Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost for the Month

In honor of tonight's season premier of Lost, I'm taking tonight off. I leave you with these (graph is missing some hands, so it doesn't agree with spreadsheet):

Click Image to Enlarge

Hot Pursuit!

Last night, when I was leaving the bowling alley, I was in a trance. I was tired from bowling and working all day. I hadn't eaten in about 10 hours. All I could think about was food. I damn near t-boned a cop as he pulled out in front of me on the road. I was going about 5 mph over the speed limit, but he could have waited. Evidently that same cop turned around on me too. I rolled through a stop sign to get to a stop light (genious traffic design).

The light turned green almost instantly as I pulled up to it. I slowly pulled out onto the highway when a car whizzed past me. WTF?! He just ran that stop sign and nearly missed smashing into my truck. It was all really a blur. Remember that cop that turned around to get me? He thought this guy was more important, thankfully. The cop turned his attention towards the speeder that ran the red light and almost killed me. The I watched in amazement as the speeder got away. You've got to be kidding me. He sped up into a group of cars. Then took the next exit. The cop did not.

It didn't take long for the cop to realize what had happened. I laughed as I saw the cop do a U-Turn and come back the other way. Then another cop passed me and did a U-turn. Then as I continued home, I counted 5 more cops. High speed pursuit! I hope they caught the prick, but that was some shitty police work. No wonder the city cops around here make just above minimum wage.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HUNL = Stress

Damn, Is heads-up no limit stressful or what? It is to me anyway. I'm conservative by nature with all things poker. I like to be properly rolled because I've seen the roller coaster rides that poker can put a player through. Being a limit player for nearly 95% of my poker career, I've taken a bunch of these rides on the roller coaster. That's why I moved to NL poker and made full ring NL my mainstay. Good, boring, low variance poker. That is until I moved up...

When I made the leap from $25NL to $50NL, I found out that Stars and Full Tilt both spread Heads up NL games at that level. Being a sucker for action, I had to try them. And try them I did. In fact, I've pretty much crushed those tables for over 22PTBB/100 over a couple thousand hands. Definitely unsustainable. I'll probably never find out what I can sustain as a win rate on those tables though because they are just too stressful for me.

I might be conservative, but I am aggressive. Usually when a donkey sits down at the HUNL tables, they want to call, call, call. I'm a raiser myself. After about 5-10 minutes of this torture, donkies usually up the aggression as well to combat me. That's what I usually get the jackpot hands. Sound good? Good! That's the extent of my HUNL expertise.

Now lets to get to the stress. My bankroll is new to the $50NL level, so I'm protective over it right now. HUNL has a lot of swings in a given session. Just today, I was donking around at lunch. I got in a match against a guy. I was sitting with $50 and he of course joined with $20. Next thing I know, I've rebought twice and then some and he's sitting on a $150 stack to my $50. 5 minutes later, I busted his account. I caught some good hands at the right time.

I stress playing tilt-free poker when I'm playing. My poker music is still rock n' roll, but far from Metal. I need to be relaxed. Playing on a small bankroll doesn't allow me to relax, so that's why I'm conservative with the bankroll. When I'm overstaked for a limit, I'm not worrying about results so much...just the play. This is optimal. I can't do this playing Heads Up. In what little bit I've played, I've seen how swingy the game can get. That's fine and dandy if I'm over-bankrolled for the limit. Hell, I feel like I have a huge advantage anyway. However, when I'm only "properly" rolled for a limit (20 buyins), then I dont' feel so confident. I start sweating the results. I don't play tilt free. That is a recipe for disaster on the tables.

So, I'm retiring early from the heads up no limit tables. I'm hanging my 22PTBB/100 winrate on the wall over the virtual mantle. Not forever, though. Once I build the bankroll up a bit, I'll flock back to those oh so fun Heads up tables.

How safe is your money?

Do you ever just stop and think "How safe is my money?". I admit that I don't. I just hand my money over to a person and trust they will keep it safe for me. This includes depositing my pacheck in the bank. How do I know the teller making just above minimum wage is going to enter my deposit into her stupid little computer? I don't.

When it comes to online gambling, I'm taking an even larger risk. I carry larger balances on the poker sites than I do in my checking accounts. My bankroll is not huge by any means. I also only have like $150 invested in it of my own money. The rest is income that I've made on that $150 investment. Still, it's mine and I want it to be safe. If I had that kind of money in my pocket and someone took it, I'd be very ticked off. So why is it that I trust some overseas account to handle more money than I trust my local bank with? Good question.

Lately, there have been a lot of stories about shady practices, scamming, and outright cheating going on with the online poker world. Every week, I skim through 2+2 to see some other poor soul with $50K locked up in Full Tilt for seemingly no particular reason at all. Sometimes they unlock the account, sometimes they don't. Sometimes I don't follow the thread long enough to see the end result. The funny part is that they all start out the same way. User logs in, gets message that account is locked. User contacts Full Tilt and they say the account is under investigation. User gets no more details and has to sit on his or her hands wondering what the fuck is happening with that signifigant sum of money.

It's not just Full Tilt either. You have douchebag guys with superuser priviledges over at Absolute reading your hole cards and scamming you out of money. You have Ultimate Bet allowing you to log in multiple times from the same account, just inviting users to cheat. Just read your most popular forums. This shit goes on every day. And we deal with it? How about the whole Neteller fiasco not too long ago?

Getting the government involved is never the correct answer. However, we need to lay all our cards out on the table and quit pussyfooting around. We need to legalize poker in America. It's all over our TVs these days. Yet we still have to jump through hoops to play even from the comfort of our own home. We have to deal with these shady people if we want to play a fun game. It takes all the fun away from the game in my opinion.

Whenever there is money involved, liars, cheaters, and theives will come around for the quick buck. What can be done to stop this? It doesn't matter if you're talking poker or the local bingo game down the street? The scum of the earth can surround these types of places and stalk their prey because they are not worried about the police getting involved. These activities are less than legal. If Full Tilt locks my account and drains it dry, what can I do?

It never hurts to be safe, so I'm going to do all the research I can and see how to best protect my money and myself.


Motivation is a funny thing. 48 hours ago, sitting down at a poker table was the equivalent to eating all my vegetables. It wasn't going to kill me, but it wasn't what I was looking forward to doing. Then all of the sudden last night, I'm watching an episode of Dexter when all of the sudden I'm wanting to grind out a bunch of hands. I actually stopped the episode to start playing. Hey, you have to take advantage of motivated times!

I think I played around 700 hands last night and I was willing to put in more, but ran out of time. I need to get in bed earlier at night, so I stopped in time to allow myself to "wind down" before hitting the sack. I finished my episode of Dexter while I unwound.

I have the will to sit down and continue cranking out hands today too. However, real life is standing in the way of that. I have work, then bowling directly after work. I could maybe fit in a couple hundred hands after bowling, but I have a brand new honking episode of The Wire to watch before bedtime :)

There's always tomorrow and the weekend. I don't really have much in the way of plans. I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like either, but if it's bad, I can see myself playing a bunch of poker this weekend.


Tomorrow marks the end of the month for me pokerwise too. I'll have an official month end post tomorrow, but this has shaped up to be my best month since redpositing and starting to regrind out a bankroll. It's not a huge month by no means, but still a decent month. The bankroll fairly healthy. My plans are to continue grinding in February on the $50NL tables and then hopefully begin the $100NL tables come March 1.

I need to take more breaks when I play poker though. I forced myself to play a lot this month and those forced sessions were never any good. When I'm motivated to play, I normally play A LOT, so it all evens out.

So cheers! This is my first winning January since ... ummm ever. January 2005 saw my first big skid at the $5/10 tables. January 2006 was in the middle of my worst limit skid ever across 5/10, 3/6, and 2/4 tables. January 2007... I didn't even really play that I can remember.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey, I actually played poker today!

It seems like I haven't been very motivated to grind out any hands lately. Today was different. I actually spent a couple hours on the tables. The results were mediocre, but it was a nice session overall. I started out slow, going down around 1 buy-in for my first 350-400 hands. Then I ended up getting it back and then a little on top of that.

Full Tilt Poker, $0.25/$0.50 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players - Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $136.20
MP1: $78.65
MP2: $69.60
CO: $46.75
Hero (BTN): $49.75
SB: $65.35
BB: $53.15
UTG: $36.50
UTG+1: $63.15

Pre-Flop: T T dealt to Hero (BTN)
4 folds, MP2 raises to $1, CO folds, Hero raises to $3.75, 2 folds, MP2 calls $2.75

Flop: ($8.25) T J 7 (2 Players)
MP2 bets $4, Hero raises to $17, MP2 calls $13

Turn: ($42.25) K (2 Players)
MP2 bets $42.25, Hero calls $29 and is All-In

River: ($100.25) J (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $100.25 Pot ($3 Rake)
MP2 showed 4 J (three of a kind, Jacks) and LOST (-$49.75 NET)
Hero showed T T (a full house, Tens full of Jacks) and WON $97.25 (+$47.50 NET)

Something has got to change

Just a small post before I go into my training session. I feel like crap today. I hate January and the winter in general. I feel like I'm in a rut and the only thing that brightens my day is sitting on my ass vegging out at nights. Of course I stay up too late watching TV or playing around on the internet and the whole cycle begins again the next day.

When I get the "blahs", I don't feel motivated to do anything. I don't want to play poker. I don't want to go out. I just want to be a hermit. So what if that makes me happy? It's not healthy, that's what! Something's gotta change.

I guess I keep waiting around for the stars to magically align and this change just thrust itself upon me. Well, that doesn't seem to be happening, so I have to be proactive. I have to motivate myself cause nothing or nobody else is going to do it for me.

I guess the first thing that would help is a good night sleep. I need to get in bed sometime before midnight. This hasn't been happening lately. I stay up later (for no particular reason). Then I hit the snooze button in the morning a few times. This, in turn, means I don't have time for breakfast. Not a great way to start the day?

So, now bedtime is no later than 10:30 p.m. unless there is a good excuse. Also, I must start having breakfast.

Baby steps.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No shirt no shoes no shit

I have a hard time on Monday mornings getting motivated. This morning was no different. I slept hard last night. That is until I woke up on my own around 6:25 a.m. The alarm was set for 6:35 a.m. I hate that shit. I changed the alarm to 6:45 and nodded back off.

This made the morning preperations rushed. I didn't really care though. I was too tired to focus anyway. Nothing was working in my brain. The shower had no effect on my level of focus. I was dog tired and wanted to go back to bed.

Normally I leave the house around 7:15 a.m. It was 7:27 a.m. and I hadn't even put on pants yet. FUCK ME! My clothes were in the washing machine! I fell asleep last night and forgot to put them in the dryer. These were ALL of my work clothes. I put on a pair of jeans and t-shirt and headed in, already late. I wasn't too worried, my boss wasn't going to be there anyway.

When I come back from lunch today, I got back to work. I was having a decent day. I was wearing comfortable clothes. It wasn't my day to answer the phone. Everything was hunky-dory. Then he walked in. My boss. What a douchebag. He can turn my day from bright and cheerful to dismal in mere seconds. It's not that the man is mean or anything. In fact, he's quite nice. However, he's a weasel. I can't really explain it, but the man is a piece of shit and our personalities clash. He looks down on people like he's better than them. Just to hear him order his food at a fast food restaraunt is like nails on a chalkboard. I refuse to eat if he's already ordered. I fear the phlegm content in my food. No way I work a fast food joint and have someone talk down to me like that and not fuck with his food. No sirree Bob! They just don't pay enough. Anyway, that's just an example.

Today, as soon as he got in the office, he started calling for my help. Fix this on my laptop. Fix that. I can't figure out how to copy this disc. It just went on and on and on for about 2hours. Then when I was working on his demo on his laptop, he had the balls to tell me that I wasn't wearing a tie and that was our company policy. I looked at him and he was wearing blue jeans, a long sleeve tee, and some tennis shoes. I was wearing jeans, golf shirt, dress shoes.

Not wanting to get into it with him, I just said "I have a bowling tournament after work and don't have time to go home and change". This was a total lie. I should have just told him how I felt.

"Look douchebag, I'm dressed up better than you! Your dress code is also retarded! The only person I see outside of co-workers in this office is the UPS man. Dress clothes are expensive, not comfortable, serve no purpose. I'd be happy to dress up for you when I go to another customers office a customer comes here, but to dress up just for the sake of dressing up is fucking retarded...just like you".

That's what I really want to say....someday maybe.

The good Doctor

The good Doctor Pauly has started his Saturday's with Dr. Pauly beginning this Saturday, Feb 2 at 4:20 p.m eastern. I was excited to see the tournament was PL Omaha. I think PLO is one of the more fun poker games to be played. I wouldn't normally be interested in playing poker with a bunch of bloggers. I'm not an "A-List" poker blogger or anything nor do I desire to be. I just like to write and play poker. Normally when you get a blogger tournament, you get a bunch of nitty play. Add 2 more hole cards and your average poker player turns into an idiot.

** Edit **

Crap, nevermind. I won't be able to play this Saturday because I'll be rolling in a bowilng tournament. Next weekend maybe.

Bored with life

I abso-fucking-lutely had January. This month puts me on life tilt like no other. After the Christmas break, you aren't used to working these full days. You go back to work and then get another break for New Years. Super! Then..... nothing. January comes along and puts this big void in my entire world. What the fuck happens in January? I'll tell you what! Nothing! Nothing but bad weather and maybe a few new TV shows.

Needless to say, I've lost all motivation this month. I feel like I'm running on fumes and need a break. I don't see any breaks in site, so I'll have to make due. I'm searching for some sort of motivation. I'm having trouble finding it too. What can I do to motivate myself in life? I guess having something to look forward to helps.

Life problems have trickled into poker problems. I'm having to force myself to sit down at the tables these days. Then once I get there, I have to force myself to stay (unless I'm stuck). It's just not good poker be like that. I've got to the point, where I'm protecting wins by shortening my sessions and chasing losses by extending those sessions. Seems like it should be opposite right? The truth is that it shouldn't matter. Get your hands in and sweat the results later.

I have 4 days left in this month. I'm sitting on about 11K hands played this month with no desire to hit my mark of 17K. 6K hands in 4 days should be do-able. I do have bowling night as one obstacle though. There is nothing on TV tonight, so I'm cool tonight and I've pretty much set Tuesdays as my "poker" day. Wednesday will be tough to get in some hands. Thursday, I'm free with the exception of Lost. So, whatever time Lost comes on Thursday, that will be my deadline for getting in my hands this month.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

List of shit I want/need

  • Riding Lawn Mower
  • New amp for Sub-woofers
  • HDTV
  • new exhaust for truck
  • new heat pump
  • Call of Duty 4

Time to keep grinding. The next most important thing on my list is a riding lawn mower. I only got 3-4 more months before mowing season. Most of the other stuff is "Wants" instead of "Needs". Except for the truck stuff. It does need a new exhaust. And I love that stereo when those subs are banging your chest... I'm looking for an older, used amp right now. Nothing expensive.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bored to death

I'm bored to death. I've played poker and it didn't do it for me. I've watched all the Dexter I can watch too. It's 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night and I'm sitting here typing on Blogger. God damn I've gotten old. Anyway, I wouldn't mind going out, but all my friends were out playing in a "Snowbowl" flag football tournament. They started at 8:00 this morning and didn't stop until just a bit ago. Needless to say, they are worn out and not much for doing anything but resting.

I've had a decent day on the tables today. Of course, I couldn't pry myself away from the heads up tables, but I faired well. It's still pretty swingy, but I'm getting the hang of it. I'm prone to tilt from time to time while playing though. When I get a big stack, I'm also prone to wanting to play big pots all the time and that has gotten me into trouble a lot. Lastly, I've been table selecting as best as possible too. If someone even somewhat competent sits down with me, I'll sit out and move onto another table. Hey, I'm not in it for bragging rights, I just want the money.

I'm just trying to decide now what to do with the rest of my night. I've watched all my Netflix movies. I'm caught up on all my TV shows. I hate college basketball (and all things basketball). I made some chili a little while ago and now I don't really want it. I might chill out with a nice video game. Hrmmm.. What to play, what to play.

** Update **

The chili smelled so good I had to try it. Scrumptdelicious.

HU Madness

I have been donking around the heads up tables the past 2 days. They are fun, but swingy as can be. I took a couple of brutal beats to get stacked a few times, but the Full Tilt gods finally came through on my last hand and I hit a 3 outter to win a decent pot against one of the donks that sucked out big time on me earlier. It's nice to be on the up side of variance for once. Still looking for that heater though.

Again, I'm just going to play these tables as a break from the full table grind. I'm getting my new heat pump installed today, so assuming it doesn't get too cold in this house for me to bear, I'll probably get in a fair number of hands today.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Heads up!

I'm a sucker for heads up poker. I love it. You put a bunch of poker players at the same table and it becomes a grind. ABC poker might win, but usually boredom sets in first. At least with me anyway. I'm not really a gambling degenerate either when compared to most poker players. I'm semi-conservative with my bankroll, although I'm not opposed to taking a shot or 2 when the opportunity presents itself. Heads up poker, though, is different for me. No matter what the stakes, it gets my heart pumping. It's hard to describe.

The problem with heads up poker is the rake. At least in my experience anway. I've got about 200 lifetime heads up no limit hands under my belt and maybe 50,000 limit hands. In limit, the rake kills you. In fact, heads up limit poker in my opinion isn't really profitable until you can move up to $5/10 or maybe even $10/20. That's just me though. I'm not sure how much the rake affects heads up no limit though. I did just notice that Full Tilt spreads heads up NL at the $50NL level. I have been playing at Stars today.

I'm thinking about working on these heads up tables though. Not as my main game, but as a break from the monotany of grinding the full ring games. It's fun to be able to 3 bet your KJo out of position and be good a lot of the time :) Now, I'm one swingiest players in poker it seems. Prone to big downswings. I still don't feel 100% comfortable playing $50NL heads up all the time since my bankroll is right on that 20 buyin threshold. Maybe in a few weeks, I'll feel more comfortable at those tables.

Whatever, I do, it's exciting to know that I have a fun game available to me.

The Anti-Heater

Sometimes I hate poker. I get so frustrated that I can lose at record pace, yet when it win, it seems like such a constant grind. When do I get a heater?

Poker Simpson

I made my way on to the virtual tables last night for a session. I only played for an hour and a half or so because I was on the verge of monkey tilt. Last night, I started out quickly had a good night going. Then in a stretch of about 50 hands, it was all gone and then some. I continued grinding until I got even and then just shut it down.

So far, I'm winning, but at a dismal pace at the $50NL tables. I still haven't quit pulled out of the funk of bad cards I've been in lately. There was some hope for a bit, but c'mon! I'm ready for a heater!

I spent a fair amount of time working on this blog yesterday too. I went through and categorized all the posts. I created a quick logo. I also politely asked quite a few bloggers for link exchanges.

After my poker adventures, I watched The Simpsons Movie that I had laying around from Netflix. I'm not a huge Simpsons fan. I like the show alright, it's just not something I watch very often. The movie was decent. I chuckled in a few spots. However, it was severely Homer based and they spent very little time with the side characters that make the show good (Krusty, Millhouse, The cop, Moe, etc). Hell, there was not all that much of Bart!

Tonight, I plan on putting in a marathon poker session. However, before that I have a no-tap bowling tournament at 7:30. I haven't bowled in a no-tap in ages. For those that don't bowl, a no-tap tournament is just like regular bowling except if you knock down 9 pins on your first ball, it's still a strike. High scores my friend. Spares are not an option. I need to roll at least 1 300 game to compete (unless they completely FUBAR the oil pattern on the lanes).

After the tournament, I plan on just going back home and grinding out a bunch of hands on Full Tilt. I'd like to get in 2K hands if I can. I can't stay up too late, cause I gotta be up early tomorrow for a haircut and to get my heat pump installed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Linky Dinky

I am trying to work on this blog a little bit more. If you have a blog/website and would like to exchange links, please send me an email.

New Office

I have been thinking about what it is that I want to do with some of the extra space in my house. I still have this huge 4th bedroom that still needs to be finished, but also has no real use to me. I was thinking about turning it into a gym at one point. I also contemplated turning it into a work shop. I think I've finally decided a use for it. How about a new office?

If you viewed my pictures from the other day of the house, you can see my office is less than stellar. It's got that ugly wood paneling. It's also small and feels cluttered. Then throw in the fact that I don't have a decent computer desk and you just have a crappy work environment. Worse than what I used to have before. At least I used to have a computer desk at my old place.

The first item on my agenda is to find a decent desk. I don't want you standard Staples/Wal-Mart computer desk that is made of nothing but particle board and you have to spend an entire day putting together. I want a quality desk. Something like and executive or a teacher with taste would have. I'm not sure where to find such a beast without having to spend a gazillion bucks, but I'm searching.

I love my chair, so I'm good there. I bought it from Sam's Club a few years back. It's probably the only thing I've ever purchased from that place and been satisfied with the product I got. The chair was still in the $200 range, so it wasn't a cheapo deal.

Here's the gameplan for this huge 4th bedroom. First I will get a good desk and move my computers to the room. This will un-clutter my space as well. I also would like to have a smallish LCD TV hanging on the wall in the room, just above my desk. I have a nice bookshelf stereo deal that can go into the room for tunes plus I have 7.1 surround on my PC. Other than the computer equipment, there will still be plenty of room for some exercise equipment as well. I have a treadmill, weight bench, and one of my friends offered me a weight machine for free. Those should all fit without any problem.

I think it will be a pretty pimp little pad when all is said and done. A good place to focus when it comes poker time. I can also get in a little exercise between sessions or do some gaming or watch TV. It will be my sanctuary within my own sanctuary :)

Regaining my bowling stroke

Last night was bowling night. I was really looking forward to it too. I hadn't bowled the prior week due to my sinus infection and had missed another week before that due to a fight I've had with tendonitis in my right elbow that has been going on for months now. Last night, my arm was hurting, but wasn't throbbing at all times like it had before.

My first practice ball was terrible. I felt every bone in my body crack and pop. It also brought back the elbow pain as well. However, once I a few more practice balls under my belt, I was OK. The pain would stay away until after bowling was done.

I was in 5 brackets despite not having tossed a bowling ball in a few weeks. I'm a degenerate gambler at heart though, so I had to fork over $10 for 5 brackets. I thought it was a good decision too after I tossed a 216 my first game. I had an awesome ball reaction and a clear path to the pocket. I did lose one of my brackets to a "max handicapper" that bowled a 203 and with his extra handicap beat me.

Game 2 was a complete opposite of game 1 though. My first ball really set the tone for that game. It was deep in the pocket, pins flying everywhere...except for that single stone 8 standing tall. It seemed like I was all over that pocket in game 2 and nothing would carry. I made matters worse in the 2nd half of the game by getting frustrated with my dismal pin carry and started missing spares. I finished game 2 with a 156.

In game 3, I was back. I made a few adjustments. I made it a point to move in a little deeper and swing the ball out further to get a lighter pocket hit. This allowed for better pin carry as the ball would hit lighter and send the 1 pin to the wall and back across giving me a bunch of scattering strikes. However, when I didn't strike, I couldn't pick up a spare to save my life. I ended up with a 202 in game 3. This gave me a total series of 574. Not bad.

So the last 2 times, I've bowled, I've bowled 4 200 games out of 6 tries. I have series of 628 and 574. That's much better than earlier in the year when I was struggling to break 500 on a given week. I think I'm finally out of my funk. Now, if I can just get my elbow better, then look out. It's tournament season coming up too. We have a Sweethearts tournament that pays big $$$, a big handicap tourney next month I'm bowling in, plus the city tournament where I have been on the winning team 2 years running and I also have finished 1st and 2nd in the singles events.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Heat Pump

I finally said "fuck it" when it comes to dealing with my old heat pump. I tried getting it worked on and now it's just going to cost a lot of money to fix. Then I tried just dealing with the "emergency heat" until this summer comes and I need an A/C. A $250 electric bill cured that thought.

This Saturday morning, I'm getting a new heat pump installed. It's going to cost a pretty penny, but not as bad as I anticipated. The good news is that all the duct work is in place, so hopefully it's just a matter of putting the inside and outside units in place and plugging them up. Hopefully.

My major expenses continue to add up for the year. This heat pump added to the fact that I'll probably need a new car, plus all the house work that still is to be done (carpet, outside paint, porch, lawn mower, etc). It's getting about that time to refinance the old homestead to free up some cash for this year. Interest rates are lower than this summer, so it might be a good time to do so.

Movin' Up Day 1

I played my first batch of $50 NL hands last night with positive results. It was one of those nights when you can make a hand, but nobody will pay you off though. I ended up winning a shade over 1 buyin over 650 or so hands. Nothing major, but nothing to write home about.

I was surprised the doubling of stakes didn't affect me more mentally than it did. Of course, I've been here before. I remember back in the day when I'd move up, it would take me a few sessions to get the "feel" for the higher bets. I'm still playing low enough that it doesn't phase me.

I also noticed that I've taken too many days off again this month, so I'm going to be down to the wire trying to make Ironman. Why can't they just change this so that it's based on total points for the month and not total days with x number of points? That's a stupid idea. At least it seemed like the points added up quicker on the $50NL tables. I'm assuming that's because a higher percentage of those hands are raked.

Tonight is my bowling night. However, I do want to get in my hands this evening as well too. The good news is that I really don't have much to watch on TV. I have the latest episode of The Wire to watch, but I can hold off on that.


Also, I started watching season 1 of Dexter last night on Netflix's instant viewing deal. I saw 3 episodes and really liked it. I don't know a whole lot about the show, but I saw advertisements that it is coming to CBS. I wasn't sure if that means new episodes or old episodes. I don't see network television doing that show any justice.

Speaking of Netflix, those douchebags at Microsoft decided they weren't going to support my operating system anymore. I have an older version of Windows XP Media Center. I'm running all the latest updates and such too. So when I go to watch my Netflix show, it says I need a Windows Media Player upgrade. I go to do the upgrade and it said my operating system was incompatible... no work-around, no nothing. I finally started asking Mr. Google for an answer and he helped me out with these instructions:

1) download Media Player 11 exe (wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe) to a folder
2) Install 7-Zip from
3) Run 7-Zip and have it extract the files from wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu.exe into another folder (eg: c:\download\wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu)
4) Run C:\download\wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu\wmfdist11.exe
5) Run C:\download\wmp11-windowsxp-x86-enu\wmp11.exe

I will add that you need to reboot after step 4 for it to work properly though. So if you have MCE 2002 and Netflix, you can thank me by sending me some moneys.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I have a looming expense hanging over my head. I'm not sure when it's coming, all I know is that it's coming soon and I dread it. The expense? A new car. My poor hoopty is starting to show signs of wear and tear.

I have a 1999 Monte Carlo that I purchased for about $4000 a few years ago. I think it had around 50K miles on it when I bought it. Now it has 160K and is starting to show some wear and tear. First of all, it doesn't handle like it used to. I'm not sure what the problem is there. It also eats wheel bearings like no tomorrow. These things are probably related.

Today, I had to finally break down and get a new window switch for the driver's side. This window issue has been going on for years though. I remember being in Charlotte a couple years ago and the window going down, but not up in the middle of a rainstorm at a KFC drive-thru. After fiddling with the switch for a while, the window rolled up and didn't act up again for a while. Then one day, I was coming home and I had to roll my window down for something. It was cold, of course. And bam, the window didn't roll up. I had to break out some tools to get the damn thing up this time. Since then I carried around this little screwdriver that could hit the electrical part of the switch and roll up my window. I only needed that screwdriver once.

Today, I am at lunch. I go through the drive thru to pick up my order and I start to roll up the window. It got about half way and then stopped. I made it back to the office, but my face was numb from the cold and "wintery mix" that was coming down. I fiddle farted with that switch out in the parking lot until I finally gave up. I pronounced the window switch dead at 1:39 p.m. EST. Advance Auto didn't have a switch of course...they never have shit I need. So I called this other part store that is just across the street from the office. They had the switch, but it was $71. I was willing to pay that price too so I wouldn't have to drive home in the rain, snow, and sleet with my window down (on the interstate no less).

I hopped across the street to the little store and the girl had the part waiting on me. I called ahead of time. Since I worked in the industrial park, I also got a discount, reducing the price from $71 to $60. Go me. I popped in the new switch and Bam! window up.

I hope things like this don't keep popping up on that car. It's not the greatest, but it's good on gas and gets me from point A to point B with minimal hassle.


I've hit a milestone ladies and gents. I have crossed the $1000 mark for my bankroll. This is the first of many poker-related milestones I hope to cross this year. So far the results have been less than stellar, but at least there are some results to speak of.

The $1000 mark will allow me to move up in limits on the tables. Starting tonight, I'm going to try out some $50 tables. I've already played a few of the tables (6 max $50 NL). This was just single tabling, trying to get a feel for the doubled stakes. This evening, I think I'll just keep at the full ring games for the time being. I'm also going to stick with 4 tables for a week or so until I get a feel for the game. Then I'll add a few more tables.

$50 NL and $100 NL are my target limits for paying off a few bills. I have a credit card, I'm going to use poker money to pay off. Also, I'm getting a new heat pump installed on Saturday that my poker money is going to contribute to funding. Obviously, I can't just yank out my whole roll and expect to keep winning without a net. So I've got to come up with a gameplan for cashing out some money. I figure 1/2 of my winnings should be sufficient. I can cash out half my funds for bill paying purposes and the other half would go to growing the banrkoll.

I intend on spending at least 35K hands at the $50NL tables before moving up to $100NL. However, if I have a heater and the roll can support $100NL before those 35K hands have been dealt, I'm fine with moving up again. It's always been my experience that the $100NL tables were softer than the $50NL tables. I'm going to just go ahead and plan on playing $50NL for the remainder of this month, all of next month, and possibly March as well. You never know though.

The best damn television show period

Those who know me, know I love television series. Not the "reality" TV crap that's far removed from reality, but the good fictional stuff. Over the years I've found some real gems on the small screen. It all started when I stumbled across 24. I used to think it was the best thing since sliced bread. That show eventually went down hill and I moved on to bigger and better things. Over the years, I've sang praises to 24, The Sopranos, Lost, The Shield, Rescue Me, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, and a few others probably. Arrested Development was the latest champ amongst my TV programs. However, this week, I realized, it was de-throned.

What show is the new champ? The Wire! What an awesome show. I have the first 4 seasons on DVD and have watched all 4 seasons 4 times now. It never gets old either. The Wire is really a genious show too. It takes a common theme (drugs) and then innovates television with the different points of view. You have the point of view from the street dealers, the fiends, the kingpins, the smugglers, the politicians, and the police. There are so many aspects to this show. As I finished up season 4 last night for the 4th time, I was still noticing things I had missed before.

The characters in the show are great too. Of course, you got the loose cannon cop (McNulty), the tight assed bosses (Burrell, Rawls, Daniels, etc), the comedy (Bunk), and many others. You grow to love these characters no matter how good or bad they might be. Chris and Snoop are some of the most cold-hearted fuckers on this planet, yet I can't help but crack up everytime a word comes out of Snoop's mouth. You actually get to a point where you care about the characters and what happens to them. Nothing is more sad than Bodie getting shot down defending his corner. Bodie was a soldier. He slang dope, but all around he was a good guy. This is what you feel for these characters.

I think they sitting for the show is awesome too. I have been to Baltimore several times in my life and that's pretty much how I remember it. Baltimore is a rough city. I think The Wire really nailed it too... From the beautiful harbor to the rat infested vacants.

If you haven't seen The Wire, you are missing out on the greatest television show of all time. At least for now anyway.

Monday, January 21, 2008

House Pics

I've taken some new house pics of the upstairs of my house. I thought I'd snap off a few pics yesterday while everything was good and clean:

New Bathroom Sink, New paint, need some new receptacle covers

Same Ugly ass bathtub

Bedroom side-view

Bathroom floor (I want new tile)


Living Room

Living Room

View on a snowy day

More snow

My Office




Kitchen/Dining Area

Living Room

I'll try to take some pics of the downstairs tonight and get those posted soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Looking up and ahead..

Things are looking up again in the poker world. I have had a few winning sessions lately... nothing major, just solid grindage. It's nice to see the line on my poker graph moving north instead of straight east by southeast :)

The bankroll is now around the $900 mark. Hopefully, I can finish off the rest of the month strong and move up to $50 NL in February. I have 2 weeks left in this month, so I should be able to finish with a fair amount of hands played for the month (somewhere around the 18K - 20K mark) and hopefully some solid results as well. This will give me my 25k hand stint at the $25 tables a solid effort all around and a good stopping point for that limit.

The one thing I like about moving up is the fact that the higher I go, the less the rake hurts my bottom line. Playing NL though, that's not a great concern, especially since I'm done with $10NL that gets over-raked on Full Tilt IMO. I'm only making somewhere around $5/hr in 2008 though which sucks. That includes my rakeback as well. However, I have been on a constant breakeven streak since 2008, so my winrate should be a bit higher than that. According to Pokertracker, I'm making $7.59/hr minus rakeback. Hopefully that will close to double or more when I move up.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Back to the same ol'

I had a snow day today. Well, not really. I was supposed to go to Winston-Salem, NC this morning, but the weather Gods didn't think so. So I worked from home. The good thing about working from home is the 2 hours worth of driving that I don't have to worry about plus I get more shit done when I'm here by myself.

I started back up grinding on the poker tables this evening and put in a decent session. Decent hand-wise, but shitty results-wise. I got off and running quickly, winning a few buy ins within my first 150 hands. THen it all went to shit after that and I made a whopping $0.85 for my session.

This break-even stretch is reaching 7K hands and it's wearing thin on me right now. At least it's not a downswing I guess and the bankroll is still building, although the pace is at a crawl right now. My winrate at the 25NL tables has plummeted from over 7 PTBB/100 to 3.76 PTBB/100. That's horrible.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not last night, but soon!

Well, I intended on playing some poker last night, but my head just wasn't in it. I still feel the presence of burnout, so I'm not going to force myself to play. I did pull up some tables last night, but didn't see any good games to really get into, so I ended up spending my evening in front of Season 3 of The Wire. What an awesome television show.

I had to make a trip to Hillsville, VA this morning, but I'm back in the office already. It's nice to get out of the office every once in a while. However, I caught a disturbing image along the way. I was about 10 miles north of my destination on I-77 when I was about to pass a tractor trailer. He suddenly changed lanes just before me and then hit his brakes.

As we slowed down to almost a halt, I could see there was a wreck. It had just happened. There were no cops, no ambulances, or rescue workers of any kind. We were the 3rd and 4th car to come by since the wreck. At first, all I saw was a gold colored car with the back driver's side damanged and parked on the side of the road. However, there was glass and plastic everywhere. Pill bottles and golf balls polluted the entire interstate.

I saw a man running down the side of the road and I followed him with my eyes. I then saw his destination. There was an SUV sitting upside down on the side of the road. The top of the SUV was caved in. As I drove by, trying to avoid the glass, I looked to my right. I could see a hand upside down with car crashed all around. I didn't see any movement. I didn't see any blood or anything like that though. There would be no way to get this guy out of the car without cutting it up. I thought about stopping to help. Then I was tried to think how I could help. I noticed several cars stopping at this point, so I proceeded on.

I kind of feel like an asshole for not stopping. However, the scene from the window of my car disturbed me enough. I can't imagine getting up close and personal with this kind of trauma.

I made it to my destination right on time. I met my customer and took her old server, then headed back to the office. I did notice the wreck as I was coming back. Rescue workers were on the scene. I felt a little better. At least the response was quick. There was maybe 20-30 minutes total by the time I passed the crash to the time I came back by it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back to the grind

I'm finally starting to feel better today. I got another good night's sleep last night despite having some weird dreams of running down hoppers in the mean streets of Baltimore. Yes, I have been re-watching old episodes of The Wire lately. Anyway, I'm back to the grind tonight. I have the entire evening free and the weather is shitty now, so there's nothing better to do than grind out a few buy-ins at the old Full Tilt tables.

I also plan on cooking a decent meal this evening. I haven't had a steak in a while, so I'll probably stop by the market on the way home and pick out a juicy ribeye for dinner. I figure I'll couple that along with a salad and baked potato. I have my camera, so I'll probably take some pics of my food creation.

Aside from just sitting on my lazy ass the past few days, I have been brainstorming money making ideas to accelerate my wealth and income. I haven't come up with anything brilliant, but I do have some ideas I'd like to pursue. Poker is fun and all, but I really would like to add some forms of "passive" income where I don't have to grind out a bunch of hours. If I get a couple sources of passive income, that would be awesome since there would be very minimal work involved and if they just produce a mediocre income at best, they would still help out. My area of expertise is the IT/Web/Programming route. It's not my favorite hobby, but I figure it's my easiest shot at some passive income. I'm still brainstorming ideas though. I'd like to do something that goes along the lines of stuff I like to do...gamble, bowl, fish, golf, etc. I'm just not sure yet.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Beat down.

I didn't leave my house for more than a cumulative 2 hours the entire weekend. This is rare for me since I'm hardly ever home. However, this sinus infection/whatever the hell I have has about killed me the past few days. I woke up yesterday feeling decent, but the more the day wore on, the more I wore out. Last night, I barely made it through Iron Chef America before turning in for the night. At least I got another good night's rest. It doesn't feel like it though.

This morning the alarm clock rang at 6:35 a.m., but I was already half-awake as I had woken up about 20 minutes before, but unsuccessfully was able to get back to sleep. I thought about one more sick day as I didn't feel nearly as well this morning as I did yesterday morning. I decided to suck it up and get in the shower. No sense in sitting on my ass wasting sick days when I can do the same thing at the office, huh?

So I went through my morning ritual. I needed to shave, but opted to hold off until tomorrow on that. I get all prettied up and went to see about the breakfast situation. Nothing appealed to me at all, so I opted to skip the most important part of the day. I went to my computer and was checking my email when it hit me...

I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. *ARLKSJGHIONVNOIHH*! I puked. My tie didn't survive the incident. It was a helpless bystander and caught some shrapnel from my projectile vomiting. I laid there hugging that porcelen Goddess wishing I could just take the cold comfort she was giving me at that point in time with me to work. Unfortunately, I'd look like an idiot carrying around a toilet with my head attached to it. So I got up, sucked it up (and changed ties) and came to work.

Now here I am with 3 hours left in the day. I feel beat down unlike I have in a long time. I'm actually sick! I probably should go to the doctor, but doctor's scare me. I'm scared to death of taking a finger in the ass, so I figure as long as I'm breathing, got all my fingers and toes, and speaking coherently, I'm not sick enough to warrant a doctor's visit.


On a good note, I did get my battery charger for my camera, so my picture taking abiliites have been renewed. I need to clean up a bit before getting all camera happy around the house. Being sick and all, I just left shit laying around all last week and now the place is a pig sty. If I feel any better this evening (I always feel better when I leave this place), then I'll do some cleaning up this evening.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hours goal met

I was able to squeeze in about 5 hours of play yesterday to get me somewhere around 12.75 hours played last week. The only problem was that I had a losing streak in there that killed my winnings for the month. I'm only slightly up for the month. I've really hit a dry spell lately. I'm still getting my money in good, but my hands aren't holding up. I've also run into a few coolers lately.

The only thing I can do is just grind through it. I feel good about my game right now still. I'm just wanting to move up and this dry spell is killing me. The bankroll is still north of $800, but hasn't moved up at all.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Getting the hours, but...

Not the results.

I've hit about a 6K hand breakeven skid lately. It kinda sucks since it's the beginning of a new year and I have this new found work ethic at the tables. Yet I see no results. Yesterday, I played for about 5.25 hours and just under 2K hands and for my efforts, I lost 4 buyins. Today I'm even after just 1.25 hours of play. I'm going to take a breather and hit the tables again a bit later.

My favorite hand today:

FullTiltPoker Game #4831864646: Table Riviera - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 11:55:10 ET - 2008/01/12
Seat 1: viktor2324 ($46.90)
Seat 2: sanmarcosrun ($25.85)
Seat 3: FarEastKid ($22.90)
Seat 4: dddasrsa ($17.35)
Seat 5: osiris369 ($24.45)
Seat 6: WiredAces77 ($31.05)
Seat 7: ngati porou1 ($8.15)
Seat 8: TowNail ($20.25)
Seat 9: MrSe777en ($8.95)
sanmarcosrun posts the small blind of $0.10
FarEastKid posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to WiredAces77 [Kh Ks]
dddasrsa folds
osiris369 folds
WiredAces77 raises to $0.85
ngati porou1 raises to $1.45
TowNail folds
MrSe777en folds
viktor2324 folds
sanmarcosrun folds
FarEastKid folds
WiredAces77 raises to $31.05, and is all in
ngati porou1 calls $6.70, and is all in
WiredAces77 shows [Kh Ks]
ngati porou1 shows [5s Ts]
Uncalled bet of $22.90 returned to WiredAces77
*** FLOP *** [Th 8d 9c]
*** TURN *** [Th 8d 9c] [5h]
*** RIVER *** [Th 8d 9c 5h] [Js]
WiredAces77 shows a pair of Kings
ngati porou1 shows two pair, Tens and Fives
ngati porou1 wins the pot ($15.85) with two pair, Tens and Fives
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $16.65 | Rake $0.80
Board: [Th 8d 9c 5h Js]
Seat 1: viktor2324 (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: sanmarcosrun (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: FarEastKid (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 4: dddasrsa didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: osiris369 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: WiredAces77 showed [Kh Ks] and lost with a pair of Kings
Seat 7: ngati porou1 showed [5s Ts] and won ($15.85) with two pair, Tens and Fives
Seat 8: TowNail didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: MrSe777en didn't bet (folded)

That's how I roll.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not dead, but I feel like it

I haven't been able to post any lately. Work has been pretty much the reason. I had to go to Charlotte this week for 3 days. I got to take my Dad's Garmin Nuvie GPS on this trip. Let me tell you something, that little device makes traveling a whole lot more enjoyable. You can actually find shit...even when there's traffic.

I didn't get to play a single hand of poker while I was down there, even though I did have internet access. I was feeling sickness coming on, so I spent most of my time asleep or working. I haven't been in the office the past 2 days either. I've got a sinus infection and it's killing me.

The good news is that I had about 10.5 hours sleep yesterday and a shade over 12 last night. I haven't had sleep like that in years. Weird dreams though.

Poker hasn't gone all that great so far this year. I'm only up a couple buyins and my hourly rate has plummeted to $6/hour. I haven't put in a huge number of hours either due to my work schedule and not feeling well. I think I've played somewhere around 4000 hands in 10.75 hours. That's just a tad under my goal hours for a single week. We are on the 11th day of January. Not so good!

I do intend to make up some ground on my hours today. I've already logged a 2 hour session (where I couldn't make a hand hold up!). I'm going to take a little lunch break and hit them again. I hope to get another 2K+ hand day today!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Is it even worth it?

I don't remember being this much on edge in previous attempts to quit dipping snuff. I'm wound up TIGHT right now and could just explode at any minute. I knew I'd be grumpy, but this is crazy. It's not really just being grumpy either, I'm just almost nervous. I don't feel like my normal laid back self. I know these are just withdrawl symptoms and they should ease in a couple days, but damn. Everything around me annoys the shit out of me. I'm a miserable bastard right now.

I've tried taking deep breaths when I get all wound up so I can calm down. I've tried music, walking around, all sorts of crap. Nothing seems to help. I think I need to get my hands on some Xanax or something like that to take the edge off.

The only thing that seems to relax me is writing in this blog about how miserable I am right now. So, instead of popping pills or smoking dope or killing small puppies Mike Vick style, I might just fill up this blog full of nonsense similar to this particular post.

So I decided to play some anyway...

After being on life/nicotine tilt last night, I talked myself into not playing poker. So I opted to study some poker to get my mind off things. I read a bit of the NLH Theory & Practice book (which has to be the hardest read of any poker book I've read..It's like reading a math book, but it's loaded with info) and I watched a StoxPoker video. Everytime I study I poker, I want to play directly afterwards. This time was no different.

By the time I decided to play it was almost 8:00 p.m. I wanted to watch the Hokie/Jayhawk game, but decided I'd play an hour instead. I need to get my hours this year if I want to meet my goals. I played almost exactly and hour and won 3 buyins in under 500 hands. That helps ease that nicotine deprivation tilt.

I'm trying to be more organized this year and poker is no exception. I think I've mentioned it before, but I set up a spreadsheet where I can keep track of my hours, hands, and winnings. I can see my hourly rate and how many hands per hour I'm getting. I guess I'm averaging about 350-360 hands per hour with 6 tables. Last night I took on a few more tables and still had success. I did lose another AA vs. QQ all in preflop battle again last night though. That's 3 in a row for me when that happens. I run bad :)

So far this year, I haven't put up an astounding number of hands of poker, but I have put in a few hours considering the holidays and all. According to my spreadsheet, I'm making $22.50/hr on the tables. That's not sustainable at the $25 tables as far as I can tell. According to Pokertracker, I'm making $14/hr at the $25NL tables (with a 7.25 PTBB/100) winrate.

Overall, I'm happy with my results at $25NL. Much happier than I was at the $10 tables, but I'm playing a style more conducive to the microstakes. I've really worked on my game the past few months and it's nice to see some results for my efforts lately. The bankroll now stands near the $900 mark. I'm going to try to put in 10-12 hours of play over the weekend and barring any disasters, I hope to be well over $1000 by Monday. When I hit $1000, I will start incorporating some $50 tables into my play. The $50 level is exciting for me because that's the level where I feel I've got the potential to make some money at this game. If I can beat $25NL for $14/hr, $50NL should put me well over $20/hr. This is decent money. Where else are you going to get a part-time job making $20/hr? Around these parts, NOWHERE! In fact, full time jobs making that kind of money are few and far between in Smalltown, WV. My ultimate goal is to surpass that $100/hr mark one day.

That's enough rambling for today. Tonight, I plan on grinding out a bunch of hands. I intend on breaking the 2000 hand mark and if the games are good, I might shoot for 3K hands. I think today or tomorrow ends that FTP Double Points promo, so I want to take advantage of that as well. So far, I'm around 2000 bonus points that are due to me from FTP. I'm still well shy of anything purchase worthy in their store. I'm saving up for an iPod Touch.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On Life Tilt...

I'm on life tilt right now. I'm working on this no nicotine thing for the new year and it's killing me. I'm an irritable bastard right now. I had an extreme case of road rage this evening on the way home from work. Traffic was bad on the way home and I don't think we ever got above 55 mph on a 70mph interstate! I finally got fed up and took the back roads home only to get behind the slowest driver on the planet and no means to pass the dickhead.

Also, my shift keys on my keyboard aren't working properly and that's pissing me off. Add that to the fact that the new Season of The Wire on HBO was been leaked on to the net and I thought I was going to get to see the first 2 episodes before Sunday. HBO seems to have rounded up all the pirated copies (at least in all the places I know to look). So instead of being able to watch The Wire tonight like I was looking forward to doing, I got nothing.

Not being able to watch The Wire might be a good thing for me financially since I'll probably play some poker, but to be honest with you, I need to calm down a bit before I play. I'm severely on edge right now and need to relax. I don't want to go on monkey tilt and lose all my winnings I've worked so hard to gain the past 2 weeks.

Never Ever Count Them Out!

It all started in early December. I was so excited driving back home from Charlottesville, VA. I was noticeably nervous. Why was that? WVU was playing a game that, if they won, would take them to the BCS Championship game against Ohio State. All they had to do was beat Pitt at home. Pitt was a big underdog, but on that night, whipped up on WVU like it was their job. They outplayed and outcoached my favorite team on the planet. It was a crushing blow to not only the WVU team but the whole state. Ever hear a bar full of aggressive drunks stay completely silent for a half hour? I did on that night.

Then it got worse after that. Our beloved coach, Rich Rodriguez, in one day turned an entire state against him. He gave up the real blue and gold for the "dream" job of coaching the sub-par Michigan Wolverines. And just like that, the man that an entire state loved, and just a year before had the Governor of the state rally up some money to keep him coaching left the team high and dry for greener pastures. Thank you Mr. Rodriguez for that. You gave us an opportunity to prove our strength. The team could have given up after that. I know the country gave up on WVU and most of the state of West Virginia gave up on them.

In the days following Rich Rodriguez's escape to Michigan, there was a somber mood throughout our state. We were riding high just a few weeks ago. Now everyone was moping around with their heads hanging. We had no coach. We had no national title shot. The season was over as far as everyone was concerned. I tried to keep reminding my friends that Rodriguez hadn't scored a touchdown all year long. What makes him so special? Sure he developed this spread offense, but that's pretty much the extent of it. Teams caught on after 2 years and he refused to mix up the play calling. Coach Rodriguez was overrated in my book. When you look at top College Football coaches in history, his name isn't nowhere near that list.

In the time leading up to the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, WVU was all but counted out. "Why even make the trip to Arizona?" I had one WVU "fan" ask me. Are you kidding me? I then started asking around. My friends all said we didn't stand a chance. Everyone I asked had counted WVU out and had pretty much given up on the season. Nobody was excited for the upcoming bowl game. "It's a BCS Bowl for God's sake!" I exclaimed. We are special for achieving such an honor!

Yesterday, I started feeling those nerves creep up on me again. I went to the bowling alley last night, but didn't bowl (strained forearm muscle). As I spectated, I got noticeably fidgety and couldn't sit still. I had to go dump some money in the slot machines to ease the nerves and take my mind off the game. Why do I love WVU so much and get so worked up for their games? I didn't go to the school. I'm a West Virginian and like it or not WVU is the pride of West Virginia in my eyes. I love West Virginia and I love WVU football. That's why!

Come gametime, I was getting excited on every play. Clapping, yelling, jumping up and down. I was a FAN! I soon realized I couldn't be around all these people and properly watch the game. I needed to be in the comforts of my own home to thoroughly enjoy it. The score was 6-0 when I left. By the time I got home it was 13-3. 10 point leads are nothing in college football and I didn't want to do anything to jinx it. During that game, I was screaming, yelling, dancing, calling all my friends. It was a blast. When Devine ran that last 65 yard TD, I actually stood up from the couch and leaped my coffee table. I'm too fat to be doing that shit! But I did it without even realizing it.

When all was said and done, I felt like I had done 12 rounds with Ali. That's when the emotions took over. I watched Owen Schmitt make his last interview in a WVU uniform. I watched the whole team embrace interim coach (and hopefully new coach) Bill Stewart and carry him onto the field. I watched Pat White give his interview and pretty much hire Bill Stewart on the spot. I cried.

After the roller coaster ride this state has been put through over the past few weeks, the only thing I can add is this:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho...blah blah

It's back to work for the new year. The good news is that I don't have to work the phone for the rest of the week and listen to all the bitchy customers complain about having to close their year. The bad news is that I still have a load of work to do before next week when I head to Charlotte, NC for a business trip. The week after that I'll be in Winston Salem, NC. I think that's all the trips that are officially planned for right now, but I'm sure more will come up.

I spent the remainder of last night vegging out. I was dog tried from the lack of sleep the night before. I spent my time watching some of The Sopranos final episodes and watching UGA whoop the overrated Hawaii whatever the fuck they are... Warriors?. I also watched a bit of Iron Chef America on the food channel. I love that show. It's my favorite show on the network. I probably wouldn't dare eat 75% of the stuff they cook, but you gotta give it to these chefs. They are good. Last night they were cooking with rabbit.

I had intensions of playing more poker last night, but I decided to do something that I resolved to do this year... sleep. I ended up going to bed before 11:00 p.m. and it really helped when I got up this morning. I had a little bounce in my step and wasn't the irritable bastard I usually am when I go to work. I am pretty tired now though just because I've been working my butt off this morning. I'll take a break here in a few minutes and get me some lunch.

This brings me to my next thing. The healthy kick. I know every mouth breather in America promises to lose weight every New Year and probably 1% of the population actually follows through. I forgot to actually make a lunch this morning, so I'm stuck here with nothing to eat but fast food. I'll go to Subway for lunch, but I need to start bringing my lunches with me. Subway gets expensive every day. I don't think you can get a single combo on the menu for under $6. I'd rather spend that money on something else. I did remember to weigh myself this morning. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I was 11 pounds lighter than the last time I weighed. The most astonishing thing about this was the last time I weighed was prior to Thanksgiving. So that's -11 pounds through the Holidays without even dieting. The biggest reason I can think of is that I have been eating more homecooked stuff and very minimal fast food. Now when I cook, I don't cook fat free shit. I use real butter and cheese and all the stuff that recipes call for. But I dont really make anything unhealthy. Most of the time, it's chicken or steak and a salad or something. However, I have made several desserts. Another contribuation to the -11 pounds would have to be my drinking less soda. Even diet soda. Yesterday, I limited myself to 2 sodas (24 oz) the entire day. THe rest of the time, it was water. Usually I drink diet soda. The real reason I was limiting myself was I wanted to regulate my caffeine intake so I can sleep better at night.

The -11 lbs is as much as a motivational factor as anything to get me started on losing weight this year. However, weight loss isn't my only goal. I want to be more healthy overall. This includes everything from stamina to blood sugar. I really need to incorporate an exercise routine into my schedule soon.

Tonight is bowling night. Also it's Fiesta bowl night. I'll be at the bowling alley most of the evening bowling and then watching WVU whoop up on Oklahoma. So no poker for me tonight.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I spent my New Years in Charleston at the Dog Track/Casino trying to make sure our state has no financial troubles this 2008. The Dog Track is a mini casino we have that has a ton of slot machines and you can gamble on the dog races. They have passed a table games bill in WV and they are coming to the track, but aren't ready yet. I saw where they were remodeling for the poker room though. I'm excited about that.

I caught up with my buddy Roger and some of his ex-coworkers after I got off work yesterday. They left earlier in the day to go do some shopping and fiddle fart around until time to go eat. We had reservations at the 1st Turn Restaraunt inside the dog track. By the time I got there, the line for the restaurant was out the door, but I was able to slide through thanks to my party being at the front of the line. The food was basically a buffet with various veggies, potatoes, some chicken, lasagna, and prime rib. I wasn't impressed. I went for the prime rib. It was decent, but everything else sucked. The restaurant is pretty awesome as far as atmosphere goes though. Our table is basically a box seat directly on the dog track. So we got to gamble on the dogs while we ate. They ran 15 races throughout the night. I bet on 12 of them playing $6 3-dog quniella's. I just learned what that meant 2 minutes before placing my first wager. I ended up losing on all 12 wagers. Rog won a couple and was up for the night. One other couple in our party was up for the night. The rest of us lost.

After eating my sub-par dinner, I decided it was time to go broke. I wandered around the slots area looking for a machine decent enough to take all my money. This was easier said than done. The place was packed. There were plenty of $1 and $5 slots to be had, but I had my sights on penny and nickel slots. I did find a few and ended up losing a little bit on them though.

They had various activities throughout the night. We had an Elvis impersonator who was actually shitty at the impersonation part, but could sing the songs very well. There was also another band called The Soul Doctors. I was really impressed with them. They played songs from just about every genre. There was a bead toss at the Burboun Street Lounge which I was pumped up to see (boobie sightings?). It sucked. They really didn't make the people work hard enough for the beads if you know what I mean.

I spent some portion of the night doing a little bit of everything. We all got together at midnight and celebrated the ball dropping and the new year with some champagne. I passed cause that shit is horrible. We didn't stay too long after midnight. In fact, it was before 2:00 a.m. when I checked into the motel. Upon entering the motel, I found an Entourage marathon to keep me up the rest of the night.

THis morning me and Rog checked out and hit Hooters before we came home. This was my first time eating at Hooters and I wasn't impressed. I got a buffalo chicken sandwich, fries, and a drink and it was $15. The waitresses weren't all that great either. I joked with Rog that this was the titty bar training camp. They all had that "I'm going to be a stripper when I grow up" look about them.

After we left Charleston, we took the short trip home and I dropped Roger off at his house. I then stopped at my parents to visit with them for a couple hours and came home. It was time to focus on poker for 2008!

I only played about 2 hours (800 hands) and ended up having a small losing session. I can't fault my play. I only really lost 2 big pots. One was me losing with QQ against JJ on a rag board flop. Jack on the turn. The other was me losing with AA against QQ all in pre-flop. The rest was just never being able to catch a hand. I did manage to get out of the red temporarily, but the cards weren't coming today. I will probably play some more tonight depending on how good the Hawaii/Georgia game is.

So cheers to everyone in 2008! I hope you have a safe and happy new year.