the Olympics is for gold, not records. If he ran the 100m in 9.5 seconds, what do people strive for? Why do people bother watching other events? By keeping it high, the record stays beatable. Wouldn't you rather break the record 12 more times instead of doing it just once? He's no dummy... boy's gonna get PAID. Good for him. Plus, it creates the illusion that he may still be catchable, because he didn't beat the world record by THAT much, right?

And of course, he still can't get a decent start out of the blocks. If he can figure that out, get a legal tailwind, and run full out one day... I expect he'll retire right after because the record will stand for decades.

Oh - and yay Canada again! 15 medals now - another gold and silver today. I do believe we just reached our expected number, despite the naysayers for the first week of sucking.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thank You Bastards

This is a thank you to the Chads, and Dons, and Hoys, and Luckos, and Waffleses, and everyone else who has ever railed on another blogger in our little group. To those who have started or stirred up drama, you know who you are - thanks.

Seriously. One huge annoyance of mine are blogs that have nothing but fanboys and fangirls commenting in them. "Oh, you are so right about that thing that you've only given a one-sided account of!" "Life is so unfair, but chin-up, there's a girl out there somewhere who will want a fat, lazy, jobless momma's boy with terrible BO and poor hygiene and fashion sense. I'm sure of it!" "Your writing inspires me and makes me feel so illiterate." "That hand blew and you totally should have won after your great push with 88 on a paired board with 3 connected overs." Please. There's a line between a compliment or support and being a sycophant.

So I'm glad our group has the shit-disturbers and those who call it as they see it. Honesty is a rare commodity in this PC world, even though it's shown time and again that shoving your nose so far up someone's ass that you can smell what's on their fork only leads to problems down the line. A friend isn't someone who tells you what you want to hear, it's someone who tells you what you NEED to hear. Sure, tact is an even rarer beast than honesty, especially online, but I can live with bluntness.

A line I often use when describing more than a few of my friends is, "Yah, he's an asshole, but he's my kind of asshole." I get along with assholes just fine... as long as they know they're an asshole and make no attempts to hide it.

So keep the rants, the negative comments, and call-outs coming. Keep me entertained with high-school drama every few months. I'll keep reading, and you can know that at least I'll appreciate it.


So I finally saw Avenue Q last night (only in Toronto for a month)... it was good.

The first act was great! A theatre laughing out loud, with some great songs, taboo subjects, and even the fully-expected intermission climax.

The second act? Trite, sappy, and severely lacking the balls that had been shown in the first half. Walking home, my friend and I discussed the many ways the 2nd half could have been improved... one or two solid laughs and a few chuckles pale in comparison to the 70 minutes of hilarity it started with. That's not to say the 2nd half was TERRIBLE, but man did it not live up to its potential. It felt like they stretched it out to 2 hours, and then couldn't figure out how to do what they wanted in the 2nd half. I'm actually not that surprised it was originally meant to be a TV show.

And mark my words - it will be a movie at some point. I just hope they shore it up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Avenue Tuesday

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
-George Orwell

First off: This is pretty awesome. I did a wee bit of graphics and dsp stuff in school, and this is just very cool. It'll be amazing when this sort of thing hits commercial accessibility.

Second off: Go Canada! From 0 to 13 medals in what, 4 days? Shut up ya Yanks, you have 10x as many people as us, but not 10x as many medals, so thppppt. (Pay no attention to Australia and their ratio of population to medals). Jealous Belarus?

Third off: Second in the LPR game last night. PirateLawyer's rivered K saved his ass, and then he went on to win. Granted, by the time we got HU, I just wanted it to be over. I'll take my $36 thankyouverymuch.

Fourth off: Finally seeing Avenue Q tonight. I've heard many great things, and it's about time I got around to it.

Enough with counting offs. Let's examine some quotes.

Clarke's quote is known as Clarke's first law. It's actually concise and pretty solid if you think about it. Science is a compound game. Hawking stands on the shoulders of giants. Without Newton, is there Einstein? Science is only as good as the capabilities of its time. Newton had his apple and worked out gravity. Einstein had Newton and figured out how gravity fit in the bigger picture. Hawking had them both, some radio telescopes, atomic theory, and more advanced math and started defining the cosmos. Now there's a rather large hadron collider in Europe which will either destroy us all or answer even more questions about quantum theory.

Same goes for poker. In some saloon or riverboat a century ago, some guys were tossing nickels around playing triple draw or 5-card stud. The veteran players knew the cards only mattered if you had an ace up your sleeve, but mattered less if you were slow on the draw. Fast forward 60 years and the game hadn't changed much. But guys with nicknames like Texas Dolly and Amarillo Slim were winning and losing their life's savings regularly on the road. Then Doyle wrote a book. He was worried it would hurt his game to reveal his secrets, but the lure was obviously too great. Eventually, this poker thing REALLY caught on. A couple math dorks went and looked at the game statistically and put it on paper. People won lots of money and told others how they played. Etc, etc, etc..

But here's the thing - Harrington's style is different than Brunson's. Negreanu and Hellmuth don't play the same strategy. Sklansky and Ferguson both do the math, but sometimes come to different conclusions. Each generation of players has someone who advances the game. The rules haven't changed, the equipment is the same, and the math actually works now because the cheating has been curbed (one would hope). This is why there continues to be poker books coming out. Why online videos and training sites still have people signing up. Why our blogs keep getting read - the game hasn't changed, but the strategy keeps evolving, thanks to those who have come before that provided the shoulders to stand on.

The difference between Doyle and the old guy across the table from you bitching about his aces being cracked? Doyle hasn't admitted something is impossible, but the old guy refuses to learn any more. Don't be the old guy.

Orwell's quote? I just enjoy the irony of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do The Jays Really Suck?

Oh yah, baseball talk!

And yes, there's still plenty of hockey talk going on in Toronto, mostly involving the words "Mats" and "Sundin".

Oh, and Canada now sucks less at the Olympics, with 9 medals! Eat it Kazakhstan!

Anyway, Jays.

At the beginning of the year, I said that if they could hit and pitch up to their potential, they were one of the best teams in the league. They only got half of it right. They've proven to have one of the best pitching staffs in the league, and possibly THE best top-to-bottom. Tied for best ERA in the majors, 1st in complete games (almost ALL of them belong to Halladay), 1st in the AL for strikeouts, 6th least walks given up in the majors, 4th least hits given up, least runs given up, least earned runs given up, and 6th least HR given up (3rd in AL). So once again, I say Brad Arnsberg should get a huge raise and whatever he wants.

But the hitting... woe to the hitting. Middle-of-the-road for most of the stats... 3rd in triples though! 2nd last in HR, 23rd in RBIs, not a lot of strikeouts, so at least they're making contact. If I'd looked a month ago, those stats would be even more dismal.

They've had a solid August though. Why? I think a lot can be placed at the feet of Gene Tenace - the first legitimate hitting coach they've had in years. Cito Gaston on the bench has probably helped keep the waters calm too. Cito's a manager who lets the players play without micromanaging. He has a plan and system he wants to see (usually aggression), and lets the coaches and players do their jobs. But I fear the managerial and coaching changes came too late to help this season.

As for the roster - Frank Thomas and Shannon Stewart are gone from the lineup (about time for Stewart... why they dumped Johnson I still don't know), with Adam Lind up from the minors. Yah, there's Mensch and Wilkerson too, but they're not exactly tearing it up. McGowan is injured, and Marcum was down for a bit. BJ Ryan is back, but not quite his old self, and Brandon League keeps getting spot work in non-dangerous situations. Want to know what I really like though? Seeing John McDonald playing every day. Yah, it has to do with Aaron Hill and Scott Rolen being on the DL, but I still think getting Eckstein was a huge mistake on the Jays part. The problem was never McDonald, it was the rest of the team's hitting.

So now what? 6 game homestand against the Yankees and BoSox, after the good guys laid a beating on Boston yesterday (22 hits! 15-4!). Followed by 3 in Tampa and 3 in New York. 12 games that will determine the final fate for this season. Do I think they have a chance? Not really. They're 7 back from the wild card, 11.5 from 1st. 12-0 would put them in 3rd for sure, and likely within striking distance of the wild card, but that's a pipe dream. No, this is standard Jays - strong August followed by an average September to dash any false hopes they create. I'll be happy if I'm wrong.

Their 64-60 record stacks up similarly elsewhere:

64-60 or .516. Good for:

4th in the AL East (their division)
3rd in the AL Central (with 1st and 2nd tied @ 70-53)
2nd in the AL West

3rd in the NL East
4th in the NL Central
Tied for 1st in the NL West (what a shitty division that is!)

But only a half game better position in the NL for the wild card race (6.5 back instead of 7 in the AL)

In the end, if you have the best pitching, and middle-of-the-road hitting, you have an average team, which is exactly what they Jays have been this year.

Starting Over

Perhaps it's the increased activity of summer, or just general malaise, but I'm playing far less poker these days and loving it.

Sure, I still hit up a blogger game or two during the week, and I still manage at least one SnG every couple days, but I'm feeling no NEED to sit down and sling chips, virtual or otherwise. It's quite relieving. I'm able to get some other things done, and even multitask while doing them.

But I'm still playing. The problem is that I'm now at a point where I'm very bankroll aware. I hate reloading, and I used to do it quite often. Thinking about it now though, I don't think I've reloaded in... many months. I came close a few times, but always managed to pull out a win when needed. Now though, I've dropped my online roll to some low levels. I got rakeback last week and it tripled my account... to just over $100. No more $24 Turbo SnGs, or even $12 ones... nope, $7.50 right now, which I realize is still poor management. I don't do it because I can't afford the reload, but for the principle of the thing. I don't WANT to reload, and I should care about the money, even if it is relatively insignificant in the big picture.

Of course, that doesn't translate to the real world. I played in my club's $200 deepstack yesterday, and came in 4th (of a mere 11) for $0. KQ runs into AA 4-handed with a Q on the flop and an aggressive chipleader. Next time.

Aw hell, I'm off the Mookie top 25... now I really need to pick up my game.


8 ears of corn, about 10 peaches, a box of strawberries, 3 oranges, pint of cucumbers, some tomatoes, squash, deli-sliced elk, boar bacon, and probably more stuff I'm forgetting... another weekend of farmer's market and organic box to get through. Fruit smoothie, peaches, tomato-cucumber sandwich, and some corn of course eaten so far...

Delicious meal on Saturday, thanks again to my co-cook best friend. Lemon & thyme roasted chicken, mustard potatoes, spinach and summer peas, and blueberry cobbler for dessert. Which reminds me, I still have some roasted cherry tomatoes to devour.

Which brings me to the whole diet thing. Weight and shape haven't shifted due to excuses to eat and late nights of late. I've also been lazy... a KEY to any diet is writing down what you're eating. It brings the calories into focus with minimal effort. So for my own benefit, I may use this space for such purposes.

Ie.- Today so far - 1 peach, 2 tiny yellow plums, mug of coffee, salad (romaine, chicken, cordon bleu chunk of chicken, grape tomatoes, chickpeas, real bacon bits, cheddar cheese, feta, cucumber, sundried tomato-wrapped cheese, roasted red pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, balsamic vinaigrette), about 10 large cherries.

No idea yet on dinner... probably corn on the cob (maybe two ears), and possibly elk on rye with some smokey mustard and butter.

And see? Just writing it out made me realize how much better I could have done on that salad. Why put the bacon on (other than bacon = awesome)? Three types of cheese? The cordon bleu was delicious though.


Had an epiphany last week that in hindsight was totally obvious. I just can't bring myself to read through financial news ad nauseum like most people in my workplace... but I will spend copious amounts of time reading poker blogs. So I've started subscribing to various finance blogs! Mostly Canadian ones, but still... I feel like an idiot for not doing it sooner. Some of the key stuff brought down to brass tacks, and a few under-the-radar bits sneak through too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun With Craigslist

This guy makes his own fun. He wanted to see what happens if he posted "I found some money" on Craigslist. Then he had some fun with the scammers who responded.

Alpa Chino Chinos

I saw Tropic Thunder last night. One VERY funny movie. I liked it more than Pineapple Express, and is probably the best spoof that's been out in years. It's NOT, however, a war movie spoof, but a shot at the movie industry. The blackfaced Robert Downey Jr. is an obvious jab at method actors and those who physically change for a role. If that wasn't enough, Ben Stiller's Simple Jack is a sledghammer to the cranium about actors playing disabled people for Oscars. The thing is, if you have at least 3 or 4 functioning brain cells, you'll see these "controversial" characters for what they are - digs at the industry, not literal jokes at the expense of race or disability. And they're funny in that regard.

The opening trailers alone were brilliantly funny and started off the movie with a theatre practically in tears.

Sure, there were a couple slow parts, but nothing interminable. Plus, Nick Nolte plays great with a flamethrower.

Throw in some brilliant cameos, and Tom Cruise in his best role in... a long damned time (and his funniest ever), and it's worth the price of admission. Unless you don't like laughing that is.


Then I got home, played The Mookie and went out 22nd when I put someone I don't know on AK when I held 99...

UTG limps, I raise to 4x the BB + antes with the nines. I get called by a guy who's played $1 SnG strategy all night long (UTG minraise = AK, which he'd limp-call all the way down with, 4x raise re-raise? 66 is good for a call, etc.), and then a short all-in call happens after him. UTG flat calls.

Flop comes 46T rainbow or something similarly unthreatening. UTG instantly pushes over 7k into the 6k pot (1.5k side). I think about folding my remaining 3.1k before replaying. Limp UTG? Flat-call a raise, call, all-in call? I put them on AK. I call. $1 SnG instacalls all-in. Cards come over and UTG has QQ? $1 SnG has 77, and the short all-in has A9o. Just to finish it off, another Q comes on the river.

Bad call by me? Obviously in hindsight, but I had a read and went with it, so I don't regret the call. 77 was getting better than 4:1 to call I think, so it's hard to fault him. The A9o... he was short and desperate. The QQ though... wow. Either tricky and ballsy or just plain stupid. LIMP QQ UTG? Flat call a raise and two calls? Who the hell wants to bring QQ into a 4-way pot? The push looks (now) like "Oh shit, I'm a fucking moron who got lucky on this flop, maybe I can get rid of Ax with a push." At the time, it smelled like two overs to me (I mean, why push your set on that board?), but not an overpair. First read I've had dead wrong in a while.

Ah well, I logged off and called it a night. Okay, I played Gears of War for an hour and THEN called it a night. I haven't a clue who won, but Waffles was once again doing quite well when I left. I imagine he bubbled.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


So I went ahead as planned. Corn on the cob, pork, vegetables.

You know what corn looks like, so I'll spare you the pictures. Just look in the archives if you really need some internet corn. Oh sweet Jeebus am I punny.

Alright, here's the sauce (good for one pork chop):

1/2 large orange
1 small peach (peeled)
Brown sugar (I just tossed some in... 1-2 tbsp?)
Pinch of habanero powder
A dash or two or three or whatever of your favourite hot sauce (I used Susie's Original, one of my favourites)
Black pepper
pinch of salt

- Zest the orange half
- Juice the orange half
- Cut peach into chunks
- Put everything in a small pot

Mash the peach up with a potato masher, stir up the mix, and put the pot on medium heat. Any remaining peach chunks will break down as it heats. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce until a little bit syrupy. Turn to low and simmer a bit more.

I tossed the pork chop into the sauce and brought it up to my roof to BBQ. I cranked the Q to high, then dropped it to medium when I put the chop on. Grill to your liking, basting with the sauce as you go.

Oh, this is the view from the BBQs.

And this guy was hanging around too, along with a bunch of others flitting about.

When done, rest the chop while you steam the vegetables. I tossed the steamed vegetables with roasted garlic salt, some garlic powder, and some high-quality extra virgin olive oil before plating.

Here piggy, piggy.

The vegetables - beans, peas, yellow zucchini.

Delicious. The sauce was very sweet, citrusy, with just the right bit of bite in the sauce. The vegetables were very garlicy, which was a nice companion to the sweetness of the pork.

Catching Up

Is it really August 12th already? Damn, I should get off my ass and do some things... like my taxes.

Summer's been fairly lazy, which generally suits me fine, but it's been at the expense of my disposition, sanity, and fitness level. So I'm slowly starting to turn that around. I'm playing less poker, but replacing it with other leisure activities (video games, movies, drinking... I didn't say I was improving the QUALITY), which strangely enough is creating a feeling of accomplishment. Why? Because I have STACKS of games, movies, books, and yes, booze, that are being neglected. It makes me feel like a spoiled pack rat. I have all these things, but I never use them.

I've also started exercising daily again. It's only been 3 days so far, and I won't feel like I'm actually in a groove until at least 2 weeks of consecutive effort. It's a fitness ladder idea, where small reps of simple exercises are done until they're not challenging (usually 3 days - 1 week), and then reps are increased. It's worked for me in the past, and I imagine it will again now. I miss being in the same neighbourhood as "in shape".

With that comes dieting. I'm lucky to fall into the world of the "guy" diet. Stop eating crap. Okay, I'm drinking a coke right now, but it's my first pop in... probably weeks. I don't cut back on meals, I just alter them a bit (lower fat, more veggies, bake instead of fry, etc.), and I deal with snacking by (a) reducing the amount of snacking I do, and (b) switching to healthier snacks (ie.- baked pea pod "chips", carrot sticks, fruit, fruit, and more fruit). Last week I hit over 178lbs, which is a high-water mark for me (back to 175 today), when I should be around 155-160. I'm not even weight-obesessed, but it's all sitting in front, which isn't that attractive nor good for the shape of my shirts.

And let's be honest here - dieting isn't that difficult if you actually commit to it. We're nothing more than processing factories. As long as the calories in are less than the calories out, we lose weight. It's a matter of having some idea what we're eating. Even sitting on our ass all day burns a few thousand calories, what with the heart beating, eyes blinking, lungs breathing, and right hand moving in a furious vertic... never mind.

Let's segue right into food, shall we? I've been incredibly neglectful in my food posting. It's largely because my cameras are all of two rooms away from my kitchen, zipped up in a camera bag. Oh, and also because my meals have been generally unexciting.

My friend and I are splitting a weekly organic produce box, which means a ton of vegetables and fruit every week that last all of 7 days max before going bad (the downside of organics). I'm mostly keeping up, but I think I'm going to lose the yellow beans soon.

Recently - all veggie stir fries (no rice, no noodles) for 3 days (due to large veggie inventory). Sprouts, carrots, water chestnuts, bok choy, onion, garlic, snow peas, peppers, soy sauce, spice, etc.. One had some REALLY bland steak.

Granted, the pizza and caesar salad on Sunday was freakin' awesome. Again, best friend over means more can be done in less time. An easy pizza crust, sauce, chard, vidalia onion, honey garlic elk sausage, crumbled elk burger, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan reggiano... soooo good. An excellent caesar dressing (mayo, fresh lemon juice, capers, anchovy, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, garlic, olive oil, all in a food processor) on the salad... yah. Oh, and a fantastic bottle of 2003 Catena Alta Malbec (I find it sad that I have only 2 bottles left... and about 5 of the Cabernet Sauvignon which I should get to). I love that wine.

I imagine tonight will involve vegetables - beans, peas, squash, peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, corn, onions, and more. I also have peaches, plums, watermelon, orange, lemon, wild blueberries, mangoes, banana, and strawberries kicking around... oh, and some romaine and a little bit of that caesar dressing. Stuff that needs eating. So how I deal with that?

Would a minestrone or vegetable soup be out of the question? It IS August, so that seems a bit much. Maybe some sort of gazpacho? Naw, I'm just not a cold soup fan.

I'll start simply enough - the last cob of corn + boiling water + sugar + milk... topped with butter and salt.

The fruit can become a smoothie or compote. Likely smoothie.

So, there's the rest of the veggies. Medley? Steam 'em up and toss them with a little olive oil and garlic? Raw vegetable salad? Stuff a chicken breast with some of them?

I MAY have a pork chop or two in the freezer. Hmmm... grilled orange pork chop, vegetable medley, fruit smoothie. Corn on the cob to start. That could work quite nicely. I may even wander up to the BBQs for the grilling.

Okay, enough blogging, back to work.

LPR Take 2

I think the LPR game needs that radio thing working sometime soon.

Bubbled in 4th last night after Tragedy got his revenge after countless suckouts by yours truly. I runner-runnered 2 pair with KQ vs his AA early on, had my QJ beat his AJ in the middle, and finally lost with my KQd vs his AA all-in on an inside straight draw on the flop (I was totally pot committed by that point). I was going to fold it preflop to his re-raise, but then figured he might be on an underpair or Ax... and that I didn't really care about the $20 or whatever it was for 3rd, so I called hoping to catch any part of the flop. Terrible play by me, but I was donking it up huge all game.

I hear IT won it... congrats on winning your own damned tournament. Fix! FIX!!!! I kid, he played a pretty good game and should have eliminated me at least twice. Of course, I should have eliminated him once earlier on but folded to two all-ins... so we're evenish :)

Transit Curse

I give up.

Ever since I started taking public transit regularly (university), I've been cursed by it.

I admit, I more often than not run things to the wire. I'm running out the door to catch the last train possible to get in before it's FAR too late. The problem arises when I'm actually doing just fine time-wise.

For example today. I got up, got ready, and still had time to put some stuff together for breakfast. Then I casually walked to the station (around the corner from my place), realized I had no tokens, and as I was buying them hear this announcement - "Attention subway passengers, we're currently holding southbound at [the station due north of me]. Repair crews have been dispatched..." FUCK!!!!

So I bound up the stairs, run-walk a few city blocks to the other side of the loop (yay Toronto layout!), run down into THAT station, and just miss the southbound train there. The next train is right behind it, which just means it's stopping all the way down the line as it waits for the first train, and I stroll in as soon as the opening bell is going.

So now I look bad, when I should have been in earlier than usual. This shit happens all the time... it's no wonder I don't bother.

Or, I guess I could aim to be legitimately early/on-time and have a bigger window for these fuck ups, but that would be responsible.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Al Bash!

So I'm obviously going to the Bash in September. I mean, it's the weekend before my birthday (which is on the Monday), and I'm supposed to cook or something.

The question becomes - what's the plan fellow eastern Canucks bloggers? Do we set up a convoy down? Anybody flying? We should figure this stuff out!

Bitter Pill

In case you didn't notice, the Olympics kick off today. The opening ceremony is finally wrapping up (NBC will show it this evening in their usual brand of non-live Olympic coverage). Let me tell you, this year is a unique one if you're in Toronto.

This city is still bitter about losing the 2008 games to Beijing. It was our best bet, and best bid for the games, and losing it, combined with the 2010 Winter games happening in Vancouver, means we'll be out of the running for a while (some rumbling about 2016). We were supposed to get 1996 before that, but Atlanta bribed their way to the pick (the fact the IOC changed their judging protocols to try and eliminate bribery after that bid is proof enough).

The human rights abuses, treatment of Chinese athletes, doping allegations, pollution, shoddy last-minute building, cloud-seeding, shortcuts, etc., etc... ah, but only if it was here, then much of this controversy would be avoided and replaced with local bitching.

Just shut up already! We lost the bid what, 7 years ago? Move on! The pundits, the columnists, and yes, the bloggers, won't let it go.

This years Olympics could be the most entertaining in years! China's pulling out all the stops to look advanced, proper, friendly, and perfect. Protestors and earthquakes seem to be bucking that.

Although I would have liked to see the waterfront revitalization come into play here instead of the piecemeal crap they still haven't managed to get right. Glad there isn't the traffic though.


Speaking of dissapointment - The Taste of the Danforth is this weekend in Toronto. What was once a great street festival with cheap eats, local flavour, and a fun atmosphere is now a corporate shillfest with overpriced sub-par eats, warm beer, no seating, and a lack of locals (since they wisely leave town for the weekend). A shame really. Between this and the Beaches Jazz Fest, I'm beginning to worry about the street festivals in my city. Maybe it's time to seek out the smaller ones. Then again, we still have Nuit Blanche and some cool Luminato stuff... maybe when things start off as corporate-sponsored events, they become harder to destroy, since there's so little soul to begin with.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Nothing like waking up to a story about the dumbasses at PETA to start your day.

The morons in charge have struck again - comparing the recent Manitoba bus attack to killing animals. I actually refuse to visit the PETA site (the link leads to a CBC story about it) because I don't want them to have my traffic. Let's see, a 22 year-old guy who was apparently well-liked by everyone is minding his own business, listening to some tunes on the Greyhound as he heads to home to his folks... and a psycho stabs him to death, decaptitates him, cuts up more of his body, and possibly eats some of him. A cow isn't missed by the other cows, wasn't going to amount to more than a porterhouse and jacket, and would be extinct if it wasn't raised specifically to be clothing and steak. Yah, same fucking thing you douchebags. The best part is their responses that just make them sound like even more elitist assholes.

Then there's my fine city. 1) They're eliminating the street parking on a major city road (Bloor, between Church and Avenue) to put in more sidewalk, street lights, and other pedestrian-friendly changes. This is good. 2) They are selling chunks of the sidewalk to businesses so they can create lay-bys for valet parking, loading/unloading, etc.. This MIGHT be okay... I mean, if they're widening the sidewalks first, then it's still a win for the pedestrians (something the people railing against this seem to miss). But this comment from a councillor is... idiotic.

"Pusateri's asked for it and they paid for it," says Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "That's public use, isn't it? They're the public."

Pusateri's is a high-end grocery store in the most expensive shopping district in Toronto. I HOPE Kyle Rae was being saracastic and it was lost in the print. If he was, he's my new hero. If not, he should go work for PETA as a professional tool.

I get the feeling there'll be more... it's just feeling like that kind of day.

Oh, I saw Pineapple Express last night - cute movie. Definitely laugh-out-loud funny at parts, but could have done with a bit more editing (some scenes are a bit too long). Overall a worthwhile flick, but not Superbad good.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Client Changes

Tao's 5th was my first time on Poker Stars in a few weeks. This necessitated a double upgrade of the client software. My reactions:

Wha? It's black now?
Hey! New themes!
What's this red button? Oooo! A USEFUL hand replay option!

"Now if only they'd improve the chatbox... it'd be Full Tilt I guess. With a better bet slider." <- Me, 9:29:45 in the Tao 5th.

"OMG! FT finally fixed their slider!" <- Me, 15 seconds later in the Skill Game when the slider config popped up on Full Tilt.

I like the changes. Especially the slider on FT and replay option on Stars. In fact, the clients are so close together now in functionality, it got me wondering if they'd ever merge to make a super-mega site! Nothing like lack of competition in an unregulated business.


Congrats to Pauly for getting 519 runners for Tao's 5th birthday tournament. I have no idea who won because I went out 214th after a total mental shutdown.

I'd been floating around the bottom, but staying alive when I saw JJ. I raised, committing myself, and then FOLDED with 310 chips left to a re-raise. Why? Because I was also playing the Skill game and hit "fold" without realizing it was the same hand I'd raised earlier. FUCK!

Next hand, JQo, I'm all in and lose. What a moron.

That said, the play overall was absolutely TERRIBLE, but for that buy-in and that number of players, I'm not surprised.

I also played the Skill Game after PirateLawyer talked me into it. I told him I was committing 1/6th of my FT bankroll to play, so I'd better win.

I came in 3rd for a $31 profit, plus a couple bucks for KOs. I still hate HORSE. I can't believe how many times I sucked out or just got crazy hands with mediocre holdings. I went from dead last to 1st place at the final table in about 5 hands at one point.

But the game got plenty fun once we were down to 4. TBA, NumbBono, and some other dude (ezemlime or something?) were getting tired and bored... Numb and I must have bounced from last to first a half dozen times as we kept giving away chips and taking them back. Everyone was chatting it up again and that helped with the boredom that is limit razz.

Mookie tonight, but I have plans to go see Pineapple Express, so I'll likely miss it. Unlike the LPR game on Monday, I don't plan to donate and not play. Someone beat Waffles early, okay?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Some Links

Attention and awareness in stage magic: turning tricks into research. A fascinating article using magic to study how human perception and cognition works. Once I'm done reading it, I may actually be able to find a means of relating it to poker.

An award winning parking garage. Optical illusions used as a means of direction through an otherwising confusing maze of a garage. I find this sort of thing tremendously cool.

Return of the Week

It was a long weekend up here, and it came at just about the right time.

Heading into it, I had a feeling I'd find myself busy, even though I had no plans beyond a football game Friday night. I wasn't wrong.

Friday was the Argooooooooooooooooooooos game, which wasn't terribly exciting, but we were 15 rows back of the cheerleaders, and there was much beer. Pre-game we went to a nearby pub. It turns out they were closing down for 3 weeks, and therefore were short on booze supplies. My martini went from Tanquery Ten to regular Tanquery, which is perfectly acceptable. However, they had only Stella and Carlsberg on tap, with a bottle selection that sounded like the stuff they couldn't sell because it was crap. My friends were nonplussed but survived nonetheless.

Post-game we wandered to a more distant bar, and I ran into an old high school friend on the way. It turns out I missed another mini-reunion a couple months ago... which I don't really regret all that much.

Saturday was highly delicious. I met up with my best friend to hit our usual farmer's market far too late to be of use. Some stuff was picked up and then it was off for more supplies (bagels for us, cat stuff for my cats). In our continued search for quality veggies, we went to St. Lawrence market... marking the first time we'd been there on an early Saturday afternoon. This is key because it meant the St. Lawrence farmer's market was still on. What a freakin' cornucopia of cheap, quality, local stuff. Weighed down by bags of veggies, we continued to the market proper where exotic salts, sauces, cheeses, and meats were procured. To say we went overboard would be an understatement.

As an aside - I haven't had raspberries that fresh and sweet since I lived at my folks and could pick them in the back yard.

With such a bounty of food, dinner had to be made. It was fantastic. Roast veggies as one side, a fantastic roasted squash dish as the other. Both of these wonderfully complimented the buffalo steaks with a great earthy dry rub.


Sunday was my usual dim sum meeting, iced tea lemonade, and some aerobie tossing in the park... is there a better way to enjoy a beautiful day? Oh yah, that was finished with a drink and dinner at the pub.

Monday was a day to sleep until I got out of bed. I did very little and then visited the family for my brother's birthday. Of course, this meant that I got to bbq the porterhouse steaks while mom worked on the sides. I may have finally gotten the hang of the new grill there.

My other brother also made it home, where we talked about his upcoming trip to Vegas (his first jaunt with friends). He plans to only play poker, and at 23 doesn't have the bankroll for more than a bit of 1/2 or some cheap donkey tournaments. I pointed him to the MGM (where he's staying) and Venetian for the casg games, but I imagine he'll go wherever his friends end up. In fact, we had a decent discussion about Vegas in general, since he has no idea what it's like (he was there once before, but was underage and with parent, which some might argue is a slightly different experience). We might even make it out to Niagara before he heads south of the border so he can experience some live casino play in a less initimidating environment. Brings a tear to my eye ;).

Poker for the whole weekend, in a word, sucked. I think I cashed in 2 single-table turbo SnGs out of a bunch played (bubbled most of the rest), and just cashed in an $11 90-man SnG for a whopping $18. I played one big MTT (the Sunday 50-50) and that lasted 29 minutes.. of which I sat out 15. A lot of this was my own terrible play, but a few donkey calls by my opponents that caught didn't help. As such, my FT bankroll is now decimated.

And now, back to the grind for 4 days before the next weekend. I'm feeling oddly productive... but I doubt anything will come of it.

Tuesday Pimpage

Like you don't already know about Tao of Poker's 5th birthday tournament tonight. Whatever, here ya go:

I'm signed up, now I just have to rememeber to open the Stars client before 9pm EDT.

The Skill Game is tonight too at 9:30. It's double-stack HORSE, which I despise. I may show up regardless though. I mean, I like 2 of the 5 games involved. That's 40%, or a coinflip if you're a blogger.

I also "played" in the Live Poker Radio game last night. I showed up at about 10:45, pretended I was still sitting out, and finally pushed my tiny blinded-down stack with A9d to Numbette's limp before me. She called with presto and I didn't improve. One active hand, I'm super-tight!

You know what the LPR game needs? RADIO! Yah yah, technical difficulties. These problems weren't around when it was BDR...