Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Slump and the Surge

One of the things I've notice recently is several bloggers reporting an extended downturn in their game... and bankroll. Whether it's due to an external cause such as the UIGEA causing games to toughen up or simply a matter of random variance among bloggerly types, the end result's been the same: a lot of sob stories as of late.

I've been in a similar funk throughout the year, unable to make a big score of any sort. I'd taken a hit in cash games --- and haven't always had any interest in trying to grind out hundreds or thousands of hands. SNGs and MTTs had been iffy as well, with not a single deep run.

Another thing that had been bothering me is that every time I've tried to take a stab at a higher buy-in tourney as of late, the results have been disappointing. Perhaps the most frustrating of all was a time on Full Tilt a month or two back when I parlayed a handful of points all the way into an entry into the Sunday $400,000 Guaranteed. In that one I puttered along and stayed alive. Never deep-stacked, but only in a couple of spots really short, either.

Finally, in that one, just after doubling through, we were in distant sight of the bubble --- maybe 16% or so of the original starters remained, and I was in an okay but not great spot where if I could double through once, I'd likely make the money. On the cutoff with a little over 10,000 in chips, and with A-Q suited, I made a move at a pot, and was called by a LAGgy player behind me who held 8-8. I was in great shape when a queen flopped, but the resuck eight on the river ended my run.

Typical late-tourney poker. You're gonna end up in a race or two most times to make the money or to go deep, and you need to win those confrontations. I didn't on that occasion. To me, though, it was both part of a bad poker winter and spring and a wondering if I had the game to play in better, higher tourneys. That second is an open topic, of course; I claim basic poker competence, nothing more.

But who knows? Maybe there is hope. I futzed around last Sunday on Poker.com/Carbon Poker last Sunday, decided at the last minute to enter the $20,000 Guaranteed with a $55+5 buy-in, and... did all right. My first decent final table in many months, wth me finally finishing in fifth after I pushed UTG with deuces, with an M that was about 5 but was one hand away from dropping to about 3.5, due to a blinds jump. I got called by a fairly loose player who had about twice my chips and took a shot with A-J, and he found both an ace and a jack as the board played out.

Actually, he was more than loose, but we also had a Gavin Smith type (who won the thing, by the way), who was raising pre-flop with almost anything and went up and down like the proverbial yo-yo, buying and bluffing his way off the felt on more than one occasion. He had position on me at an early table, and pounded me a bit before I figured out his game, though at the final table he was on my right and I had a bit of revenge. On four straight laps where it was passed around to him on the button he made a position raise; four straight times I moved over the top on him, three times with half-good hands but once with 10-9x as well. Four straight times he postured a bit and went away.

So I stole my way into the deeper payouts myself. I feel a bit better about my game, too.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pokerati Dan and Gary C. Go A-Squawkin' About Content Thieves

[IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The following post represents my personal opinion only. It is in no way is intended to reflect the opinion or position of any of my employers or the various sites for which I write. -- Haley]

Of course, I saw this and this, and having been rather prominently featured in the discussion --- hell, being part of it myself --- I'd like to toss out a couple of more nuggets here. No, no, not the lawsuit stuff. I've been that mad myself on previous occasions, as has anyone with the common sense to be offended by thieves. I also had no advance knowledge of Dan's or Gary's recent posts, except to point out some months ago to Dan the existence of that youwannapoker site, though he may well have been aware of it himself before that.

Rather, I'd like to make an open statement to the online sites' affiliate managers. I now know a few of these folks, and I have no reason to believe that they are unreasonable; I simply believe that there are few of these managers not thinking these things through, chasing raw affiliate signup numbers while failing to understand other dynamics.

First, any site that thinks that having 1,250 affiliates instead of 1,100 (and these are imaginary numbers, made up for the sake of this post) without looking at the quality and veracity of those affiliates, is simply fooling themselves. If these affiliate managers have performance marks and bonuses tied only to the number of affiliates they generate, then that is dumbassed and counterproductive to the process. I also don't know that this is the case, but it's a possibility.

Sites such as youwannapoker are a cancer on the affiliate system and on the Internet in general; they add nothing of original value to the Internet and, in fact, steal value from the other sites who are trying to provide something of worth. That theft impacts everyone, from the very biggest sites like CardPlayer or PokerNews or Bluff or Two Plus Two on down. The ability of a vampire site to leverage its way to the higher parts of various search engines is not a point of added value to the online poker sites, which those sites seem loathe to understand. All these sites are doing is knocking down the legitimate sites to lower spots on various search-engine lists, but they haven't changed the overall mix of the online site's presence in the search engines at all.

Full Tilt-linked sites, as a made-up example, would tend to show up at the same relative mix of spots overall. This is again all totally made up, not any sort or real example, but a search for term 'xxyyzz poker' might bring up a Full Tilt-sponsored site at spots 2,5,6,8,11 in a batch of sites that might include vampire sites, but if all vampire sites were removed in total, the search would likely still bring up Full Tilt-affiliated links at spots 3,4,6,7,10... or whatever. The point is, the overall mix would be approximately the same. Vampire sites such as youwannapoker do not add visibility or sales; they just shift it from its rightful owners.

It is a true fallacy to believe that the affiliate sales 'generated' by youwannapoker and its ilk wouldn't go to other sites in youwannapoker's hoped-for absence. The only way a site like that makes any money at all is from a newbie who discovers that most of the sign-up offers available through sites like that are just about the same anyhow, and the newbie clicks through on that vampire site more or less at ramdom. But maintaining that these vampire sites actually create new business instead of redirecting and siphoning sales from its valid owners is flatly wrong; I hope no online site is silly enough to champion such a claim.

And that's yet another reason why sites such as Full Tilt should want to get rid of these lampreys. Because these sites reduce the amount of sales [re: affiliate bonuses] that should be going to 'white-content' sites, they force the good sites to work with less dollars and fewer resources than these sites should be entitled to for their work. The end result of that has to be cheapened, devalued, flatly worse poker product... for everyone. Is that really what the online poker sites want? "To hell with quality, shit's okay if it's got our name on it?"

I've had several discussions with big-name bloggers and many of my own bosses about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and every single one of them is knowledgable about the process. It's also not a problem with an easy solution. But for online sites to feign ignorance in the matter isn't going to solve anything --- it's high time for a few of these folks to wake up and do things right.

I'll also mention this: A few months ago when I took the lead in tearing down a very large RSS site-scraping operation, I worked through several avenues to get it nuked. I ended up speaking by phone with the lead lawyer for one of the very largest online poker sites, who called me one Friday after I started making noise, and he told me quite frankly that the sites don't want these vampire affiliates in their networks anyway. The vast majority of them don't generate signifcant revenue, and in whole these sites cause far more trouble than they are worth. The sites don't want them, but they are also hamstrung in some instances by laws that prevent them from terminating a site without due cause. It can be done, though, but the site normally needs to receive a letter or some such threatining a copyright-infringement case, and there are both EU and WTO digital copyright acts with provisions that can be used as the basis for the claim.

The major site I'm blind-referencing here made it quite clear that they would be more than willing to turn that information over to me upon receipt of said letter, but it never needed to be written; my efforts in nuking that bad boy from the domain-registrar side were completely successful the very next day. It was a Dutch dude, as I recall, who issued an apology and stated that he had been more or less taken in by one of those "SEO Black Hat" operations that basically sell you plans on how to steal. Not that I wholly believed him or felt sorry for him, but anyway...

That sort of brings up another related tale, and since I seem to be on a roll -- like buttah, baby -- I may as well keep typing. Over at the KAP blog last week, I've had some fun skewering some sort of money-making poker system being offered by someone named Johnny Rothman, who maintains something approximating a blog at blog.sitngopro.com. Johnny, it seems, is a wee bit of an entrepreneur.

Anyhow, Johnny is marketing whatever product that is that he's pitching now, complete with some spammage linkage that connects it to the PokerBot Pro operation. (Johnny denies that it's his spam wave, but says he uses the PokerBot Pro's operation for payment procesiing, per a KAP blog comment. Like, okay, I'm impressed. He's a saint.) Also, Johnny Boy's new product claims to be a compilation of advice from five different poker extras, but searching on the four other names doesn't show any different poker links at all. I think it's the poker version of 'Multiplicity,' sort of a 'Non-Hendon Mob' thing --- and you'd have to visit the site and see one of the graphics there to understand that little jab.

But here's what's funnier still: Johnny Boy is deeply offended at the fact that I've skewered his spam-offered product, including a major component which seems to outline a RSS site-scraping or content-theft operation of the same type I've been battling all along.

And I called B.S. on it.

In Johnny's first complaint, made as a post comment, I was accused of not giving his product a 'fair review,' which is technically true. However, Samuel Clemens' famed quote certainly applies. (At least I think it was him -- correct me if I'm wrong.) It's the one that goes something like, "One does not have to eat an entire apple to know it is rotten."

I also issued a challenge in a follow-up post: Let me see the contents of just the part of the package that looked so dubious and unethical, and I would fully review that portion, good or bad. Instead of accepting my challenge, Johnny decied he was gonna go after my bosses and have me dealt with properly:

From: "Johnny Rothman" (johnny.rothman@gmail.com)
To:support@kickasspoker.com, support@atlantapokerclub.com,
plf-support@kickasspoker.com, pls-support@kickasspoker.com,
dit-support@kickasspoker.com, dt-support@kickasspoker.com,
aff-support@kickasspoker.com ...

Please tell me why you constantly are posting negative reviews about my
site bashing it?

Jason at KAP forwarded it to me with the following lengthy comment:


I think you can see why I like those guys.

Nope, no trouble sleeping at all.

It's perhaps one of the reasons why I decided to accept the Online Poker text-link ad from Bodog when they offered it to me. It's not that I've never had issues with Bodog, nor they with me, but Bodog is actively trying to reward white-content sites, rather than sites that steal, in a difficult market time. And I appreciate that gesture.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Forgiveth Me, Lawd, For I Haff Sinned...

It was a month or so back when I was perusing one of my favorite poker-bloggy reads, Pokerati, when I stumbled into the comments section of one of Dan's posts and noticed something truly unique --- he'd been the recipient of an incredible long, rambling, whack-o letter from a party unknown.

I received a similar one myself at this blog a few days back; thank heaven for comments moderation, which I have so spam and other weirdness like this doesn't clutter the place unknowingly. Nor, I believe, was our mysterious proselytizer visiting only me, as a quick phrase check on Google suggests he might have hit Up For Poker and several mainstream blogs/news outlets as well. The missive offered 6,500 words of delusional goodness, proving once again that despite the over-prescribing of psychological medications in our society, there's at least one person out there not getting a proper dose. It started out with, "The Italian boot proves their premeditation," and rambled ever onward from there.

On rare occasions I enjoy perusing this manure, though it seems clear that our unknown friend must view poker and gambling as some sort of special wickedness, similar to the attitude shown by that weird far-right faith organization that's suddenly viewing rigid over-interpretation and over-enforcement of the UIGEA as their key to eternal salvation. Focus on Family, I believe their name is, and they're a bunch of kooks; there's a slightly-better-than-infinitismal chance that this came from one of that or a similar cause's sycophants.

But back to my comment visitor. A few choice nuggets for our enjoyment, presented [SIC] as always:

"This reflects poorly upon their reals on the other planets, despite the clone's different name and altered DNA."

"Of course Hitler was Austrian:::An Austrian-born leading a foreign nation. Glock, maker of the semi-automatic gun favored by black street gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips, is Austrian. RedBull Energy drink, Buwdeiser both Austrian. What role do Austrians play in the cigarette industry??"

"Oshkosh is a clue just as Lake Michigan and Green Bay are clues::::Oshkosh is the ejaculate clue:::Life springs forth from this region."

By the way, I used to live 20 minutes north of Oshkosh... darned if I knew all this stuff was going on under my nose....

"ANYTIME you feel 'peaked', experience craving or ANY thought disturbance where you want or like something irrationally (ex:::Halloween, Harley Davidson (theme:::Halloween colors), Dale Earnhardt, Christmas) IT IS THEM TRYING TO HURT YOU!!!!!! "Magic" is used EXCLUSIVELY to hurt the disfavored; it is the fuel of disfunction::::::addiction, homosexuality, crack babies."

Seriously, no same person could come up with that stuff....

"Kosher is a favor bestowed upon the Jews. The South eats LOTS of pork and there is an oyster bar on every corner:::::It's like liquor stores in the ghetto. This is the kind of irony the gods laugh about."

Cool. Equal-opportunity bashing. Even redneck 'Pubuhkins get it in this thing, too.

"Anybody on Earth who rides a motorcycle is subject to these percentages based on whatever category of disfavor they fall within. Far more homeless will die on a motorcycle than those who are comfortable, but they will still claim a certain percentage of the latter who ride motorcycles. gods will claim % of ALL who ride"

... and on and on and on and on... trust me when I say you haven't seen a tenth of it.

It'd been a while since I'd encountered one of these crazies first hand. Back in the day, I was privy to the monthly "nut files" mailing that Jim McLauchlin used to send out, back when he was the news editor of Wizard: The Guide to Comics. Comics-fan nutjobs (and I'm referring to the truly crazed ones) are a special breed, and the monthly selection of the weirdest and wildest that Jim assembled was something to behold.

But nut-case letters find their way to almost all forms of media. Back when I worked at Tribune Media Services in Milwaukee, we once received a letter from someone on the East Coast who sent out three copies of a long, rambling missive; one to the President, one to his Senator, and one to us at TMS. You'd think, given his choice of targets, the subject was something political, right?

Hardly. This thing was a tin-foil special, meaning that our letter writer had stumbled upon our use of TV antennae as a conduit for a source of some free and unlimited energy source, but he was only willing to share his secrets with us and the Prezzy and all for billions of dollars. The letter, too, was crammed full of odd symbols and wandered off for paragraphs at a time in exploration of the secret 'holy triune' that had delivered this wondrousosity unto him... and him unto us.

Prime reading, lemme tell ya; true schizophrenia is in some ways a wonder to behold. It way outclassed the guy who demanded a refund of 97% of his magazine susbscription price because he only watched Fox News and the Country Music Channel and the rest of his service was crap, anyway.

But back to my new pet commenter and his, ummm, thoughts. The whole thing wraps up with what I can only take as a threat, laughingly --- there's 100,000 more words of this stuff on the way. Oh my, whatever will I do? Maybe just keep laughing --- after all, someone out there thinks that stuff is related to a poker blog.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Drunky-Wunky in Dayton

Some poker content, and some not-poker content. Just like life.

I snuck away from the blahs of Chicago suburbia two days ago to go to... Dayton? Indeed, but no reason other than to just get away. I accompanied a friend who's heavily into the ham-radio thing, and I've now learned that the third weekend in May is always the Dayton Hamvention, the world's largest flea-market/bourse/gathering of the ultimate in pocket-protectordom. I is knee-deep in geeks, lemme tell ya.

But, in an odd way, I enjoy these snapshot visits to other lifestyles. From seeing things like GenCon in the Milwaukee days to other specialty conventions, I actually enjoy watching the fuss and the fun, even if I don't necessarily dig the topic at hand. I'd actually be posting from that Hamvention right now, except for the fact that the free Wi-Fi advertised by major sponsor ARRL isn't working as advertised this morning. Therefore, I had to boogie back across Dayton to handle some poker work this morning.

One cannot fully comprehend the mountains of electronic crap available here without seeing it first hand, and I went over to the thing for a couple of hours yesterday, betwixt and between my normal poker duties, which kept me logged in from the world's smallest Hampton Inn (adjacent to Wright State University) for much of my stay. And of course, I've made it out for a nice evening meal or two, hence the 'Drunky-Wunky' of the title.

Right now I'm creating this post from the lobby of the Hampton after already having officially checked out, like they're ever gonna know. I expect the next two months to teach me quite a bit about remote networking. I won't physically be at the WSOP this year, but I will be working live (but remote) on WSOP stuff every single day. And I'll do that mostly from my Illinois apartment, but from a few other locations as well.

It's actually been a bit of a test run to see how well this remote Internet access is going to work. This trip has shown that it can be a bit of a fuss, so I now know what to expect. That can be summed up in two words: backup plans.

* * * * * *

Another thing I've had a small role with in recent days is helping bring another good writer into the PokerNews fold. His name's Martin Harris, and I think he's going to provide some quality pieces. Give him a read.

I'm always keeping my eyes open for other fresh faces, too, and I'm curious if anyone knows any transcribers with poker experience, for a different type of project. On yet a third matter, there is another huge announcement that will be able to made public any day, concerning a project I've been working on for quite some time. Just a little bit longer on that one, okay?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Delayed Victory Stomp

No, no, I can't tell you about all the losses recently. What would be the fun in that? Instead, I'll try to make a repeat run tonight in the Wheatie, where I chopped first-place money (despite what the graphic below indicates) in last week's event. I'd also like to extend a courtesy thank-you --- if belated --- to SeedyV, who I had never played against before but turned out to be both a polite and honorable opponent.

SeedyV was seated immediately to my left at the very first table, where I put an all-in hurt on someone with the Nerf Hammer, then deposited our gracious host railside with some mightily donkified play, hence tonight's Wheatie naming rights. Wil's scalp claimed, I hung in the top three the rest of the night with the fear of the Hammer forcing my foes to cower into submission.

Sure is deep around these parts....

Speaking of Wil, after reading this post I'm willing to step up with a backing offer for his future donkaments of up to 50 cents per event. :-) That's well done, though, no matter how small the stakes; I know I've never won one that large myself.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tagged, Eh?

Thanks a lot, Falstaff. ;-) I don't mind too much, and though I'm personally private by nature I'll share a few random memories and thoughts.

1) My grandparents came from opposite sides of the tracks, literally. (I loved all of them.) My paternal grandfather was a railroad engineer who held a reasonably well-paying and steady job throughout the Depression --- his own first railroad work involved the building of the original railroad lines through Montana two decades earlier. My maternal grandparents always struggled, stuck on the other side of the Great Depression coin. But rich or poor, both sides shared. I remember my maternal grandmother saving up the pennies she'd find on the street on her walks, and putting them into a rubber-banded, reused envelope for my sister and I to split. We'd snag 15 or 23 cents each that way every month or six weeks. My maternal grandmother and I also played a lot of cards when I was very young, mostly rummy with a little bit of gin rummy mixed in. Once I was old enough to shuffle, I had to do the shuffling for both of us. Her hands were thoroughly crippled for the last two decades of her life with rheumatoid arthritis, and she could barely hold the cards, much less shuffle them.

2) The first time I played poker in a casino for real money was at the Indian casino in Keshena, WI, not even in the same building their rather larger operation resides in today. The only game spread was seven-card stud, and that only at two tables. I played at the cheaper one, and went on a huge rush despite a husband/wife team working from opposite sides of the table. My worst suckout was catching a ten on seventh street to make quad tens, to top an opponent who I had put on a full boat, nines over sumpin', but actually had quad nines. That Keshena operation only lasted for a few months before the state made them shut it down.

3) I love fishing, particularly floating in a small boat snagging bluegills, crappies, and the occasional bass from Northwoods Wisconsin lakes. I've done quite a bit of trout fishing, too, and have caught most everything catchable in a fresh-water, non-Great Lakes sense.

4) When I was very young, I was a freak for... pickled beets. Both of my grandmothers and my mom put them up with stunningly delicious skill. Amazingly, I loved them so much I guess I finally got sick of them, for I've barely had a pickled beet in twenty years.

5) I know exactly how much Brett Favre's first MVP trophy weighs, from personal lugging experience. 56 damn pounds. It came to me and another worker one day, while working with that small Fox Valley sports-consulting firm, to make the emergency drive to Green Bay and pick the trophy up from Deanna, Brett's wife, then help package the thing off to Charlotte for the NFL's Super Bowl MVP show. (We insured it as 'photographic equipment' to get $25,000 of coverage, the most that was available.) Working with Brett a few times I had the chance to have him personalize a football for my dad, which my dad still treasures, even if the ink in the sig has since faded. I gave a signed ball to my sister and her husband on their wedding day, too. (They're both rabid Packer fans, so it was cool.) We joke to this day about the 'leather toaster' gift.

6) I came to writing for my bread money rather late in life after dabbling with it for years. My mother is an unpublished authoress who wrote several novels, which I imagine she has tucked away somewhere to this day. She did have one accepted after unknowingly submitting it to one of those 'vanity press' printers, and we all had a riotous laugh over the $7,000-plus the place wanted to do the first print run. In this day and age she'd be published, in web form at least, but that was a different era. She also become longtime friends with famed British romance authoress Catherine Cookson, who was moved by my mother's fan letter, and even travelled there with my older sister once for an afternoon lunch. My dad hated the long-distance phone bills to Britain; we were never richer than small-town middle class. Catherine was very happy for both me and my mom when I started snagging a few paid writing credits, some twenty years ago. Were that I had more than just idle novelist ambitions. I just don't have the patience for it.

7) I was once very, very good at math. I was on our high school's traveling team which competed in advanced math-problem competitions, and my junior year I took third in my division which was worth the royal sum of $10, IIRC... in the form of a savings bond, of course. I also played on our school's 'High Quiz Bowl' team, being on six shows over three years. So I had this weird competitive edge; if I were a truly mundane, ordinary person, would I be a poker writer?

I'm not going do to any chain-tagging, however. It's a cute idea, but most of the ones I'd pick are probably already in the process of being tagged by others. At the least, y'all got an offbeat post out of me.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The New Poker Math: 2 Bad Beats = +$18

Yeah, that's right, +$18. Howzat, you ask? Well, it's not really a bad beat story, though that's in the telling...

I was over at Bodog, sneaking in a couple of those $15+1 SNG turbos for which I've developed a moderate affection in recent months. I signed up to play two, and promptly took a ninth and another ninth. A-K went down in flames twice with the chips in while ahead; the first time, it was up against an A-10 that made a runner-runner flush, and the second time, it was against A-Q that caught the Q on the river.

Yawnsies, I know.

Net proceeds for what amounted to about 20 minutes of fun: -$32. But, in an opportunity that popped up the same day, I'm gonna have Bodog as a blog advertiser here in the very near future, and in blatant huckstering fashion, I'm picking up a bonus amount for doing a Bodog-themed post. I'm not going tell you the amount of the bonus, but I think you can figure it out right quick. Sixth-grade math skills needed.

It'll be nice to have a sponsor again. I've had both plus and minus experiences with the site, as I have with many, but they are standing up and doing some sponsoring deals at a time when a lot of other sites aren't. For that, at least, they deserve a good bit of praise.

And a thank-you from me.

Besides, the players are so fishy there, and that's not intended as plug. I never like bad beats when they happen but I accept them with ever-greater equanimity, and I expect more bad beats courtesy of bad players than from good ones. So the fishies got me for a couple, but even that's not all bad; in a lot of ways, I'd rather have a ninth than a fourth.

Back with more bait soon.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Cory Carroll's win this week in the WSOP Circuit Event in Las Vegas came as no surprise to people who know the best online players. Carroll, who plays under the handle 'UGOTPZD' on several sites, was described by Shaniac (Shane Schleger) as one of the best players that no one's ever heard of. He's also been described as a nice person with a rich sense of humor and a deep well of intelligence... and there's no doubt he plays poker damn well.

The characterization, however, goes in contrast to what I've seen of Carroll's online persona, which tells you just how much fantasy and pretense is involved with playing online. I've seen Carroll in action at several big online final tables, and while I've never met him in person or played against him myself online, my third-person impression of the guy is that he invariably comes across as an extreme tool at the table. It may be that he's trying to be darkly funny and I'm just not getting the schtick. It's very subjective, of course, but he's one of the few players I can remember whose table antics and chat actually annoyed me. And I wasn't even the one playing.

There's also the chance that it's a wonderfully calculated act by Carroll, one with obvious potential benefit. Poker players should be looking for ways to get their opponents off kilter, though I personally tend to do it in a rather more respectful way. But I'm curious. Without the fan-boy stuff, what's the truth on Carroll? Which part is real and which the act?

So Long It Felt Positively Rusty

When you don't play for a while, how does it feel the fist few minutes you sit back down in a game? Do you feel rusty, or do you pick it back up again without missing a beat?

I'm definitely in the former, as indicated by the title, but I did sneak in just a bit of poker time during lulls in the other insane business of the week. That minuscule amount of poker consisted of four small SNG's over at poker.com, with a single second-place cash to show for it, and two SNGs and a small freezeout event over at Bodog. Another second place in an SNG and a just-missed-the-final-table cash in the freezeout were in the books when the play was done. Cash-wise, it was a wash. Almost to the penny.

But it was poker, y'know? Darn, it felt good. And that was only after a nine-day layoff.

I'm being taunted to go up to the Wisconsin Northwoods and play some 1/2 NL at a couple of the casinos up there, where the fish are in the lakes and the rocks are at the tables. Lake of the Torches Casino in Lac du Flambeau is a probable stop, and I might venture over to Turtle Lake if I can sneak it in. Flambeau has something like three tables in the whole j'int, so it'll be a change of pace for sure. I've found that when there aren't a lot of games to choose from, the games themselves tend to be more sedate.

We'll see if it still holds true.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Current Setting on the WSOP Flicker Switch: Off

Heh. Just too busy in a lot of ways, these days. I've had to make some difficult choices concerning WSOP plans because of it. Right now, I'm guessing I'll be watching this one from the sidelines, not from the front-row seats.

And maybe it's just as well. Had the return to the oral surgeon today and did not get quite the clean bill of health I'd hoped for. Everything is probably still good, but I had one of those "mixed" results and now have to go for a second round for tests elsewhere to rule out some nastier stuff. Such is the nature of differentiated diagnoses; they have to rule things out one step at a time, determining that I'm not specifically sick with something before labeling me more or less healthy.

So, I'm going to be working hard, just pokering away, but probably in a remote location. Blogger weekend be doubtful, too. Sorry, all.