Friday, March 23, 2007

UK Trip Report: Bag thief jumps off train.
OK, well, I'll lead with the interesting story. I'm on a GNER train heading for London and somewhere between York and Duncaster, the train slows to a halt and a "attention, customer has pulled the emergency handle" sounder comes on. Turns out some jackass (I think it was a drunken sot walking up and down the aisles for a while before) grabbed a couple of plastic bags and JUMPED OFF THE FRIGGING TRAIN. Yes, while it was moving. The train was already an hour behind due to switching problems up north and this wasn't too much of a delay. They calmly explained the issue to us and started rolling again, adding in, while he may have avoided oncoming train traffic, if he got hit it was probably what he deserved." I love these folks in the northern side of the island.

So, back to the semi-boring stuff. I started out in London at a big food trade show and met a lot of great people. Made about £120 at the Pot Limit Hold Em game at the Gutshot Club (still holding on as it fights for appeal to the rather BS sentence passed in London. All poker players, please go to and click the banner to help.) and they were PACKED on Saturday night. I was jetlagged and had crashed for 8-9 hours when I landed so found myself wide awake at 11:30 in London. Nothing to do but go play some poker. From there I traveled the Northwest region, past the midlands and near Wales and saw the outskirts of the Lakes district. So damn picturesque you could just stare at it for hours.

Fast forward a couple of days to Newcastle in the North East. Just off the border to Scotland, this town has dragged itself out of an industrial malaise and really jumped forward to be a part of the modern economy. They also have a Grovesnor Casino that hosts a nightly poker tournament and game. This was a lil' £10 pot limit rebuy, but we generated about £1300 in the prize pool and I took down my first pot limit hold 'em tournament and got a nifty card protector and some new card buddies out of the rather late night. Got to see a ton of the city walking about (in the rain.) and saw the revitalized Quay-side district (pronounced KEY-side) and had a pint in a pub over 200 years old and some FANTASTIC authentic Chinese food at Hei Hei. Its nice to have a job where its my "duty" to do these things. I think I'll miss Newcastle. I'll have to come back longer next time. Hopefully with better weather. Aye. That's it, n'dt it?

Well, I am blogging from a moving train (huzzah!) and this brings us almost up to the moment on our train jumper and my time out and about. Busy little otter here lately. Almost time for some very important birthday parties and the stretch towards winning my way into the World Series of Poker.

Cheers Big Ears!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

BUSTED! Well, the excitement is over. One misstep and I bit it. I think this pic will say everything I could. for more

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 1b. Stopped in for a peek and to "flex" that media street cred.

The nightmare scenario! 5 bounties, 6 total pros, 3 other guys that could get rich if they weren't scared to death. Chip Reese elminated Jen harmon and Gus Hanson in one hand catching a flush against Hanson's KK and Harmon's set of Tens. Total players: Seat 1 Gus Hanson, 3 "Miami" John Cernuto, 5 Amir Vahedi, 7 Jen Harmon, 8 Nedad Menic, 9 Chip Reese.

MiMi Tran and Joe Pelton. MiMi got knocked out...when I left, lil' Joe remained!

John Juanda and Ted Forest...neighbors.

Tough Table again...The Grinder and Patrick Antonius.

Eric Sidel is F'N TALL!

Mr. Chan is not amused.

Lloyd and Sam! The guys that REALLY run tournaments at the Bay 101.

Tod Brunson lets his hair down! Fresh off a 3rd in the 2k event, bust out level 8, Day 1b.

I SURVIVED!! And then some! The first day of the Bay 101 Shooting Star is over and not only did I survive Phil Helmuth Jr. at my table (well, three hours late Phil Helmuth) but I finished with 66k in chips putting me somewhere in the Day 1 top 25 (bottom end) unofficially between Scotty Nguyen and Allen Cunningham. Because I'm not a online listing yet. here are some pictures though! Enjoy.

The Bay 101 -- SHOOTING STARS! (Day 1)

Behind me, David Williams, Eric Lindgren and Phil Helmuth Jr. Chat it up. To big fat heads.
The owner of the Bay 101, then Eli Elesra, Daniel Negranue (sporting the local hockey jersey) and Scotty Ngyuen.

The poker side of the Bay 101...fat dealer scratching his head.

Tod Bruson on his way to finishing 3rd in the 2k event with a first prize of 100k. Get the results at!

(above) and me! Hey look! I have chips!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Strangaties. I noticed today that I know people at work, and I know my old friend (who I don't see enough) but I don't know anyone outside of work. My social network is an issue. I've started making friends with select people at card rooms but that rarely does anything more than "where was that home game?" and "good to see you, let me by you a drink to celebrate your win, etc." I'm trying to do more, but I'm getting sidetracked to the journal post for today.

I had the thought today as I was parking to jump on the train that I am really familiar with my fellow commuter's cars. I see the same ones almost daily. When I am running on time, we park in almost the same places and, I assume, they are sitting somewhere near me on the train but I don't know them. Its weird being lonely and yet surrounded by people. If it wasn't for my friends occasionally touching base electronically or Philly Piggy at home, I think that kind of thing is enough to drive someone nuts. Maybe this techno-isolation we all fall into in the modern world is what is causing some people to snap. Reality fades and loneliness and a need for meaning, place and purpose warp into something sinister. Meh. Who knows. All I know is that the dog lover in the blue Mazda 3 hatchback needs to fill her right read tire and I don't know how to tell her.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Quake N' Shake Part One!

WooHoo! My first California earthquake. I've been out here for YEARS and this is the first one that I felt. It was a bit like the furnace kicking on in an old apartment/house and then a couch giggle no stronger than your neighbor shaking their leg...but I FELT it. There have been 3 or 4 in the Bay Area since I've been here but I have been driving or sleeping and they have been pretty small. It was about a 4.0 centered in Laffayette, which is a bit north of me. Some of my co-workers actually had a house shaker, so bully for me on not moving yet. Anyway, that seemed significant enough to blog.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Big Vist, Big Win, Big Weekend to come.

I have recently been away from the blog for a while and I have been getting no end in grief, so allow me to recount a great weekend with my little otter in St. Louis. She is going to be 4 in April and in a snowed in environment, she is her own entertainment center. We did too much paling around to recount everything but I'll highlight a few things. We built our first snowman while we were playing at the Rabbit Run park. It was great watching her play on the playground and explore with another three year old that was there. We have VIDEO and photos that need to be put on disk and mailed out to the family. So, now you can bother me about that! ;) We had an interesting nap time where she insited on putting ME to bed and then reading me the story I read her. Of course, then she was tired and tossed me out so she could sleep. Hilarious really. She is so stubbon and independant that I hope I can hone it into a plus in her later life so she can chase things down that she really wants. Her Mom and stepdad need a lot of support and prayers now so please drop them a line and include them daily. They have been through a ton and have been great parents and role models for the little otter. These aren't the kind of things that you get paid for in life, but they should be. Bless them. Bless them big.

On a complete flip side of my life, your boy may finally hit it big. A huge tournament win this past weekend (and a horrible beat, but lets focus on the positive) I have won my way into the $10,000 WPT (World Poker Tour) Bay 101 Shooting Star here in San Jose. That means I will be playing for the 1.5 million dollar first prize with the likes of Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negranue and more. I'm am completely nervous and pumped at the same time. I am hoping that my friends in the poker world can talk me though this and get my head straigh because I am fairly sure I can take home some cash with my "A" game and with some luck, some life changing money. This has been a dream of mine since I started playing tournament poker right before the 2003 Chris Moneymaker led poker boom and next to the main event of the World Series of Poker, this is about as big of a stage as you get. Its wierd to have people rooting for you in a poker room. Strange, because it tends to be such a selfish environment. Stange because you are afraid they want something but they are legitimately happy for you in many cases. Well, this is going to be my shot on March 12th. That reminds me, I need to put in for leave.

I know many of you might not understand my poker 'hobbie' or the fact that it has paid for many things I would not have otherwise been able to afford or kept me afloat when I was jobless. Know that this is not taken lightly, but is something I have put years of study and practice into and is something I know how to do. And yes, I am taking all precautions necessary, but as I stand on the edge of playing with the pros, I have to ask for your support and understanding. Who knows, your boy might be on TV soon.

This is the Otter, aka RuntCake, aka The Waldo Brother 2, out.