Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nearly at the Finish Line

It's been a fun trip out here in LA for the WPT Legends, but I'm getting the itch to be back home, and nearly looked into changing my ticket to fly back home this morning. Thankfully for the poker bankroll, I didn't, which meant that I spent about six hours late last night at the silly $2/3 NL $100 max tables, cashing out nearly +$700 when it was all said and done.

I got off to a pretty dismal start, losing my first $100 buy-in in about ten minutes when AA was no good versus A7o, with all in the money going in pre-flop. I re-bought and before I could even get chips another buy-in went down the tubes, as the very next hand QQ went down in flames to JJ on a flop of 10 7 2, with a jack spiking on the river.

Two hands after that I look down to find KK, raise it up and get approximately 296 callers. I somehow managed to win that hand, though, with Q10o calling me down all the after a 10 high flop. Then I collected a nice monsterpotten with 89d, as there were tons of limps, a raise to $10, and everyone called to see a flop of Ad 10d 4d.

The pre-flop raiser fired out $75 into a ~$90 pot and it folded to me, with two people left to act behind me. Which actually is a bit of an awkward spot, as everyone still in the hand had around $200 behind, but due to the way these games play with all of the gambooler types, even if I shove for $200 or so I probably can't chase anyone out behind me, even/especially if they just have a big diamond. The flip side of that coin is people were calling all sorts of bets in spots like that with things as weak as Ax if it was "cheap" enough to call, so I finally decided to just call the $75 bet, hope at least one of the guys came along, and then shove on a non-diamond turn.

At which point the original raiser immediately declares "He flopped a baby flush, with something like 89d, but he's just worried about you", pointing to a guy yet to act. Which was half right, but still impressive.

Both guys behind me call the $75 bet and the turn is the Qc. Original raiser bet out something like $100 into a $400 pot (leaving him $50 behind), I shove for $150 more, one fold, then a call, and the original raiser disgustedly calls.

Turn is something like the 3c, putting Ad 10d 4d Qc 3c on the board. Original raiser had 10 10 and the caller after me had Ac Qd, so I actually had to dodge a lot of cards there on the river.

Not long after that I limped with 10 10 (there were already six or seven limpers in front of me, and it was pretty pointless to try to raise to knock anyone out, as people were simply calling anything). 8 players see a flop of 10s 8c 4s and I bet out fairly big when checked to me and get two callers. Turn is the case ten. Checked around. River is a heart of some sort. I bet out about one-third the pot and immediately get raised all-in. Second opponent dwells and dwells and despite all my jedi mind-tricks he finally folds. I call and table my quads and the other guy rolls over AA. Umm, well-played, sir.

I also chopped a private SnG we ran with the folks here, for $420. The guy and I who chopped were going to play the $1,000 + $70 bankroll rebuilder tournament advertised at the Bike, but when we went over there we discovered they'd cancelled last night's tournament. Not sure if that was just last's night, so we may try to give it another go tonight if the tournament is running. Part of me just wants to book a nice, profitable trip, but I'm about +$4,500 at this point for the trip, so donking a chunk of it back taking a shot at a bigger tournament still leaves me with a pretty solid showing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just a Fly on the Wall

I always find it amusing the things you can overhear from time to time, as far as the discussions people have in perfectly public places. I just had breakfast at the Eden Lobby restaurant here at Commerce, and the only other people in the place were Barry Shulman and two young guys involved with, Eric Seidel at another table, and a third guy who was still in the WPT Legends event but also involved with a betting syndicate of some sort, based on the cell phone conversations he was having.

And me, all by my lonesome, sitting there playing my Nintendo DS.

Pretty interesting listening to Shulman and the folks discuss assorted things, including their displeasure at the WPT for even allowing other poker media outlets to be present at all. To be fair, Shulman wasn't quite as cocky and douchebaggy as the two younger guys, who were vowing to make life miserable starting today (and moving forward, not just at this tournament but the remaining WPT events) for any other media outlet that had the audacity to show up and try to cover the event, even if they play by the rules and follow the media restrictions as currently outlined.

Again, there's a good argument that if you pays the money, you gets to make the rules, but I can't help but think that you're asking for some bad karmic mojo to come your way if you sit there and openly gloat about the shuttering of PokerWire, as things tend to move in circles.

Pretty cool to listen to the betting syndicate guy, as he was basically leaving instructions with someone lower on the totem pole about what the plan for the day was, who was playing what, who to shift from this sport to that, and who hadn't been performing well and needed to be cut loose. Also interesting all the references to higher ups, including "The Man", as far as what people who'd been struggling of late needed to do to get back in the good graces of "The Man". I mean, seriously, it was pretty much exactly the cliched conversation you'd expect to hear, except I can't see any reason to think the guy was full of shit, as we're talking a detailed twenty minute conversation with a ridiculous numbers of lines, facts, plans, and figures touched on.

Coming back from the Bike last night, I overheard a youngish guy at the valet window asking about getting a cab to Commerce, so we rode back together. (After waiting for like half an hour for a cab. I mean, Jebus, are there like two cabs total in this entire huge honking city?) He'd just busted out of the WPT event, and we talked a bit, and it turns out that he'd just won the WPT Mandalay Bay event a few months ago, cashing for almost $800,000.

Donked around a little in the silly $2/3 $100 max buy-in NL game at the Bike yesterday. It was pretty much what you'd expect, but the play was actually better than I'd have guessed as far as the general skill level. I hit a couple of nice hands early and ran my $100 into about $350, but ended up giving it all back, finishing at -$50 for the day.

QQ couldn't take down 36s in a big pot, and I lost two big hands when I hit two pair on the flop with A4s and A8s (limping in both times along with approximately 172 other people) and got action from someone with just a pair of aces with AQ and AJ, and both times they hit their kicker on the river for a bigger two pair.

Also lost another pretty big pot when I limped with 35c and got frisky on a flop of 2c 4c Kd, ending up lumping in a lot of chips but missing all of my draws. Had a good time, though, and it was a pretty friendly game. There's obviously better games to play in, as a max buy-in of $100 renders a $2/3 blind structure pretty silly and not a lot more skillful than playing slots, but it's also not the most stressful of games to play if you just want to kill some time, or are technically on the clock doing the reporting thing and jumping in and out to write updates.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Wonderful World of the WPT

This is my first experience doing the poker tournament reporting thing at a WPT event, and so far it's been, umm, interesting.

It's not completely disorganized, but it's kind of an odd thing. It's hard to tell how much of the oddness is intentional, such as having the "media room" for the non-exclusive media folks located along one wall of the sushi bar/grill at the Bike, with two tiny tables available to set up laptops and other stuff. I ended up cramming myself into the corner behind the piano, with my laptop on a bar stool, which actually worked decently well.

Not much other media here at all other than Card Player, who has the exclusive rights for WPT events. The media restrictions are pretty draconian for other non-exclusive media that want to do the normal reporting thing, as far as using chip counts, hand histories, etc. If you're non-exclusive, you can walk around the tournament room, but you can't report on anything you witness directly. You can, however, report on anything a player tells you outside the room, as well as report anything that you're told during breaks. So heresay is fine, just nothing you directly observe.

Which obviously doesn't make a lot of sense. As far as the work I'm doing for PokerRoom, it really doesn't impact it at all. If anything, it makes it easier, as I'm really here to track the progress of their qualifiers, and checking in with them at the breaks every ninety minutes works fine for me. For other media outlets, though, the restrictions hamstring them to the point that many choose not to come, and the ones that did were wondering why the hell they bothered.

The mercenary, business-like part of me can subscribe to the notion that if Card Player was willing to fork over the money for exclusive rights, then they get to make the rules, no matter how sensical or non-sensical they are. That said, I think PokerNews did a good job at the WSOP of proving that you can have exclusive rights to an event and still allow other non-exclusive media to do their jobs, too. In the end it just boils down to the fact that if you hire a good team and provide great coverage, it really doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. If you're the exclusive provider but have pretty mediocre coverage and are scared of the competition, well, then I suppose it's not too surprising to see pretty restrictive rules put into place.

Today is Day 1b of the WPT Legends event, but it's going to be kind of odd, as we actually don't have any players playing today. Six of them chose yesterday as their starting day, and the one that was supposed to play today had to withdraw, flying back home to Austria after spending the last few days puking his guts out.

Three of the guys made it through to Day 2, and a couple of them have pretty healthy stacks, so hopefully at least one of them will make a serious run in this thing. It definitely makes my job much more enjoyable when we've still got players in the mix.

It's been interesting covering a non WSOP major event, as far as it being a much smaller field with many more pros and circuit regulars. I can't say the general impression is exactly a glowing endorsement of the "glamorous" world of professional tournament poker. No real cautionary tales or scenes in general, but the tournament room in general radiates a fairly palpable sense of equal parts boredom/unhappiness/resignation. It's not really depressing, but more that I get the snese most people wouldn't be there, if they had anywhere else to be that offered the same opportunity.

No time for any live poker yesterday, but I did play a SnG at one of the electronic tables with the crew. My first experience with one of the electronic tables, and I can't say I hated it. I haven't heard bloggers and other players say much positive about the electronic tables, and I can't offer any glowing praise, but I thought they worked pretty well. I wouldn't choose one over a live table, if offered the choice, but I also wouldn't wait fifteen minutes for the live table, if an electronic one was ready to go. In the end it's poker.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


No hitches with my flight to the fair city of Los Angeles yesterday, and after a $70 cab ride from the airport, I was standing in front of the Commerce Casino, as our rooms were booked at the Crowne Plaza at the casino. Attempted to check in but was told that my room wouldn't be ready for another hour and a half.

So I wandered around the "casino" a bit. (Sorry, I don't mean to be uppity there but I think the WSOP and Las Vegas is still too fresh in my mind, when thinking of casinos and what-not.) It was just before noon and I was looking for a place to have a burger and beer on the assumption that such a place would exist in a "casino" but alas, no luck. Then I heard an announcement that the noon $120 unlimited rebuy tournament was starting in 15 minutes, and told myself "Self, you've got a wad of money in your pocket and that'd be a good way to kill some time until your room is ready."

And it was. Right up until the point where we agreed to a chip chop with 4 players left, which paid me out $3,100 for second. Plus I didn't ever rebuy or take the add-on, so I got in for the minimum investment.

It's live tournaments like these that really make me ponder how much a non-idiot, decent player could make, playing full-time. So many rebuys, and so many bad, bad plays. The total field was only something like 56 players, with top five paying, but 1st place paid out a bit over $6K, with all the rebuy madness. And granted, you have to dodge all sorts of insane calls and "fold equity" is pretty much a complete and utter non-existent term, but still.

I did get lucky to double up twice in the first half hour, with AA vs. QQ and then flopping a straight with J10s versus KK in a six or seven way pot. That took a lot of pressure off and helped me survive the fact that after the first half hour, the biggest hand I'd see the rest of the tournament was 88/AKs.

I did start to get shortish with about 15 players left, after I called a shorty's all-in from my BB with A10s, and couldn't take down his might A2o. Crazy Asian Guy doubled me up, though, when he tried to steal with 82o and I called all-in from the button with 88, and that got me through to the final table.

With blinds of $1K-$2K and antes of 300, I was UTG with AKs and a stack of $8K. I shove and the guy to me left pretty much immediately re-shoves all-in. (Meh, not exactly what I wanted to see, but I need to double somewhere, so I don't hate the call.) Crazy Asian Guy #2 - who is the run-away chip leader at this point - debates for awhile, before simply smooth-calling the second all-in. (Really not what I wanted to see.) Then the BB - second in chips - comes along for the ride, smooth-calling as well. (Fuck me.)

So four of us see a flop of something like Jc 9c 7d. I mentally start packing my bags, but CAG #2 and the BB check it. Turn is 4d. Check check. River is 3s. Check check.

I''m still expecting to see someone roll over a small/mid pair to knock me out, but the guy to my left had K10d, CAG #2 had AQo, and the BB had A10s, so somehow or other my AK takes the main pot, shooting me up from the brink of doom to 2nd/3rd in chips. Didn't do anything crazy after that point, letting the other monkeys knock each other out until we got down to fou-handed and chopped it up.

Met all of the folks yesterday and rode over to the Bike in a huge white stretch Hummer limo they'd hired for the day, as they were sightseeing around LA for most of the day. Sensing some potential clusterfuckedness today as far as the whole media coverage thing, since no one from the WPT seems to know what the hell is going on, and I've never done a tournament at the Bike before, but I'm assuming it'll get worked out one way or another.

We all had dinner at the sushi/steak bar at the Bike, and were waiting for our food when some strung out looking older black guy guy in a Tae Kwan Do shirt/uniform of some sort came over, immediately honed in on me, and started asking "You're the guy who chopped the satellite with Mickey, right?" And I told him no, no I wasn't. He asked again and I assured him that I ain't the guy (who I'm guessing owed him money).

About twenty minutes later same exact drill, as he'd managed to completely forget that he'd already asked me before. Waiting for the taxi outside, same exact drill. I actually talked to him a bit at that point, and while he didn't remember that it was the third time we'd discussed the fact that I looked like the guy that chopped the sattelite with Mickey, he said he believed me, that he was just trying to collect $1,000 owed to him for a save that was agreed on, etc. Then he lurched off again on his quixotic quest for the guy who chopped the satellite with Mickey.

Ahh, the glamorous world of professional tournament poker.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

WPT Legends and RATS!

Bags are packed (well, not really) to fly out to LA to cover the WPT Legends of Poker main event for I can't say that LA is my favorite city, but I likely won't have time to get much farther than the Bike, so I don't suppose it matters greatly what city it's actually located in.

Scrambling around trying to tie up all sorts of loose ends before leaving in regards to my real estate wheeling and dealings, but I think I've got most of the bases covered. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever NOT be busy, scrambling around, but then I remember that I most definitely bring all of this upon myself.

In other random news, we're now the proud owners of two baby rats, Scribbles and Rip. We picked them up last Sunday and getting back into the swing of the joys/headaches of having wee little inquisitive manic rodents running around the place.



Scribbles and Rip

They look bigger in the pictures, but they're so dang tiny, and pretty amusing, as everything is new and exciting to them. It's also been fun having two at a time, as not only do they spend a huge amount of time wrestling and knocking each other around playfully, but the instant one does anything (drinking water, eating, whatever) the other instantly MUST BE DOING THE SAME THING, no matter what it is.

Haven't had any time at all for online poker of late, but hopefully I'll get to play some live poker while out in LA. Or, you know, be busy as crap the whole time and barely have a chance to play at all. We shall see.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Must. Buy. More. Houses.

Sorry for the recent spate of sponsored posts, but Daddy's gotta pay for a new house.

Falling firmly into the "What the hell am I getting myself into category?", our offer on another flip property was accepted on Friday, much to my surprise. I really didn't expect to get it, as we submitted a lowball offer and there were reportedly two other offers on the table. Surprise surprise, they didn't even counter and accepted our offer.

I'm pretty excited, despite the fact that it means a lot more manual monkey labor in my near future. It's a 3-1, 1900 sq. ft. house that basically hasn't been touched since the 60s/70s, so it's got some lovely gold shag carpeting, original bright blue tile in the bathroom, and other, umm, nice upsells. Lots of original hardwood floors (yay) that all need to be refinished (boo). It's on a huge corner lot in a nice neighborhood with a great backyard (yay), but absolutely no landscaping in front, except for 281,295 shrubs that I plan on digging up (boo).

It's also definitely going to be a bigger project that the first one, as I pretty much have to add a second larger bathroom, and the easiest way to do that looks to be to convert the existing attached one-car garage and workshop into a master suite and bathroom. That's far beyond my ability to handle myself, so I'll get to delve into the always-fun world of contractors and architects for this one.

If you're keeping track at home, you might notice that I haven't sold the first flip house I bought. Very true. So I am getting a bit ahead of myself, but hopefully not too far. The first flip property goes on the market on Monday, so I'll be able to start in on House #2 as soon as we close. I'm pretty happy with how House #1 turned out, as I came in about $2,000 under budget, and our realtor wants to list it at about $5K higher than I was hoping for, under my best case scenario. I'm not going to get rich from it, but it should produce a net profit of about $15-20K after everything is said and done, which ain't a bad hourly earn rate given the fact that I sunk about 100 hours of personal labor into it.

Despite the crazy looks I get from people when I talk about buying houses in the current uncertain times, I do have to say that I'm definitely still having fun, despite all the work of late. I just really enjoy the challenge of not only finding properties with potential, but stretching every dollar I sink into it as far as possible, whether it's doing much of the work myself, retaining as much of the original layout and hosue as possible, or getting the maximum impact out of the money I do spend when hiring out work. While the jury is definitely still out on just how profitable all this will be, I need to keep in mind that I'm having fun. Plus I'm picking up some fairly useful skills as far as being able to do basic wiring and replacing sinks, toilets, and other assorted fixtures in my sleep now.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bet Pot, Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I managed to get the Full Tilt roll just barely over the $500 mark last night, after much grinding at the .25/.50 6 max tables. Not a bad little run so far, especially in light of the fact that KK/AA have been reverse set-magnets for me of late, only holding up at about a 40% collective clip.

Once I got over the slight embarassment at playing at reduced stakes, I've actually found myself thinking about poker again, as well as looking forward to playing, which is nice. SnGs are just so mindless, at a certain point, and that's predominantly what I'd been playing for the last year or so. While the play at the .25//50 tables obviously isn't the highest caliber, it's been interesting and instructive for me to put the training wheels back on and essentially start from scratch.

I've been four tabling the 6 max tables, which is pretty much the limit of my ability to focus and concentrate on the action. A RaiNKhaN I ain't, especially when I usually have something else going on as well, as far as working on a spreadsheet or document or something or other. In the past my typical default standard opening raise for cash games was 3xBB, which involves typing/sliding. At some point of late I just started clicking the "Bet Pot" button instead, which is $1.75 at my current nosebleed stakes.

One thing I've been working on lately is loosening up what hands I'll open raise with in 6 max games, especially from the button in steal situations. Not at the any two cards stage yet as far as steals go, but I've not been shy about lumping in a pot sized raise with all the usual culprits and more marginal hands any ace, and jack/queen/king suited, any connectors/single gap conectors, etc. So I'm a lot more prone to click the "Bet Pot" button these days if it's folded around to me in late position, with a much wider range of hands.

Ditto for hands I'll re-raise with, especially if it's a standard raise in front of me. In the past I'd find myself calling raises with hands like AJs, KQs, A10s, etc. with the thinking that I can easily get away from them if they don't hit big, or easily lay them down if there's more action behind me. If I'm going to play these hands, of late I'm clicking either the "Bet Pot" button or folding.

All that clicking of the "Bet Pot" button in 6 max games leads to a lot of picking up of blinds, and a lot of heads-up play with one opponent. It also leads to a lot of checking to me. At which point my default play has been to, you guessed it, click the "Bet Pot" button, regardless of the board and whether or not I hit it.

If I get called on the flop, then I slow down and play actual poker from the turn on, as far as whether or not to fire another bullet, what size of bullet, if I can blow someone off a hand with a larger bet, if I'm completely done with the hand, etc.

The eye-opening part is just how many pots you pick up by always clicking the "Bet Pot" button, especially on the flop. Granted, we're talking .25/.50 players here, so yeah, they're going to call with hands they shouldn't and meekly fold on the flop more often than they should, so I'm not claiming to have discovered any great poker truth. If anything, I'm just reminding myself the importance of staying aggressive, especially at 6 max games. But man, all them folds add up pretty quickly, and more than compensate for when people play back at you and you lay down your hand. Plus it's hard for people to put you on hands, as you're just flinging pot-sized bets out there time after time after time.

The slightly interesting part, though, is I wonder just how terrible a strategy it would be to simply bet the pot, every single time action was on you. It's not optimal by any stretch of the imagination, but it's also puts even thinking opponents in a generally uncomfortable situation a great percentage of the time. It'd be pretty exploitable if you continued to mash the "Bet Pot" button on the turn and river, so I'm not advocating that, just relying on it pre-flop and on the flop. And yeah, the fold button doesn't get ignored either. Just the check/call button, and any bet/raise other than a pot-sized one.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Am a Trading Genius!

CRYP misses estimates for quarterly earnings by a mile? Check.

CRYP throws baby out with bathwater in a desperate attempt to show an operating profit to slop lipstick on poor quarter? Check.

CRYP sells off and is down 5% in first fifteen minutes of trading? Check.

Broader markets plunge again? Check.

CRYP somehow defies all of the above and comes roaring back, currently trading up +12% on the day (with the reversal coming so quickly that I'm currently holding well-nigh worthless puts)? Check, and mate.

Fuck a duck. At least it was only my gambling money left in my Scottrade account, and not anything in the IRA (where I can't buy options or sell anything short).

The broader markets are pretty much absolutely nutso right now, to use a technical term.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mmm, More Houses

My wee lil' Full Tilt roll eclipsed the $200 mark last night, which I'm taking an inordinate amount of pride in, as far as starting with a buck and change. I'm having a hard time sticking to Jesus' guide to bankroll management, though, as far as never buying into a cash game with more than 5% of my roll. I can see the bankroll management wisdom in it, but I'm just not quite that patient.

It's been interesting playing solely cash games again, as I'd been donking around in snGs and MTTs for quite awhile, with only a bit of cash games here and there. Definitely not as exciting as playing MTTs with big payoffs dancing before your eyes, but I'm finally remembering that umm, yeah, this cash game stuff isn't exactly rocket science, especially if you're patient and have half a poker brain.

(And yes, I know, I'm pontificating about nosebleed .25/.50 stakes games. Indeedy.)

Still running full-bore on all my other assorted pursuits. I've been pretty much on fire on the trading front, with my IRA account (the main vehicle I use for shorter term trading) up nearly 70% on the year. Hands down the biggest reason for the gains isn't any wisdom or intelligence on my part, but finally learning the lesson to respect my stops and not be stubborn, as that's what has always killed me in the past. Definitely taken more than a few lumps here and there but I've avoided any big losers, and been lucky enough to hit a couple of home runs here and there with fairly substantial positions.

Primary play at the moment is loading up on puts on my old friend Cryptologic, which reports quarterly earnings tomorrow. Their last quarterly results were pretty terrible, and they've already warned of more of the same this quarter. While they've got new licensees in the mix this time (Playboy and WPTE), their network traffic numbers have been slowly eroding, and one of their big licensees Will Hill has already released results that show struggling poker results. The company's long-term prospects are still pretty good, but I think there's a good chance that the quarterly numbers tomorrow are bad, kneecapping the stock back down to the $15-$16 area.

Just about to pull the trigger on making an offer on another investment property, as soon as a few ducks get lined up. Still kind of blows my mind how quickly I've gone from apartment dweller to wheeler and dealer of real estate, but there you go. Makes me wonder what the heck I'll be doing 5 years from now, or ten years after that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Balls? Who Needs 'Em?

Creasy the rabbit managed to get through his balls-removal ordeal with minimal, umm, ordeal. A little disconcerting, that, as he was pretty much 100% back to top manic rabbit speed just a few hours afterwards and seemingly had no recollection or recognition of anything bad going down. Which I suppose is good, all in all, but not exactly a strong argument in favor of possessing testicles.

Just about to wrap up the second flip property I've been working on, as far as getting it listed, and had a happy walkthrough with our realtor yesterday, as he wants to list it in the mid $90s, which was good news. Obviously haven't sold the place yet, but on paper things look good, as far as potential profits. We also went and scoped out other available properties and found two pretty strong candidates for the next one to buy. None of these flips are ever going to produce oh-my-God wads of cash, but they're pretty encouraging as far as my hopeful long-term goal of one day being able to swing 4-5 such deals a year, make $15,000-$20,000 per property, and stop selling my soul to the corporate overlords at some point.

I've actually been playing a bit of poker the last four or five days, which has been both funny, entertaining, and a bit eye-opening. I had exactly $1.56 in my account, and lumped it all in one a multi-table $1 SnG. (I know, I'm CRAZY!). Ended up finishing second for $13 (CHA-CHING!), and have since been playing at the .05/.10 6 max NL tables. I'm up to about $75 now, but still trying to be good and not yet jump up to nosebleed stakes.

The entertaining and eye-opening part is that I'm actually enjoying playing and not completely bored out of my gourd, despite the stakes. I'm honestly not sure why that is. I won't say that I'm trying to mimic the Jesus Ferguson challenge of running a $1 into something large, but for whatever weird reason I'm actually attached to my wee little bankroll, and not immediately taking it to the biggest table I can buy-in for the minimum at and risking it all trying to double or nothing, as I have in the past.

I've pretty much completely played like a donk for the last year and a half, as far as playing $33 Sngs on a $200 bankroll, jumping into $30 rebuy tourneys with $150 in my account, etc. And of course I eventually bleed through it until Full Tilt graciously deposits advertising monies in my account, at which point I start the process all over again. Using WafflesMath, I'm still break even (I'm not a losing player, damnit! Advertising and affiliate money isn't real money, it doesn't count! I didn't deposit it!), but there's no pleasure in playing like a donk, especially when I know better.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Snip Snip

Had to take Creasy the rabbit in for his snip snip operation today, which wasn't much fun. He was chilled out and no trouble at all, but I couldn't help but feel guilty, in that "Sorry, little dude, you have no idea what bad stuff is coming down the pipes, despite it being for the best" sort of way.

Many, many good things about living in the country, and I'm very glad we moved out to the sticks, but having slightly odd pets such as rats and rabbits makes vet trips a little more stressful than they'd otherwise be. He'll be fine, and it's not brain surgery, but not exactly comforting when I'm checking him in for his operation and the receptionist immediately says "Oh wow, it's a rabbit, we almost never treat those."

Rabbit/human relations have been pretty amusing so far, as this is the first time I've ever had a rabbit as a pet. My wife is trying her damnedest to turn him into a cuddly lap bunny, which is having mixed results so far. This leads to much grabbing of him during his playtime at night, hauling him into her lap, and attempts to subdue his manic rabbit energy by petting and cuddling. Which more often than not is met with much squirming and biting and resistance. Me, I just lay on the couch and ignore him, which the last few nights results in him getting bored, jumping up on the couch with me and laying next to me so his ears can be scratched, triumphantly glaring at my wife, who naturally gets all sorts of pissed off.

Yes, that's all I've got. Rabbit talk. What fresh hell is this?

Thursday, August 02, 2007


So it looks like my stint as poker tournament reporter will get at least one more at-bat, as I'm going to be working for PokerRoom again at the end of the month, covering the main event at the WPT Legends tournament. The timing of these gigs is working out pretty nicely, as I have a ton of vacation time at the day job that I need to burn through before the end of the year, so it's pretty much a win-win situation, with me killing all sorts of birds with one stone.

I'll definitely be more prepared this go-around, and hopefully I'll actually have time to meet up with some of you LA-area poker blogger types. I felt kind of bad at the WSOP as I barely spoke to Otis, Pauly, Spaceman, and CC. Largely due to my inherently shy nature, but the schedule was really pretty brutal, and its far to easy to fall into a zombified state of just getting your work done and trying not to bother any of the other zombies shuffling around you, also just trying to get their work done.

Definitely more than a bit of love/hate at the thought of being away from home, wife, and menagerie of animals for another week, but I do enjoy the work, and the extra money is nice, and they're giving me a fair amount of leeway and lots of encouragement as far as the form the blog is going to take, moving forward. So that's all very cool, and it's nice to be able to actually apply assorted monkey talents and knowledge of mine directly in a project I'm working on.

Hats off to Neteller for the speedy processing of assorted withdrawals. I only had a few hundred bucks stuck in my account but it's nice to get it back, and especially nice to hear that other folks with much more substantial amounts in their accounts have finally been able to get their mitts on it.

I've been too busy with house stuff the last few weeks to play much poker, and that'll probably continue to be the case for the near future. I did play a bit on, but man, I hesitate to even hyperlink to it, as they still have some major kinks to work out. It's an interesting enough idea but the execution is pretty lacking, and it seems almost at times the developers aren't really poker players, as some things just make no sense.

Still cranking away on the affiliate front, although the majority of what I've been working on lately is mindless, pretty spammy, and not that interesting or cool. Slowly and steadily building up the affiliate income again, but it's still pretty depressing comparing the totals from pre UIGEA and post UIGEA.