Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mountain Jam IV Bound

Tomorrow I'm off to Mountain Jam IV. My first music festival in the new millennium!! I'll be kicking it old school with pen and paper and won't be able to post till the Ratdog grand finale and my descent off the Mountain in the wee hours Monday. Internet and cell phone reception may be spotty at best and I decided not to drag the laptop with me. I will be armed with disposable cameras and notebooks to record the memories and energy. BFF & music teacher, Kim is bringing her drums and we have enough people at our camp to have a real drumming circle. Yes, IG is camping for the first time since I camped on Cape Cod on the eve of a hurricane during the Falmouth Road Race circa August 1993/1994. Normally my idea of camping now is a Holiday Inn.

I'll be doing most of my writing about Mountain Jam IV over on Coventry. Be sure to follow me and my merry band over there!!

Till Monday Peace all!!

And online poker still sucks!!!

And for all you Tri-City locals looking for info about the Albany poker club closure read a neighbors point of view here. *****

*****link removed by request (see new post)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No I Wasn't there when we got hit.

I should have been but I opted to go down to the club Friday night for a new tourney that was moved from across the river over to Albany-Salami. The dude running the Friday night tourney was being jerked around by the venue he was running his game out of and he wanted a place that could host him on a weekly basis. That is now tabled after Sunday nights robbery.

Sunday, I watched a bit of the Indy 500 and I ran around to a bunch of garden centers and then I decided to stay put and watch the Nascar race and catch re-runs of Top Chef. I also railed Snake and his brother Silo in a couple of PokerStars tourneys. I was on the phone with Snake for a bit Sunday night but hung up with him when I decided to eat my Italian Mixed Sub appropriately called the GOOMBA.

Last nite I got an email from "Action Hank" telling me the club had been rolled. He was there when it happened call him for details and let Snake5970 know. I didn't read his email till about an hour after he sent it, as I had been reading about the No Stranger Land dude's and doing some research for my upcoming trip to Mountain Jam IV (which I will be covering over on Coventry). I emailed Snake went off to read my Robert Ludlum Covert I book and figured I'd find out in the AM.

Snake called me about 8:30 AM today to see what was up. It was something I always thought could happen but didn't worry too much about. Snake and I had talked about being prepared for anything but in the end I felt you would have to be dumber then a box of rocks to hit an Italian Social club. That, and possibly needing a fix just might do it. I never brought more money in then I was prepared to lose, and since I don't play cash it was never really more then my tourney buy-in. Snake told me he'd put a call in to Hank to get the details since I'm a working stiff and he is not. Actually those are my words not his.

Snake caught up with Hank. Snake then caught me up briefly by email of what went down. Just after 7 PM my phone rang and Hank gave me the full low-down. I'm just glad no one was really hurt and that a couple of these guys will probably be ID'd & pinched and yes there were stupid enough to drive over to another location where a game was being held on the same night and were caught on video tape and refused entry. Right now no one knows, if they were locals although it sounds like they may be, NYC residents who came in for the score or gang members. Yes Smallbany has gangs probably figured easy pickings, a bunch of mostly white folk playing cards let's roll them.

Read about it here and here.

And my feed is showing a higher number of Albany-Schenectady-Troy hits today so I'm sure people are looking for info.

Like a few others have said, I'll return as soon as things calm down and a new location is found/scouted out. How about someplace up my way!!! I liken underground poker games to the rave scene . Although I wasn't a part of the that scene, it was very common for the raves to move around from spot to spot and be advertised word of mouth.

Monday, May 26, 2008

No Stranger Land - The Journey

Some people drive across country to their destination. Others choose a different path. Denny Clark and Brian Triplett are recent University of Iowa graduates and they are walking across the US this summer (the journey began May 20th in Maine).

In their own words:

We will spend the summer of 2008 traveling coast-to-coast across the United States, reaching out to the people we encounter along the way and observing how people react and reach out to us. Our adventure begins on the Atlantic coast in Maine on May 20, and we hope to conclude our trip on the Pacific coast three months later.

We will live minimally by hiking with our supplies on our backs, camping and cooking our own food. We are allowing ourselves a $10-per-day spending limit, including food and any other expenses. We will not seek out luxuries, trying our best not to pay or ask for accomodations or transportation. That said, we're open to any good fortune that may come our way.

In an adventurous, extreme approach, this is a study of how Americans interact with one another in today's society. We will document the trip through our website - - with writings, photos, and videos, allowing people to interact and follow along with us on our journey.

Why We Are Doing It:

We want to get to know our country, its people, and ourselves with the hope of inspiring others with our stories. We are tired of so much negative news in our world and want to do something uniquely positive to counter it. We hope to create a movement of peace and make America a bit better of a place. We believe kindness is contagious and don't want to live in a society in which people are skeptical of strangers. We want to live in NO STRANGER LAND.

Godspeed Brian and Denny!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bubble Bitch even as a Horse!!!

Shamanalix sent me an email that said poor Iron Girl:

6th race - Indiana Downs - May 23, 2008

Race Name: Shelby County S.
Off at: 9:00 Race Type: Stakes
Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
Sex Restriction: Fillies and Mares
Value of Race: $50,000
Distance: Six Furlongs
Surface Type: Dirt Track Condition: Fast
Winning Time: 1:11.40
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
7 Brean Can Orlando Mojica 5.80 3.20 2.40
1 Fueledbymoonshine Thomas L. Pompell 2.80 2.20
8 She's a Red Devil Victor Lebron 4.00

Also ran: 2 - Iron Girl , 9 - Missy's Queen , 3 - Little Waki , 6 - Classic Ramona , 4 - Shadow Bear , 10 - Jazzy Jewel , 5 - Rollin Bridle

On a live poker note, I had another final table last nite but finished 9th with only 5 paying. That makes 5 final tables in my last 6 live outings with three cashes. ITM 50%. Not bad at all. I'm getting myself into position for the big one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Last we Left Our Heroine

I opened up the back of my Dell and blew dust and cat hair out of it and used that wonderful can of compressed air that freezes to your hand and that seems to have done the trick. The fan still hums, unlike my work computer which is quiet. But the tower has pretty much hummed since I've had it. It will be four years old at year end so I'm sure Ill be due for a new one. In the meantime I think I need to get myself a zip drive to save and back-up all the shit I think is important to save but probably isn't.

Last Friday I took the Day off and road tripped with mama IG. We headed down into Litchfield County CT to White Flower Farm. My second trip to Connecticut in 8 days. I grew up where NY, CT and MA meet. My home ski area of Catamount where I spent most of my teen winters would see me skiing across the NY/MA state line and back. Litchfield County is that NorthWest corner of Connecticut where it meets NY and MA and is full of charming little towns and prep schools.

I had some ideas of what I was looking for but the day was miserably cold and rainy and flowers weren't on my mind. Plus a lot of the plants weren't blooming yet and its hard to buy something when you have an idea of what you want it to look like but aren't sure it will grow into just that. But Tomato-mania was going on and I did buy some tomato plants, actually about 4 or 5 different varieties. I got some nice San Marzano plants which are great for "gravy" aka sauce another type of Roma tomato, a yellow tomato plant and some regular old Beef steak type tomatoes. I also bought pepper plants and herbs (dill, basil (regular and purple), and sage and a Rosemary tree.

Now, my mom and I are very good friends and very close but we are two very different people. I am not sure if it is her age or what but she has this awful habit of talking about people she sees like they are invisible. For example, we were seated near the french doors of Tosca grille on Mothers Day. A man walks towards the door, kind of heavy and he's leaning forward as he walks and kind of shuffling. He's like right in front of the table and my mom says...."See that man?" I immediately cringe and give her the look and mutter 'Mother, people can hear you!" I'm thinking she's going to be critical about his weight but instead she says. "No, he cant. and I wonder if he has spinal stenosis?" . My mom has been diagnosed with it but it hasn't effected her yet. "That's how people get when the stenosis gets bad"

I am happily cavorting in the rain looking at tomatoes and herbs (not the smokeable kind you potheads out there) and my mom is complaining that I told her to leave the umbrella behind in the car. Anyway she comes out from under the tent to look for some tomatoes herself. She announces: "I want a patio tomato" and "Do you have patio tomatoes". One of the worker bees, a woman about my age or so, brings her over to the regular tomatoes and says any of these varieties would be good. They are early tomatoes (meaning they have a shorter time to maturity which means to the table quicker and better for a short growing season like we have in the NorthEast). She points to one and my mom snorts. "UHHH, I won't buy anything that says BUSH!!! " I had to stifle a huge laughter because the woman's mouth just about fell to the grass. I looked at my mother and said. "Good one mom, you know we just happen to be in Republican territory (Litchfield County is horsey rich, second home to NYC executives country)."

Later that weekend I am catching up with Snake. I'm telling him about my road trip with mama and make this statement. Well shes not really a bad driver but this is what she did -She takes her hand off the steering wheel on a rainy day to dab her lipstick and I see the guardrail on my side looming very very close to my window on a twisty part of Rte 8 near OTis. And I have to tell her how she should have two hands on the wheel (I want to live to see another day!) So, Snake says to me.. IG that does not make sense. You just said she gets sidetracked just like my father does and my father is not a good driver therefore your mother isnt a good driver because she doesnt keep her mind on the driving. I immediately felt like I had to defend my mother till I realized he was right.

On Sunday I run into my old neighbor Terry who has just retired. He tells me his wife is driving him crazy as she will always say. 'Do you remember....?" and Terry tells me he looked at Linda and said. 'Linda, I'm a man we invented Instant Replay. I cant remember what I had for lunch and you expect me to remember something from last week?" So I look at Terry, and chuckle and say. "Well, men are like dogs Terry you only have a small 200 word vocabulary. I totally realize that when we women start yapping you men shut down after about 5 sentences."

After chatting it up with the retirees: Terry and Snake and exchanging some emails with Rob in California who told me he liked what we were doing on Coventry but he wasnt going to listen to that Franti dude because he cant stand him, I was left wondering and thinking about how does this all work with men? How is it that we ever find that common denominator. And I already no that one or more of my male readers is going to type into a comment the answer is..........

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where' s the Donkey?

The above cartoon is from the Albany Times Union. I haven't decided which berg I'm on yet. I think I feel like the Polar bear because I'm not a registered member of the GOP. But the captions on the elephant sum up all the things that I have been thinking about of late. I've always been a Democrat but after the UIGEA I started leaning Liberterian and I cant get warm or fuzzy about Obama or Clinton. Hence Where's the Donkey. My personal opinion is that there are Democrats who wont vote for Obama because he is a person of color and Clinton's failure to exit the race spells major agita for the Dem's. Prediction: John McCain. Wonder what the Bodog Racebook is laying as odds on our election?

This is a poker blog at least it started out that way. But I have no poker-ee goodness or badness to post about because I played only one MTT in the last 8 days and that was a $2.20 qualifier to the Pokerstars 25,000 player donkfestivus known as the $100k guarantee. Did I win a seat? Nope, I tripled up in the first two levels and probably could have coasted to the seat with a little selective stealing but I made a bad call and lost almost 2/3 of my stack. I went out on a typical IG beat. I raised UTG with ATos 3x BB with only 7 I think at the table. I got called by the BB the board came down T baby baby. I decided to jam right there with top pair only to get called by the BB with KT. I was on the phone with Snake who had returned from Florida and who was railing me and said..... "The king is going to hit might as well turn off the computer right now!!" And I was right. Snake couldn't believe it as I said. "Okay that's enough online poker to last me another 8 days." That's the way I roll online.

I still had a profitable day as I bet small on Big Brown on the Preakness and won my WPS bets placed thru the Bodog Racebook because I'm now too cheap to get in my car and drive to OTB ( btw that's win place show for you horse-racing noobs). The horse looked incredible and all I can say is he definitely had another gear.

Now Snake had a horse story of his own which was pretty funny. He had a layover in Baltimore on Preakness day and was hanging out between flights and the talk of course was of the Preakness. Some dude comes in and starts spewing about and unknown horse etc etc. Everyone looked at him like he was full of doo-doo. Snake asked him, whats the horse's name? Reply "I don't know", Jockeys name? "I don't know". So Snake pulls out a newspaper and starts reading off names. The first name he read the dude says: That's the one! (Macho Again).

So Snake looks at the papers that he has and decides that the guy must be drunk stoned, full of shit all of the above because the horse doesn't seem that good with what he sees. When he gets home he decides to dig a little deeper. Like me when he gets into something his OCD behavior kicks in and he does his in depth research and analysis. Low and behold he finds out that the horse doesn't really look that bad. So he bets him with Big Brown keyed on top in his exactas and trifectas and hits his exacta for the tune of almost $400. Bad info that turned out to be good or just a crazy hunch!!

I will be back to entertain my viewers about a day trip with mama IG and how I spent part of my stimulus check as soon as I figure out why my computer is making a grinding noise. I think the fan is trying to tell me something. Time to get out the compressed air and vacuum out the inside.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where in the World is IG?

Wow, doesn't seem like its been a week since I last posted. I did have a lot going on with work, some vacation days, mothers day and only a little poker.

I did cash in an undercard race for the Kentucky Derby but that was it. Only one horse in my exactas made the top two (Big Brown) and the others were 5th and 6th or around there (Pyro and Colonel John). I do feel only a little bad for Snake5970 who missed out on a big trifecta payday when he failed to put Big Brown (the favorite and eventual winner) on top and wheel his other horses. Oh he had Big Brown in the mix all right, but he put Z-Fortune on top and wheeled Tale Of Ekati, Eight Belles, Big Truck, Colonel John, Monba, and Dennis Of Cork in the duece and trey spots.... Can i say that about horse racing positions or is it ghey?

Online poker continues to suck for the most part and I've become to think its a big joke. So much so that other then Sit-n-go's I have lost a lot of my desire to play an online MTT and my performance in Blogger tourneys has been pitiful so I'm just not playing them. Of course they are all on full-tilt so that may have something to do with it. I cannot tell you the beats I have been subjected to on Full Tilt. I'm almost Bankrupt on FTP and wont reload this time for a good long time. I'm an immediate gratification girl. I can only make the right moves so many times and after a while I just say FAWK IT and move on elsewhere when I put in the work and get bent over. I really don't know how it is possible for me to be so bad online but play as well as I do live. The only thing I don't have online is the ability to read people's verbal and nonverbal tells. Of course my average buyin live is about 8-15 times higher then it is online and maybe that's the issue. People don't give a rats ass about $10-$25 tourneys since its pocket change (although I think Lucko et al. takes that $27.50 pretty seriously) but they think twice before making a redonkulous call or move when the buyin is $80-$200.

I have a ton of other things keeping me busy. I put up three posts over on PhishCoventry this weekend and with overtime going away soon at work Ill be able to spend a little more time following my music muse. A big thank you to Dr Pauly for bringing me in. I'm having fun checking out music sites like Jambase, Rolling Stone and Relix as well as different band websites and seeing where it leads me. In fact although I've heard of him for years, I finally got to downloading some Keller Williams. If you haven't been over to PhishCoventry check it out. The Joker has some kick ass coverage of Radiohead and Coachella Music Festival and Boy Genius added a great Jazz post. Pauly is really excited in the direction the blog is taking and its exciting to be a part of it. In fact today was a record traffic day on the site with over 1000 visits when Pauly emailed me this AM. God forbid it gets bigger then Tao of Poker and we lose the good Doctor to covering music full time!!! I think a big highlight for me was a post I did about a new Grateful Dead archival release and David Gans of the Grateful Dead Hour who was there pretty much in the beginning with the boys posted the answer to a question I had asked on PhishCoventry and emailed me.

As you can see I'm pretty excited about contributing to something that is on the verge of breaking out. All the contributors have similar, but different interests and tastes musically. So if there is something you think we should be listening too or you would like to see coverage on, let me know and I'll check it out and give you props too!! Just don't subject me to Death Metal or totally Redneck Country music (ie. the word double-wide appears in the lyrics) or something that makes me go what the Fawk!!!

Thursday I took off and papa IG and I headed down to Westport CT to visit my younger sister Suzanne. Pops is doing quite well on his generic Prilosec and will still take liquid iron for about 4.5 more months. I've never written about this before but my sister lives right across the street from Martha Stewart's former Westport aka Turkey Hill home. No I have never met Martha myself, although my mom and aunt did get a really nice tour of her house and gardens one summer when they were down visiting. And no my sister isn't incredibly wealthy. She happens to be a Culinary Institute of America Grad with an incredible knack for decorating, cooking and gardening herself. Years ago when she needed a new apartment, she happened to fall into a great situation with the friend/bridge partner of a former business associate of my dad's. It developed into a great friendship and my sister also serves as a house and pet sitter and associate gardener for the owner's of the house (okay it has an elevator in it so its more then a house). And the owner's of the house have become "cousins" to us all.

A trip to Westport wouldn't be complete without a trip to Trader Joe's or Costco neither of which Smallbany NY have. We have BJ's and Sam's clubs but you just cant compare the two to Costco. Trader Joe's is a gem in and of itself. I cant believe I drove three hours to grocery shop but I did and my fridge is stocked with all sorts of good cheap food. I got almost two lbs of shrimp salad at Costco for only $11.38. The salad was just shrimp and celery and some grape tomatoes on a bed of lettuce in a light mayonnaise base.... YUMMO. I got some frozen panna cotta at Trader Joe's along with falafel and some other prepared food dishes which will keep me lunching and dining for the rest of this week. Much better then the crap that goes into Lean Cuisine's and Smart One's etc. The only thing we didn't have time to do is go to Whole Foods Market, Stew Leonard's and Billy's Bakery, my other favorite places to go down there.

The WSOP will soon be upon us in like 18 days. Since I'm not going to Vegas this summer I'm only mildly interested. For me to do Vegas right with dinners, a show or two and tourney entries, (not to mention airfare and lodging for a full week or so) and to go for more then the in and out trips Ive done in the past I need a good $7500-$10000 which I don't have in a live poker bankroll right now. With the price of gas and everything else I'm frankly more concerned about paying my bills. Plus I have my homeowners and car insurance coming up. I'm sure my escrow will increase, we are going to have an assessment to do our driveway and parking lot at my condo development early next year. I'm going to need new tires for the gas guzzling Santa Fe. I can also see the replacement of my hot water heater coming up in the near future. I would love to redo my floors in hardwood (Bamboo will probably be used) paint the inside of the condo, do new kitchen counters in granite, and add a mantel to the fireplace. As a friend said, Vegas will be there next year or the year after.

So the week I still have off in July (7th-11th) I'm budgeting for a week of play in A-Vegas. I figure I can play the tourneys on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nites without driving far and I'll plan on doing a Borgata trip in the fall as well as put in an appearance at Al's Bash.

So who the heck has won a Main Event seat anyway? I read about Fuel55's Step 6 catastrophe. Last I heard from Snake5970 he was sitting on a Step 4 and 5 only. He's in Florida closing up his parents place for a week and the laptop he brought with him isn't connecting to the internet but it worked perfectly fine up at home. When I talked to him yesterday he told me I may see a laptop rising into the air similar to the shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral. I told him to enjoy his time off the internet and go buy some newspapers to read. I think he is a little anxious to return to the WSOP for round 4 and last year he had his seat locked up as he had qualified thru UB in December of 2006. His brother Silo hasn't had any success either. I can honestly say that I loved my experience last year but could live a happy life without playing in the WSOP again. I think there is a lot better value out there as well as tourneys with better structures, like that Borgata Deep Stack tourney they just had.

All for now time to delve into the Falafel from Trader Joes.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Kentucky Derby Day

I've mentioned many times in my posts that I live outside of Saratoga Springs a town not only known for its mineral baths and springs (Saratoga Spring Water) but for its horse-racing legacy (it is the oldest continuously-operating Thoroughbred track in the United States). Many of you may not know that the potato chip as we know it today was also created in Saratoga at the know defunct Moon's Lake House.

While at the club Thursday nite (another tourney final table but a cash bubble, and more on that in another post), Action Hank and another dude (think it may have been Tom "The Greek" who chopped the win with Jamie at Soul-Patch Mike's tourney) mentioned the ten cent superfecta. My head snapped around as quick as Regan's in the Exorcist to hear about this exotic wagering. The carrot had been dangled and I could feel myself getting sucked back in.

When I got home in the wee hours I emailed Snake5970 with a "exhausted, final table, no cash, lots of stories, call me". Now Snake knows a thing or two about the ponies and he actually has a bit of ownership in two horses that should be making their debuts one late this year and the other early next year, so I asked him to give me the low-down on this super-fecta thingee asI had already asked him to handicap the derby for me.

I was tickled when I saw his synopsis and that he expects the winner to come from the West Coast. Snake5970's picks are:


IG's Picks: Colonel John, Pyro, Z Fortune, Adriano, Big Brown, Gayego, Visionaire

So far I've placed a single $2 across the board bet on Colonel John my outright winner thru my BODOG account. Working on my exactas. Snake emailed me his trifecta's Ill report back on results later. No Mint Juleps for IG just my usual Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks.