Friday, February 29, 2008

Big Tilt Upgrade

Mookie's got a list of the changes with the latest Full Tilt client update.

On top of that, a $100 bonus went out yesterday as an apology for all the outages last week. I didn't encounter any, but I'll take free money, especially with the BBT3 in play.

Let's review:

Tournament $$ - Okay, this good. Unregister from a tournament and get T$. BUT - does this now remove the mutitple-satellite profit centre? Do I now get T$ if I satellite more than once into the same MTT? Although it looks like you can convert T$.

Auto Top-Up - I'm surprised this wasn't already there.

Sit out/in next blind - Cool, saves me from accidentally playing an orbit more than I planned. Only applies to speed games though.

Player notes from lobby - I can definitely see how this comes in handy. "Total fish, play whenever you get the chance."

12 hour self-exclusion - Yah, that might have come in handy a couple times.

Satellites end when top prize reached - ABOUT FREAKIN' TIME! No more "oh, have we made it?" moments or "WHY ARE YOU FOLDING?" fights. Hoy will be happy.

More blind-posting time - okay.

No All-in chatting - Return of Hoy-betting and reverse-Hoys! Although excellent means of inducing calls/folds, they were started because Stars doesn't allow chatting when there's an all-in. Now Tilt has it. It makes sense, but is annoying as hell in blogger games.

No observer chat in larger games - Booo-urns to this. I get it, but there's nothing like making it deep in a big MTT and having a sea of blogger railing you to the confusion of others. Not that I'd know.

No chat as bubble approaches in satellites - I'm not sure on this one. I mean, there's something to be said for the guy who says, "I only want the money, not the the seat." Although with T$ now, I guess this is necessary. Also, why take away the fun of typing "WTF?? Why would you bet at an empty sidepot! I had him beat you donkey! Don't you know how to play a bubble?"

Revamped windows - obviously a necessity due to the changes.


It appears I passed the 500 post mark about 5 posts ago. Cool.

A Rule: When asking yourself which game to play, if the thought starts with "I'm pretty drunk and tired..." the answer should automatically be NONE. Not, "a $22 SnG would be fine." Full Tilt made a point of telling me to go to bed by laying about 3 serious beats on me to knock me out in 6th.

Otherwise, no Riverchasers for me last night, although I checked in when they were down to 6, and I told CK that the guy I didn't know (Luridsomething) was going to win, simply because I had no clue who he/she was. Drunken prognostication rules!

But now, it's Friday. It's also February 29th... which is like a free day! Some people are all, "carpe diem" with the leap years. Those people annoy me.

I got nothing today. Maybe someone will write something to inspire me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Can Anyone Spare the U.S. a Dollar?

Came upon this article today. It details the US costs of the war in Iraq. It is rather eye-opening.

The skinny - $3 TRILLION.

Granted, it sets off a few bias alarms in my head, but the underlying ideas and concepts that are touched upon are scary.

Can it all be laid at the current administration's feet? Well... mostly. But the part about the horrible accounting practices of the DoD makes me think there are historical issues here. Nobody questions the cost of war when Japanese fighters are dropping bombs on Hawaii. Nobody said "hold on a sec" when the world rolled into Afghanistan. But as soon as Iraq was invaded, unprovoked, questions started to get asked. Whoops.

I also mightily suggest checking out Julius Goat's latest. The goat speaks politics. A man of words writing about a man of words. Well-said Groucho.

MORE Poker

Seems I'm back to writing about poker a touch more frequently these days. It is perhaps ironic that I just changed the subheading of the title up there a couple days ago. I may have to change it again.

Anyway, nailed the $75 token in the frenzy last night. Found Bayne at my starting table, and he went down when his JJ ran into a AK minraiser who caught one of the 17 aces in the deck. Bdidde and Chitwood made it to my table too. I'm pretty sure at least 3 or 4 bloggers got a token this time around.

Bayne commented in the girly chat after that a minraise almost always = AK, and they always catch. PirateLawyer also commented to me that he's getting nailed by races these days. It's been a strange week. I think I've lost to more 4-flush and 4-straight runner-runners online recently than I've ever seen. Money in on the flop, me way ahead, and then that sinking feeling comes along. A few rivered UGLY 2-pair, and the odd turned or rivered trips too, but those are more common.

I just always find it odd when multiple people run into similar variance at the same time.

Anyway, $30 to get into The Big Game and game 1 of BBT3: Look Who's BBTing Now! isn't a bad start. I've also got 3 tier 1's ready for various MATH appearances. But I'm running about 50% in those at the moment after I couldn't win one to save my life yesterday. Still ahead of the buy-in game though.

With 3 Big Game's (I think), and 13 MATHs, I'm not done in the token games yet. Hell, I don't know why I stopped playing in them regularly anyway.

Also took down a $22 SnG, which more than covered any losses from those failed attempts. But when I calculate my ROI for the BBT3, I'll be including all failed token runs in the number... it's only fair.


Hoy has a post up (from yesterday) about preflop bet sizing. I like when Hoy posts big long strategy posts, because it gives me something to read and nod to. Nothing he's got in there is new to me, and in fact is somewhat obvious if you spend a couple minutes thinking about the math. What it boils down to is - Be aware of the pot odds you're laying to your opponents preflop, and don't forget about antes.

Okay, that sounded harsh, which wasn't my intention. Actually, what I really like about Hoy's long strategy posts is that I usually find some OTHER bits of information he doesn't explicitly state that help me out. In this case it opened my eyes to a couple holes I've let develop in my game, and which explains my so-so performance of late.

I've really dropped my aggression of late. I look back at the past few days of play, including the weekend at Eh-Vegas, and I'm amazed at how weak-loose I've been. Calling in EP with unsuited one-gappers, limping with KQs in LP, calling behind insufficient preflop raises with vulnerable cards, etc.. I've been playing bored, distracted, unfocused poker. Hell, last night I had 3 tables open, was railing another one, had Peggle, 4 chat windows, my BBT3 spreadsheet up, and the TV on, with the occasional jump on the web to look for random things that I'd think of. I even forgot about BDR! I caught myself a few times just folding on the flop to 1/2 pot raises and then realizing I was open-ended with a backdoor flush draw, or wondering how the hell I was at the turn with the shit in front of me and a pot that large. I need to tighten the screws if I want a shot at one of those SEVEN WSOP seats Al has lined up for us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poker + Booze

Let's kick off with the poker stuff.

Last night was interesting.  I purposely skipped the Skill Game, despite being interested by $12 HOE.  Instead I decided to focus on tokens for BBT Cubed.  When it came to lvl 1, I couldn't miss, going 3-for-3 with no problem at all (3 pocket aces at one final table was fun too, including 2 in a row followed by AK).  The lvl 2 frenzy however, that was a different story.  I played a decent game, and then found red cowboys in the SB.  Cutoff raises big, and I push over the top, happy with a fold.  Unfortunately, Mr. Raiser decides his ATo HAS to be good and calls.  2 spades on the flop,  and I know I feel that good ol' "here it comes" feeling.   Spade on the turn, spade on the river, and I'm done because he has the Ts.  Sweet baby jeebus did that suck.

I also played a couple satellites to the 50-50, but got smacked down in the $2 rebuy with 28 left (top 12 paying seats), and then went out 3rd in a 3-handed push-or-fold fest in a $7 SnG satellite.  I would have been better off going all-in every hand at that point than waiting to be first to act.

After the 4-flush in the frenzy, I got up and did a few things around the house to relax.  Then I came back and played 3 or 4 $1 turbo SnGs for tilt therapy.   Some $1 donks no doubt have notes on me now that say things like "will push all-in on first hand with nothing" and "will bluff at paired flop with 9-high".  Or maybe not, since they're playing $1 SnGs.  Good fun all around.


Fear.  I think it was Kajagugu that mentioned a conversation going on in at Pokernews about Stu Ungar calling for a pot heads-up with only T-high and winning. This got me thinking.

It's not uncommon to see someone call down with A-high, or even K-high on occasion. We've seen people go to the river with bottom pair. I seriously hope everyone here has at least TRIED to take down a pot with absolutely nothing in their hand on the turn. Yet how often do we fold on the river to even a small bet because our suited connectors missed their draws?

Yes, this is a safe move. If you're playing with 9Th and the board has missed you completely, you lose to any J, Q, K, A or pair. Better to fold your nothing than donate more chips. But what if your inital read had them on crap? Say it's a blogger game and you put them on the hammer? Or you've seen them play low connectors hard pre-flop in the past and bet their draws?

Let's say you're in the SB with 9Ts. The cutoff raises 3 or 4x the BB, and you call. Your read here could easily be "standard steal move." Say it's someone you KNOW can steal with absolute crap, or who loves 56d and has played it (or something similar) in position in the past. Flop comes 47J with two diamonds. You check, and they bet 1/2 the pot. You've seen them bet draws before and figure they're on one now, so you call. Turn is a 2s, helping nobody, you check, they check. Now you're positive they're on a draw with 56. River is an Qh and you check again. They bet the pot, or even overbet it. How many of us can call here, with only T-high in our hand?

Immediately we start thinking of ways we're beat. Any 2,4,7,J, or Q beats us, any pocket pair beats us, Ax, or Kx beats us. We have to fold!! But wait... this entire hand you put them on low connectors and a now busted draws. Why has your read changed? They could just as easily be trying to take the pot here and now. If they wanted a call, would they bet so much? You've read them for one thing the whole time, and now you've tossed this read out the window from one bet that could very easily be an attempt to take the pot. But a fold would be seen here 99% of the time, because fear has just changed our minds.

Which leads to reads being remembered. Last night I threw a read of mine right out the window in the $2 50-50 satellite and it cost me. A LP player minraised, and I had QQ in the SB. I automatically thought "he's strong... AA, KK, maybe AK". I called and in fact almost folded because of the alarm bells going off in my head. Flop came down 8-high rainbow, and I bet. LP raised, and I re-popped all-in, to get autocalled by... AA. It was as if my memory went away for the 2 seconds required for me to push. As soon as I hit the raise button, I said, "oh shit... KK or AA?" I had a dead-on read pre-flop and threw it away when the board looked so good for an overpair.

I've seen it time after time in games, recaps, and discussions. People put someone on a hand, and then forget it or alter it drastically post-flop. "I put him on an A with a mid-kicker, so my AK was ahead. Board comes AT8 and he bets and I call..." both T and 8 fall under "mid-kicker", yet the player neglects this part of their read and is pissed that they got beat by 2 pair. Or a range gets neglected. "I put him on a mid pair, or a draw. Flop comes KJ2 rainbow and he bets the pot, I autofold my JT." Why?? Nothing you put him on before matches that flop, yet you caught a piece that beats the initial range. Did KK suddenly become a mid-pair? KJ is a draw?

A huge part of this game is reads and playing without fear. Ungar was fearless and a genius with a photographic memory. Daniel Negreanu and Phil Helmuth use their uncanny reading abilities to be hugely successful. These are supreme exceptions in the poker world, but to ignore what abilities you've developed on your own simply because the odds are bad can hurt you immeasurably. As has been said many times before, scared poker is losing poker.


Now the Booze part. I went down a rabbit-hole of links today and came upon a bunch of coffee-based cocktails from Illy, a frozen Mojito recipe, and more. So tonight, pre-Mookie, I think I'll have to do some experimenting. I think my base of choice will be... tea. I have a drawer full of teas, from the mundane to the exotic. I'll have to figure some stuff out. I'd do coffee, but I don't want to be up all night.

Dinner... I've got some bread, some elk, and the means to make a quick gravy. Do up some quick fries while I'm at it, and that's a meal. Leftovers are awesome.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blogger Food Porn!

Here we gooooo...

The first course... soup. Butternut squash and roasted garlic bisque.

It seems that people were enjoying themselves.

This is what the elk looked like a couple hours before it was served.

Gonna be sooo good.

Three amigos.

Now they're seasoned. Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. By hand. In a mortar and pestle.

Ready for the oven.

And out of the oven. Damn did this smell good.

A touch more roasty.

The main course. Elk, vegetables, mashed potatoes. Ugly plates.

Now THAT is a pairing.


And finally, dessert. Crème brûlée ice cream.

You have to use real vanilla folks. Delicious.

And THAT was the meal you missed out on if you didn't come.

Not food related, but since Kat's got her side of this pic up, I figure that mine should be too.

Look Who's BBT Now!

Call it what you will:


It doesn't really matter.... BBT III:Look Who's BBT Now! Is kicking off THIS SUNDAY at MiamiDon's Big Game!

Al has hooked us degenerates up once again. With SEVEN WSOP seats available, and some not insignifcant cash too! Sweet Gophers on a Spit is that some goooood eatin'.

55 Events (Monday-Thursday + Big Games) over 13 weeks. Over $1000 to buy-in to them all. Structure isn't figured out yet, but it's probably safe to assume there will be a TOC, a Leaderboard tournament, and the same point structure as last time. I intend to get in a littler earlier than the LAST game of the series this time. Perhaps this will actually get me to focus.

See you in the Token Frenzy tonight!

Pics Later

My camera battery died while I was taking pictures of dinner on Saturday. I haven't gotten around to charging it, and I don't have a CF card reader. Once the battery's charged, I'll get the pics up. Likely sometime tonight.

Tonight will also be when I finally finish the dishes and other cleanup from Saturday. Bloggers aren't necessarily a messy group, but 15 nuns would take me some time to tidy up after.

That said, I'm glad I've got plenty of leftovers. Even after giving a few servings of leftover soup and 1/2 an elk roast to my friend, I've still got 1/4 of a roast and at least 3-4 meals of soup left. Plus some potatoes and veggies. Lots of ice cream too.

Yah, I'll start that diet any day now.


Here's a story from Eh-Vegas.

We were walking from the hotel to dinner on friday night. Along the way, the group split a bit. A group in the front, another straggling, and me alone in the middle. Some guy is standing in the street trying to hail cabs that already have passengers, and yells out randomly "get me a cab!"

Then he wanders over to me. "Hey man! Get me a cab! I've got like 10 minutes and I'm done!" I look around, no cabs.

"Don't think I can help you man."

"I need a cab man, I've got too much money."


"I'm serious, check it, I'm strapped. I've got a gun."

He opens his jacket to reveal a gun in his belt. I'm confused, but hardly worried, because he has a gun and too much money.

"I don't see any cabs."

"Portuguese man. Serious. The boss though, he's Italian. He's serious. I'm getting out man. 10 minutes, that's all I got and I'm done. I need to get there."

"Sorry man."

"Alright, keep it real man."

Fist comes out, I meet it with mine. Don't turn down a friendly gesture from a guy packing heat and obviously not entirely there.

He wanders off into the street again, and yells "get me a cab!"

Kat and Joanne wander up and I say, "I don't know what he's on, but keep it the fuck away from me."


While I hear the Pro-EH-dure was fun for those involved, the Friday night visit to the Brass Rail was somewhat dull. Dancers who have the enthusiasm of a wet boot and don't venture into your private area until one unfortunate drops $180 on one of them first can have that effect. Next time? We get a limo to Whiskey A-Go-Go's in Concorde. Waaaaaaay more fun.

Not that we didn't make our own fun after a little while on Friday.


Saturday I spent getting things ready. The tourney at the club was fun, even if BamBam flopped his set of 3's over my fishhooks. What he fails to mention is that as soon as we flipped over our cards (all-in preflop), he says, "I'm winning this one, just so you know." Followed by the 3 coming down HARD. Crippled me. Soon thereafter we merged to the FT and CK knocked me out of our second consecutive blogger live game with HER JJ vs my QJ (I pushed my small stack in early). D'oh.

The cash game (1/2) was equally fun, with a bunch of the crew, plus a couple of the club's staff/players who didn't feel like hitting the 5/5 game going on one table over. I was up for a bit before donking off a healthy portion to Kat's nut straight over my baby.

Iakaris showed up shortly after we all wrapped up. Kat, Jo, and I stuck around to chat with the good Dr. for a bit before calling it a night. The only Iak sighting of the weekend unfortunately.


Sunday was Niagara. I swung between donkey play and solid play. I made a few great calls, with one being useless when VinNay rivered 2 pair after I agonized on whether or not he had the straight or just a flush draw (neither) to my overpair. That stung. Mostly because I only called instead of listening to the voice that was yelling at me to push.

AA twice btw, both times when I was below my initial buy-in to more than double up. CK couldn't take 'em down with T7s. The other time, some donk decided that pushing with QQ into a 994 board was a good idea. No way he had a piece of that after pre-flop action.

But I ended up down after playing on tilt for a bit. I eventually decided to just have fun and keep the table chatter going at my end. I played the table entirely wrong, but had fun nonetheless. Final hand?

QQ. Raise before me to 12, I re-raise to 25, some prepubescent kid goes all-in short, raiser puts me all in, I call. K7KQ7 board... prepube has JT or some crap, and the raiser has... AKo!! Suck, re-suck, re-re-suck! I yell "BOOYA!" and show my cards nonetheless, and the say "I hate that river... I'm done." I stand up, put on my coat, and turn to leave when I hear "hey! why are you giving him the chips?" The dealer bought my act and pushed the pot to me! HAHAHA!! I, being far too honest for my own good, and knowing everyone at the table knew what was what, pointed out that kings full of 7's beats queens full of kings and left.


Skill game is tonight. I don't know if I'll be there or not. HOE ain't bad, but I've got shit to do, and haven't had enough sleep of late. Need to rest up for BBT3: Electric Boogaloo. Let me say, if you thought what Al had lined up for the Aussie millions was good... you ain't seen nothing yet.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Here, go read about the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Here it is in short for the lazy:

The incompetent tend to overestimate their abilities and standing, while the competent tend to underestimate their abilities, but are pretty good at figuring out where they fit in.

I'm pretty sure this can be applied to poker, I'm just not sure how.

Oh, wait... it's blatently obvious. If it's not, you're not paying nearly enough attention at the tables.


As my alarms blared this morning, I was dreaming that it was 9:30am, and I was officially screwed in terms of work. In my dream I knew that I wasn't getting out of my place until 10:00 at the earliest, and yet I still didn't get out of bed. I figured I was fired.

Then my brain woke up a little bit more and made me look at a real clock. It was 7:20, and I had oodles of time. My body, however, decided it was exhausted and I wasn't going anywhere. Such is the morning after the end of Eh-Vegas 2008.

There will be pictures. In my case, mostly of food and possibly people enjoying it.

Drinking, dinner, drinking, being told we had to leave the hotel by a couple besuitted members of the staff, unenthusiastic strippers, cooking, cleaning (I hear others were brunching and checking out the Eh-fternoon shift at this time), feeding, drinking, pokering, Niagara, more poker, lots of losing, and tons of fun, all surrounded by good conversation, good times, and good people. If you weren't here... your loss.

To Al, Riggstad, CK, IG, Joanne, BamBam, Pebbles, DonKaa, QueenK, Carson, SuzyQ, Matt, PokerTart, Bankwell, VinNay, Iakaris, and anyone I missed - thanks for coming, and I hope you all had fun.

To Kat - great job organizing! Thanks you SO much for putting forth the effort yet again. The only thing I'd change? Somehow find a way to stop the weekend from ending... because today sucks ass in comparison to the past three days.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Flotsam

This post may possibly contain jetsam as well.

It is FRIDAY. Eh-Vegas kicks off TONIGHT! The best thing about Eh-Vegas? I don't have to go anywhere that isn't within walking distance! No airport security, no airport taxi lineups, no waiting for bags, no check-in... sweeeet.

So, no idea what the plan is for tonight outside of "eat someplace, go from there."

Although my plan also includes "do some groceries, go home, clean a bit more, and change". Very exciting I know.

As for tomorrow's Eh-fternoon shift plans, I'll of course be at home cooking for the rest of you degenerates.

What the hell is the song that's been trying to go through my head for a week? I've heard it twice, and both times promptly forgotten it. It's from the 80's, it's NOT "Hot Girls in Love" (which is what ends up going through my head) or "Hot-Blooded" but is along those lines... it's driving me nuts.

Minimal poker last night. 2 $22 SnG's, 3rd in one, and out by a douchebag in another. He seemed a touch miffed that I called his udnerpair bluff push with my TP earlier on. Annoying table... some dick who states "I should put your ass all-in" when I raise his BB from the button (which was stupid because with the few chips I had behind he had zero fold equity), and the aformentioned douchebag who when I put in a standard raise claims "payback time!" and pushes. The dick almost called, and then folded. I said "what the hell" with only a few chips behind and called with my 78s. Flopped a straight draw, but it didn't fill against his AKo. I laughed, because this tool is easy money in the future with moves like that.

Did I eat dinner last night? Right... rice stir fry. Elk sausage and fried potatoes the night before. Yum.

Dessert's coming in cone form tomorrow. Less cleanup for me.

Just discovered that work has finally banned YouTube. Now how can I keep up with witty financial videos?

Mmm... bacon double cheeseburger.... and frings. Lunch = yum.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Eh

As evidenced below - soup's done!

Forgive the mixed measurement systems. 9 lbs of squash, 3 1/4 litres of chicken stock, around 10 cups of other veggies, and a few other ingredients = one big pot of butternut squash and roasted garlic bisque. Good thing I made space in the fridge.

A couple litres of crème brûlée ice cream in the freezer.

I'm getting there. The roasts are slowly thawing. I'm glad I'm giving them a few days to do so.

Tonight - round one of cleaning. Round two will be Saturday, along with setup of tables, chairs, and various other accoutrements. Forgive my lack of placemats, I'm sure it won't be a problem.

Tomorrow - I plan to get home as early as possible, change, and head out to wherever my fellow degenerates are at the time. Let's figure out where we're eating. Everything else can go from there.

A couple more options on the "things to do" list:

- Icefest in the Bloor/Yorkville area is this weekend, which is pretty close to you people staying in the Sutton Place.

- Or if you're the morbid type, check out the devestation of the biggest fire we've seen in a while here. Huge plume of smoke over the city most of yesterday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sneak Preview

Pot Odds

I was over at ThinkingMan's blog, blathering on about how I thought his call for his entire stack with J8o was a dumb move. It was barely a correct move as dictated by pot odds, and this got me thinking a bit. I'm sure this is stuff everyone already knows, but I'm just thinking out loud, so to speak.

We all know what pot odds are. It costs you 500 to win 1500? 3:1. You're drawing with 2:1 against, you make the call, right?

What if the odds are a dead match? Or it's only slightly +EV to call?

Here lies the a key difference in a tournament that I think is often overlooked. In the example above at ThinkingMan's blog, based on his read and a lenient hand range, the odds were almost dead even, with a tiny EV in his favour. In a cash game, it might be worthwhile to take this, but in a tournament, I think you have to fold.

Pot odds can be simply seen as, "if I do this x number of times, will I make money?" 3:1 odds against means that for every 4 times you do something, you'll win once. So if the pot is laying you 4:1, then it makes sense to call. In real numbers:

Pot = 40
Call = 10
Odds 4:1

Your hand is 3:1 against to win, let's say the $10 puts you all-in.

If you can repeat this EXACT hand to this point 4 times, you'll win 4x your money once, and lose it all 3 times. So you'll lose $30, but win $40, putting you $10 ahead of just folding every time.

In a cash game, this makes a case for making the call. If you lose, you can reload. Eventually, you should be ahead if you keep making this play. That's all in the nature of grinding it out, no?

In a tournament though, you're finished if you don't catch. So your reward should be worth the risk. Where this comfort zone lies depends on the player and the situation. Obviously, if you have 1/2 an ante left behind, then you'll very likely call no matter what. If you have a huge stack, you might also call, because the reward is not only the chips, but the knockout of another player, bringing you that much closer to the money, plus the risk is much smaller. What if you're on the bubble? On the bubble of a 150-seat guaranteed WSOP entry satellite? 4 left in an SnG? I'll be careful not to delve into ICM here.

But what if you still have an M of 5 if you fold? Is it worth pushing a tiny edge and risking elmination? How does that factor into the math? 2:1 means that 67% of the time you're going to the rail. I don't know how many times I've come back from a low M to win a game because I was able to fold a losing hand instead of making the crying call. Or what if it's early on and the buy-in was relatively small? Some people are happy to push the small edges early for a chance to build a stack and go deep. Others will fold all day early on, waiting to be the big favourite and play that for maximum profit.

In short, I think that remembering what you're playing is something that is often overlooked. There's a difference between cash and tournament play. There's a difference between a $1 buy-in and a $10,000 buy-in (although there shouldn't be). There's a difference between an average stack, a small stack, and a monster stack. Poker is situational, and if you play every hand the same way, you'll eventually lose.

Eh-Vegas Progress

Wow, is it Wednesday already? Yikes.

Eh-Vegas kicks off in 2 days! I have to feed 20 people in 3!

Last night I did the grocery run. Bag of potatoes, bag of onions, bag of carrots, bunch of celery, herbs, garlic, and 8.5 lbs of butternut squash, and lots more. Let's say 1 box and 8 or 9 bags of groceries. I still need to pick up some mix and bread.

Ice cream was finished Monday. It's all frozen up.

Soup will be done either tonight or tomorrow. I'm so happy I have an immersion blender. If I'm late for the Mookie, blame the soup.

And of course, there's over 3kg of elk thawing in my fridge. My friend Alyce just put up a post extolling the health benefits of Elk. Look at that chart and tell me you aren't even more tempted... low fat, low cal, aaaaalllll kinds of tasty. You know you want it.

By the way - dinner last night was an elk burger with caramelized onions, sauteed garlic mushrooms, tomato, dill relish, sweet & smokey mustard, sun-dried tomato pesto, applewood smoked cheddar, and a fried egg, all on a fresh onion bun. I have more elk in my freezer than anything else (11 patties, 2 tenderloins, a small roast, at least a dozen sausages... plus the roasts and a couple packs of pepperettes in the fridge). I may have a slight addiction...

Anyway, it should be all ready to go in the oven come Saturday afternoon. Now I just need to make sure I've got the extra table, chairs, plates, bowls, and cutlery all together and setup by then.

Oh, and I have to clean my place somewhere in there too. The less cat hair floating around, the better.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All Skill

Okay... zero skill. Those who were watching are well aware of it. Once again, there was a deck, it hit me in the face, and this time I made the most of it, by taking down the MATH.

I didn't take any screen shots until towards the final table. I started off rough, dropping below 1000 chips pretty quickly. Then I fought back with position and aggression, lamenting my card death.

Let me step back just a second. This weekend was a disaster on the poker front. I spent nearly as much to get into the FTOPS ME as if I'd just bought-in directly. This wasn't supposed to happen (I had only dropped net $15 by Sunday afternoon), but the Super Turbo Satellites called, and when I said "I'm done," a Pro entered one, so I figured it was possibly the best chance anyone could have at taking the prize for knocking one out. I joined, won the thing (but didn't knock out the pro), and was in the ME. I played a tight, positional game, and blew it all with 110 to the money when I bet 5k with AQs UTG, got re-raised all-in, and then called against TT. No improvement, and I'm done and royally pissed off with myself. I walked away to avoid tilting away more money. I took down a $22 Turbo, lost another, called it a night, and then went up and down a bit today in the $22 SnGs and peeps. I bought in to the MATH and almost unregistered out of frustration with my game.

But I stayed in to have some fun, and as I said, nearly donked out early. Then I started hitting.

- AQ over A4 (turned straight) doubled me from 1k to 2k.
- A bit later QTc vs J9c all-in on a 9hQh6c board doubles me to 5k
- Presto flops a set and turns a boat to bring me to 8.6k (vs a paired 9?), this made me the table leader.
- My last hand at the table saw me get AQo vs AKo, A66 flop, Q turn, I go to over 13k, making me the chip leader.
- First hand at the new table and I knocked out my second player with KJ vs A9 on J4Q flop, 15k. I worked my way to 18k before this table broke.
- The hammer gets me to around 22k by cracking presto.
- I knock out my 3rd player (wishing it was a KO now) with AQh vs TT. A turn, Q river. 27k
- Up to 30k uncontested
- Dealt 44, raise, face a push of 3.5k. Not a big threat, I call to race. vs A5o, 44 holds up, 33.7k. Blinds are 120/240/25 at this point.
- Take out JEC II MD's 56o with 6Ts and a 798 rainbow flop. Another KO, setup... 37k. 150/300/25. Table breaks shortly thereafter. 2nd place is 15.7k.
- Final table as chip leader.

- Take out another with QTd vs A7c. T on the flop. 41k.
- Take a HUGE hit when I make a bad read on a K56 flop with 77. 4th place player all-in with 56 and I call. 28k, with 2nd now 27k
- First time I'm not chip leader in a while, as I fall 6k behind 1st.
- Back in the chip lead uncontested. I stayed here for good.
- JJ vs Fuel's AQ all-in preflop 5-handed. Set on the flop, boat on the turn. Fuel gone. Third time's a charm as there were two borderline hands earlier that I folded that would have taken him out. 52k, 200/400/50. 4 left.

- QQ goes down to K6o after I re-raise for the first time pre-flop 3-handed?? T66 board. Go figure. 40k.
- 3-handed goes for awhile. LJ comes within 2k of taking the chip lead from me at one point... for one hand.

- Climb back to 55k after turning a pair of 5's on a straight draw and beating another straight draw. Setup turn?
- 44 raise, called by LJ. 7sJdAd on the flop. LJ checks, I check. Turn = 4 = BINGO! LJ bets 5k into a 7k pot. I re-raise to 15k, LJ pushes for 9k more, I call. A9c no good and I'm at 77k.

- 3rd hand heads up, 80k vs 12.9k I see 78o, and jmathewson_III pushes. I decided to call, and see his A7o. Oops. But I'll still have around a 3:1 chip lead if I don't hit my 8. 8 on the flop! Nothing else helps and victory is mine!

So... I was catching like my name was Bayne and took out 8 players on the way.

292 Hands
19 pocket pairs:

22 x 2
33 x 2
44 x 2
55 x 2
66 x 3
TT x 3
QQ x 2

Funny, no AA or KK.

AK x 2 <- that seems low for me too
AQ x 8
AJ x 3

KQ x 4
KJ x 2
QJ x 5

6 hammers

And just for fun - 78 x 7, 3 of those s00ted.

That's 6.5% pp, 4.4% A-face, 3.8% paint.

Basically, I won a lot of races, sucked out on dominating hands a few times, and used my stack to make small gains and keep my chip count steady. Like I said... all skill... right?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Food It Up!

Okay, been a while. I just got knocked out of the Donkament after dominating performance of luckboxery. $10 rebuy to the ME starting... nowish. So I'll post about food! Note - the full-sized pics look much better. Go ahead and click.

So I have a few fillets of tilapia in my freezer. Tilapia is great as a base fish. I've used it wrapped in prosciutto with roasted red pepper, coated in spices, and now deep fried in a pretty kick-ass batter.

I changed the recipe a bit, by seasoning the dredging flour with dill weed, garlic powder, a bit of chili powder and some cayenne.

Damn good fries too. Follow the instructions in the link above.

As for the tartar sauce. Pretty simple stuff. Mayo, capers, dill relish (or pickles if you want), lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, some olive oil, a dash of hot sauce, and whatever else you want to put there. Mixed and left in the fridge while you make the rest.

That was last night. Tonight, I still had some leftover batter and flour. So I made up some onion rings. They should give these things away, it costs so little to make so many. 365ºF until golden (~3 min).

Rings ain't enough for dinner though, so I took my friend's advice and had a grilled cheese. Of course, this is me. So it was colby, 7 year-aged white cheddar, applewood smoked cheddar, and roasted garlic havarti, with double-smoked bacon and tomato.

Looks pretty good I think.

Can't forget something to dip the rings in. Chili mayo. Mayo, about 4 or 5 types of chili powders, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and chipotle hot sauce.

And just because, FRESH roasted coffee beans. By all means, compare these to whatever you buy pre-roasted. These are from over a week ago, when I roasted them up for work coffee.

And On It Goes

Ok, roasts are in stock, so I'll be heading to the store tonight to pick them up. Ice cream will be done this weekend (first batch is finished, 2nd batch will be cooked tomorrow and frozen Sunday). Soup ingredients and veggies for roasting will be purchased early next week and soup should be made by Thursday.

Saturday will involve roasting meat and vegetables, mashing potatoes, and making the yorkshire pudding once the meat is out of the oven. Kat - you've got the garlic bread handled, right?

Somewhere in there I'll restock whatever beer shortages I have. They should be minimal. I need to inventory my wine to see if I need something more suitable for the meal. Fuel suggested a Cab Bordeaux, and if there's any blogger I trust for wine selection, he's the man.

Of course, there's SoCo and copious amounts of other booze as well. That reminds me, I need to get some white grapefruit juice.

I'm just warning you now, you may have to eat off your laps. I have the space for everyone, but the seating/table availability could be tricky. I'm sure you'll manage. Or I could just buy a damned coffee table already...

Food Question

Okay meat people. Quick question re: Eh-Vegas. This may just be for my sake of "talking" it out.

Any preferences on the roast? Current options are:

Sirloin Tip
Eye of Round
Top Sirloin

Bearing in mind that it's elk, and therefore incredibly lean (ie.- ZERO marbling). All three make a decent oven roast. The trick lies in not overcooking, especially since I'll be doing multiple roasts simultaneously (tend to come in a 3lb range.. with 14+ people coming to dinner so far, that means 3 roasts likely).

Right now, I'm leaning towards the top sirloin. Eye of round tends to be tougher. If I was slow-cooking instead of oven-roasting, then this would be fine. Sirloin tip is also tougher than top sirloin, and not as textured. This leaves the top sirloin, where the only major drawback is that it can be touchy and easy to overcook. That said, I'll be monitoring the temperature constantly, so it shouldn't be an issue.

So at the moment, top sirloin is the leader. Any objections?

Hot Damn

Yah, there'll be a food post sometime re: last night's dinner. It was just fish and chips, but damn was it tasty, and deep-fried perfectly. Now I really need a working deep-fryer (the one I have is a combo fryer/steamer/slow-cooker... it doesn't get hot enough for frying, so I have to risk a pot). Yup, yet another specialized item that I'll use twice a year is on my list. Time to do some research.

Long weekend coming up, and me with minimal plans. I'll probably go see a movie or two (No Country For Old Me, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, There Will be Blood, Sweeney Todd, and Persepolis are all on my list), but will largely be playing poker.

Tonight is Kat's donkament, which I may or may not be in. I'll be around, but I often find that playing a $1 rebuy while playing other, more serious tables, can be distracting. I imagine I'll have the 50-50 going, maybe the 24 or 28k, an FTOPS ME satellite, and midnight madness is always a possibility if I find myself on the no-longer playing side of the equation on the others.

We're expecting another 15-20cm of snow on Sunday (done by Monday morning), so staying in all day will likely be the order of business. Isn't this the time of the month where The Big Game usually happens? Regardless, the FTOPS ME is on, and that's where the focus will be.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Missing the Mookie

"Going for drinks... coming?"

With that e-mail ended any possibility of me making the Mookie last night. Congrats to Emptyman for winning it.

So I was out for some drinks with coworkers and a now ex-coworker who is greatly missed. This led to dinner and a couple bottles of wine (Peter Franus 2005 Mourvèdre - damn tasty) at the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. Small dishes, very tasty. I had the braised beef poutine, lake trout with bacon and leeks in a potato chowder (a sauce-sized amount), and amaretto crème brûlée for dessert. All kinds of tasty. Although I'd say the poutine didn't really strike a poutine chord with me. It was great, but not really poutine... no curds, and more beef than gravy.

Anyway, I hiccuped my way home in a cab and watched the last 6 players finish up, just a touch sauced.

Crashed into bed, and woke up at 4:30 this morning, dry-mouthed, but feeling like I was deeeeeply asleep. I then quasi-dozed off until my alarm went off at 6:30, and I struggled with consciousness until 8ish, when I forced myself out of bed and off to work. I need to get in earlier. I have zero willpower in the morning.

Tonight could result in a food post. Tilapia, fries, salad...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Unexpected Happenstance

Work just got interesting. Get the feeling I'll have some stepping up to do. I wish things played out slightly differently.

No, I'm in no jeopardy. Quite the opposite.

Skill Series last night. I did... poorly. I was completely card dead, which is a little tougher to battle through in limit. Eventually I knew I was committed with KQ and went out with no stories to tell. The smartest thing I did might have been sitting out the first 30 minutes.

Also played in the 50-50. Went out 201st of 1200-something runners. I could have easily coasted to the cash, but I gave someone a courtesy double-up when I put them on Ax instead of T9h (T-high board), and then found myself floundering before pushing all-in with AKo and zero fold equity... I was actually ahead preflop, got some more outs on the flop, but caught nothing to go home 21 from the cash. By screwing up that earlier hand, I was relying on luck to make it from there. If I get away from that hand, then I have the chips to steal and apply pressure, especially around the bubble. I played a solid, controlled game to that point too.

Then again, going out then meant I could get enough sleep to actually make it in earlier today.

Das Mookenstein tonight. See you there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We Are All Just Prisoners Here, of Our Own Device

Ah Facebook. I don't think I need to reiterate my distaste for the place. But here lies even more backup to my stance.

But then again, I imagine gmail, and probably hotmail, and who knows? Maybe even Blogger have similar issues. I mean, we know you can delete a blog... but is it really gone? Or is there a backup sitting on Google's servers somewhere that has all of Chad's old posts?

Point being - they offer you a means to leave, but actually deleting your presence on Facebook is incredibly difficult, if not nigh impossible. Information is a valuable asset these days, and it's hard to make companies part with their assets.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

The past few days have made me long for a wood-burning fireplace. Alas, I'm one floor too low for that. It's been a mite chilly here in the T-Dot. 10cm more snow expected today. It's winter, and I love it. As long as I'm either inside, or bundled up.

I have a couple things to pick up today before heading home. Could mean a brief jaunt in the cold. Then again, -14 isn't terrible.

On the poker front, last night was uneventful. 2nd in a $22 SnG, 10th in the MATH after riding a short-to-middling stack for the last hour. It's tough to chip up when nobody will play with you unless you're stealing. All's well though, as I got some chores done, and a couple EASY things I'd been putting off are taken care of. I plan to do more the same tonight.

I also have a hankering to play an MTT tonight. Probably the 50-50 (congrats to Hoy on his finish yesterday), or maybe the 28k. There's the Skill Series too, where we can all comment on how quiet Chad's being despite the donktastic plays against him. 6-Max LHE is the game... I'm not entirely sure how that would play out, other than ugly. Amazingly enough, it's looking entirely possible that I'll actually be there for a Skill Series game.

Just Close Your Borders Already

I don't even know if I can comment on this article with any sort of sanity.

This kind of crap is retarded. Are you really so paranoid that you feel this is necessary? Sure, it doesn't affect me... yet. Maybe if we're lucky, Obama will be sitting in the Oval Office before it can spread to more countries. Why would you try and blackmail and piss off the EU with your retarded travel security. Just build a big fucking wall around your country and tell everyone they're not welcome.

The math has been done time and again, then minimal probablity that these sort of asinine procedures and precautions would do ANYTHING doesn't come near being worth the cost to the 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the people who aren't even CLOSE to be a risk.

Let's just look at this definition (from Wikipedia): "Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole."

What REALLY pisses me off is that the Bush administration (and DHS specifically in this case) is imposing it's paranoid and ineffective policies and procedures on other countries, where they have no jurisdiction. This hits the same nerve as a vegan trying to get me off meat, or someone trying to convert me to their religion... only worse.


Monday, February 11, 2008

This Time Next Week I'll Be Asleep

Another weekend down. Fairly laid-back, despite getting plenty of fresh air.

Drinks, dinner, movie, drinks, hanging out, dim sum, dinner, rockin' the 80's, with lots of chatting and conversation spread throughout... involving 9 different friends at various times. Like I said, not a bad weekend.

Michael Clayton - good movie. No idea why it was nominated for so many Oscars. I can see Swinton and Wilkinson's nominations, and even Gilroy's directing nod. I'm not sure about Clooney's best actor though. I guess they're dying to give him one to go with his Best Supporting from a couple years back. Is it a best picutre contender? I don't know. It didn't create much of a reaction from me overall, and I just can't see WHY it's nominated. There were better films out this year.

-30ºC with the wind chill today. I'm sure it will be warmer when Eh-Vegas rolls around.

In the ongoing saga of my attempts to get into work on time - I left my place before 9am today -- texting seems an effective method of getting the brain working -- and promptly got stuck on my subway before they took the train out of service, resulting in me arriving at... 9:20. Damn.

I wonder if it feels like everyone showed up just to have the host take their money when Erick Lindgren won his own FTOPS event last night. I took a shot to play with the last multi-seat satellite, but fell well short. The 6-max NLHE tonight is tempting, but I'm not about to pony up the $1k to play. I may try and get into the weekend events though. Especially since next Monday is a holiday. Damn... I don't usually give a shit about FTOPS.

Had fun yesterday in a $22 Turbo SnG. Very quick drop to heads-up (60/120 blinds when we were down to two), which meant the HU portion was actually worthwhile. I slow-played cowboys to take it down in the end after crippling my opponent with flop and turn aggression. Loads of fun, and made me feel good about my end game.

As usual, the MATH is tonight on Full Tilt, 10pm EST, $26 or a Lvl 1 token, 6-max NLHE. I'll be there, in an attempt to once again improve my leaderboard spot and better last week's 2nd place finish.

Tonight will also be when I get started with Eh-Vegas prep. The first batch of dessert will be started. Considering it will take at least 5 days to make enough ice cream, I'd better stay on schedule. I can't lie, 1 of those days involves me doing nothing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ahhh, A Red Snapper. Mmmm, Very Tasty

Taken out of context, that title sounds filthy. Awesome.

This will ramble and be all over the place. I KNOW! First time for everything I guess.

Jon Stewart is great. I've been a fan since the old The Jon Stewart Show on FOX way back when. Last night he tore into Romney and covered a lot of what I railed on him for, in pretty much the same way. I like it when people agree with me. I also forgot to mention his comment on Europe's "demographic disaster". I think it should be self-evident how moronic that comment is. But hey, the majority of Republican votes come from people who don't know what the world looks like beyond the end of their street. It scares me how much the party that once had Lincoln as its leader is becoming (or has already become) a classic case of the rich and intelligent few leading the unwashed masses. They might as well claim they have magic to strike fear into the peons.

Enough politics. For now.

Played a bit last night. SnG, 28k, $3 KO, and some .10/.25 6-max with Waffles, Tragedy, and eventually ScottMc. SnG went poorly (killed when my turned trips were defeated by a rivered boat). 28k was going well until I got distracted by the KO and chatting (out 400-something). KO was fun, and I won the last-longer, so that was $17 profit there. The cash was a blast, as we berated eachother endlessly in the table chat and I was just donking around.

Tonight I'm out with a buddy. Maybe catch Michael Clayton, or maybe I can convince him to start playing poker again and hit the club. He was one of the guys in Vegas with me... but we got him addicted to craps instead of getting him to play cards for the first time in a while. This means none of that online stuff for me. I'm hoping to make Pauly's game tomorrow though.

I often run into people I know while walking my city. Sometimes they're unexpected... especially when they live an hour away and are standing outside my subway station.

Eh-Vegas is now 2 weeks away. I should probably pick up some vanilla beans tonight so I can get started on the ice cream on Monday. The rest of the supplies can be picked up Sunday methinks. Hmm... mayhaps I'll get some double-smoked bacon for me while I'm there. I love the markets in this city. Note to self: e-mail the damned elk place to make sure a roast is available. 13 people confirmed so far I think. Gonna be a lot of meat.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I'm Gonna Club This Seal To Make A Better Deal

Romney's in the middle of dropping out of the GOP race at the moment.

I haven't really paid too much attention to the primaries of late, and to be honest, I've barely paid any attention to Romney at all.

Well, he's talking now, and I'm glad I didn't pay any attention. He's a pandering buffoon. Oh sure, he's well-dressed, intelligent, and speaks well, but so are successful used car salesmen.

Not a word he's spoken in his concession speech has had a ring of truth to it. They come off as talking points, "conservative" nods, and a means to save his ass. He's quitting so extremists don't win? He doesn't want to delay a national campaign? His quitting hurts Hillary and Obama's chances? Give me a fucking break. You got your ass handed to you on Tuesday and you don't want to be so embarrassed that you can't run again in 4 or 8 years. The shit-eating grin on his face when he delivered the "reason" he was dropping out spoke volumes - "You're actually buying this horseshit? I knew you were morons."

The veiled shots at gay marriage and "judges destroying the institution of marriage". Is that argument still be waged? Yah, it's directly connected to the single-parent families and children born out of wedlock you alluded to a sentence earlier. Guess what? Gay couples have just about NOTHING to do with single-parent families dipshit. The "institution" of marriage is a joke with a 50% divorce rate, abuse, infidelity, and all the other problems with it. Blaming it on an speicifc group of people who have nothing to do with the real problems is pathetic, and as usual speaks of avoidance and an inability to deal with the root causes. But keep harping on a dead issue. A shame, because when you started talking about cultural values and the importance of culture for the sustenance of a nation, I was agreeeing with you.

Bashing Clinton for his "peace dividend". "We got the dividend... but not the peace." Are your writers' arms tired from patting themselves on the back? To blame the Clinton administration for the current war is pathetic. Bush comes in and you go from an era of peace to an era of war, confrontation, division, and fear. There was absolutely NO reason to maintain a military at cold-war levels in a time of peace. The TRILLIONS of dollars spent on the US military is obscene when they are in a peacekeeping role. Today, of course, is a different story. Create a war, and you can keep the military happy.

There was so much other crap flying from his lips in the speech that I was unbelievably happy he wasn't winning. Keep pandering to the religious reich buddy. Through it all, an undercurrent formed that I saw... personal freedom and choice were anathema to the US in Romney's world. "Everyone believes in God." No... they don't. "If you don't believe in a higher power, and don't believe in traditional values and morals and ethics, then you're hurting this country." He's a better-spoken, better-looking, smarter, Bush.

The only topic that I even partially agreed with him on was his economic rhetoric, but even then his disparaging view of social programs made me ill. He's worth how many millions? $87 million of his OWN MONEY spent on his campaign... to even pretend like he knows what someone earning $12,000 a year or less faces is laughable.

Do I even need to mention the number of times he invoked the name of Reagan? Talk about pandering to your base. I think hope pray, that the sentiment in the States is in fact for change and reconciliation. That people are becoming less obsessessed with some imaginary party lines and more concerned with making things WORK and saving the true values (Life, Liberty, and all that stuff) of the country. Asshat politcal garbage like I'm hearing from Romney, and to a lesser extent, Clinton, isn't helping anyone but themselves. I know there are intelligent, educated people down there. It's a shame that they're ignored by the politicians, who instead focus on the morons who will vote for them cuz they don't like people who are difernt.

Bye Mitt, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Today We're Teaching Poodles How To Fly

Interesting night on the poker front.

Have I mentioned I like this Skype thing? Free long distance, free video calls, that's all kinds of cool. Anyway...

It started off slow. I played a bit of cash as I was waiting for something and chatting with people about the thunder and lightning outside with the snowstorm. .25/.50 for about 10 minutes that covered my Mookie buy-in.

Then no poker for an hour or so until I fired up a level 1 peep with thoughts of using it to play the 28k. Then I opened the FTOPS #1 lobby and saw the super-turbo satellites running with 20min to go. The peep was soon background (bubbled).

I loaded up a $50 two-ticket and automatically tripled up + blinds. From there it was easy to win. Of course, I also fired up to 1-ticket $25 ones and lost them both. Could have saved $50 if I just stuck with the first one. I immediately wondered WHY I signed up for a tournament on a Wednesday night that had over 5000 runners, double stacks, and 12 min blinds, figuring it would be 4am at least before it was over. Not to worry... I played like a donk and was gone in 30 minutes.

Actually, I played what I think was a decent early game. I folded anything that I'd get in trouble with, got in cheap with drawing hands, and took down a few small pots with decent stuff, usually by the flop. Seeing AK on the second hand was fun too. I gave up on an inside straight flush draw on the turn to an all-in (easy fold), folded small pocket pairs when I'd be racing at best, etc.. I had a brief run where I was able to chip back up over the starting stack when this happened:

Dealt aces in MP. One limper before me. I'm chatting with Fuel and say, "Aces this early in FTOPS can't be good..." and raise it up to 4x the BB. BB and limper both call. Well, I'm pretty sure they don't have aces. Flop comes 35J, two clubs. Check, check, and I bet the pot. BB folds, limper raises around 750 more. Shit. I tank. The bet smells fishy, but this is such a donkfest that I can't be sure he has a clue. I think maybe JJ, but convince myself that's not it. I finally figure (read: HOPE) it's AJ or a club draw. No way he has J5 or J3, and 53 seems pretty unlikely too. I mean to push but leave 120 chips behind, he raises me those and I KNOW I'm fucked but am totally committed at this point. He flips over 33 for the bottom set and I smack my head on the wall. No miracles for me and I'm done. I would have liked the 183k too. Me and Goat even had an agreement to chop it up when we were heads-up at the end, so the $147k would be fine. Ah well.

Then The Mookie started up, as did the BIG cash game. I was tempted to buy in short to the cash game, but thought better of it. $800 is a pretty steep for my online roll, and with that table, I knew it'd be at risk. Scared poker is losing poker after all.

The Mook, however, was fun as always. I have screenshots at home, but let's say it was classic me - AA, KK, QQ, straight flush, AK, AK, AJ, AQh = flush... say it with me now, "And then we hit the first break." I had the lead for a bit, lost it with AKh vs QQ vs KK (K on the flop), and was in 4th at the break. The second hour was card death, but I stayed afloat in the top 10 until the break where I dropped to 14th. Hour three brought disaster and I ended up pushing with AQo in EP when I still had SOME fold equity... and ran into 99 which hit a 966 flop, knocking me out.

I was about to load up a $22 SnG, but thought better of it and shut it all down a bit after midnight.

Badgers?! BADGERS??!!

I don't NEED no steeenking badgers!
What? A guy can't randomly use UHF quotes? Man do I love that movie.

Anyway, here's a quick HOWTO.

HOWTO Get In To Work Late Every Day This Week

Note: The time I'd LIKE to get in would be 8:30am. I haven't seen the clock pre-9:20 yet this week when I stroll in. Actually, I don't see north of 9:20 most days ever. This is a problem.

Monday - Wake up, realize you forgot to set two of your FOUR alarms. Not that it would have mattered. STAY IN BED, then rush around, and get out of the house at 9:15 after setting land speed records in morning preparation. You also skipped a few less-important steps on the way. Make it in around 9:23, happy that it's not 9:30.

Tuesday - Wake up earlier, lie in bed despite knowing you need to get up. Spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom, but this time casually stroll out at 9:11 because you didn't need to rush this time. Run to subway, make it in for 9:20

Wednesday - Wake up good and early (alarm's only been going for 30 min instead of 2 hours this time). Lie in bed, but don't fall back asleep unlike every other day ever. Eventually roll out of bed an hour later, and think "I have loads of time." Roast up some coffee while shaving and brushing teeth. Grind coffee, transfer grounds to jar to bring to work. Realize you're now running behind. Finish getting ready and leave at 9:12. Remember that there was freezing rain the night before and calls for snow today, which means running on the slick and icy sidewalks to get to the subway isn't an option. Make it in for 9:24.

Thursday - Wake up at 6:30 am when your first alarm goes off. Notice that you're on top of the covers, fully clothed. Apparently when you just wanted to rest your eyes, you passed out for the night. This means you didn't get a few minor chores done... such as feeding the cats and cleaning their litter. Get out of bed, change out of yesterday's clothes, and crawl under the covers "for just a little bit". Sink into the warmth and promptly fall into a restless sleep for the next 1.5 hours (because the radio is still blaring). Get up, and start getting ready. Feed the cats. Go to change their litter and realize how pissed off they are with you... a good sign of this is the piss all over the lid of the litter container and the shit piled up in front of the box, trapped in the spaces in the litter mat. Shiiiiiiit. Spend the next 15 minutes cleaning up the mess and changing the litter. Realize you're now late again. Rush around, stroll out at 9:15. get in at 9:25.

Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Now I'd like to say it's been a bad week, but this is pretty much par for the course... every day, all the time. I don't do mornings. It has very little to do with the late hours I keep. If I go to bed early, I still sleep in. If I go to bed late and HAVE to be up early, I am. But generally, if it's before 10am, I don't like it. Weekends often involve me rolling casually out of bed anywhere from 11am-1pm. Obviously, I don't have kids.

Four alarms. FOUR. Radio goes off nice and quiet-like at 6:30. It gets loud at 6:50. I sleep through both of these. 7:10 the BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP starts. I slam a hand down on the OFF button. 7:20 the second round of BEEP BEEP BEEP stars. I slam a hand down on the OFF button. I fall back asleep until I stir around 8-8:15 and realize that I am once again screwed.

You know what does work? Having someone next to me to nicely say, "hey, you need to get up." Usually followed with me grunting and turning over. It's the second (or sometimes third) GENTLE reminder that usually works. I miss that. Woe be to those that tap me repeatedly or go to more extreme measures to awaken me though. It works, but it puts me in one hell of a surly mood to start and it isn't until I'm fully awake and half ready that I apologize for anything I may have said or done. At least I'm not this guy I knew -- his reaction to anyone waking him up was to let a fist fly in the direction of the nearest skull.

I get the impression I'll be writing a lot today.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

That's pretty much where I am right now... guessing.

Let's ge to the point. Who's coming to my place for dinner Saturday night for Eh-Vegas? I need an idea of the attendees, so I know how much I'm making and how much stuff I need. Plus, I need to send you my contact info, address, directions etc.. Like hell I'm putting that stuff up here.

I can guess:


How many other Tuckfards?
Who else? Are any of those wrong?

Leave a comment, or fire me an e-mail - astin at sympatico dot ca. Or fire Kat an e-mail and she can let me know. However you want to complicate things.

Menu recap.


Butternut squash and roasted garlic bisque
Garlic Bread


Roasted elk (or prime rib if elk unavailable)
Roasted vegetables
Mashed potatoes
Completely unnecessary jus/gravy
Popovers/Yorkshire pudding

Homemade crème brûlée ice cream

A selection of premium beers
A liquor selection to put many bars to shame
Wine if desired
Plenty of non-booze (juice, pop, water)
A selection of teas
Fresh roasted, fresh ground, fair trade, hand-brewed coffee.

Please let me know if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Turtle is Nature's Suction Cup


So I called for the Pats to win. But I put a condition on it - if their best shot was hurt, then it would be problematic. Well, Brady seemed uninjured, but he had absolutely ZERO protection. What the fuck? Can't you guys stop a single Giant from getting through? He was sacked, what, FIVE times... in the SUPERBOWL? If you ain't got anybody to shoot the giants with your big patriot muskets, you ain't gonna win.

Pretty solid D on both sides though... I lost track of the punts.



Loved, loved, LOVED the Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien crossover last night. In fact, the whole "who made Huckabee" thing led into it brilliantly. The fact they carried it over to each show was great. I wonder if Conan got a tiny little ratings boost from that. Best waste of time during the writer's strike to date.



Obviously came in 2nd in the MATH last night. Glad to see my moneyboard position improve. No talk of a chop at any point, which is good. I'm not anti-chop (I took one in the first Hoy of the year), but I'd rather play to the end in most cases. Granted, I'd take the chop Chad took the other day in a heartbeat.

A couple memorable hands where the AA that PirateLawyer didn't believe I had, the 6x that flopped a set and rivered quads, and the 89 that I battled against Chad's 89 where we both had the nut straight and tried to extract maximum value from one another.

I also did alright in some SnG's beforehand. Took 3rd in a $55 Turbo, 1st in a $22 Turbo, 3rd in a $22 Turbo, and 6th in a Peep. Lost a couple other peeps and I think 1 (or maybe 2) other $22's... so not a terrible night.

I was back to focused on my game, and it made all the difference. Seldom was the "eh, what the hell" hand played. I read my opponents and was generally happy to follow the "if you're beat, then fold" rule. It felt good.

The Skill Series continues tonight. Once again, I won't be able to make it, but I may just be at The Mookie tomorrow, unless I end up playing live and going deep instead.

Now to decide if I want to go with work on a winery tour/casino trip this Saturday. $25 for wine tasting, chartered bus, $10 in casino credit, and 5 hours of play at Fallsview. Any locals interested?



Chicken, red peppers, red onions, chopped jalapeno. 5 Chili powders (regular, hot red, chipotle, ancho, mexican), habanero powder, cayenne pepper, black & pink ground peppercorns, (that's a lot of peppers), salt, ground coriander seed, chipotle tabasco, garlic powder. Sauteed. Finished with fresh lime juice. Two tortillas, jalapeno jack, colby, and 7 year-aged white cheddar. Sour cream and homemade salsa. That's a quesadilla.

Somewhat Flawed MATH

"I'm at that cusp where I'm about to refocus on my game again. I've developed some pretty big holes of late, and I'll need to patch those up."

-Me, yesterday

It's a start:

Got lucky a couple times, had my two pocket aces paid a bit, a KK that didn't, and what felt like a pretty normal range of hands. Lots of Ax when were down to 3 though. I picked my spots, and generally picked them well. There were two mistakes on my part, one of which gave Tripjax the lead 3-handed, and he didn't look back. Congrats to Tripjax for the win. Well-deserved.

Sleep now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Can You Spare $400 Billion?


Bush and company are morons.

Billions upon billions spent on "The War on Terror". Or perhaps more accurately "The continuation of fear in the American people." Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid when the country is crying out to fair and equitable health care. Increased military spending. Over $400 BILLION in ANNUAL deficit spending until 2010 (which just about everyone else sees as them fudging the numbers to make it look not so bad). But the $150B to "stimulate" the economy will help? Give me a break. Get your heads out of your collective asses and realize that the only way you're saving the economy is to stop flushing money down the drain. At least the roads are being fixed.

I'm not going to get into a long political rant here, especially since I'm just an obvserver from up north, but 8 years of mismanagement has a funny way of biting you in the ass. And does ANYBODY feel safer after all that money has been dumped into protecting you? I think people just feel more annoyed. Those that spout crap like "thank God for (TSA, DHS, Bush, etc.) keeping us safe" have likely never gone beyond their front porch. Let's just all be glad the shoebomber didn't have his underwear wired, and that the guys who were thinking about maybe possibly combining magic explosive liquids weren't thinking about using explosive tooth fillings.

Speaking of... can anyone explain how my obviously dangerous bottle of water is any safer being dropped into a bin full of other obviously dangerous liquids and gels?

Didn't I say I wasn't going to rant? I'll stop now.


Sweet jeebus, is it Monday again?

I made it through the weekend with less difficulty than believed, but I guess that's often how these things go. We prepare for the worst, and then reality is a little easier to take. Having my best friend around to help distract me and keep me busy helped tremendously.

Technology is great. To think what's possible now that wouldn't be even 5 years ago is pretty amazing. The even more impressive part is that it's all so easily adopted.

Friday - much poker donkery. I don't think I won a damned thing depsite being awesome. The donkament was fun as I sucked out and took down some big pots repeatedly in the rebuy session. I think I only contributed $5 this time. Post-rebuy, Donkette took a hand from me that I'm almost positive I was leading until the river, and then she rivered a set to my aces to knock me out later. I was displeased.... then I remembered it was a $1 rebuy and I had spend $5.

The 50-50 was pricier than usual as I failed to satellite in and just paid up front. Never really got anything going.

The 28k went a bit better, and after a few key hands I was doing pretty well. Then it fell apart on something lame. I don't recall what.

Then I fell asleep on my couch for 7 hours before getting up and going to bed until 11-ish. At least I was able to check some status.

The day went a touch slower than planned, with some groceries being done later in the day. I can live with it. I now also have some Indian Monsoon coffee for Eh-Vegas.

Dinner was ordering in a pizza from Massimo's with my best friend. I didn't have a menu, so we walked the 15 min to the place, grabbed a menu and walked out. Then ordered delivery when we got back to my place. Hey, there was snow and it was cold, I didn't want the pizza to get chilly. It was good pizza... which it had better be after all the hype I'd heard about it the last week or so.

Sunday was prep for the Superbowl. A trip to Kensington (local market of awesome) with the above-mentioned friend to pick up a few supplies ended in disappointment on the kitchenware front, but was otherwise a successful trip.

Dinner was... chili con carne! It was ready a little bit after half time if I recall. Don't worry, the chips and salsa and homemade guacamole held back the hunger. Oh, and the bowl of edamame in the afternoon.

So the chili. Is there anything easier to improvise than chili?

Ground beef, browned and seasoned.

I think I used 4 types of chili powder (regular ol' find-anywhere kind, ancho, chipotle, and mexican), cayenne pepper, salt, fresh ground black & pink pepper, ground coriander seed, and garlic powder.

Onions and garlic sweated in a pot, green peppers, chopped jalapenoes, couple cans of tomato, a tomatillo, tomato paste, lots more chili powders, chipotle tabasco sauce, suzy's hot sauce, a nice guajillo pepper, salt, bay leaves, thyme, basil, and then the meat added. Simmer for 40 min, add the kidney beans, simmer 20 min more.. deeeeelish.

And the final touch - serve with toast, and cover with English Applewood smoked cheddar. Mix in the cheese and wow.

I can't wait to try it again after a day or two in the fridge.


Quick movie reviews!

The Ten - Meh. Amusing in parts, but overall meh. Ten comedic stories based on The Ten Commandments, starring a great cast. A shame it was so uneven, and that some pretty smart ideas weren't fleshed out properly. That said, Oliver Platt was brilliant, and I'm glad Paul Rudd is getting more roles.

Paris Je T'aime - Really nice film. Perhaps not the best choice in some parts for me, but overall a good film. Around 20 short films about Paris and love. To see the different directorial styles and takes on a basic, yet complex, subject was interesting. There were some real gems in here, and even the worst of them was enjoyable. Again, great cast... I guess the offer of "come act in a 5 minute short in Paris" isn't the worst thing an actor can hear. I need to go back there sometime. I've decided the last short (14e Arrondissement) was better than I thought. The horrible french accent was brilliantly done, and somehow added to the sincerity of the monologue.

I'll finally see Black Coffee tomorrow... it's about time. I get the feeling I'll be even more guilty about drinking commercial coffee afterwards. Of course, this means I once again miss a Skill Series game. I doubt I'll ever make one of these.


The MATH, as always, is tonight. You know I'll be there. I'm sure Hoy will have a blog up about it on his blog sometime.

I'll probably also try and squeeze in a few other games beforehand... I'm at that cusp where I'm about to refocus on my game again. I've developed some pretty big holes of late, and I'll need to patch those up.

Methinks some sort of quesadilla will be made for dinner. Must remember to thaw chicken.

But I also want that leftover slice of pizza... and the chili... and a jamaican beef patty. Woe is me who has so many food choices. Quesadilla it shall be though, as the veggies are already cut.


Eh-Vegas is coming up fast. Next week I make the ice cream (which will take six days, no joke)... and then the week after will be final prep for the arrival of however many degenerates are coming into my home.


Microsahoo? Yahcrosoft? A bold move by the boys in Redmond. If Yahoo rebuffs them, I think it puts Microsoft in the lurch. It doesn't say much about their confidence in their web presence if they have to buy Yahoo to make a dent in Google.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Poker Funny

I was over at Cinematical and they put up this post. Seems there's a poker mockumentary coming out in March called The Grand. Great cast (when was the last time I saw Chris Parnell?), and some of the funny in the trailer. It looks like they've nailed a few of your stereotypical players, and Phil Gordon has a great line. Doyle's in there too.

Plus, when David Cross gets his own poker site, it's got to be gold.

Anyway, the review is glowing, and at least with comedy, any poker screw-ups can be forgiven, although I have a feeling this one could turn out to be more accurate than some previous serious attempts.


Bam-Bam has a post that ends up talking about the difference between his live and online games. Funnily enough I was thinking similar thoughts today.

I think we all experience the problem of multiple distractions while playing online. It's also tougher to get a read on your opponents since the tells are more limited. Is that pause because he's thinking? Trapping? Or did his dog just knock over his drink? But very few of us are new to this game anymore, and should have refined our online skills a fair bit since we started. So what is it?

I know that lately my online game has atrophied. I sit down at a live table, however, and I'm honed in on everything. I'm making reads, picking up tells, and generally rocking the joint. Outside of two poor plays on my part a few weeks back in a live tournament, I've been solid. In fact, I've been itching for more live play of late because I feel like I'm primed for it. But online? Meh. If I force myself to pay attention, I can still make the reads and apply pressure in the right spots, but generally it's been very ABC for me of late. This has resulted in losses, which has resulted in disenchantment.

I think this is why mixing up the media is key. Live and online are very different experiences. Often, when you're failing at one, you can succeed at the other, and it increases your confidence. So I'll likely be hitting the club some time next week, and I've got a buddy who's got a Niagara urge coming on strong. Then there's Eh-Vegas in 3 WEEKS, which should have a few opportunities to sit at some real felt. It should be a good month.

Even so, I'll still be plunking my ever-widening ass down at my computer tonight and firing up a few tables. This time I'll have an energy drink in hand, and force myself to focus on the games at hand. I'm not saying there won't be distractions, but they'll earn only a small portion of my attention. I find silence and a bare screen more distracting than a TV in the background and a chat window or two. With luck, it will be a late night.

Timing Finally Comes Around

Perhaps a little too late, but the coincidence is still pretty stunning, and it made my day. Somehow, as soon as I ran into the friend I hadn't seen in almost two months, I knew he was meant to slow me down just enough for things to work the way they did. Confused yet? Too bad. Just follow where the universe leads you, you'll be fine.

It's snowing here. I'm a little tired of the hyperbole though. We're looking at 25cm (or about 10" for those too dumb to figure out metric) by this evening. This isn't THE STORM OF THE CENTURY! No need to call in the army. The east coast gets FEET of snow. Buffalo gets snowed in what, 12 times a year? (But then it catches on fire so it all melts). Less than a foot isn't panic time.

But schools are closed, busses aren't running, people are being told to stay home if they can (my office is full), and I believe I saw some dogs and cats living together.

Now traffic is naturally a problem. That's a given even if there's only 5cm of snow. I imagine the airport won't be a fun place to be today, but they'll try their best to get the planes out I'm sure. I should have taken a picture yesterday though. Not the slightest bit of white on the streets or sidewalks... today? A winter wonderland of dirty snow, sliding cars, and bundled up pedestrians. I was impressed by the mobilization efforts of the snow crews last night. Every truck ready to go, 1700 workers primed and rested. Let's see if Toronto gets it right this time.


"Played" in the Riverchasers last night. I sat out 1.5 hours, played for 5 min, and ran my Jackace into Lightning's QQ. Whoops. Prior to that I tried checkraising him, only to being chased out be his push. No respect I tells ya. :)

Jumped in a few SnG's, took 3rd in one, and 4th in the other two. I slept the most during the one I cashed in. Yay me.

Kat's Donkament tonight. It's not like I'm going anywhere in this weather. I think I might fire up a few other big MTTs too. 50-50, 28k, why not? Other than the fact it's terrible to play serious games while simultaneously firing away at a $1 rebuy.


Oh, and LJ - nope.