Sunday, February 25, 2007

Twins are not gypsies, grilled ribs and get the hell over yourself

I rarely, ever look at daytime TV. I consider it the equivalent of sitting in a pool of radioactive slime. It slowly, silently saps you of your life.
Unless it's poker or stuff my not-quite-yet 2-year-old likes like Clifford, Little Einsteins or JoJo.
So I was trying to look away when I was running on the treadmill at the gym Friday, enjoying my hour off from Mr. Mom day (thanks sweetie) with a run, when I saw twins.
Twins. TWINS. Hey! Cool! I'm very interested in all things twins. No, not for that reason. How dare you. Get your mind out of the gutter.
It's more because of THE BIG NEWS. They are due (get your baby pool entries in soon) starting at the end of April (June e officially), and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about them before the girls arrive.
So instead of looking away, I decided to sacrifice a brain cell or two and watch the daytime TV show on twins. Maybe they would be discussing funny habits, eerie similarities or, better yet, how to raise them without going to crazy that you want to carve out your eyeballs with a piece of broken glass.
No. Instead, they claimed they were Psychic Twins.
Er. OK. I gave it a chance. Maybe there was something there about how twins seem to communicate with each other without speaking or how they seem to have a bond that no one can explain.
The show still had me.
Until they started talking about Brad Pitt.
Oh, God.
These were Twins Who Were Psychic and used those Psychic Powers to see in the future and tell us which celebrities will get married.
Ow. Ow. Owwwwww.
Sorry. I just lost another brain cell even thinking about it.
Damn you, daytime TV. Now not only did you kill a few of my precious cells (Ow) but you pissed me off. Twins aren't freaks. They are not psychic. At least I don't think so. And if they were, they would NOT use those powers to tell us what's going to happen with Brad Pitt's personal life.
At least not my girls.

(By the way, if there are any of my new twin mom fans reading this, my wife, who is already showing at 30 weeks despite being 24 weeks pregnant (hi mom hi mom), her ribs really hurt. Any ideas?)

• • •

This was awards weekend in Colorado. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year. I like awards, probably far too much. I have to admit it. I'm competitive.
We're all supposed to be modest and say awards don't mean anything, but deep down we all want to be recognized and know that's bullshit. I'm OK with the fact that I like awards even if they are just one judge's opinion and they are so screwy sometiimes (a great example, a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News won the pulitzer prize for feature writing but only took second in one of the two state contests, which is like winning a Grammy but not making the finals for American Idol).
I'm human, and if you watched the Oscars last night, I'm not the only one who appreciates trophies.
That's a couple of worthless paragraphs to tell you that I won three first place awards from the Colorado Associated Press Friday night and two firsts, one second and a third from the Colorado Press Association. I was proud. I've won at least one first place a year from both organizations in the last six years, but there still are only like 8-9 writing categories per contest and usually at least eight newspapers enter them. This year was a good one.
More importantly I got to hear Tom Hallman Jr. speak. Hallman Jr. won a pulitzer and was a finalist for two others and is one of the five best newspaper writers in the country. I came away from that inspired for the first time in two years, and I spoke to my editor about writing a weekly column, much like a metro columnist does for the big-city newspapers. He seemed supportive. If so I'll post them here once a week.
That's a big reason why I like awards, too. Others believe it shows you are good, and opportunities arise for them.
And with that, good luck Wil in the blogger contest!
(If you already lost I apologize. I don't pay attention to such things. Especially because I wasn't nominated).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mookie Minefield

Last night was one of those nights that makes me wonder why I play poker.
And yet it was a lot of fun too.
I got my money in as a 3-1 favorite three times in the Mookie last night, including my last beat, when my A,K fell to A,J at the final table.
But the Mookie was littered with bad beats last night, so I can't really complain too much. I swear I saw three people in a row lose with KK. It was a brutal night. I was only one of the many victims.
Besides, in a tough tournament with bloggers, if there were no bad beats, the thing would last until 3:30 a.m. You gotta knock out tough players somehow, right?
I did feel great about my play. I made both final tables in NE and in Razz (took my 8 high a little too far but I was low in chips).
I think making the final table again, just two spots from the money, when I had my money in as a sparkling water favorite, proves to me that I should be more confident about my MTT play. It's improved quite a bit. I was always a tight, careful player, so mixing that in with a few well-timed steals and bluffs seems to be all I needed. Plus my reads are better. I can't remember the last time I sucked out in an MTT or a SnG, and while some would bitch about that, I look at it as proof that almost all of the time, I'm getting my money in when I'm a favorite. That's about all you can do in poker. The rest is up to the hamster that runs the card program.
Ah, that bastard hamster. In limit last night, right after I was thrown from the Mookie, I took more beats than an old mule. The details? Nah. The best, though, I have to share with you. I lost with TPTK, A,J, to A,10 when he hit runner, runner 10s. Weee.
I did well, however, because I also got a full house with a pair of 6s in the hole, a set of 7s and finally a player decided that capping the pot was a good idea after I completed my straight flush. Thank you, sir, may I have another bet? Sweet.
Limit is a little too much like Bingo Poker, what we Coloradans like to call Black Hawk Casino 2/5 limit poker, but that also is what gets your hands paid off. I must keep reminding myself of that.
Sometimes it's hard though.

I'll continue to pimp the baby pool until April 1, the deadline. Thanks to those of you who have pimped away. I would really appreciate it, and maybe let you suck out against me, if you do the same.

And speaking of MTTs, pimping and the damn hamster:

I'll be here tonight.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Run those stairs a second time

Come out tonight to this:

When in the biggest upset since the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team took down a bunch of much larger and angrier men on ice I took down the last Mookie. I'll be "defending" my title tonight, meaning I'll be handing off the crown like a former Miss America to the next lucky contestant, probably by the first hour.
Complicating things is the fact that I"m Mr. Mom tonight, so I hope the toddler cooperates when Daddy whispers to him that he needs him to sleep so he can fold his way to a sixth place cash.
I think I'll make the Razz event too as I love Razz.

* * *

I had a good time playing some (actually a lot) of hold em with CC of Quest of a Closet Poker Player last night. The closet player himself came out of the closet to crack my KK with A,5 and destroy my K,Q with top pair with his set of 3s.
I tried $2/$4 limit for the first time and thought I did well until the very end, when after three tough hands I finished $35 down in a bit of a daze. That's nothing to what CC suffered yesterday, but I was still bummed, considering several times I was up quite a bit, and I've always prided myself on not donking off a good night.
CC had several good suggestions for my game (including the shocker suggestion of the century, raise more preflop, gosh I thought I was pretty LAG, I guess not).
Thanks, man.

* * *

I have had ONE entry for the baby pool. I have heard some rumblings that more want to enter.
To enter, send me $5 via Paypal ( or via my Poker Stars or Full Tilt accounts (I'm pokerpeaker).
Tell me what you think the birth date will be of the twins in the email you send me.
If this is a dumb idea let me know, too. I thought it would be fun. I'm not profiting from this at all. This might just be stupid. Maybe a little pimping would help?
The official due date is June 3 but twins, as you might guess, don't get carried for 40 weeks. So what will it be?

Edit: I actually don't know if I'll enter. I think I have an unfair advantage to inside information. And I don't want people to think this pool is as rigged as online poker.
I've also had people wonder when they can enter.
Well, OK.
The deadline is APRIL FOOL'S DAY.
April 1.

And some want data. I'll post data when I know it.
Here's what I know now.
Kate had a great pregnancy with Jayden. She was dead on on the due date last time and had a quick and (relatively) easy delivery.
Mostly what I hear is we are lucky to carry twins 35 weeks, although a twins blogger just told me she went 39 weeks with hers. The babies are growing normally right now, meaning it's possible Kate could have them sooner or later, depending on your thought process.
The official due date is June 3.
We're going to consider ourselves "on call" from mid-April on.
And if we do have a scheduled C-section (Kate didn't need one the first time), that date still counts, so good guess.
Three slots per date. You can enter up to five times.
Good luck.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Say Hello World to a new blogger contest

Say hi to Baby A. Or maybe it's Baby B.
Already I can't tell them apart.
One of the advantages (one of the FEW advantages) to having twins is you get ultrasounds every month, and your insurance company has to pay for them, given that they are a requirement and not something you just do to find out if your baby has a stem on the apple or not (in both cases, still not, which is cool because after raising a hyperkenetic electron toddler boy, I'm hoping for something slightly less, well, active).
And that brings me to my point.
I believe my audience is my family, a few friends, some virtual poker buddies and quite possibly some baby lovers now that a twins site that I highly recommend (link to the right) even if you DON'T have twins has linked me. Well, all of you might be interested in this.
I want to start a baby contest.
I thought about some sub-categories for all you degenerates who have to gamble on everything, including the opening coin toss, but let's just make this easy, OK?
The category is When Will The Babies Be Born?
This is a fun one for twins. I"m not going to help you out too much (Daddy gets to pick a date too), but basically it's wide open from 34 weeks on. Some mothers carry all the way to 39 weeks or beyond, some have them at 33 weeks.
The official due date, meaning full gestation, was June 3.
Here's a little handicapping. The babies are growing normally for one baby, let alone two. They are a pound-and-a-half each. The average weight for twins is a little more than 4 pounds. Kate had a perfect pregnancy with Jayden and delievered two days before her due date.
Good luck.
I don't want to make this too complicated, but I'll allow three picks per date. Once that date is full, no more, so it's first-come, first-serve. I'll split it if I do get more than one, BUT the person who picks it first gets a bit more.
I also thought this as a fundraiser for the twins, but I don't want to be crass, so all the money that goes through me will be given to the person closest to the date.
It's $5 to enter. Since this is just outright gambling instead of poker, we can use any money system we want instead of Neteller and our government won't care. You can get it to me in three ways:
1) In person, where I"ll keep it in a white envelope in a secret location.
2) By PayPal. My email is
3) My Poker Stars or Full Tilt accounts. I"m pokerpeaker on both of those. If you do that, however, let me know through e-mail so I can keep track of it.
This is most definitely a one-time offer. Let's just say the doctor will, er, TAKE CARE of me as soon as I know those babies are healthy. Apparently I"m dangerous.
You can enter up to five times.
If you have any questions, reach me at the e-mail above or simply comment on the site. And save the "how could you gamble on your own children" lines, please. This doesn't benefit me in any way, and I think there was a Brady Bunch episode once about a baby pool. We're just having fun here.

* * *

We've had famine (well, I was puking and hungry and couldn't keep anything down except Jello), we've now had floods (a flood of snow, does that count) and the only thing left is fire or a horde of locusts to keep me from skiing. I was going to go this weekend for the first time this year but all highways are closed because of...snow.
The irony kills me.
Now THAT is a bad beat worth writing about.
I don't know if I"ll get to go skiing at all this winter. I'm just cursed is all. The fire will probably be in March, when global warming kicks in and melts all of it.

Good luck in the pool. Let's have some entries!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I hate this holiday - maybe

Every year I'm reminded why I hate Valentine's Day.
It's the worst of a long series of corporate-engineered holidays designed to "encourage" (i.e. do it or the expiration date will become a sad reality on that box of condoms you have for "when the moment is right") you to spend money.
Every year women (and sometimes guys) look on in envy at work here as an endless supply of barbershop quartets, roses, high school choirs, violinists and balloon pushers express the love of whomever paid their bill, all within the earshot of co-workers.
Every year restaurants are overwhelmed with those wanting to share their love over a beef fritter and garlic mashed potatoes, with two-hour waits already in place by 4 p.m.
And this year my present of Recess Peanut Butter cups (mmmm, at least I'm getting something out of this) was consumed by my two labs, who will not, as a result, win this year's Man's Best Friend award presented by Snoopy. Kate broke the news yesterday.
I was scribbling into my card to Kate yesterday about how much I truly do love her and how I know how good she'll be with the twins when I flopped a set of jacks on a two-suited board. I was already up $30 and was having visions of virtual dollars that I may never be able to withdraw dance in my head. I bet and got two callers. I bet the pot on the turn, and when the third suit came on the river, I called a bet that was one-fifth of the pot.
Three hearts.
Guy got his flush.
So I was back to even for the night.
See? I hate Valentine's Day.
And yet.
Yet it occured to me that I hadn't really said how much confidence I have in her until the card came her way. I hadn't thanked her lately for being such a good mom to Jayden. And I found my own card from her expressing her own confidence in me about our impending chaos times two.
Jayden lately is starting to, shall we say, assert himself, preferring to get a headstart on the terrible twos (which will come when the twins are born) in order to beat the rush. We bought a new computer last week, partly for him, and now if we don't allow him to spend six hours a day on it (which we don't, an hour is all he gets) playing the Little Einsteins rocket game or a Reading Rabbit Toddler game, he flops on the floor and screams like we've extracted one of his molars.
Which is not exactly what you need to see when you know that two more are on the way, and you know that not only are THEY going to be tough, but you worry about your other one, too, and how he'll respond to suddenly having his time with Mom and Dad divided into thin slices like the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving when your 20 cousins come to visit.
So Kate's words made me feel good.
OK. So maybe it takes a corporate holiday to tell each other how much you appreciate them and how much you love them. Sad but true. I'm certainly no hopeless romantic (helpless is more like it), so if it takes a holiday to get me to say those things, and I do need to say those things, then I might just start supporting it.
Besides, I'm really looking forward to those Recess Peanut Butter cups next year.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Re-sucking out on the worst beat of all

Despite my cynical journalist's mind, my tendency to view anyone with suspicion and my prickly and somewhat selfish nature that makes getting close to me about as easy as walking barefoot through a field of tire-popping goat heads, I truly believe people are good.
I believe most people do not have it in them to steal, to cheat, to lie. I believe it goes against their nature.
And that belief was severely tested starting in April.

I saved and scrapped and, er, won some good money from poker players (that last line won't exactly inspire thoughts of the American Dream, I realize, but screw it), and finally I had enough money for a new computer. My old iMac, God Bless It, was a little outdated. Actually, it was about as outdated as wood paneling.
Being the smart consumer I am, I went to Ebay to find a good deal. I had bought many things from E-bay in the past and, as a result, saved hundreds of dollars. CDs, video games and dog toys were just some of my purchases. I sold many things as well. Never once did I have a problem. One of my friends bought a car from E-bay. It was a gem.

So when I saw the new Mac computer for $1,270, well, given my past with E-bay, as well as my believe, again, that most people are good, I bought it. When the guy said he couldn't accept Paypal, I went to the bank and cut him a cashier's check. When he asked, a little impaitently by e-mail, where the money was, I sent it right away. He returned my calls twice, sounded like a good guy and told me the tracking number for the computer was on the way.
A week later, I had that sinking feeling in my gut that I was beat. My cynical nature? My poker player's instinct? Finally recognizing the neon glare of the warning signs? It's possible. I called my bank. No, there was no way to cancel the cashier's check.
OK, I'll give him a chance.
I called him every couple of days. No response. No answer. I continued to call. Nope. I e-mailed him many times.
I started to get angry. I threatened him, eventually, telling him I would go to the police in the hopes that I wouldn't ever have to do so. I swore once. Not proud of that, but eventually, I started to think rather long and hard about that $1,270, a lot, lot, lot of money for me, and I started to believe it was gone.
No, no, no, I thought.

So let me say one more thing about me. I don't like to feel like I'm being taken. This stems from my years of junior high school and elementary school, when I was one of the whipping boys, the guy you picked on a recess. I've lived the rest of my life determined to never, ever let anyone push me around. To many degrees, this has not served me well, taking far too many statements the wrong way at work, not allowing criticism, even valid criticism, to pass without a proper defense, or even dismissing relationships if I'm feeling ignored, even if it was not intentional.
But in other ways, it has served me well. I'm a good reporter because I not only don't care what people think (for the most part, I'm not bulletproof, especially when it comes to people I respect, like many of you reading this), when someone tells me to bugger off, it makes me three times more likely to get them.
I really, really don't mean to sound like a badass here. This will sound tough, arrogant and just plain stupid, but here goes.
I'm not someone you want to fuck with.

So I dug through the transaction files on E-bay, and of the 40 different pages, I found his address and phone number. I printed off every file I could. I contacted others on E-bay who dealt with him and got written responses of how he screwed them from three. I copied off every document that had anything to do with the police, contacted a friend there and took a deep breath and went to the police.
The cop there was sympathetic but said he had no jurisdiction over him: The guy was from Philly, and the Philly department would have to handle it.
It was July, three months after the guy took my money.
After another month, after no response, I got the detective to give me the fraud inspector's name, and many phone calls later, after another month, he said he would look into it. It took him another month, but one day at the Tribune, my phone rang.
"Yes, this is (the guy's mother), and we were contacted by the police. I'd like to send you your money back."
I was floored. Imagine suddenly finding $1,270 in your couch after you thought it was gone for good. Soon after the detective called me and asked if the mother called me about the money. I said yes and thanked him profusely.
I'd like to say it ended there, but it took another three months to get all my money back. She had to send it in increments, and it took many phone calls to get her to send them. In fact, at the end, I had to treat her the same way I treated her son, and every time I felt sorry for her, I reminded myself what her son did to me and quickly got over it.

A week ago, the final postal money order arrived in the mail. After eight months, I had my money back.
And I have a couple detectives who could have said "buyer beware" to thank for that.

My belief that people are good was severely tested for several months.
Now I believe it more than ever.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


“There were a lot of similarities to how we played Saturday, except this time we made shot. The difference between playing average and playing great is whether the ball goes in the hole or not."

— KU Coach Bill Self after last night's victory against K-State.

Last night was, I hope, the climax in a week of brutal beats, tough breaks and a downright disgusting display of suckouts. I wasn't going to write about it. There's enough of that shit around already, and I really don't want to be Waffles.
I was really having a hard time letting last night go, however, even after I stopped playing, fired up Zelda and then watched "X-Men III" (my review: Eh). I took it to bed with me and woke up with it. Until I read that quote above.

My Jayhawks have had an up and down year, and Saturday they faced the same kind of gut-wretching loss that I've taken all this week, ahead by Texas A&M, the conference leader, to start counting their chips before they were shipped, and instead the lead was chipped, chipped and chipped, until they blew the final 6 points in a minute-and-a-half and lost at magical Allen Fieldhouse.
They played pretty well but fell to the No. 8 team in the country and lost.
The shots, as Self said, didn't go in.

Wednesday my Hawks played the Wildcats, one of our biggest rivals but a team that has acted more like our punching bag. In fact, K-State has not beaten KU, in its own arena, in almost a quarter-century. If that isn't the most embarassing streak in sports, I don't know what is.
Still, K-State was hot, beating a good Texas team at home and winners of seven straight; KU was down and facing a barrage of criticism, and many thought my Hawks might lose.
They pounced early and often and looked like world-beaters and crushed K-State.
The shots, as Self said, went in.

Lately I've thought about how poker, especially tournament poker, is much the same way. You can play great and lose because of bad luck. Horrible luck. Last night was the worst: I was a 9-1 favorite and lost on the river against the other chip leader. I win that pot and I'm a huge chip leader with 20 to go and the favorite to take down a 45-person SnG. Plus how much fun would it have been to be that much of a chip leader? Loads of fun. Instead, after a week of brutal suckout after suckout, my 90 percent favorite does not hold, and IGHN, just one of the guys finishing out of the money.
A week ago I won the Mookie. I did not suckout once (unless you count Q,J versus 6,6 as a suckout, which I don't), but I did win many coinflips. I lose one of those races, and there were three before the final table, and I"m just one of the guys finishing out of the money. Yet I won, and I felt awesome afterward. Last night I felt terrible, and I played exactly the same way. In fact, you could argue I played better last night, and all week, since I got my money in with much better odds.
My shots went in last week. Last night they clanked.
If it's that simple, why am I still so frustrated right now?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Have you seen this person?

Last seen with two kidnapped victims in a subway. Known sidewalk snatcher who writes about poker and relationships, poker and religion and some actress on "Little House on the Prairie." Recently moved to a new home. Anyone who has any information regarding this person, show up Thursday night at CC's Bash, where we'll play poker with him before arresting him. Oh, and lots of other great players too. Change 100 may even be there, so we'll roll out the red carpet. No autographs, please.

I'm in a bit of slump lately. It's funny how after a big win (The Mookie) variance seems to hit me right away. And no, I'm not suffering from Winner's Tilt. I'm suffering from shit like a total donkey getting a higher two pair than me, people hitting their draws, blah blah blah and waa waa waa. I'm 1/9 in SnGs lately, right when I decided to move up to the $11 SnGs again. Maybe it's just harder there, I don't know, or maybe it's what Change 100 was saying about the soft SnGs being a thing of the past. I"m not seeing great play. I've also bubbled three times, and only a couple hours of Zelda: Twilight Princess can cure that. I hope it turns around soon. CC's Bash would be a good place for that to happen.

I'm guiding another snowshoe this Saturday after spending all day Friday with the J-man. Then that Saturday night I have a big, live, MTT to attend for a birthday party. I'm really excited about it, as the field is mixed with inexperienced players and good players, the best kind, I've always thought. Too many good players and it turns into a grindfest, but too many bad ones and luck is too much of a factor.

I'm not as worried as some of you seem to be about Neteller. I've got $700 in there, about a fifth of my bankroll, but I find it hard to believe our government would simply seize our funds and not give them back. It may take a while, but I think we'll get it back.
Check out how Iron Girl went after Neteller, and the answers she got may help ease your concerns.
For now.

Finally, KU's got a big game against their newly pumped-up rival K-State and its thug coach, Bob "I just had a few dozen beers officer" Huggins. If we don't win that one, I'll be on Super Jayhawk Tilt, and that's far worse than Bubble SnG Tilt.

I wish I could make the Hammer Day tourney but I'll be running tonight and may not make it home until 7:30 or so. Although it looks like it's snowing right now, so I may instead get strapped in a white jacket and scream about winter please coming to an end, good God. It looks like nuclear winter out there right now with the snow and cold and low, depressing fog, and every guy I know is growing a beard and starting to wear multiple layers of clothing and generally look starved. It was supposed to be sunny today.
If the bomb does fall, we won't even realize it.
Good luck to you all if I"m not there. See you Thursday.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bad Beat Blowout (aka I came to gamble, not to play poker!)

— Regular at the Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk: "You know why it's so packed, don't you?"
Me: "The online thing? People are bored on Saturday? The poker boom?"
Regular: "No. The Bad Beat jackpot."

It was hard not to blame the gamboolers who packed all dozen tables at the Ameristar, making us wait for a table for two hours when I came up with one of my best friends for an all-day, orgasmic, play-poker-till-you-drop-and-you'd-better-do-it-now-before-the-twins-arrive marathon.
The bad beat was more than $180,000. Just sitting at the table if it hits will net you $7,000. That's a lot of diapers.
Daddy needs some low quads!!!

I was stunned at the talk of the poker tables. Bad beat this, bad beat that, wouldn't it be great if we could hit it, blah blah blah. Yeah. It hadn't hit in months. The odds of quads over quads (or a straight flush) are about as high as Jack Bauer spending a day lounging on the couch and picking at his toenails. I was not there to hit a bad beat. I was there to play poker.
Unlike many of my tablemates.
"I'm here to gamble," one said, "not play poker."

Limit poker in a casino is always a minefield, and Colorado only offers $2/5 limit. Yes, you'll find your good players, but you'll also find many willing to chase any inside straight draw with 7,4, any pair in the hopes of catching trips, any flush draw even with a single suit out there and any pocket pair in the hopes of catching a set.
Raising works only to sweeten the pot (and as the pot builds, ironically gambooling with such fodder gets more and more correct - you'd pay $5 to win $100, right?).
I knew exactly what to expect Saturday, and I wasn't disappointed, when a Vietnamese girl all the dealers called "Angel" took her J,7 to battle against my KK, despite my re-raise and raising every turn, until the river, when she caught her 7 to go with her top pair. I was a little pissed, but I also knew that eventually, those are the players who pay you off as well. It works both ways. And I also told myself that the odds of her finishing ahead of me for the night were as high as, well, hitting the bad beat jackpot. I wasn't wrong: She burned through $300 and left the table depressed. After she sucked out with another two pair with crap against my A,Q, I silently cheered when she busted.

Bad beat story alert (but it's not mine, so I get to save $1): Twice I saw a flopped full house with a pair in the hand get beat by runner, runner card, giving the other person quads. One was A on the turn and A on the river, and then my friend lost his full house after re-raising the guy to the bone and he continued to call with his pair of 7s, and then his trips on the turn, and then his quads on the river). Ouch. That's the worst I've ever seen.

So you don't go expecting to make a ton of money or have all your hands hold up. You go to have fun. Fun, to me, still means playing solid poker, only good starting hands, betting and raising when you've got it and checking when you don't (bluffing is pointless) and being patient, but many others would disagree. That's cool. Thank you for calling down my made nut flush with your small pair.

I got my fair share of good hands. I swam through the cold streaks and rode the hot ones. I preserved my chips until I got a hand and either won or got sucked out on. It was a typical Black Hawk night.
Then I hear some screaming three tables down. Either a guy snapped when his K,K lost to 8,3 os, or it happened.
It happened.
Bad beat jackpot.
6s beaten by QQ. Both got their set on the flop, then each nailed their card on the turn and river.
"God dammit," a guy hissed to my right.
Hey, I was happy. How cool we got to see that.
And then I look down.
Oh, shit. We get to keep playing, don't we?

Play continued, sort of, as the table went bonkers. Players gazed over there with envy in their eyes. My big hand was easing my envy. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you're holding AA.
"Raise," I announced after six callers threw in their $2 blind.
A gorgeous A comes on the flop, but this is limit, so I don't even think about slowplaying it, not with two clubs out there. I bet.
Three fold, but two call. One folds on the turn and one folds on the flop when the other club doesn't hit.
OK, sweet. AA doesn't always hold up.
Happy, I excused myself and congratulated the giddy table sipping on bubbly.

I guess they weren't the only ones who got lucky that night.

I wound up finishing $35 up, making an incredible $4 an hour, meaning I could have made more flipping burgers at McHappy Atomic Burger.
But I would not have had nearly as much fun.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Endorsements and a paid review

See, after you win poker titles (see below for my proudest poker moment yet), you get endorsement opportunities.

The following is a paid advertisement:

If you're looking to build a poker room in your basement, but your spouse doesn't want it to look like a seedy backroom you'd find in the old Texas bars once prowled by Doyle Brunson, Cardroom Supply may be your answer.
At first glance, it looks like what you'd expect from your typical poker supply site. And at first glance, you might not be too impressed.
The poker chips are nothing special, and could be called a little cheesy. If I'm going to buy chips instead of get them from a bonus on Poker Source Online or a similar site, then they'd better be special.
I'd love some reproductions of the World Series of Poker chips, for example, or maybe poker chips with a Metallica symbol.
The timers range from $800 to $20, and the chip cases, while sharp, aren't anything you couldn't buy at Wal-Mart.
Just as you're ready to write it off, however, and start reading poker blogs(cough, cough), stop by the poker tables.
You'll quickly change your mind.
Wow. The tables, quite frankly, blew me away. I have to admit, I'm your basic middle class guy who envies my friend's World Poker Tour table he got at a discount store for $40. But I think anyone would be impressed by these tables.
The best thing is many of them don't look like poker tables. Poker tables can be pretty handsome, but too many times they look like a vinyl, black circle coated with the playing surface of the old Houston Astrodome.
These tables look like high-end furniture. You could, honestly, put these in your living room, and your spouse wouldn't complain (he or she might complain about all that cigar smoke, the hair metal at all hours and the swearing when your K,K loses to 8,3 os, but that's your problem).
There's oak, there's cherry and all of it looks better than my dining room table.
As you might expect, these tables are expensive. Many cost at least $1,000.
If you're afraid your buddies will make fun of you and ask for a large beer can to be dropped on your head at your first poker party, or you would rather use your poker bankroll to play poker, well, there's plenty of low-cost alternatives, and even those look fairly sharp. One of them costs $80.
The Web site itself is clean, easy to navigate and offers free shipping on any order over $100, which is significant, if you think about how much it would cost to ship one of those poker tables.
If you're looking for basic poker tools, like chips and cards, you might want to head somewhere else.
But if you're looking for a poker table, I can't think of a better place to go.
And when your spouse doesn't realize that you've been using that new dining room table to play cards late at night, well, you can thank me later.
I think I've had all the karma I can handle right now. But it's always good to store some up for the future.
Posted by pokerpeaker at 1:51 PM