Monday, April 26, 2010

Perspectives, Giving and the WPBT

Today, I'm full of introspection and a desire to recalibrate my perspectives.

I need to tell you what happened to the food we collected at the January Co-ed Invitational. Seems not only am I slow at getting posts up, we just hadn't quite gotten to Channel 1 with this years big box of food. We felt bad too since some of the food had gotten past it's freshness date. No worries, we replaced that food. It was our fault.

Anywho, OhCountess takes the food their last Friday. Not knowing that it had limited hours that day. It was closed. Bummer. The sign on the door suggested leaving the food in the space by the door. She did just that. As she was leaving, a young girl approached the door. As my wife describes, "she looked like she was definitely in need." OhCountess stopped and went back. She could tell the girl was more then a little disappointed that the place was closed. My wonderful wife, approached her and talked to her. "Yes, it's closed, but are you looking for food?" The girl nodded. "Well, I just dropped off a whole big box of food, why don't you look through it and take what you need. Oh forget that, just take the whole box." Maybe it was fate or what ever you want to call it. Hopefully, it will make a difference in her life. I figure it's +karma. Giving to others in need rocks.
Last week was a great reminder for me. Keeping our lives in perspective is one of our most important responsibilities but also the first thing we throw to the wayside when we get caught up in our busy lives. I got to spend small moments with Lightning36 as he took care of his family in a time when I can't imagine as a father having to deal with.

I've said this before that one thing you just have to get used to working here is that people never visit our workplace for the fun of it. Usually, when people come here from out of town, they are coming because this is a place of hope when you are running out of it. I wrote on my personal blog a little while ago about charity in my life. It's a struggle not to want to help every last person that needs it, but when people come from around the world to this place, you quickly realize that there's no way you can. You just have to be happy to do with what you can.

So, what the hell am I doing on my poker blog writing about this personal stuff? Isn't that why I maintain the other blog??? Yes. Yes it is. But I have questions for you poker readers. Questions I'm not sure what the answer here's where the whole poker blog thing comes in.

Lightning36 stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. This is an amazing place, I wouldn't be offended at all if you followed that link and took a look around their website. Go, I'll be here if you want to check it out. I used to think that it was just a McDonalds marketing ploy. Reality can be such an eye opener. Here's there mission:
Our Mission - The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota provides a "home away from home" and offers support to families seeking medical care for their children.
Honestly, that's what they do. Since I started here, I've been inspired by stories of co-workers, neighbors and friends do direct help for this organization. This got me thinking. What can I do to help? Before Lightning left, he was even working on ideas of things to do to help this organization.

I've always been impressed with the poker communities generosity. Say what you want about poker and it's practitioners, but we give back. So here's a couple of my ideas and I'd absolutely love to hear what you think.

This first one came in part from my last home game's winner. Ross and I were trying to think of ideas for the next home game and keep with the usual January theme of charity but this time, focus our attention on the Ronald McDonald House. Instead of the usual can goods for extra chips, what if the add-on came in the form of actual service. You want extra chips, you join us for a day of service at the house? Would you volunteer to get extra chips in a tournament that's all about the fun? I think I like the idea. We can always give stuff.

The other idea is a bit more straight forward. I was wondering if anyone out there would be willing to participate in a charity poker tournament on Full Tilt? I'd like to organize one, maybe for after the BBT5. That schedule is brutal enough. Maybe we could tie it into the BBT5 pimping and really promote it. If it's gonna be me and 5 people, it's probably just as easy to ask for PayPal donations, but if I can get some serious interest, who knows, maybe we could make a difference in some lives. What do you think? Our own WPBT charity event? (pssst....this is where you come in...)

Think about it...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Catching Up On Time Lost

I know that since the inception of this blog, I've definitely been a feast or famine poster. Lately, it's been lots of famine. Where have I been? I certainly haven't been spending much time on Twitter or even Facebook. I've had a lot of personal stuff in my life that needed a much larger portion of attention then normal. I'm hoping this is coming to an end soon. I frankly really miss writing and writing about poker.

I recently nuked the stuff in Google Reader. It was time to take the pressure off the idea of catching up and starting with a clean slate. I had almost missed a post by a blogger I'm proud to call my friend. Lightning36 has been around these parts for years and we've shared barbs on more then one occasion on our love for our baseball teams. In case you didn't know it, Twins fans and White Sox fans don't exactly, um, we, um, OK, I don't like the White Sox. But there's more to life then poker, baseball and the pursuit of yet another Central Division title.

One thing that actually sucks about working where I do is that no one ever comes here for a good reason. While I work at one of the worlds premier medical facilities (I personally think it's the best in the world, Doc Chako, it's up there right?), people come here seeking hope. I see Lightning just updated things, but he's going through a really scary time for a dad. Read this, and keep them in their thoughts. As a father, I don't even want to imagine going through this.

So, in other news, I was reading on Twitter about CK thinking about cashing out most of her online bankrolls. I'd really been think about doing it too. With the impending onset of the ridiculous UIGEA, and the possibility of Full Tilt going before a grand jury has got me a bit squeamish. I didn't pull everything out, just a nice tidy profit. It was enough to force me to move down. I guess I'm in rebuilding mode. I made Iron Man 2 consecutive months. Yeah me! Too bad it actually cost me money to do it. Yo, I suck!

Which get's me to some pimping time before the whole thing passes me by! The great and powerful Oz, otherwise known as Sir AlCantHang, did it again with the BBT5. Full Tilt Poker has pumped up prize pool with $50,000 in cash and goodies. My goodness!

As I catch up on my reading over the last week, there's some discontent about who actually got invited to the Invitational portion of the tournaments. Now, I have to say it, I was a little disappointed I didn't at least get an invite. Not sure if I would have gotten the time to play, but heck, I'm still blogging about poker and would definitely done a fair share of pimping (hint: my pagerank is 3 - 4 depending on the wind...just sayin'). Oh well. I guess I'll just have to but Al a drink in December and hope for BBT6.

We'll have to see how many of these tournaments I'll get to play. I wish I would have know about it before I took the amount of money out of my account I did. D'oh!

It's been a little over two months since I last played poker in my bar league. It's been nice getting that extra night at home with the wife and kids. OhCountess' career has been taking some exciting turns so time together has been tougher, but I do miss playing live. I might just take Lightning there tomorrow night if the stars align and this go well for he son tomorrow.

I did get to play some live poker a little over a week ago in a local home game. The guy to the right hosts a fairly regular game. I had played in it a few years ago. It's been +EV for me, which is always good. He hadn't given up on my completely and continued to send me reminders of the game.
This game is a lot different then the bar poker games I had been playing. These guys are much better then the bar players. 3 and 4 betting are always possible here.

We had 9 runners on this night. My immediate reaction? Yo! A Sit-n-go! We start the game pretty deep stacked, which if you ask me, ROCKS. Tight/aggressive early and then when the time is right, Loose/aggressive with a touch of looking to gamble.

Everything went pretty much according to plan. I minded my own business, started chipping up fast late and I think I even got to be chip leader for a moment when we made the bubble (3 people). The top two getting paid. This is when I did something I do sometimes when I play live.

Online poker has one big advantage for me...real time, live chip counts. I don't know why I can't get myself to pay more attention to this live, I'm lazy but I forget to put on the gambling brakes and slow down when I've been in gamble/shove mode. This is going to shock the stuffing out of you, but for some crazy reason I played AQo like this.

I'm on the button of this self-dealt game. I squeeze AQo and raise it 3 bets (at this time, standard raise). Little blind folds, big blind shoves. Well I think for about a half a second and I call. Yeah, dumb. He tables AK. Five cards later, my stack is decimated.

I had started yawning a little earlier and I know I don't play well tired. How do you slow down, do a chip count inventory and keep yourself from insta-calling with AQo? No, really, I'd love to know!

One last thing. Grange95 has a post a couple of weeks ago that's still rattling around in my head. It's in the spirit of my Luck, Lucky and Luckier posts (here, here and here). I've been really thinking about why people consider poker to be nothing more then another casino gambling game. Go read his post and keep bugging me to finish the thoughts of my comment...kay?

So, your to do list (because you go to blogs to find your busy work):
  • Go send your good karma to Lightning36
  • Tell me I'm crazy for taking the cream off the top of my bankroll
  • Play as many BBT5 events as you can
  • Tell me how to take my foot off the gas late in a tournament
  • Go read Grange95's post and bug me to finish a friggin' thought.
Thanks for playing, and in the words of the great Apu...Please, come again!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It is time...

Spring is definitely here. First campfire of the season. S'mores anyone?

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's been far too long

Tonight I'm playing in a home game I haven't played in probably two years. It's been far too long since I played in a home game with mostly people I don't know. Cool game so far...stay tuned!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Whiskey infused with bacon - hm - Irish whiskey, poker and bunnies?

Last weekend, I volunteered to host Bourbonators again. This month saw 11 guys show up for whiskey, laughter and poker. Just enough to cram pack my poker table in the basement.

I've got the greatest wife in the world. Have I ever mentioned that before? She's a nurse at the local, mega, world famous hospital that shall remain nameless cuz...yeah. Google. Our basement is pretty much always set up for poker. That table I built, you got it, it's too damn big to put away, so when we find ourselves staring down the barrel of the last Friday of the month and no whiskey club, I pop the question to OhCountess to see our availability. No problem this week, she worked in the morning so as long as I didn't mind the random alarm clocks called OhPrincess1 and OhPrincess2 waking me up early, it was a go.

This month we had two different whiskeys to sample. The primary spirit was The Irishman Single Malt Wiskey. According to the box, it has been "...matured for over a decade and personally selected by Bernard Walsh." I couldn't help but think what a fantastic name that was. But I digress. It also states the spirit was "...matured in Bourbon and Sherry casks. Bourbon to mellow and sherry to add a hint of sweetness."

The box also contained tasting notes:
Colour - Golden honey
Aroma - Great nose, floral background notes
Taste - Oily, with a strong malt character
Finish - Lingering for what seems an eternity

I think we all pretty much agreed that it was a pretty meh whiskey. It wasn't terrible, it wasn't great. It served it's purpose well, but in the end was a bit forgettable. It tasted good, but had a bit more burn in the swallow then we liked. It's worth a try, but don't pass on the 25 year old Glenlivet getting there. A boy can dream, right? The box the bottle came in had gold foil behind the bottle. Those kinds of marketing things kinda bug me. If you want to call the color of your booze "golden" it shouldn't need gold foil, right?

Our other drink is the one you see pictured above. Hopefully you got this far before heading to the store to pick up a bottle of Jeremiah Weed - With Bacon!

Darrin contributed it to this months tasty treats.

Never seen it before? Well, he made. He described the infusion process like this, fry up a few pieced of bacon. Make as much as you want because bacon rocks. We don't actually need the bacon, just the bacon juices. Nom nom! Take the grease and add it to the bottle and mix it up. Close the lid and set aside for awhile. He may have had more detail in these instructions, but I was drinking the Irishman and think about bacon. Anywho. After the proper amount of time has passed, refrigerate or maybe even put the bottle in the freezer until the grease congeals to the top. Come to think about it, it might not have been in the bottle but probably a mason jar. You would need to remove the now chunky white bacony goodness.

I was a bit surprised but damn, it really did taste like bacon. The whiskey/bacon flavor was really quite delicious but, again with total agreement, Jeremiah Weed was probably not the best choice for the base of this. It's way to sweet for this.

I found it difficult to get my finger down. It wasn't the taste but the over power sweet. Lesson learned.

Well, we played poker too. Like normal, we played 2 sit-n-gos. I couldn't possibly have been more card dead. The speed of our structure makes it really important to hit a hand or two early to get a decent stack moving to the bubble. The biggest ace I saw was ATo and the best pocket pair...ducks. Yikes. Having never really hit a to the cash game I went.

The first session cash game, was dealers choice. Since I was the host, I only played a few hands. I made a buck. I didn't call home. I didn't go on a shopping spree. The second session was a little smaller. We played 3 handed pot limit/cap limit omaha. Fun times :) While I still wasn't a card rack, I did run a bit better over here. One of the players was fairly inexperienced and the other was DeeBakes. Dee's got skills, the other guy was fairly new. I exploited the new guys fear and pushed him hard when I thought he was drawing and played small ball when I wasn't strong but drawing well. Dee, I tried very hard to show weak play when I was strong and strong play when I was weak. I suppose he's gonna read this and no better next time. Probably our biggest pot came when I out flopped him, he sucked out on the turn and I redrew to a bigger full house on the river. Pocket aces in omaha can win :)

Before I go -

It's rebuy time again! The lovely Katitude brings in Easter with the $1 + $1 donkament on Full Tilt. You can see the details in badge above! Go check it out. It's a great time. I may not be playing. The kids are at Grandma' night! As Kat did on her post, I gotta share the greatest bunny scene in cinema history :)

Maybe I'll see you Friday night, you'd better play!