Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trying the Live Games

Among the things that plagued me as a poker player was not having a readily available live game to me once I left northern Wisconsin, my original home. I went several years without playing a single time live, even if I was able to hone my poker skills in a technical sense while playing online. I have no doubt that my game is much better for having played so much on teh InterWebs, but I still missed sitting at a live table. Just because, you know. Just because.

So it's been a conscious effort on my part the last few months to find "live" poker opportunities, to work on that part of my game. There's the private tourneys up in McHenry that I'm now frequenting, where I can report being ahead in those, but still well behind in the cash games.

I also discovered that there's a floating poker casino of sorts called Rockford Charitable Games that runs all sorts of 'charity' poker events all across the Chicago northwest suburbs. It's a bigger operation than I imagined when I first heard about it: when I decided to spend a recent Sunday afternoon at a Hoffman Estates 'funder,' I was surprised to find something like 23 tables in play. 14 were devoted to a tournament (in which I partook), while the others were held for a various assortment of cash games an SNGs.

Quite the operation it was. Run reasonably smoothly as well, complete with a tourney clock broadcast on a flat-screen TV on the wall, chip runners for rebuys, and of course, the usual assortment of donkeys. No, I have no victorious tales to share, since I went out of the $100 event (with one re-buy and add-on, $50 each), exactly $200 poorer. In about the middle of the pack, perhaps 70th or so.

If I had any concerns at all, I think it would be that it looked like some cards were being marked --- at least I think I saw one ace with a distinctive rub on it, just before the deck was pulled out at a break --- and given that this was being held in the upstairs meeting room of a bowling alley, closed-circuit surveillance isn't likely to happen. I guess it comes with the territory.

I also plan on trying to satellite into the HPT championship being held over at Majestic Star early next month, just because. We'll see how that one goes. It's a step up in stakes from the $10-50 range I normally toy with online, but you just don't find those baby tourneys live. In my way of thinking, it's time to push the envelope a bit, move up in stakes both online and live and see what happens.

Maybe it'll work out, maybe not. But I'm pretty sure I can grind out enough of a profit at lower stakes to warrant taking the occasional shot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beats, Brags and Variance

The Beats:

Notice it's been ten days or something like that since my last post? Time flies when you're not having fun. Not only has it been a rugged stretch of work, but I came down with my second bad cold in three months... sure sign that I've been pushing too hard and have been worn out recently. This second cold was bad enough to require a trip to the doc's for bonus drugs, which still haven't knocked the crap out of my system, some ten days after coming down with the bug, whatever it is. I never before have had a cold/flu/whatever bug that announced its onset by completely taking my voice away for 48 hours, but that's what happened with this one.

The prescription medicines, combined, came to almost three times as much as the doctor's fee for my visit. Granted that my doctor gives me a good price, but what the hell?

The Brags:

After several days of being flat on my back, using my few hours of wake time each day to get done whatever work I could, I finally fired up the computer last Thursday for a bit of poker tourney action. It was a whim, really, and if I'd known it would take three hours and 40 minutes to conclude I probably would have thought twice about it, because I didn't feel so hot when it was over.

Anyhow, it worked out well for my $32.50 entry:

I got through work the next day, more or less, and decided to be stupid again. This time I fired up two tourneys, the $32.50 one and a smaller $16.50 that starts a bit later. I crashed out of the $32.50 soon enough, but hung around in the $16.50, until:

Felt a little better on Saturday. Got out for a needed bit of shopping but was pretty fatigued and fell asleep as soon as I returned. Woke up, cold sweats, mild fever, yadda, yadda.... Couldn't sleep, saw that it was time for my favorite tourney to start. Could I do a trifecta of first-place showings? I again tried the $32.50. Nope:

But I paid for my trying to get out on Saturday, and was worse again on Sunday, with fevers and sweats and whatever. No poker for me. Yesterday, though, I figured I'd give the $32.50 one more try:

VARIANCE: Yeah, I tried tonight. Didn't cash. Must be a downswing.

Now if I could only get healthy. That would please me as much as any of this.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

So Many Hours, So Little Poker, and Then There's Gary

Rumors of my demise are reasonably exaggerated. It's just been a very, very busy time, with things such as random posts about poker or other things, wedged in during idle moments. I haven't had the chance to play much poker on my own at all lately, with an exception on Wednesday night when I donked out fairly early in the Bodonkey to Smokkee, took a ridiculous runner-runner backdoor flush beat to get bounced from the $20K an hour or so later --- to some idiot all-in with A-8 against my set of aces on an A-4-2 flop, but made a final table on a different site at the same time. Technically it was a plus night even if it didn't feel that way.

Sunday night, though, I snuck out after watching the Packers beat the Chiefs and drove over to Majestic Star in Gary. I'd heard good things about the room and had always wanted to see it for myself, and Sunday I had a span of free hours and just had that urge. Road trip! Despite taking the intentionally slower route through downtown Chicago, because I love the Chicago skyline at night and I'm rarely down there, I still arrived in time for the room's evening tourney, a $80+$20 Heartland Poker Tour league event. I didn't care which-or-whatever about it being part of a league except that it meant an extra $5 in juice (and another $5 chip gratuity), but I was just there for the trip, anyway.

Nope, didn't win. Didn't cash, either, though I hung around to about 21st while the top 14 made the money. Also didn't cash in a $65 SNG, later. But I did enjoy the room, which seems larger than the 20 tables it actually holds, tucked up on Level 3 of the "Majestic Star II" side of the casino. Is that the port or starboard side of the boat, anyway? Since it's away from the rest of the games, too, this feels like a true poker room; there's a snack bar just outside the room itself and the room's windows overlook the scenic Gary waterfront --- which quickly returns one to the business of poker, at that :-/ --- though for a restroom break you've got to run down a level and dash through most of the second-floor slots. As casino restroom inconveniences go that's run-of-the-mill, certainly not on a par with playing later at night at Caesar's and discovering that you're sharing a restroom, and long lines, with packs of post-pubescent teens and maybe-prostitutes trying to crash the scene at Pure.

Well, you don't find -that- in Gary. But the poker here is all good. The staff was competent for the most part and very friendly throughout, good signs for a room that clearly wants to be a dominant player in the Midwest market. It's not the type of room I'd return to every day, but it's certainly one worth the occasional trip.

What I did enjoy was that the room seems to offer a good deal of variety, including at least two reasonably priced tournaments daily. They have a few big tournaments coming up, including a H.O.S.E. event I might try. They don't spread Razz, though, hence H.O.S.E. instead of H.O.R.S.E. ... cowards.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bodog Bloggeraments Want You

Nadia at Bodog asked me if I could remind all three of you that stop by regularly to consider signing up for the Weekly Bodog Online Poker Blogger Tournament. (Quite a title, that.)

But I don't mind reminding you, particularly since I've been so busy myself the past couple of weeks that I've literally forgotten to log on and join the fun. More's the pity party, at least for me, because there are some seriously schweet overlays here for what is a $10+1 entry fee and what has been, to date, and underattended event. And you can all play 'Guess Hoyazo's Alter Ego' too!

I don't pimp anyone for the sake of pimping, but these are a good value as Bodog seeks to take over a regular niche in the weekly blogger poker offerings.

Here's the info for the tourney:

Tournament Details

* Dates: October 30th through to November 6, 2007
* Tournament Name: “Online Poker Blogger Tournament” at Bodog
* Entry Password: bodogblogger
* Buy-in + fee: $10 + $1
* Starting Chips: 3000 (Double Stack)
* Payout: Standard Bodog payout structure
* Bonuses:

o T$109 bonus paid to the top 5 finishers.
o T$11 bonus paid to the 5 players that are eliminated prior to payouts.

+ These bonuses will be awarded within 24hrs of the tournament completion.
+ T$ = Tournament Credits. These can be used as a buy in to almost all scheduled tournaments at Bodog and have a ratio to cash of 1:1.
+ T$ can also be combined with cash to buy in to tournaments.
* Day of week: Tuesdays
* Start time: 8:35pm ET

Oh, yeah, here's a banner for the event. I think you guys will like it:

And Now, More Selections from "These are a Few of My Favorite Scenes"

Following up that last post, I believe this is the movie moment when his-'n'-hers matching outfits officially died:

Too rich. But I've been reminded of old comedies a lot lately, so here are a couple of other famous scenes, complete, with dialogue, that have bubbled to the top of my brain recently:

Jake: Oh, please, don't kill us. Please, please don't kill us. You know I love you baby. I wouldn't leave ya. It wasn't my fault.

Mystery Woman: You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this? You betrayed me.

Jake: No I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!!!!

Or this one:

Otter: Point of parliamentary procedure!

Hoover: Don't screw around, they're serious this time!

Otter: Take it easy, I'm pre-law.

Boon: I thought you were pre-med.

Otter: What's the difference?

Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did.

Otter: But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

Clearly, Otter's wardrobe in the movie was ordered out of JC Penney. Until today, I never made that connection.

And Now for Something Completely Hideous

One of my trivia teammates dropped a funny post into my e-box this morning, detailing the joys of a rediscovered 1977 JC Penney catalog. It seems to have been written back on the 29th or so --- its original poster already obscured, though I've been trying to locate it --- and it has rapid picked up a viral life through extensive e-mails and forum-board postings. I'm happy to contribute my part to the world's byte pollution.

Despite the fact that it's not poker-related, it should still generate a hardy laugh. The commentary by the unknown poster is only a snarky notch shy of what the late great Bobby Bracelet woulda offered. And if I don't post this, Iggy will. There, that's a poker tie-in... two, even!

Without further ado, and all commentary below by the unknown poster. I still think it was Bobby; the "junk" reference is a dead giveaway:


Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. While my wife's brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:

There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here's how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

This "all purpose jumpsuit" is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made you, and as a one-piece, it's slightly more effective as a deterrent against ass-rapery.

Here's how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:

If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob "No-pants" Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it hasn't happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.

Here's how to get your ass kicked at the beach:

He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:

If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day

Dear god in heaven, I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys.

As does your search for chest hair.

And this -- Seriously. No words.

Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are What The F***. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.

Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, I'm guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don't they?

I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled "Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best."

And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and a blonde girl with a look on her face that says "I love the way your junk fights against that fabric."

Then, after the lovin', you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:

I could go on, but I'm tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it's the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:

Man, that's sexy.