Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fat men are funny. I'm getting funnier by the day.

So this past weekend, with out of town friends of the dear Piggy in tow, we went to see John Pinette at the San Jose Improv. Very...VERY...funny. Beer out the nose funny. Changed my mood completely for 2 or 3 days funny. So, yeah, funny. You might know him from his infamous "Chinese Buffett" bit or various bit film and TV parts. His new act is very funny and all that crap is right here on everyone's favorite free online encyclopedia:

On another note, I really like San Jose. Living between the two big Bay Area cities is odd in that -- A) about 4 million of the 5 million people in the area do. B) 90% of us wish we lived where everyone else is. Locks in the 'Prozac-nation' feel of the place.

The problem is, San Jose still rolls up the streets on most nights. The area around San Jose state stays bumping occassionally, but the whole downtown area really shuts down at about 10pm. It has been a much lamented fact that after a show or event in SJ, you just go home. You can't go hit the town. Much to the chagrin of the local economy. And horrible in the fact that so many great resturants (Original Joes, Hawg's Seafood, etc.) and potential nightspots are tucked into this clean, quirky metro-stop in Silicon Valley. If anyone is randomly reading this out in cyberspace and wants to fill me in on how to get around this little bump -- PLEASE DO! It is, logistically, a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to get to SJ than SF from just about anywhere. Not to mention that parking thing.

Other notable events:
1> Piggy and her tourist companions have seen many sites in the area this week:
-- Winchester Mystery House in Santa Clara:
Shows what $20 million and a screw loose could buy you in 1913.
-- Monopoly in the Park, the world's largest Monopoly Board!
-- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
-- Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden, Haight-Ashbury District in San Fancisco.

2> I'm sitting on my butt at work and wishing I was out with them to see all this. To that point, more people need to come visit so I can be a tourist too! (sic. I did get to buy them dinner at In-n'-Out Burger, that is just the kind of guy I am.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So, the door to heaven is guarded by 7 or so elderly, somewhat portly, black gentlemen with shining instruments. They dress in co-ordinated colors and play some mean blues. About 8 o'clock, they start a fanfare that eventually brings god out on stage, dressed in a purple tinged tuxedo. He is a roughly 80 year old, smiling, portly black man with a guitar forged of purified Hell's Onyx and the power of creation dims to his power to control emotion with his music.

I got photos, here are a couple:

BB's ability to still move an entire audience with performance and stage presence far outweighs any slight nicks in his game that come with being 80, diabetic and playing a 30+ city road show. The consummate showman, any slight glitches (from a late entry pick up to getting a little out of breath on a 15 minuet set) were done tongue in cheek and added to the flavor of the show. All in all, they were a plus for him and his band of road show veterans that exuded power and jubilation while practicing their craft with a living legend. No one was putting it through the paces that night, not even ones that might have an excuse. I feel truly blessed to have seen this. It really was on my list of "things to do before I die" and I found it truly inspiring. Object lesson: You are only done when you say you are done. Only finished when you say you quit.

God, I wish everyone could have seen this. I was transported to a blissful Utopia for almost 2 hours that night. Thank you and God bless you BB King.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

BB King tonight at the Mountain Winery. That is about all I think I need to say.

(pics and updates later)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Vegas,, more Vegas.

So this past week has seen me in oh-so-sunny and unseasonably HUMID Las Vegas. While I'm the first person to enjoy a trip to Vegas, its no secret that in my pseudo-crippled blind ass state, poker has proved to be one of the few hobbies I have left that I have any level of proficiency at. However, this proves the saying that you can have too much of a good thing. BUT! Most importantly, another key piece fell into place on the "stuff to do before I die list" so there is a big silver lining to dealing with furniture and shoe conventioneers from across the pond.

This month is the World Series of Poker and yours truly was dropped right into the middle of it. I did play an event, I'll get to that later, but one of the most interesting things was seeing it as a true measure of the growth and legitimacy of the industry. The Gaming Lifestyle Show (interesting name) filled a huge convention room at the Rio and was packed side to side with all manner of businesses plying their wares. While it was dominated by the online cardrooms/casinos, there were several other small businesses and media groups pimping themselves as well. While touring as the unofficial spokesperson and promo-pimp for the guys at "Life’s A Bluff" ( I was able to meet dozens of famous poker pros and World Series Bracelet winners and media magnates. (Get ready for the name dropping) Including:

Greg Raymer (cut him off in the buffet line and then he ate off my used plate...interesting story, but a hell of a down to earth guy to mix with us all at the PPA event -- keepin' poker legal.)
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
Doyle Brunson
Todd Brunson
Jennifer Harmon
Phil Laak
Mike Sexton
Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith and Scott Huff
('The Circuit' Poker Radio Hosts on Sirrius and at, fun show with great tips)
Bart Hanson (of 'Live at the Bike' fame. A special hello to former LA tournament grinder Ronnie McMillan who is doing the website graphics for L@tB.)
Humberto Brenes
Antonio Esphandiari
Joe Hachem
Max Pescatori
(Congrats on your first bracelet Max)
Jhonny Chan (Twice. Sorry if I bothered you Mr. Chan.)
Phil Gordon (Thanks for the tournament advice Mr. Gordon, it helped me do well, see below)
Howard Lederer (Best “who the hell are you” stare, and then friendly handshake)
David Williamson III
(I still think he looks like the guy from Night Court)
Byron Liggett (Columnist for the NW for Poker Player and a guy that was cool enough to share a couple of drinks with a bunch of 30 something web-heads that enjoyed all his stories.)
Mhin "the Master"
Scotty Nguyen

And above all, the Life's A Bluff Crew. (Quack Quack)

Vegas got me thinking and I decided that if I could pop my little chunk of my bankroll into something substantial, I would try to enter the last braceleted event in the world series, Event #40, the $1000 NL Hold 'Em "Donkey Rodeo". Short stacked, fast blinds (compared to other events) and low buy-in it is known to be a fast action, Russian Roulette style game. Actually, very similar to the dozens of events that I've played so I figured I had an edge. Well, they (strongly) cut off the entries at 1100 and 100 alternates due to a chip shortage (WTF??) and lil' old me got in. It was because I won a night tournament that I entered with the LaB team and split a 3 way win for first and $1,100 plus some cash from a few side games and, well, that went right into Event #40 with some cash back. Well, about 1200 people and I finished around 120 in. So, top 10% and on a hell of a run till a bad beat on a perfect move chunked out half my chips, I finished in view of the money, but not quite there. I call it a heck of a virgin WSOP attempt.

Note, I'm tired, the spelling could suck, and I may have left some people out, but here is the story and I hope you loved it. I'm happy to be home and ready to do it again next year.

Want to know who the players are? and find the profiles.