Thursday, November 30, 2006
It's been a busy week, which has kept me from my brogging duties as well as from the tables. After my tourney win on Monday, I was happy to take a step back and let it soak in. Instead of jumping right into more tourneys, I decided to take a look through some of the hand histories. Looking back I see there was one time where the board resulted in a counterfeit which gave me the win and knocked a guy out. I had AQs against his 88 and the board ended up being 9TTJJ, giving me the win with TTJJA. That was pretty early on, but without that hand playing out that way, I probably don't win the tournament. If I had lost I would not have been out, but I would have been near the felt. I had a ton of outs though so I don't feel too bad.
From there I worked my stack up and never was at risk of being knocked out again. I did win some all-in battles when my OESD's and Flush Draws hit, but I was a big stack at that point, so even a loss in any or all of those hands would not have changed things much. Playing a huge stack is fun poker. You can bully and piss people off to no end. I highly recommend it.
The day leading up to the tourney was extremely hectic. Let me first give a some background. Though I am very happy at my job and not actively looking for other employment, for the past year I have been heavily "recruited" by another firm. I have agreed to interview with them mainly because it is a good opportunity and plus you just never know what could happen. Better to build bridges than burn them methinks.
While the pay would be significantly higher than my current employment, with much more room for growth, the downside is I would most definitely have to move within the first few months. And in the first 5 years or so, there is a good chance I would have to move numerous times in order to end up in the right market. On average, with this position, you move 3+ times before you are really settled in. I just don't know that I want to put my family through that right now. We are very happy in Greensboro and all of our family is within 2 hours of us, with most of them within 30 minutes.
I've always said I would not chase money at the cost of our family's happiness. I just don't think it is worth it. Still, I want to see what this firm has to offer and see what I am potentially worth to them. Moving on to what made the day hectic...After 2 or 3 lunch meetings/interviews with the local managers, they decided they would like me to meet the regional managers in Charlotte which is about 90 minutes from Greensboro (more or less depending on traffic). We settled on November 27th at 1pm in their downtown Charlotte office. I made myself a note so that I would be ready.
A few weeks passed and the Thanksgiving Holiday came and went. The weekend after Thanksgiving I was checking my notes and saw that I was scheduled to be in Charlotte the upcoming Tuesday, November 27th. That Monday I was going through my typical work routine and around 10:40am I noticed something peculiar. I was reading an email and noticed the date was 11/27/06. WTF? Obviously my email system was messed up because the 27th is Tuesday right? WRONG DUMB ASS! What a DipJax I was. I had written the date down wrong as Tuesday instead of Monday. The meeting was schedule to start in 2 hours and I was 90 minutes away sitting in my office completely unprepared.
In that moment, I froze. I started to sweat something fierce, which is not something I normally do. I couldn't believe I was such a dumb ass. I started to conjure up an exit strategy. I could call them and let them know my car broke down. I could tell them ChickJax was sick and I had to keep the kids. I could tell them I am a complete moron and can't even keep my own schedule correctly, so obviously I would be a capital fit with their organization.
I decided to just try and make it work, which really was the right thing to do. I had already planned Tuesday off, so I just spoke with my fellow manager and told her I needed to change things up last minute. I bolted out the door and headed for home. Thankfully, I only live 2 minutes from where I work (another perk I would lose if I change jobs). When I got home I hurriedly advised ChickJax of my genius while I quickly changed into my "interview" suit. Only a few minutes later I was ready to head out the door.
As I opened the door and kissed ChickJax goodbye, I realized I had not shaved. Fuck! I had been pretty lazy over the Thanksgiving Holiday and just didn't feel like shaving that Monday morning (except my neck which I shave everyday). This usually isn't a big deal as I keep it groomed for work, but it is not cool for an interview with a new company. I threw all my shit down, cursed myself again for my lack of preparation, and then headed for the bathroom. In lieu of a real watered down shave, I grabbed the electric clippers I use to cut my hair and went to town on my face. The end result was a nice shave with a hint of a 5 o'clock shadow. That I could live with!
I headed out the door and was on my way to Charlotte. Everything seemed to be getting back in order until I realized I was almost out of gas. You have got to be fucking kidding me! I cursed myself yet again, and then made a quick stop to get some gas. I ended up spilling a little bit of gas on my hand and when I got back in the car it smelled terrible. Hawesome. Nothing like going to an interview smelling of gasoline. I looked everywhere for my waterless hand soap and it was nowhere to be found. I did end up finding a bottle of mouth wash and figured it had to smell better than gasoline. I put it on my hands like soap and it covered the smell rather well. Still, I felt like such a unitard.
Finally, I'm on my way to Charlotte. I made it to the Queen City in relatively good time, but ended up searching for the parking deck for 20 minutes. I finally got to the parking deck and then headed for the building. I made it to the Security desk and let them know I was their to see so-and-so at the firm and he says, "Buddy you got the wrong Tower. You need the North Tower and this is the South Tower." Double fuck. Luckily the towers were close to each other so a brisk walk later I was in the right tower.
I finally got to the correct tower, got clearance from security, then headed for the elevator. I got on the elevator only to find that this particular elevator only went to floors 40 through 60. I needed the elevator that went to the36th floor. I spent what felt like forever going to the top only to have to go back down to the bottom. I finally got on the correct elevator and made it to the correct floor. I stepped off the elevator and took out my cell phone to turn it off so it wouldn't ring during the meeting. I looked at the time before turning it off and it was 12:59pm. As I mentioned earlier, my interview was scheduled for 1:00pm. In that moment, I could not believe I had traversed the previous 2 hours and still managed to get there on time. I PWN!
This short story is already too long so let me just finish up by stating that I killed in the 2 interviews I had and I know they are very interested in me. Too bad I went through all that, killed in the interviews, and probably still won't take the job. On the drive home I was pretty happy with myself. I took a bad situation, found a way to work around it, and ultimately did not let it hinder my actions during the interviews. I'm sure I could liken it to some poker strategy, but not right now.
As for the interview, I had never been so spot-on before. I guess when you know that it really doesn't matter if you get the job offer or not, it makes it a little bit easier to handle. The ride home was smooth and I had no problems the rest of the day. I settled in at home after telling ChickJax the story and that's when I decided to play the tourney. I noticed it two minutes before registrtaion was set to close. And then I won the damn thing. It felt good to pwn that tournament after such a long day.
Well, if you've made it this far, you need a pat on the back. Thanks for spending a hectic day with me. I had planned to write more about other things, but this post is already long enough as it is.
Until next time, may the felt be with you!
I Almost Forgot...
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
...what it feels like to win a tourney...
This is one of my largest wins ever and the first time I've won over 1k in ages. I got shit for cards most of the tourney, but managed to finesse and bully at the right times to stack up. Going to the final table I was 3rd in chips and finally woke up with a hand...KK. The flop came Q rag rag and we ended up getting it all-in. He has QK and didn't improve. That vaulted me to 1st and I never looked back. Most of the final table I sat over 100k in chips while the next closest was 40k. The rest hovered in the teens or twenties, so I never felt uncomfortable about my chances to win the thing.
The final table took forever, but I managed to get heads up with a healthy lead of almost 3 to 1. Heads-up was pretty tough and on my final hand I called with middle pair 7's, weak kicker, when there was an Ace on the board. It was a tough call, but I felt confident. I felt even better when he turned over bottom pair. Ship it!
*For the record, I think that is the first time I've ever written "ship it" in this here brog.*
Oh, I got the hammer 5 times while heads up and won 4 of the hands. The hammer pwns!
Okay, it's late and I'm tired, but I have to say, "damn I loves me some pokah."
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
For starters, don't forget about the Mookie tonight. I expect attendance will be down with the holidays upon us, but for those able to make it, be sure and sling chips with your fellow brog brethren. Unfortunately, I will most likely not be able to make it this week.
As I sit here at work with no desire to work, strangely I have the urge to write about...work. Maybe this is just my way of feeling like I'm still doing work when I'm not. Now this is not one of those rants that I read (and rather enjoy) every so often from the likes of Scurvy and Bracelet. Fellas, your misery makes me laugh. I don't mean that in a bad way, I just love the way you manage to turn workplace angst into a hilarious post.
But let's get back to me, shall we? I work in a pretty cutthroat business. I think the Good Doctor would have to agree having experienced this business first hand years ago. Specifically, I'm in the financial services industry. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the mighty, mighty dollar. From the Financial Advisor (FA) trainee who starts day one, to the FA who has been in the business 20 years, it can be unmerciful.
Take the average FA trainee I just mentioned. We hire trainees we believe can make it in the business long term, thus being a boon to the firm. They come in and study their asses off for the Series 7 Exam. Our firm gives them approximately 3 months to study and navigate their way through the training courses. Day in and day out they study for the exam. Their job for those months is solely a preperation to take the test.
On the day of their exam, generally tension is high as they are hoping (and often praying) that they pass the exam. You see, after 3+ months of working and preparing to take the test that is hopefully the beginning of a nice career, if they don't pass the test, they're fired. It is rather embarrassing for everyone involved when a trainee doesn't pass the test.
They end up coming back into the office sulking about their bad luck and I inevitably have to console them. It is the equivalent of listening to a bad beat story. All the while, as they are speaking, I'm figuring out the best way to advise them that they'll need to hand over their office key and hit the road jack. If they don't pass the test, that day ends up being their last day. Cut throat baby, but that's just the way it is. It's not my policy, but it is pretty much standard with most firms. We have a trainee taking their Series 7 today. I wonder if this afternoon they will be raking in a nice pot, or if I'll be listening to another bad beat story.
It doesn't really get any nicer for the established FA's either. When an FA leaves to go to another firm, it is not like your typical job switch. There is no "goodbye cake" and no party at the end of the day. Usually the FA comes in to the Branch Managers office at 4pm on Friday, slaps down his/her resignation on the desk, and walks out the door. From there usually the litigation begins as the two firms battle it out over this, that, and the other. Inevitably, there is always something to dispute.
All the above duly noted, while the business in general can be cutthroat and hectic, I must admit that I truly do enjoy my job. I work with some great people and have learned a ton in the last 8 years. I am lucky to work for a great firm that has their ducks in a row. This industry is the most highly regulated in the land so each day brings with it a new experience. Realizing that we are here to help people is what brings me back each day. Well, that and the paycheck.
I'm not sure really where this post was heading and where it went, but oh well. I don't usually discuss work at this here brog, but I didn't have much to write about so I went with it. With the holidays upon us, I may not be able to post again to next week.
Until then, may the felt be with you.
Iggy Gets His Prom Date
Monday, November 20, 2006
Well hell, I wish I had a ton of things to write about today, but I don't I guess I'll start with the news that Iggy will not only keep doing his thing over at Guinness & Poker, but he has also joined the team at PokerWorks. Congrats to him for landing that gig.
I'm sure he's been wondering when he would get his chance at something more. I liken his situation to that of the prettiest girl in high school not getting a date to the prom. Everyone just assumes she's got a date, or they are afraid to ask her, so she ends up with no one. Finally, someone asked Ignatious to the prom. Again, congrats Sir.
I've been in a poker playing funk lately. Had I not won the final SNG I played last night, I'd be contemplating taking a break for a couple of weeks. To be honest, however, I want to keep bonus whoring right now while places like PSO, VPP, and Poker Savvy are still doing there thing. I certainly hope those sites are able to survive these tough times, but I'm not taking any chances.
If you are looking for a quick $90 to your bankroll from a site that accepts U. S. and A. players, go over to Poker Savvy and sign up for their Mansion.com promotion. I swear I have never had an easier promotion. First sign up with Poker Savvy which takes about 2 minutes (*cough* tell'em TripJax sent ya *cough*). Then go through the motions for signing up with Mansion which only takes a couple more minutes. You then have to deposit a minimum of $50, but I would suggest doing as much as possible as Mansion has a 100% bonus match up to $1000.
From there, all you have to do is clear $10 in rake. You read that right, ten freaking dollars. Once you clear that rake amount, Mansion will confirm with Poker Savvy, then Savvy will issue you Savvy points. At that point you can choose to cash in your Savvy points for straight cash sent to your Neteller account. Ten dollars in rake gets you $90 to your Neteller account.
Also, you can clear the rake via cash games, MTT's and SNG's, or even their sports exhange. The requirements are a little different for the exchange as you have to bet a minimum of $50. Still, you can clear that in one bet.
All I can say is it was the easiest bonus whoring I've ever done. I will say this, however, the traffic sucks. I think over time they will grow, but currently they don't have many players on. Also, I'm told you have to fax them your ID in order to cash out, but I don't plan to do that for a while. They are ADDING over $250,000 in money to their guarantee tournaments over the next two months, and I expect with their current traffic there will be some serious overlay. Booya!
A few random non-pokery thoughts...
First...It wasn't that long ago that internet access was charged by the minute/hour. I remember a time when I was worried I was going to use up all of our minutes in the first week of the month. And that was at dial-up speed! Now that we have unlimited high speed access, it seems impossible to believe there was a time when I was worried I would get a huge bill in the mail because I went over my minutes.
What am I getting at with the above statement? I'm just wondering when cell phone companies are going to follow suit. At what point will I be able to have a cell phone with unlimited minutes, throughout the U. S. and A, without worrying about my minutes (or if it is 9 fucking o'clock). When will nights and weekends become a thing of the past? Please, please someone tell me. I'm tired of trying to figure out a cell phone plan in our family budget that would allow me to dump our home phone, but each time coming up empty. Hurry the fuck up Verizon (and the rest).
Second…For the last few years the waterless hand sanitizers have become a big hit. You can clean your hands and don't have to worry with water. It's great for in the car or when you aren't near a bathroom. Here's what I'm wondering though. They all say they kill 99% of germs. Why work so hard to kill so many germs, then quit at 99%. I mean, what lazy bastard said, "you know what, 99% is pretty damn good, let's call it a day."
I'm obviously not serious, but I'm just saying.
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Many, many years ago, when I was probably around 10 years old, I recall getting a kick ass Christmas present. It was a robotic hand that looked real and would make certain movements via remote control. One day a few of my buddies and I concocted this *brilliant* idea that we would create a scene where it looked like one of us wrecked our bikes into a ditch full of thick weeds and brush.
We built a dummy out of clothes and pillows, stuck the hand in the shirt, and put ketchup on it to look like blood. We set the scene where the arm and hand were sticking out of the brush and the bike was all torn up. As people drove or walked by, we had someone make growning noises and made the robotic hand move around. We sat back and waited for hilarity to ensue. The ditch was near the entrance of the apartment complex we lived in so plenty of people would see it, realize the joke, and laugh uncontrollably along with us.
Erm, not so much.
You see, we were kids and weren't hard wired to think things through before we act. We thought what we were doing was hilarious, and it was to us, but to anyone else seeing the situation, it was horrible and very unnerving. I learned a lesson that day that has stuck with me a long time. Just because you think something is funny does not mean everyone else will. Sometimes, even as adults, we forget our lessons.
Last night was a perfect example of a fun prank that turned into a questionable act to some. G, J, and I absolutely, 100%, had no alterior motives or questionable intentions. We meant it to be a fun ending to a tourney series we've worked hard to bring to the table for the poker blogging community. For those that don't know, here is what happened.
Yesterday, as G, J and I were discussing the DADI tournaments coming to an end with DADI X, we got a crazy idea to play as if we were the other person. Then that lead to the idea of just playing each others account. GCox would assume the role of TripJax, TripJax would become Jordan, and Jordan would become GCox. Still with me on this? The plan was to have a good time with it, chat as much like the person as possible, and just be idiots.
In that moment, we were 10 year olds playing a prank that everyone was going to think was hilarious. We would all laugh about it in the end and everyone would do a virtual high five as DADI rode off into the sun.
Early on things were looking good for this to be a wacky hoax. GCox, playing as TripJax, was the 1st one knocked out of the tournament. It was awesome. Even when I'm not me, I suck. Not too long after, I, playing as Jordan, went out around 30th place. Things were shaping up to be able to out ourselves in fun fashion. Then an interesting thing happened. Jordan, as GCox, went on a heater. Not only did he go on a heater, but he won the thing. In that moment, I never thought that anyone would have an issue. My 10 year old self was in full effect, totally oblivious to what others might think about the situation.
Please let me set the record straight right here and now. There was absolutely no malice meant in any of this. We thought with it being a private tournament amongst blogger friends that it would not only be a great time while we were playing, but a great story to tell after the fact. We also thought it would be interesting to see what it was like to be in someone elses shoes during a tourney. We tried to chat like we were that person and, in essence, become that person.
To anyone who feels wronged by our actions, I sincerely apologize. I would be more than happy to discuss the situation with anyone in private, either via email or phone. Please know we did not share cards and we did not discuss hands while in the tournament together.
I'm sorry a fun prank turned into more than was meant to be. I'm also sorry Jordan won, cause damnit, I am so much better than him.
DADI X: Fight The Power...One Last Time
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I don't have much to write about today. I pretty much donked in every game I played last night. I played the 25k Guarantee at Full Tilt and made it halfway through before busting out. My ultimate demise was a button steal attempt gone bad. I could have just as easily sat back and kept my current pace, albeit below the chip average, but instead I tried to make something happen at a bad time.
As for the Mookie, I had high hopes, but it was not in the cards. Up until the 1st break I stayed above or around the top 5. After the break I lost some chips and was unable to recover. My boy G went on a short stack heater having less than 100 in chips, but building that up to over 1500. It was quite a sight. Unfortunately I was instrumental in his chipping up. We got it all-in preflop and my TT went down to his 22 with a 2 on the flop. When the ducks are quacking, I don't care what cards you have, you are going down. I can't think of anyone I'd rather donate chips to, so it's all good.
On the 2nd chance Mookie HORSE tournament, I felt out of my comfort zone. I was outplayed on most of the games and should have been knocked out earlier than I was. I have my work cut out for me if I'm going to start playing an array of games. I just need more practice.
This is my last reminder before the DADI X tourney tonight. This will be the last DADI tourney we offer so be sure and make your mark tonight. Details are in the picture above or here. I will be offering a bounty for the player who knocks me out. Send me to the rail and you will receive a re-bounty from me. WTF is a re-bounty you ask? I will pick from the multitude of bounties I have received in the past and re-bounty one to the player who knocks me out.
It's sort of like re-gifting a Christmas present, but in this case I will miss whatever I have to send. I already have in mind which bounty I want to re-bounty and it pains me to let it go, but I think it is meant to be shared. It is also from one of the poker brogger legends of our time. I've already said enough. Be there tonight and knock me out in 2nd place so I can give out this bounty. Booya!
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Iggy & DADI
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
As I've mentioned before, when I first started brogging I truly believed I was the only person reading this drivel. It was ignorant of me to think that you could write something on the internet, make it public, and expect that no one else would read it. Still, for a while I had no reason to believe anyone was reading as I had no site tracker and had not received a comment. I was a newbie to the extreme.
On a day like any other, back "in the year two thousand...and four", I received my first comment. Looking back on that moment I must admit it was uberghey of me, but I was very excited. I had no idea who would take the time to make a comment about anything I had written up to that point. As it turns out, Iggy was my first comment. Thanks Iggy for popping my brogger cherry. There I go with ubergheyness again.
It seems Iggy is making an exit of sorts so I figured I would pay a small tribute. I'm still not sure I understand what is going on and what the future holds, but regardless, he deserves a moment of my time. Iggy, thanks for everything you've done for the brogging community and thanks for some good talks in the past. I'm bummed that I've yet to be able to hoist a brew with you, but I know that time will come whether you have a brog or not.
I've seen some great posts about Iggy so far from the likes of Al, Doc Pauly, Jordan and many others. I hope we see something soon from The Speaker of the House. I mean, it's the part he was born to play right?!
If you haven't seen Jordan's most recent post, then let me clue you in on another retirement of sorts. After tomorrows tourney, the journey that is DADI will be coming to an end. That's right folks, DADI is buying a Cadillac and moving to Del Boca Vista in Florida.
We started the DADI series as a way to get together and have some fun on the virtual felt. At the time, the WPBT online events were on hiatus and there was not much else going on. Nowadays there is a tournament almost every day of the week. I personally enjoy playing these weekly events and have found it more and more difficult to find a way to make DADI fit in the equation both as a player and a planner. I don't see this as a bad thing, just a casualty of continued growth in the brogosphere.
We never expected DADI to grow the way it has. I mean, we even managed to help send a brogger to a WSoP event in 2006! Still, the landscape of brogger tourneys is ever changing and it just feels right to send DADI off on a high note. All the above said, we hope to see you there tomorrow night. Here are details or just look at my previous post.
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
DADI Loves You
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Now is the time for all good men (and the ladies) to come to the aid of their DADI. That's right folks, with Thursday creeping up on us, DADI is nigh. Get your ticket to ride now! The buy-in is $26 so if you don't want to directly buy-in, you can play in one of the many satellite/token SNG's they offer.
For any newcomers to Full Tilt and/or the DADI series, if you have not done the token thing before, here is the easiest way to get it done. Open up Full Tilt and go to the Private Tournament section. Find the DADI X tourney scheduled for this Thursday. Once you open up the tourney, in the bottom right hand corner it will show you the current satellites to get a $26 token. From there you just pick which one works best for you.
For any and all takers, we at DADI headquarters thank you from the bottom of our bankroll. Click the banner to the left if you want the larger version.
Since I don't have much else to write about today, I figure I will just pimp some of the other tourneys out there. My apologies go out to Hoy for getting this out one day late. Or you can think of it as I'm the first person to pimp the Hoy tourney for next Monday!
Those are the regularly scheduled tournaments that don't have changing formats. The other two that come to mind are the
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Monday, November 13, 2006
There's a new buzz sweeping the blogosphere regarding a new site called Review Me. I first read about it through Maudie, then BG and Scurvy. I decided to follow in the footsteps of those three wise bloggers and give it a whirl. It sounds like it could be a pretty cool gig and, at the very least, give me something to write about when I'm lacking in material. For now, let me give you the skinny on Review Me as I'm to understand.
Review Me connects companies who want their product reviewed with bloggers who are willing to take the time to review the product on their blog. In return, Review Me gets a cut from the company and then passes along a portion of the bling to the blogger who does the review. That looks like three happy campers to me. Of course there will be times when the blogger gives a negative review, but that is to be expected. Companies should view negative reviews as a chance to get feedback on where they or their product could improve.
As for this particular blog post, which is technically a review of Review Me, I have to say so far so good. Signing up and creating an account took about 2 minutes and I immediately found out what I will make per review. Each month your payment per review can increase or decrease based on your rankings (Alexa and Technorati) as well as the number of RSS feed subscriptions for your blog.
Since this is my first review, I can't really speak as to the Review Me customer support and payment processing, but we'll just have to see. I may have to give a follow-up review to let you know if it is worth giving it a go. There are plenty of things to learn about how this will work, so for now I will just have to take a wait and see approach. In the meantime, swing on over to their site and give it a gander. I didn't notice a referral or affiliate program, but if you come across one, tell them TripJax sent ya.
Oh, one more thing. If you sign up and start reviewing, be sure that your reviews include an acknowledgement that the post is a paid advertising. Sort of like this...
The preceding was a sponsored post by TripJax for Review Me.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Reeling from all the election posts, JJOK recently made a "crying call" to the poker brog masses to get back to our roots. Specifically, he wanted to see a lot less politics and a lot more poker/personal content. To that end, the above sentences were the first and last mention of elections or politics at this here brog.
I must say, however, I had pondered getting in on the live brogging action. I had narrowed my focus on either live brogging the Spears/Fed-Ex debacle or my next bowel movement. I chose the latter, but was unable to get the computer into the bathroom, so the following "recorded earlier" brog post will have to suffice:
11.09.06, 8:30pm EST - Sit down...seat cold.
11.09.06, 8:30pm EST - Open poker book de jour.
11.09.06, 8:31pm EST - The deuce is loose.
11.09.06, 8:33pm EST - Let's light this candle (seriously).
11.09.06, 8:34pm EST - [Ponders] I wonder if I can return this book now that it has been "red flagged" as used in the bathroom?
11.09.06, 8:35pm EST - The end.
I hope you enjoyed my first (and most likely last) attempt at not so live brogging anything.
I do actually have some non pokery stuff to write about, so if this kind of stuff does not interest you, it might be time to check out my links list above for many other great reads. Personally, I love getting a little look-see into other broggers lives, so I'm all for it.
Around the end of July I was feeling like badonkadonk. I wasn't sick and had no known problems, but I just felt like complete ass. As I took a close look in the mirror I knew the root of my problems. For way too long I've been a lazy bastard, rarely working out and eating whatever would fit in my mouth. I was pretty damn disgusted with myself in that moment.
Many times before I had told myself it was time to get back into the gym and eat better, but every time in the past, I was just lying to myself. I wasn't ready. I was pretty much set in my lazy ass ways and I needed a swift kick in the rear. The kick I needed came when I had trouble putting on the last pair of work slacks that had once been loose. I had some full suits and slacks that I didn't even look at anymore because they were so tight. However, I had another small pile that were still working as I had originally bought them a little big. They were no longer a little big, but I was.
A little background...
I've always been an active guy. I've played sports all my life, though mainly for recreational purposes. I'm 6 foot 1 inches tall and was skinny as a rail in high school. During college I worked (and worked out) in the University gym and managed to bulk up. I wasn't Bad Blood cut, but I could hold my own in the gym. Even still, I was never over 170 lbs, but I felt great and was happy with the direction I was headed.
After college I worked a job that was very physical. I maintained my physical fitness routine and continued to feel great. Then it happened. I got the dreaded desk job. Not only a desk job, but a desk job where vendors/wholesalers constantly had lunch/dinner brought in for us or took us out to eat. Work and family life became priority one and the gym and fitness life became a casualty. That ultimately became a very bad thing.
Standing in the bathroom that July morning I was rather pissed off at what I had become. I was not sure what I weighed at that moment, but I knew it wasn't pretty considering the way I felt. I later found out I was tipping the scale at 204. Now I know all things are relative and 204 might not seem so bad for someone over 6 foot, but when you feel like assimus maximus, it is a bad thing. To each his own, but my own was no longer cutting it for me. I resolved to make a change in that moment.
I first decided I needed to get rid of my biggest vice, sweet tea. Damn that shit is good, but the intake of sugar is unreal. It would be one thing if I just had one glass at lunch or dinner, but I was scarfing that shit down at 4 and 5 glasses per meal. And while I didn't drink them as much, I was not afraid to pop a soda at any point in the day. My next problem was the type of food I was eating and the portions. It did not matter what I was eating and having seconds and thirds was routine. Finally, my physical activity was on the absentee list.
I changed my ways and immediately started to feel a difference. It only took a couple of days, but amazingly I started to LOVE unsweet tea. All I needed was a lemon and I was good to go. In fact, a lady at one of my regular dining spots didn't realize I had made the switch and brought me sweet tea. I took a swig and it was horrible. It was like drinking a cup full of syrup. I knew at that point my body was ready for my lifestyle change.
I could feel the change in my body and was suddenly invigorated. I was eating healthier and drinking more water. I could feel the weight coming off and was happy with where I was headed, though I was not weighing myself at all. About a month after my change in habits came the Bad Blood Superstars Invitational. Though I would not have the award bestowed upon me until after the Bash, Bad Blood's tourney was ultimately the beginning of my Drunken Lewey status. I was losing all this weight, not eating nearly what I was eating prior, but still pounding the alcohol like a drunken fish.
While there was PLENTY OF GOOD EATS at the Bad Blood home, the only thing I ate that day was a grilled chicken sandwich that morning and a few meatballs that afternoon. It was stupid of me, but I was full steam ahead in my new lifestyle and was not going to fail. I ended up having an incredible time, but after 15 hours of drinking and not enough food, I hit a wall. Drunken Lewey indeed.
Fast forward again to the Bash At The Boathouse and, while I was eating more than before, I was still not getting enough caloric intake for the amount of alcohol I was drinking. The result was again a Drunken Lewey situation. Trust me, I would not take back any of my experiences for the world, but I do think if I could do it over again I would try and eat a bit more!
Since that day back in July, I've found a happy medium where I'm eating and drinking the right things at the right amounts. I'm also much more active and feel incredible about my health. The gym is no longer a bad word. As for my actual weight, I've only weighed myself 5 times since July. I've never wanted this to be solely about how much I weigh. I wanted this change to be about feeling better about myself and being a healthier person. I knew if I followed the direction I wanted to go, the weight would balance itself out. Still, I'm pretty proud...
July: 204 lbs
August: 195 lbs
September: 185 lbs
October: 180 lbs
Nobember: 171 lbs
Now before you even say it, I know. I do not want to lose another friggin' pound. In fact, I want to put some weight back on, but I want it to be the right weight. I'm working out much more and am increasing my caloric intake to compensate for the extra physical activity. I guess what I'm getting at with this post is I am really happy with my change and feel much better about each day. I've never felt like a big guy and those who have met me would probably agree. Still, when you have zero energy and it is solely because of your diet and lack of activity, something has to change.
I made that change and don't plan on looking back. Fushizzle.
Not So Lucky Kitty
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I got all nostalgic last night and decided to pour over all the 2006 Bash at the Boathouse pictures housed at Flickr again. I really didn't give them adequate attention the first time around and since I only remember 52.8% of what happened the entire weekend, I figured it would be nice to refresh the ole memory box. I finally ended up in the midst of Gracie's photostream and...
...upon further review, all I can say is I hope THIS happened before THIS.
If Lucky Kitty is not dead or in a kitty mental institution by now, I'd be quite suprised. Apparently Miss Kitty was all over the place that night. I vaguely remember having my way with her, and from the likes of all the pictures I saw, I was not alone. Methinks BG took it to a whole new level though. I couldn't stop laughing after I saw that picture and then came across my picture. Hexcellent.
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Bad Beats Beget Bad Bets
Monday, November 06, 2006
The title of this post might qualify as a tongue twister. Try saying it three times really fast. Not easy, eh? Unfortunately, an even tougher task can be applying principles to your game that keep the title from occurring. Bad beats can change the outlook of a poker player's psyche and the outcome of their results. Controlling your actions after bad beats can be tricky. I believe with the right mindset you can learn from the experience and use that knowledge to take your game to another level. Let's take a look at what I'm talking about with an example.
The Bad Beat
Chip Lieder has been waiting all day to play the No Limit Hold'em, $30,000 Guarantee at Full Tilt Poker. Chip is feeling great about his tournament game of late and is ready to prove it on the virtual felt. He starts the tournament with 1500 in chips and blinds of 15/30. On the fifth hand of the tournament, after folding the previous four hands pre-flop, he wakes up with A A in the big blind. He's ecstatic to see a player (The Villain) in middle position, who has played every hand so far, raise it from 30 to 500.
Though only 5 hands in, Chip has already pegged The Villain as a maniac after watching a couple of his massive over-bets end up being shown down with weak hands. As it stands, the Villain's raise makes the pot 445 and only leaves him with 500 in chips. It folds to Chip who pushes his 1500 all-in. The Villain makes the call and flips over 7 7. The flop comes a harmless 2 8 K rainbow, but the turn brings the fateful 7. No help on the river and Chip's Aces go down in flames. To throw fuel on the fire, another player at the table chimes in via chat, "Ha ha, I folded the other 7."
On the very next hand, it is folded to the cut-off who raises the big blind from 30 to 100. Still steaming from the one outer on the previous hand, Chip looks down at A T off-suit in the small blind and pushes his remaining 585 in the pot. The cut-off calls showing A Q, and when no help comes on the board, Chip is sent to the virtual rail.
The Bad Bet
As you analyze Chip's situation above, it is probably easy to pinpoint the err of his ways. Chip has put his tournament life on the line with A T off-suit after only 6 hands of play. In addition, he has risked 585 chips to win a pot of 145 with a speculative hand. While it is easy to see this now, when you find yourself in a similar situation, your emotions can often get the best of you. Before you know it, what looked like a promising start to a tournament (getting A A early) has turned into a disappointing exit.
If a similar scenario to the one above has never happened to you, then you are one of the lucky ones. At some point in time most poker players experience a bad beat that ultimately results in a lapse in judgment and an ill-advised bet. I would venture to say the majority of people reading this post have either been in that situation, or at the very least, been at a table to witness a similar situation. Learning from your mistakes and using your newfound knowledge in the future is a key to continued success.
Though the title of the tournament in our example above contains the word guarantee, the game of poker in general offers no guarantees. Pre-flop you may have a dominating hand, but this obviously does not mean you will win the hand once all the cards hit the felt. No two cards are impervious pre-flop and, by that same rationale, no two cards are drawing dead pre-flop. Just because you believe you should have won a hand does not mean the chips will be shoved your way when the dust settles.
In most tournaments, to reach pay dirt, you will usually have to win some coin flips, have most of your strong hands hold up, and be able to withstand a few tough beats. For all those things to occur, you will need some luck on your side. You can make the right decisions and put yourself in a situation to benefit from making correct plays, but you still need the right cards to hit the felt.
When Bad Cards Happen To Good People
When the wrong cards end up hitting the felt and you ultimately lose a key hand, having the wherewithal to maintain composure and focus becomes paramount. Analyze the situation and decide if things are truly as bad as they seem. What is the current blind level? How many blinds do you have remaining in your stack (ex: 600 chips divided by 15+30 blinds = 13+ BBs). When do the blinds go up next? What is your stack size compared to the average? How does your stack compare to the others at the table? Who do you stand the best chance of doubling up through? Most importantly, think before you act.
On occasion, after taking a tough beat and losing a good portion of your stack, you will wake up with another great hand. This is often a perfect time to push your remaining chips in the middle and make it look as if you are giving up. Quite often you will receive a call from a player with more chips - and a mediocre hand, who thinks you are weak and just steaming. This is often a perfect time to capitalize on a seemingly desperate situation.
Also there are times when, based on the current landscape of the tournament, it might be best to put your chips in the middle on the next or subsequent hands. This may look like a move of desperation or emotional reaction, which is a plus for you. Let's say you are relatively deep in a tournament and take a tough beat on a key hand. Your table is 6-handed, and under the gun, you look down at A Q suited. You barely have enough to cover the big blind on the next hand. You have to push those chips in the middle and hope for a double or triple up. If you fold, on the next hand you will be in the big blind and will most likely be bound by the cards you receive.
Some of my most memorable tournament wins or cashes were when I was severely low on chips early in the tournament, but found a way to build my stack back and make a nice run for the money. While it is exhilarating to dominate a tournament from beginning to end, it is extremely rewarding to face near elimination in a tournament, but ultimately triumph.
We've probably all heard the chip and a chair stories, and though they are rare, stranger things have happened. I have personally come back to place 2nd in a tournament after being down to one chip, which was the smallest chip denomination on the table. If I can do it, anyone can.
If I could summarize this post in one simple sentence, it would be as follows:
Don't let the results of any particular hand negatively impact or dictate your actions on subsequent hands.
Make correct decisions based on the landscape of the situation and accept the results whether they are in your favor or not. Poker is a game of skill, luck,
and risk. Poker is not a game of assurance. You will have highs and lows. You will sometimes make correct decisions with negative results. How you react to those results may very well be the difference in finishing last or first.
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
The Blogger Big Game
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I managed to win a $26 token on my first try and then won a $75 token on my first try as well. Thus, I'll be playing the big game...
I hope to see you all there. Only 7 are signed up so far and since most will need a token to play, I urge you to get to the token winning peoples.
Until next time, may the felt be with you.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I've been working on a post recently that I should have up soon, but while writing the post a question crossed my mind that I'm wondering about. It could be a stupid question, but whatever...
In a 10 handed Hold'em poker game - assuming all players remain in the hand until all community cards have been dealt, and all betting is complete - is it possible for a player to have a hand that is drawing dead pre-flop, based on the cards that all other players hold?
Does that make any sense? Further, does anyone care? I'm just looking for someone who has more time on their hands than me to put some thought into it and find the answer.
Get your notepads out and get to work. Or, maybe you know the answer right away. Lets see some comments people!