Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Saturday, June 12th, 2004

Ugh…that’s the last time I let Dave convince me to go out instead of following the regularly scheduled programming. Ok, maybe it won’t be, but it probably should be. Instead of unveiling my mystery purchase tonight (though it hardly qualifies as night at this point) I’ll have to postpose until tomorrow. I did have a good time telling him how few hot chicks there were at this cool place he found a few weeks ago even though few hot chicks was definitely not a high point of the evening.

Blogs are…again…

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

I’ll reiterate what I said just a few days ago, blogs are a very interesting thing. It is amazing what can affect you. My thoughts go out to the Blogfather‘s cat Monty. I hope he pulls through.

Blogs are…

Monday, June 7th, 2004

Blogs are a many splendored thing. It is amazing the people you can come to care about, however briefly, through a shared monologue. It can only be my hope that people remember me half as fondly or half as oddly.

Monday Night

Monday, June 7th, 2004

If you are here about poker, I encourage you to leave already. This is about another subject altogether.

First off, my sympathies to Pauly. Unfortunately the Flames were not able to pull it out tonight. The Lightning played strong and took the Cup back to Florida.

Usually I’d be more upset than this but Tampa played hard and deserved the Cup. I was cheering for Calgary with every fiber of my being, but seeing Anderchuk, Richards, Khabby, St. Louis and Lecavalier win it is not as painful as I thought it would be. They fought hard through the whole series and deserved the victory. Some people are going to say that Calgary deserved the goal in game 6 that was not counted but I say hogwash. Goals are missed all the time. Referees cannot be held responsible for everything. They called a very good Game 7 and the better team came out on top. At least I can be happy in that Calgary is not likely to lose many players and they can make another run in the years to come. Congratulations Tampa and I hope you sell out that arena next year!


Monday, June 7th, 2004

Got to hate it when you accidentally post a draft posts. I put up my tournament notes from a 10K guaranteed tourney last night at Pacific. I’ve yanked them again so I can polish them up a bit later today.

Ultimate Thursday

Friday, June 4th, 2004

Thursday night I have ultimate, and for the first time in the last few weeks I got to feel good about a game I participated in. We annihilated the other team 15-1, but I felt we still played pretty well. The fact that I played a good game was far more satisfying than the lopsided victory.

But the real game last night was Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I tuned in at the beginning of the third period after I got home from ultimate. Calgary quickly took a penalty and even more quickly Tampa scored before I even saw what the score was. Fortunately Calgary had been up 2-1, so it was only a tying goal. And that tie held up for all of the hard fought third period. And it held up for the first 14:40 of the first overtime until a lidless Jarome Iginla (he’d lost his helmet in a scrum around the net) took a blistering shot on net which Khabibulin managed to save. But the goalie couldn’t prevent Oleg Saprykin from jamming in the rebound for the win. Hockey doesn’t get much better than this. I’m hoping that Calgary can manage to finish the series off on Saturday night in front of a very deserving home-town crowd.

Unfortunately, the poker I was playing while watching the game did not go so well. I was playing 3 tables of 25PL and was running poorly. After dropping a quick 30 bucks on a few bad plays, I tightened up but got burned by a few unfortunate rivers and some tricky plays by my opponents (damn slow-played pocket kings). Fortunately, if the draws had gone the way odds dictated they should have then I know I would have been up, if only a few dollars. At least I was able to take the $80 loss completely in stride and didn’t lose a wink of sleep thinking about it. I’m getting better at this “one long session” thing.


Thursday, June 3rd, 2004

Last night was volleyball and once again we managed to stink up the beach. We had some moments of glory, but managed to drop both games against pretty unspectacular teams. In fact, the experience was so painful, I don’t think I want to talk about it any more.

But, I did go out for drinks and food afterwards instead of going home to play in the Intertops $500 freeroll, so it’s possible that I’m NOT addicted to poker. :)

Not-so ultimate ultimate

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

I managed to make my second ultimate game tonight (third game for the team) and I was to make another decent showing for myself. I had heard rumours that our competition was going to be pretty stiff, but I figured we would hold on own, even if we lost. Boy was I wrong. They ran us in circles and we didn’t manage a single point for the entire first half. We managed a few points in the second half but if anything we looked worse overall. I just couldn’t seem to manufacture anything with the disc and was a little slow on the defensive side of the disc. Just not the game I was hoping for. And after the rough night at volleyball yesterday, I’m feeling battered and exhausted. With that in mind, I’m going to tie this post off and read a little of the latest Canadian Poker Player before sleep. It’s funny, the cover of the new issue isn’t even posted on the website. I guess Dave Sharf (the editor) is too busy at the WSOP.

First foray in 2-4

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Wednesday means volleyball and unfortunately I missed out on an online tournament I was invited to play in so that I could knock the ball around. At least the exercise was good for me. Unfortunately, my team once again managed to drop a game we should have won to finish 1-1 on the night. That puts us at 2-2 for the season and although we’re playing a division higher than we registered for, we probably should be undefeated right now, or at worst 3-1.

We finally took advantage of the $50 gift certificate we got for winning our division last week, so we at least got to enjoy some mostly free beer and pub grub.

But what I really had a taste for was some poker. After reading all the WSOP coverage today, I really had the urge to hit the tables. And I’d read about a Party Poker reload bonus, so I was anxious to get back to familiar ground to start working off some more bonus. Alas, this was not to be, as my deposit was not greeted with a new bonus to unlock and I read that the bonus offer was account specific. And the money was locked in for at least eight hours, so I couldn’t pull it back out and move over to try out Multi Poker.

So I actually returned to one of the outstanding bonuses I’ve yet to work off and logged into Pacific Poker. I’d lost a few extra dollars at the .5/1.00 tables there after the blogger tournament, but with the bonus conditions being that I needed to wager 20 times the bonus amount, it was going to play a lot of .5/1.00 hands to secure it. So, I decided I would test the waters of 2/4. My bankroll is at a safe 300BB, and Maudie told me that the 2/4 tables were reasonably soft, so I figured it was time to take the plunge.

Probably not the best idea as it was nearly 11pm and I was hoping to get to bed by 12. But, I was anxious to see what it was like. The first thing I noticed was that it was slow. After playing 3-4 Party family tables, 1 Pacific table is a painful ordeal. But I figured I was playing a new limit, so it was good that I had to pay attention.

I didn’t hit any hands for the first three or four orbits and quickly realized that a higher limit meant it was possible to lose chips more quickly. On the fourth orbit I try a middle position raise with K5 to see how much respect I’d get. None it seems, as I get called in four places. Flop comes 323 and I bet at it and I’m raised by the player on my immediate left. I re-raise thinking there’s no way that flop hit him and he calls. By this point we’ve lost all the others in the hand and the turn comes a 4. I bet and get raised again. Now I think maybe medium pocket pair, but I’ve got the odds to call with my overpair. The river is a blank and I figure I had to give him credit for at least ace high, so I fold to his bet. The guy stunk of fish, but I didn’t I don’t like calling a bet with king high.

A few hands later I get AQ in late position, catch a Q on the flop and pump the pot each chance I get, even after the K hits on the turn. I’m heads-up on the river and my pair of queens takes a nice 6BB pot (wow, that has a bit more meaning when not playing .5/1.00)

I get another small win the following orbit on the button and decide that I was going to pocket my $2 win to call my first 2/4 a winning won and get some sleep. But of course I need to play out my orbit first.

Two hands later I have AJ and raise from late position with two limper ahead of me. The above mentioned fish calls, as does the small blind and the limpers. Flop comes 9J9 and with three checks in front of me, I decide it’s time to bet. I get a call from the fish, small blind folds and both limpers call. Another 9 on the turn and I’m thinking that the hand is mine. Unfortunately I end up chopping the pot with the second limper who had JT.

Now my profit of $8.50 can be measured in BBs and I’m feeling even better about my night. And I’ve bet enough to work off at least a tenth of my bonus. But two hands later I look up to see KK and I raise again as third in the pot. I only end up with one caller, which is fine by me. The flop comes 79T, two hearts, and I confidently bet out at it. I’m called. Turn is a scary A, but I figure he’s got to put me on a good hand, so I bet again. Another call and I’m less happy. Another T hits on the river and I bet again. I don’t know if he figured me for the paired ten on the flop, or just didn’t hit his flush draw, but he folded and I managed to increase my winnings to half a dollar under 6BB. Next hand I see QJ and after the initial urge, I fold them like a good little early position player. The flop comes Q3J to taunt me, but my orbits out and I cash out with a tidy little run of $23.50 in 40 minutes. I benefitted from good cards, but it was nice to know that I wasn’t in over my head at the 2/4 tables.

Of course, my plan to be in bed by 12 didn’t work so well when I decided to write up this post, but that’s something else entirely.

Long weekend

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

This weekend is a long weekend in Canada (Monday is Victoria’s Day) and I managed to book Friday off, so I was able to get a much needed break from work. I decided to visit some friends (a couple with an 18-month old) in Cambridge (Ontario) to get away from the city and decompress. It was a great visit as usual and it was amazing to see the difference in their child’s vocabulary after only a couple of days. By Sunday she had started saying thank you when you gave her something, a behaviour she had not exhibited the previous two days. Of course, that earned her two very proud parents, particularly as her grandmother and a house full of guests showed up Sunday for a BBQ and little Maya got to show off her new talent.

Of course, it seems like poker is creeping into more aspects of my life. Maya’s father has caught the poker blog after watching the WPT on TV and listening to my poker exploits (and reading of them here on my blog). So I spent a fair chunk of my weekend talking to him about poker, giving him some pointers on where to begin. We even sat down at the play money tables for a while so that I could explain some of the finer points of the game. Of course, most of the finer points of the game are lost at the play money tables, so I’ve also sent him some poker literature to read to prepare for his jump to the micro-limit games. I also managed to few hundred hands towards my Empire bonus as I showed him what the PL25 tables were like. He was very excited to see tables where there weren’t eight people seeing capped betting to the river. I am interested to see how mentoring someone about poker will help my own game.

Since I got home late Sunday, I had much of the day Monday open to do whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, there was some apartment cleaning required, so I didn’t get a chance for poker until later in the day, and that was only because the documents I sent home to work on ended up being corrupt. But, I managed to finish the hands required for Empire, with an extra $50 in profit for good measure. Then I started in on my bonus from Aztec Poker. The .5-1 limit HE tables at Aztec are just about as bad as play money tables. Four-five people would see capped betting pre-flop and many would call to the river with nothing. Of course, this means I managed to bleed off slightly more than my bonus amount in the 250 raked hands that I played. In my defence, I was cold-decked, not only in terms of bad starting hands, but unfortunate river beats. But if all goes well, I should end up with a case of decent chips for $8, which is a positive result in my books.


Thursday, May 20th, 2004

Wednesday night means beach volleyball again. After our good showing last week in the ranking games, we actually ended up placed in the Competitive division instead of Advanced like we signed up for. This was probably a good thing because we’ll end up playing fewer games against teams we completely dominate. There will be some rough nights, as we will be playing against the best 6s teams signed up for the spring season, but I’d rather play a challenging game and lose than not even having to work on the court.

Last night we were again without one of our regular female players and we couldn’t line up a replacement like last week. Fortunately, both teams we played against (we play 2 50-minute games in a night) allowed the game to count even though we only played with five. We weren’t looking particularly strong in our first game, but managed to win 2-1 against an inferior team. Unfortunately, the second team we played was pretty good and our performance just got worse and worse as the night went on. We lost 3-0 in a rather embarassing showing. Hopefully it was just us trying to get our beach legs back after playing court volleyball all winter.

Haven’t had any time to spend on the poker tables, but my money has finally gotten from my Intertops account to Neteller, so I put it back into Empire for their 15% reload bonus (code SUMMER15). So, I have another $100 just waiting for me to play 500 hands. Gotta love free money.


Friday, May 14th, 2004

Well, I’ve been busy, busy, busy. Haven’t had the time to keep up with blogs let alone post to my own. Spring sports season started this week and I had my first beach volleyball game Wednesday and first ultimate game on Thursday.

The first night of beach volleyball is usually a ranking night, as they split up each division even further to match skill levels. From the looks of things this year, it looks like they had both competitive and advanced (our division) teams playing each other. The way it works is we play 5 20-minute games against different teams, and then our record is used to determine which sub-division we should play in. We actually did fairly well until the final game, where we gave up a 23-24 loss when the whistle went early and the current point was stopped because of a stray ball in the court. We should have beat that team handily to keep our perfect record, but instead we finished 4-1. Hopefully that will still be enough to seed us in the highest division, as I’d rather play my ass off and lose than have an easy game where we don’t really have to try. But the one thing I couldn’t complain about was the weather. It believe it actually got above 30°C with the humidex, and it didn’t cool off too much until the last game.

Last night I was playing my first game of ultimate with a new team. I had heard good things about them and the league, so I was a little nervous going in. And it was a return to 7-aside, as opposed to 5-man, which I had been playing for the last few years. I prefer 7-man, but the larger fields make for a bit more running, and my endurance isn’t the greatest.

Fortunately, all my fears were unfounded, at least for the first game. I was able to play the position I usually do (handling the disc) and was able to keep up with the running without keeling over. That being said, our opposition wasn’t that strong, so there wasn’t as much running as there likely will be in future games. And I managed to avoid making too many mistakes. I did drop a couple discs (which I very, very rarely do) so I was a bit angry with myself, and there were a few throws that fell short, but overall, I couldn’t complain too much. And think I demonstrated some good down-field vision and a good arm, so hopefully I’ll continue to play deep on defense, though I wouldn’t mind moving to the front on occasion to make some runs, with the other strong throwers we have on the team. We handily trounced the other team 15-3, but afterwards I learned of a startling team tradition. Because there are points awarded for the team with the most spirit, a post-game cheer for the other team is not uncommon. My new team goes a step beyond, writing a song that we sing to the other team after the game. This week it was a rip on I Think We’re Alone Now, with ultimate themed lyrics. I managed to survive the game just fine, but I almost died of embarassment “singing” that song.

Art shows

Monday, May 10th, 2004

I had been getting back in swing of regular posts last week until work came back and kicked me in the ass. I did have a few half written posts that I didn’t have the time or energy to get completed last week, so they are coming now.

On Thursday night, last week, I had a few friends opening some small photography shows for Contact, the Toronto Photography Festival. Both were in different venues, but only a few blocks apart and both within a twenty minute walk of my apartment. So, the plan was to grab some dinner with a friend and then hit both locations for some schmoozing with artist and friends.

Started the evening at a nice dinner at a little italian place in the area, Vesuvio’s Pizzeria & Spaghetti House, that my co-worker recommended. I had the linguini with clams & mussels and they were the best mussels I’ve had in quite a long time. In fact, the whole meal was pretty darn good. Not gourmet fare by any stretch, but a good, reasonably priced meal with great service. If it weren’t for the rain that prevented us from walking over from my apartment, it would have been great start to the evening.

Next stop was my co-workers art show. She had some great black and white photos. I particularly liked a couple of the stone architecture shots. But probably best were the glass studies that looked black and white, but actually proved to have a hint of color on closer examination. It was a great effect. But almost as good as the shots themselves was the amazing job Jen did printing and framing the pieces. She explained the process to me, but I can’t remember enough to describe it here. Suffice to say, it looked great. I was sorely tempted by a couple of the pictures, but right now my apartment has a particular decor, which might generally be described as “pop art” or more accurately as a few posters and some odds & ends, so I think I may wait until my eventual move before I start buying any art.

After that, we walked down the street to see the show put on by another friend, who happens to be the partner of another co-worker. Mary Ann actually reads my blog occasionally, when she can wade through all the poker talk. On top of some excellent pictures, she also had a few pet portraits that she has done, which you can probably see samples of if you visit her blog. Again I was tempted by a few of the pieces, but my earlier decision held up.

Another matter was altogether all the great furniture they had there. She was showing in a very large furniture store and they had some great stuff. Just down the road from me for the past couple years and I didn’t even know it was there. Probably for the best. And probably for the best if I can avoid visiting again, but I don’t think that’s terribly likely.

And as an example of the continued popularity of poker – yeah, you thought I was going to make a whole post without mentioning it – Mary Ann introduced me to one of the other guys showing at her venue, who had a great series of shots of B&W shots of Manhattan taken a few years ago. He actually has become a huge fan of the WPT, now that it’s being broadcast in Canada, and has been playing as much poker as he can manage. Mary Ann and Kirk had also mentioned the home poker game that I host to him and he seemed interested in finding a game. My blog was also brought up in conversation, but mostly with reference to the impenetrable poker lingo (sorry!). I told him he should come out some time, so I may see him again one of these weeks.

All in all, it was a great night. I’ve never really been to an art opening before, let alone one where I knew the artists. It proved to be a lot of fun to pretend to be cultured for a little while. Well, almost cultured.

Go Flames!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

What a hockey game! Almost worth staying up until two in the morning to finish watching.

Unfortunately, my poker play was not quite as exciting, unless you are a fan of big swings. From the +50 I reached almost instantly I was up to +85 and all the way down to -25 before finishing up 17. There were a few bad calls and some bad beats. I lost with AA vs. AA vs. KK when a K came on the turn, though that was only the most memorable hand, not the worst beat. Not a horrible night in and of itself, but I should have just walked away from the tables with my 50 bucks and done something else the rest of the night.

Had to be shared

Monday, May 3rd, 2004

This news story gave me a much needed laugh in an otherwise frustrating day. Hopefully it may do the same for you.

Party Barge Flips Over Near State’s Only Nude Beach

And the ride continues…

Sunday, April 25th, 2004

Well, the twists and turns kept coming fast and furious. My PL25 bankroll peaked at 120 and dipped as low as 50 from where I left off at my last post … oh … about 5 hours ago. I set my original target at 125 (50 dollars over and above the 75 I lost playing 1/2) and I got really close a couple times. Then I hit some rough hands and I decided I’d hit the sack at 95. A little while later I decided I just needed to get back up to 75 so that I could at least break even after the 1/2.

Well, it stretched on for a while, but I got two pot-sized bets to my flopped nut set of queens, I went all-in and got two calls to actually put me at +111$ on the PL tables and +99$ for the day. Now, if only I had gone to bed three and a half hours ago, when I actually had a bit more in the bankroll. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. At least I got a lot of sleep last night and have the opportunity to sleep in late tomorrow.

The dream is over…again

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004

*sigh* Looks like I’m joining The Fat Guy on the sidelines as another dejected hockey fan who’s 5th place team got bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Another year and another stupid loss for the Senators. This time it was the tale of two goalies. One who kept his team in the series through 6 games, and one who managed to fall apart in the crucial game 7. I imagine this will be the end of Lalime’s career in Ottawa. It’s also the end of my chances in my hockey pool.

After the disappointing hockey game, I was hoping for something to cheer me up a bit, so I figured a poker win would do nicely. Of course, sitting at the tables in bad frame of mind is not a +EV move and I quickly dropped 10BB at the .5/1 tables. Fortunately I could easily spot the bad plays on my part and tightened up considerably to turn my night around in the last 100 hands I played. I ended the night up 37BB, which was in large part due to a rivered broadway straight for a 29BB pot I probably shouldn’t have been in. But still, even the 8BB would have been 3BB an hour, which isn’t awful.

This was my 6th winning session in a row, for a total of 210$ at the .5/1 and 25NL tables since my last lost. Another hundred bucks and I’ll have my bankroll high enough that I can dip my toes into the 2/4 waters. It seems a bit strange to hit the 2/4 tables when I was having a rough go of it at 1/2 (though cards certainly didn’t help there), but there are more 2/4 tables, so I should be able to get some fishier tables. And besides, even if I take a beating at 2/4, my bankroll would be able to handle it.


Monday, April 19th, 2004

Just got back from my volleyball game this night. It was the final game and we were playing for first place so I decided to suck it up and play with my sore foot. It’s just bruised, so it’s only pain if I hurt it again (and perhaps some more time laid up before I can play sports again). But I couldn’t not play in the finals. I did some test runs in the days leading up to tonight’s game, practicing some footwork and jumping and it seemed like I could deal with the pain. The warm up before the game seemed to support my hopes, as I was scrambling around for the ball without too much trouble. But, on the first ball I played in the actual game – a simple bump on the serve – I lead with my heel and was treated to some nearly blinding pain. Suddenly I was terrified that I had let the team down, I wasn’t going to be able to play out the game and we didn’t have any subs. Fortunately, I hobbled around for a few minutes as the pain subsided and I started to be a bit more careful about how I stepped down on my foot and I was able to acquit myself fairly well for the remainder of the game.

And we managed to pull off the victory. For three years I’ve been putting in teams to this league, and for three years we have consistently finished second and third in the leagues. Often we were the better team, but we managed to make enough mistakes in the playoffs to lose the prize. We moved up to the advanced division from intermediate (there is a rec division below and a competitive division above) a couple seasons ago so we’ve been playing at a higher level, but we still manage to hover at the top of the league without claiming first place. This year we finally managed to shake off our demons and pulled out a squeaker of a win. The game was closer than it should have been. The teams were fairly even, but we clearly had the edge throughout. We just managed to drop an eight point advantage in the third game that nearly cost us the night. Usually I come out of the final night of the year depressed that we once again we blew our chance. It’s a nice change to come out on a high. The t-shirts, new volleyball and 50$ gift certificate don’t hurt either.

And as an added bonus, the Habs managed to knock off the Bruins tonight to advance to the next round of the playoffs. Nothing to complain about there.

Go Sens!

Sunday, April 18th, 2004

Now that was a hockey game! Jacques Martin looks pretty smart putting Vermette back in the line-up. He played a great game and got the game-winning assist. We still miss Spezza, but we can’t afford any defensive lapses. I’m looking forward to game seven on Tuesday. I’m also looking forward to the game sevens for Montreal and Vancouver/Calgary tomorrow. Should be some great hockey. Now it’s time for bed.

Scooby Doo, where are you?

Monday, April 12th, 2004

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Just about a full week. The reason: nothing of much interest has been happening. My poker playing has slowed considerably once I discovered that my game is not profitable while I am watching NHL playoffs. Since there are 5 hours of playoffs each night for me to watch, this means my game has suffered. After a couple nights or small loss poker and a huge number of decision timeouts, I decided that I would not mix playoff hockey and poker.

Also, I’ve been sick with a cold for much of the past week, so my energy levels have been very low. This happily coincides with a spike in business at work, so I’ve been in a particularly good mood, really. And yesterday was the worst day as far as my cold went. It was even bad enough to cause me to withdraw from Felicia‘s PJK tournament yesterday.

So, expect posts to continue to be infrequent for the next little while until either I feel better or I lose interest in the playoffs. Unfortunately the last may take a while as the Sens are going to GO ALL THE WAY!!! Alfie promised, after all.