Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Odds & Ends

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

Due to a looming deadline at the office, I’m not going to be able to put much of a post together for the next couple days. I have a post about my vacation on the go, but I don’t expect to complete it to my satisfaction until much later in the week.

I did manage to carve out an hour for myself to play a little online poker. Despite my best efforts, I managed a winning session. I was making great reads – like knowing my pocket kings were no good against pocket aces with a jack high board – refusing to make the correct play, but managing to drag some decent pots along the way – like when my K hit on the river, disappointing AA and QQ. My questionable play ended up costing me some money, but earning me even more. At least I was wise enough to use my maniac reputation at those tables to sucker some players into calling my big bets when I had big hands. But even mostly correct play was no excuse for making some of the marginal calls I was making. That should learn me for playing poker when I’m not really in the mood.

And while I was able to carve that first hour of time from an available allotment, the second hour (and a bit) was stolen from me when I started watching the first episode of Dead Like Me (from Indigo), a Showtime series recommended by a friend at work. Now, I just put it on to kill a few minutes of my last orbit at the poker table, fully intending to watch it another day, but it sucked me in as soon as a character was struck dead by a space toilet. How can anyone resist humor like that? Actually, the show – about working stiffs (bad pun) in the exciting field of soul reclamation – captured my attention due to its heart as much as its humor, which is actually a bit more sophisticated that flying space toilets. There were a few uneven spots (it was the pilot episode after all) but the characters were interesting and the writing was good. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the episodes.

And that’s the reason why I didn’t end up posting until so late and why I must go crawl into bed now.

Home again, home again

Sunday, September 12th, 2004

But I’m too exhausted to write anything now. I think I’m just going to collapse into bed.

I’m off

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

My bags are packing and I am just waiting for the phone call letting me know that my ride is downstairs. I’m heading northwest of the city for nice 4-day weekend up a friend’s cottage. I’m looking forward to a lot of relaxation, a little beer and a good book or three. Of course, I’m sure I’ll get some other activities in there as well, but that’s as far as I’ve planned things so far. I’ll be getting back on Sunday night, so don’t expect any posts between now and then. Of course, with my sporadic posting schedule recently, I doubt I’d have anyone checking. Cheers.

Congrats Felicia

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

Congratulations to Felicia for her great finish in the Stud 8 tournament at the 4 Queens Poker Classic in Vegas. Outstanding result and great write-up.


Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

I haven’t been posting as much recently (duh!). I’m been suffering a bit from blog and poker burnout. As any of my fellow bloggers can attest to, both activities can suck up a significant amount of time. Usually I end up writing most of a post before I hit the sack for the night, but obviously my energy is ebbing at that point and often I leave a half-written post that I need to wrap up some time during my work day. Since I’m at work, I once again have little time or energy to devote to pumping out a quality post. This has meant that the quality of my posts has not been what I intended when I started this site. One of the myriad reasons I started this blog was so that I could get back to writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing and used to write quite a lot when I was younger. But somewhere halfway through university I lost the edge. Time, inspiration, ability, something was missing, and I just stopped putting pen to page. When I started this blog, not only was it an attempt to connect with a community that shares a hobby I enjoy (poker, for those of you who somehow missed that) it was also a way to force myself to write on a regular basis and seek to regain that spark which I had lost years ago and have missed since. I haven’t quite recaptured it yet, but my posts had been falling into a dangerous pattern of writing just enough to qualify as a post. Just briefly outlining the salient points of my recent poker experiences and delivering it unembellished to the world. It’s got to make for some pretty boring reading, but it’s equally as unsatisfying to me. So I am going to try to make a commitment to writing a bit more instead of merely listing experiences. I’m not always going to be successful, but at least I will be attempting to recapture the whole purpose of this endeavor in the first place.

And what prompted this bout of introspection? Well, it’s likely the story of a celebrity blogger (famous more now for his blogging than his stardom, which I’m sure he enjoys) who recaptured his own authorly instincts in much the same way that I am seeking to with my blog. Of course I’m referring to Wil Wheaton‘s second book, Just a Geek. In truth, I also recently read his first book, Dancing Barefoot, which acted as a small appetizer for his larger autobiographical work. I actually devoured the whole book in one sitting instead of getting a decent night’s sleep yesterday. It is very easy to relate with his struggle for identity and happiness in an evolving self. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s also a great writer. So, thanks Wil, and keep up the good work (you never know when someone in the blogosphere may stumble across this).

NOTE: I have signed up as an affiliate with both Amazon and Indigo for any Canadian readers who don’t want to use Amazon (though I’ve yet to have my affiliate status with Indigo finalized). My book recommendations have sparked interest with some readers in the past, so I thought it might not be a bad way to subsidize my book habit. You may start seeing more book or movie reviews up on this site, but that was a personal commitment I made to get myself writing more, and not based on any financial decision. I don’t expect to get more than a few referrals anyways, so it likely won’t be a huge deal, but I wanted to be up front about any ways I might make a profit pocket change from this site. It’s just a personal site and it feels a bit crass to be commercializing it in any way, but if the links are being followed and purchases are being made, there doesn’t seem to be much reason not to take a piece of Amazon’s profit.

Still exhausted

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

I’m still very tired after two full days of volleyball this weekend. In fact, I was so tired last night that I didn’t even harass Pacific Poker about dropping the ball on the Monty Memorial bloggers tournament. We had 75 people registered and when we all showed up to play, the tournament was nowhere to be found. I was so tired that after it became clear that problems were unlikely to be resolved last night, I crawled back into bed and passed out. I do plan on giving them a piece of my mind tonight, however. I don’t know if I am going to cash out right away as I am three quarters of the way there in working off a $100 bonus, but I can guarantee that once that money is safely earned, I will not be returning to their site again.

I still have my tournament notes from Friday, but that post will need to wait until I have just a bit more energy. And I’m sure I’ll talk about the awesome weather we had for the volleyball tourney this weekend, but again, I’m just too drained at the moment. Hopefully I’ll wake up enough by this afternoon to visit the charity casino at the Ex like I planned.

Beach Volleyball

Friday, August 20th, 2004

I managed to catch the Women’s Beach Volleyball match today between Canada and Cuba. I got my laptop hooked up on the wireless network at the office and brought it up to the TV so I could pound out the documentation I was working on while watching the game.

Dumont and Martin managed a pretty solid game to win in two sets. I was very impressed with how they kept their cool and didn’t fall apart even after some big errors. It really got me stoked for this weekend, where I’m playing a 6s beach tournament for two days. It’s always a lot of fun and with all the volleyball I’ve got to see this week, I’m itching to try to take my game up a notch.

Of course, a weekend full of volleyball is going to leave very little time for any poker play. Well, except for my bi-weekly home game tournament tonight and the Monty Memorial bloggers event on Sunday. I guess I really won’t be stinted in that respect. But, the CNE is in town now, so I’m going to have to find some time next week to get over and try out the tables there. I’ve never played poker in a casino, so it should be an interesting experience. (if I can find the damn place and get on the list)

Anyways, hope everyone has a fun weekend. I probably won’t get another post in with everything going on this weekend, but I should have many tales to tell come Monday.

Olympics junkie

Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

It’s been a few days since I last posted and there’s a very simple reason for this. I am an Olympics junkie. I’ve probably watched in the neighbourhood of 30 hours of Olympics coverage so far. Everything from Women’s Softball to Synchronized Diving (yay for Canada’s only medal so far!) to Beach Volleyball (and congrats to both the American and Canadian men and women teams who played some spectacular volleyball on Monday) to Women’s Water Polo. And well, at least a small piece of just about every event so far.

And while I have no small amount of patriotic pride for any event in which Canada is competing, regardless of the countries involved, I appreciate any hard fought athletic contest and since these are the Olympics, nearly every contest is hard fought.

It doesn’t mean I haven’t played any poker, and despite a disappointing afternoon at the tables on Sunday, I’m up a decent chunk over the past few days, though that likely wouldn’t be the case were it not for two large bonuses released at Pokerstars (3 and 4 tabling at 1/2 proved to be a profitable endeavor, and moved me through the last 900 or so FPPs I needed for both bonuses) But, most of my recollections are much more vivid from watching Olympics than my time at the poker tables, so there isn’t much to write about.

Spoke too soon

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004

I mentioned on Monday that I came across a new poker portal and was disappointed that I wasn’t listed among the many poker blog links. Well, apparently word got back to the guy running the site and this morning I noticed listed among referring sites in my webstats. Visiting the site, I noticed my name had been added along with another handful of other poker bloggers. My ego has now been stroked and I can die a happy man. Thanks!

Sports are good for you

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004

I just got back from a night of volleyball and I’m exhausted. We had our first game of the season against a challenging team and we managed to blow it. A combination of some new players out and some sloppy play were the death of us. We’re still 5-1 on the season, but it was disappointing that we didn’t play up to our capabilities.

The true test will be tomorrow night when I’ve got my Ultimate game. With the humidex in the high 30s/low 40s recently, it’s been tough to play, but I know that we have few subs tomorrow so I expect to kill myself on the field. Unfortunately, I’m still not in nearly the shape I should be and I fear tomorrow is going to make that very clear. I just hope I can still move on Friday.

As for my poker readers, don’t worry, my mini-rant about Pacific will be coming tomorrow.

Poker mishap

Monday, August 2nd, 2004

I was working on my evening post to sum up the day’s play, but I just had a terribly disheartening sequence of hands and I just need to get away from the computer. I’ll finish writing up from my notes tomorrow.


Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Internet is dead again. But after 45 minutes on the phone this morning things are in motion and hopefully they will sort out the problem further up the line. Of course, I’m hoping for some miracle that gets it done in time for the weekend so I can take advantage of some more of the reload bonuses that are hitting me (got an email from Empire for another $100 5x reload). And of course there’s the Intertops $3000 reload on Sunday and the $1500 on Monday. *grumble*


Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

Well, it looks like my ADSL modem was not the problem as it works fine at a buddy’s place. So, I’m trying a second one tonight and if that doesn’t work (as I expect) then I’ll be able to coerce my ISP into finally getting the line fixed. But who knows how long that’ll take, so I may be without internet for a while longer yet.

Still alive…

Monday, July 19th, 2004

But my home internet access is decidedly dead. After being up and working for nearly a week, it was back down for four days and counting. Trying to sort out the problem with my ISP, but it’s been a bit of a pain and it looks like I’ve got a few more things I need to do before they’ll send out anyone to test the line.

Hopefully I’ll get things sorted soon.

Slowplay lesson

Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

I managed to drop a few bucks playing online Monday night (mostly due to losing my buy-in with a set lost to an unlikely flopped straight) but I had some pretty strong hands, including two flopped full boats. Of course, the flopped boat is a difficult hand to extract money on, and I thought I’d share a specific hand I misplayed.

I was at the $25 PL tables, in the big blind, with KQo. With 3 other limpers in the pot, I was good with seeing the flop and going from there. It came down KQQ, two hearts. Very nice. It’s checked to me on flop and I check, hoping someone behind me has a queen or even a king. No dice, but I don’t think the play is wrong (at least, it’s not wrong to sometimes make that play, but many of the same issues I discuss below apply here as well, with the difference that hands may improve). The turn is a rag, and again I check it through, hoping someone might be braver with their king, or even a bluff attempt. This decision is a bit questionable, as the pot may be very small come to the river so even if I get action, there won’t be many dollars involved. But I feel there is a good chance someone behind me will play with a marginal hand, flush draw or even a pure bluff, so it has potential. Unfortunately, it’s checked through once again. I know someone people like to get some money in there so the pot is larger for later streets, but even a .5 bet would have thinned the field, and I needed someone to make a hand.

The river brings a third heart and I hope that someone just made their flush. UTG checks and I follow suit. Stupid, stupid play, though it took me a few minutes to realize how a pot-sized bet was pretty much the only play to make at that point.

Checking is a bad play for many reasons. It’s possible no one will bet and I’ll take a tiny pot with a great hand. And everyone will know that I’ll slowplay a monster, something which can work to my advantage, but trapping tends to be a very effective tool for extracting money in pot-limit, particularly when many players feel they need to follow through when they lead the betting. Even if someone has hit the flush, my re-raise is likely to put them off their hand, with possible higher flushs and a paired board, so I only double the pot, which is still far below expectation with a hand like that. Of course, it is possible I may get a bluff bet for money I could not have extracted any other way, but the odds of that are probably pretty near to the odds that someone would call me down just to see what I have, at least at the $25PL tables. And even if they do try to bluff, I am extracting only another $1.9, instead of

Now, if I bet the pot there is the chance, as I just mentioned, someone with a poor hand may call me out just to see my cards, so even if no one has a hand, I may still get paid. But, if someone hit the flush, they are likely to come back over the top of me anyways, and this gives the small blind a chance to play back at me if he was slow-playing the river flush. And if anyone hit the top (or near top) flush, they may even call my final re-raise, giving me the double-up opportunity you hope to see with this kind of hand. In the very worst case, where everyone folds, at least I have the advantage that no one sees my hand and will be no more wary of my trapping them in the future.

Of course, it turned out that small blind had hit the flush and was hoping to check-raise, so the proper play would have at least quadrupled the amount I could have won and perhaps even more. Not only did I make a mistake on the hand, it was a very unprofitable mistake.

Not dead

Thursday, July 8th, 2004

Despite the appearances of this blog, I’m not dead. Nor have I abandoned this blog. I’ve just been busy with both work and life, leaving me little free time (and even less energy) to post here. I’ve not even booted up a poker app in nearly two weeks, or been able to make one of my sport teams for even longer. But, things should be slowing down over the next week as we turn things over to our client, so I hope to be back to my old self soon.

Home again, home again

Monday, June 28th, 2004

I just wanted to let everyone know that despite appearances here, I am still alive. I got back from my vacation yesterday and spent the majority of the day sleeping. Today it’s back to the slog at work and I was overjoyed to discover how many issues came up during my absence. So, it’s going to be a long start to the week, but I’m hoping that I will be able to reward myself with a little poker come the long weekend. If I can squeeze it in around other fun long weekend activities.

In the Wild

Monday, June 21st, 2004

Ok, perhaps I’m not quite in the wild, but I am on vacation north of Toronto. In a nice little cottage by the lake that just happens to be wired up for internet access. So far it has just been swimming, frisbee and crokinole, but I’m looking forward to a full, relaxing week away from the office. It’s a bit grey outside at the moment, so I decided to hook up my laptop to see if I could make a post here. Of course, now that I’ve logged on, it turns out I don’t have much to say. I’ll probably pop in again later in the week.


Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

Ok, I’m pissed. Or maybe I’m actually not. We’ll see where I am by the end of this post.

But I started out pissed. I was just perusing my web stats as I am sometimes wont to do and I discovered a new referring site called Poker reBlog. As I’m always curious to see who has linked to me, I hopped on over to check it out and discovered a meta-blog that was listing posts from all the usual suspects in the poker blogging world. It provides a short blurb and then a link to read the post at the corresponding site. I was little iffy that this person was running a site driven by other people’s content (without even asking) but then I noticed that they were also advertising. Not only that, they were taking offers for additional advertising. At this I got really pissed off and immediately started this post.

Now, in the few minutes it took me to write this post, I’m a little less certain that it’s clearcut wrong. Certainly many sites (such as Slashdot) make their living referring to stories posted at other sources. And many of them have paid advertisements. I know Iggy doesn’t publish an RSS feed because he fears his content being reused in this way. But the site is up front about it reusing others’ blog posts and only provides a small introductory paragraph and a link to the originating site, even if the RSS feed provides the full story. So people using the service will still be driven to the appropriate blogs, who can choose to use that traffic to endeavor to profit themselves.

My first reaction was to send an angry email asking for all references to my site be removed and follow it with an angry post here pointing out this site. On closer examination, I can see that the sitemaster actually points out some of the higher quality posts from across the poker blogging community and tries to categorize them appropriately. It’s not just an RSS parser that rips other people’s content off the web trying to make a quick buck. There is an actual service – that some people may even find valuable – being offered. And if it nets me a few additional readers visiting the site, I’m not going to complain

However, I am curious to see what other people think of it. Or if anyone has been using it for their poker fix.

New post on a new toy

Sunday, June 13th, 2004

Well, as my loyer readers might have noticed, I’ve mentioned purchasing a new toy recently. It wasn’t my intent to tease it, but I was really wanted to have it set up so when I explained what it was, I could do it while typing on it (in bed no less, which is sadly only a few steps from my computer, as I live in a 1-bedroom apartment).

Yup, I bought myself a new laptop Tuesday night. A Toshiba Tecra S1 to be precise. Unfortunately, what I anticipated as some easy networking turned out to be more of a pain than I expected. I had trouble using the default Windows XP connection sharing when I first wired up my two machines, but since I wanted to get a wireless router anyways, I only endured a few hours of that frustration. I then had the good fortune of having a co-worker offer the use of a wireless router that he had no need for at the moment. I jumped at the opportunity and packed it in my bag Friday night.

Unfortunately, I got a bit sidetracked on Friday, as I mentioned in my last post, so it wasn’t until yesterday that I got to discover why the router had been unused. I tried various things on and off all day and eventually got things working about 8:30 last night when I finally tracked the firmware updates down on the CompUSA site, but after only 5 minutes of connectivity, I lost internet and could no longer connect to the router. At that point I decided to give up and made plans to hit Future Shop the next day to pick up a brand new router.

And that’s what I did and when I eventually I got around to setting it up this afternoon, it took the anticipated 2 minutes. That was followed by updating, registering, installing and configuring on the laptop until I was happy with the barebones. And that brings us up to now, where I decided to break in the new laptop by writing this boring blog post. But, there was a little bit of poker in the last few days so this will probably be followed by a highlights post.