Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tyson Gay Fastest Man Alive on Land over 100 Meters

The ghost of Chip Reese may be holding court over the Amazon Room at the Rio but the ghost of Steve PreFontaine rules Oregon's Hayward Field. Fast times are run there.

So while my kindred poker spirits in Las Vegas were watching Spain upset Germany to win the Euro 2008 Cup I was watching Track and Field and Swimming.

For a minute I was able to forget that Track and Field is/was dirty. Yesterday I watched Tyson Gay set an American record in the semifinals of 9.77 seconds after a snafu in the qualifier (he misjudged the finish line). Today in the finals he rocked Hayward Field with a wind-aided 9:68. The fastest recorded time by a human being over 100 meters. Unfortunately, because the wind was over the legal limit no world record.

The first hour of Olympic Trials coverage ended with a BOOM and began with a BOOM. Michael Phelps then unleashed a world record in the 400M IM (individual medley: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle). The second place finisher was also under the world record.

Absolute perfection today by American athletes on the track and in the pool.

Earlier in the day I watched an awesome surfing flick on ESPN2 called Down the Barrel. Below is a photo of Kelly Slater I hijacked from the documentary.

And since we are on a sports theme today. Condolences to Georgia Bulldogs fans on the loss of their beloved Mascot UGA VI.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shout-Out to Snake5970 in Vegas

Just a quick Saturday post. Snake5970 attempted to buy-in to the WSOP event #49 today but was told they capped it at 2700 due to space limitations. He wasn't too happy about that as it was the second day in a row that Harrah's didn't have their shit together for the Average Joe Player (more on that later). Another player told him they cut the blinds on his tourney (may have been the second chance) from 15 to 7 and then to 5 until the remaining players just chopped to give up the floor space. He was talking to a dealer who told him that although Harrah's hired about 30% more dealers to handle the masses alot of them have sat around idle and aren't making the money they are used to because Harrah's now doesn't have space to put all the players.

Dr Pauly reporting from Media row had this to say about the space limitations and set-up:

First fuck up of the day by Harrah's? Putting HORSE in the wrong part of the orange section. Imagine a rectangle and the final three tables inside. Well only one of the four sides could house railbirds. Two sides were adjacent to the donkament tables. The third was against the wall and used by tournament staff. That left only one side for the hundreds of railbirds. HORSE attracted the biggest crowd I have seen so far at the WSOP. By using the area closest to the main doors, the directly caused a major traffic jam with people trying to enter the Amazon Room. The lack of viewing space on the rail made it almost impossible for non-official media to get their jobs done. All in all, it's a big clusterfuck for the biggest event at the WSOP.

Their intentions were good but execution of their plan was poor. Big 'F' for day 4 before it has even started.

On Snake's first full day in Vegas (Thursday) he played a $330 sat to the Main Event. Harrah's told him expect about 300+. They only got 120 or so. The structure was horrible with 2k chips to start and it ran like a turbo. To top it off they told him it was in the satellite room but when he got there something else was going on. After a bunch of back and forths and the tourney director not even knowing where the satellite was being held, Snake found his seat in front of Buzio's.

Yesterday he played the $500 sat to the Main Event which he didn't fair that well in either but he ground out several hundred playing cash at the Rio to just leave himself a little short on the day.

So when I talked to him earlier he was on his way to Casear's to see if he could get into the Mega-stack starting at Noon. Right before chips went into the air he texted me that he was in. I just got a break time phone call that after 4 levels he was alive and well and up to about 50k chips. Over 600 registered today and they were down to about 200 something.

Snake5970 update busto about three hands after the break on two hands... He ran QQ into KK against a guy who had just gotten moved to the table. Snake made it 4000 to go the dude reraised to about 12k, Snake shoved. Call KK holds. Then down to about 20k with JJ he called a shorties all in, the dude from the KK hand called with AQ. Snake hit a set of Jacks on the flop. He moved all in and was up against TT vs the shortie but the straight hit for AQ guy and hero to zero in the span of about ten minutes. He definitely liked the Caesar's structure and I told him he should play the grand finale and not worry about that Holy Grail/Money Pit called the Main Event. But hey I'm a practical realistic kind of girl.

As for me I'm watching the US Olympic Track and Field Trials. I did play live last Saturday night at an undisclosed location somewhere across two rivers in a galaxy far far away. I was the bubble girl, final tabling again but I finished 9th with 8 paying. I did make two really good calls that I'm pretty proud of one after I accidentally exposed my cards with a person left to act. Tom had his cards tucked under his chips and his hands over them and I didn't realize he was still in the hand. When he saw my cards he tried to bet me off the hand by raising me on the river. I didnt think he was much stronger then I, I figured my AT was good enough and he didn't have two pair so I called. He showed AT too, we split and Tom, said good call I'm surprised you called after my raise.

On line play has been something like this.. I've finished 2nd twice (Bodog and Pokerstars) and third once (Bodog) in SNGs, I bombed out of a 27 person sng finishing 11th when I got stacked early in a set over set fiasco. I outlasted most of the other donkeys but my KK or AA got out flopped by a big stacks 88 when they hit their set (so typical) and out I went. I did have a nice 6th place final table on Full tilt poker in an Omaha Hi Lo tourney. Much like this guy , who will never win a Mookie, I will never see the final table of a No-limit Holdem tournament on Full Tilt Poker because the creators of TiltWare have a doomswitch programmed in to kill me off at the first sign of an ITM finish.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Poker Inventory in Progress

First go tell this guy you're happy he walked away from being wrecked. I am sure he will feel like ten miles of bad road today once the adrenaline has left his body but we all know he is a trooper. Heck he was live blogging shortly after taking care of business.

Secondly congrats to this chica for her score of a WSOP seat. I've congratulated her on her blog but felt a personal shout out was also apropos. Forget Tilly/Laak, the Jetts, Harman/Traniello etc. Lucko21/PvanHaribo are definitely the first man and lady of online poker. And Congrats to this little man who I've never had the pleasure to meet and this guy too!!

As Dr Pauly and others have mentioned it seems that this year really is the year of the pro at the WSOP. Definitely appears that way in the bigger buy-in Championship events. Personally, I think its great for the game. I was really happy that Mike Matusow and Layne Flack both won bracelets. As someone who has wrestled with the same demons (in my case it wasn't cocaine but booze and other forms of better living thru modern chemistry) and come out the other side I hope that the past is the past for these two gentlemen. I have seen Matusow endure so many heart-wrenching beats at final tables he was due.

Snake5970 leaves for Vegas on Wednesday for 18 days. I haven't talked to him since last weekends big events where he did not meet success after he played really well the night before in a few warm-ups. I know he is truly disappointed as the last three years he has had seats sewn up for the Main Event. He did have three steps (a 3,4,5) left and he played them Thursday morning and busted out of them all. I am not quite sure what happened there as I didn't rail any of them. He did mention via email that he ran into AA twice and then got his AA cracked by KJ. We were supposed to get together before he left but I don't think that's going to come to pass as I'm busy the next few evenings before he goes and I haven't heard from him since Thursday. And well I really don't know what to say.

Anyway, ever since that 2007 Blogger Bracelet race where LJ runner-upped (I was 5th) she has improved exponentially. My game on the other hand stalled. At least the on-line one did. Live I play fine, I've had plenty of decent live tourney cashes since last years Vegas trip. I've played well at Foxwoods and Turning Stone. For the most part I played okay in my former live league and was doing really well at the club before that action went poof.

I was reading Columbo's blog and he seems to have the same outcomes as I. The other nite i was playing a forum freeroll for a single MSOP seat because I just happened to be ready for the 8:30 PM start time. I normally do not play forum freerolls any longer. I was in fourth place with a nice stack with about 11 or so left. I re-raised a min-raiser with pocket tens. I got called by the chasing/luckbox who was holding KJos. I hit my set on a flop of ATx. He threw out a bet equal to the blind (totally weak there). I potted it to take away all odds and he called. turn was a blank. he checks I put almost all the rest of my chips in but like $45 (i potted again I think) and of course the asshat sucks out the Q for the str8. I win that hand I am chipleader and I was pretty confident that I could take it down. I had been outplaying everyone to that point slowly grinding my way up the board. Once again a river suckout on IG. I just think that it is ridiculous that 9 out of ten times the river card comes for the person who just couldnt lay down their hand and they always seem to have a few more chips.

Anyway, I decided that turbos are not my forte and I do better in deeper stacked tourneys although I am capable of doing okay in just your standard 1500 chip starting fields. I am rereading Sit N Go strategy by Collin Moshman. I also plan to buy Sit and Go Wizard during my vacation in a few weeks when I can sit down and grind and I may eventually take a class with Jennifear. I've had some improving SNG stats (I'm starting at low low buy-ins on stars and making a challenge of it) a few two many bubbles (a few unlucky suck-outs) and a few two many seconds and thirds but I'm rarely first out and I came back to cash after getting stacked to 300 chips in one. I did get my ass handed to me a few times when I re-raised with JJ and TT (i figured not many hands beat me there) only to get called by AK everytime and they hit the K or A to send me packing. I'm not sure that's the right move early on but I figure its a good spot to get some chips so you can pressure later as the blinds go up not to mention thinning the field. I figure once i get the software it will seal most leaks as for the most part my fundamentals are solid.

And to my gal pal CK, where the hell is our man Kirk Morrison? I have seen no mention of him at this years WSOP at all or any stats in the Hendon Mob Database.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weird Coincidences

I'm currently reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. It was the book prior to The Da Vinci Code and is actually quite good (some folks think better then The Da Vinci Code). So, of course I'm totally fascinated by the symbolism etc in the book. Born and raised Catholic I haven't practiced in years. My mom's dad was a Mason and a Shriner and if you read both books there are references to Freemasonry. All I know is Grandpa wasn't Catholic and Catholics couldn't join the Masons or for that matter any secret society because of oaths etc.

For those of you who play on Pokerstars I use this as my avatar:

It is the 3rd eye or the eye of Horus. To the ancient eygyptians it was a symbol of protection or the all seeing eye.

So I was playing on pokerstars the other day and this dude starts quizzing me on my avatar and states that it is a satanic symbol and a sign of the New World Order. And that many corporations use this symbol and they are all in cahoots (so does our Great Seal of the US or a variation of it). This dude wouldn't stop with the 3rd degree and then he started lecturing the table on more recent events such as manipulation of the financial markets by these all powerful men who meet secretly.

I wont bore you with the details of the table chat other then this dude knew that both President Bush and John Kerry were Skull & Bones at Yale (I looked it up he was right). I basically told him he was too uptight when he accused me of using a demonic symbol and to go rub one out which brought a laugh from everyone at the table. But what hit home is I myself have stated to Snake5970 and my father that I believe that we are being manipulated and are just pawns. The rising price of gas, and other commodities seem to bear it out at least to me. I had said this even before I had started reading Angels and Demons which was only last week after I finished The Moscow Vector by Robert Ludlum & Patrick Larkin.

Angels and Demons talks about the Illuminati but more interesting to me is the mention of the New World Order. The New World Order doesn't play a role in the book it is mentioned only as a background framework.

So what is weird to me is I get this idea in my head about being a pawn in a bunch of politicians and corporate overlords chess game, pick up a book to read that mentions this New World Order, find out my avatar has attachments to the New World Order and have to listen to a dude go on and on about it. I thought he was nuts but now I'm wondering.

What did Scully and Mulder say... Trust No One.

And I'm keeping the avatar because the Egyptians used it long before some other organizations swiped it for their own uses!!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Belmont Stakes Picks

Snake5970 and I have formed a little joint partnership for some low-stakes horse betting fun and games. Our betting focus is primarily the more exotic wagering of exactas, trifectas and superfectas. My original intent or what I call the get rich slowly scheme was to do ten-cent-superfecta's only within the context of our little corporation. Our primary focus will be the upcoming summer meet at Saratoga. Snake emailed me last nite to say no tencent-superfecta's on the Belmont our first little JBV (joint betting venture).

Handicapping for the Belmont was solely by Snake5970. He's retired and has time to comb thru the daily racing sheets etc. I myself look at breeding and times run in workouts and against the other horses. Once in a while I will go with the jockey. No I dont pick grey horses because they are pretty.

It should be no Surprise that we think Big Brown will win and that we will have our first triple crown winner in 30 years. So we are taking Big Brown on top in all our wagering.

Exacta's Big Brown over Macho Again and Dennis of Cork

Trifecta Big Brown over Macho Again, Dennis of Cork, Tale of Ekati, Ichabod Crane (as an aside my mom graduated from the school that became Ichabod Crane High School in Columbia County New York)

We have intentionally left Casino Drive out of the mix as Snake5970 said:

-we need Casino Drive to come up empty.The horse does look good but you cannot use it with BB and expect any value.I really think if anybody beats BB it will be Macho Again or Dennis Of Cork.

IG replied with:

I'm laughing because it sounds like we are picking stocks (value investing) rather then horses.

That's how IEAH Stables does it and they own BB!!!!

BB= Big Brown not Big Blind!!!

Total investment $16. $8 per partner.

Both of us are free to make sidebets should we so choose.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Albany Times Useless (aka Union) Club Bust Coverage

We Empire Staters sure know what is important don't we? First Eliot Spitzer's sexual peccadillos garner way to much coverage (in Europe probably no one would care) and now the bust of the underground cardrooms in Albany, NY garner front page headlines. I feel like I was part of a major media event without having been there that night.

We have this article Trouble in the Cards and this article Card Games Behind Closed Doors all making today's paper. One even made the front page, including pictures of the doors of the 4 underground cardrooms and their exact locations. Three of these clubs are now shut down. The fourth one where I have played is still open, but the tournament I was supposed to play Saturday night is now postponed indefinitely. Some people are just way to free with information. I never told random people the location of the clubs and it was only after you passed my muster would I introduce you to them. And I would escort you there on your first visit. Of course I'm Italian and we have a word "Omerta" what ever happened to the saying "Loose lips, sink ships"?

First of all to those individuals who say I was partaking of an illegal activity FUCK OFF. Playing poker is not illegal in NY and playing cards in a private residence or setting is not illegal either. It is illegal of the owner of an establishment to rake the game. The saturday night tournament was a bigger stakes game that we held once every 4-6 weeks. We had food ordered in (which was always really good) and we paid some kids to deal the tourney so that all we needed to do was shuffle. It freed me up to concentrate and play my A game as I hate playing hands I deal (superstitious since I busted myself out of the Adirondack Poker League at least 3 times last season). We all were willing participants in a game which I consider to be a game of skill and some luck. Over the long haul at higher limits it is 90% skill I would reckon. That is why I liked this tourney. Deep stacked, long blind levels show a players real talent as it wasnt an on-line shove-fest.

To the neighbors of the card club who feel the players deserved to be robbed all I can say is that is not a nice thing to wish on anyone. Thats like me saying you should get E Coli from the hamburger you buy.

So now for the forseeable future I will get my poker jollies on and Fulltilt for play money. I plan on building piles of play chips to become the World Play Chip Champion of the World. Joking!!!!!

And Snake5970 after reading the articles said this in his infinite wisdom: "Read the TU articles, what a bunch of bullshit. Does anybody tell the truth, neighbors, politicians, reporters or gamblers? Just be patient (edited) and in time all will be back to normal, everything cycles around in time."

And as IG says believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Music Sweet Music!! and Albany Poker Club Redux

Wow, what an incredible weekend of music at Mountain Jam IV. I was completely blown away by some of the bands I had never seen and by those I've heard or seen many times who brought their craft to a new level. But first I have to organize my thoughts and get ready to recap for Coventry.

I came back to find a comment on my previous blog entry from the "neighbor" of the Albany Poker Club/Italian Social Club. She asked me to remove the link to the post as she was fearful for her family which I did. I only linked it up to illustrate how it must have looked to the other side not to out her as a complaining resident of the area. I have since suggested that any new location be in a non-residential area. A comment on her blog refers to me as "some person she doesn't know or care to know" who had linked to her. Now that will get a good chuckle from the people who know me (family/friends) as well as the poker community be it live or on-line as I am far from being a menace to society. I don't drink or smoke, I pay my taxes and vote, I bake cupcakes and garden . I'm past president of one of the largest running clubs in the country. I guess the running club will soon want to take away my Distinguished Service Award since I'm a person of "questionable character". She has apparently password protected that particular post for only family and friends. Heck, I stumbled upon her blog pretty easily doing a pretty basic key word search as did probably a host of others (including actual paid journalists) . The internet is hardly anonymous if you don't want to be read don't put your journal on-line.

First, all I can say is she has more to fear from her "neighbors" around the corner then from anyone who showed up to play cards who apparently she feels are a bunch of gambling degenerates and lowlifes a stigma that most of us poker players endure. Even my own mother, doesn't get it but when I win a nice tournament score she is the first to say." Good you can buy lunch today". Most of the people who played cards there were everyday people including college kids trying to make some spending money, a retired judge, radio DJ's, members of law enforcement, restaurateurs, current and retired state workers, engineers, lawyers, doctors, hair stylists, computer programmers etc. And without a doubt we all want the bad guys caught too.

As someone who had 25 years in law enforcement said to me.... "I hope the dude with the dew rag and baseball hat cocked on his head and who was sitting out on the hood of one of the residents cars at 3:30 AM in the morning turns out to be a better "neighbor". The guys who I played cards with would walk us ladies out to our cars in the late hours because of some of the more unsavory characters who frequent the street or live near where the club was located. Yes its largely a residential neighborhood on the back side of the club, but North Allen where the club was situated is mixed use: a bunch of bars, a funeral home, other businesses and a lot of houses that are "lower-income" aka slummy heck its the city. I'm a gal from the burbs.

Now, I have three days of WSOP coverage and poker news and blogs to get caught up on as well as figuring out where to start with the synopsis of Mountain Jam IV. Thank goodness I have today off. Starting next week I have every Friday off for most of the summer including the whole week of July 7th thru the 13th for the Main Event.