Not much at all to relate on the gambling front. The first art welding class my wife and I are taking started last night and that ended up sucking up the majority of the evening, with little free time for degenerate pursuits. The class is pretty damn cool, though, and we even got to carve up some sheet metal with an oxy acetylene torch. The studio offering the classes is brand spanking new so all the equipment is still shiny, the owner and main instructor guy are all excited, and it looks to be a kick-ass class. I'm not exactly sure what the hell I'm going to make, as the class is designed to build up to everyone creating their own welded sculpture piece, but I mainly just wanted to learn how to weld (without taking a trade class and feeling like a dumbass poser), so everything else is gravy.
I did sneak in some casino time at the blackjack tables. Still running well, still being blessed by Gamblor, patron saint of degenerate gamblers. It's interesting the effect all this casino bonus whoring is having on my poker game. By and large, there ain't much similar between blackjack and poker, other than the deck of cards used, but I have to say that it has helped my poker game. Not in any real strategic sense, but in a basic, grunt monkey sort of way, as far as not fearing the size of a particular bet. Playing blackjack for $100/hand while chasing a sticky bonus may not be the most +EV move in the world (well, actually it is, but that's another story), but it definitely puts a raise at the poker table into perspective. By nature I cringe from ramming and jamming as much as I should, fearing that lurking monster hand, but lately I'm much more willing to play aggressively, as an extra BB or two is a comparative drop in the bucket to some of the chips I'm tossing around at the blackjack table.
It's been posted elsewhere by much more astute poker minds, but there really is a lot of truth in the paradoxical statement that you can't play your best until the chips are meaningless. It took me awhile to get my noggin' around that but I think it's pretty damn close to the truth. That's not to say you can't be a very successful, profitable player and pinch every penny and watch every bet and ante; you can. You're just sacrificing your very best play and settling for pretty good play instead, as you're always wagering slightly scared, checking your account balance every three seconds, etc.
I think I'm going to load the football betting boat with St. Louis +7 this week. I'm tempted to stay on the Viking train as they're currently +9 but I think Philly is going to get the job done. Yeah, they thumped GB but the Pack was pretty incosistent all season and that's the same Vikings team that lost a must win game against the mighty Redskins just a few weeks ago. I just don't buy into Atlanta and St. Louis is pretty hot, playing indoors on turf, with nothing to lose. They may not win but I think they'll cover that spread pretty easily.
That said, whoever comes out of the NFC is going to get thumped. Absolutely thumped.