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Monday, February 23, 2009

[O/T] Stupid Technology & Another Million Dollar Idea

No poker was played this weekend. I think next weekend I might have time to use up my Stars blogger championship ticket winnings, so there's that EPIC FAIL to look forward to. Otherwise, the play and the commentary will be light for a while.

Going off topic for a moment, we have a gizmo at work - gizmo being short for internet access point or wireless router or whatever it is, I'm not going to bother identifying it specifically. Said gizmo was added a while back to facilitate our connection to the local WiFi network. The gizmo includes a firewall.

One of the things I did this weekend was round up a couple items to sell on eBay. This is the first time I've sold there, I did the listings at home so I'd have plenty of time. No problem, it was pretty easy.

I came into the office this morning and decided to check to see if I'd had any hits on my listings. I tool around the MyEbay page, click the link to go to the list of items I'm selling and BOOM: "Website Blocked by NETGEAR Firewall". Nice.

I think this stupid thing is configured to block only sites that have the letters s-e-x in the URL. I've occasionally been blocked from reading salacious stories on but otherwise been unaffected. I looked, and sure enough, the Ebay selling page URL contains a string of "MESEX".*

There isn't really any point to this story, I just thought it was amusing. NETGEAR: Saving the children of the world from Ebay sellers since whenever.

* No, the listings aren't for anything dirty. It's a golf club and a pair of golf shoes.


As long as I'm way off topic here, I had another million dollar idea that I'll never do anything with last night.

You may have heard of or used dogpile, the search engine of search engines? Well, I think there should be an equivalent that searches all the flash based porn sites. We'll call it "pronopile".

Not that I would advocate visiting any of the results pages or anything...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The BBT4 Is Upon You

Al Can't Hang has shared with the world the details of the BBT4. As usual he and Full Tilt have outdone themselves. A total of SEVEN (!!!) WSOP seats, including two main event seats.

Let me say that again: SEVEN WSOP SEATS, two of which are main event seats.

Here's the basic schedule:
Tournament: Brit Blogger Game
When: Sundays at 16:00ET
Game: NLHE
Buyin: $5+.50
Password: donkament

Tournament: PPI / Riverchasers Tournament
When: Mondays at 22:00ET
Game: Deepstack NLHE
Buyin: $24+2 or token
Password: riverchasers

Tournament: Blogger Skillz Game
When: Tuesdays at 21:30ET
Game: rotation of non-NLHE games
Buyin: $10+1
Password: skillz

Tournament: The Mookie
When: Wednesdays at 22:00ET
Game: Deepstack NLHE
Buyin: $10+1
Password: vegas1
The series runs from March 1 to May 31. Go read Al's blog for more on this and to stay on top of one of the biggest events in the poker blogosphere.

Looking at it for myself, all I can say is that I'll be wishing y'all good luck. I can't play on Sunday afternoons and at least half the Tuesday nights will swallowed up with other commitments. That leaves Monday and Wednesday night games that START at 10:00 pm ET. Great for night owls and people who don't live in the eastern time zone, but I needs my sleep. I don't think my "bankroll" (ha ha ha) could handle much of the series anyway.

Thanks again Al and Full Tilt for putting this together. Even though I won't benefit, I can only hope that some of my invisible internet pals will.

[O/T] Wat?

I try not to talk politics here - if only because nobody cares - but this blurb on from our beloved Secretary of State Hillary Clinton caught my attention:
"Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises," Clinton said in talks with China's foreign minister.
So Al Gore's ego is more important than human rights? Jimmy Carter would be spinning in his grave except for the fact that he's not dead. I think.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bonus Free

Part of that PokerStars 25 Billion Bash promotion this past week included a bonus for depositing. Stars doesn’t offer those that often, and this one was quite generous -- 25% up to $250. In fact, the site was calling it their “Biggest Ever Reload Bonus.”

When I heard about the offer, I reacted pretty much as I have to all bonus offers since Neteller shut its virtual doors to us Americans.

That is to say, I didn’t react at all.

-- Short Stacked Shamus
I'm not alone. While neither surprising nor a relief (or anything like that), I'm always interested to read how others react to the frustration of playing online from the United States of Nannyism. Needless to say, I did nothing about this bonus. If we were back in the golden era, I probably would have scrounged up the money, maxed the bonus and taken the money back out to be put back to other uses. Actually now that I think about it, I would have had a roll because I would have been playing.

I didn't get a piece of the 25B promotion, and in my last crack at it I gave back my winnings after I moved up a couple play chip levels. A couple standard beats - KK into AA, a guy who couldn't fold to my flop jam with an unimproved AK caught a card on the river - and a fairly gross beat when AK went down to A2, both flopped two pair, all in, two on the river. It happens.

There are any number of reasons coming up to play - Stars is launching another series, the SCOOP, which looks to be terrific. Al has said that the BBT4 is coming to Full Tilt. There are still thousands upon thousands of fish.

As has been the case for a while now - more lately than ever - I'll be on the sidelines. With the economy the way it is, I need to work harder and longer just to try and stay afloat.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Charity Poker Stuff

Oh, wonderful, the Detroit Free Press is on the case. Stirring up the pot with an article headlined "Low-regulation gaming charity events deal out high profits and controversy".

Unsurprisingly, the "controversy" is that established casinos and the OMG-gambling-evil crowd don't like the charity rooms that make it, you know, actually convenient to play. Their "solution"? BAN BAN BAN BAN or at least regulate to death.

According to the article, charitable gaming in the form of millionaire parties raised $10.4 million for charities last fiscal year. If charity poker were to be crippled by the haters, it would be rather difficult to replace that money.


Looks like the 25 billionth hand over at Stars won't be dealt until later today. 32 million to go.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A 25 Billion Weekend

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this 12-tabling business. Played again on Stars for a couple hours last night with a bit of success. At this level you don't even have to play good poker. I didn't hit any of the milestone hands - it's kind of hard to keep track, but I don't think I got closer than a couple hundred off.

One thing that was pretty LOL was I checked after playing a couple thousand hands and I had earned exactly 2 VPPs. It's a long way to silver star at that rate.

I'm popping in and out from time to time today, loading up a few tables if I happen to be around when a milestone is getting close. With it being every million hands, it's going by quickly. I don't have a real good sense on when exactly 25 billion will be hit, but if I were guessing I'd say tomorrow early afternoon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stars and Shorts

For kicks, I played some on Stars last night. If I played for real money (which of course I don't), it would have been that uber-challenging game known as NL2. You've probably read about the big 25 billionth hand promotion - lots of giveaways, including cash every million hands.

I managed to get up to 12 tables, which I think is probably the most I've ever played. A very interesting experience. It was manageable, but barely - a lot of people left the tables after each milestone was hit, resulting in whiz-bang shorthanded play. I think I'll hear the "hey, it's your turn, dummy" sound in my sleep all weekend. I don't know how the people that play 24 tables do it.

It was worth it, though, as people at this level suck even more than I do. My play chip bankroll got about a 30% boost. I'll probably be trying again this weekend looking for the big one.

Stars also has a fantastic reload going - 25% up to $250, 20x playthru to clear. If I played for real money, could figure out a deposit method that worked and actually had the money to do it, I would be all over that. One of the better reloads I've seen in a while.

Speaking of "if onlys", I got an email from one of my local charity poker rooms. They were touting some improvements, one of which was a plan to have a steady $2/$5 NL game running - with a $4 max rake! If I were rolled, I'd be there, since I'm confident I can predict half the people who'd sit and they're um lousy. They also bumped tourney payouts to 90%, which is better than anything this side of online. Nice job guys.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

[VERY O/T] Million Dollar Ideas

This post has nothing to do with poker.

We all have our pet hates. One that's rising on my personal list - which goes on and on - is stupid internet advertising. If you visit any of the mainstream sites that accept google ads, you probably know what I'm talking about. Two categories especially bug me.

The first kind is the "one simple rule" ad. You may know this from such ads as "I lost 25 pounds of stomach fat by following this one simple rule" and "I got my teeth whiter by following one simple rule". The rule may also be ancient, but it's always simple. And it's always a scam.

The other kind is the "fake blog" ad. You may know this from such ads as "I make $5,000 per month from the government, read my blog to see how I did it". My all time favorite in this genre is Chedda's Bling Blog, which is nothing more than a scam to get you to pay for some information on government grants. I don't recommend signing up for anything, but the site itself is hilarious. I'm unqualified to call it racist as hell, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were "written" by a white guy. Compare it (and the comments) to Ricky's Fast Cash for additional amusement.

If I had more time and motiviation, I would probably enjoy creating parody sites of both kinds. I'm thinking - "I avoided pregnancy by following this one simple rule" (child support might work here too), or "I made $5,000 this month by following this one simple rule" (I got a job). For the second kind, a site about how I make all sorts of money by convincing idiots not to pay for free information.

Monday, February 09, 2009

[Semi O/T] Plated

On my way in to work this morning, the Jeep in front of me had a personalized license plate that read "BBT 1".

Silly random, don't you know that BBT 4 is coming? (at some point)

Speaking of the BBT, go read what Bam Bam had to say on that subject.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Right Kind of Payday ... Almost

Long dry spell, posting-wise. One of these days I might have something coherent to post.

I had a few minutes to kill this morning, so on a whim I entered a $1 rebuy super-turbo to the Stars Sunday Million ($215 buyin). I think that was the first hyper-turbo I've ever played. I had no idea what I'd been missing. What a sick game.

I rebought at the start and didn't take the measly add on, so I was in for $2. I ran good for once, but busted 20th on a coin flip (my pair vs AK) at crunch time. 12 spots paid, so there were a ton of rebuys - by other people. I never needed to.

It's always deflating when you bust out, but this one didn't sting too much. It was fun getting that close to a 100 to 1 payoff - the kind of payoff I definitely need right now.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Things I Learned About Poker Yesterday

1. I can't hit a flop at PLO8 either.

That is all.

(There is no 2. ??? or 3. profit, alas)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

[O/T] Then Again, If You Have The Money...

It's a great time to go to Vegas. The offers keep pouring in and they're better than ever. Las Vegas wants your business. Badly.

In local news, Allegiant Air (company motto: hey look at us we're a profitable airline!) has moved its West Michigan operations from Lansing to Grand Rapids. Starting May 1, non-stops to Las Vegas will be offered twice weekly - on Mondays and Fridays. Looking at the schedule, leaving GRR Friday at 9:10 pm, returning out of LAS Monday at 1:45 pm makes for a nice little 3 day weekend. The kicker, of course is discounts to kick off the service - book now and flights are $99-$139 each way plus taxes and fees and stuff.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

[Mostly O/T] Make Your Travel Plans

Some dates have been released for blogger gatherings:

Eh Vegas (Canada) is set for the weekend of March 14.

Okie Vegas tentative dates are July 8 - 12.

Both should be a ridiculously good time if you're able to go. I'm pretty close to 0% for both, unfortunately, as the upcoming year looks truly dismal. I'm also extremely unlikely to be able to make it to Vegas this year, although December is far enough away that anything could happen. Too bad that ad "fun money" has completely dried up, it's much harder to find it in the regular budget. And by harder to find I mean it ain't there.

I did read one thing that's made it into the "stimulus package" that could positively impact some things I have to do this year, here's hoping that it survives. Meanwhile, life goes on.

Nothing new on the poker front. Pokerati has a post on the ongoing expansion of the Michigan charity poker scene. Uh, not really breaking news, but whatever. I did come up with a related T-shirt idea, though -- Michigan: Gambling our way out of recession since about 2004.