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Friday, November 28, 2008

Playable Hands Wanted, Inquire Within

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving slash Thursday. I got to savor the traditional feast - without cooking anything for once - and was home in plenty of time to play Dr. Pauly's Turkey Cup event.

I'm pleased to report that Stars is still rigged.

Despite paying no attention at all - busy watching the Cards-Iggles game - I still managed my usual middle of the pack finish (17th out of 50 some I think) and ridiculous exit. After seeing 40% of my top five stack blinded off thanks to a long string of 9 high hands, I took a questionable flip vs a short stack and lost with 88 vs KT. The very next hand I had a chance to scoop up several limps plus the big blind and antes when I jammed with AKo, but no. Of course I got a call from a big stack with AQo and a queen is the door card.


I forgot to play the Bodonkey - I don't know how many entries I have left there anyway - and didn't take advantage of FT's triple points promo, both of which I regret. I'm blaming the turkey, it won't talk.

In what passes for me as a flurry of play, I did also hit up the Mookie. Standard middle of the pack finish (12th I think).

Of far more interest than the online stuff is the fact that two weeks from today I'll be camped out at a table somewhere in Vegas. Looking forward to seeing those of you who are going, will miss those who aren't.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Be A Turkey

If you have nothing else to do - and trust me, that will be the case - why not cap off Thanksgiving* by playing poker with your friends?

(* or if you're Canadian or something, "Thursday")

I missed last night's Bodonkey and generally haven't been playing much. I did hit up an all star cash game table with Sox Lover, Donkey Puncher, Hoyazo and a couple other people I'm forgetting at the moment (sorry) for a while this weekend. Other than that, bupkus.

Have a good holiday-slash-Thursday. I'm looking forward to watching football, playing over at Fantasy Sports Live and generally wishing that I hadn't had that second helping of everything.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

[Mostly O/T] Reading Material

There are times when apathy works in your favor. If you're lucky, it can be confused with a moment of zen, and then you really look good.

I read Hoyazo's lengthy rant about the U.S. auto industry and "bailout" (it came to 9 pages when I cut and pasted it). I spent several minutes trying to figure out how to begin to address everything that he's got wrong. Fortunately, I came to my senses and remembered that there is absolutely no reason to do that, nobody gives a rip what I think on the subject. So all I have to do is say Hoy, I respect your opinion, but in mine you're seriously wrong on this collection of issues.

Then again, if one or more of the Big 3 do file Chapter 11, I'm closing the doors and signing on to do bankruptcy stuff full time. That will be single biggest make-work project for lawyers in recorded history - fees will be multiple billions of dollars just for the core companies, and once you factor in the hundreds of suppliers that will fold as well, that's a few billion more. Full employment, here we come!


On a more topical subject, just on the off chance anyone else happens to enjoy Las Vegas-themed reading material, I can give a thumbs up to Tom Breitling's Double or Nothing: How Two Friends Risked It All To Buy One of Las Vegas' Legendary Casinos. You probably remember Tom (of Tim and Tom) from the days of the bubble. They sold their business to Expedia, made a pile and bought the Golden Nugget. They owned it for a year and sold out for a $113 million profit. Great literature it isn't, but the book is written in a very accessible style and it's entertaining enough to be a one shot read. Worth picking up.

I can't give the same recommendation to Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman and the Race to Own Las Vegas by Christina Binkley. With semi-insider access - she worked for the Wall Street Journal - to such fascinating subjects, it's hard to understand why this is such a hard read. It's not well organized, can be hard to follow and just isn't nearly as interesting as it should be. Thumbs down on this one.

As always, I beat the house edge by checking them out of the library.


I am in for Vegas and bought my ticket weeks ago. Here's hoping that United doesn't go belly up in the next four weeks...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Now This Should Bring Out A Crowd

Play the Bodonkey, take out Waffles, win bounty:
On Thursday's November 20th Bodog blogger tournament, there will be a bounty on the head of the biggest donkey of them all, the notorious Sir Waffles!

Don't miss this opportunity to take revenge on or even up the score with Waffles! If you are the lucky poker blogger to knock out Waffles, you will receive a credit of T$109 to play in Bodog's $100K Guaranteed Tournament occurring each Sunday at 4 PM!

This blogger tournament series is open to poker bloggers worldwide and runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 9:05 PM ET.

More details are available at the official blogger series site at

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to play this tournament at

Good luck and may the most unforgiving poker blogger stack the "worst poker player" ever and pocket T$109!

Also don't forget to get in touch with Falstaff if you're planning on playing in the WPBT tournament in Las Vegas... less than a month to go!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Initially Published Sans Title

Contrary to all expectations, I did manage to make it out for the Bodonkey last night over on Bodog.

It was a dismal performance. Much like a broken-down, way past their prime athlete trying to make a "comeback", I played like I'd never played the game before. Especially during the first hour. Whiffing every flop didn't help but wow was my play bad. About the only positive thing I can say is that the one time I had a premium hand (QQ) I managed not to go broke. 23skiddo had and showed AA.

Things improved slightly in hour two and I managed to double up once and steal a couple of pots. I even managed to outlast several of the same people who so outplayed me at my first table. In the end, though, I went out in the usual fashion in 15th when 88<44.

The Bodonkey returns next week Tuesday and Thursday so be sure to sign up and play.


Maybe I should just blame everything on the Jets-Pats game, which proved to be rather exciting - and also good for my fantasy team (which I shall not blog about here).

TGIF and bring on some more football. Poker stuff too. Reminder to self: Must book Vegas room this weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[O/T] Bailout

November 12, 2008

My Congressman
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman:

Congratulations on your re-election. I look forward to two more years of stupid laws, taxpayer-funded junkets and informative mailings about all the wonderful things you're doing for our home district.

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about bailouts. I read that you guys approved $700 billion for the big banks and mortgage type lenders. From what I hear, you're about to give tens of billions to the big auto companies so they can avoid bankruptcy. Even the clowns on the Detroit City Council are in on the act, demanding a $10 billion buyout.

You know who you should really bail out?

Me, that's who.

You see, Congressman, it was my vote that got you re-elected. And I'm in serious financial distress. I have had to start eating ramen noodles and drinking domestic light beer. I have found myself unable to prop up the local restaurant industry or national chain retailers. You've read about Circuit City filing for bankruptcy? My doing. I have been completely unable to afford that 42 inch plasma that would have kept them in the black.

So, my friend, you need to bail me out. Here's the best part: It will cost peanuts. I figure $1 billion should be sufficient - that's $699 billion less than those bank people.

If you can get this through, I promise to singlehandedly stimulate the entire economy of our district. Unemployment will fall, factory orders will rise, schoolchildren will resume reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on a daily basis. If it helps sell the deal, I will even promise to focus heavily on buying American.

Let's be honest here. Do you really think that bailing out Detroit is a good idea? I mean, seriously:
Council President Pro Tem JoAnn Watson sponsored the resolution to use the money for public service employment, to fund mass transit plans and to place a moratorium on home foreclosures for two years.
Make-work jobs, light rail to nowhere and a super contribution to the ongoing abandonment of the city and decay of its housing stock that's contrary to state law. Sound like a good idea?

I didn't think so.

Congressman, if we work together we can get this done. Prosperity for all except our children and grandchildren. Since I don't have any, screw 'em.

I look forward to your prompt reply. Oh, and I'll need two IDs with the government's check.

ps: Please extend a hearty F-YOU to the Federal Reserve, Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury for their work on the UIGEA regulations for me. I'd write to them, but until I get my bailout check I can't afford the stamp.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Get Your Ng On

The Bodonkey is back again tomorrow night, with special guest participant Evelyn Ng. Knock her out and get T$109. All the details are available at the Bodblog.

EDIT: Smokkee correctly points out that Ng is playing in Thursday's event, not Tuesday's. Oops. It's still worth playing and if I can remain off life tilt long enough I'll be there.

No poker for me this weekend after the Friday night dollar donkament. I enjoyed a little cheap rebuy therapy and reached the final table but busted out before the money. It was much needed after a bad day that included getting underbid on a contract.

The time I'm not spending playing poker is being consumed by playing at Fantasy Sports Live. In accordance with blogger rule #72, all fantasy sports related posts are being contained so there will be no risk of cross-contamination.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bad Blogger

Blogging about poker becomes a challenge when you don't watch, don't play, don't read forums and skip over any substantive blog post. So consider this to be just another container piled high upon the failboat.

Therefore, I give you, without transitions, segues or Segways the following thoughts:

Since I don't get ESPN, I haven't seen much hype for the November Nine. Actually, I've heard no hype whatsoever. None. One ad on some other network during a football game and that's it. Pathetic. Moving the final table looks like it's really working out swell.

Poker may be alive and well in other parts of the world, but our lovely elected officials (Republicants and Democraps alike) continue their assault on the ability of American citizens to do what they wish with their money. Online companies and networks continue to exit the U.S. market and there will be increasing pressure on the few remaining majors to follow suit.

I guess I could always waste electrons blogging about playing at Fantasy Sports Live if poker dies completely.

For now anyway, opportunities to play with your pals abound. Dollar donkament tonight (I presume) on FTP. Saturdays with Dr. Pauly tomorrow on Stars. Football fun at FSL on Sunday, and the full complement of weekday games after that.

See you there.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Running Good (At Life And Otherwise)

Let's see: 70 degree temps in November. On which day of the week would that be most likely to happen? Of course! Monday! Boo.


So anyway, I did my duty and voted.

I saw no reason to go early and stand in line, so I went mid-morning. The staff set up three lines to check in - sorted by last name. The lines for two thirds of the alphabet had zero people in line. The section my name falls into had about 30 people in line so I had to wait. I run good at elections.

Fortunately, the whole process took less than 30 minutes. I was voter #656, which means that turnout is very heavy - there can't be more than 2,000 possible registered voters in my precinct and the polls are open for another nine hours or so.

In less than 24 hours our long national nightmare will be over and we will be free of stupid political ads for at least a year or two. God bless America.


I couldn't bring myself to do anything productive last night so I donked around online. I'm definitely a fan of the 'deep' tables at Full Tilt - it's so much easier to be patient when you're not being destroyed by the blinds. I lucked into finding a pretty weak table and actually recorded a win of almost half a buyin. Yay poker.

Speaking of all things poker, tonight is the Skillz Game on FTP and the Bodonkey over at Bodog. Both will be game time decisions, depending on how bored I am and whether I have a decent internet connection. I plan to avoid election coverage, so chances are good that I'll be playing.

Also on FTP, they're running some sort of 3x FTP points promo in honor of election day. I think that starts this evening. Might be worth checking out.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sundays With A Chest Cold

It's Sunday morning and so far the weekend has been spent camped out at home, alternating positions between the horizontal and the vertical. I'm fighting something off, nothing major but just enough to sap every last molecule of ambition.

Saturdays with Dr. Pauly was held at its usual time and place (4:20 ET Saturdays on Stars) and I snuck in just before late registration ended. I managed to finish fifth without remembering a single hand other than the one that busted me - your standard KKxx vs AAxx setup. I was so desperately short stacked that I would have pushed almost any four cards at that point, but still. Thanks a bunch Stars.

Today so far has been consumed by the making of fantasy football picks, both for my crappy regular fantasy team (I'm down to one QB, Matt Ugh Cassel now that J.T. O'Turnover has been benched) and over at Fantasy Sports Live. As per agreement with myself, FSL contest is over at the Winning at Fantasy Sports Live blog. Long on hubris, short on results baby.


I did do one thing out of the ordinary this weekend. I really wasn't up to dealing with Trick or Treaters on Friday night - I didn't get out of work until 6, kiddy time runs from 6 to 8 and I'd have had to make a stop for candy - so I went for a drive instead.

I ended up in a nearby town where I happened past the high school. The lights were on and fans were assembling. Football is a big deal at this school - something like 16 state championships dating back to 1920 - and it continues even as the area has changed from working class white to working class black and the local economy circles the drain. They were playing another local school - one whose area has gone from entirely white to significantly hispanic, and which has had dreadful teams for years. This year they found something and put together a terrific season.

My alma mater (hs version) has played both teams for countless years, but I'd never been to an away game. For that matter, I hadn't been to a high school game in at least fifteen years. Here was an opportunity to see a good game, in a stadium that's always preceded in print by the word "historic" and I could get in some good people watching - checking out fans who look a lot different than they did when I was growing up here.

Why not, I figured. What else did I have to do?

The game didn't disappoint. The underdog took a quick lead, played tough for the first quarter. Then the heavyweights found their legs and blew the visitors out of the water. It was a clean, hard fought contest. The home team had a pretty decent marching band. The crowd was loud. The hot dogs were reasonable.

In short, good times.

I didn't make it through the entire game, as a chill started to set in. I certainly received my five bucks in entertainment, though, and I suspect it'll be less than fifteen years before I see another game. The home team has a new stadium, you see, and they say it's pretty nice.