Saturday, April 28, 2007

Everyone Likes to See Their Name in Lights

Mookie has updated my latest winner's profile. Check it out if you're interested.

We are having our next stop on the neighborhood poker league tonight, so let's see if I can get that game out of the cellar.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's Easy Really, Just Be a Card Rack

Since I was able to find a prepaid Visa during lunch, I was able to buy-in to the Mookie last night. It was great to get back in to his tourney. I don’t play it as often since I generally go to bed when it’s starting and I haven’t had enough for a buy-in lately. I was feeling my oats from my WWDN success on Tuesday night and was jonesing for some more so I decided to stay up late and give it a shot.

The short story is I had great cards preflop or they turned in to monsters on the board. If you’re interested, the longer version is as follows:

My first great hand that gave me a few chips was my quad Kings against Kajagugu. I did my best to get paid as much as possible and feel I made out alright considering how scary the board looked to him. My other big breaks happened when I made a couple of not so smart preflop calls when I was reraised, but was rewarded handsomely for my royal donkness. First was by willwonka from the button and again when Tripjax was in the small blind. In both cases I was crushed before the flop, but pulled huge suckouts to knock out each of them. After these hands, I dialed it back a little and only got involved when I had better starting hands. I guess I felt like I was emptying my luck box too fast.

Sometimes your biggest hands are the ones you fold. I had a brain fart when I raised from the button with AK. The chip leader was in the SB and the BB was a shortie that was basically committed to his hand. I should have just called and let the big stack SB complete so we could knock out the SB and start the final table, but I saw Big Slick and my raise reflex kicked in. To my surprise, the BB reraised all in and had me covered. Now this is the only person left that can do me any harm and if I call I could walk away with nothing. I folded and I had to ask him why he did this. When he flipped over KK, I understand he was positive he’d knock out the shortie and if I call, he would have a ginormous lead and would pretty much be unstoppable. It really saved my ass because the flop had an A and a K and I would have surely gone broke right there. Good fold for me. Yay! My patience paid off and the poker gods were still looking after me at the final table. When we made it past the bubble, I think I took the first three pots when I started getting phenomenal pockets. This put me in the top 2 for the rest of the night and I never looked back.

I had some really good plays and some really lucky ones, but I still pale in comparison to Smokkee’s skills. That guy was down to below 2K on the bubble and was able to cash out in third. Apparently his lessons are worthwhile because love_elf was kickin’ some final table ass. The only way to keep Smokkee at bay was to make the move you knew he was about to make and hope your hand holds up against his. I had a great time and thanks again to Mookie for being one of the greatest poker hosts in the biz.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great End to a Miserable Day

I wasn't feeling well this morning and traffic sucked so I was a few minutes late to work. By lunch time, I knew I should have stayed home. A had a massive migraine that was killing me. I came home during lunch, immediately threw up a ton and then crawled in to bed. I got up shortly before Stacie got home and tried to eat a little dinner. That wasn't happening so I took some more medicine and sat in the shower for about 30 minutes. This works to provide temporary relief until the meds kick in. This got me feeling human again and I was able to keep dinner down. We had dinner plans with another couple, but this obviously screwed that up so I missed out on going to have a great Italian meal.

Since I was feeling much better and I knew I wasn't going to sleep any time soon, I decided to spend half of my remaining bankroll on the WWDN. Good thing I did, because I was able to build my bankroll back up when wwonka and I chopped when we got heads up. Of course this hand when we were down to 3 didn't hurt.

It was great to be back at the final table and it's funny how I have to be damn near poker broke in order to rebuild by account. I tried to buy the Gift2Go cards to reload but I couldn't find them after trying 3 Walgreens over the weekend. I told Stacie I had to win my way back to playing and tonight was a great start. I'm down to less than $2.50 on Tilt, so maybe I can pull in a score with a small SNG. Until I get the fundage, no Mookie or other blogger tourneys for me. I'll try to work something out this week. Now hopefully I can still get enough sleep tonight to tackle the day tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Favorite Posts

Sometimes you just need a pick me up. You know, something that you know is funny no matter how often you read or watch it. For this reason, I am collecting my favorite posts that I have read and even some that I have written. A.L.F. said it best, "I crack me up." I will be adding to this as I remember older posts and as you funny people come up with new ones. and of course the followup

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We've Seen a Few Movies Lately

Since so many shows were in repeats, we've had more time to watch some of the latest flicks on DVD.

The Departed - Very good movie. I don't know that I am interested in a sequel to it. It had a good finish and let's just leave it alone. I am interested in seeing the next American remake of another film by the Japanese team that that did this originally. I forgot which one they are doing next.

Hollywoodland - Another good movie. Very story driven and I think Ben Affleck did a great job.

The Illusionist - I am a big Ed Norton fan and it didn't hurt that Jessica Biel was in it either. Neither one of them disappointed and we thought the movie turned out well.

Little Miss Sunshine - This is a movie that we were told we would love it or hate it. I wasn't strong one way or another. I am leaning more to the positive review with some hilarious moments, but I wouldn't call it a comedy. I think Greg Kinnear is great in everything he does. Although I thought Alan Arkin was good, I don't see why he won an Oscar for his part. He's not in it that much and he just plays a dirty old man. How hard is that? The ending of this movie shows why beauty pagents for little girls are just plain wrong. I can't believe these parents that dress up their kids to look like little whores. I couldn't but help to think of JonBenet Ramsey while watching the final scenes.

An Unfinished Life - We watched this on the plane on my portable DVD player. It helped pass the time on the flight to Phoenix. It was similar in feel to Ulee's Gold. It was a good movie that didn't require the surround sound or big screen to enjoy.

The Prestige - This came out about the same time as The Illusionist and was also about magicians. The story, characters, and actors were different enough that we enjoyed it without thinking it was too much like the other. With the actors and mood of the film, you could tell this was done by the same team that did Batman Begins.

Rocky Balboa - A good ending to the franchise. It had more of the feel of the first movie.

Casino Royale - A good rebirth for the franchise. I like how they were thinking out of the box by starting fresh, but keeping up to date. I never thought about any of the other actors while watching this, so I guess that means I have accepted Daniel Craig as the "new" Bond.

Pursuit of Happyness - Wil Smith does a great job with a good story. It just confirms that I am a lazy ass.

Blood Diamond - This movie really makes you want to go out and buy that big ole sparklie doesn't it? I did enjoy this movie, but I think I am about done watching movies about how fucked up parts of Africa really are. It's like our old wild west, but with machetes and machine guns.

We have had a good run of movies lately and I haven't been disappointed with a pick in a while.

Action movies I watched by myself:

Team America: World Police - First thing I can say is "Fuck Yeah" If you've seen it, and you should, you'll get it. This was a very funny movie. I realize I am late to the party with this one, but you could watch this thing over and over and it would still be funny.

The Protector - Just in time for Jet Li to retire, there is a new bad ass out of Thailand. I enjoyed this movie and it was very impressive considering there was very little wire work.

Crank - Ridiculous but fun. Jason Statham was perfect for this movie.

300 - This is the first film I have seen in a theater since Star Wars: Episode 3. It was as awesome as I was expecting. It was as visually stunning as everyone had said. The story was great and it was just what my buddy and I were looking for in a non-wife movie. As a side note, I was stunned when I found out later who the actors were that played the King and the Persian God.

Thinking About Getting Some New Wheels

I’m a big car guy. I’ve always got the itch to get something new, but I never pull the trigger. I read the magazines, on-line articles and generally notice cool cars. I am also a big ole cheap ass and don’t want a car payment. We’ve gone the past 2 years without a payment and the maintenance has been reasonable on Stacie’s Maxima and my truck. We won’t discuss the bike, that is a toy and has it’s own place in the budget. As much as I like putting money in the bank, I think I am ready to get my first new car. As I search for my next vehicle, I’ll tell you more than you wanted to know.

My first car was a 1979 Buick Regal and we were both born in the same decade. I got it when, during my senior year of high school, Dad bought a brand new Monte Carlo SS for his new young wife. They gave me her old car when I headed to Auburn and it delivered me through college and my first summer in Atlanta. This car was a testament to old American sturdiness. It ran to about 200,000 miles and I never spent more than $400 on any repairs thanks to the money my Dad dropped in it before he gave it to me. By the time I traded it for my 1991 Acura Integra, it was looking more than it’s years. Crashing it in to a state park late one night didn't help it's appearance. It never failed me to get me to my destination. Sure I couldn’t listen to the radio, run the A/C or heat, the headliner was held up with staples and I had a hole in my muffler that prevented me from ever sneaking in late, but it would always run. It was a great first car, but one summer of working in Atlanta, driving across the top end of the perimeter every day with no A/C, was all it took. I had to get something newer and nicer.

In the fall of ’93 I traded in the Regal and my ’86 Honda Magna. With these trade-ins and my first car loan, I bought my dream car, a white ’91 Acura Integra LS Special with manual transmission, sunroof, and a rear spoiler. This was a car I had wanted since it came out in it’s first edition in the late 80’s. My best friend had a Prelude that I thought was awesome and it was a similar car but with different styling. In fact I almost bought a Prelude SI with 4 wheel steering, but got turned down for financing at the dealership. Oddly enough, the Acura dealership had no problem selling me the Integra even though it was more than the other dealer wanted for the Honda. Go figure. The Integra was very fun to drive, nice looking and reliable. This car served me very well for the next 8 years and I really hated to see it go. It was accumulating the miles and I knew the repair bills would start becoming more than I wanted to spend on an older car. We had just bought a house and felt we needed a truck, so I sold it to an eager teenager and bought the ’00 Ranger.

My Ranger is nice looking and roomy with the 2 rear suicide doors. The main purpose for this purchase was to haul crap to and from the home improvement centers. The problem with it is, it has never excited me to drive it. It is just basic utilitarian transportation with a weak engine and low gas mileage. I have had it for 6 years and I’m about ready to get something more fun or a different truck with 4 full size doors and a bigger engine that still gets crappy gas mileage.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just Another Night Playing Against Bloggers

Friday, April 13, 2007

Just Don't Be Stupid

Hosting or going to a home game is not uncommon, but if you want to avoid trouble, don't be stupid. Red flags are consistent schedule with cars blocking the street, large amounts of money, and oh yeah, having "poker" in the name of your business.

Is Lost Racist?

I'll get to my important Imus opinion later. Right now I have a bigger question?

What the hell happened to Rose and Bernard on Lost? I mean, you never see them any more, not even in the background. Apparently if you're black on Lost, you either get killed, kill someone and then leave the island, or just disappear. I'm waiting for J.J. Abrams to apologize for his blatent racist actions. That is all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Don't Usually Do This, But.......

I have been playing my ass off this week and I thought I would give the WWDN a good run. Unfortunately, getting my money in as an overwhelming favorite on 3 big occasions wasn't enough. I am not mad at myself, any player, or Riverstars, well maybe Riverstars. I just got very upset tonight watching runner runner cards give the other player the winning floooooosh twice. I am very pleased at how well I didn't let it affect my play and I was able to battle back to mid pack after the first 2 knockdowns. Alas, it was not going to happen tonight. OK, I'm done whining, and now I'll sleep better. Thanks for listening. Nothing more to see here, move along.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

How Do You Like That Flop?

First hand heads up. We were both slow playing our monsters. We didn't get in all in until the river. I'm trying to build my bankrolls back up so I'm sticking with the cheap SNGs. I was the shorty early on and then was patient for the right moments. Sometimes it was preflop and sometimes it was on the scarey boards. I knew I was making the right moves when one of the other players complained that I pushed 2 hands in a row preflop. I had the goods to back them up, but I still think it was the right move against the weaker players when we hit 100/200 on the blinds 5 handed. Even though it was a low buy-in, it still felt good to get a little confidence back. A few of these a week and I'll still have enough to go for blogger tournament entries and a token run or 2.

Sending Out the Scouts

As I took Dundee out to the back yard yesterday, a male hummingbird immediately made his presence known and demanded I begin the feeding season. He will probably be our sole visitor for about 3 weeks until the rest of the little buggers get the message. It's cool how they remember where the feeders were last year.

Spring is in full bloom and the backyard is looking great. We're having a few days of hellacious wind though. The temps are getting back to normal after the cold front passed, and it makes for some brisk long walks in the evenings. We still haven't had enough rain to knock the pollen down to a reasonable level.

Some of us are now beginning to work from home for a week at a time and I drew the first week of the rotation. I hope to be able to continue to work from home at least 1 week every 2 months. It has been great to have a nice view out the window, watch TV during lunch, and not have to worry about traffic. Today was an especially horrid traffic day in our area because Six Flags had free admission. This absolutely locked down the west side of town. It took Stacie 45 minutes to make it the 6 miles to work. In contrast, the rest of the week has been about 12 minute commutes since it is spring break.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Maybe A Little Too Much Change

Since I have been such a wuss on the felt lately, I decided to be more aggressive in the WWDN last night. It was working pretty well, especially when I really had something to back it up. Then my inability to mix things up in the same game became a little more obvious. I think I was able to avoid some bigger hurts by folding some good but probably beat hands with bigger pocket pairs. I was definitely setting myself up for a trap. Ultimately, I was not able to make it to the first break and I continue to watch my bankroll dwindle.

I jumped in to a $5 SNG after I was knocked out and didn't last too long in it either. My top 2 pair got rivered by a better second pair. The thing that stuck out the most to me during the game was the how easy it was to spot someone with pocket Aces. The first was an UTG limp in the second round of blinds, someone raise, then UTG goes all in. The second was raise preflop in early position and then pushed as the the first bettor on the flop. Hopefully this mean I am improving if I can begin to see things that I used to do and it helps me figure out someone's holdings.

While playing in the SNG, I was watching Wil's table since he was still in and doing well. The observer chat aimed towards him is usually harmless and it's just fans asking the same questions over and over, but a few last night got downright nasty towards him. He finally had enough and asked one in particular to stop. Wil has always been very friendly to both the players and observers, but I can completely understand if he decided to stop hosting these, or just turned off observer chat while playing. It's not just the mean people that make it less fun. One guy took up most of the chat space with a "guess my name game" that was just completely ridiculous and had nothing to do with Wil's game. And of course there is the "give me $1 guys" that always show up at these tournaments. I don't understand whats going on with these people. I guess since they can, they will, but it seems like there are better things to do with your time. Maybe I'm thinking I'm part of the "in" crowd too much and some of these others are just intruding on "our" game, but then I remember that I am now playing on Pokerstars because of Wil. This is exactly why he is part of Team Pokerstars and hopefully he will continue to hang with us on Tuesdays and we can go back to the fun dialogue among the players and railbirds that has been there in the past.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Why Do I Bother

I hosted the latest stop on our neighborhood poker tour over the weekend. I am extremely unimpressed with my play this year. I was a complete wuss and got to the point where I was fold or all-in with my hands. I got a nice hand in the BB and pushed after a few were in the pot already. Folds all around and I try it again a few hands later and one guy decides to stick around. I table 77 and expected an over pair from him, but was thrilled to see 66. Thrilled that is until the Devil made his number on the river. I just never felt confident playing for some reason and I guess it showed, because people had no problem raising it every time it was my blind. Maybe I can get my head right before I go online for this week's round of tourneys.

One highlight from the game was Kurokitty and his buddy came OTP (outside the perimeter) to sling some chips with us. Kuro did well and took 2nd out of 16. I might not have won any brownie points inviting the well playing blogger to our home game. LOL.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Then Time To Go Home

On Friday, we traveled to the other side of the island to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to the distance, traffic, and sometimes low speed limits, it took a few hours to get there from the resort area on the other side of Kona. I knew by the time we got there, we weren’t going to have enough time to see it all. Take note, budget the whole day and it helps to spend the night as close to the Park as possible or better yet, in the park.

First stop was the visitor’s center. This is when we realized we would only have time for the Crater Rim Drive which goes around the Kilauea Caldera. We didn’t get to go down Chain of Craters Road or hike the Halema'uma'u trail that goes across Kilauea Caldera to Halema'uma'u Crater. The 11 mile drive around the Caldera takes you through varied terrain, from barren lava to a lush rain forest in just a few turns. It is truly an impressive area to spend time in if you can. It is just amazing how things can change throughout the years. Every now and then a lava flow will just wipe out a road and eventually it gets rebuilt as displayed in the picture. The Halema'uma'u trail takes you through areas that were boiling lava less than 100 years ago and took decades to cool and solidify. Even since then, their has been active lava in the area as recent as the early 80s. It is a bummer we weren’t able to do this, but it gives us something go come back to one day. Of course by then who knows what new areas will be active.

The first areas we encountered reminded us of Yellowstone with all of the steam vents and sulfur smells along the roadside. Along the drive, we stopped at Thurston Lava Tube. This is a massive tunnel that was created by a lava flow a gazillion years ago.

We left the park in time to stop by Volcano Winery so Stacie could do some sampling. Wine is not my preference, but I did enjoy most that I tried. They were very unique flavors that I have never tasted in other wines. They had fruit blended wines with yellow guava and exotic jaboticaba and a Macadamia Nut honey wine that could easily sneak up on you.

Our flight home was leaving at 11 PM Hawaii time, so we headed back to Kona. We had time to have a great meal at a little Thai place before heading over to the airport to turn in the rental car and check in for our flight. The trip home was quicker than our trip out there. We were already in Kona so we didn’t have to island hop and we had the jet stream to help. It made for a long day though, because we didn’t get picked up (Thanks again, Dave) from the airport until 5:30 PM Eastern on Saturday. We got some sleep on the plane but we took advantage of our free Sunday to catch up before heading back to work on Monday.

We had a great time seeing the sites and spending time with friends in a place that we didn’t expect to visit for many years from now. Now back to normal life in the ATL. Last week, that consisted of pollen counts in the 5000+ range (not an exaggeration) and unseasonably warm temps in the mid 80s.