Here's the cake they got us. Awesome!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I should ripping off the business formal duds any minute and start my journey to the Winter Gathering in Las Vegas. Yipppeeeee!!!
This is my 4th Winter Gathering, and I have to say, I'm just as excited as I was for any of them. I can't wait to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
My plans, well, the only set things I have right now are the drinks tonight at Excalibur tour of the Neon Museum at 2 PM on Friday and the tournament on Saturday. Other than that, here are my goals:
- I made the worst mistake ever last year by not accepting an invitation to hang out with AlCantHang at a concert. If asked, I don't want to do that again. Bad OhCaptain.
- I'd really like to get back to the Pinball Hall of Fame. Logistics and travel will be the problem
- Share some whiskey with others. I continue to dream about sampling some good spirits with other bloggers who appreciate them. Logistics has always been a problem with this. Astin left us a bottle of something tasty with CK. Let's do this.
- Gold & Silver Pawn. I'm a simple man. I just want to see it in person.
- Atomic Testing Museum - I like museums
- I'd like to not get felted in the first hour after sitting at poker table. Miami Don hitting the nuts to my second nuts(ish) just blows.
- Rekindle my love of photography. I think my eye is ready to do its thing again.
Posted by OhCaptain at 10:13 AM
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Winter Gathering for 2011 is Thursday! I did figure I need to update here before heading out. I know, it's a smidge late, but as Kat once told me, as long as I get the post up before the next blogger gathering, it's all good. One thing this might do, is fuel the fire for another trip to the desert.
Vegas for me has always been a rather surreal place. The flashy wealth, the poor, the homeless, the clicker people, the tourist, the casino employees, all walking the streets, each with their own purpose. My photo walk is a time for me to really look at Vegas and study the imagery, the people, the lights. Photography, the word, comes from Latin and I believe it means painting with light. A good photo graph tells a story, brings meaning to the world.
Last year, I gave myself an unusual goal for the photo walk. Every time I visit, I see the couples, the families, the friends all doing something that when you look back, is always disappointing. One member of a group is always sitting out of the picture because they are taking the picture. Or worse, they are taking that crappy arm stretched photo that never really works out. My goal? I set out to take 25 pictures for people were every member of a group, both halves of a couple, got to be in the picture.
It did mean I took fewer pictures than years past. In all, I stopped count at about 30 photo for people.
To accomplish my goal, I would just stop when I saw the usual signs of group -1 problem starting and I'd just simply walk up and offer to take the picture for them. A couple of people just declined, which was just fine. One kid hands me his camera, and his mom immediately freaks out. The camera was a pretty crappy, taped together point & shoot, but she kinda lit into him.
"You don't just hand a camera to a perfect stranger in Las Vegas!" she panicked.
He points to my camera, "Mom, I think he's set in the camera department."
I can understand her point. Vegas isn't a place that inspires you to trust in strangers. I showed her the point & shoot I carry along with my DSLR and phone. She joined the group and I took the picture. Lots of smiling faces. Good times.
Another funny came when I was walking near the fountain at Bellagio. A younger couple were doing the take a picture of one, hand the camera to the other and shoot the other one. Always a sad way to get memories of a romantic trip to Las Vegas. I did my offer, and their faces just lit up. "You will take our picture together?" "Sure," I said.
He handed me the camera, I futzed with the buttons for a second and took a really nice shot. I think I got the Eiffel Tower in the background and the whole works. After the click, I admired my work and handed it back.
"Dude! The flash didn't go off! Um, never mind. It looks great, um, how?" he said. I showed him setting on his camera and moved on. Built in flash systems are evil. Please, I'm begging you, learn how to not use a flash.
It felt really good helping people. Helps to take the edge off the decadence you see all around. Give it a try this weekend. Let me know how it goes.
Now, for the photos I took with my camera. I splashed a few in here. This year, I need to get out of the middle of the strip. Almost feels boring to me.
This first one is of a magician working the street. He posed all nice for me which wasn't what I was hoping for. I wanted to shoot him in action, but he just froze up when I pointed the camera at him. I'd have tipped him more if he hadn't kept doing that.
You'd think there was plenty of light here by the statue turned Michael Jackson impersonator. You'd be wrong. I need a faster lens.
Our destination of choice this year for poker. Aria. With a lot more of the construction done, I might spend more time here with the camera.
The now ubiquitous photo of the fountain at Bellagio.
The conservatory is one of my favorite places in the Las Vegas to walk through. Just beautiful. The following are from there. I'll let you finish by just looking at the pictures. I'll post more about my plans for this weekend and little later.
Posted by OhCaptain at 12:44 PM
Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Finished in the top half somewhere. Blinds are 1000/2000 and I started the hand in the BB with ~12000 T$. Under the gun makes it 9000. Table folds to me and I squeeze ATs. Good enough. The vivian tables AQo. Somehow he wins. Oh well. It was a fun run.
Posted by OhCaptain at 5:47 PM
Lots of craziness since the last break. I had quads and didn't get paid. Another dude hits the royal gut shot in a different hand. I'm basically slowly dying. 11500 chip left with blinds going to something. It was just 800/1600. Who knows. Wanna hear a funny? The big prize for this one is a tournament in Vegas December 3rd. Grr. I'm already in a tournament that day. WPBT. Sigh.
Posted by OhCaptain at 4:28 PM
After building a nice stack AA > KK. I shortened it back down when karma became the bitch and my KK < AA. At first break, I finally ground it back to the 10,000 starting stack. blinds will be 200/400 after break. Let's see what we can do.
Posted by OhCaptain at 1:55 PM
I got my seat assignment. I prefer the 8 seat but 9 is ok. I can still do most people, just not the BB. With 300+ it hopefully won't matter until later. Why in the hell am I nervous?
Posted by OhCaptain at 11:03 AM
I know the SEO advice is to not write about your absence from blogging. Hello advice, I acknowledge you and move on. I miss writing here. I really do. So, it's been a while...how you guys been?
Well, since the Fed decided to really piss me off and shot down poker online, I took a little hiatus. It was fun. Played with the family, herniated a disk in my back, started and stopped running again. Good times. I did play a little poker at the bars and I have amassed quite a pile of money over on Zynga. It's the bar poker I'm here to talk about.
Today, I head back up to Running Aces to play the state tourney once again for the Minnesota Poker League. It seems there are 329 registered participants. I'm both nervous and calm. I'm way more experienced than I was before my first big tournament, but I always seem to have a little tightness in the stomach the day of a big tournament. Not sure why, I know what I'm doing.
If you are interested, they say you can follow along with live commentary by following this link. I'll be posting updates here and on twitter. Having even a virtual rail can be a good time. Let me know if you are hanging out. Believe it or not, little notes and messages help.
More to come soon!
Posted by OhCaptain at 8:42 AM
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I think the picture on the right sums up a pretty fun evening. I posted the review of the whiskey over at our whiskey club's blog, I'll repost it here for your enjoyment.
Having a few glasses of 107 proof bourbon means never having to say your sorry? Right? or um, after the bourbon and a few nummy bottles of Yuengling knowing much of anything, right?
Night, night :)
DeeBakes, British Tony and myself show up. Any one of us could easily make it. 16 points is all Tony needs and since I made up for missing a month due to a faulty spinal column, it's anyone's game. Check out the points...
This month we sampled the Baker's Kentucky Bourbon. Aged only 7 years and coming in at 107 proof, all things were destined for a short trip through crazy town.
I'd tell you what an awesome night I had playing poker. Ya. Good times. Unlike last month, I rarely saw a hand and when I did, I couldn't hold on to a dominating lead. When 99 < 77, you know you run not so good. PokerFool made an appearance...he schooled us in the finer points of poker. 30 points in a single night. Crazy.
So, how was the Baker's? I'll be perfectly honest. It was $40 with tax and really quite good. When I pulled the cork, we immediately noticed the fruity aroma. Not sickeningly sweet, but very nice. 107 proof it said on the label but going down, it was very smooth. Much smoother than whiskeys far less strong. I think pretty much everyone was happy with this one. An excellent bourbon at a very reasonable price.
All in all, it was an fun night. Hope you all have a great weekend!
Posted by OhCaptain at 1:57 AM
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted by OhCaptain at 1:37 PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Don't forget, tonight is HeffMike's BBT in Exile tournament over at Poker Stars. Ya, it's for play money and nothing is sweeter then blogger money, but seriously, hasn't some of the fun of the blogger tournaments been the bragging rights? It's 8 game. What could go wrong?
Posted by OhCaptain at 9:20 AM
Saturday, May 14, 2011
As some of you know, I've been spending a lot time in the last few months doing what I need to do to get back in shape. Following Waffles lead, I had been doing the Couch to 5K running program. Things had been going really well in that regards. I even ran a 2 mile fun run with my oldest daughter. Lots of fun.
Little did I know, tying your running shoes could be hazardous to your health.
Thursday at lunch, I was all set to do Week 5 day 3, my longest continuous run - 20 minutes with no walking, no breaks. I couldn't have been more psyched.
Down in the locker room of the healthy living center at the hospital I work, I get my running clothes on, hooked up all the wires I use for tunes and monitoring and finally pulled on my shoes. Zowee! Seems bending over to tie my shoe tweaked something in my back.
And now I'm laying here, wondering why now. Why oh why...why now? Why now is online poker shut down? I've got plenty of time to play!
I've had ample time to play Words With Friends, catch up a little on Google Reader and even read some Twitter. That's led me to a poker site I'd never even heard of before reading KevMath's tweet this afternoon.
A reminder HeroPoker is running a $30,000 + $30,000 Bonus Dollar freeroll Sunday at 4:30pm ET, US players only, more at http://is.gd/AbmiPySeems there's a poker site called Hero Poker and they are hosting a US player only freeroll tomorrow. I figured what the heck. I'm not making a deposit any where any time soon...so why not try to Ferguson a bankroll somewhere?
Maybe I'll see you there? Pretty sure my back won't let me do anything else for a while. Sigh.
Posted by OhCaptain at 7:20 PM
Friday, April 22, 2011
I just noticed, this post makes 502 posts which means I missed make a big deal about my 500th post. A post about #BlackFriday™. Coincidence? Reason for FEAR? Or could it be just how the cards fell? We may never know. So happy 502 posts anniversary to me!
Posted by OhCaptain at 9:59 AM
Thursday, April 21, 2011
So, my version of internet poker is dead. Funny thing, it looks like Party Poker might just have the best chance of being invited back in the fastest when all this clears up. I hope they've taken some time to spiffy the place up.
A few posts back, I posted about a hand (link - go read it, I'll wait...) I played at my local bar poker league. JamyHawk and Jordan over at HighOnPoker (it's your turn btw in WordsWithFriends (OhCaptain)) both left comments about their thoughts on the hand. I figured I should rebut a little with some more thoughts about this and bar poker in general.
First, Waffles comment on his blog is in someways very true. When you are married with two kids and the nearest casino with Limit Hold 'em is a one hour drive away (that makes it two hours round trip) you really want your night out playing poker to last longer than 20 minutes. I haven't even got the label half way worked off the bottle of my first beer yet. Let's savor the freedom, the peace and quiet. (Shhhh....you hear that...ah...everyone is sleeep)
Second point, not all bar poker is created equal.
I've played in my share of locations since legal bar poker first appeared in Minnesota. Yes, it was illegal up until a few years ago. Sigh. Friggin' blue law state. (Why the hell can't I buy beer on Sunday? Geez) Quite a few of them we poker played in a Keno style. You shove your chips in with five of your closest friends and see what happens. It's the NumbBlowMe rebuy tournament in a bar. Not much fun.
I've chosen to play at the bar I have based on the level of the game. It's a few steps above this. Quite a few of the players are much more skilled then just playing shove monkeys. Granted, it's still a bit more loose/passive then a lot of games, but so are many of the low buy in casino tournaments I've played. But I ask, what better environment to learn to play and read players of that type.
This brings me to a rebuttle a point made by Jamy when he says,
"When you say "I decide to check and gather a bit more information". I disagree. I don't think you are ever going to get information by checking."This is where playing in a regular game differs from online and live games with lots of strangers. The Well Manicured Man and I have played hours of poker together. I pride myself on building very accurate reads on players I have a history with, and this guy, I have. He spews information as long as you are willing to look for it. One thing I hope no one ever tells him about, he spins his top chip in his bet pile when he's a big hand and just sets the chips down with no spin when he's fishing....but I digress. Checking to this guy gives me a ton of information. He has a really bad habit of bet sizing differently on his continuation bets with a hand and without. A cardinal sin when you are trying to keep me off balance. If he bet small (which he did) he's got nothing. He bets big, he's got something worth protecting. This habit of his is spot on. The second way this helps me is, for free, I get to see the reaction of the other man in the hand. In a game like this, while I have no history with this guy, I know that for whatever reason, he's going to be paying attention to the last guy to act, WMM and not me. So I get to watch him without him trying to hide from me. He shows bubkiss. So for free, I got to watch as one player told me he's got nothing and the other player told me he was holding a weak hand. All for the low price of nothing.
All while sipping a tasty bottle of 312 from Goose Island Brewing Company.If there's a beer company out there that wants to sponsor this blog and get some SEO magic, just look me up. (But why oh why does Anheiser Busch need to buy up my favorite little breweries? I'll miss you 312)
I've noticed over the years that I have more success at bar poker when I adapt my game to fit the situation. In Jordan's post, he writes,
"When you have a strong hand in a game where donkeys are likely to call with ATC, that is not a sign that you should play the strong hand slowly; that’s a sign that you need to stamp down on the pedal as hard as possible. Rather than fearing that your opponents will suck out on you, focus on the reverse. For players to suckout, they must be behind. Therefore, more often than not in that situation, you will win."When thing I was never really afraid of was my opponent sucking out on me. Actually quite the opposite. My call from the BB is waiting to see the flop before committing all my chips. See previous comment about wanting to strip the label off my beer. It's true, they will call with any two cards, so it best not to commit everything with QQ and find yourself racing against 2 other players. Mathematically, it's too close to call with the range of over cards they could be holding. Second, after the flop, I do slow play it because my read is telling me I'm way ahead here. Scaring people out of the pot at this point to me is playing with fear of losing to a suck out. I'm playing the hand for value. Remember, the longer I have chips, the greater my opportunity to strip the labels off of beer bottles.
I think another big difference between bar poker leagues and straight up tournament play has to do with the payment structure. When I play a tournament for money, I want to get paid. The deeper I go, the more money I make. This point is well understood. Now, bar poker leagues are a different beast. While sure, there's some gift certificates for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I like me free stuff, but the bigger prizes comes after weeks of play. Each week, the top 30% of the tournament gets points. If you think about the random donkeys that play these things, you quickly notice that while going really deep once is cool and all, the people that make the points most often usually find themselves moving on to bigger pastures. Making the final table every week pays better long term than winning once in a while.
It really all depends on which prize you are shooting for.
While I wait for the hope of seeing my online funds returned to me, I guess I'll have to play what I can. Maybe we can finally find that online euchre or 500 client...I know, I'm dreaming.
And thus ends the rambling.
The Free Poker Network, the parent company of my Minnesota league has an online poker client now. It's no where near as polished as Stars, Tilt or Party Poker, but it is another way to get into their bigger tournaments. My first forays into playing the site but it at about bar poker level of skill. If you are interested in trying it out, their affiliate program requires me to invite you with an email. Shoot me an email and I'll invite you.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
So, I spent my first weekend post #Black Friday™ not doing too much different then I normally do. Seems I'm just a recreational player that for the most part has spent a fair amount of time on the +EV side of the game with the just the faintest of vertical slopes to the profit/loss lines. I believe I probably was mostly a breakevener.
I'm happy about that. What little scratch I got out of the game paid for a few bills now and then but a while back, I cashed out most of my holdings on the big two. I never really played at Ultimate Bet and hearing them mentioned as a big 3 makes me chuckle. Anywho, I still have some funds in FT and PS but I never really counted it as money. I know, huh? My poker money on these sites was other people's money. I had long since cashed out my original deposits, back in the day when poker was a lot easier.
Anyone else notice poker's been getting harder lately?
Back to my weekend.
So I found myself for the first weekend in years, with no playing poker for money. Did I freak out? Nah. Was I bored? Not really, I currently have 14 games of Words With Friends going (OhCaptain) and frankly, most of those people are way better at it then I am. New challenges rock!
Seems slightly cyclical, this poker thing. You see, four or five or six years ago, I download Party Poker, the .NET free money version and started playing poker play money style. I treated that play money like a real on honest to goodness bankroll. Practicing good money management and the whole nine yards. You see, I'm married with two kids, two dogs, a career and other obligations. At the time, I just didn't want to risk real money that I might just need for diapers, formula and the like. I didn't mind. It was fun.
Like many people, I was developing the poker bug watching the WSOP on TV, talking about the game with friends and just poking it around the edges. Most of the time, I was just too chicken to play for real money. Losing real money hurts.
A co-worker of mine had a husband, he was getting the poker bug too. People were playing free poker in the bars around here. Live poker. I had started getting pretty good a free money poker and I was kinda anxious to try it. Don't get me wrong, I'd played lots of nickel and dime poker over the years. My wife's family still talks about the first Thanksgiving I attended with them. I made $27 in profit on a nickel and dime game at the dinner table. Some seriously sick money of you think about it. But this bar poker thing seemed scary at first. These were strangers and some of them might even be GOOD!
I've been playing free poker on Tuesdays ever since.
My first deposit on FT came a while later. I'd been playing more and more home games and Bourbonators became a much more regular part of my life. It was cheap poker, but I was learning and loving every minute of it. The money I made in these games paid for that deposit. I never made another deposit. (To be perfectly clear, there were technically other deposits but they were sneaky deposits for friends who for one reason or another couldn't/wouldn't do it themselves). Later on, some more of my live poker money was deposited on PS.
I'm gonna miss what money is left there. I have a hard time saying good bye to money. Remember me at the WPBT gathering last December, ya, I was down. Hated every second of it. Not the gathering, you people rock, no I hated being stuck. Curse you Miami Don and your flopped boats.
I've never been a big time poker player. The WPBT tournaments are still the largest buy in tournaments I've ever played. My live poker bankroll has funded most of the trips I've written about here. I can't imagine my life being complete with spending a weekend here or there with the amazing poker people I've met over the years. Eh Vegas, The Gentile Summit and the trips to the WPBT Gather in Las Vegas. All +EV. Strangely, I've never cashed out my online money for these trips.
The cash out I did was a while ago, and I did it to pay some bills and make our family time a little nicer. Kinda cool. I put these accounts back down to grinding out micro stakes again. Those games were much harder to play now. Post UIGEA, even the $1 sit-n-gos were the 27% ROI game they used to be. It was more like an even 20%...right?
I have no idea if I'll ever see the money I have left online again. I still have a hard time saying good bye to money but since I never really felt this money, they were just little pixels on my computer screen. Mythical money.
The cycle has me back to playing free money poker and home games. I'm still a friggin' 50 mile drive to the nearest limit poker room and I might just need to do that a little more often. I'd probably prefer to make the longer drive to Iowa for the $1/$2 NLHE game with the likes of PokerFool, but that's still a two and a half hour drive round trip.
Who knows were poker is going. I wasn't totally surprised by all of this. F-Train seemed to be spot on last December when I was talking to him at the Geisha Bar. He told me how it just seemed like it was getting harder and harder for the big three to get money to players. And so it was.
As many of the brightest legal poker blogger minds have written (F-Train, CK, Grange95), the real blight on the big two poker sites is the methods by which they went to keep the money moving. While their games always seemed on the up and up, the methods by which players were getting their money may not have been. Ultimately, it's the part that says "fraud and money laundering" that the non-poker people will see and with their best "I told you so" voice, remind you, poker is bad. It may not matter that they were doing it because they wanted to run a game of skill for honest people just trying to live their lives the way they wanted to. People just won't see that. It's sad.
I'm sure the cycle is going to continue. Poker isn't exactly a new game. I'm not giving up the game. I love the game. I started playing free poker, I've continued to play free poker and I have no plans on stopping. There's no doubt we will see some changes in the no so far away future. My sympathies are with my friends hurt most by this. I know many people whose livelihoods are tied to poker who will be hurt by this. I know most of them will be just fine. They are some of the smartest people I know with talent I could only dream of.
Tomorrow is a new day. This blog isn't going a way. I'm still going to write about poker and all the other stuff. Heck, I'm still planning on taking vacation in December to play a tournament at Aria.
I hope to see all of you there!
(Therapeutic rambling has ended. Thanks for stopping by!)
Posted by OhCaptain at 10:43 PM
Friday, April 1, 2011
As is my tradition, my special Twins tie makes it's return to the work attire. New this year: the lanyard!
At 6:05 today, the crack of the bat returns. Play ball!
Posted by OhCaptain at 4:25 PM
Monday, March 28, 2011
So, last Tuesday, I made it back Brother's for the weekly game of the Minnesota Poker League. Much like the drop in posting on this blog, I've just not been finding the opportunity to play bar poker. Somehow, I've made it 4 weeks in a row. Shocking. Hell, I've even made the points two of those three weeks. I figure not to shabby consider the previous times I'd played live poker, were the two whiskey club meetings since the WPBT Winter Gathering.
Oh how I missed poker.
So last night, I sit down at my assigned table. A couple new faces and a few usual suspects. The lady sitting on my left is sort of new. She seems to have come a lot since I went on hiatus, everyone knows her. I've played at her table once before, more on that later. Don't let me forget.
There's a new guy sitting directly across the table from me. He's a bit disheveled and playing almost every hand. Let's just say, he's giving no real solid indications about having poker skills. Three to my left, is the well manicured man I've written about in the past.
The hand I'm sharing today is one that I know I misplayed. I did. I made a tactical decision and it the results...
I started the night in the big blind and haven't played a hand yet. I have 1975 T$. We are in the first blind level (25/25). I'm in the big blind. The player two to my left limps, well manicured man raises to 100, next player folds, Disheveled Man raises to 200. It folds to me, I look down to find QQ. In the early stages of bar poker, I hate to go crazy to early with hands like QQ. You are much to likely to be seeing the flop with 3 or more other players to get any real value out of a raise. I call. The early limper insta-mucks. Well manicured man just calls.
The flop comes KJ6 rainbow. Since I'm in early position and whiffed the flop, I decide to check and gather a bit more information. Well manicured man raises to 100, again. A little something about him, he likes to organize the stripes on his chips. He's a very orderly guy. This small raise into a pot of 350 has traditionally meant that he's weak and looking to thin the herd. I'm figuring him for ace rag. Disheveled Man calls. Now, I have no history on him. Everything about his mannerisms tells me he's weak. His raise preflop seemed odd when he did it, like he was bluffing. This call also appeared to me like he was fishing for something. I figured I was way ahead of both of these guys at the time, so I just called. (Mistake 1)
Turn is a 9. I'll be perfectly honest, this wasn't a card I wanted to see. While I didn't think Well Manicured Man (WMM) would raise pre with QT, I'm not sure where Disheveled Man (DM) is. WMM raises it again to 100. I'm positive, he's got air. Ace rag is still a good guess. DM raises super fast to 500 and is totally looking like this is an absolute bluff. When I looked back at WMM, this really made him look uncomfortable. If my read is correct, I'm still way ahead here. Both guys are fishing for something or being bar poker stooges and bluffing madly with crap.
The river is a Q. I've made a set. I decided to take my stand. I know there's the ten possibility for a straight, but I just couldn't put either guy on any tens. Each one looked disappointed with the river. So I shoved. I really thought I was shoving for value. At best, I figured someone had AK, KQ or maybe even JJ.
WMM folds instantly. DM starts counting out chips like he's making a crying call. He calls and turns over pocket tens. "You caught me bluffing, can you beat a pair of tens?"
I sat there pretty much in shock. My read was spot on. He was convinced he really didn't have much. Someone at the table had to show him the straight by laying the cards out. "Wow. I figured I was busted."
I'll be perfectly honest, it sucked losing to someone that didn't even know what they had. A nice healthy sprinkling of salt in the wound. He had me covered so I got to take the lonely walk out. I don't like busting ever, but busting in the first blind level totally sucks.
It did remind me of a very important lesson you always have to keep in mind when you are using reads on weakness to make a decision. A player is only showing weakness they think they have. They may not realize just how strong they really are. Sigh.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
My Calendar says March 2. How about yours?
I wrote a while back that I had two more posts to write about the 2010 Winter Gathering in Las Vegas. I can hear Kat right now, "God lord." (*miss you) I figure it's never to late to post more pictures of our little get together in the desert. I have two more set to share and damn, I'm gonna share them.
Sunday is the last day for many people. Not sure why, The town empties out a bit so there's time for strolling peacefully. Wait, that comes later. Right now, I'm here to tel you about life in the Lagasse Sports Stadium.
For some reason, just saying that makes me start singing the song, "There Coming To Take Me Away" by Napolean XIV weird. Maybe not weird. Hm. So, Lagasse. I'd love to share with you what it's like there but to be perfectly frank, you really need to experience it. There's awesome food, so-so beer (geez, you'd think people in the desert would be thirsty and get great beer- you'd be wrong), more food, lots to drink, more food and most of all, there's lots of bloggers.
This is the best opportunity you have all weekend to just chat. It's really quite extraordinary. Here's the pictures, it's the best I can do for you.
That's the last of the pictures I will share here. I've posting extras to my Flickr site. You can check out the rest of the trip there. Of course, there's really no words there but I'll bet you can figure them out or at least create an fanciful story that sounds good. One last post coming...my photo walk. Should be up ...
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I just made my 2011 Oscar Predictions! Make yours with the Official Oscar iPhone App.
Please keep in mind, I think I've only seen 5 of the movies nominated. See if you can name the 5. With two kids and a Mrs...Oscar caliber films...are they on the outside of a Happy Meal box? I didn't think so.
Short Film (Animated): Day & Night, Teddy Newton
Documentary (Feature): Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Short Film (Live Action): The Confession, Tanel Toom
Documentary (Short Subject): Killing in the Name (I chose this one because that's a kick a$$ song from Rage Against the Machine - like I've seen a short documentary not produced by employer this year...geez),
Film Editing: The Fighter, Pamela Martin
Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Sound Editing: Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Foreign Language Film: Biutiful, Mexico
Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Sound Mixing: True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Makeup: The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
Actress in a Supporting Role: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Animated Feature Film: How To Train Your Dragon, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Music (Original Score): How To Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Visual Effects: Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Art Direction: Alice in Wonderland, Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): True Grit, Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Music (Original Song): I See the Light (from "Tangled"), Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
Cinematography: True Grit, Roger Deakins
Costume Design: Alice In Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
Writing (Original Screenplay): The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington &
Best Picture: True Grit, Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Directing: True Grit, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Posted by OhCaptain at 11:30 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Just finished playing my first multi-table rush on demand tournament on Full Tilt. Now granted, it was a $1 tournament, but it was definitely stacked with really bad players.
I've on again off again success playing rush poker. Some of my biggest wins and biggest losses have been at the hands of this cruel game played at warp speed (exhibit A, exhibit B (one of my favorite posts)) In many ways, this played like tournaments of old. Lots of people making completely unbelievable bluff, a lot of tight wads waiting for aces, people attempting to steal from the little blind, etc, etc..
It would have been fun to win this, but it just wasn't in the cards.I'll take this 4th place finish and probably try one of these again. Have you tried these? What did you think?
For February, the Bourbonators were treated to a Single Islay Malt Whisky aged 16 years by the Lagavulin (pronounced Laga-voolin) Distillery of Scotland. For us yanks across the pond, this makes it a scotch. The name Lagavulin comes from the Gaelic Laggan Mhouillin, "the hollow where the mill is". Interesting things you find on these boxes.
It is said that this is the oldest legal distillery to still exist in Scotland. I took the liberty of looking it up on a map and briefly considering making travel plans to it's home. The box described it still having 4 onion shaped stills. The box goes on to describe even more picturesque details of it's origins, but really, I'd go back for the whisky. Let me explain.
The host of this months meeting was hoping I'd be able to stop by the liquor store on my way over. Not really a problem because I drive right by one...if I leave home on time...ya right.
I was in a bit of a rush to get there. Good thing I know exactly where the whiskeys are kept. This particular store doesn't have the greatest variety in the world, but it's got most of the majors covered and usually has room for a few rarities.
I've really been in the mood for DoubleCasked lately. Probably the Balvenie from a few months ago. The first employee to ask me if I need help was a nice young girl I was willing to bet had absolutely no idea what fine whiskey was. I told her I was looking for a new whiskey we'd not drank before that would be as good if not better than the Balvenie and also DoubleCasked. I've seen that blank expression in people before. She was, without a doubt, completely clueless. She just smiled and asked another employee walking by. A nice young man, she asked him, "Do you know anything about whiskey?" To which he replied, um, no.
"Don't worry guys, I'll be ok," I told them. It's really not a big deal to me. I don't expect that on the last minute on a Friday night that there's a whiskey expert in a liquor store.
I went back to reading boxes. I probably should research this more than I do, but that just wouldn't be my style.
The manager comes over and asked if he could help. He said he was quite familiar with whiskey. I said sure and told him what I wanted. We had a budget of $80 and I was really thirsty for a DoubleCasked whiskey that was as good or better than the Balvenie.
He point to the bottle of Lagavulin and said, "I'll bet none of your guys have tried this and I think they will all be very happy with it."
I looked at the box, then the shelf. I replied to the manager, "I'm not a real math whiz, but I'm pretty sure that with tax, the $84.99 price tag is still over $80."
"Well, let's just see what I can do about that." We walked over to the checkout and he hit the computer. Typing and clicking and typing some more. He put down the mouse and looked up at me and asked, "Is $79.18 with tax gonna work?"
Again, I'm no math whiz, but I do believe that falls below the $80 mark.
"Sold!" I said.
Wow. Was I glad I got this. It was FANTASTIC!
The nose had that smell of creosote that Cam tells me is from the peat. The smell isn't all that great, but the taste was really quite exceptional. The tasting notes from the web site describe it as:
Palate: Dry peat smoke fills the palate with a gentle but strong sweetness, followed by sea and salt with touches of wood.For me the balance of all that made it work. Nothing was really "too" much. It wasn't too smoky or sweet. It was smooth all the way. The light burn of the 43% alcohol was hidden by the linger of it's flavor. Nom nom.
There seemed to be a unanimous agreement that this bottle was worth it, even if I was late. I will send a big thanks out to the manager at Apollo Northwest Liquor. He made an excellent recommendation. We will be back!
If you are interested in more information on this, I found the wikipedia article very interesting as well.
As for the poker. I was the grand master of coolers...receiving them. Oh well, I was conforted by the warmth of this amber nectar.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I've got enough drafts/notes for posts to flood this blog if only life came with more time. Sigh. I've been busy working on some stuff for my whiskey club's blog. I've added two pages, one that lists all of the whiskey's I have records for (posts written here and photos on my phone...memory will fail me on this every damn time) and the other for our poker points. I should probably write something up someday explaining poker points...hm. Better add that to the queue.
In case you were wondering if I actually play poker any more, the answer is an emphatic yes. I still love the game. I played poker at the bar just tonight. I knew it was going to be a rough night when one of the guys tells us he just wants to get done early. Guess who turned into a lucksack. Friggin' people with places to go. His play did make me question something. I felt like there was something fishy.
He kept claiming that he really just wanted to lose his chips so he could drive to Sioux Falls to visit his girlfriend. I realize this is completely free, donkey poker, but this scenario kept happening. There was one guy at the table that he routinely called a raise from. Now this guy was fairly tight/aggressive. He seemed to have read a few poker books and was well versed in the ones he said he read. The action would be the tight guy would bet every street and the dude needing to leave would call only to fold the river claiming he was on a draw. If he played anyone else at the table, he would play like he normally does. Raising when he hit something, almost anything or he slow played me once when he flopped a boat. He did shove J6o into two large raises, kinda dumb...of course he won them and proceeded to send more chips to the aforementioned guy.
At free, donkey bar poker, I really can't imagine why anyone would dump chips to another player. It just struck me as really odd that he'd play complete spewy to one guy, but aggressive and tight to everyone else.
Things that make you go hm.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I don't know how many times I've asked the poker gods to let me flop quads. I know, calling from out of position with medium pocket pairs is stupid, that's why I checked! Plus, 3 other people were going to see this flop so why raise, out of position with 9's?
He bet into me every street too until I was all in :)
Sunday, January 23, 2011
It would appear I took a bit longer of a break then I had planned, getting to the last of my trip reports. You know, it happens. It's friggin' cold here and sitting at a computer writing isn't...who am I trying to kid. I played some poker, hung out with the wife and kids playing Uno, I even played a live cash game at the neighbors house. I took a break. Felt good, now back to the story.
You will remember that I busted 13th in the blogger tournament at Aria. Felt good to go deep, sucked to just miss the money by a hair. I thought hard about sweating Drizz on his journey to win the whole thing, but a few months earlier, StB, Katitude and PokerVixen had talked me into getting tickets to the roller derby. I had only ever seen it on TV, so a live match could be a lot of fun!
I left Aria with about 30 minutes to the start of the derby. I normally don't carry a long lens with me without a purpose while in Vegas. They are heavy and big. So I needed to get from Aria to MGM to get my lens and the zip as fast as the monorail can take me to the Riviera on the other end of the strip. Uff. Thankfully, I seem to now my way around the strip like a pro and new to walk quickly from Aria to MGM, dart through the casino avoiding all the tourist pitfalls, up the elevator to the suites, in my room, grab the lens, look longingly at the bed and dream about sleep for a second, then back down the elevator, race through the shopping and food court, thinking about how hungry I was and calculating the time it would take to get food...nope, too long. Hop on the monorail and wait, and wait, and wait.
The MGM and the Riviera are on opposite ends of the train. Sigh. At least there my iPhone was there to keep me busy. Except, at this moment #ATTFAIL was in full affect and my service sucked. VinNay had been texting me, interested in attending the roller derby, but alas, my phone sucked. Data worked, but texting was a nightmare. He ended up doing something else anyways, but damn AT&T.
I get off the monorail at the Las Vegas Hilton. For some reason, I remember the terminal being a lot closer to the Riviera then it was. Could be, I'm pretty much a dumb ass and went the long way, but the nice alley I chose eventually got me there. I really don't recommend taking unknown, poorly lit roads devoid of humans when travelling in Las Vegas. It's really quite creepy and a tad on the scary side. I coped with the situation by cranking Rob Zombie's More Human Than Human and run/walking most of the way there. You know, it might have been really safe but I'm from a small town in Minnesota. I just assume I look like an easy mark.
It took me a while to find the back ballroom hosting the Sin City Rollergirls. The Riviera is what I like to think of as Old School Las Vegas. It's got a lot of glitter, but the smells and the sights are like out of the movies from decades ago. The carpet is really something to behold.
When I arrived, it didn't take me too long to find Kat and PokerVixen. They had pretty decent elevated seats and reserved a nice cushion for me to rest my butt. There was food at the venue and I hadn't eaten since the breakfast at the MGM the previous morning. These burgers weren't spectacular but they did hit the spot.
Seems the Sin City Roller Girls were battling the Hoover Damned. You just have to love the names in roller derby.
I sat with these two fine ladies and enjoyed the action. I really had no idea what was going on, but the ladies helped me out. This is definitely an experience worth checking out. I'd really like to go back next year, hopefully with a faster long lens and a monopod. The following are the shots I got. I'll give some description when necessary, but for the most part, I'll just leave you with the pictures. They do a far better job then I can of sharing with you the night at the derby.
This following little dude provided us our half time entertainment. In case you can't tell, he did a nice little dance rendition of Michael Jackson.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Well, we officially have a for real blog for my whiskey club, aka Bourbonators. To help things along, a few other members will be posting as well cuz we all know I need more blogs. If you are interested it's here: http://www.bourbonators.com - stop by, ask questions, ponder coming to a meeting.
Next meeting is tonight and I've set up emailing posts...which could be occurring while we drink. This could end poorly.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.
Registration code: XXXXXX 742766
Monday, January 10, 2011
I brought up Facebook tonight to see what's happening in the universe. That's a lot of silly games people play. Full Tilt has been running a lot of freerolls and overlayed tourneys lately starting from social networking Juggernaut. I figured what the hell, the kids and OhCountess went to bed early and I left the Apple TV up in the bedroom.
Tonight last minute, impulsive tournament was 5 card draw. I outlasted well over half of the field and even got a short railing from Mr. AlCantHang. I sure hope he's enjoying the weather up here in God's Country.
Um, kay. I haven't played this (5 card draw) sober since, um, since, um, since...well, I'm not sure I've ever played 5 card draw sober. A few months ago, inaugural Gambling Tales Podcast Freeroll Champion DeeBakes had talked me into playing Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. I had a good time and walked away thinking about stuff. Not life stuff, or profound stuff, but poker stuff.
I liked playing these obscurer games because the remind me of something that seems to be alluding many of the players in the tournaments. The fundamentals of solid tournament poker.
First rule: Know your position. So many players forget the value of position. I haven't found a game yet where position doesn't matter.
Second rule: Know what you are drawing to/trying to accomplish. Drawing to a gut shot straight draw is crazy gambling in any game. If there are more cards to come, have a plan, count your outs, understand what your opponents are trying to do. In 5 card draw, the number of cards a player chucks is important. Think about what kinds of hands a player stands pat, draws 1, 2 or 3 cards. If they don't shove a lot and draw 1, they are probably drawing. Again, reference rule 1 for how and why to remember this. The more cards make your hand a monster, the more valuable it is. 2233 is two pair but only drawing to 4 cards that make it better.
Third rule: Hammers are still cool and should be played like the proverbial nuts. Er, maybe not.
Forth rule: Never play a hand with a 9 in it. It's neither high nor low. Unless you have a lot of them, 9 high/low sucks in all games.
Fifth rule: Stud 8 sucks. (That's my opinion. It's another way of saying, don't expect to make money at games you suck giant monkey balls playing)
Sixth rule: luck, while a part of the game, doesn't win it. You can bet every street, shove every hand but eventually, luck loses to well timed aggression.
Seventh rule: on the word aggression. When you appear strong, raise. When others continually behave weak, bet stronger. No variation of poker rewards the weak, passive player.
Eight rule: while you can't win if you fold, folding and conserving chips can be a very valuable way to stay alive in a tournament. I remember hearing something from Annie Duke, a woman, once said about tournaments on line, (it went something like this, my memory is poor and I don't remember where this from to even look it up) "...a lot of the time, you can just let the weaker players impale themselves on your chips." While this sounds contradictory to the aggressive, not weak thing, this is also important to remember that when a less skilled player is trying to be aggressive, let them do the raising for you when your hand rocks. They don't mind and are really quite good at it.
These rules aren't colorfast and probably aren't even useful. Some (most) are just the ramblings of an overtired geek, but I think this can definitely spur on some conversation. What are your thoughts on rules that transcend games? Why is it, that the more experience I have playing poker, I find learning variations a little easier? Do you really think you can honestly say, your puppy is cuter then mine? (Shameless plug for my photoblog, almost doing the JJOK always link to yourself thing...but I'm only a D lister...)
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I think I picked the wrong time to lay down the hammer preflop. What was I thinking?
Congrats to my friend DeeBakes! He won the Gambling Tales Podcast freeroll the other night! Here's his recap. Head on over and congratulate him.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Played the Mookie. Saw old friends. Lost all my chips. (LB)A2 vs (BB)32. A33 flop. Sigh.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Saturday morning had arrived in Las Vegas. Back in Minnesota, my wife was struggling through one of the worst snow storms we've had in a very long time. The furnace intake pipe had gotten plugged with snow, twice. She was so snowed in, a neighbor in a 4 wheel drive had to take her to work. I honestly had no words for her. I felt terrible sitting in a hotel room, in Las Vegas, enjoying the mid 60's for highs. What could I do? Funny thing, I couldn't even fly home if I wanted to. The airports were all closed.
I pretty much just spent the morning hanging out in my room, watching some cable news and playing some online poker. Stupid I know, but there comes a time when a guy just wants to enjoy the quiet.
The tournament was scheduled to start at noon at Aria. I was really excited to see this place. It opened the day after I left in 2009. Some of the local bloggers had really good things to say and Phil Ivey's Room was there. How cool is that?
Aria and City Center aren't really all that hard to find. They basically define huge. The walk there from MGM isn't too bad. I was hoping to get there early enough for the poker lesson, but that didn't happen. Kinda bummed about that. I did swing by the Louis Vuitton shop for a little motivation. Not that I'd ever want anything there, but I told my wife that if I won the tourney, I'd stop by there on my way out to get her a little something. She just laughed.
The walk into Aria isn't completely finished from the Bellagio side. You are walking around The Cosmopolitan which I believe open THE DAY AFTER I LEFT (I smell conspiracy). When I finally found something with Aria on it, I also ran into CK which was good. She gave me directions to the card room. Aimless wandering could end.
The night before had pretty much decimated my cash supplies. I learned a valuable lesson about modern casinos. The ATM's are label "Coupon" something. I guess it makes sense they want you thinking about cashing out rather then getting more cash.
The card room really is beautiful. It's not quite as secluded as Caesar's but it's not sitting next to a live band. Whew.
On the left, you can see my bounty, a photograph I shot when Kat was in town circling the lakes with her hubby. I think I actually took this photo when we were down to two tables. I have a habit of keeping my bounty in my bag until someone asks.
My starting table, to the best of my memory, had CaityCaity, VinNay, Avoque, PokerGnome, ThisIsNotApril, PokerVixen and I know I'm forgetting people and some of these might have moved to our table. Very sorry about that. I had a notebook.I failed to use it.Sigh.
I felt really good going into the tournament. Structure seemed excellent, the staff of the Aria Poker Room were outstanding. I had an excellent mix of players. Team Skol (Drizz, Mattazuma and myself) were all wearing our purple with pride.
Gnome was on my left. He was schooling the table in tight/aggressive. I was trying to stay in that range. I seemed to keep an average to slightly short stack all day. Which is better then no stack. There weren't many memorable hands. I remember the first time I took my bounty out was for CK. I was shortish and moved in. I was definitely in a could be stealing position. I think I had KK, so I wanted a call. She folded, the bounty not quite enough to get her to do it. Maybe next year I frame something bigger.
I had a lot of fun with every dealer. As soon as someone new would sit down, I'd apologize for the table. Just in case. I didn't want to forget to do it. You never know with this bunch.
My big lucky moment came when I shipped it in with QQ. Special K called with AJo. He had been on a rush for a while, accumulating chips. When the flop came ace high, I grabbed my camera bag and started standing up. I hate that feeling when you see the flop hit that ace. Ugh. Now you are on a two outer. Vindication in the form of a resuck filled me with much joy when the third queen came on the river. I got the queen and didn't even use my "ONE TIME!" yell. Gotta save that for the final table to the Main Event.
There was only a few hands I really regret. One had BuddyDank raising and this old guy next to me (he was someone's dad. Don't remember who) moving all in. I looked down and found 44. Not a great hand, but I was in the little blind and it was starting to get really expensive. Buddy had been his usual nit/aggressive and the old guy had a really bad habit of show me his cards. I did see this one, but every time he'd shoved before, he showed me his ace. I was at best in coin flip. Of course, I would have flopped a full house and busted both of them. I don't know if it was right to fold.
Something that was weighing on my mind about then was the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge. Drizz and I were both still in it. Matt had busted 70th and we were still in the running. Ugh. Metagames. Drizz also had to be two to my left at that time. Double Ugh.
My run would end in 13 place. I think I had J9o in early position. The blinds were just about to put me in the too short to do anything range so I had hoped to get one more steal in before the jump. Shelly was also short and found AJ. Why did it have to be AJ. AQ would have been so much better. As it turns out, not only did she get my photo, but she also got the little bottle of Wild Turkey from ebhizzle, got from me, that I got from VinNay and he got from Dr. Pauly. Very glad it went to someone that loves a good tradition! See ya next year! (Maybe we need to talk about getting it mounted. Just a thought)
With my demise, Team Skol was still in it. Our champion, Drizz just need to go a little deeper. I know I probably should have stayed, but I had tickets for the Sin City Roller Girls with Kat and PokerVixen. I had just enough time to get to the Riviera to catch most of it. With modern technology, Matt stayed behind and kept me posted with Twitter. Now, going into the tournament, I was already stuck $250. This tournament added $135 to this. Uff.
The #WPBT hashtag was filling with people talking about the chop. It was a big one. Drizz negotiated it well and Team Skol ended up 3rd in the last longer challenge! $58 dollars in cold hard cash and $200 in PokerStars money! That makes me slightly less stuck! Woot! Woot!
I know there's stuff I'm forgetting from the day. I got a feeling there's gonna be an odds and ends posts filled with all the crap I've forgotten.
I'll share the pics and stories from the roller derby in my next post. Now, it's time for something I know a few of you have been waiting patiently for. Before the tournament April was kind enough to get the poker room manager to delay the tournament a few minutes and take a group photo! You won't see this many bloggers together in one photo all that often. We had 97 paid entrants in the tournament. Several photos were taken. Large group shots are much like herding cats. You just never get everyone together, smiling and looking shart at the same time. The two pictures seemed the best.
If you would like a copy of one of these without the watermark and with better resolution, just drop me an email at the link above. Up on top where it says "Contact Information". If you click through them, you will see a larger version. Normally, I hope people send me an email requesting permission to use my photographs in their blogs. I don't think I've ever declined a request. I just like the courtesy of being asked. You don't need to do that for these two photos. They are for you. You can still drop me an email to say hi :) These should be on Flickr in the next day or two.