Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little Investment, Nice Return

I realize the best way to activate the Doom Switch is to talk about your successes but I’ve been running good lately. I have only played 4 sessions in the last month and they have all been profitable.

A few weeks ago I played the Brit Blogger Game for an inexpensive shot at a TOC seat for BBT4. I didn’t get a seat but I still managed to finish 5th for a little cash. I haven’t played many blogger tournaments in quite a while but I would like get back in to them. I will probably wait until the BBT is over and the mood is friendlier again. The Mookie is one of my favorites, but when I do well, it completely screws up my sleep. I just don’t see how so many players can stay up that late and be functional the next day at work. I am absolutely amazed at the players with kids or those that get ripped while they are playing. If I have anything to drink any more you can write off the next day until at least noon. Somehow it is not unusual for tons of people to do this many nights a week.

We had our monthly game in Kajagugu’s neighborhood 2 weeks ago and I had a rough start. We started a little after 8:00 and I was joking that I would be able to make it to a 9:00 show after my first 2 hands. Well it turns out I had enough time to still get popcorn and a coke before the previews would even start. Everyone knows I would rather play poker than go to the movies so I waited around for the cash game to start. I’m glad I did. Even though we were short handed and we played for less than an hour, I was still able to win back my tournament buy-in and bounty pay-out. Good times! I think within the first few hands while we were 3 handed it was my pocket aces against Ken’s pocket queens. We finished the game with my boat besting Cindy’s flush. It was a case of catching the right cards when my opponent also had a great hand. We continued to the second tournament of the night with enough people to fill 1 table. I made it to head’s up with Kaj. He made short work of our session but I was happy to walk away with a profit after my abysmal start for the evening. It’s funny how things can turn around with a new game or two.

My online success continued with my minimal investment and maximum return in the Friday Night Donkament. I did the initial max buy-in for 2 bucks, 1 more for tournament fee, and said “what the hey” and did 1 more buck for the add on. Investing only 4 dollars this week was a little different that last month when I was good for $26 to do my usual finish as bubble boy. Even though I wasn’t in the push every hand mode, I still had a blast. I always enjoy being on BDR with Buddy, Joanada, NumbBono, Muhctim, and Oh Captain. I was lucky enough to take it down for a terrific return on my investment. Since I’m now flush with cash and Stacie was away for the weekend, it was easy to talk me in to register for games I’m not familiar playing. We swarmed a 2-7 SNG table and I quickly bombed out when I made to low straights right off the bat. It is so funny to see a SNG with 6 bloggers and 2 citizens. I’m sure they are wondering how so many people would have railbirds for a $1 sit and go at 1:00 AM. When this game finished we were able to completely occupy a 6 man HORSE SNG. Contrary to what the odds would say, Numb did not win this one and instead, I came out the victor. I think I had the advantage of inexperience and that allowed me to chase my draws and not recognize when I should be folding.

I'll finish out my winning post with the live game we had a "Main Event" Mike's last Saturday. We had 2 full tables and a buy-in that was double our normal one. I played this one well enough to claim third for 2.5 times my buy-in. I didn't have too many hands to worry about and I tried to keep a small pot approach. After I doubled up with Kings, I push my luck against Matt with pocket jacks. With an overpair to the flop and twice as many chips, I pushed Matt all in. He thought for a moment and called with his KK. I hit my 2 outer on the river and I rode my healthy stack to the money. I should have played better when we were short handed, but I will work on that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

I got my Cowon A3-60SL media player last month and after giving it a full charge I connected it to my Tivo. The electronic manual did a good enough job in getting me started. The wiring was easy but it took a few minutes to figure out how to start recording. It would really help if it had one touch recording (OTR) like VCRs and DVD recorders have. Since it doesn’t have OTR, I had to set up a timer event for at least 1 minute in the future and wait for it to start recording and then release the pause on my Tivo. Some of you kids may not remember this, but that’s how you used to make mix tapes……on cassette even. Not a big deal, but it could be done a little better. Being able to record my shows straight to it is brilliant and other than the 1-2 minutes per show to set up, it is very little effort. It records in real time so it is not as fast as downloading a file, but since I don’t know how to get my shows as files, I don’t have another choice.

The videos I recorded worked well and I liked the bookmarking feature. This allowed me to come back to a particular spot when I don’t have time to finish my program. The screen size is good, but not as big as the portable DVD player I normally use. The single speaker is pretty much unusable so headphones or earbuds are a must. The recorded videos took up very little space and it would take forever to load 60GB worth of directly recorded videos.

The next thing I wanted to try was podcasts. I was able to download some podcasts from Attack Of The Show to my PC and then drop the files in to the player. This worked easy enough, but I wanted to be able to do it automatically. The unit comes loaded with a program called myPodder. The instructions were very crappy for this function. Here’s the simple way to make it work, connect your player to your computer by the USB connection on the back of your PC. Open up Windows Explorer on your PC and launch the program directly from the Cowon. You really don’t need to set up an online account to make it work. That’s part of what was throwing me. If they would have skipped that I would have been rolling sooner. The instructions for adding feeds were actually helpful. I did a few test downloads and watched them while I was ellipticalling. I don’t recommend this by the way. The screen is too small for this and the trainer is not quite steady enough to keep it from jiggling around.

The next day I was ready to download the new podcasts. I launched myPodder and it showed the new podcasts that were ready. This was really cool. I told it to download and headed down to dinner. When I came back, I was ready to disconnect the player and did the “Safely Remove Hardware” procedure. It came up with an error message that I remember seeing in the user’s guide. The user’s guide said this shouldn’t be a problem and just wait a few minutes and try again. I did that and got the same error. This time I waited about half an hour and when I came back, the player was just showing a bright white screen. I tried resetting the device, but no luck. As soon as I hooked it up to AC power or the PC, the white screen would come appear. I looked on a forum for the player and found I was a victim of “The White Screen of Death” and followed some troubleshooting advice but still could not get it to recover. Since it was just purchased, I was able to return it to Amazon as a defective part. I didn’t want to go the factory repair route as long as I had an easy way to just start again with a new player. I have already been credited for the player and also sent back a leather case I bought for it since I wasn’t sure if I would get another one.

So now I have successfully killed 3 video players that have the recording function. I really don’t need these things but it is starting to turn in to an obsession with finding one that works. I saw Amazon had the new Archos 5 on sale over the weekend and I had to talk myself out of getting it. It had good reviews for the product but horrible reviews for the customer service. I keep going back to the iPod Touch, but I’m still not convinced that I want to pay that much for it with no recording ability or TV tuner. If it dropped to about $200 I would probably get it or I would be willing to pay a little more if the iRecord Pro dropped to $150. I have been wanting (not needing) a laptop for quite a while so for the money I think the best course of action will be to get one around Christmas time after Windows 7 replaces Vista.