Friday, May 30, 2008

Meat Hangover

Lightly breaded calamari in a sweet thai chili sauce.
Ribeye, medium rare
Key lime pie - best I've had outside of Key West

With a gimlet, hendrick's martini, bourbon manhattan, and 16-year Lagavulin all around those.

Followed by 4 more drinks at another restaurant.

For some reason, waking up was more difficult than usual today.

So what do I do for lunch? Angus burger with bacon, cheese, and spicy grilled onions (and a host of other toppings), fries, and chocolate shake.

I figure you fight a hangover with the hair of the dog, right? Doesn't that hold true for meat hangovers?

Dinner tonight after a wedding rehersal... french restaurant. There will be more meat.


Congrats to Scottc25 AKA Snuffy for the Riverchasers win last night. I beat him HU last week in the Chasers, so he comes right back and takes this week's down. Nice job! Apparently it was quite luckboxy... when isn't it?


Apparently Dr. Pauly covers the WSOP? Who knew?


Ultimate Bet has said "oops!" Man, how come I never get to see everyone's hole cards? I mean, combine that with my 3 pocket aces an hour rate and I'd clean up! 21 months of cheating?? TWENTY-ONE MONTHS? Jeebus.


La Caza Mayor, большой игры, बड़े खेल, Le Grand Jeu, Das Große Spiel, The Big Fuckin' Game is Sunday. Unlike the BBT2, Full Tilt didn't die in the middle of the Riverchasers, which makes this the absolute LAST seat in the BBT3. This is where I won my BBT2 TOC seat... I'm a bit ahead of the game this time, but still plan to fight for the win. Why? Money. Fischman's been the money leader since the start, but that could easily be changed by any number of people on Sunday.

Plus, I could use some poker after a weekend of wedding-related responsibilities.

Good luck to everyone this weekend. And don't forget the Donkament tonight!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Left

With last night's 4th place finish in the Mookie, I've moved up to 17th in the leaderboard. But there's only 68 points between 17th and 21st, so it's not a comfortable number by any means. Especially with two tournaments left, and me only being able to play in The Big Game.

For the record, actyper asked TuscaloosaJohn right away heads-up if he wanted to sell the seat. TJ automatically said "no, sorry". I have to agree. If you're playing in the TOC, giving up the extra seat equity isn't worth a deal in the Mookie. That being said, it's totally worth it in The Big Game, where a deal could be around $2k for the last seat if the turnout is strong.

In short, I wouldn't have cut a deal HU last night either. Congrats to TJ for the win and the increased TOC equity for the rest of us donks.

PLO8 tonight in the Riverchasers. No need to worry about my luckboxy ways, as I'll be enjoying a big steak and the best key lime pie outside of Florida instead. A definite win for me.


All-in pre. Out 4th. I wanted more points.

87.46% preflop
98.08% on the flop
90.91% on the turn
0% on the river

My blog, I can post a bad beat if I want.

I guess I was due for aces to lose... but THAT way? At THAT time? THAT blows.

But just to make it even more whiny:

22 x 3
33 x 1
44 x 1
55 x 1
66 x 3
77 x 5
88 x 1
TT x 1
JJ x 2
QQ x 1
KK x 3
AA x 5

27 pairs. 351 hands. 7.69%. 5 AA - 1.42% of the hands, or 3.15x the expected percentage.

AK x 8
AQ x 8
AJ x 6

Let's call those playable... that adds 24 Ace-face to the 27 pairs = 51. 14.53% of my hands.

There were a ton of KQ, KJ, QJ as well, but those generally didn't amount to much win-wise.

And they call me a luckbox... pshaw.

But, Karma is a BITCH.

No hard feelings towards actyper, I'm just bitter at the cards.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random Food Idea

No doubt this has been done somewhere before.

Champagne-battered fish.

No idea if the wine flavour would survive or not. But it would be a change to beer-battered, but more flavourful than club soda-battered.


Went out 3rd Gigli in the Skill Game last night, 17 minutes in. Apparently KK CAN lose to AA, and overs hit on the turn sometimes to beat your 2nd pair with a shortstack. I'm a moron though, because every single fibre of my being screamed "HE HAS ACES, FOLD YOUR FUCKING COWBOYS!" I didn't listen.

3 games left. I have my TOC seat already, but there's more at stake. I'm officially out of the fishcakes side bet. Even if I won the last 3 games, I wouldn't break top 3, let alone the money. Ah well.

But then there's the leaderboard. I'm in 21st place. How much does that suck? 31.8 points out of the jersey bubble, nowhere near the cash. I think I want a jersey. Yah, I want a jersey. Which means I need to get some serious points in the upcoming games.

But I won't be playing the Riverchasers tomorrow. Steak dinner on best friend's birthday trumps any blogger game any time.

And the boss is in town today, which means drinks post-work. My Mookie participation could be questionable. Is it 1500 chips again this week? Or 3k KO? Naw, I have too much shit to get done, so I won't be home too late. Plus, the Detroit-Pittsburgh game is on, so I need to catch some of that,

So, drunken Mookie, skipped Chasers...

Oh, and I'm in a wedding party this weekend, so rehearsal Friday, wedding Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. This shouldn't interfere with The Big Game though.

2 shots to break the jersey bubble. This is doable.

See you at The Mook!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Not quite set in stone yet, but I plan to be in Vegas for the Blogger Mulligan weekend. I'll likely fly in Friday the 13th morning (arrive 10:15ish), and leave Sunday 15th noonish. Not the longest trip on record, but it works for me.

I was going to come in Thursday night, but as history has shown, that means I'm settled around 11:30-midnight before hitting the strip, which means only a few hours before I crash, and I won't be back on the strip until 10ish the next AM. This way I get an extra night in my own bed, and hit the strip by noon Friday and can go late. In the end, I lose only a few hours of gambling time. Also, it saves me some rental costs.

Doesn't really leave me a lot of options for tourneys and such, but I think I'll focus on playing cash. Of course, there's also very limited overlap with Bayne's appearance in Vegas with that schedule, which means I have to get some craps in on Friday if he's available.

Toss in the usual drinks, food, WSOP railing, and catching up, and this will be a busy 48 hours.

Of course, if I win the TOC or Freeroll, then I'll be back :)


Out 30th in the MATH. I blame a few things:

1.- Not getting LJ all-in early when my flush whupped her straight.

2.- Folding TP2K when I put LJ on a busted flush draw bluff on the river. This was largely my fault for letting her in free on the BB, so I didn't have a solid enough read on her cards.

Although she's involvd in both hands, I don't blame LJ, I blame myself. I should know better.

This left me a bit short, and I was only able to tread water. In the end, I ran KQo into the mighty A6o. Ah well.


I should have a donkavatar up soon. After my ousting from the MATH, I was hit by an idea and threw it together in Ye Olde Photoshop. Anything to make The Goat's life easier.


Go Wings Go! 2-0 series lead after once again schooling the Penguins. I like the Penguins too, but I'm loving the Wings in these playoffs. They're just unstoppable. But you can't judge a series until everyone's played at home, which is where the Pens head tomorrow. Detroit could put a stranglehold on this team. Of course, the same brilliant prognosticators that picked Pittsburgh in 6 are now calling for Detroit in 4. Idiots. I can make shit up too and talk about it, why aren't I sportscaster?


The Blue Jays swept the Royals in their 4-game series. Apparently this is the first time that has ever happened. Of course, Jays fans still remember the brutal AL Championship ousting in 1985 to the Royals (Jays up 3-1, lose series 4-3, first year it was best-of-seven... KC goes on to win the World Series). Okay, maybe only I remember it, but it's always added a little something extra to the Toronto-Kansas City games, which would otherwise be easy to ignore.

But that gives them a 5 game win streak, 7-3 in their last 10. 3rd in the AL East, 4 back of Tampa, 3.5 back of Boston and the wild card (although it's a bit early to be worrying about the wild card spot).

But this it the Jays, who are about to go on a 10-game western road trip. So I'll hold off any hopes of major success until that's over and they're back to .500 or worse. Our starting pitching has been great - one 6-game winner, three 5-game winners, and one guy with an undeserved losing record of 3-4 (McGowan). Halladay has 5 complete games so far, and he's lost 3 of them... it's called complete lack of run support.

But the offense MIGHT be coming around again. If they can keep the pitching and hitting going at the same time, they could do some damage. I love that right after the papers start getting on Rios for slumping, he starts hitting again.

Let's go Blue Jays!


Skill Game tonight is PLHE. Really? The BBT3's last Skill Game is PLHE? Well, I suppose I'll possibly be there. Suit pickup got moved to today, and I have a pile of ironing that needs doing. Tremendously exciting, I know, but sometimes life trumps Poker. Hmm... speaking of trumps, I miss Euchre.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Train Wreck

It's Memorial Day in the states. That means CNBC is running repeats. I'm sitting here watching reruns of Suze Orman. I can't stand her. Her voice, mannerisms, attitude, etc, all annoy the piss out of me.

But her callers are hilarious, especially in the "Can I Afford It?" section.


"I want to buy my girlfriend a $20k engagement ring."

"Show me the money" (Suze's annoyingly outdated catch phrase)

"Well, I have no income, because I'm an MBA student. $40k in savings, $800/mo in rent, etc.." We were laughing at "I have no income."


"I'm engaged to a stay-at-home mother of two. I want things to be equitable. How do I do that? Should we get separate bills when we go out? etc.."

"Umm... how much does she earn?"

"Well, she's a stay-at-home mom."

"So nothing?"


"And you're looking on how to stick her with the bill? How much do you make?"

"I make a little over $100k a year." (we break out laughing at this tool)



"I want to buy a $1000 ice cream sundae."


"I co-signed a student loan for my daughter for $52k. She's dropped out and refuses to pay off the loan."

"Don't co-sign loans!"


"I want to buy a $1500 dog. I have $200 in savings and earn $20k a year after rent."

I can't imagine why there's a financial crisis.

Go Wings Go!

The Stanley Cup finals started this weekend. Detroit vs Pittsburgh. The two best teams in the league (and now, San Jose and Montreal were not better). This is what a finals should be. Best matchup in years.

Detroit is a machine. Look at their playoff stats. Note that Franzen has been out since before game 2 in the last series.

H. Zetterberg 17 12 10 15 22
P. Datsyuk 17 9 10 12 19
J. Franzen 11 12 3 9 15
J. Hudler 17 4 9 -2 13
N. Kronwall 17 0 12 10 12
M. Samuelsson 17 4 7 7 11
T. Holmstrom 17 3 8 5 11
N. Lidstrom 17 2 9 9 11
B. Rafalski 17 2 8 6 10
V. Filppula 17 3 4 4 7

C. Osgood 11 2 0 .935 1.48
D. Hasek 2 2 0 .888 2.91

Pittsburgh ain't too shabby themselves:

S. Crosby 15 4 17 5 21
M. Hossa 15 9 10 6 19
E. Malkin 15 9 10 4 19
R. Malone 15 6 9 6 15
S. Gonchar 15 1 10 4 11
P. Sykora 15 5 3 5 8
J. Staal 15 6 1 1 7
M. Talbot 12 2 5 4 7
P. Dupuis 15 2 4 7 6
R. Whitney 15 1 5 7 6

M. Fleury 12 3 0 .934 1.86

The Pens have more even scoring, but Detoit has more of it, and a more impressive +/-. The goaltending is pretty much a wash. I've been a Detroit supporter since the playoffs started. They just keep going. Watching them play has been amazing. It's as if they score at will. "Oh, we're down a goal... time to get a couple." 2 minutes later they're up by 1. Pittsburgh lacks the maturity and experience here I think.

What I find hilarious is that before Saturday, every sports "expert" in Toronto was calling for a Pittsburgh win. "Penguins in 6!" "No way Detroit can keep up with these young guys and their desire to win." Bullshit. These comments screamed ignorance. The funny part is that AFTER Saturday, the tune changes. "Pittsburgh is inexperienced!" "Crosby and Malkin need another year!" "Oilers!" (if you know hockey, you get that last one). Fucking schlubs in sports broadcasting. Get a clue.

Poor Wings. They've been the most consistent team in the LEAGUE for the past decade and nobody remembers them come playoff time. But looking at their stats, I knew there was no stoppping them. They're now 3 wins away from finishing it off.

I expect Pittsburgh will bounce back tonight and it will be a hard-fought game. If Franzen laces up, Detroit just gets better though. I WANT to see some close games, and watch these two teams go at it tooth-and-nail. In the end though, I have to hand it to Detroit. If this goes to 7, I'll be on the edge of my seat.

Go wings Go!

The Home Stretch

We are now in the last week of the BBT3. 5 events left. The MATH tonight, Skill Game tomorrow, The Mookie Wednesday, Riverchasers Thursday, and the capper - The Big Game on Sunday. Get your tokens and fire it up! I'm got my TOC seat on Thursday, but I'll still be playing to win - I've got side bets to worry about you know.

A fairly uneventful weekend - dinner and drinks on Friday, birthday dinner Saturday, and mostly staying at home Sunday (outside of a brief walk to the grocery store for breakfast requirements... mmm.. Belgian waffles.) Poker was also uneventful. I played a few SnG's and cashed in some of those. $20 PLO game that I went out middle-of-the-pack in, the Daily Doubles last night (cashed in one), and a profitable run at the 100 chip super-turbo satellites for the Sunday $750k (played 4, won 2, took the T$). I love the 100 chip super-turbos like I love slot machines.

And tonight, I'm hoping to pick up my suit for this weekend's wedding. The more I think about it, the less sure I am about going with the pinstripes. Not because the suit didn't look great, but because they might make me stick out next to the black suits of the rest of the party. Bad me. But then again, I didn't drop that kind of cash for the groom's benefit alone.

I looked through my drafts section here, and I have a handful of long posts I need to get up sometime. It's been far too long since I've posted anything of substance.

See you in the MATH tonight!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Let's Review

Let's get this out of the way:

AA x 3
QQ x 4
JJ x 2
TT x 3
99 x 2
88 x 3
44 x 2
33 x 3
22 x 1

23 pairs. 384 hands. 5.99% vs 5.88% expected. What an edge! Granted, 0.78% were Aces, vs 0.45% expected. Or something. I'm not so good with stats. :)

AK x 4
AQ x 3
AJ x 4
KQ x 4
KJ x 6
QJ x 10

31 Ace-face/paint. Yay donk hands!

Ok, so let's look at how this went down.

The game started off fairly regularly. I hovered above the starting stack for the first 25min or so, and then started dropping until I was at 1,095 chips with the blinds at 80/160, 1:20 into the game.

Seat 1: RecessRampage (3,345)
Seat 2: DDionysus (4,398)
Seat 3: Leafs_NL (2,150)
Seat 5: pushmonkey72 (7,300)
Seat 6: bdidde (3,675)
Seat 7: Astin (1,095)
Seat 8: RNallin (8,505)
Seat 9: a104l9 (5,070)
bdidde posts the small blind of 80
Astin posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Th 9h]
Leafs_NL has 15 seconds left to act
Leafs_NL raises to 480
Astin raises to 1,095, and is all in
Leafs_NL calls 615
Astin shows [Th 9h]
Leafs_NL shows [Ah Ts]
RNallin: if he had anymore chips maybe
*** FLOP *** [2d 8d 7c]
*** TURN *** [2d 8d 7c] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [2d 8d 7c Jd] [Ks]
Astin shows a straight, Jack high
Leafs_NL shows Ace King high
Astin wins the pot (2,270) with a straight, Jack high

Leafs_NL called it a terrible shove, "srsly". Note to my fellow Canuck (and I'll assume GTAer) - I can't take you seriously if you spell it "srsly". It was also a terrible call on your part. Seriously. I liked the hand, and wasn't about to call just to fold on the flop with 615 chips behind, so it was shove or fold. I picked shove, and got lucky.

So now I have a little bit more room, but still not a fantastic stack at 80/160. I built it to around 5k by the times antes kicked in, without seeing a showdown, and then found the always interesting ladies 20 minutes after th

Table 1 - 150/300 Ante 25
Seat 2: DDionysus (2,558)
Seat 3: GCox25 (7,475)
Seat 4: PirateLawyer (6,235)
Seat 5: pushmonkey72 (4,505)
Seat 6: bdidde (4,510)
Seat 7: Astin (4,710)
Seat 8: RNallin (5,965)
Seat 9: a104l9 (4,080)
DDionysus antes 25
GCox25 antes 25
PirateLawyer antes 25
pushmonkey72 antes 25
bdidde antes 25
Astin antes 25
RNallin antes 25
a104l9 antes 25
RNallin posts the small blind of 150
a104l9 posts the big blind of 300
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Qs Qc]
bdidde raises to 4,485, and is all in
Astin raises to 4,685, and is all in
Astin shows [Qs Qc]
bdidde shows [As 6s]
Uncalled bet of 200 returned to Astin
*** FLOP *** [3c Jh Qh]
*** TURN *** [3c Jh Qh] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [3c Jh Qh 4d] [Js]
Astin shows a full house, Queens full of Jacks
bdidde shows a pair of Jacks
Astin wins the pot (9,620) with a full house, Queens full of Jacks

So now I had some chips again. Which is always fun.

Table 10 - 150/300 Ante 25
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Jh Jd]
Astin raises to 1,025
twoblackaces raises to 3,750
Astin has 15 seconds left to act
Astin raises to 9,470, and is all in
twoblackaces has 15 seconds left to act
twoblackaces has requested TIME
twoblackaces calls 5,720
Astin shows [Jh Jd]
twoblackaces shows [Kh Ah]
Astin shows two pair, Jacks and Fours
twoblackaces shows a pair of Fours
Astin wins the pot (19,615) with two pair, Jacks and Fours

And now, we're cooking with gas. This gave me my first chip lead of the night. Shortly thereafter, I found the ladies again.

Table 10 - 150/300 Ante 25 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:54:28 ET - 2008/05/22
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Qd Qh]
CheckinMyAA raises to 2,180, and is all in
Astin raises to 7,040
Astin shows [Qd Qh]
CheckinMyAA: fawking card racks
Astin shows a pair of Queens
CheckinMyAA shows a pair of Fives
Astin wins the pot (4,860) with a pair of Queens

Still on top here. We know how this works. I was on a run. Just look at the hand numbers in the corner.

Table 10 - 150/300 Ante 25 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:55:28 ET - 2008/05/22
Dealt to Astin [Qh Ah]
Astin raises to 1,025
twoblackaces raises to 1,270, and is all in
Astin calls 245

The ladies loved me on Thursday. But then I gave it away.

Table 7 - 200/400 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:01:49 ET - 2008/05/22
Seat 1: Rake Feeder (14,150)
Seat 3: pushmonkey72 (5,872)
Seat 4: lightning36 (13,523)
Seat 5: Astin (23,490)
Seat 6: BuddyDank (9,715)
Seat 7: katitude (11,283)
Seat 8: wwonka69 (13,498)
Seat 9: cemfredmd (3,080)
Rake Feeder antes 50
pushmonkey72 antes 50
lightning36 antes 50
Astin antes 50
BuddyDank antes 50
katitude antes 50
wwonka69 antes 50
cemfredmd antes 50
pushmonkey72 posts the small blind of 200
lightning36 posts the big blind of 400
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [4c Ac]
Astin raises to 1,600 - Terrible raise. S0000ted ace! Chipstack! Bleh.
wwonka69 has 15 seconds left to act
wwonka69 raises to 3,200 - Must assume a hand better than mine. Minraise? Gotta be aces.
Astin calls 1,600 - So why not call!
*** FLOP *** [2h 4h 2d]
Astin checks
wwonka69 bets 3,000 - Aces are so weak here
Astin raises to 9,000 - TPTK! The CR obviously means I have a 2! Preflop action be damned!
wwonka69 raises to 10,248, and is all in
Astin calls 1,248 - Whoops... committed now.
wwonka69 shows [Ad As]
Astin shows [4c Ac]
Astin: whoops - That's what I said!
*** TURN *** [2h 4h 2d] [Kc]
*** RIVER *** [2h 4h 2d Kc] [9h]
wwonka69 shows two pair, Aces and Twos
Astin shows two pair, Fours and Twos
wwonka69 wins the pot (27,896) with two pair, Aces and Twos

I wasn't lying about giving it away. I might as well have tied a bow around it for Wonka. Not dead by any means (9,992 chips left), but hurting. I pretty much stayed there and blinded away around 1000 chips. Until my lovely ladies showed up again.

Table 6 - 250/500 Ante 50 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:20:35 ET - 2008/05/22
Seat 1: flstfboy11 (28,705)
Seat 2: Astin (8,842)
Seat 3: Baywolfe (6,750)
Seat 4: JD Schellnutt (9,195)
Seat 5: NumbBono (12,395)
Seat 6: PouringReign (13,500)
Seat 7: wwonka69 (38,126)
Seat 8: katitude (3,048)
Seat 9: dwal78 (32,340)
flstfboy11 antes 50
Astin antes 50
Baywolfe antes 50
JD Schellnutt antes 50
NumbBono antes 50
PouringReign antes 50
wwonka69 antes 50
katitude antes 50
dwal78 antes 50
PouringReign posts the small blind of 250
wwonka69 posts the big blind of 500
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Qs Qh]
Astin raises to 2,200
PouringReign calls 1,950
*** FLOP *** [8s 3c Kd]
PouringReign bets 3,500
Astin raises to 6,592, and is all in
PouringReign calls 3,092
Astin shows [Qs Qh]
PouringReign shows [9s 9h]
*** TURN *** [8s 3c Kd] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [8s 3c Kd Ac] [Ks]
Astin shows two pair, Kings and Queens
PouringReign shows two pair, Kings and Nines
Astin wins the pot (18,534) with two pair, Kings and Queens

Breathing space again. I gave away a few grand on bad flops, and failed steals. Won it back with AA preflop. Which was unfortunate because one hand earlier my folded A8s (to a raise and call with KQo and KJo) would have taken down a bigger pot.

We got 5-handed on the final table and cash bubble, and I stepped up the aggression to chip up some more. Then the bubble popped and the table looked like this:

And this this happened:

Table 8 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:53:33 ET - 2008/05/22
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [9d 9h]
scottc25 raises to 4,000
Astin has 15 seconds left to act
Astin raises to 14,250
scottc25 raises to 22,109, and is all in
Astin calls 7,859
scottc25 shows [Kd Ks]
Astin shows [9d 9h]
scottc25 shows a straight, Ace high
Astin shows a pair of Nines
scottc25 wins the pot (46,468) with a straight, Ace high

This dropped me to 600 chips (not 450 - the 150 ante left me with 450 behind). So I did this:

Astin wins the main pot (2,850) with two pair, Kings and Nines

Astin wins the pot (7,050) with two pair, Kings and Eights

I folded crap for a few hands and took hits from the blinds and antes. M = 1.4, and looking for something remotely live.

Table 8 - 600/1200 Ante 150 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:00:07 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 1: NumbBono (14,400)
Seat 3: scottc25 (49,368)
Seat 4: wwonka69 (10,684)
Seat 5: dwal78 (105,748)
Seat 6: NCDeaton (20,450)
Seat 7: Astin (4,050)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (59,300)
NumbBono antes 150
scottc25 antes 150
wwonka69 antes 150
dwal78 antes 150
NCDeaton antes 150
Astin antes 150
PirateLawyer antes 150
wwonka69 posts the small blind of 600
dwal78 posts the big blind of 1,200
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [6s 7c]
Astin raises to 3,900, and is all in
wwonka69 raises to 10,534, and is all in
wwonka69 shows [Td As]
Astin shows [6s 7c]
Uncalled bet of 6,634 returned to wwonka69
*** FLOP *** [Jd Qs 5h]
*** TURN *** [Jd Qs 5h] [6h]
*** RIVER *** [Jd Qs 5h 6h] [6d]
wwonka69 shows a pair of Sixes
Astin shows three of a kind, Sixes
Astin wins the pot (10,050) with three of a kind, Sixes

Once again, ATo goes down to me and my horseshoe on the brink. And again, blinds and antes chip away at my tiny stack. M = 1.8... and I get the hammer for the 2nd time at the final table, what else am I supposed to do?

Full Tilt Poker Game #6527032040: Riverchasers Online Tour (49262698), Table 8 - 800/1600 Ante 200 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:05:00 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 1: NumbBono (15,200)
Seat 3: scottc25 (48,268)
Seat 4: wwonka69 (11,168)
Seat 5: dwal78 (80,964)
Seat 6: NCDeaton (43,450)
Seat 7: Astin (7,000)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (57,950)
NumbBono antes 200
scottc25 antes 200
wwonka69 antes 200
dwal78 antes 200
NCDeaton antes 200
Astin antes 200
PirateLawyer antes 200
dwal78 posts the small blind of 800
NCDeaton posts the big blind of 1,600
Fuel55 (Observer): decent flop
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [2h 7s]
Astin raises to 6,800, and is all in
NCDeaton calls 5,200
Astin shows [2h 7s]
NCDeaton shows [6h Kc]
*** FLOP *** [Jd 7d Ac]
*** TURN *** [Jd 7d Ac] [6c]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 7d Ac 6c] [Js]
Astin shows two pair, Jacks and Sevens
NCDeaton shows two pair, Jacks and Sixes
Astin wins the pot (15,800) with two pair, Jacks and Sevens

Hammer at the final table = the nuts obviously. Still, I have just enough chips to be mildly picky and fold to raises. But I'm pushing anything remotely likable if the pot is unopened. I take blinds and antes with 44, which keeps me alive, but I chip down again to 8900, M just under 2, with 6 left.

I shoved preflop, hating it all the way. I despise pushing short-stacked with A-rag, but seeing how often people thought KQ and KJ were the nuts, figured I might get a call from the BB with total crap. I figured I was finally done when PirateLawyer flipped the Jacks... but of course, they don't call this the Riverchasers for nothing.

I was still in last, but once again had some life. I started stealing when I could to stay afloat, and then found my old friends...

Table 8 - 1000/2000 Ante 250 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:25:05 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 1: NumbBono (45,550)
Seat 3: scottc25 (44,268)
Seat 5: dwal78 (110,632)
Seat 7: Astin (23,550)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (40,000)
NumbBono antes 250
scottc25 antes 250
dwal78 antes 250
Astin antes 250
PirateLawyer antes 250
Astin posts the small blind of 1,000
PirateLawyer posts the big blind of 2,000
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Ad As] - Yup, hard to believe
dwal78 raises to 5,500
Astin raises to 23,300, and is all in
dwal78 calls 17,800
Astin shows [Ad As]
dwal78 shows [Jc Jd]
*** FLOP *** [5h Kh Qd]
*** TURN *** [5h Kh Qd] [3d]
*** RIVER *** [5h Kh Qd 3d] [Qh]
Astin shows two pair, Aces and Queens
dwal78 shows two pair, Queens and Jacks
Astin wins the pot (49,850) with two pair, Aces and Queens

I took some flack for thinking about this one, which was the hand right after the AA:

Table 8 - 1000/2000 Ante 250 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:25:41 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 1: NumbBono (45,300)
Seat 3: scottc25 (44,018)
Seat 5: dwal78 (87,082)
Seat 7: Astin (49,850)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (37,750)
NumbBono antes 250
scottc25 antes 250
dwal78 antes 250
Astin antes 250
PirateLawyer antes 250
PirateLawyer posts the small blind of 1,000
NumbBono posts the big blind of 2,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [As Jh]
dwal78 raises to 5,500
Astin calls 5,500
NumbBono calls 3,500
*** FLOP *** [9h 5h Js]
NumbBono bets 39,550, and is all in
dwal78 has 15 seconds left to act
dwal78 folds
Astin has 15 seconds left to act
Astin has requested TIME
Astin calls 39,550
NumbBono shows [Jd Qh]
Astin shows [As Jh]
*** TURN *** [9h 5h Js] [6c]
*** RIVER *** [9h 5h Js 6c] [9d]
NumbBono shows two pair, Jacks and Nines
Astin shows two pair, Jacks and Nines
Astin wins the pot (97,850) with two pair, Jacks and Nines

I'd just built my stack up to something respectable and had to decide if TPTK was worth giving it all back with TPTK 5-handed and 1.5:1 odds. NumbBono was getting better than 4:1 to call preflop. He could have taken a risk to slowplay a monster, or a medium pair and caught his set. I decided I was good, and hoped (always bad) to be against a worse Jack or a heart draw, even though I was thinking overpair. Obviously, I was wrong about the overpair, and now had the chiplead with 4 left. Not bad from 600.

The lead bounced between me and Dwal for a bit and even went to PirateLawyer for a hand, which evened out the table a bunch. A couple uncontested AK's and a few paint hands played aggressively got me back on top quickly. I held on to this tightly, despite some great moves by PL to move close a few times. Then, the biggest hand of the night:

Full Tilt Poker Game #6527499377: Riverchasers Online Tour (49262698), Table 8 - 1500/3000 Ante 400 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:45:43 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 3: scottc25 (65,236)
Seat 5: dwal78 (39,782)
Seat 7: Astin (97,750)
Seat 8: PirateLawyer (61,232)
scottc25 antes 400
dwal78 antes 400
Astin antes 400
PirateLawyer antes 400
scottc25 posts the small blind of 1,500
dwal78 posts the big blind of 3,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Qs Qh]
Astin raises to 12,100
PirateLawyer has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer raises to 29,200
scottc25 folds
dwal78 raises to 39,382, and is all in
Astin raises to 97,350, and is all in - Remote chance of isolation, but I'd rather get it all in here than decide on a flop 3-way. I've got over 30k behind if called, so I'll still have plenty of life if I lose.
PirateLawyer has 15 seconds left to act
PirateLawyer has requested TIME
PirateLawyer calls 31,632, and is all in

And just like that, we go from 4-handed to heads-up, with the ladies holding up yet again for me. Queens winning that often? Unheard of, I know. I had a better than 3:1 chiplead HU, but Scottc25 made it interesting.

Table 8 - 2000/4000 Ante 500 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:50:53 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 3: scottc25 (64,036)
Seat 7: Astin (199,964)
scottc25 antes 500
Astin antes 500
Astin posts the small blind of 2,000
scottc25 posts the big blind of 4,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [8c 7c]
Astin raises to 13,000
scottc25 calls 9,000
*** FLOP *** [Jd 4c Ts]
scottc25 checks
Astin bets 20,000 - Bluff with the inside straight draw, and backdoor flush
scottc25 raises to 50,536, and is all in
Astin calls 30,536 He has a J, and I'm rich, so I make the uber-loose call
scottc25 shows [Jc 9c] so much for the backdoor
Astin shows [8c 7c]
*** TURN *** [Jd 4c Ts] [7h]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 4c Ts 7h] [2s]
scottc25 shows a pair of Jacks
Astin shows a pair of Sevens
scottc25 wins the pot (128,072) with a pair of Jacks

This evened us up, and we stayed that way for a bit. That is until 2nd pair was believed to be gold. I saw the flop for free, bet on the flop, checked the turn, and pot bet the river.

Then, this hand finished it all off:

Table 8 - 2000/4000 Ante 500 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:55:33 ET - 2008/05/23
Seat 3: scottc25 (99,572)
Seat 7: Astin (164,428)
scottc25 antes 500
Astin antes 500
Astin posts the small blind of 2,000
scottc25 posts the big blind of 4,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Astin [Tc Kd]
Astin raises to 13,000
scottc25 calls 9,000
*** FLOP *** [6c Ks Qh]
scottc25 checks
Astin bets 27,000
scottc25 raises to 86,072, and is all in
Astin calls 59,072
scottc25 shows [Td Qd]
Astin shows [Tc Kd]

And that was all she wrote.

Friday, May 23, 2008


It's late, and I'm not going to go through my HH or screenshots just yet. Look for 'em Saturday maybe. Hey, I have a life you know :)

But let's put it this way:

Down to < 1000 chips early on, to quickly become the chipleader. Give away chiplead. Give away more chips. Get all-in with 99 vs KK and get dropped to 450 chips at the final table. K9 rivers two pair to more than triple. A8 holds? Hammer wins! A3>JJ, AA is still gold, and eventually, chipleader. HU, back and forth... and WINNER!

Actually, I think played a pretty good HU game, and kept the chip lead well at the FT.

Wow. I'm such a luckbox. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

An Honest Question

I'm reading through Donkette's latest series of posts about her recovery from what seems to be very heavy addiction. It's informative, and something I hope her daughter is reading and aware of.

But I have a question. Not just for Donkette, but for all the recovering (and non-recovering) addicts out there in our little world. Why?

I grew up in a fairly stable middle-class family and never really wanted for anything. I'd say my childhood was average - filled with friends, extra-curricular activities, school, scraped knees, and all those other things one would expect. I went through a tough stretch in grade school where I was essentially friendless and depressed, but that turned around before high school, and I found my niche. High school was standard, where I got good grades, had good friends, and had fun. But here's where paths seem to diverge - I generally stayed out of trouble and NEVER did drugs.

Bear in mind - I was introduced to booze when still in single-digits. Standard curiosity I suppose - dad would have a beer and I was curious. One day he let me have a drink. I suppose most kids screw up their faces and say, "ewww!" But I liked it and wanted more. This isn't a story of addiction though, as I've never come anywhere near alcoholism. Dad would pour me a shot glass of beer every once in a while when he was having one, and I'd sip it. That was all. By my teen years, wine with big family dinners or the occasional beer were no big deal. I never had the desire to have more.

In high school, I hung out with the druggies and the smokers. Not once was I pressured into trying anything. In fact, I became the guy who could be handed a cigarette to hold because everybody knew I wouldn't even be tempted to take a drag. I didn't see the point. Why would I choose to start smoking? It looks ridiculous to have a smoldering stick of paper in your mouth. My generation was well-educated on the perils of smoking and what was actually IN those things. I had no desire to inhale tar, nicotine, and the countless other chemicals and poisons found in a cancer stick. If my friends did, that was their call. I reeked of smoke, but never once took so much as a drag.

Same with the drugs. I'd watch them take speed, drop acid, and smoke up in the park behind the strip mall. Then I'd laugh endlessly as they freaked out over having two left hands or claiming the drugs hadn't kicked in while they were chasing fireflies that nobody else could see. Again, after being asked the first time and refusing, there was never any pressure on me to join in. Maybe they were actually my friends, and not junkies looking for codependents. Hell, I'm still friends with those that didn't get burnt out or fucked up. The hard stuff was seldom seen - there were a couple of them who discovered coke, and tried heroin, but that was kept behind closed doors.

Ditto in University. More than once did I find myself at a party with a bong being passed around, which I gladly passed to my left without even a thought of trying it myself. I was happy to get drunk and loud... but even at my slurry and wobbly-best, drugs weren't an option as far as I was concerned. By this time, anything harder than weed wasn't really seen among my current group of friends, although many had tried others in the past.

I'd seen the burnouts, the freakouts, the flashbacks, and the pathetic lives that resulted from overindulging and addiction. I knew going in that these were all very real possibilites. The seldom-used rational part of my brain seemed to be working here and it was clear to me that the consequences weren't worth the high. Add in a healthy fear of getting caught and the illegality of it, and I was staying clean as a whistle.

I'm honestly not trying to come off as holier-than-thou here. I'm just trying to lay out why I'm confused by this. Most of the stories of recovery that have come out in our group start with "I had a good childhood." Middle-class, stable families with strong values and lots of love. Then they seem to turn on a dime with "I started using drugs around this time." With little rationale behind WHY people started. Was it boredom? Peer pressure? Rebellion against authority? Straight-up stupidity? I mean, if your stories started with "My dad was an abusive jerk who beat my alcoholic mother and me when I wasn't out with the street gangs." I could understand the cultural and societal pressure to some degree. But these stories start with descriptions that could just as easily be my life... why the other path? I even get smoking and weed, to a degree, as they're fairly comparable to alcohol in terms of recreational use. I'm not asking about why you KEPT doing it, or why you couldn't see you were an addict, or why you turned to harder drugs... I'm asking why you tried it that first time, because frankly, I don't get it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Failure and Success

Let's start with yesterday's mistake.

The sauce, just about reduced.

It looked good, smelled good, but tasted wrong. Too much soy? Too much Szechuan pepper? Vodka-spiked chicken? Something didn't vibe.

On to today's experiment. Made for one, adjust accordingly.

One boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/4 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
2 cups cold water
Feta cheese
Two strips of prosciutto
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Add the salt and sugar to the boiling water, stir to dissolve. Add Cold water, stir until everything dissolved. Make sure the brine is COLD, or you'll be warming the chicken, which isn't good news bacteria-wise. Pour the solution into a ziploc bag with the chicken breast. Place in the fridge for 45-90min. This is brining the chicken, which will cause the meat to absorb water and some flavour. The sugar is to cut the saltiness.

In a small bowl, mix together feta, dried herbs, garlic powder, pepper, and butter (cold, cut into small pieces). It doesn't have to be combined, just well mixed.

Preheat oven to 425ºF

After the brining is done, dump the water and rinse off the breast. Place it between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the breast with a meat hammer, heavy can, whatever, to thin it out so it can be easily rolled.

Lie the two strips of prosciutto next to one another, with some small overlap. Place the chicken on top of the prosciutto.

Put the feta mix in the centre of the chicken breast. Roll the prosciutto and chicken breast. Use toothpicks to hold the roll together.

Heat oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place the rolled chicken onto the pan, and roll slowly, to quickly fry all over. Add a bit more oil.

Place the rosemary sprigs on top of the chicken. Transfer pan to middle rack of oven and roast for 15-20min. If you want, use a probe thermometer - meat should reach 160-165ºF.

Remove pan, and serve. I served with steamed green beans (I have so many to go through) and spicy freezer fries.

Out of the oven.

Close-up time.

The full meal... yum.

Looking good.

Damn was that tasty.

Yah, tonight's experiment more than made up for yesterday's mistake. Best chicken I've had in a while. Definitely on my make-again list.

A few mistakes I made in this one that were fixed:

- I didn't let the brine get cold enough before adding it to the bag with the chicken. I realized this as I was pouring, as it was still warm. I quickly dropped the sealed bag into an ice bath to get the temperature down quickly.

- I didn't cook the chicken long enough at first (I had it in for 12 min) This messed up the timing with the other parts of the meal. I put it back in the oven for 3 more minutes, and broiled on high for the last 2. It turned out really well despite myself.

Wednesday Already?

Oh short weeks, how do I love thee?

Bombed out of the Skill Game last night in 42nd. Whatev. Mookie tonight, but I may play live, which always confounds Mookieness, especially with the 1500 starting stacks.

A lesson learned - don't marinate chicken in a vodka-based marinade for 16+ hours. It makes the chicken taste too much like vodka. Dinner didn't get finished last night as the flavours mismatched just enough to be unsettling. I think I overdid the szechuan pepper. It numbs the tongue, and messes up other flavours. It smelled really good though. With luck I'll be home in time tonight to do a quick chicken something with a quick side... since I have one breast in the fridge that's got a best before of today.

I found this game to be quite interesting. It's seemingly dry (balance the US budget), but the interesting part comes afterwards. You get to compare to other demographics (state, age, salary, geneder, political affiliation, or any combination), which reveals a fair bit. I made my 3 badges (environment, health & wellness, and small government), reduced the debt to 18.7% of GDP, and put together a budget that sees a surplus past 2070. Have fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fear, I Know Thee...

...and thy name is No-limit Omaha.

I forgot that was the Skill Game for tonight. I'm so there.

PL is one thing, but will it actually be possible to chase someone off an Omaha draw with NO limit? I doubt it. At least nobody will lose a limb in this minefield.

Ugly, ugly poker... that's what this shall be. Grab on tight, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and enjoy the ride.

Short Week

Ah, the dual-beauty of the long weekend is the short week that follows.

My 3rd place in the 4k was the poker highlight of the weekend. One $11 turbo win and then the continued journey of losing races, favourites, and running KK into AA, etc.. ie.- Out 21st in the MATH when my KK failed to hold up against AK. Then again, my AJ (unbeatable in the MATH) knocked out bdidde's KK earlier on, so who am I to complain?

But poker was but a small part of the long weekend. I went out to a BBQ on Sunday that (as usual) involved me putting together a BBQ sauce for the chicken and doing all the Q'ing. Not that I mind, since I don't BBQ at home nearly enough. I also picked up a few items I've been meaning to get for a while - a new gravity waffler (my old one up and died a loooong time ago), and a massage chair cushion (Quad-roller baby). Sitting at the keyboard losing my 16th race in a row is much easier when you have shiatsu and heat going on your lower back.

Necessary supplies for livinig (read: toilet paper and paper towels) was the excuse to hit Costco. Ribeyes and striploins were also emitting their siren calls. Somehow, I walked out with a cart's worth of stuff... again.

But before all that was a stop at a Turkic grocery store in the north part of the city. I'd been meaning to go for a couple months and was finally in the neighbourhood. Why? Well, I now have 3 cezves and a turkish grinder. I went with my coffee-loving best friend who picked up a similar stash of supplies. I can now make a proper turkish coffee... with style. I think we made the owners' day when we rung out. "Are you opening a coffee shop?" Maybe we should.

Throw in surprise dim sum yesterday afternoon, and a nice marinated steak for dinner (less apple cider vinegar next time methinks... too sweet), and it was a good weekend.

I was also struck by a desire at about 1am this morning. So instead of going to bed, I pulled out a mixing bowl and tossed in some oil, vodka, two hot sauces, dijon mustard, spicy sundried tomato pesto, chili powder, cayenne pepper, habanero pepper, ground lemongrass, kosher salt, and fresh minced garlic. This got dumped in a ziploc with a chicken breast and has been in my fridge since. I haven't completely figured out step 2 yet... but it could go something like this:

- Rinse breast (because it will be salty)
- Grate some fresh ginger
- Mince some more garlic
- Toast and grind some szechuan pepper
- Combine ginger, garlic, pepper and orange juice in a pan and reduce until syrupy
- Maybe add some more spicy heat to the sauce
- Steam rice
- Pan roast chicken with butter and herbs
- Serve chicken on rice, covered with orange sauce

With luck, it will be a spicy orange ginger chicken on rice. If I'm wrong, it will be sticky-orangey chicken on rice that sets my tongue on fire. We'll see how it goes. All that from watching Alton Brown make Buffalo chicken wings, and Heston Blumenthal make his perfect Chicken Tikka Masala (which is apparently little more than butter chicken... mmm... butter chicken). I almost pulled out some yogurt for this one.

The BBT3 continues to wind down (8 more to go!) with the Skill Game tonight. I haven't checked what the game is, so I have yet to decide if I'm in or not. I'm fairly resigned to not doing as well as I'd like in this BBT... as it would take some phenomenal results in the next 8 matches for me to make a run at anything. There's always the freeroll though.

There's a good chance I'll be in front of my Wii playing No More Heroes or Boom Blox tonight instead. Two less-similar games I can't think of. One involves being an assassin-for-hire with a lightsabre-like weapon, wrestling moves, and Tarantino-esque amounts of blood. The other has blocky-cute animal-things and a Jenga-like play system. They're both fun.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Not A Bad Start

Could be a good long weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2008


It's really quite remarkable how witty I am.

Today is dragging. I'm begging for the closing bell to ring so I can get out of Dodge and enjoy the long weekend. I'm not actually going anywhere, but I want to get home, lose the shoes and kick back. Tonight's plan? Nada. I picked up some new video games to play around with, will likely stop by the Donkament, and maybe play some other poker. There will be movie and TV watching in there too. I have no idea what dinner will be, but it will involve minimal effort.

Am I ever tired and fog-headed.

Tomorrow - more of the same, but with some necessary shopping beforehand (running out of paper-based products here, and beef, two very necessary things... Costco, here I come!) A possible appearance at Saturday's With Dr. Pauly.

Sunday - BBQ a little bit out of the city, and fireworks. The downside of driving is the lack of drinking.

Monday - Wake up in time to go to bed. Oh, and play the Hoy.

Have a fun and profitable weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quick Links

Slate's got a good article on... Solitaire, and why it's so damned popular.

A woman goes for a drive with some teenagers in Saudi Arabia. Why? Because she was curious about why they number girls. I just can't imagine growing up in some places.

Chad makes a rare blogging appearance, relating some live poker fun. I found it tremendously amusing, and it just furthers my desire to go to Vegas the 2nd weekend of June. Yah, I'll probably be there, just let me check some flights.

Oh... and otters are cute.


In case anyone's wondering how last night's meal was: Very tasty.

Vodka-Lime Marinated Pork Chop:

- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/8 cup lime juice (around 1/2 a lime)
- A few sprigs of fresh sage, torn up
- Leaves of one sprig of rosemary
- One whole sprig of rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme (turns out I'm tarragonless)
- A couple pinches of salt

Mix it all together, and pour it into a ziplock bag. Add a few round slices of lime, and the pork chop (in my case, 1 1/2 lb rib chop). I had planned to use lime vodka as well as lime, but then discovered I didn't have any.

I let it sit in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours, and then had it sit on the counter for another 45 min to get to room temperature for even cooking.

Note: The lime juice will "cook" the outside of the chop a bit. I may use more oil in the future to balance out the acidity further. Feel free to adjust, especially if you plan to marinade overnight (which would just improve the flavour).

The chop was then grilled on a grill at just under high heat. 4 minutes a side, with a 1/4 turn every 2 min (to give the diamond/square grill marks). This left it a nice light pink inside, and still moist.

Aged Cheddar & Roasted Garlic Whipped Red Potato:

- Red skin potatoes
- 2 year-old cheddar
- Garlic
- Little bit of oil
- Butter
- Whipping/heavy cream

For the roasted garlic, I took a few cloves, cut them lengthwise, drizzled them with oil, wrapped them in foil, and put them in my toaster oven at 375F for 25 min.

Pretty standard whipped potato style here. I took a couple medium-sized redskin potatoes, scrubbed, chopped, and boiled 'em. Once they were fork tender, I drained the pot, tossed in some 2 year-old orange cheddar, the roasted garlic, BUTTER (fie to you who use margarine or chicken stock!), and whipping cream. Then I took a hand mixer (not blender) to them on low speeds. Usually I hand-mash, but I was looking for consistency and air this time.

Green beans were standard. I've taken to microwaving fresh veggies of late. It's quicker than stovetop steaming, and supposedly retains more of the nutrients. I overdid these ones by about 30 seconds though... they were still fine, but not as crisp as I'd like. Beans + bowl + some water in the bottom. Plastic wrap over the bowl, with some steam holes poked in, and in the microwave for 2 min. Let cool a bit.

Dessert should be obvious. Fresh strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and kiwi cut up in a bowl. Baskin-Robbin's World Class Chocolate on top, and melted white chocolate drizzled on top of that. Easy stuff. I had started a whole white chocolate and marshmallow thing, but the mallows were stale and ended up browning and then solidifying, so I just kept to melting the white chocolate in the microwave and drizzling it on.

As for the drinks that went with? The first one was sour. I'll use less lime in the future and maybe a splash of triple sec. The 2nd one didn't work, as the creme de cassis and godiva curdled. I found this odd, since you should be able to mix creme de cassis with cream (I've done it in the past). So I stuck with Godiva on the rocks with dessert.

Dinner, But no Mookie Win

Out when AK < 44. I suck at poker.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


As planned, I went suit shopping. I brought my best friend/style consultant (because I apparently have no taste) along so that I didn't drop a G on something horrific. I ended up buying a pretty sweet Boss number. I figure there are two outcomes of this: 1.- I bought the same suit as the groom (since I know he also went with Hugo), or 2.- I'll be better dressed than him. Glad I'm not a bridesmaid, that sort of faux pas is deadly.

That was followed by a very tasty dinner at Spuntini, an Italian restaurant I'd never been to, but which my friend recommended highly. Shrimp appetizer, Veal Saltimbocca main, a 7 year-old bottle of Barolo, and a decent cappuccino to finish was a great meal. In fact, the main was the most authentic Italian-tasting meal I've had outside of Italy. I shall be returning.

I made it back home about 45min into the Skill Game, promptly got myself to double the starting chip stack, then 1st place, and then crashed and burned. I forgot that there is no humanly possible way to avoid someone hitting an inside straight draw on the turn in Omaha H/L when you flop top set. Even then, my chip count was decent. It quickly dwindled though, and eventually I had to take a stand with 88 in HE, which ran into AA. Ah well. Out in the 20's I believe. Yah, I had some cards last night.

But then I fired up some more BR-wise $6.50 Turbo SnGs. Actually, $6.50 is too big for my current Tilt roll, but anything less is too ridiculous even for me. I dominated both of them and won easily. The monkey that's been on my back for the last month started stepping off... but I doubt he's gone yet. I did focus more though, and stopped overthinking things. It seemed to work... or maybe I just got lucky.

Tonight is... THE MOOKIE! Who doesn't love the Mookie? Should be fun. I'm actually most looking forward to trying out the drinks I've been posting in Kat's comments the past couple days. It would be irresponsible of me to suggest beverages I wasn't willing to make myself. First though, I need to pick up some Godiva. Oh, and figure out a meal that works with them.

Let's see. The Fuckem is strong, sour, bitter, and ginny. The Sweet Fuck All is sweet and rich (obviously dessert). I'm thinking fish might be a good main... no.... pork. Yes... okay. Let's see how this works:

Boneless pork chops, marinated in lime and vodka, with savoury herbs (possibly rosemary, sage, and tarragon?). Wrapped in prosciutto and grilled. (There seems to have been a lot of proscuitto in my life of late). The sides will be green beans and whipped potato with aged cheddar and roasted garlic.

For dessert, I'll pick up some form of rich chocolate ice cream, and make a hot topping with white chocolate and marshmallow, swirled with some sort of fruit (either a jam or fresh).

Yah... that sounds good, and should match nicely with both drinks. Now I just need to find a way to speed up time so I can get to making this. If I can't win The Mookie after THAT meal, I'm doomed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This is Getting Tiresome

I skipped the MATH last night to have some comfort food and see Iron Man. Great movie. Enought action and badassery to make it awesome, but not so much to make it boring. Robert Downey Jr. should just play every superhero. Okay, maybe not She-Hulk. The sequel should be awesome.

I applaud Marvel for taking control of their movies instead of letting studios fuck them up.

I'll be skipping the Skill Game tonight to go buy a suit. Actually, I might be back in time for it, and since it's HOE (I think), I'll probably play.

Yup, buying a suit, tremendously exciting. One of my best friends is getting married in a few weeks... for the second time. I'm in the party... for the second time. A bad omen? Who knows. I wish them the best of luck. After his last disaster, he needs aomething stable and happy. Regardless, it requires a new suit, as my current one is charcoal, not black. Hugo Boss? Armani? I'd go custom, but I've put this off too long to get it done in time.

Okay, let's talk poker. I know I'm not the only one who can't win a race on Full Tilt anymore. I've seen many other posts bemoaning losing streaks right now. I'm pretty sure it's also affecting my play, which only exacerbates the problem. I'm tightening up way too much and then being forced to play marginal hands for fewer chips when the blinds catch up to me.

If I find any time in the near future, I'll be deconstructing my play over the past few weeks. I need to see where I'm going wrong. Right now I don't have the focus, patience, drive, or time to look that deeeply. Instead, I'm guessing. I tighten up. I loosen up. I play more aggressively or less agreessively. I lower the stakes. I raise the stakes. The results don't change though. One thing I am doing is reading just fine. I'm also predicting just fine - as in, "They have QQ, and will flop a Q to beat my AA." I grow tired of this. I'm getting near the reload point, which should not be the case at all.

What I really, REALLY, want, is to spend a weekend sitting on my ass at home. That won't be this weekend. It could be next weekend. It sure won't be the one after that, or the one after that, or the one after that, or the one after that, and very likely not the one after that. Yes, I'm booked until July, and probably beyond. I like having friends and things to do, but sometimes one needs to retreat into one's cave.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekends and Dipshits

As planned, there was a bachelor party this weekend.

Friday - Pick up car. Things that were not planned : 1 1/2 hour talk with bachelor and fiancee on way to get car (they live down the hall from me). Not about anything in particular. I stopped by to let him know when we were leaving, and it led to much chatting about random things as we often do. I finally got back home at 2am, after keeping another friend awake by dropping off some promised things at 1am (about 2 hours later than intended). Oops.

Saturday - Up, ready, and on our way about 30min late. No worries. 4 friends, 1.5 hours of driving = good times. Unfortunately, the Brazilian BBQ place we were planning to eat at had been booked for weeks (best man had tried to make a reservation), and a 10pm dinner was not in our plans, so we ended up going for steak instead. Also, some excellent wine. We also missed the first gambling window due to heavy in-room drinking. We made the 2nd gambling window, but only played (and lost) craps. A visit to an interpretive dance centre was in order afterwards, which was crowded (on a Saturday night in Niagara? Who knew? Oh... everyone). The man of the day had a good time though. Some of us debated 3am poker, but decided sleep was the wiser choice, what with the not wanting to drive the car into a wall the next day.

Sunday - Up 10ish, breakfast at the nearby chain restaurant, and on the road again. As is often the case, a much quieter return trip as we all just wanted to find a glass of water and a pillow. But no, 'twas Mother's Day, so once I got home, I turned around and went back out to see the woman who put up with me for a couple decades on a daily basis. Oh, and had more steak.

Poker was minimal - with some BR-friendly $6 Turbo SnGs... all lost, because I can't win a damned thing on Full Tilt anymore.

How was your weekend?

Now, the dipshits.


Her in Ontario, we have a few nuclear power plants. Pickering, Darlington, and The Bruce. They provide a large chunk of our power, and we're running short of electricity these days - especially in the summer when air conditioning kicks in. The current provincial government pledged to shut down all our coal plants. This means we need to replace that power. Wind power is not proving very feasible in the area (there's a couple test windmills around). Hydroelectric requires a lot of transmission infrastructure from Niagara Falls, or buying it from Quebec. Nuclear is one of the best options for power consumption.

Let's put aside a couple nuclear fears - reactors are not all Chernobyls. Modern reactors are safe and nearly impossible to melt down, even if you tried. Fissionable material is used more effectively now as well, reducing waste substantially from decades ago. Is it perfect? No, but it's not so terrible as people make it seem. If you disagree, that's fine. I'm not here to argue power generation. I'd love to see solar panels on everybody's roofs and tidal power in the lake, but those are local solutions, and don't take care of an entire province.

But one thing that bothers the hell out of me is people who pick a cause, drum up fear, and have absolutely NO fucking clue what they're talking about.

So enters 30km. I provide the link only so people can see the horseshit they're shovelling.

Essentially, the compare the Pickering plant to Chernobyl. It's the closest plant to a major metropolitan area in the world according to them. So, they claim that a Chernobyl-like incident could occur and wreak havoc from Oshawa to Yonge St. in Toronto, or a 30km radius. Lucky me, I'm just over 31km away, so I'll be fine.

Here's the thing - Chernobyl happened due to human stupidity. Specifically managerial stupidity. Essentially, "Let's see what happens in a worst case scenario with a live test!" This was compounded by panic and ignorance making the problem worse and eventually the meltdown. Toss in typical Soviet pride and secrecy and the fallout (apologies for the pun) was made worse.

The Pickering plant is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF REACTOR. CANDU reactors work on a different principal than Chernobyl did. Chernobyl also caused a worldwide restructuring of nuclear safety procedures to prevent idiot middle-managers from fucking things up. Any new reactors built would be even safer.

But these fear-mongers hide their green-power agenda under layers of panic-inducing phrases. "The nuclear industry said Chernobyl would never happen. It did." Followed by "Imagine if an accident occurred at Pickering." Give me a fucking break. Did you take "fear-sales 101"? Fuck off.

Or this doozy - "... in a post-Chernobyl, post-September 11th world..." oh please. Paging Mr. Giuliani, someone is stealing your schtick.

You want local power generation? Green alternatives? Efficiency? That's great. Go for it. Get every one of those ignorant fools you had walking around in gas masks and radiation suits (a good 1.2km away from the 30km border) to put up some solar panels and mini windmills and turn off their TVs instead of looking like uneducated sheep. Push a green agenda without turning to fear that can be easily debunked and by extension negate any other arguments you have.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I Guess I Should Post

Not that I have anything to say. Then again, when do I ever?

Out in the 30's in the Chasers last night after a GREAT start. I started playing with pictures in Photoshop and lost focus on the game. Then I lost some races, continuing a trend that's gone at least a month now, and was out. A shame, since I had just taken 2nd in a $1.25 Turbo SnG for a whopping $1.45 profit!

Yah, poker sucks of late.

But that's okay! I'm off to Niagara tomorrow for a bachelor party! Kat was going to be there independently of my plans, but is now doing a whole Tuckfard gamblefest. In Niagara still? Does this mean I'd have to actually explain how I KNOW so many people at the Fallsview to my friends who don't know I blog?

For those keeping track at home - dinner last night was a salad and one leftover quiche. Salad = iceberg lettuce, wasabi almonds, fresh strawberries, red & yellow peppers, organic tomato, extra old white cheddar, 2 year old orange cheddar, applewood smoked cheddar, english cucumber, avocado, carrot, fresh dill, and topped off with blood orange olive oil and raspberry red wine vinegar. Alas, I didn't have any mandarin oranges to add to that.

Surely I've wasted enough time by now.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
- Philip K. Dick

I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
- Garrison Keillor

Found those to be an interesting pair of quotes.

I played a horrible game last night. I found my horseshoe early on, and then lost my balls in the later stages. I raised JJ in MP to have Smokkee re-raise all-in on me from the blinds. I ended up folding, not wanting to cut into my stack so deeply. Then I raised with 77 from the SB to have NumbBono push from the BB with KQo. I called and lost when a K spiked on the river. Then I raised for 1/2 my small stack with QJs, the BB pushed and I called to find myself facing 33. 3 on the flop sealed that. My inability to win a race continues, but I keep going back to the JJ hand, and wondering if I was ahead, and if so, by how much.

Riverchasers is tonight. I've lost track again, but I think we're in a non-NLHE week. So it depends what the game is before I decide to play or not. There's also a variety of things I need to get out of the way (like my now overdue taxes, and last year's waaaay overdue taxes) that trump poker. So we'll see how it plays out.

I should also figure out Vegas. The 2nd weekend is looking like a pretty well-attended time, but I'm just feeling a bit off about going. I'm not sure why. Probaby because my gambling mojo has been waaaaay off of late. I'll be hitting the Fallsview on Saturday though, so that might change my mind.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Last night's dinner:

The sauce.

The veggies, very colourful.

Mmmmmm... bacon.

Pile it on baby!

Tonight's dinner was crustless quiche, taken from The Minimalist (Mark Bittman) at the NY Times, heavily altered. Watch the video, it's a simple recipe, but worth the 4 minutes of view time.

I changed the cheese to 1/4 cup parmesan, and the other 3/4 split between old cheddar and feta. I fried up and added some bacon and prosciutto; sautéed mushrooms; sautéed yellow onion, broccoli, and zucchini; oregano, basil, and garlic powder.

Oh, and used half whipping cream and half 1% milk. I forgot to heat the cream first, but that just meant I needed to bake them a bit longer.

Made 7 of 'em in a muffin pan. I lack ramekins.

Looks busy.



Yah, good all the way through.

Of course, I wanted something to drink. Seeing as I bought strawberries yesterday, they came into play. Fresh strawberries, blueberry-cranberry juice, orange juice, and raspberry yogurt. Introduce all of the above to an immersion blender.

All together.

I have leftovers from both nights.

And I'm currently in 2nd in The Mookie, with Aces 3 times, kings once, AK once or twice, and 99 about 4 times. Amazing what a good meal can do.

*Edit: Needed a better meal. Out 17th for a $0.90 loss. Bah. One possibly bad fold, and two lost races will do that I suppose.

Over T'd

As I said I would, I skipped the Skill game last night. From the IM's I got, this was likely a good thing. It also got me thinking a bit today about how much time the blogger games really take up.

I get home between 5 and 6 every day. I feed the cats, make dinner, and try to do whatever pressing chores need doing. If there isn't much to be done, then I might sit down and play some SnG's, or the 50-50 satellites, or a token game. If I'm busy, I rush through things so I can make whatever BBT event is happening. With luck, I'm in bed by 1am.

Last night I knew I wasn't playing the Skill game. The whole evening seemed stress-free. I had no deadline on getting things done, and took my time. The night before I went out a bit early from the MATH, and had time to get some stuff done before hitting the hay. I imagine I'll be cutting back on blogger games as the mood takes me. I mean, what's the point if I'm going to be rushed and not in the mindset required to actually make a run?

I didn't make dinner until 9, because I got wrapped up in sorting and editing my pictures from Weekend at Mookies. I could have done much more, but figured getting them up in a timely fashion was more important.

Dinner, by the way, was awesome. And quick. I'll post pictures when I get home, but here's what I did.

- Oil in a stainless steel* pan
- Add one strip of bacon, one strip of prosciutto (in this case, it was 12-month aged Canadian)
- Remove meat when cooked, but not super-crispy.
- Add butter to pan
- Drop a chicken breast on it at medium heat
- While the chicken is cooking, grate some parmesan reggiano. I used a microplane to do this, as it gets the cheese really fine, so it melts quickly.
- Sautée quartered white and cremini mushrooms in butter in another pan. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder.
- Remove the chicken once cooked.
- Drain oils and fluids from the pan
- Drop the temp to low
- Deglaze the pan with white wine (I had some liebfraumilsch in the fridge)
- Add butter
- Add heavy/whipping cream
- Add bacon and proscuitto back to cream
- Add oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and some ground coriander seed (optional)
- Add mushrooms
- Stir together
- Increase temp to med-low
- Once cream sauce starts to bubble (but not boil), drop temp to low
- Add grated parmesan, stir until melted (should happen quickly)
- Pour on chicken
- Enjoy!

It was fucking awesome. I impressed myself.

*Stainless steel is key here. Non-stick won't actually have anything to deglaze off the pan, by nature of being non-stick. Cast iron soaks up liquids, and will also colour the cream sauce severely. Stainless steel is absolutely necessary for proper deglazing.

Mookie tonight. I imagine I'll be there, unless something shinier distracts me.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Vegas Mulligan?

Hoy's gone and blogged about his being in Vegas the week after the "official" blogger gathering. Didn't we already know this? I can't remember. I do know that along with him, LJ, Vinnay, The Tuckfards, Cmitch, the Vegas residents (Don, CK, F-Train, Carmen, Chad, and others I'm doubtlessly omitting), the reporters (Pauly, CC possibly, Otis, etc.), and likely more (Fuel? Lucko?) will be in attendance. I may swing down that way that weekend as well. In fact, after writing out that list, I feel even more inclined.

Does the weekend of the 14th become the WPBT June Mulligan? It's not like it takes organization for people to meet up at a bar or play cards in the same room.

Let's Talk Dinner

So tonight's plan is chicken in a mushroom cream sauce. The last time I made this was years ago - it involved a can of cream of mushroom soup and spices.

Tonight it will involved heavy cream, butter, parmesan reggiano, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, white and cremini mushrooms, and chicken of course.

Likely with broccoli next to it. Possibly mashed potatoes as well. Yah, it'll be dairy-heavy.

And I plan to skip the Skill Game. Razz? I think not.

CC Inspired

Craig put up a bunch of links re: Casino/Vegas troubles. Tropicana group has filed for chapter 11 to restructure their business. Seems they plan to sell the AC locations to get out of debt and maintain their Vegas business. They complained a little over a month ago that there were investors trying to push them into bankruptcy so they could get at that decent chunk of real estate they have on the strip.

Nothing in Vegas is permanent. The Flamingo, Tropicana, Circus Circus, Sands, and many others will likely be memories within a decade. No city in the world seems happier to knock down the old to put up the new. There's nothing wrong with that, since Vegas has this odd sense of impermanence to it. It feels as if it could all be blown away with a strong enough wind. Even the hotel-casinos in the middle range of age are starting to feel old - The Monte Carlo, MGM Grand, Bally's, Harrah's, The Mirage, and more feel somehow inadequate when compared to the behemoths that surround them. Oddly, places that have somehow survived - The Imperial Palace, Casino Royale, and their ilk, seem more permanent than their neighbours. They're the anchors of seediness that keep the strip "real".

And right now, Vegas is starting to feel the squeeze. I was wondering about this as the offers for cheap stays started arriving en masse in my physical mailbox. "Book by May 31st for stays until July 30th!" Really? They need to offer me a deal that covers the WSOP period? They must be getting desperate. Gambling revenues are down, room vacancies are up, and the foreign business coming in isn't making up for the lost domestic tally. A weak dollar, a weak economy, and a housing collapse are forcing people to reprioritize. It seems betting against the house is coming somewhat low on that list.

The increase in quality casinos outside of Nevada isn't helping either. I can drive to Niagara in 90 minutes or less for my craps fix. My poker club runs limits I'd play in the casino, and a better structure and quality of play for tournaments than I'd find at a casino. This is repeated for people all over North America.

But this is Vegas, and it will adapt. Just as it builds, it can stop building. These are people who know how the long tail and lateral business streams work. Vegas has changed over the years from a cheap vacation to a splurge. This was possible because people were willing to spend. Now, they aren't. I expect that if things continue down, it will swing the other way. Cheap rooms, generous food comps, free nights, and more low-limit tables appearing. Maybe it won't be so hard to find $5 tables on a Friday night anymore. At the end of the day, the more people they have, the more money they make. The high-rollers will still be there. Who they lose are the casual gamblers - the people with families looking to get away for a weekend and sin a bit, the bachelor(ette) parties looking to sin a lot, the college kids, the poker players looking to try their hand in the heart of it all, and so on. Making it more affordable for them to show up is what built Vegas in the first place.

Monday, May 05, 2008


There's been some discussion re: Harrah's decision to delay the final table until November. CC, the Upfor Crew, and others have contributed their two cents far more astutely than I could.

So my question is this - is it time to start a new WSOP?

This actually has very little to do with the delay. I'm not sure how I feel about that aspect. It has more to do with the overall evolution of the tournament.

30 some-odd years ago, Benny Binion invited some buddies to play poker. They voted for the winner. Then they played a tournament the next year. Then it grew. The buy-in became $10k. Media got involved. It became Binon's biggest advertisement. Eventually, it had thousands playing. Now it's owned and controlled exclusively by a casino company.

It's a donkfest. Everybody knows this. Thousands enter, maybe 1 or 2 pros make the final table. Unknown amateurs take it down and get tons of media coverage, sponsorship deals, and sign exclusivity contracts with poker sites. But nobody really thinks they're the best player in the world. In fact, if someone like Ivey won it, he'd add legitimacy to the tournament, not the other way around. The biggest winner is Harrah's.

It also suggests that the best hold'em player is the best player period.

There's the HORSE event, where the variety of games and $50k buy-in limits the field. This is often a more coveted bracelet than the ME these days among the pros. A case can be strongly made that this is the true World Series event. But it's only one event, that anyone with the scratch and guts can play.

There's also NBC's Heads-up challenge, and the WPT Tournament of Champions. But HU is a coinflip, and the WPT ToC has been without some notable pros of late.

Look at other contests (I refuse to call poker a sport). The World Series of Baseball, the Majors in golf, the Grand Slam events in Tennis, the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup, the Grey Cup, the NBA Championship, the NCAA Championships, etc, etc.. These have something that the poker tournaments don't have - qualifying rules.

In the major league sports (Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey), Joe average can't win the championship. You have to be a recognized team in the official leagues, and play a regular season followed by bracketed playoffs to play in a final match for the trophy.

In golf, you need to qualify. Sure, the Opens and Masters have amateurs, but they either have to meet the requirements or be invited.

The NCAA is all amateurs, but again, they need to get ON the team, and the team needs to qualify for those 64 spots.

Even the Olympics - the supposed paragon of amateur competition has rounds of qualifying matches to go for a medal for your country. I can't just walk up to a registration window and be in the decathalon.

But every single WSOP event has but one requirement to play - you need to have enough money. It doesn't matter how you got it, you just need it. I can take 10 large and fly down to Vegas to sign up for my shot at a pretty bracelet and millions of dollars. This is what makes it such a great game. The fat dude next door can be a millionaire and celebrity by pushing all-in whenever he gets aces.

But it doesn't mean a damn thing in terms of rankings.

The old adage for poker is the we keep score by money. Really? I believe the #1 money winner for the last 5 years has been whoever won the WSOP ME. So by that logic, Moneymaker, Raymer, Hachem, Gold, and Yang have had the highest scores in years past. There's what, 2 people on that list that could reasonably be considered high-calibre players, and they were ALL unknowns before that. Ferguson was the last legit champ.

The nature of tournaments isn't that you beat everyone else, just that you beat some of them and outlasted the rest. So can a tournament really determine the best player in the world? A case could only be made for this if all the participants were of similar ability and qualifications.

So how do you assure this? It seems to me that perhaps the PGA is the closest template to be used. A series of tournaments where the players need to actually qualify or be invited to play. A final championship that isn't the answer to the question of who's best, but the contributing factor.

Yes, I'm familiar with the Professional Poker League, but I'm not talking about teams. Poker isn't a team sport. It's an individual pursuit, so requires individual qualification and performance metrics.

So you set it up using a tour model. Different events, different games, different stakes, at different casinos/rooms around the world. A handful of them are opens, where anyone who meets the requirements (be it total money won, ROI, winning one of a LIMITED number of satellites, invite, etc.) can enter provided they have the buy-in as well. The rest are via tour qualification rules and invite-only. Just having the buy-in and being in the neighbourhood isn't enough. Obviously the known roll of pros gets invited initially. Past WSOP and WPT champs as well and a few celebrity players for media attention, but ones that have shown at least SOME ability in the game. After that initial invite, tour cards can be kept or lost just as in the PGA. At the end of a season, money and points are tallyed up to determine player of the year.

Sure, the magazines and sites do this already, but is any of it really official? With disparate organizations holding thier own events, there's no unifying oversight. It's sloppy, and creates confusion, which in turns leads to interest being lost. Poker as a whole benefits, although the current WSOP and WPT models might suffer. It's not like the PGA has hurt the number of people going to their local golf courses.

I'm just throwing this out there. Maybe there's a better way. Or maybe the way it's going now is as good as it gets. Then again, if I ask you who the best golfer in the world is - you know. If I ask who the best poker player is? Well, we know how that goes.