Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What’s Vegas going to be like?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

I was chatting with a few of the people I’ll be meeting up with in Vegas in two days and over the course of the conversation ended up typing “alcohol enema” into Google. It’s really best not to ask why. If you’ve somehow ended up here via Google yourself, you may find this link helpful.

I think I can safely say that is something that will not be happening in Vegas. Even if it stays in Vegas. Although from the sounds of things, I’m not sure I’m even going to remember anything from the trip. Heck, I’ll be lucky if I can find my way back to the airport.

Best of April Fool’s

Friday, April 1st, 2005

As expected from bloggers on April Fool’s, there were a few tall tales spun today. Here are some of them from across poker bloggerdom.

Badblood – the first blogger to report an arrest.
F Train – underground clubs are called that for a reason.
Double As – now you see it, now you don’t.

Frankly, I expected a few more of these. Of course, my reading list isn’t as large as it used to be, so I may have missed a few.

And unfortunately I did not win a trip to the WSOP last night. But I do have to confess it’s much easier to write an interested tournament report when you are making it up as you go along. I was supposed to play in the tournament, but the casino host I mention in the beginning once again managed NOT to get my invitation sorted out.

In other news, Pauly just announced an amazing new gig over at Tao of Poker. At first I thought it was just another fake, like most big announcements made today, but then I realized that he couldn’t possibly start an April Fool’s post by saying it wasn’t an April Fool’s post. Oops. Congratulations Pauly! It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fellow.

In non-poker related April Fool’s news, the best effort of the day had to be the new production diary over at where Peter Jackson and crew announce two sequel films to the new King Kong where the Son of Kong ends up in Germany during World War II fighting mutated Nazi creatures. A very elaborate prank pulled off masterfully.


Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

I don’t know if I’ve ever written an uberpost in the history of this blog, but I think this may qualify.

One of the players from my bi-weekly tournament invited me to his own home game. In the 14 months I’ve been running the tournaments, this it only the second invitation I’ve gotten and the first I’ve been available to play at. I suppose no one wants to invite the tournament winner to their own games. *grin* I knew this game wouldn’t be as serious as my usual tournament, so I settled in with a few beers for the pot-limit hold’em tournament. I bounced in fourth after a few hours of not being able to find a hand, but it didn’t take that long for us to to start a little pot-limit side game. Kind fellows that we are, we pushed the two remaining heads-up players from the tournament over to the side of the table so we could play. I ended up with a few extra dollars at the end of the night and would have been up a few more if it weren’t for a particularly painful loss to a set made on runner-runner threes. But it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed not having to organize the thing and drinking a beer or two (or half a dozen).

Of course, like ever other good poker blogger out there, I was also facing 1400 hands at Party to unlock my March bonus. Pretty standard play at the PL25 tables (it takes too long to find multiple tables at PL50) but I also played a bunch of hands at the seven card stud hi/lo .5/1 tables. At first I was playing pretty solidly and booking some small wins, but I started loosening up on Friday and Saturday and managed to dump a 1/2 of my bonus. I made some of it back at the hold’em tables, but I’d really like to go back to making a profit *on-top* of the bonus.

Of course, distractions abounded. On Friday I spent most of the day reinstalling my main machine, which has started to lock up recently. Everything went well, but I don’t think playing on my laptop while finishing the install was a profitable decision. I feel bad for the players who had to put up with my slower than usual play.

But an even bigger distraction was my new PSP which I picked up Thursday morning. Wow. I’d read the hype and was relatively excited about getting my hands on my very own PSP, but I was ready for it not to be quite as spectacular as all the reviews said. Boy was I wrong. The system is amazing. First of all, it looks beautiful. The video quality is amazing and the screen is huge for a portable system. And the games are good, and plentiful, something that Nintendo really got wrong with the launch of the DS. I bought Wipeout Pure and Lumines and the system came with Gretzky NHL, which I haven’t even tried. It also came with a UMD (a propietary media format) of Spider-man 2 and I have to confess that the video and audio (via headphones) quality far exceeded my expectations. I don’t know how successful this new UMD format will be, but as soon as I get a larger memory stick, I will be using the video capabilities of the device quite regularly. My only problem with the system is that it is only a matter of time before I miss my subway stop while absorbed in my PSP. It almost happened twice over the weekend.

I used to be a complete movie whore. My friends used to dread going to rent movie store with me because we always had a heck of a time finding new releases that I hadn’t seen. But over the last few years, I haven’t watched anywhere near as many as I used to. In fact, my movie viewing habits have become somewhat sad. I hadn’t seen any of the Oscar nominated films this year. I corrected that somewhat last weekend I finally picked up a copy of The Incredibles. I’m a huge fan of animated movies and thought highly of The Iron Giant, director Brad Bird’s previous film. And of course, Pixar has yet to make a mistep in its short history. Even with those high expecations, I was still blown away by The Incredibles.

The thing I found most striking about it was the fact that the movie doesn’t play like an animated film. The story is as well developed and the characters as fully realized as in any live action script – a fact acknowledged by the Academy’s Best Screenplay nomination for Bird. The argument between Helen and Bob in the middle of the film was just as powerful a scene as any you’ll see in a live action movie, and better than most. But the filmmakers are also not afraid to take full advantage of the medium and the movie looks beautiful. The art direction and animation are perfect. The action sequences simply shine and are far more interesting and well constucted than any from the action blockbusters I recall seeing in the past few years. I don’t know how they could even put Shrek 2 and A Shark’s Tale in the same category for Best Animated Picture. Shrek 2 was funny enough, I suppose, but it will not stand the test of time nearly as well as The Incredibles. Hmmm…can you tell I liked the movie?

I ended the weekend with a tasty Easter dinner at a friend’s house who was kind enough to invite me after learning I was staying in town for the weekend. I brought a bottle of wine and some Kinder eggs (a personal family tradition) and was treated to a delicious turkey feast. I ate too much, but I guess that is to be expected on a holiday Sunday.

Addendum: Just listened to this week’s Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio and my site was mentioned in reference to an email I sent them a couple weeks back. Thanks Sean, I appreciate the link. Just wish I’d actually had some recent posts up. And congratulations on your 19th show (has it already been that long?).

Second addendum: Ok, maybe it wasn’t an uberpost, but it was still pretty lengthy. And it took me far too long to finish. I had intended to write more about each of the individual topics but by the time I was able to revisit them, most of the thoughts had fled from my head. I will eventually get the hang of this blogging thing.

Sadly neglected

Monday, March 28th, 2005

The blog is once again starting to look like an abandoned wasteland. But I assure you a new post is in the works . It’s just that the new PSP I picked up on Thursday has been a constant distraction. So have Wipeout Pure and Lumines. It also didn’t help that I needed to spend the day Friday doing a complete reinstall of my machine. But I talk about all that a bit more (as well as some poker) in my forthcoming post.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Hoist a pint for me. I know I’ll be trying to hoist one for each of you.

I’m in, I’m out, I’m in again

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

Last week I posted that I had booked tickets for the June poker blogger event and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately the excitement did not last very long as I discovered the discount airline I’d booked the tickets with (JetsGo) had shut their doors, stranding hundreds of passengers looking to escape for the March break but also leaving me without a flight to Vegas and with a sizeable hole in my pocketbook.

The initial panic began to wear off as I got confirmation that I would be able to recover the money through my credit card company, though I was still angry that JetsGo had been taking bookings all the way up to the day before they closed down. I mean, I hadn’t had my ticket for a full week before it became worthless.

But after chatting with a bunch of bloggers Sunday night at the tournament, my enthusiasm for the trip was rekindled so I began searching for alternative arrangements. Yesterday I finally nailed down the last details and booked my hotel room at The Plaza, which seems to be blogger party central. I also bit the bullet and paid a little more to get a direct flight with Air Canada. I could have probably saved a hundred bucks or so taking another flight, but they were almost all twice as long with a stopover. Because of the flight prices and cheap hotel, it actually ended up working out that it would be cheaper to fly in Thursday night and pay for the extra night in a hotel. So, my buddy and I will be arriving on a 10:20 flight into Vegas and should be checking into The Plaza by 11:30. I can hardly wait!


Sunday, February 13th, 2005

5am in the morning (6 Dominican time) and I just got back to my apartment. That was definitely not according to schedule. Must sleep now.

I’m off

Saturday, February 5th, 2005

In under ten minutes my ride should be arriving to eventually take me to the airport and off to the Dominican Republic for a week. Appropriately enough the weather calls for snow in Toronto for most of the next week, so I will be enjoying my brief respite from winter. Oh, there’s the phone, I better get going.

Sunday afternoon

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

It feels good to stretch those poker muscles. I managed to put in a good two hour session 4-tabling 25PL at Empire. I should probably be looking to move up the limits and the bankroll certainly supports it, but I’m comfortable and profitable at this level, so it’s difficult to find the impetus to switch. It also felt good to be playing some good poker instead of the mediocre game that marked my last few forays onto the online felt. It didn’t hurt that I was seeing some great cards as well. Managed to post a reasonable gain while working off a third of the hands towards my bonus there.

But, there are more pressing reasons to post. Some overdue congratulations are in order for a few hard-working poker bloggers. First, a huge shout out to Otis from Up For Poker for the tremendous job he did blogging professionally for the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure. He spent a week in the Bahamas reporting on the WPT event taking place there and did an amazing job.
Second, kudos to hdouble from The Cards Speak for landing a sweet job working for Full Tilt. It’s a programmer job, not a writing gig, but it is great opportunity nonetheless. He’ll still slings words on poker with the best of them at this blog. Congrats Hank!

Still coming, 2005 Poker Resolutions.

Poker Year in Review

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

The new year is already a few weeks old and still I have not made good on my New Year’s resolution to post to my blog. I was almost there last week, but was laid low by one of the nastiest colds I’ve had in recent memory which I am only now recovering from.

So, without further ado, let me begin tp’s Poker Year in Review. I’m going to talk about some of the notable poker related things that happened to me over the course of the year.

January 2004
My poker career dalliance began a year ago. I’d run a bi-weekly home game for a few years at this point, but with the all the poker coverage on TV, I was having some serious poker urges over the holidays. I did a quick bit of research and loaded $50 into Party Poker. The night I turned my $50 deposit into $98, including my bonus, and I was quite pleased with myself. I had dreams of turning it into 4-digits by the end of the week. The very next day I managed to blow through all $98 courtesy of some poor play and some really bad beats. When I put the first $50 in, I told myself that would be it, I would either win, or that would be what I pay to learn that online poker was not a profitable proposition for me. I was very wary of addiction, fearing that it is in my personality. But I still managed to justify adding another $50 to my account and I haven’t looked back since. Nor have I lost more than that first 100 bucks.

January also marked the beginning of the EPT, a tournament home game series that has been running for nearly a year now. It’s just a bi-weekly $20 buy-in pot-limit hold’em tournament, but it has been my only option for live poker, and I have managed to work on some of the skills that you just cannot hone at the online tables.

February 2004
Poker was now in my blood. I thought about it all the time. I bought read books. I read Card Player online. And I followed more poker blogs than was healthy. And in February I decided that I would also write one. I purchased a domain and started this very blog. Not two weeks passed before, from out of nowhere, I was mentioned on Guinness and Poker. Iggy had stumbled across my blog somehow and given me a small mention as well as a spot on his blogroll. Suddenly I had readers.

March 2004
I participated in the World Poker Blogger Tour II event. I finally got to chat with some of the other poker bloggers out there and my finish of 14th out of 28 was better than I expected. Afterwards I got to chat with Felicia and hdouble, two of my favourite bloggers.
March also marked my first multi-table cash and 3-digit win. I won $120 in the Choice Poker new player freeroll, but it would be over six months before I would see a dime of that money. But even sweeter was my cash in the first weekly blogger game organized by Felicia. Finishing ahead of a bunch of chumps in a cheesy freeroll is one thing, but finishing ahead of a bunch of chump bloggers was quite another. *grin*

April 2004
Full steam ahead. Still playing poker, still growing my bankroll. April did feature the post that has received the most search engine hits over the lifetime of this site. I’m glad people come for the poker content.

May 2004
I finally took first in my bi-weekly PLHE home tournament. I believe I had four cashes prior to this, but it was my first victory. It was followed two weeks later by my second. There was other big news in the poker world this month (I wonder what that was), but I was just plugging away at the low limits, growing my bankroll.

June 2004
For the first time, my ill-gotten poker gains were put to another purpose besides driving chips across the table. They funded the purchase of a new laptop, which is on its way to paying for itself.

July 2004
Internet outages at home introduced less frequest blog posts and even less poker time. The withdrawal symptoms were not pretty.

August 2004
My first live casino experience. Well, not a real casino, but played at the CNE Charity Casino down the street from my office while it was in town. Managed to drop nearly $200 in five hours of $5/$10. I think I played well, but I really need to get a bit more casino experience.

October 2004
Another Poker Blogger event this month, and the bloggers and readers tournament attracted 133 participants. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I played excellent and horrible poker, managing to accumulate the chip leader mid-way through the tournament before making a few bad decisions to bust out in 29th, nine places out of the money. The highlight of the tournament was busting out Wil Wheaton when my TT hit a straight on the river to beat his JJ. It occurs to me now that I never did receive the bounty he promised, though I did received a signed book from Coach, of Blue Parrot fame over at Tao of Poker.

November & December 2004
My poker was falling off a bit in October, but it takes a nose dive in November and December. Other interests keep me away from the online poker tables and without tales to tell this blog languishes.

At the end of the year I have played over 50,000 hands of poker at 15 different online sites and have posted profits of nearly $5000 US. I have played great poker and I have played horrible poker. I’ve learned many lessons and made a few friends along the way. I want to say thanks to anyone who’s read this blog over the past year. I write for myself, but my ego appreciates the attention. Particular thanks to all those who have offered poker advice and support the past 11 months. I have to single out Felicia Lee for all the help and kind words she has shared over the year. For someone who refers to herself as a no-nonsense bitch, she is one of the nicest people I know. It is my intention to renew my commitment to poker and this blog in the new year, but I’ll take talk more about that next time.

For now, it’s time to catch a nap for a couple hours so that maybe my cold isn’t so bad when I go out later.

Coming soon, Poker Resolutions for 2005.

Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 25th, 2004

It’s a bit late for well wishing, but I’m here sitting at my parents’ house browsing on my laptop and a nice wireless connection and I started thinking to myself “I hope everyone else out there is enjoying the holidays”. So, belated though it may be, I wish any of my sporadic readers (due to sporadic posting) a wonderful holiday season, regardless of how you celebrate.

Remembrance Day

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. I would remind all my fellow Canadians, and really, everyone worldwide, to remember those who have fought and died to make our world a better place. It is no small thing that so many of us enjoy the freedoms and privileges that we do today.

On a break

Thursday, October 28th, 2004

I’ve been taking a bit of break from poker play. I’ve been very stressed by the work I’m doing right now and my mind has been constantly churning trying to solve some fairly involved technical issues. This has led to a good deal of insomnia and I’m feeling particularly run down. So, I’m trying to avoid making the mistake of sitting at the poker table with low energy and concentration. I am currently reading Winning Low Limit Hold’em just to keep things fresh. Some decent advice in there, but so far there is nothing that is going to dramatically change the way I’ve been playing. I’m likely not going to get to the tables until some time next week, though there is a small chance I might get a few hours in on Saturday afternoon.

In other news, my volleyball team won it’s third game in a row last night. We started the night playing simply abyssmal volleyball, but managed to turn it around by the end of the night to pull out the victory. It would have been nice to have played a more solid game, but it at least it is not as disheartening as a sub-par game AND the loss.

The lastest in pumpkin artillery

Monday, October 25th, 2004
Pumpkin Cannon
This cannon can reputedly shoot a pumpkin a full mile.

My friend sent me the above image from an event he attended this weekend. Results of the Morton, IL 2004 Pumpkin Chunk’n Contest can be found here, though there aren’t many more pictures. I felt the world needed to be warned of its imminent destruction at the hands of American pumpkin farmers.


Thursday, October 21st, 2004

Well, that was a bit anti-climatic. After hearing for days about the incredible BoSox vs. Yankees series, game seven was pretty much over in the second inning. Still, I do recognize the achievement that it was. And like most, I was rooting for the underdog. Of course, my volleyball teammates (we won 4-0) tried to keep the party going. But there are few bars open in Toronto after 12am on a Wednesday. And the ones that are, well, you may not want to be there.


Thursday, October 14th, 2004

Well, for a while now Wil Wheaton has been giving the poker blogging community a run for their money in terms of great poker tales. But today I read an excellent
from Otis at Up For Poker that shows that poker bloggers can sometimes match Mr. Wheaton with touching life stories.


Thursday, October 14th, 2004

I had my usual indoor Volleyball game last night. Now, this season – 4 weeks old – has been a bit rough, with the entire team having a bit of difficulty finding their groove. And I personally have been playing pretty much the worst volleyball of my life. But we finally got our acts together last night and blanked the other team 4-0 (we play as many games to 25 in the hour we have). Even though the other team wasn’t all that great, it was very satisfying to see our team avoid the mistakes we can be so prone to. It gives me a bit of confidence that I might be able to turn my poker game around as well. I’ve been very unfocused at the tables and it has hurt me on the few occasions I’ve had time to sit down in the last week.

Here I am

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Just got settled in my hotel room in California. I’m going to be here for the rest of the week for some work. At least the internet is working in my room. Might even get a little poker in later in the week.


Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

I missed International Talk Like a Pirate Day again! Each year I mean to get in at least one good Arrrrr!, but invariably I only remember it on both sides of the actual day. Of course, it may speak well of me that I fail to honor such a ridiculous pseudo-holiday, but I still intended to.

Go Canada!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

Well, there may not be an NHL season this year, but there was one last night of hockey tonight. Canada defeated Finland 3-2 to take the World Cup of Hockey. Cars are still honking outside my window. Congratulations boys!