Wednesday, December 19, 2007
For those of us born near Christmas (and I can't imagine the peril for folks born inside a week of - on ON - 'the big day') there is a bit of a double edged sword syndrome to your birthday celebrations. It is a problem about as old as the gift giving tradition has been attached to an otherwise perfectly good religious holiday I imagine. Parents split gift days, pretend to 'double up' on 'value', tell the kids its just a "tough spot" and all kinds of things. Personally, I think people make too big of a deal out of birthdays ANYWAY, so this is not the most awful of problems by a long shot. No, its merely an annoyance that needs a creative solution. The Piggy helps me out by celebrating a HALF birthday somewhere in July and that has been VERY successful over the past couple of years. Mostly due to the fact that the weather does not suck and we end up going out camping or to a ballgame or something. For all its worth, that time has past and I can officially start feeling the holiday spirit!
Piggy and I went out and got a tree and have spruced up the house with little bits here and there and even a wreath and some lights on our foggy front door step. It is a bit of a condensed gesture (I have to concede to decorating outside of my preset 'holiday boycott' to make it work) as we are hitting the road soon, but I think the place looks amazing! Hopefully one of us will put up pictures soon. We also had the staff Holiday Festivities here...they were a Mexican Fiesta theme! Ole'!! That, I do have a picture of!
Anyway, I am off to see the little otter and maybe a little bit of down home. I am hoping beyond hope that the weather tries to hold up for us this year and it has gotten all the really bad crap our of its system already. Getting stuck somewhere in an ice storm and staring at a hotel wall for hours on in would not make me a happy boy. I'll be seeing my lady's family in PA as well. I wish it was baseball season so we could see the newly formed Iron Pigs throw it around, but that probably won't happen. We tossed around the idea of seeing the Eagles play live but the expected weather is less than friendly, so we will look for other forms of entertainment. GAH! So much of this depends on the weather. Good thing card rooms stay open in inclement weather.
Speaking of which...I think I have come to terms with the fact that my tournament game has fallen off steeply. Either from lack of practice, lack of focus, wanting to get too fancy with things that just don't work with a typical local player...or just plain old running horrible. I am currently 2/12 on cashes with almost all but one of those being deep runs with death before the money...usually on bad beats. However, if I was playing better, I should have had the chips to combat that. Some retooling is in order. In the meanwhile, I have turned up the frequency and the profitability on my cash game. It might be that is my solution, but what are you going to do when you love tournament play so much? Ah well, maybe Santa will bring me a lucky streak for Christmas and I'll stop whining about things.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I hope that this post finds you all getting to where you need to be this holiday season. However, I shall not be traveling. I'll be here nursing the last large wounds of the Saints and Chiefs losing streaks and hoping that they both snap out of it soon. Sundays have been miserable for me. I know that makes me hard to live with and makes me wonder how people put up with my BS over a sport I was never any good at.
Anyway, to top that off, this time of the year which is typically very good for my poker game has been brutal. Live had a couple peeks eliminated that pretty much let me settle to a manageable loss but have put me in a bankroll bind as finding a live tournament that fits it is now tough and the cash games I am now forced to sit in are sporadic due to ridiculous play, but are the same games I beat before. Ick, it is weird starting over. But, all in all, I am happy that I've had that roll there to help me this year with things outside poker and that it got big enough to take the shots I did! (There is my Thanksgiving thanks for poker.)
Online, I have hit a few nice scores and gotten close to some bigger ones, but I am happy with my steady progress online. Look for more updates soon!
Most of all though, I am thankful for a loving woman at home, a healthy family (to varying extents, but hey, we are all mobile and not in dire threat of imminent death!) some friends that still remember me and a job that I do not dread going to.
Thank you everyone that:
-- Keeps me smiling.
-- Keeps me working.
-- Keeps me sane (well...close enough)
-- Keeps me grinding it out.
Have a great holiday weekend.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Piggy and I got all dressed up and rolled out early that morning to try and stake out some "down the street" free parking in the sketchy neighborhood that surrounds the Monster Park area. We found one, pulled in and hiked down to a pair of BEAUTIFUL if not over-exuberantly Ebayed seats. The seats were right behind the visitor's bench and thanks to a wonderful usher named Monica, a quick jaunt down to the front row to get some up-close and personal pictures of the team. Not that the jaunt was needed often, I think you'll see that the pics from the seats are pretty awesome! (Nice call on my digital camera upgrade!) Anyway, as promised the photos are below.
One beautiful, tolerant football buddy sporting the injured McAllister's jersey and ready to bear the brunt of being there for the opposing team! (Even though they knocked her Eagles out of the playoffs last year.)
At our seats bright and early! 19 rows up right on the 40 yrd line! The day was amazingly warm and sunny for San Francisco, we both got too much of it. The weather cooled to perfect by the 4th quarter, but by then (for some reason - ahem - ) most of the Saint's starters were on the bench.
Here we are getting ready to score again. Colston became a stud again, actually hanging on to a bunch and scoring 3 TDs. Breese passed fearlessly against what was the number 10 pass defense in the NFL. Reggie racked up another 100 all purpose yards again and the team again got the rock around to a variety of playmakers to lock this one down. Seriously, the Niners were stunned and shut down from the beginning. They have an AMAZING punter though.
Number 99, Hollis Thomas and his fellow lineman. The 6'x6' defensive nose is anchoring a suprising deadly run D and racks up sacks like a line backer. Like they said on TV, they need to let him have a 3 digit number. (Fun fact, we got him from the Eagles.)
The receiving corps getting instructions on the bench. They really passed it around and Patten, Moore and Karney made some plays to put the Saints in key scoring positions.
Reggie gearing up to go again. Pierre Thomas even stepped in as a "hammer back", but they are still working the kinks out of that one.
Commander Brees studying the stills from the game between drives. The offense was on the field so much I think he should invest in a speed reading course.
The post team prayer huddle. Piggy and I both love this. While baseball and basketball pros shun each other after the game now instead of high fiving or saying 'good game', its good to see some form of fellowship like this.
Score at the end of the third quarter. A long field goal put up three and a desperation touchdown by the Niner starters vs. the second string Saints gave you the final score of...
Le Ass Whoopin'. Note that this is at the final tick of the clock and most of the colors in the stands are field team yellow, Saint's gold and black and the back of whatever the Niner fans were wearing if they were still there. They mostly left at the end of the third quarter...traffic going home was a cinch.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Post gord mutilation in 2007 as Piggy and I show off our pumpkins. Also pictured, 'Traz the toothpick holder (he says they are shivs) and Boney the animatronic Halloween wonder.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Currently final table (edit: WON!) at a sizable Razz Tournament on Poker Stars. Given, its Razz so sizable is relative. Few hundo for first anyway, not bad for killing time till going out with my gal to see the Sawx battle the ticket-scalping Rockies. I hate Denver sports on principle, so I'm going with Bean Town on this one.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Chiefs are on and looking a little chaotic so I won't say anything yet, they are up by two FGs and the Raiders haven't some anything yet. Jared Allen is still a stud!! We SQUEAK by again and I think they will give me a heart attack by the end of the season if this keeps up. OPTIMUS PRIEST saw plays and got a first down and about 15 yrds on 3 carries and the Chiefs rack up a W the hard way. It was a battle of defenses and punters (punting yardage was a record) and a divisional battle that left KC in first place. Schweeeet.
NEXT WEEK I GO TO SEE THE SAINTS AT SF FROM THE 40 YRD LINE 19 ROWS UP!
Monday, October 15, 2007
The changes that the Saints included in this weeks game seemed to really work as they crushed the "boom or bust" Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. What many thought would be a snoozer turned out to be a hell of a game (for Saint's fans anyway, and I saw them in the stand helping to whip the Emerald City's 12th man).
The silent signal calling was a counter-counter to the noise in the stadium that Quest Field uses to generate an inordinate amount of false starts. The calls ended up at a tie of 3-3 for illegal procedure related calls. +1 for Payton's gang.
Patton and Moore, two guys that the coaching staff was fairly obvious about including more in the offense this week, both had great support weeks for guys that were only occasional rotation players this year and came up big when the chips were down. Something Henderson and Colston seemed incapable of doing the first 4 games. Look for them to keep stepping up and the offensive swarm to grow under the command of Brees and Payton. +2 for the Saints!!!
Reggie Bush blew up. In a good way. I seemed involved in almost every play in the first quarter and the Saints attacked the run up the middle (exactly where no one expected Bush to go) and really opened up the whole thing after the DST recovered a botched punt for a touchdown to open things up. Reggie pulled a few of the longest rushing yards of his career to spark the game. The Saints built off the Bush-mania to score thrice with players OTHER than Bush. Disappointing for Bush's fantasy owners but sterling for 'Aint's fans as the offense showed that their 'solution' to its problems wasn't to become more one dimensional and continue to capitalize on the abilities of their whole team. + 2 for Reggie who had over 100 yards of offense by the end of the first half and the team effort.
Drew Brees looked like he was commanding the ship again instead of trying to save it from a ravaging storm. His passer rating blew out of the cellar and his pass selection was almost dead on all night. No picks, only one penalty for grounding and clear crisp throws that were still haunted by the occasional drop but far fewer and less critical than in games past. +1 for Captain Brees!! (106.9 passer rating...third highest of the week.)
WE HAVE A DEFENSE!! After not counting a sack all season, we piled up 5 and added 2 fumble recoveries and a pick to the roster. Tackling was SOLID for the most part and one of the worst defenses in the NFL shone against Seattle. Shaun Alexander score less yards than his backup...some dude named Wexler. My new Favorite Fat Man (said with love) is Big 99 ('casue you can't use 3 numbers on a jersy) Hollis Thomas! Shout out to Harper for his 2 Hassel-bags also. + 1 and a sigh of relief for the Defense.
So, it wasn't all positive. And I'll balance it out with this:
Play selection. There were a few plays like running your back-up crusher up the middle on 3rd and 8 behind the 50 and over using the gut-run with Bush to 'play it safe' in the second half that killed some opportunities and risked the game being brought back into control. This stuff not only gained nothing but put negative yards on the board for Bush and other rushers in an otherwise stellar game. We know Payton is 'aggressive' with play calling an his team continues to rise to the occasion when he puts that to them, but his O's 'safe' options border more on WTF than last year's VIP and has for most of the year. - 2 for the Saint's offense, Jacksonville and Philadelphia will not be as forgiving of these types of errors and Chicago, though worse this year, will still create turnovers in those situations where others might miss out.
Colston and Henderson continue to drop passes. They are HUGE deep threats that either need to have stick 'em coated on every inch of their arms or get to football basics church really fast. Drops by all our key players have killed us this year, but Henderson and Colston were the only ones not to drastically improve this game. That may be why they saw minimal action in the second half and Moore and Patten became down-field stars. I hope they got the message. -1 for the formerly stellar WR duo. Do we need to bring Horn back from Atlanta to smack some catch into you? I'm sure he'll take a pay cut about now.
Seattle Fan's...you SUCK! While this has nothing to do with my review of the Saints it has to be said. A big -5 to the Quest Field 12th man for BOOOOING Shaun Alexander and their team from the first half on!! You have a team with all the weapons to at least win the crappy NFC West and you are not supporting but BOOING it?? Saints' fans were getting a bit restless by the time we went 0-4 but at least you have 2 wins to hang your hat on. This is almost the same team that took you to the Superbowl and has resurrected your pathetic program from the DUST!! Grow the hell up.
Anyway, Overall score is +4 for the Gold and Black Attack and a sigh of relief that we may be able to salvage this season yet. We have 'must win' scenarios with a seemingly low calibur but error proof Tampa Bay team piloted by Jeff Garcia and a Vinnie Ballgame Manned squad in Carolina. Final Score 28-17, 367 yrds of offense, 1 turnover (fumble), Breese 25/36 for 2 TDs and no INTs. Bush 19 rushes for 97 yrds and 6 catches for 44 yrs (141 total), Patten 8 for 113, L Moore 1 Rsh TD, Johnson (TE) 1 TD and Marquise Colston on the second try of the same play, one catch to 2 yards and a TD. ROLL SAINTS!!
Those Kansas City CHEATS! (Huh?) I could have sworn this is what the color team called the Chiefs on more than one occasion during this game but the Sea of Red opened up and swallowed the Fuedin' Bengals. Larry Johnson finally got his score (maybe he'll take the diaper off) and Damon Huard posted the second highest passer rating among NFL QBs for the week. New stars D-Bowe and Webb spread the field with their talent and Gonzo went Gonzo 2 TDs and 109 yards for a NFL record setting 63 total career TDs by a Tight End. The big man who never thought he would play pro football continues to shine for his team letting them find themselves and put forth a real shot at winning their turbulent division. Thank you TG, you are the man!!
Jared Allen showed that his suspension had not slowed him down as he dominated the defense, scored two and a half sacks out of three and a forced fumble for the day and mauled the opposition the whole game. God love this kid...KC does. The D as a whole picked pockets (2 INTS) forced a fumble and held the Bengals to one of their lowest scoring totals in a long time -- 20 pts. The game is no where as near as the score might make it seem as desperation plays by the orange and black kitty-cats scored the last touchdown in the 4th Quarter.
Larry Johnson found the endzone TWICE in this game, but fumbled out the back of the endzone on the first go round. I hope he bought Sutain dinner for recovering the ball with a pick right after that allowed him to get that touchdown finally.
Herm Edwards is still playing too safe for ANYONE's comfort -- with or without a lead -- and that will hopefully lessen as the now division leading Chiefs find their voice and thunder on the field.
Game of the week goes to the Saints...it was far more inspiring and impressive to see you dismantle the Seahawks for your first win. Plus, Bob was in a luxury box drinking free beer at Arrowhead and that will make anyone jealous. Consider this my spiteful retort.
A Brief Mention to fallen Mizzou that lost its chance to make the top 10 in the BCS standing by losing in the snake pit. Sorry Tigers, but you are from the MidWest and don't have a legendary name so I don't care WHO you beat, the superflawed BCS won't let you have a top 10 spot now as you have -- shutter -- a loss to another team. Please land in a game with my Gamecocks so I'll have a reason to go to a college bowl game for once in my life. (Meanwhile, Cal and its 'illustrious' victories continue to show the BCS voting retardation for the PAC 10 even after they loose to a team that was Div. I in name only. Jackasses.)
Friday, October 12, 2007
For those of you that seem to think online poker and my obsession with writing about it and posting here about it and playing it are a little odd...it finally pays off!! Well, it gets me an entry into a freeroll with $40,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 6816659
Speaking of online poker:
My progress is as follows:
"The Ferguson Method" on FT. My freeroll cash is not up to $47 dollars! I am on pace with Jesus there, in fact, I think I got out of the gate a bit faster into the real money.
Bodog: They gave me free money and I turned it into $300 over the last month, going to swing for the fences there. Honestly, the site drives me nuts and what they did to some friends of mine is just sick.
PokerStars: My former online poker nemisis has become my poker home. With $230, 340 and 180 MTT wins in the last two months and a steady score rate in STT and cash games, I am generating a regular positive income. Not about to try to live off of it, but for a guy that one year ago was stuggling to make online work and had moved away from his "butter" casino tournaments in LA, this is a huge improvement.
UB and the rest: I have money there...I just have little to no inclination to play on UB/Absolute until this superaccount/bot thing is clarified.
Well, that is the update from the virtual felt. I'm looking for a big score at the Oak's this Saturday and rooting the Saint's and Chiefs through a couple tough games on Sunday!!
Check out the new and improved Life's A Bluff webcomic at www.lifesabluff.com.
I will have a new "bloglike" location for my articles up there shortly.
Shalom, Peace and Paz Amigos.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Ahhh, the St. Louis Zoo. Apparently, ranked the best FREE Zoo in the US, and we agree. Piggy was nice enough to accompany me to St. Louis as you know from the post about the game below to visit my Little Otter and go to a wedding in Kansas City for a Fraternity brother. She is also the camera person in about every shot that does not have her in it. Anyway, we had a great day and saw the Zoo and played in the Zoo Park and even the kids petting Zoo and the incredible map eating goats. Lots of great pictures but the ones below are the best.
The statue garden out front has all the greats in action poses and watching over them from the stadium wall is none other than the legendary announcer Jack Buck. Jack ruled. You may know his son Joe, the ESPN schill. I remember being introduced to the best way to watch a Cardinal game by my friend Daniel Perry's family. Turn on the TV, turn off the sound and tune in Jack Buck on the radio. Soooo much better.
Friday, September 07, 2007
I promise I have Tahoe trip pics/report coming and a fun little poker party at the house too. I just need to figure out how to shrink the giant photos I'm taking with my new camera so they will upload.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Wow, football season is almost here! It might surprise many people that knew me in high school that I have become this big of a nut. Maybe it is an unrequited desire to return to my youth and be an athlete or maybe I have just spent more time observing the game without someone yelling at me. Either way, I am pretty pumped.
Currently, I have a fantasy league on nfl.com that is sporting my friends and loved ones from across the country. (Sorry slackers, its full) We did this last year and I found it to be a BLAST, if not ridiculously time consuming! You may not realize this but fantasy sports apparently has over 200 million devotees/players around the globe with fantasy football (American) claiming 50 million of those. Looking forward to kicking it off and running roughshod over the competition...or at least not looking like an idiot!
I have automated the now 5 year old ritual of a weekly picking pool (all fun league) by putting it on ESPN.com's Pigskin Pick 'Em site. While this does not do the Playoff Prognostication pick (I'll still do that manually) it makes it a hell of a lot easier for me than manually sending out the forms and tracking the stats of about a dozen people. Not to mention ESPN hands out prizes if yer guud. Enjoy slackers, this has no cap, but you do have to be in by Sept. 6th. Join at this link: Get in the action now:
if that does not work, try:
Game Front: http://games.espn.go.com
Group: Knight's of Classic Lore
The year starts off with the game that ESPN and NFL.com polls showed that the majority of America wanted and promises to be a real humdinger, The Saints vs. The Colts. Were this in the Superdome, I would say 'Saints' hands down, but those crazy Hoosiers know how to back their high powered team. A win there will really launch the Saints though so as long as they are stepping on Payton's neck by the 4th quarter, I will feel pretty good. Party at my house this Thursday night.
Finally, in a weird twist of circumstance, I have taken on a challenge a la poker great Chris "Jesus" Ferguson in which he turned both $0 and $1 into over $10,000 (and still growing). Anyway, he has a really interesting tight money management control system that never puts more than 5% of the bankroll into play at one time in a cash game scenario and 2% in any MTT, in cash games he picks up if his stack grows to 10% of the bankroll at any one time when the blinds reach him. (Basically, double and get up. Go to a different game) I am working on it on two sites, Full Tilt Poker where I am attempting to take $9.36 and turn it into $1000 in 6 months and Ultimate Bet where I am still in the process of taking $1.23 that I won in a free roll and turning it into $1000. We might set new goals after. The brilliant part of this is that I get all kinds of play with no risk. The down sides are that the rewards are tiny for quite a while and the players at that level are idiots and turn up the bad beats on you. Also, you get some real 'back to basics' play training in. Just like running drills or doing basic moves in sports. Those have to be solid to be good. See more about 'The Ferguson' at:
Well, that is what is going on now. Hope that updates everyone.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
So the last time I was in LA for the Mini Series and found cash game gold and no love in the tournament series, I saw an old tournament buddy and Live At The Bike team member, Ronnie MacMillan.
Ronnie was at the event doing some cleanup for the now defunct show and was about to head to Australia to do some similar work and I offered to loan him some cash to get into a cash game and the Seven Stud 8/ob tournament running that day. Well, none of it went well as a runner runner donkey popped his cash game and, despite brilliant play echoed by his tablemates, eventual card death shut Ronnie down. I was confident that he would pay me back as he had a good reputation amongst our old tournament rat group (and there are a lot of shifty SOBs out there) even though I was nervous as A) I don't lend money. B) I was already at the bottom of my bankroll and the tables were being nice...for now.
Then Ronnie has a lung collapse. (Sound familiar to some of you?) This is right before he is about to get on a plane to Australia...which is semi fortunate since had he been on the plane, it probably would have killed him. However, now he is stuck to his surgeon, his backers, landlord, etc. and his boss who fronted money for the job. Ronnie is in deep doodoo. But, dauntless, and with his honorable reputation in tact and a network of friends, Ronnie kept pushing forward. I told him to take his time with the cash, the clock wasn't running and to get himself set up.
Fate turns around and Ronnie thinks there is a heavenly hand in place. Based on the above and the bit to follow, maybe you will agree.
Ronnie gets a heavy leverage stake for some of his better games in event 8 of the Legends of Poker (Omaha 8/ob) and wins it at the chop with a table that included top LA players and Amir Vaheedi. That almost gets Ronnie out of the muck.
Ronnie then plays again, similarly leveraged into the Stud 8/OB Event 12 and again, wins that. Ronnie is now smelling daylight.
We talked after the first win and I was one of many people blowing up his phone after the second win once I saw it posted on CardPlayer.com. I however, was more interested on how things were rolling that my cash. Ronnie was doing good, and the story rolls on. Having locked up his cash at home after paying off his many debts, Ronnie went into the Bike with enough money for the game and some spending money when a friend approached him to borrow for a $120 satellite. Ronnie only had $64 but gave his buddy $60 so he could get in with the promise that they were 50/50. His friend returns later with a wad of tournament chips having won, and goes to buy into the $1000 NLHE event. At 3am, he was in 8th at the final table when Ronnie went home after one player refused to chop. Turns out, the objector went out in 3rd and the stake-friend got the first place chop. Ronnie cleared more out of that deal than either of his wins.
Today, the full loan amount appeared in my PokerStars account. Ronnie is payed back in full with everyone and sitting pretty, full of confidence and ready to take down the Main Event. Personally, I want to see him whip some ass in the E.O. World Championship. Why not, since he won both of the single events that make up this one. In an age of Dustin "Neverwin" Wolfe scandals and Jamie Gold lawsuits, its good to see one of the old hands stand up for honor and the unwritten gamblers code.
Way to go Ronnie, keep taking it down.
Monday, August 06, 2007
The Tower of Constantine...plus 1 Sam Adams.
The final table at Caesar's Is Stylin'!
The View from the Caesar's Tournament Room and out onto the main floor. Note the pics of the past WSOP Champions over the door and top pros around the rooms. I think I look crappy in leopard print, but you could convince me to be up there.
First place money is purty!
Boyle (left) and Taj (right) let their freak flag fly in Vegas...sporting Zombie Jack's original designs.