|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, January 24, 2004
How do people stay in on this crap?
**** Hand History for Game 351674109 *****
Table Balloons (Real Money)
Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: nightowll118 ( $120.5 )
Seat 2: bolerking ( $24 )
Seat 3: Boygza ( $47.5 )
Seat 4: DREWSBOY ( $41 )
Seat 5: TWIENKE1 ( $8.5 )
Seat 6: beamer240 ( $10.5 )
Seat 7: clfarrell ( $25.5 )
Seat 8: KissOfDeath ( $33.5 )
Seat 9: gerg578 ( $76 )
Seat 10: lethan020298 ( $14.75 )
beamer240 posts small blind [$0.5].
clfarrell posts big blind [$1].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Boygza [ Qc Qd ]
lethan020298 calls [$1].
nightowll118 raises [$2].
bolerking calls [$2].
Boygza raises [$3].
TWIENKE1 calls [$3].
lethan020298 calls [$2].
nightowll118 raises [$2].
bolerking calls [$2].
Boygza calls [$1].
TWIENKE1 calls [$1].
lethan020298 calls [$1].
bolerking is now in for $4 pre-flop, keep that in mind
** Dealing Flop ** [ 2d, 2h, 4d ]
nightowll118 bets [$1].
bolerking raises [$2].
Boygza raises [$3].
TWIENKE1 calls [$3].
nightowll118 calls [$2].
bolerking calls [$1].
** Dealing Turn ** [ Th ]
Boygza bets [$2].
nightowll118 calls [$2].
bolerking calls [$2].
** Dealing River ** [ 3d ]
bolerking bets [$2].
Boygza calls [$2].
nightowll118 calls [$2].
bolerking shows a straight, ace to five.
That would be A5o in his hand...
Boygza doesn't show.
nightowll118 doesn't show.
bolerking wins $44.50 from the main pot with a straight, ace to five.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Barely Treading Water
I could feel a tilt in the air. It was coming.
So 60 hands in to my night, I call it quits. On the $2/$4 tables, I'm down $85. And it's not even the money, it's the frustration.
Besides the "playable" hands I outlined below, I've got only these from my last 36 deals:
A7s (four of the wrong suit, of course, on the board)
A9o (not a truly playable hand, but I wanted in a pot so freaking bad)
Besides the AA/KQ/JJ deals, I never saw two face cards together again. I never saw a ten paired with a face or ace either. My only suited hands all night were:
I won exactly ONE pot all night. ONE. That's so fucking ludicrous.
I haven't had good cards on PartyPoker in two weeks.
In Game Update...
24 hands in on $2/$4, and I'm down $22. My AA was cracked by KK making a set, and that set me back a bit.
How many times have I seen AA and KK on the same table at the same time in these Limit games?
Anyway, now 25 hands in, and the only playable hands I've gotten were:
J7s (blind when I sat down, checked into the flop)
K5o (big blind, checked in)
JJ (which gave me a full house in a weak pot)
I've had THE HAMMER twice, and am down $14 playing that too far. Other than that, only one other Ace with an off three. I've had K5/K3s/K6o, Q7/Q9o/Q4o, and nothing else of consequence. No suited connectors higher than 45.
I'm getting weak-ass hands. I suck.
Twenty Seven Point Three
Every school district in all the land out here is closed today, and with good reason. Not only is it bitterly cold and windy outside, but we’ve been getting hit with constant flurries of snow since about 10PM last night.
It really made my drive in this morning, all 27.3 miles of it, a white-knuckle experience.
In order to get to work, I drive a highway that connects my small town with a slightly bigger one. This highway cuts through quite a bit of rural farmland on the way to my destination. As a result, for much of the drive you have barren fields on both sides of the road, and nothing growing in the median. This really exacerbates the blowing snow problem, and creates extremely poor visibility.
It was a legitimately scary drive in this morning. Less than a mile from my house I caught an icy patch on a curve and slid innocently into a snow bank. After promising myself that I’d take it a little more slowly and easily from that point, I got out of town and onto the highway. This, of course, is where all the jackasses in their big damn trucks felt that 55 MPH in these conditions was just a little too slow, and took it upon themselves to pass those of us who were intent on making it to our destination alive this morning. It was a problem because it was impossible to see where the lanes on the highway were, and the F150s and Silverados of the road were making that decision for the rest of us today, apparently.
We’re supposed to get another two to four inches today, but it promises to just be that light, blowing snow instead of the thick and chunky stuff.
I’m really not looking forward to my drive home.
I saw a quick blurb from a news article linked on Google News today that said that the ex-wife of Sean “Puffy” Combs is claiming her child support payments should be $30,000 a month for the child they had together, which would equal the child support payments he is making to a woman he had an out of wedlock child with.
This crap infuriates me like you wouldn’t believe. Having sex with a rich and famous person has turned into some sort of female version of the lottery. If you get pregnant, you hit the jackpot. That’s such bullshit.
I believe as much as anyone that a father should have a responsibility towards his children. But does that mean that the child is entitled to the father’s lifestyle? Moreover, does it mean that the mother is entitled to that lifestyle?
I’d like to see the courts start to inject some reality into the circumstance. Now, assuming divorce/alimony and child support are two different things, here’s what I’d do if I were a judge, and a rich celebrity was being hit with child support by an ex-fling (let’s say the kid was 1 year old):
What the woman would be entitled to:
- Reliable transportation: The woman would get half the purchase price of, or half the monthly payments towards a reliable automobile. She must provide a receipt to prove she didn’t use his money to buy herself a mink coat.
- $250 a month for food groceries: There is no child on the planet who can’t be fed for $150 a month, let alone $250.
- Health insurance for the child, including payment of all deductibles, and all other reasonable medical expenses (including orthodontics and such)
- Education: The cost of schooling paid 100%, even for private school. A college fund set up to provide enough funds when the child turns 18 for four years tuition, room, and books at a top end college. College fund money cannot be used for any other purpose, and is returned to the father in the event that college isn’t attended, is cheaper, or all the funds are not used.
- $500 a month reimbursable for clothing: Again, if you can’t dress your child for $6,000 a year, you’ve got serious problems of your own.
- $1,000 a month sent to the mother for housing or other expenses incurred.
- Extras: Expenses such as diapers, strollers, car seats, baby bottles, and cribs shall be reimbursable with receipt. Any reasonable request for reimbursement (i.e. graphing calculator for school, soccer cleats, hockey equipment for a youth league) shall not be denied.
- $1,000 a month shall be put into an interest bearing account in the child’s name alone, which the child cannot access until he is 18. The mother of the child shall have no legal claim on this money.
- $5,000 a year shall be set aside as a “special events” fund for reimbursement on events such as the child’s expenses on a vacation, prom night, soccer camp, and other unique events. Not one penny of this money shall pay for any expense that does not directly benefit the child, and it cannot be used to pay the mother’s expenses for herself in any way, shape or form. This fund cannot be used to buy things, only for special events (tux rental is OK, buying a Playstation is not) Any unused funds at the end of the year revert to the father’s account.
- Receipts must be provided on all expenses (that’s why it’s reimbursable), and any evidence that items are purchased, then taken back for cash to benefit the mother after the fact will cancel all incoming money due from the father (put a penalty in there for the women).
The way I look at it, I just took a $30,000 child support payment down to about $6,750 a month at worst, but often better if the allotment of reimbursables isn’t maxed out every month.
And it prevents the woman from treating a child like a cashed lottery ticket.
Another news blurb I read was in reference to an article that claims that parity is going to kill the popularity of the NFL. Although I can’t read the article from my desk, I know where this one is going.
Because of parity and the era of free agency, today’s NFL fan is essentially rooting for a team of mercenaries that has only a short window in which to parlay excellence into a Super Bowl victory. The salary cap has been, and will continue to be the death knell for the teams at the top, who cannot afford to continue to pay their superstars, and must make tough financial decisions often resulting in the unceremonious release of players that twenty years ago would have been longstanding pillars of the franchise. The NFL wants you to root for the helmet, not the player inside. The problem with that is that with parity the way it is, your favorite helmet is, on average, only going to be average forever. There might be a few years of having a good team, and a few years of having a bad team, but overall, NFL fans will learn to lower their expectations to 8-8 on a yearly basis, because that, by definition, is what parity is due to cause.
I think what he really means to say is this:
I’m looking at the rosters for Carolina and New England and quickly realizing there isn’t one mega-star on either roster that my newspaper can hitch its wagon to. As a matter of fact, I don’t know anyone personally who’s a fan of either team. Can the league survive if the Super Bowl doesn’t involve Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, a glamour team like St. Louis, the Dallas Cowboys, or one of the New York teams?
I know the media has to find some sort of football related content to publish for us ravenous fans over the next week and a half of hype, but this is one viewpoint that I simply can’t agree with.
How could parity possibly be bad?
Take the NFL’s diametric opposite, Major League Baseball. Spring training used to be a season of hope for fans. It used to be that almost every team’s fans could say, “This could be our year” on the day the pitchers and catchers report. That was great for the game. Now, unless you’re a fan of one of the seven or eight clubs that has a realistic shot at the pennant, you don’t have anything to hope for. The sheer lack of parity in baseball is what is killing that sport. Not some strike that happened ten years ago. If I’m a Detroit Tigers fan, and I used to be, I would have to acknowledge a few things every spring. First, we’re going to stink. Second, our good talent will be traded to a top team for prospects at some point. Third, the future that the management seems to be building for with all these trades for prospects will never come, as once these players prove to be valuable commodities, they will be traded to a team with deep pockets rather than re-signed.
So why have hope if you’re not a Yankees fan?
As a Detroit Lions fan, I had a miserable season this year. But I still had hope in training camp. “These guys can win nine games. If Dre’ Bly is a player, if Charles Rogers catches ten touchdowns, if Joey Harrington stays healthy, and if they manage to find a running game, these guys could surprise some people.”
I’ll say the same things this coming August.
In football, you really never have a great idea until the season’s underway who’s going to be great, and who’s going to be terrible. Granted, sometimes you can make a good guess, but how many commentators had the 7-9 Buccaneers going back to the Super Bowl? How many saw Carolina coming out of the NFC South?
For me, this is what makes the NFL season the most compelling regular season in professional sports. It’s shorter than the rest, so every game matters. And there are always some surprises.
So parity is bad because I don’t know in July that the Broncos are going to be the AFC’s Super Bowl team? Parity stinks because the Jacksonville Jaguars might get on a roll and play spoiler in the playoffs?
The only part about parity that is remotely awful is when teams have to make tough financial decisions in regards to their high priced veteran players. Warren Sapp should be a Buccaneer for life. Robert Porcher should retire a Lion. Unfortunately, these aren’t the realities in today’s NFL.
But losing Porcher isn’t going to influence how hard I root for the Lions. I don’t care who they cut, they’re still my Lions.
There are millions of fans who would absolutely agree with me, and would never stop rooting for their teams.
Parity is the right thing for the NFL. It keeps things fresh, prevents wild spending to create dynasties, and gives every team hope for the future. What’s wrong with that?
I just read that Dustin Hoffman was signed to play Mr. Fokker in the “Meet the Fokkers” sequel to “Meet the Parents.” Why couldn’t they have cast Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in the roles of Ben Stiller’s folks? They’re both insanely funny, have worked together for years, and… oh yeah, are actually Ben Stiller’s parents.
Wouldn’t that have been funny? Guess not.
Grammys plus Globes plus Oscars equals far too much coverage of “the stars” on TV for my tastes. Is anyone else disturbed that you can become a recognizable celebrity in this country just for commenting on what a movie star decides to wear to an awards show? I’m talking about that lanky gay guy from “ET.” Steven something.
I really wished we chose our celebrities more carefully.
Speaking of, the new season of “American Idol” has arrived. I am treating this season like all the others. I watch the first episode, see a couple of lousy singers get ripped on, and then ignore it until it’s over. I will say though that Simon Cowell doesn’t deserve the bad press he’s gotten in a couple of places lately about how he “takes advantage” of the winners of the contest.
Nilla, please (thank you Sarah B. for that one)…
It’s his show, his contest, and his rules. If you want to sing on his TV show, he can make the rules. It’s not as if he’s locking these winners into lifetime contracts of slavery. No, they’re not getting paid as much as they might be had they landed the contract on their own.
Uh, but they didn’t land the contract on their own, did they? No, they were turned into “stars” by this show. Simon’s show.
If you don’t like the way the game is played, don’t play the game in the first place.
Frankly, it’s not as if the winners of the contest are complaining. It’s just some journalist trying to take a bite out of the contest and write some sort of bullshit snarky article because he’s a petty bitter man. That’s all.
I don’t know if you read about this or not, but we can send a space rover to Mars, but a frigging thunderstorm over Australia is enough to prevent us from communicating with it. Really? You’re NASA. You don’t just have a room full of guys who are in there just to think shit up? And a room full of guys behind them backing up the guys who are in there just thinking shit up? You’re the U.S. Government! C’mon! Fouled by a thunderstorm? Nice.
Good luck to the kid at MikeRoweSoft.com in his quest to keep his domain name. If his name wasn’t Mike Rowe, I think the Gatesians would have a point. What’s wrong with letting the kid have a little fun with his name?
Evil soulless corporate giants. Bastards.
I work in an office. It’s a big company, and there are plenty of people who work in my office. Most of us drink coffee.
Now, I have learned that I have to do everything I can to actually have my coffee before and during my drive to work, as once I get here, I’m stuck with the coffee that’s brewed here for us.
I’m a coffee drinker. I love coffee. I drink a lot of it.
What they brew here is not coffee.
It says “Colombian” on the baggie, but it’s only a little baggie. A little baggie that barely fills a centimeter’s thickness at the bottom of one of those wide-bottom basket filters.
How the hell do you brew a ten cup pot with about three tablespoons worth of coffee grounds? The water is barely beige, I swear. It doesn’t taste like anything, let alone coffee.
And what happens when “the new guy” brews a triple baggie pot of coffee? Somehow it turns into a tragedy of epic proportions when the taste-impaired women of the office happen to take a drink of a cup of coffee that actually tastes like coffee, and talk long and loud for the remainder of the day about how “there should be a warning” if they’re going to pour a cup of that, and how “we usually only put one baggie in the filter, mmm kay?”
I should buy a coffee maker for my desk and charge $1.40 for a cup like at Starbucks. That way, the real coffee drinkers can have something here that will keep them awake while staring at their computer screen all day long.
And I won’t have to keep drinking the beige water.
Two Hundred Channels and Nothing’s On
Yeah, yeah… I’m the last person who should be talking about quality versus quantity, right? I mean, look at my blog. It’s a mess. Every single day.
I don’t understand cable TV service though. I’ve got digital cable, and I know there’s enough bandwidth (or whatever the digital equivalent is) to carry hundreds more channels than we already get.
Not that we necessarily need more channels, but I’m troubled by the fact that they’re not at least offered.
For example, I want HorseRacingTV. You can’t tell me that HorseRacingTV wouldn’t be absolutely thrilled to give itself away for free into every American home if it had the opportunity.
But my cable company has no plans to let me watch what I’d like to watch.
I’m not really sure what their motivation for restricting access to channels is, but I know I’d like to have the opportunity to at least say “yes” or “no, thanks” to some of the channels we get on cable.
Top Ten Channels I Wish I Could Trade In
(in order, worst channel first)
1) Style Network – The only thing worthwhile on here is “Nigella Bites.”
2) E! – I hate this whole network and their whole theory of spoon feeding us celebrity details as entertainment. That paparazzi show is currently the worst thing on television.
3) The Catholic Network – I have no idea why we need three religious television networks on our digital cable system. I could put all three on here, but we’ll mix it up a bit. Actually, we could keep TBN, that’s always good for a laugh.
4) HG – The Home and Garden Network – This is the answer to the question, “What happens when network executives think they can build an entire network out of the show ‘Trading Spaces?’”
5) Fox Sports Net – Yes, you’d miss some Pistons and Red Wings games. That being said, Fox can’t touch ESPN for production value or content, and that “Best Damn Sports Show” is awful television.
6) Lifetime – They could get rid of this channel, as long as they moved those hilarious 3PM “woman in trouble” made for TV movies to the Oxygen Network.
7) Animal Planet – Why don’t they take a cue from the past and spend most of their schedule showing those kick ass nature documentaries instead of a blatant “Cops” rip-off featuring animal control officers? I don’t get it. And please, for the love of god, get that dog tricks show off the air.
8) The Gaming Network – Apparently, there’s now a whole channel devoted to video games. I guess getting off the couch has just gotten that much more difficult for our younger generation.
9) Game Show Network – I used to think this concept could work. I’m not so sure anymore. I could most certainly live without their new game shows, especially that “Press Your Luck For Idiots” show, “Whammy.” That, and that show “Cram” are absolutely abysmal.
10) MTV – You know, it’s not that I especially dislike, or that I don’t watch MTV. It’s that I think they’ve done the imaginations of two generations now a horrible disservice by attaching imagery to music, which has forever changed the place that music occupies in a young person’s life. The MTV brass should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, they can’t be reached for comment as they’re swimming in their huge vault of money currently. Sellouts.
Quick chum, to the Bat-Phone!
I found out that my company has an “Harassment Reporting Line,” which is an 800 number one can call if one’s harassed.
I know Fortune 500 companies have layer upon layer of bureaucracy, as well as plenty of employees who really don’t do much outside of a finely defined role, so I picture in my head a lone secretary sitting at a desk buried in a back cubicle somewhere on the 38th floor. She has on her desk nothing but a computer and a telephone with a big red bulb on it. She can’t dial out, it’s only for incoming calls.
She’s Judy, the Harassment Reporting Line Operator.
She sits for hours. Hours turn into days. Days continue to roll by, and Judy begins to think that maybe somehow humanity has changed for the better. Maybe there’s no more hate, no more injustice, no more catching your co-worker pantsless on the Xerox.
And then, some random Tuesday after she’s lulled herself into another daydream, a piercing ring and flashing light spurs Judy into action.
She snaps her arm out and snares the receiver, pulling it quickly to her ear, careful not to waste a movement or a moment.
“This is Judy, how may I help you?”
But Judy means it. Judy is the defender of corporate righteousness. She considers herself a crusader of sorts. Some cross between Dear Abby and Big Brother. Right now, she’s only here to listen, but soon she will find a champion to take up the noble fight for her constituency.
A bead of sweat gathers on her brow as she’s been typing furiously along, verbatim, as this poor soul bears witness. Her eyes widen, then narrow with purpose as the tortured woman on the other end of the line relays an inappropriate remark, a less than casual brush in the hallways, and a lewd offer that she actually, but only fleetingly, considered taking for her career.
Judy’s gentle prodding helps the woman find a comfort level, a friend, an ally in her attempt to bring justice to her situation. With nerves of steel, Judy carefully keys in the woman’s tale, which has quickly gone from innocent office flirtation to Penthouse Forum material. She assures the woman that swift attention shall be given to her plight.
And swift it shall be.
With a click of the mouse the printer hums gently, immortalizing in black and white the latest sordid chapter she’s recorded. Judy takes action, marching directly into the investigator’s office and thrusts her paperwork under his nose. As he reads, she sits with arms folded, ready to provide any embellishment to the story that’s required.
A disapproving shake of the head and a promise to thoroughly investigate return Judy to her desk triumphant. She’ll never hear from the young woman again, but inside she knows that she didn’t fail her. She very easily could have saved her life, or at least her chastity or honor.
Judy slept well that night. She always sleeps well. She works on the side of virtue, of business appropriateness.
She’s Judy, the Harassment Reporting Line Operator.
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
In Their Infinite Wisdom…
Let me take a moment to explain a little bit about my job. Without getting too specific, I’m something between a Help Desk Tech, Asset Acquisition Consultant, and a Program Manager (little bit of each, I suppose) for a piece of software used to manage the inventory of a specific asset at a large company. The software manages the acquisition, billing, record keeping, and all that good stuff. I work under the Program Manager for the Client Account, who works onsite across the state at the client’s site, and I have my desk at our client’s building in West Michigan as well.
I joined the party a week before the official launch of the software across this company’s Michigan locations. As it will be with any new technology, it was a little bumpy, but started to smooth out a little bit. We’ve had about ten weeks to work out kinks, and were just starting to get there.
So our company, in their infinite wisdom, purchases the upgrade package from the software supplier, which was installed this weekend.
All of a sudden, some of the most basic processes and procedures we’ve been working with to accomplish our tasks on a daily basis are no longer the “right” way to do things. As a matter of fact, for some of the most simple system housekeeping we were able to do in the past (say, changing the unit cost on an item), we now get tripped up by a “budget error,” which is only being set off because the “old” files in the system (anything created prior to this past Monday) are no longer compatible for updates in the system. They can exist “as is,” but if I typed a “4” instead of a “5” on Friday, and wanted to change it today, I’m going to have to set up a completely new unit file, disengage the unit from its current file, and engage it to the new one.
What was a ten second change will now take about five minutes.
That’s just freaking ludicrous. Hell, even MS Excel allows you to open “old” Excel files and work with them. I can’t change one lousy number in an “old” file at this point.
This is really distressing because ALL of our files, technically, are “old” files.
Sigh… Just when you think your job is getting easier, they throw another wrench in the gears…
By the way, not that I need to answer to anyone about why I didn’t have a Monday update, but it was not due to “having a girlfriend.”
It was because I had to do some computer-based training at home for my company’s main accounting program.
For five hours.
Staring at a laptop screen.
Taking training on a DOS based system, through the DOS based system.
It wasn’t exactly relaxing for my eyes to go through all that crap. So, when 5PM rolled around and I was done (well, as “done” as I was going to be), I didn’t exactly feel like sitting at the PC and pounding anything out. Wait, that came out wrong…
So I had a glass of wine and watched TV. And had another glass of wine. And watched TV. I didn’t see K all day, so don’t blame Monday on her there kiddo.
Some more things…
Is there any chance we can just declare Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, and Scott Petersen guilty already? They’ve already been tried in the media. What’s the difference?
I saw on TV that another “genius” public servant, this time a City Council member from a North Carolina city, put a stone monument of the ten commandments on city property that had to be removed. Look, I’m happy for you if you believe the Bible shows you the path on which you’ll live your life. But I have never heard one compelling or legal argument that could get me to agree that the ten commandments have any place at all on publicly owned property. Frankly, what’s the difference between having the ten commandments or a burning cross outside the court room? I don’t see any difference at all. To me, each says “if you’re not like the rest of us, don’t expect to be treated fairly.” It’s religious intimidation, plain and simple. I don’t agree with it, and I don’t believe Christianity should be treated as some sort of “default” belief in this country. That’s insulting to the rest of us.
A headline to an article I saw on Google News: “Madonna Used to be Good Looking.” This is from a paper called the “Hindustan Times.” Ummm, OK… Look, enough great lighting, makeup, and well tailored clothing could make just about anybody appear “good looking.” I will say, though, that the naked pictures she had in her “Sex” book were pretty good. She used to look pretty darn good nude. That being said, she’s been a played out skank for about fifteen years now.
So how many more generations have to pass on before people stop giving a shit about Elvis? That thought inspires a top ten list:
Top Ten Most Overrated People Ever
(in no order)
1) Elvis Presley – He did a pretty solid job of imitating a guy with real talent, Carl Perkins.
2) Emmitt Smith – All he did was keep churning out the yards, but his teams were better than Payton’s or Barry Sanders’, neither of whose jocks he is capable of holding talent-wise. By the way Emmitt… way to ride off gracefully into the sunset.
3) Gallagher – Nilla please. I can’t believe that there are enough people who find this dude funny to actually have a “Gallagher II” impersonator out on the road at the same time.
4) Andy Warhol – All style, no substance, but that was the point, wasn’t it? He makes this list for not being half as cool as Crispin Glover as Andy Warhol in the movie “The Doors.”
5) John Densmore – Speaking of the Doors, if you asked me who the worst musician in rock history was, I’m pretty sure my answer would be John Densmore. Hell, that entire band was just riding Morrison’s coattails. If it wasn’t for him, they’d probably be playing the Poughkeepsie Marriott Lounge right about now.
6) Jim Belushi – Just like Bob, I’m confused how this dude keeps getting acting roles. Way to trade on your dead brother’s name for twenty years there Jim.
7) Mike Tyson – No longer fast, no longer powerful, all he’s capable of being is a lunatic. Good thing he’s a boxer, any other sport would have kicked him out a long time ago. How he keeps landing marquee opponents and selling Pay-per-view packaged fights is beyond me.
8) Heather Locklear – Give her credit for pimping a big blonde do and a pair of cans into major success on TV. Terrible actress with chicken legs that married a dude from Bon Jovi, but not Bon Jovi himself. Speaking of…
9) Jon Bon Jovi – First off, John Bongiovi, way to sell out your culture by dumbing down your name. Secondly, your songs were the second crappiest of the whole era, next to Def Leppard. Third, should a “heavy metal” (in the loosest sense of the word) front man be smiling all damn day long? Bongiovi, you suck.
10) Joey Bishop – Quick, besides “hang out with Sinatra,” name one thing Joey Bishop ever did in his entire “career.” Thought so.
You know, there are some things I find a little unnerving, and one of them is having a conversation with someone who has smaller-than-normal teeth with equidistant gaps between each tooth.
I know why they call it a “rest room.” It’s because that’s the place to which I retreat for fifteen minute breaks in the morning and the afternoon. Nothing beats a good rest room break, except posting a new third highest score this morning during my rest room break on my Palm Pilot Yahtzee game (414).
They ran out of my coffee (Starbucks’ Gold Coast) at the grocery store, and aren’t getting any more until Thursday or Monday. I had to buy the Espresso Roast, which isn’t even close to as good. By the way, were I swinging the clubs well, it would only take me about three 3-Wood shots to move a golf ball from one Starbucks to the other in my little town of 14,000. Two, if I were getting a good roll on the parking lots.
Alright, here’s a terrible comment on an even worse news story:
“Pedophile Massachusetts Priest Defrocked.” Hey, isn’t that what got him into trouble in the first place?
You want to know what really sucks? That I made next-to-nothing for salary in 2003, and I still am going to owe on my taxes. That’s ludicrous. Granted, it’s only somewhere in the $200 neighborhood, but I really barely made any money at all, and shouldn’t even have had $200 subtracted from my paychecks, let alone have to cover some sort of shortcoming in that regard.
I could always look for a write off though… I didn’t start a Roth IRA, so there goes that one. I didn’t pay a dime of tuition anywhere, so I’m out of luck on that. I certainly didn’t donate any money to charity, so, chances are, I’m stuck.
Speaking of Charity…
Speaking of charity, I’ve got a story for you… In high school, I was part of a school group that did some volunteer work. Ok, ok, it was the National Honor Society. Anyway, we got a gig answering the phones in a three hour block on the local coverage of the national Easter Seals telethon.
We got to the studio early, and I managed to scope out a seat that was pretty much in camera shot nearly the whole time the local talking heads were gabbing away. Not only that, but it was an end seat, and they talked to the person in that spot a couple of times live on the air.
So when the other group poured out, I raced over and claimed that seat as my own.
For some reason, my phone wasn’t ringing. All the other kids were picking up calls and taking donations, but I was sitting there looking bored. As we approached the start of the first live segment, I made a remark to one of the hosts that my phone wouldn’t ring. Sure enough, as they’re coming back from the national telecast, one of the hosts introduces my group and says, “and during our break, one of these young men was telling us a sad story. Why don’t you introduce us and tell us about your problem?”
You and I both know what I should have done with this moment, but I didn’t. Dammit. I played it straight.
“Diane, I’m BG, and, well, I’m sad because I’m bored. And I’m bored because my phone just won’t ring. I can’t take a pledge because no one wants to call me and donate.” I said this with the biggest puppy dog eyes I could muster. I could feel every pair of eyeballs behind me rolling into the tops of their heads.
“You see folks,” Diane began, “we’ve got volunteers just like BG who donate their time and energy and just want to help these small unfortunate animals (or poor people, the tobacco lobby, the NRA, cancer victims, or whoever it is Easter Seals works for) get the help they need. I want you out there in your living rooms to dig into your pockets and help make BG’s phone ring.”
But through the whole segment, nothing.
They went to break again, and Diane came over and looked at me like I was her ticket out of this joint. “Kid, that was great.”
I hate it when they call me “Kid.”
“We’re going to come back to you right after break and I want you to give me your saddest look when I ask you if anyone’s called you yet, OK? Can you do that?”
Fucking anchor lady. Way to hit the big time, doing weekend telethon work in Salt Lake City is the last rung in the ladder before the “Today Show,” isn’t it Diane?
Still, I nodded and let her head off for maybe a donut, more makeup, a cigarette, or a quickie in the production room. Maybe all of the above.
They came back from break, and after an excruciating twenty seconds of inane anchor patter, Diane set up the next bit as if she were introducing the 3PM movie on Lifetime.
“You know Bill, we’ve met some terrific people in Channel 5’s support of and dedication to the cause we’re fighting for today. And while you certainly cannot forget about the dedicated men and women whose hard work daily with the people who fight the good fight your dollars can help support, a group that goes largely unsung are the part-time volunteers, without whom the good people at Easter Seals would certainly never survive. And we’ve got a great group today manning the phone lines from the Brighton High School Honor Society. Wave hello for the cameras guys! And if you were with us at the top of the hour, you met BG. BG is one of our volunteers today, and the reason he’s looking as sad as he is…”
Cut to me looking about as fake sad as a kid on TV who’s not getting paid can look.
“…is because he’s donated his time and love to the cause today, and we have yet to see his phone light up. While all his friends are busy taking pledges from your friends, co-workers, and neighbors, BG’s phone just doesn’t want to seem to ring.”
Cut to me doing an exaggerated shrug and shaking my head in resignation.
“An open phone line means there’s room for you to call. Let’s make BG’s phone ring! Only you can get up off the sofa, and call the number below. Only you can make poor BG’s phone ring.”
As if by magic, coincidence, or supernatural influence, guess what?
My phone rang.
I thought Diane was going to kiss me full on the mouth. She certainly felt responsible now for bringing this miracle to fruition, and could hardly contain the joy and ecstasy written all over her face.
For a minute there, I probably could have taken her to a back room, bent her over, and had her barking like a hyena within minutes.
Instead, I slapped both hands to my cheeks in painfully feigned amazement, and watched the little red light on my phone blink on and off. On and off. The Honor Society group broke out in spontaneous applause, and most of the cameramen and sound guys circling the stage were laughing and applauding as well.
And, for a minute, I swear I saw Diane shed a tear. She had done it. She had single-handedly saved the Easter Seals Telethon.
I picked up the handset and answered as instructed, “Easter Seals Telethon, how much would you like to donate?”
“Hey BG, this is Paul in the production booth. Grab your pencil and one of your forms and pretend to take a pledge while I talk to you. Nod if you understand what I’m asking you.”
I grabbed the pencil and stared into the light, nodding gently.
“Good… Hey, we gotta be honest with you for a second, alright kid? Now, don’t tell Diane, we do this to her every year, and it gets funnier every time. Your phone doesn’t work. You can dial out on it, you just can’t get incoming calls. For the rest of the segments, just pick up the phone and pretend to take a few calls and a few pledges, and hell, call your friends, I don’t care. Just don’t tell Diane. I’d hate to disappoint the boys up here. Got that?”
“I got it.”
“Good. Nice job today, we owe you one.”
And that’s my story about charity work.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Bob had remarked in a post god knows where on his website that he likes to use the word “retard.”
Well, you know, I like to use the word “retard” too. I have a stock joke that is one of my favorites every time I see Sean Astin in a movie:
“Isn’t that the little retarded boy who wanted to play Notre Dame football?”
I think that’s funny. Maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, I got roped into watching the first Lord of the Rings movie last night by K, and when I saw Sean Astin, I used my line.
“That’s not funny,” she said. “I have an aunt who has Down’s and people call her retarded.”
“But people with Down’s aren’t retarded.” I said.
“I don’t like that term, that’s all.”
Sigh… I found someone who I can’t use the word “retarded” in front of. She’s lucky I like her anyway. Bob has dumped girls for less.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
The sun did in fact come up today, right?
I have a friend out west for whom I often ably fill the role of therapist over the phone. She calls and relates her latest minor drama, I help her dissect it, give her things to think about, and hopefully help her make better decisions than she has in the past.
So I got a call Saturday morning from her with a problem. Her boyfriend, who she’s madly in love with, gave her the old “I don’t know what’s going on here, I need some space” thing.
This came completely out of left field and smacked her across the face. She’s baffled by what happened, and doesn’t want to be strung along by this guy like she’s been so many other times before.
Oh, did I mention that they’ve only been dating for 30 days? And he’s off a divorce?
And she calls ready to scrap the whole damn thing and crawl back into her little depressed cocoon because she “just can’t let herself get hurt again.” She mentioned that if he’s going to move the relationship backwards, then she’s “just going to not give a shit about things, and turn into a person that he’s not going to like very much.”
All this over the guy’s head taking about thirty days to catch up with his heart (probably, that’s my diagnosis).
I explained a lot of things to her, and hypothesized a lot more. I told her that this relationship she was in wasn’t following a very adult pattern, it was more like what happens in tenth grade with the whirlwind romance and spending every waking moment together. I explained that sooner or later someone that was burned severely before recognizes that he’s playing with fire again and has to think about what he’s doing to make sure he’s not going to get burned again.
Sometimes, I said, it’s not about fighting for the relationship. It’s about riding the tides, not letting go of what has kept you afloat to this point, and seeing where the current is going to take you.
Most importantly, I advised her not to minimize what those last thirty days have meant for her by closing off her heart to the possibilities of the future, just because he wants to think about what’s going on. If you’re not opening yourself up to being hurt, you’re not opening yourself up to happiness.
I’m a smarter man now than I was six or seven years past. I have enough of that analytical mindset to figure out what’s happening, and I know how to open myself up to the possibility of being happy if the right circumstances appear.
This, of course, brings me to what I really wanted to talk about here, which is K.
Let me just state for the record that I really do dig this girl. We did Shakespeare in the Park together this summer, and I could tell that she and I, at bare minimum, shared a sense of humor and maybe had a little bit of chemistry brewing as well. Difficulties getting together back in the summer aside, I did know that at some point it was pretty likely that she and I would end up going out at least once. She’s really a terrific person, I enjoy her company a great deal, and she finds me funny. Not to mention that I am attracted to her as well.
She held her own in a conversation with my dad on a controversial topic when it was apparent he was just poking her with a short stick to see if she’d fold. She didn’t. And she had fun with it. She laughed at one of my bad Dennis Miller style jokes (making a remark about a small child “looking like a young Anne Ramsey,” which I never thought she’d get, but I found funny). She impresses me with the way she treats children. We have a lot of similar tastes (except that she doesn’t eat seafood, which is a detriment to be sure), and are really enjoying spending time with each other.
We’ve had (officially, I guess) five dates now over two and a half weeks. And things are moving along very slowly. Very slowly.
Which makes our conversation on Sunday during the football game that much more refreshing.
Five dates in and I’m giddy and pleased that she and I are as willing to be honest with each other as we were. We both acknowledged that there was an attraction, and that we’ve been really happy spending as much time together as we had. She told me that she came out of her last relationship, which had badly crashed and burned, looking to swear off men and not date anyone for awhile, but finds herself really enjoying being with me, and doesn’t want to move too fast and screw things up.
Which, to me, was just perfect. I told her not to worry about “where we are” or “where this is going.” I told her that I really did like her, wanted to see her as much as possible, but didn’t want to put any pressure on either her or myself to define the relationship and/or feel like it always had to be moving forward.
“Wherever it is that we’re going,” I said, “we’ll get there. Don’t worry about that right now. Let’s just be happy with what is, and let the rest come along naturally.”
It was a perfect conversation, and quite frankly a perfect weekend with her.
I’m not in a position where I’d be comfortable jumping into anything serious quickly. But this girl has the potential to really be someone I could be dating for a long, long time. Why would I want to screw that up?
For now, I’m going to continue to see her as often as I can, and just not worry about figuring out where “things are going.” For being only 23, I really think she’s got her head screwed on pretty tight, but definitely has her heart open for the possibilities.
As do I.
Just some things…
I’ve watched a lot of stand-up comedy in my day, and have been listening to the stand-up station on XM a lot too. The one thing I’ve really noticed about female comediennes is that they are largely taking a real bitter tone to their stand-up. You have your exceptions, like Rita Rudner or the absurdities of Laura Kightlinger, but if you dip into that whole second tier of comediennes beyond the big names, you get a lot of “men are dumb, aren’t they girls? And here’s a hundred reasons why,” sort of thing. I bet there’s some sort of calculation in choosing that persona, as it “flips convention on its ear,” putting a woman in the dominant and aggressive role. Well, “flipping convention” doesn’t work right if that’s what everyone is doing. Maybe that’s why Rita Rudner works so well.
I got to watch the Indy/NE game this weekend, but didn’t get to see one minute of the Philly/Carolina game. I think Indy made a big, big mistake not trying to cram Edgerrin James down New England’s throat. It was painfully obvious that the Patriot game plan was built almost entirely around cutting off the short and intermediate passing game, and any Colt coach worth his salt should have seen that coming. They should have (and didn’t I write this?) kept running James up the gut, pulled Harrison into the box, and taken shots when they had obvious man coverage circumstances.
Isn’t it about time to acknowledge that while New England may not have a glamorous, star-studded defense, they are certainly one of the best coached, most prepared defenses to play any sort of offense in any sort of situation the NFL has seen in years. They’ve got hybrid linebackers who are as adept playing from the three point stance as they are backpedaling into the secondary. They’ve got a defensive line that is somewhere in the neighborhood of seven deep, all of them guys with high motors. And even though their secondary starts two rookies, they play a tight and disciplined game.
And while I think New England is the obvious favorite in this game, the seven point spread is a sucker bet. This Super Bowl has the potential to be one of the most exciting 10-7 games that you’ll ever see. While Carolina may be less talented, they know how to hold a team close. And New England generally doesn’t run away with victories.
I tried watching some of that BBC “mockumentary” series “The Office.” Maybe I got bored too quick, but ten minutes in to disc one (of two, of six hours plus), I had to turn it off. I don’t like British guys, but I don’t think that was the problem. Just boring, that’s all.
The further I dig, though, into “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the more I begin to realize that there’s nothing else currently on TV that approaches genius quite like this does. I put this right up there with “Larry Sanders,” although I don’t think anything was ever as consistently great as that show.
Worst name for a local pizza joint here in town: “Pizza Reaction.”
“That’s just my Pizza Reaction.”
One of the biggest genius additions to shopping I’ve seen in the past year or so are these “sample any CD” stations that some music stores have. You scan the bar code, and you can hear thirty seconds off of any song on the whole disc.
I actually scrolled through an entire 5CD box set, and got a great sample of what it was I was considering buying.
I didn’t get the set though. And I should have. It’s the Miles Davis “Complete Jack Johnson Sessions.” Five discs worth of alternate takes of different jams. I was drooling over it pretty hard. Then again, only a completist like myself would generally want a $70 CD set where you get one whole disc that features six takes of one song, four of another, and three of yet another. Almost every disc is just like that. I don’t care though. Some of those jams I could just put on repeat and listen to all day anyway.
Electric Miles = Acoustic Miles
Miles Davis’ catalog (for variety and quality) > Any other musician’s catalog (for variety and quality)
And I’ll include the Beatles in that list. To me:
Miles Davis > the Beatles.
I own at least something, if not nearly everything, from every band he led from the late 40s to the mid 70s. There’s not a single album (out of over 100 I own) where I’d say, “that’s total crap, don’t buy it.” Granted, some are better than others, and there are songs (“Red China Blues” off of “Get Up With It”) that are really pretty bad. But for the most part, there isn’t another musician or band that can touch Miles in a couple of areas:
- Quantity of quality work
- Variety of styles
- Top of their class, big name musicians as side men
- Was the vanguard stylistically of jazz music as it grew and changed multiple times
- Has at least one “desert island” album to his name (“Kind of Blue”)
If jazz music had retained its popularity it earned in the 50s and 60s, you could probably have made a case for Miles as a more influential musician than the Beatles. He was more talented though, at bare minimum.
Speaking a moment ago about desert island albums, here are my top ten, in order (most necessary to least – and I’ve probably done this here before, but for now, this is what I’m taking):
1) Miles Davis – “Kind of Blue” – Like an old friend, I can go back to this album for the familiarity it provides. Like an old book, I can go back to this album for the intellectual stimulation I get. Like that old favorite book, I grab something new from each listen.
2) The Beatles – “Revolver” – Although I love the medley that covers the end of “Abbey Road” more than any other rock song ever, I can’t put any other rock album above “Revolver.” In the era of Cream and other jam bands, is it brave to have put a song like “For No One” on the album? Minimalist, simple, and perfect.
3) Jimi Hendrix – “Electric Ladyland” – Some of this pick, certainly, is quantity over quality. At least a little. This is a sloppier album than his first two, but I couldn’t live twenty years in seclusion without being able to hear “1983…” and “Rainy Day, Dream Away.”
4) John Coltrane – “My Favorite Things” – If you were to ask me to play you a song that communicated the emotion “hope,” I’d play you the title track. If you were to ask me to play you a song that communicated how it feels to leave your love in the past, I’d play you “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” This album tugs at me like few others do.
5) Outkast – “Aquemini” – As much as I love “The Love Below/Speakerboxx,” I think this is their best album by a long ways. There’s not a better act working today than Outkast.
6) Miles Davis – “In a Silent Way” – There is so much Miles out there I wouldn’t want to live my life without, but this album seems to find its way into my CD player more often than any other. At once both meditative and energetic, it’s about the most well structured avant-garde piece anyone’s ever put together. And when Tony Williams finally moves from brushes to sticks for that brief ten seconds? That could very well be my favorite moment off of any album ever.
7) Raekwon – “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” – For variety’s sake, I’m taking two or three hip hop albums to the island. This album represents, for my money, the most listenable of all the Wu releases (Ol Dirty Bastard’s first album is the most genius of the bunch). The album plays like the story arc of a gangster movie, and features some of the strongest production RZA ever put together.
8) Bob Dylan – “Blonde on Blonde” – Not only do I love casually listening to this album, but it also makes me feel like I should listen harder, trying to “crack the code” of what he’s really trying to say. I would probably bring this one if for no other reason than I really feel like I should sit down with this album and listen to it twenty times through carefully in order to make sure I get the most out of it.
9) The Beatles – “Abbey Road” – “Sgt Pepper” is overrated. That’s all I’m saying about that.
10) Miles Davis – “Bitches Brew” – This wins out over “Jack Johnson” on the virtues of being double-disc. It’s also very, very dense and I know I could listen to this one hundreds of times through without feeling like I had.
How does 1+3+4+25+37+32 = 42,000,000?
When it’s my lottery ticket, and I hit all six numbers, as I am destined to do tonight.
I’d like to think that when I wake up tomorrow morning I won’t quit my job by 7AM, and won’t be booking my Vegas trip by 705AM.
But I will.
Here’s your poker-related musing for today, as because I am part of the Ig-centric poker blogging community, I’m obligated to talk about poker on the near-daily basis.
I want to address my time on PartyPoker first. My cards have gone ridiculously cold. My “playable” hands rarely include aces, I’m not picking up draws (flush or straight) on flops, and I’m routinely watching massive overcards hit when I’m holding a non-premium pair.
PartyPoker, therefore, is out to get me.
My bankroll has gone from (at a high of ten-twelve days ago) $325 to $125 over the past week and a half. It’s almost entirely been at the $2/$4 tables. I’m getting brutalized over there. It’s almost to the point where I’d like to see the wacky draw fish swim in their own damn pool and leave me the hell alone.
But I know better than that.
Without Poker Tracker, I’m not sure precisely where my faults are right now, but I can tell you that not flopping a damn thing is what is generally killing me. I can have a pre-flop raise type hand and position, and I’ll watch the board pair an eight or a nine on the flop. I guaran-damn-tee you that if five stay in to see it, someone’s got that card.
And they always do.
So I get this weak-tight game going, and start to play chickenshit poker.
But if you’re not catching anything with any regularity on the flop, what are you supposed to do? It’s not like I’m waiting on a full house flop, or need to see three clubs to make my nut flush. I’d just like top pair every once in awhile. I’d really like to not see three diamonds when I’m holding A4 of clubs. I want one of those monster flops to catch me every once in awhile.
Is that too much to ask?
Lately, it kind of is.
I’m going to look for a night this week where I can take my $125, sit down at a $2/$4 uninterrupted for three hours, and see what I can do (or can’t do) with it.
One last thing regarding PartyPoker… I’m not a “who are the Masons, really” type of guy. I don’t believe I’m being followed by the black helicopter men. I am not convinced of the existence of alien corpses at Area 51.
But I am marginally suspicious of the “action hands” and “action flops” that I’m seeing with regularity on Party. I’ve seen AA, KK, and TT all flip over at the end, with two of the three making sets. I’ve seen too many straight and flush flops. Too many full house probabilities on the board.
I don’t believe the program is skewed towards any single player in particular. I do believe that the program is less than purely random though, and does create opportunities for more action in each hand.
Just my $.02.
As for my home game, I’m really ready to take that next step.
I’ve totally proven that I can adopt different styles at the table, and win with any of them. I’ve played like a rock, I’ve bluffed, I’ve won with amazing cards, I’ve won without hitting anything higher than a set all night.
I’m not saying this to be cocky, but on any given night if I’m sitting down with our regulars, there’s little reason I shouldn’t be able to beat everyone at the table.
It doesn’t always work out that way, but with somewhere between six and twelve players per game, I’ve won the pot over 50% of the time. No one else is really that close.
From a purely financial standpoint, you don’t mess with a good thing. But from a competition standpoint, I really have no idea where I stand playing this game. I know I’m not good enough to challenge pros or a lot of successful amateurs. But I bet I’m better at this game than I think I am.
PartyPoker is no gauge of ability. Especially in a NL game structured to be completed amongst ten players in under an hour. I have to use what NL experience I have in my home game as the only indicator of my skills.
And that’s ridiculously difficult, as I know that there’s not another player at the table who has put the time and effort (and reading and practice) into learning and understanding the game the way that I have. I know that six out of ten of our regulars have very little in the way of sound strategy, and couldn’t milk a pot from the table if they tried.
It’s not as if I have zero competition here, but with as much dead money as we bring to our games, I don’t get the full table workout I need in order to get better.
To make it short: I need a game. I need to find a group of people who have been playing for awhile and get into their game. I need to see where I stand. Do I play well enough to learn big tourney strategy better to explore that area? Am I only good enough to take down the home game with regularity?
By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet Lord Geznikor (I’m doing that from memory, excuse the spelling), I’m looking in your general direction here…
Sunday, January 18, 2004
I got to meet Anna last night...
...in a dream.
Anna's traveling one-woman cabaret act came to my town, and I got to be backstage for the event. She would get onstage, belt out a number, hustle back and change costumes, and get out and do another.
The show was remarkable for the chronic ineptitude of its production staff. Lights wouldn't come on at the right time, the curtain would open and close indiscriminately, and people wouldn't always be where they needed to be for the next number to start.
But Anna's performance was the glue that held it all together. I remarked to one of her stage managers that, "she's only a so-so singer, but she can really sell it."
To be fair, I didn't actually have a conversation with the elusive Anna. I actually just got a quick hug and a hello between songs, and otherwise just watched her do her thing onstage.
Strange dream, that's for sure.
Home Game Poker Update...
Tonight was one of the most challenging and rewarding games I've been a part of.
We had seven tonight, including a regular's co-worker friend. The reason I mention her is that this was my first experience playing live NL against the dreaded "maniac."
Let me rephrase that. The "dreaded maniac who is catching miraculous cards."
Actually though, I built a huge chip advantage in the first two minutes of the game. My brother and I managed to duke one out on the very first hand.
I looked down at the inital deal and saw AA. This was the only pair higher than TT I saw all game, but I made it count. I raised a couple of callers $50 (BB was $10), and with my brother in the SB, he raised me another $100. I gladly called.
The flop worried me a little when a T hit with two blanks. He bet into me from early position, I raised, he called.
I got my set on the turn, as an Ace hit the board. My brother, thinking his two pair had the right kicker bet into me again, I raised, he called.
I was only a little worried about the river, another T, when he went in for $300 as his opening bet in this round. I wasn't really about to throw my hand away, but the pot was in the neighborhood of $800, and considering we start with $1125, that's pretty hefty.
I called, flipped my AA, and said, "I hope you've got the quad tens."
He had a suited AK.
Bad play on his part, I nearly doubled up on the first hand.
But as soon as I figured out what was going on with "the maniac," I shut down completely and played like a rock. Bluffing was absolutely pointless, as she stayed in to the river on anything.
And she hit everything. She rivered straights, hit gutshots, made unlikely two pairs, it was unreal. After she got a little cocky when sweeping a pot that she was a huge underdog to win until the river bailed her out, I cut her off and said, "No, no... that's not luck. Just keep doing what you're doing, the river will always be there to bail you out I'm sure."
I rarely open my mouth at the table, and got some strange looks for that one, but I wanted to make sure that if there was one player she couldn't take lightly at the table, it would be me.
So I waited out the game and took my shots when I could.
What was nice was that when we got down to three players and the blinds went up, my 3XBB bets started to intimidate her. Actually, combine that with her cards going somewhat cold, and I could tell that we had broken her. I bled her dry over the next half hour and got down to heads up.
Heads up went perfectly tonight. I found my opponent's betting breaking point ($250 when the BB was $100), and stole blind after blind, regaining the chip lead that I had on the first hand but had lost to this point.
I really did a great job sucking him in to bet when I was holding too. On the last hand I was dealt JQd, and saw a 9T3 flop. I checked, he made a bet (just the BB value), and I called. My K hit on the turn. I checked, and he did too. As if I willed it to happen, another K hit the river. I checked quickly, and he moved all in (he was sitting on $1500, I was on $7500, and BB=$200). I quickly called and he flipped over pocket fives for two pair, thinking I hadn't hit anything.
I had my straight, and I'm $70 richer tonight as a result.
It was great to go up against a maniac, not to mention getting a different player than my usual opponents into the heads up game (not the maniac).
Poker really made me think tonight, and that's when poker is at its best.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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