Monday, December 17, 2007
My girlfriend is due back from Amsterdam tomorrow and after hanging for a week, we are headed out to Vegas on Christmas Day and coming back on the 30th. Some friends are coming over from Amsterdam and we are going to meet them there for some holiday fun (and poker, at least for me anyway). I'm looking forward to it as I don't get to play live much anymore and probably won't until we move back to Amsterdam. I'm wondering how busy the casinos will be during the holidays but I guess it probably will not effect the business very much.
My girlfriend bought a Squeezebox for me for my birthday and it's the greatest thing since sliced white bread! I have a huge collection of music on my computer after ripping all of my CD collection to FLAC but listening through computer speakers really sucks. I have some good home speakers connected to a non-descript receiver so it is a lot better than the computer speakers. I find myself listening to music all the time now and even picked my guitars up again for the first time in a while. For the price, there is no way to beat the Squeezebox. The software for it is pretty open source so there are tons of plugins for it. I'm using the Audioscrobbler plugin so that everything that I listen to shows up on my last.fm page and because of scripts, also shows up on my blog and Myspace pages.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I tried playing a tournament last night but my cable modem kept crapping out and disconnecting me from the internet. I had to pull the power and restart it seven (!) times during the tournament so I finally pushed, got busted and disgusted all at once. Time Warner came around and replaced it today so all is good...I should ask about a refund of my buy-in.
I see the party of no morals (doesn't take much of a guess to which one that is) is up to their usual with the vote in the House on waterboarding. This pretty much says it all.
I see the party of no morals (doesn't take much of a guess to which one that is) is up to their usual with the vote in the House on waterboarding. This pretty much says it all.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The Yankees got away from the winter baseball meeting without doing anything stupid, namely trading Phil Hughes or any of the other prospects that they have for Johan Santana. Santana is a great pitcher but his numbers tailed off a bit this year, which would definitely scare me off if I were a GM, especially with the cost in prospects AND a contract extension for Santana. Brian Cashman has done a great job rebuilding the Yankees farm system in only three years and I didn't want to see it undone in one trade. Give the young guys a chance...that's a big reason for how the Yankees won in '96. George used to try to give the farm away for perceived power hitters (Ken Phelps anyone?), when the '96 team won playing small ball, a more National League style with good base running and stealing. Since that group of guys that were there (Bernie Williams, etc.) and the new guys (Jeter, Pettite, Rivera, Posada), the Yankees farm system didn't produce much up until Cano and Cabrera.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It looks like my girlfriend and I are going to wait another year before moving back to Amsterdam. Not really what I would like but it is probably best for us to do that. I hate not having any live poker convenient and the restrictions on funding online poker here, and hate a lot of other things in the US but I guess I can suck it up for another year.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I grew habaneros on my balcony this year after having not grown any while I was in Amsterdam because of the unsuitable climate, so my girlfriend and I picked all the peppers and did away with the plants because of the upcoming freeze conditions. We made 24 half pint jars of hot sauce with the peppers as she likes it and I'm addicted to the endorphin rush from the capsaicin. It is extremely hot and I would like to give some away but I don't know anyone that could handle the heat and would rather keep it than give it away to be thrown away. We had some on falafel last night and it was so tasty!!!
Monday, October 22, 2007
The current firestorm going on about and within Absolute Poker is no surprise here. Not too long ago both my girlfriend and I played on that site and both of us saw some pretty unbelievable bad beats, players staying in hands for way too long (like they knew what everybody was holding) and other unbelievable crap. We cashed out and moved what was left of our money over to FTP and PokerStars. Both have had some issues in the past (an apparent botnet was running on FTP and they took too long to do something about it and PokerStars has had some issues about multiple accounts from the same computer during tournaments) but both have made attempts to rectify the situations and pay back players that were affected. The story out of Absolute (and Ultimate Bet, since it is the same company) seems to be changing by the day. If I had money on there, I would pull it out immediately and move it to somewhere more reputable.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
My girlfriend and I went out to the NC State Fair.....why did I ever leave Amsterdam and come back here? We stayed just over an hour and the whole lowbrowness (new word?) was pretty disgusting. I guess the US is just way to neanderthal (and that's an insult to the neanderthals) for both of us and we are so looking forward to going back to Europe.
What a table full of donkeys! The absolute worst final table of my memory without a doubt...Alex Kravchenko was the best player on the table but played with a short stack for most of the early going. He picked his spots very well though and lasted longer than probably anyone would have thought. Yang definitely joins the poker fucktard list of Moneymaker, Gold, Varkonyi, etc. I'm definitely going to win a satellite into the main event this year as I have to be part of this donkey fest. I felt sad for Scotty Nguyen for going on tilt just before the final table as I think he would have run over the whole table. He probably missed his best chance for a second main event bracelet. And what's up with the praying to god at the poker table as Yang was doing? If god existed (I'm an atheist), do you think he would give a fuck about a poker game and how you're doing in it? What an absolute fucktard!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
After sleeping a bit, the first thing we went to do in Amsterdam was to buy in to the Tuesday night No Limit Hold 'Em tournament at the Holland Casino. Other than some home games, it was my first time playing live since leaving Amsterdam at the end of January. I really like the new poker room as you can read in my previous post. The first thing I noticed at the tournament was that there were a lot of new faces and I didn't see some of the old familiar ones....maybe the move to the new room and the elimination of smoking had an effect. The first hand, I started out in the big blind and to my surprise, there were no raises (very unusual in this tournament from my previous experience). I checked my options with the 62o and saw a flop of 345...sweet! I slowed played my flopped straight, got paid off nicely for it and everything went well from there. I slowly built up my stack then lost a small chunk of it when I overplayed JTd... I had top pair and a flush draw that didn't come in and I went too far with only top pair. I then caught pocket aces under the gun (my favorite spot for them!) and had the dream situation- a guy (who I had previously overheard talking with someone about him living in Vegas (poker pro?)) pushed all in and it was folded around to me and I obviously instacalled. He had kings and my aces held up, so I almost doubled up. A few hands after that, the player to my right pushed all in and what do I see? Pocket kings...I called him, had him covered and my kings were better than his fives. I caught another king on the turn and he never improved, so I almost doubled again. I had a big stack at this point as was shortly moved to another table, which turned out to later become the final table. On this table, I saw a few of the familiar faces from previous tournaments, all of them known to me to be loose, aggressive types. When I previously played in this tournament, I knew that these guys could outplay me but my games has improved 1000% since then and I knew that I could punish them now and I did. When I first sat down, I didn't have the biggest stack on the table but it didn't take me too long before I did. For some reason, I don't remember many specific hands on this table other than calling a big raise from one of the LAG's with pocket 3's and after a continuation bet, I made a big reraise with my flopped set. He mumbled something in Dutch and folded, then I showed the cards only to have him mumble something else in an obviously disgusted voice. Then came the one hand that I do remember that I played extremely bad...for some reason, those always stick in my memory perfectly which is good for me as I always improve my game from my mistakes. I had A5o in late position and it was folded around to me, so I made a min raise. Folds after me and the big blind checks his options, so it was two to the flop. The big blind had the biggest stack when I sat down on the table and through observation I had noticed that he appeared to play tightly as he had not gotten involved in very many hands. I had taken a couple of big pots away from him earlier to pad my stack. The flop came Axx and he pushed all in....my initial read was that he was tight and I should fold with only top pair and bad kicker but maybe I thought too much about it and came to the conclusion that he was just pushing back with a big bluff and nothing after I had pushed him around earlier- taking a stand if you will. So like an idiot (always trust your first impression, it is usually right), I called and he turned over AJo and I only had three outs...which I didn't get. My stack at that point was 22K or so and I donked away +/- two thirds of it on this one hand, after I had played so well up to this point. I still managed to make the final table and finish 6th for 603 euros ($830) but will always wonder what could have been as I know I was headed for a top three finish and easily could have won. My final hand I had to push with T3o as the blinds were killing me and I was called by Axo and KK. The guy with the kings busted both of us and since the guy with the Axo had more chips than I did, he was fifth and I was sixth.
I was told by some of the regulars that the Amsterdam Holland Casino moved their poker room in April (I moved away in January) so it was my first time seeing the new poker room. They have roped off the tables now so that observers have to stand back, a major improvement over the old room where observers were standing just behind your chair, were majorly in the way of everything and could easily see your cards if you were not careful. They have also eliminated smoking at the tables which is also a huge improvement because a lot of Dutch smokers are majorly rude and will blow smoke directly in your face and not think twice about it. You can smoke behind the ropes but if you get up to the rope and your smoking is bothering a player, they will make you move to the downstairs bar which is near the new poker room. The info screens used during the tournament are also a major improvement as they show the blind levels, next blind levels, the time before the next level change, number of rebuys/add-ons, the payout schedule, etc. The old screens only showed the time and the current blind levels, so the new ones are a lot better. All in all, the new room is a lot better playing experience than the old one.
Just got back on the 13th from a nine day trip which was fantastic but we ended up needing a vacation from the vacation as we did way too much running around trying to see everybody and catch up but not enough relaxing. The only bummer of the trip was dealing with flying through Newark, which evidently has way too much air traffic as the last few times we have travelled, we have had ground stop at our local airport which means that we sit on the ground here until we have clearance at Newark to take off as they are so stacked up with traffic. With all of the delay here then a lot of times on landing at Newark as well, you have to run like hell to make the flight. I had a 3 hour layover turned into just getting to the gate before boarding started and our flight back we had to run like hell just to make it on the plane just before it left. I hate to ditch Continental but I'm going to look into other options as Newark is just too much of a hassle to deal with every time. The weather in Amsterdam was OK but a bit of a shock since it was 95 and sunny here before I left and 50 and raining in A'dam when I arrive. I caught a cold while there but it will be over shortly.....Other than the temp difference, the weather wasn't too bad as we didn't get much rain at all and overall the trip was great.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
It appears that the LA Galaxy made a great investment. He’s played 310 minutes in six games, which comes to about $21,000 a minute if he’s out for the season. That's pretty damned expensive for a hack of Beckham's level. Almost as bad as his wife's tv show....
Friday, August 31, 2007
Tony Snow just resigned today, preceded by Gon(e)zalez and Rove and before them was a bunch of other ones that just aren't as well known (Monica Gooding being one of them). Even the rats know when the ship is sinking but what took them so long? It has been obvious to just about anyone that this ship has been sinking for YEARS! Maybe the head rat will jump ship while I'm over in Amsterdam....one can only hope.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I've had a nice little run recently with a couple of tournament cashes and I crushed another $1000+50 SNG on 'Stars last night for a $4500 payday, so all in all a nice way to head out to Amsterdam on the day after Labor Day. I'm really looking forward to the trip as it is the first vacation since going to Hawaii for four weeks in January/February of last year.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Jeez, what took so damned long! Good fuckin' riddance...the only bad thing is that Bush will name someone to the post that is even more incompetent than Gonzalez, which is the pattern of his entire presidency. Good job, Bushie...
Friday, August 24, 2007
I recently changed (once again) my ID's on the poker sites that I play on because of data mining issues. It is really easy to do, especially if you own a domain and can change your e-mail address at will as you have to have a new e-mail address. If you try to use an old one, the sites link ID's to e-mail addresses and not to physical addresses. Plus it is a chance to change my photo on Poker Stars since I had changed mine once already and they only allow one change.
I was talking to a guy that I work with today and he's getting married sometime in the not too distant future. He and his future wife are going to some kind of premarriage counseling at their church and the female minister told him and his girlfriend that they should abstain from premarital sex for the eight months prior to their marriage. As an atheist, this kind of shit is just amusing beyond fucking belief to me. They preach all this kind of bullshit about abstinence and only want to teach that in sex education to kids but the teen pregnancy rate here is unfuckingbelievable (yes,that is one word). In the Netherlands, where they actually teach 'real' sex education, the teen pregnancy rate is one seventh what it is here. They just can't stand the fact that somewhere, somebody is fucking and enjoying it. While I'm on a roll here- if they took the money that they spend here every year teaching this disingenuous version of sex education and combined it with the money that they hold over poor countries' heads (we're not going to give you this money unless you use it to teach abstinence, not buy condoms with it to help keep your AIDS rate from fucking skyrocketing)and the money from the tremendously ineffective 'war on drugs', we could probably solve world hunger. Instead, the misguided 'war on drugs' rolls on and the amount of drugs available continues to rise, profits for the dealers continue to rise, etc. I know a guy, who will remain nameless, that says that he votes Republican every time just because he knows that they will continue the 'war on drugs' and it keeps his profits high. The 'war on sex', brought to you by the same people that brought to you the 'war on drugs'. Fucking idiots....
What would be the probability of having four flat tires in three weeks and three of them all in one week? Well that has been my last three weeks and I think that there is some vandalism afoot. On the one valve stem that I noticed, there appeared to be two slices in the back of it facing toward the wheel. The two cuts were so thin that they had to be made with something like a single edge razor. The cuts leaked so slowly (or maybe not at all) until I started driving on the highway, where I would get seven to ten miles away from home before that tire would get so flat that I would have to pull off the highway and change the tire. I ruined two tires because getting off a busy interstate with traffic takes some time and it doesn't take very long to ruin a tire. Road hazard warranties are a great thing....but I'm thinking about sitting at my window with my Glock 10mm w/laser sight and watching for idiots.
I can't believe that the hapless Rangers piled up 30 runs on the hapless Orioles...I wish baseball would return to what it was in the 60's before they started tinkering with it to increase run production. No matter how many runs they score, baseball isn't going to get the X Games/video games generation to watch it because it is just too slow paced, so I wish that they would return to the game that the purists love. Raising the pitching mound would be a good first step back to good baseball and not the ridiculous 30-3 crap that we have now. And while I'm ranting- David Beckham. What a fucking joke but he's a perfect fit in Plastic Town (aka Los Angeles) with all of its fake plastic people. The fucker was always one footed to begin with and mostly a hack that got by on his good looks and ability with penalty kicks. No true European football fan has a shred of respect for him but the Galaxy throw so much money at him that you would think that he is the second coming of Pele...whatever. While in Europe, I was privileged to get to see Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o, and trust me, Beckham at his best isn't even a shadow of those guys. I bet Johan Cruijff could still easily outplay Beckham and he's 60.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Seemed like the last two or three weeks I could do no wrong (well, almost) playing poker but this week...jeez. It is like a dominant pitcher in baseball that loses his release point or arm slot and it all goes to hell...and I guess golfers can relate. Well enough of that as I don't do bad beat stories. On a positive note, the Yankees have been playing like they should as of late and Boston is looking like a deer in the headlights. I went on the Sons of Sam Horn forum last night and the Red Sox fans are starting to get a little twitchy from the heat the Yankees are starting to put on and although the Yankees have the tougher finishing schedule, I still think they will catch them. They have had a definite boost from Phil Hughes coming back and Joba Chamberlain being called up and the pain that I felt when the Sox signed Eric Gagne must have just been something I ate as Gagne has shit the bed on a regular basis since becoming a member of the Red Sox. And as much as they tell you otherwise, the Red Sox and their fans still have an inferiority complex about the Yankees even after the big comeback a few years ago. Arod...the Yankees better resign him as there is no way they would be 4 back now without him. Also, it is a sad day for Yankee fans as Phil 'The Scooter' Rizzuto passed away at the age of 89. I really enjoyed hearing him do the Yankees games on WPIX with Bobby Murcer and Tom Seaver.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I read a lot of articles in the Economist and although I don't agree with everything that they print, the articles are always well written and interesting. This article hits the nail right on the head and tells all about the rats jumping off a sinking ship. So where were all these rats in 2004 and earlier? When everything was going well for them, you didn't hear a word from any of the rats jumping off the ship now. The article addresses almost every shortcoming, of which there are many, of the Bush administration. Government expansion, cronyism, hiring imcompetents because of their 'idealogical purity', etc. Not too many stones unturned here, and the kind of article that you will never see from the American press because they are too concerned with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or Anna Nicole Smith.
After being in Amsterdam for a little over 2 years, I have been pretty happy with the state of poker on TV here as compared to the Netherlands, where the tvscape was barren. You could watch EPT reruns on Veronica there (never did find out when the first run episodes were on) and that was pretty good but the other shows were total crap. There was some Party Poker sponsored show on with a country vs. country challenge with what started out as one professional from the country with two footballers (soccer for those of you in the US) but it changed midway the river into two professionals and one football player. The whole concept sounds bad and in reality it was even worse. There was another show on where Marcel Luske and Noah Boeken were teaching Dutch celebrities how to play and it was even worse than the previously mentioned show, so it was nice to come back to the US and get to see High Stakes Poker (my favorite), Poker After Dark, World Poker Tour (even though I'm not a big fan of Sexton and Van Patten)and the WSOP, which is pretty cool in HD.
I read a recent article by Lee Jones, the former cardroom manager at Poker Stars, where he stated that because of UIGEA, it was getting harder to make money playing poker online because the main people that it affected were the fish as they were the most easily discouraged and wouldn't go the extra mile and reload. Consequently, less and less bad players were playing and it was getting harder and harder to make money online. He stated that he thought that players should be allowed to change ID's whenever they wanted to avoid showing up as 'fish' on sites such as Sharkscope, Poker Edge, the pokerdb, etc. I think showing up as a shark on there has to have an effect on good players as well and would have to think that it was negative EV wise as it would affect the amount of action that you get. I also think that it is funny that not too long after this article turned up that Poker Stars made an announcement that they were going to prevent data mining of their players by the very sites mentioned above (and any others that I don't know about). Even though, I'm still thinking of changing my ID's on the two sites that I play on and starting with a clean slate, although I haven't read anything about FTP following the Poker Stars lead.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I played my first 1 table SNG tonight on 'Stars and won!! Not great cards by any means but I had some rushes and was able to steal enough blinds, resteal, etc. to win. I just started reading Collin Moshman's Sit 'n Go Strategy, so maybe that helped?!? All while trying to watch a friend do well in the Guaranteed $32,000 on FTP and while talking to my girlfriend who was calling from Munich. I also finally got around to buying my airline ticket to Amsterdam and I'm started to get stoked about going....after 101 degrees here today, mid 60's in A'dam is looking pretty good.
Friday, August 3, 2007
What a long, stressful week...work was demanding and I didn't get a great nights sleep since Saturday. Mostly in the one to two hour range as I kept waking up and couldn't go back to sleep. I can see a lot of pool time in my future for this weekend and I have a couple of books to start reading- Professional No Limit Hold 'Em by Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta and Ed Miller, and Your Worst Poker Enemy by Alan Schoonmaker. I have everything that Ed Miller has written and I'm looking forward to reading Your Worst Poker Enemy as I have read good things about it. Recently I have read Read 'Em and Reap by Joe Navarro, which was really excellent and I'm eagerly anticipating putting it to practice the next time that I play live. I'm planning on playing in Amsterdam when I go out in September, both the Tuesday night donkfest tournament and the cash games.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I've been pretty tired all week, just new job stress related I guess. It is a lot more responsibility than I originally thought as the owner is trying to get certified to do work for the NC DOT and government wheels grind slowly I'm afraid. It is my responsibility to get this done but I had almost five years with the Department and change is slow there....I played three 45 player SNG's last night on FTP and only got through half the field all three times...drawn out on by calling stations all three times. I use Poker Office and my rating was Tight Aggressive (pre-flop)- Aggressive (post flop) but you can't get some donkeys to fold no matter what. One of the ones that I didn't lose- I pick up pocket 7's in the big blind and make a 4BB raise and I get two callers, UTG+1 and the donkey in the SB with Kd5h! The flop comes 7c5c2c so I make my set. The SB donkey checks and I make a pot sized bet of $390, so UTG+1 folds and the donkey calls with middle pair. I was sure he was going to fold, I guess he must have thought....maybe he could think...that I was on a flush draw with the two clubs and he should call with his middle pair. The turn came 5c which paired the board, made any possible flushes, made his set and filled me up! THE best possible card for me...The donkey CHECKS again and since I have only $960 behind and the pot is already $1170, I push, he calls (and I have him covered as he has $900 behind), the river is a meaningless 3s and he's busted! Well you know what they say about playing trash hands out of position...
Monday, July 23, 2007
The weather here was so nice yesterday and I hung out at the pool for a long while, although I managed to tear myself away for PokerStars Sunday Million. I haven't played it in a while but it has been the main reason that I have padded my bankroll and I cashed again yesterday for $4450.00. I'm going to win it someday!! After that, I played on Full Tilt, where I'm just starting and don't have too much in the account yet. I played a $4 45 player SNG and finished 22nd...go figure! I got involved in a bad hand at the very beginning and made too large of a cbet when a smaller one would have served the same purpose. I was called and fired again on the turn, only to get reraised so I had to give it up. I was so damaged that it was pushmonkey poker from there out and mostly I couldn't get anyone to double me up. I picked up queens UTG and made a huge raise (which pretty much screams jacks or maybe 10's) but I couldn't get a caller. I finally went out on K4o when I got desperate...all in all a good day though.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
is just absolutely getting hammered by the euro and the pound right now, as was chronicled in the NY Times today. Most Americans are paying for the flight in dollars and are getting sticker shock at the prices they are finding there. It's a good thing that my girlfriend gets paid in euros or I would probably pass on my upcoming September trip to Amsterdam. I'm interested to see what happens with the exchange rate when the chimp's term as President is over and someone else is in there as the exchange has been horrible since I had to start dealing with it in 2004 when I moved to Amsterdam. At least I was able to spend over 2 years out of the country while the chimp was running it. The Times also has an article about how the US has dropped the ball in Afghanistan and Iraq and we are all less safe than pre 9-11? Ummm, you think? Take your eyes off the real prize and funnel money into a bottomless pit.....
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I started my new job yesterday and boy is it....boring! I guess it is because only a fraction of the lab equipment is in so far and I need all the other stuff to do anything with what I already have. At least it gives me some time to read poker books and the company is going to put a computer out in the lab soon...that may not be a good thing! Maybe it is because my poker bankroll is somewhat healthy and growing, but I'm having a hard time staying interested in work at all. Anywho...I've almost encoded all of my ripped CD's now and can get back to the poker tables with no diversions, probably starting with the Sunday Millions coming up at PokerStars this weekend.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I had so many things to do today, so I spent 8 hours out at the pool. :-) After coming back in, I did have a profitable 2 hour session at PokerStars on the 25/50 PLO tables with a 20BB/100 rate...way many more donkeys per table than at the NLHE tables. Somebody should really read Rolf Slotboom's PLO book...but that's just my opinion. And hopefully they will not read it and cut into my profits. After that it was back to my epic project of ripping my entire CD collection to the computer so that I can get rid of the CD's....maybe. I'm extremely anal about it and have been using the best tools available- EAC, Plextools and dBPowerAmp's reference ripper along with FLAC but it has taken way longer than I expected. I'm totally ho hum about starting my new job tomorrow but I guess I have gotten lazy from basically not working for the last 6 weeks. With my gf gone until September, maybe it will keep me from getting so bored.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Is this thing on? So where do I start....my gf is in Amsterdam for two months and I have way too many things to do. I killed a few hours at the pool today while rereading No Limit Hold 'Em Theory and Practice by Sklansky/Miller, one of my fave poker books that I always go back to, even when things are running well as they are now. I haven't played any tournaments for a while but the cash game has been running hot for a long while now and I had a great night at a fairly high stakes home game a week ago, which was the first time I have played live in months. Since I have plenty of time, I also picked up Joe Navarro's Read 'Em and Reap, the Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide and pre-ordered Ed Miller's new book which should be out in a couple of weeks. I'm actually looking forward to flying out to A'dam in early September and playing in the Tuesday night donkfest there that they call a No Limit tournament. First two levels (20 minutes each) are with rebuys and the levels are 30 minutes each after that....pretty fast tournament that is good to practice speed play but pray for good cards as there are so many donkeys that will call to the river with nothing. I'm more looking forward to seeing all of my good friends in Amsterdam and at the Cave, Amsterdam's rock and metal club. Now back to the real world- I start a new job tomorrow as head of quality control over concrete/aggregates for a contractor here in Raleigh. A nice pay raise and all of the excitement/uncertainty that always comes with a new job. I should have gotten used to it by now though as I have changed jobs like jeans for the last year...maybe it had something to do with living in Amsterdam for over two years and not working at all!