Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm in!

Well, good and bad news. The GREAT news, is that I got accepted into the UW-Bothell Teaching Program, which starts at the end of March. I didn't have too much doubt whether I'd be accepted or not, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about it anymore. This is what I want to do, and I can't wait to start classes in a month!

The bad news: I'll have classes Monday and Wednesday nights (like I do now). That is bad news, because BB3 is coming up, and I would LOVE to play all of the events and go represent the Seattle bloggers in the WSOP. But, as this is my year of work, unlike last year's year of fun, I'm going to focus on work and school. I'll just have to railthe new MOOKIE champion, and hope he goes nuts over the next few months, and wins a seat! I'll still probably try and take a whack at the skills game or riverchasers every so often, but it will just be a for a shot in the finale--not to gather points to hop up the leader board.

I hadn't done anything stupid in the last few days... so I tried cooking tonight. Granted, the clam chowder came out of an aluminum can, but it DID involve turning on the stove. And when I turn on the stove, things either go terribly wrong, or something starts smoking. One might think it hard to mess up cooking a can of clam chowder from Trader Joe's. There are two steps: open can and plop material into pan; add a can-full of milk. Heat it up and eat it!

That's good cookin'! But...

Always the but...

What if you don't HAVE any milk?

I grew up in the 80s and 90s. I've watched an episode or two of Macgyver. When you're stranded on a desert island, you man up! You crack off a shoelace, blow a half-bubble with your bubble gum, then use the gum wrapper and materialize a paper-clip from nowhere to make a fucking helicopter and fly yourself to safety... do you not?!

There I was, glop of clam chowder in a pan, no milk. Just like Macgyver.

Well, milk is sort of watery, and water is sort of watery--so why not just use water? I suppose there is a slight chance the consistency of milk and water might not be the same. Awfuckit! What is the worst that could happen? Whatever that is, I'd have a reason to blog today--all systems go!

It actually turned out alright! No smoke alarm party in the kitchen, either--I was shocked. Hell, I'm still shocked.

What other stupid things did I do today? I played basketball with the North Seattle Community College team in a pickup game at the gym. These guys have been playing for the last four months. I'm a skinny, white kid with hair out past my ears. That was pretty stupid. Fun, though! I didn't score in either game I played, but my team won the second game, so it wasn't a total demoralizing afternoon of basketball for me.

And... I'm going to the symphony tomorrow night? That'll be interesting?

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Seattle Seasons

2008-02-24- Sunny Afternoon 014

This image was my favorite from tonight's batch. Everyday growing up, the sun's blinding light would illuminate our kitchen. When I was much younger, we used to eat at the kitchen table every night. In the winter, the sunset had come and gone long before we sat down to eat. The sun wasn't a problem, but with a dark, reflective window in front of me, I could never resist making faces at myself. For some reason, Mom didn't find this funny.

Certain times of the year, it was nearly impossible to eat dinner at the kitchen table--the entire kitchen was brighter than the sun. We'd escape and take our meals into the living room and eat in front of the TV. Dad would usually get nominated to close the kitchen door as the sun descended, blinding the unfortunate fool eating their meal on the couch (usually me).

On the longest day of the year--Summer Solstice, June 21st, my sister's birthday, my original due date, every few years Father's Day--the setting sun wouldn't disrupt our dinner. Not by a long shot. The sun didn't set until 9:30pm or later. On the day before my ninth birthday, a few days after Summer Solstice, I remember finding it impossible to get to sleep. I was giddy with anticipation for the fun, chocolate cake, presents, friends, mini golf and arcade games the next day. It was hard enough to fall asleep with all those thoughts running through my head, but the sun still shining brightly behind my closed curtains made it nearly impossible.

Despite popular opinion, Seattle does have its seasons. They just aren't measured by drought or snowfall. The seasons in Seattle are measured by sunlight... least on the days we get to see it through the clouds.

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Unfortunate Revelation

I'm still reeling from that last post. I woke up this morning wondering why the hell I blogged about what was happening during my entire Friday. I felt like Randy Newman in the episode of Family Guy.

This clip isn't from the show (again with the copyright!), but it is at least the audio of the scene I'm talking about:

Probably not going to do the half-day post again anytime soon.

This weekend has been absolutely perfect weather-wise. 55-60 degrees and sunny in February--I'm still shocked. I've gotten motorcycle rides in both days this weekend, including a sunset-catching ride over to Alki with Princess Leia last night. I tossed the disc a bit yesterday, and after talking with the princess before our ride, it turns out that I missed about four hours of pickup ultimate with her and friends--damn! I was jonesing for some ultimate, but luckily for me I checked out the pickup locations today and found a game down at Montlake that was starting right as I found the website.

I hopped on the motorcycle and rode down to Montlake, and ended up playing in a very relaxing, wide skill-range, and very friendly game of ultimate for nearly three hours. It was exactly what I needed. We cheered before every pull, usually just something silly like a quote from a movie line. We did one from Juno: "We're not mature enough for this!" and quite a few cheers with respect to the sunny February day. I've got Slog in the Bog coming up in two weeks with the Tacoma team, so getting out and running around until I was exhausted was perfect. I also got my first layout of the season, which was a freaking sweet left-handed full-extendo grab near the endzone. I'm still picking leaves and twigs out of my underwear. CK knows what I mean!

Also, after we finished playing and all of us were walking back to our vehicles, two of the "attractive young women" ultimate group saw my motorcycle and demanded rides next week. The ninja is finally paying dividends!

Sadly, this weekend wasn't all hot tubs, girls and motorcycles, like last weekend. On to the unfortunate revelation part of this post...

I think I may be allergic to cats.

This might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but I have grown up with cats, and they are by far my favorite animal. I remember using Sally as a pillow when I was younger. I don't think being allergic to cats will stop me from having them around, as long as the allergy doesn't get incredibly sensitive. I hadn't noticed the allergy until this weekend, when Watson insensately kept climbing up on my chair and swashing his tail around my face. I couldn't stop sneezing. I've only had short-haired cats for the past three years, and the four years before that I was in college, with no pets around. Watson isn't quite a fluff ball, but he's got plenty of hair. The past few weeks, when I thought I was sick, are probably due to all of the cat fur I have been too lazy to clean up around the house. I'm going to give all the furniture a good clean tonight, so hopefully the constant sneezing and runny nose will go away.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

The Post to End All Posts.

I've got to preface this post by saying I started writing this post at noon, while I was at work, through my email. I can't post from work, and I had plenty of things buzzing around in my head, so I started to write. I also suffered through The Wife's entire post about shoes. Why did I keep reading? I have no clue, but it was an inspiration for me to create this behemoth of a post. I dare anyone to read all the way through. I really doubt anyone will, because I bounce from World of Warcraft, to poker, to friends to bitching about poker, to a LIVE (then) REPORT at the Kat-less Donkament, to bitching about my play. It is truly a treat to read, I'm sure. There is so much rambling you won't possibly want to continue on, but that might just be where you surprise me. Good luck, god speed, and grab a pint of beer or a glass of wine and...

Hold onto your freaking hats. This is the big one.

I visited Tyler and Renee last night after work to check out their new Honda Fit. A new car is pretty exciting for anyone, but what makes it crazy for me is that Tyler was the one friend I had who wasn't chomping at the bit to get his driver's license when he turned 16. He didn't get his learner's permit until, well... last week! And he's driving around a new car. There is something awfully dangerous/risky about that to me. But, he and Renee are going to start a family, and having a vehicle (along with two drivers) is something that they understandably want to have.

It turned out to be a WoW raid night for Tyler, and his guild is trying the new final dungeon of the game. It was neat to spectate, but as you can probably imagine, it got boring after watching them wipe on the same boss a few times. The boss fight was pretty awesome though. I haven't done too much raiding in my MMORPG life, but the little I did in EQ, we pretty much had 40-50 people that all zerged a big dragon and tried to do as much damage and as much healing as possible and pray to God that we lived and the dragon died. On certain dragons or giants we had a little bit more strategy, but it basically boiled down to: kill the big thing, grab the loot.

The boss Tyler's guild was fighting last night, the first boss of the final dungeon, was... hmm... nuts. It is a huge water elemental. Think Neptune, the God of the Sea, but in water elemental form instead of human form. Or how about Ariel's dad from The Little Mermaid, but again, in water form. Big dude, big trident--you get the picture.

Or, if not:

Things have changed a bit since I last raided...

...and instead of just having one general strategy for each boss and giving it a minor tweak (hmm, fire boss, lets wear our fire resistance gear instead of water resistance gear--novel idea!), the bosses nowadays are insane. They poop out little guys every now and then, maybe there are four different bosses you have to fight at one time--it is just much more complex... and of course there is the 25-person cap as well. No more just finding everyone capable and storming in and slaying the dragon. Strategy and having capable players is the name of the game now. The unique thing about this water elemental boss is that he throws his spear every minute of the fight. When I heard that, I thought, 'cool, throws his spear, does some damage, good times.'

Sadly, no. Not good times. His spear sticks into whichever random person he throws it at, eventually killing them unless another person close by pulls it out of the unlucky impaled fool.

While the guild is running around trying to figure out who's been stuck with the spear, the boss puts up an invulnerable water shield which heals him quickly. How do you break the shield? Guesses? That's right, throwing the spear back at him. So whoever pulls out the spear from their friend, has to quickly throw it at the boss and break his shield. To add even more complexity, whenever the spear breaks his water bubble, it does a HUGE amount of damage to anyone near the bubble. The fight looks like a lot of fun, but it would be about as aggravating as Hoy's work situation. One teeny-tiny mistake by any of the 25 raiders and they wipe and start over again.

I knew what I was getting into before they began wiping on the boss, so I loaded up Full Tilt on Renee's computer and fired up two single-table SNG's, in attempt to fix my post-bubble blunders from the day before. Quite the opposite of the day before's huge chip leads and early exits, the two games I played last night played out in a much more familiar fashion. In both games, I hovered around the starting stack until we lost a few people, playing tight, but not really getting any cards. No suckouts, just solid play and snapping off a few continuation bets that seemed fishy.

I was the short stack heading into 5 handed play in one, and in the other I was one of two chip leaders, at around 4k. The day before, I made the mistake of trying to run over the table. I got trapped and decimated. This time, I decided to pick spots that were advantageous to me, as opposed to trying to force the issue. It worked out well, and I ended up getting heads up in both SNGs. In one, I held an 11k-2.5k lead, and in the other I had a similar deficit to overcome. I finished second in the one I was behind, pushing 99 into JJ preflop. In the heads up game I was ahead in, my opponent scratched and clawed his way nearly back to even, but both times he got close, I pulled off HUGE bluffs to regain a big chip lead. He was playing aggressive, but wasn't willing to go to war without the best hand. Heads up, I was playing passively, with sporadic surges of aggressiveness. I think this gave my bets a little more pop to them, because my opponent "knew" that he could fold, keep up the aggression and win those chips back. I didn't go all-in every hand, and folded plenty often, so when my tight, passive image helped me steal the big hands.

I think the general rule for a lot of us bloggers is to ramp up the aggression as the field dwindles, especially in SNGs. But I'm starting to realize that as my knowledge of tournament and SNG structure increases, if I keep a tight and somewhat passive image, my steals and re-steals gain more respect. In a meta-sense, I think the tight, aggressive approach is the way to go in tournament poker, but I like mixing it up and playing one level higher. They think I'm playing passively, and I am, but I know they are thinking this. I have far from mastered playing this way (oh, so far, as you will read soon...), but by playing passively for a few orbits, an intelligent player will have to change his game to take advantage of my passiveness. If that player's normal game isn't that aggressive, when I start to push back, they aren't really sure what to do.

I'll stop there, lest this turn into some sort of poker strategy post. That isn't what I'm all about. I don't want you guys getting any better than you already are, especially you damn Seattle bloggers. You know who you are. Steal my money once, shame on you. Steal my money twice? Never! Is Cayne going to throw another home game, or do you think we can throw together a little surprise or non-surprise welcome home Seattle blogger game for Dr. Chako at his place, using his liqour and his food? Ah, what a welcome home!

After finishing 1st and 2nd in my two SNG's last night, glad I shored up my leaky short-handed SNG problem, I bounced from Tyler's house and headed home. The cats needed feeding, and I needed to get some math homework under my belt. When it comes to math homework, I've got a very good attitude about getting it done, I'm just terrible at following through. When I left Tyler's house, I thought, 'I'm going to go home, sit down at the table and work on math for an hour!' What do I do? Get home, feed the cats, check the internets, eat, watch Survivor, and THEN do 30 minutes of math between Survivor and a WSOP rerun. I planned to get back to the math, like the good student I pretend to be, but I got side-tracked by Jessica being online at the same time as me for the first time since I found her on Facebook two weeks ago.

She's got some nice pictures up on facebook:

I've brought my prop-bet degeneracy to renewed friendship already. Seeing how she is coming down to Seattle next month to visit her co-ed sister for spring break, it makes perfect sense to get a few games of scrabble in, to win some free booze off of her. Our first game of scrabble was for a pitcher of beer, which I won handily. She claims that she didn't know the different color tiles mean different point values. I find it hard to believe that anyone doesn't know that there are triple letter, double word scores and the like, but she is kicking my ass in the second game with this knowledge, so... shit. We're playing winner gets to decide the next game, but she sneakily started up a second game of scrabble before the first was over. I didn't buckle though, and since we were online at the same time yesterday, I requested her presence at the Naval Command table.

It was getting late, so I brought the laptop upstairs and got under the covers for some long-distance, platonic, electronic--snuggling.

Yes, Naval Command.

You may remember it better as Battleship, but we all know that would be copy-right infringement, and Yahoo would never do that! She said she hadn't played Battleship since she was 9. I think she was trying to rattle me. And rattle me she did. This game was for a bottle of wine (no re-occurring theme, just a coincidence...), and she hopped out to an early lead, sinking my battleship and one of my 3-length ships. I literally missed my first 15 shots, and in my mind I was already trying to figure out which bottle of wine to steal from my parents' wine cellar, I mean.. which bottle of wine to purchase at the store with my hard-earned money.

But I came ROARING back. We were tied at three ships remaining, then tied at two ships left, and slowly but surely we were both down to our final vessels. Each of us only had our little two-slot boat left. The hardest boat to find. I was criss-crossing the entire map, and at one point while she was off making toast, I counted that there were only six more possible spots for her boat to be. The map was completely blasted to smithereens. And then...

BOOM! Found it! She never did find my sneaky little boat, although she did completely surround it with misses (which I think is probably just as hard to do, so kudos to you, Jessica, kudos).

I've got a pitcher of beer and a bottle of wine coming my way the next time we meet (to be shared, of course), and now I've got to think of a game that she might stand a chance at. I'm having a hard time, chinese checkers, maybe? Or.. ooo! Mastermind! If I can find that, oh... it is on.

The last three hours at work, I couldn't get the song from this video out of my head:

There is a magazine sitting on the table in the break room with Uma Thurman on the cover, and Emily Haines from Metric (and the video), I think is a dead ringer for Uma.

I had to make up four hours at work because of not feeling well on Monday, and I was in an inner-struggle between staying and working really late tonight, or working until about 6pm and making up an hour on Monday. I chose the latter, and a big reason why is because I wanted to play in Kat's Donkament... even though most of the crew is partying hard at Eh-Vegas in Toronto as I type this. Kat, Irongirl, CK, Al, BamBam, Astin--oh, it has got to be an amazing time.

But, I had a problem. I stayed at work too long. I hadn't pre-registered, and I was going to have to rush home in order to register by 6pm. As I was leaving the office (and they were expecting me to stay until 6pm...), I saw that the freeway was standing completely still. Roger, I'll have to take the side streets. Which takes longer, but I might be able to make it.

I was making good time, too. I ran a yellow light on 85th, that would have had me stopped for a good five minutes if I had missed it--and I was zooming... until...

The dreaded four-way stop of doom. Oh. My. God, the line was backed up all the way to the freeway--I'm talking a line of 50 cars, two deep, waiting for a four-way stop, without a light. I resigned myself to an unplanned evening at home, with nothing to do. Until!!!

I whipped out my... cell phone, and called Tyler and Renee. I had five minutes to make it home to register, and it wasn't going to happen, but I remembered that I had just installed it on Renee's computer the night before. It was a bit of a long shot, but they were home, and not using the computer, so she was so very kind enough to register me in, with one minute to spare after a very confusing list of directions and instructions on how to find and register for the tournament.

Click the tournaments tab, then private. OK, now what? Now you've got to sort the tournaments by date, or hmm, maybe status? You're looking for a $1 + $1 tournament, with probably around 15-20 people. The info should mention donkament or poker kat. Hmm, I don't see it. (Crap!) No wait, there it is. How do I know this is the right one? Open the lobby, maybe you can list off some names already registered. How do I do that? OK, got it. Um... swimmom, hozyahoo, surfwalman? (Hooooo boy!!!) That's the one! Register me, please! It is asking for a password. (double-crap!) Try donkament, no wait, donkarama. Can you spell that? D O N K A R A M A. Alright, it worked. Yay! Yay! Hey, the tournament just started! Woooot!

Thanks again Renee, you rock. Five minutes later, I make it home and greet the table with a big HELLOOOOO. Dontknow, who I got down to heads up with a few weeks ago, was directly to my left, and to his left was Gadzooks, a very fun and witty blogger I met while donking off all my money at the MGM Grand mixed games. I'm sure my money is always welcome in any of her home games, much like with any of the Seattle area bloggers I met a couple of weekends ago. Again, I'm hoping this isn't a trend. People being friendly to you in the poker world isn't usually a good thing...

And then, I decided to start blogging the damn thing. I knew I had this post going from work, so what the hell, why not make it a ginormous post that no one will ever read? Hey!! Sounds good to me!!!


Nothing Going my way, Cayne at 16k.

A7 nearly back-to-back to chip up to 10k with 3 minutes left in the rebuy--perfect.

Stealing from tight people, paradise. All is right, AJ holding up, hammers flying. folded to my bb every time, steals a plenty.


OK, OK, it was some pretty terrible "live-blogging," so I'll try and add some meat to it. We started the tourney with 17 or 18 runners, perfect for two tables of blonkament action. I noticed some familiar faces, including Gadzooks64 and Dontknow to my left, and it looked like a circus on the other table with Hoyazo, Sirfwalgman, pushmonkey72 and a couple other cats.

The stars were aligned, the moon was fresh off a vernal equinox, and blogger hands were hitting like Bobby Brown. For the entire first hour, I didn't see a hammer lose, and I didn't see JackAce fall. Not once. It might have happened, and I struck it from my memory, but it was just amazing. JackAce against Hoy's Kings? Sorry Hoy! Hammer against Aces and KQh? Boom, flopped two pair for the hammer bros.

For almost the entire first hour, I never got my starting stack above 5k chips, and fell victim to the JackAce and hammer, but I was loving it. That is why I wrote "Cayne at 16k," because damnit, I had chip envy. That all changed with about three minutes left in the rebuy period. I had to get some chips, along with a few other short stacks at my table, and I ended up going to war with As7c. I think I was actually the favorite, over Q9o and 76o, and even more surprisingly, my hand held up. That popped me to 6k with a couple minutes left. Less than an orbit later, I've got two all-ins in front of me, each with their starting 2k stacks, looking to get lucky. I'm more than ready to fold, but I look down to see...

God damnit... As7c again. I pretty much have to call, don't I? The hand that just won me all those chips? It won't fail me now, will it?? Boom, pretty much double-up again, and I'm sitting pretty with 10k chips at the end of rebuy. That is how it is done!

After the rebuy period, I was in quite possibly the best table situation I have ever been in. I had Dontknow and Gadzooks to my left, both with larger stacks than me, and both playing very tight. Then I had three short stacks to my right, who didn't want to go home. The short stacks did a good job of stealing blinds, but they really only went after Gadzooks and Dontknow's blinds. It was amazing. It literally had me thinking of paradise in the form of poker nirvana. Much like my heads up match against Dontknow, I felt like I had virtually no risk, and I was steadily chipping up my stack. 11k... 12k... 15k... 18k, and then sadly we got to the final table. And here was the motley crew:

Seat 1, Jmathewson_III
Seat 2, BloodyP
Seat 3, Mrboatdrinks
Seat 4, Dino_burger
Seat 5: HERO
Seat 6: Pushmoney72
Seat 7: DontKnow
Seat 8: GadZOOKS64
Seat 9: ElSnarfGrande

Mr. Boat drinker got knocked out on the first hand of final tabledom, by I think Gadzooks in a race.

PushMonkey's TT fell to BloodP's AQs all-in pre flop with a god-awful Q on the river.

DontKnow fell in 7th place in a battle of the blinds. My T7 from the SB hit the 764 flop, and I check-called a pot-sized bet. The turn brought another 7, and I check-raised DK all-in and he called off with A6, drawing dead.

Chip stacks:
1) BloodyP: 48k
2) HERO 32k
3) gadZOOKs 20k
4) JMath 16k
5) Snarf 6k
6) Dino 3k

And we stayed at six. For a very... loonngg... ... ... time... short stacks won every showdown, but for the most part, we just never saw a flop. As one of the larger stacks, I really should have been more aggressive, but I was getting shit for cards and waiting for people to knock each other out. Dino made a massive comeback, and was the bane of my existance. He stole my blind, and I just didn't have the balls to pop him back with air. He started min-raising my blind and I'll call that every time, in position, but I didn't hit a single flop, and only bluffed him off the flop once. I was finally ready to make a stand, when I flopped top pair on a king-high board. I knew he would keep betting at the pot, so I called his flop bet hoping to get him all-in on the turn... and then the turn came the mother-fucking Ace of spades. The perfect scare card to bet at, and I had no information on whether or not he had an ace, because he had bet the whole way. His stack wasn't large, so he pushed all-in and I was still in 2nd place, so I folded for a better spot.

It was so frustrating being healthy on chips for the last hour of play, because I never had an easy decision, and I always fell back on "well, I'm still healthy if I fold here. And fold I did. It was fucking pathetic. I went from the table captain to the table chump. The hand that appitimized it was another blind v. blind battle with Dino:

A9 in the BB, folded around to dino in the SB--been stealing my blinds all night.

Call the minraise.

Flop is A76 rainbow.

He bets 3k into a 4+k pot, I call, intending to trap.

Js on the turn, 6k bet into 10k pot, called--knowing he'll bet the river, regardless.

River is Ks, filling the flush and straight draws. Son of a bitch. Worst card in the deck for me. All of the crap he might have been semi-bluffing with just may have hit.

Dino goes all-in, I let time run out and fold--finally decide to fold because folding still leaves me as 2nd highest stack. Weak. Dino claims to have had TT, doubt it.

I really... REALLY wanted to call on the river, but I was playing so greedily, and with such a desire to take his entire stack, that I was blind to how poorly I played this hand. This type of fancy play crap I am terrible at, and I think it is best served in cash games. In tournaments you are trying to preserve your stack, and by letting all those weaker hands catch up, I simply played this hand terribly.

That hand spelled the beginning of my demise, and instead of realizing how poorly I played the hand at the time, I was steaming with the injustice of it all. How dare he catch up, how dare that ace fall on the turn in the prior hand. Gah!! I knew I was steaming, so I paid less attention to poker, and more attention to the entertaining TV shows.

Price is Right is on TV... at night... with Drew Carey as the host. Something is terribly wrong. Bob Barker is supposed to be there, this isn't right! Hey! What was that? Was that a contestant-row bid of 3201?! When the next highest bid was 3200?? You dog! I'm hooked! Plinko!!!!!! WWOOOOO!!!

First throw: ZERO
2nd: 500
3rd: 1000
4th: ZERO
5th: 100


What else is on? 1v100, eh? Bob Saget? There is a lot of shouting, that is annoying. Oh, I guess she just walked away with $250,000... I see... go on...

1v mob of 100, ok.

alright, so the contestant has to get the right answer, if he does, then you find out how many of the 100 got the answer wrong. 2 people thought Dolly Parton's theme-park is called Magic Mountains... lolz

Poker update: still at 6:
1) BloodyP: 42k
2) HERO: 32k
3) Dino: 18k
4) ZOOKS: 18k
5) JMath: 13k
6) Snarf: 2k

LOL, must watch Amnesia, the show that is coming up next. Pilot episode, asking questions about contestants lives. "What is the name of the club you almost burned down?" nice!

Back to price is right. 1v100 is just a glorified Millionaire, or am I missing something?

God Damn, it has been almost an hour since we last knocked someone out. The shorties keep winning the races. Zooks just ended up with a boat with KJs over 44 aipf. Gooo horse! Speaking of horse, we made an MS-Paint ... wait, this just in...


back to regularly scheduled program

...Zooks and I made an MS-Paint bet when we had just entered the non-rebuy period. We picked horses, I chose her and Dontknow, and she chose me and Cayne. The bet is an MS-Paint illustration on the loser's blog, of the winner of the bet in all his or her glory. Zooks didn't quite understand the bet, but more to that later.

Woots, JMath out in 6th, my 44 out-raced his AK, up to 45k.

*here is where A-9 god-awful hand with Dino happened*

WOOOP WOOOP WOOOP Double showcase winner! $1million, OMG!

That had to be staged. His freaking bet was $83,844 and the ACTUAL RETAIL PRICE was $84,685. Of course, the girl's bet was only $1,000 off, to add to the drama. I'm not buying it.

Amnesia is starting, and I like it. I wouldn't be able to answer half of the questions, nor would I want all my dirty little secrets to be aired to millions of people.

I continue to fold, and get crap for hands. I really dislike it when people complain about "not getting good cards" in poker, because really, it shouldn't matter. And I can see how that might be a big downfall to my weak/passive theory from earlier. I NEED good cards, or a good flop in order to beat someone. The whole game is trapping someone. Getting them to think that they can bet at you and you WILL fold. I had a trap baited for Dino for about the last 45 minutes, and it was so frustrating to not be able to spring the trap.

Dino eventually gave all his chips to Zooks, but by that time my stack had dwindled so far to put me as the short stack. I got so short that I had to push soon, and I just wasn't getting anything to push with. I got down to about 6k in chips and found A8, with a BloodyP raise in front of me, and had to go with it. He flipped 77 and we were racing. Ace on the flop, 8 on the turn, and the fucking devil-incarnate 7 on the river.

To make the sting that much better, I bubbled, with no one to blame but myself. Oh how it hurt. I played so God-DAMNED bad that last hour. What the hell was I doing watching TV and folding, oy vey.

I suck so much at poker. I couldn't help but compile some stats of my last 50 hands of the tournament:

Folds: 45 losses

2: folded to me in the BB
1: limp then check-down win on the river
1: Won the blinds with Jacks preflop
2: win the pot preflop by raising in the SB on Gadzooks' blind

I didn't win a single pot bigger than two BB's, and I didn't force anyone else to showdown that entire time. It was fucking pathetic, I was a punching bag.

But, as much as it sucked to end the night that way, Gadzooks put up her MS Paint image, and that got me smiling again :)

It has been twelve hours since I started this post, and it is about time to wrap it up. No picture from me this time Zooks, I thought about it, and decided that you've got to earn it by winning the bet--not by winning the god damn poker tournament! Congrats :)

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poker Content!

What, what?! Got some poker in last night for the first time in a few weeks. I've never been known for my multi-table prowess, but I fired up four single-table SNG's last night, as I have been jonesing for my poker fix recently. I got knocked out of two tournaments fairly quickly, one with 8's vs 9's aipf, the other in a set vs. set on the flop. The 8's vs. 9's hand was weird, because there was a raiser from MP, and a LP caller. I had 8's in the SB and tried to squeeze (not smart this early in a tourney--but it was a micro-stakes game. I wasn't worried about their hands too much, but the BB insta-called, and I pretty much knew I was beat.

In the other two sit n' goes, I held the chip lead from 5 players left to the bubble breaking. I had fun applying lots of pressure, and getting lucky, but when the bubble broke, my luck went into the crapper and instead of adjusting my play, I got booted in 3rd in both SNG's. Not placing first in poker is a let down for me, but I like the fact that poker is one of the best ways to learn how to be a good loser (sportsmanship-wise, anger-management-wise). Because you lose so god damn often!

In one of SNG's I did well at, I held JT suited, raised it up from EP. Got min-raised from the hi-jack. The Button goes All-in for about 1k chips. SB pushes over the top for 2k chips (he was the big stack at the time). BB calls off all his chips, and while I was thinking about folding--when the BB called, I pretty much had to call. I can't think of a better hand to have than JTd in a 4-way all-in situation. The hijack actually did fold, though. My JTd against KJo, AA, QQ. Flop came with an Ace, river brought the Q, and I think when the dust cleared, I won with a flush, a set for AA, and a set for QQ. Later in that SNG, I cracked AA with 9h7h aipf. I was hitting!

Goal for next mutli-table madness is to make better decisions short-handed. I had two tables at 3-handed, but I don't think the multi-tabling aspect had anything to do with my poor decisions--which is a good thing. I probably got 200-300 hands of poker in during the hour I played last night, which is a much different number than the 25 hands I'd get in playing a full O8 ring game. It was a nice change of pace, and I'll probably try it a few more times tonight or this weekend.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fatal case of the Mondays

My boss brought in quite a bit of food on President's Day, because she's the type of person that understands that it sucks for everyone to have to come in and work on a holiday. Not so much that she'll give us the damn day off, but enough to feel bad about it and try to increase our productivity with fresh fruit and cookies. Grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, chocolate chip cookies--yum. I made about a dozen trips to the lunch room to grab a few grapes here, an orange there, you know the deal.

On one such trip, I grabbed a single grape, the best looking grape of the bunch. I twisted it poorly though, and that the little umbilical cord of a limb was still attached. Holding the grape in one hand, I used my other hand to surgically remove the remaining vine from the grape. I then walked over to the garbage and tossed the grape in the garbage... and ate the vine.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Wicked Sick Fun

So that last post? The one with a single picture and about 100 words? Took me two hours to post. Gah. I've been fighting off this cold for the last two weeks, and I think my weekend neglect of my body has caught up with me. I had to go into work today on President's Day, and I didn't make it in until 10:30am. There was a fun reason I showed up for work late, I'll leave it at that. But I'm paying for the fun now. Not much sleep all weekend and hunching over the bike all day yesterday has left my body sore and my tank completely drained.

Hopefully I'll go back and add some detail to this weekend at a later date. I think at one point I was refilling wine glasses for my half-naked princess in the hot tub, when I glanced at my laptop and saw an IM from another lady friend that said "run away with me." I don't know where this sudden interest from the ladies came from. I'm the skinny, dorky-looking kid with glasses and big ears. I think Juno might have something to do with it. God bless that movie.


Whidbey Island Group Ride

2008-02-16- Whidbey Island 039

More photos if you check the flickr account, but I decided for once to not bog the page down with huge pictures. There is a forum post here with more photos and details about the ride. On the second page in the thread, a guy posted some photos from his gas-can mounted camera, but I'm having trouble linking to the photos, so you'll have to check out the forum post. He also ended up crashing after the ride, about a mile from his house--and his bike is WRECKED. It is pretty gruesome!

To put it short and sweet, the ride was amazing. It couldn't have been a better day: clear skies and 55 degrees in February is almost unheard of in Seattle. Our group of 14 riders must have crossed paths with over a hundred other motorcycles on our ride--EVERYONE was outside on Sunday.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lesbians, Hot Tubs and Motorcycle Racing

Well, other than the slight fabrication of lesbians (there was only one), the title says it all for my weekend. I'm falling deeper into degeneracy than I thought. Fun, though!

Princess Leia is back in action for the weekend, and we decided on a little dinner date on Friday to plan out a motorcycle ride today (Sunday). I offered to "cook" Indian food, so after work on Friday, I came home, hopped on my bike, and headed down to Trader Joe's to pick up rice, naan and the Indian food packets. I say "cook" because it is pretty much stick packet into boiling water for five minutes, then serve. That's cooking in my book, but Leia was anticipating me slaving over the meal for hours prior to her arrival--hah, yeah right!

Anyways, on my quick ride down to Trader Joe's, I pass through University of Washington's "frat row." I give a head nod to a scooter rider who is waiting to come out of the alley just west of 17th street. He nods back. A minute later, I'm stopped at a red light, waiting to turn left, when the scooter kid comes up behind me and says,

"Hey! I bet I could beat you in a race."

First of all, it had just rained--second of all--who says that?!

"I bet you could too," I respond.

"Yeah, I'd kick your ass in a race," he says.

Now, this isn't some big guy on a bigger bike, it is a little punk kid on a scooter. I know scooters are faster off the line, and I'm not about to race this kid on a wet Seattle street during rush hour. I try and ignore him, then I realize that I'm about 90% sure this kid is all talk. I turn around and say,

"Turn left and we'll see."

He breaks eye-contact and says,

"...nah, I'm going straight."

Now, I wasn't about to race the guy if he turned left, but it was nice to see him go from thinking he was the king of the road on his little scooter, to shriveling back down to earth.

Leia and I wound up in the hot tub after finishing off a bottle of wine and our Punjab eggplant. We traded massages, and it was slightly misting rain--which you could only feel if you concentrated, and I was having a hard time concentrating. Being in a hot tub with a very attractive half-naked lesbian is quite possibly the biggest tease in the world, especially one who likes to include kisses in her massages. But hey, I'll admit to liking a good tease every now and then...

On Saturday, we found a group motorcycle ride for today, that goes up around Whidbey Island. We get to take a ferry, and it is supposed to hit 60 degrees today, which would be ten degrees warmer than any other day in the past three months. I've got my camera, and you bet your ass there will be pictures up tonight.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Plow and Hearth and Facebook

So, here I am, sifting through the mail this morning, when I come across a magazine titled "Plow and Hearth." I'm pretty sure Waffles and I are on the same wavelength with the title of this magazine. If you're not quite following, it involves Night Elves (or Blood Elves), a club for knocking said Elf out, protection, and a hearth stone.

Turns out, it is a gardening magazine. Less interesting.

In a completely unrelated topic (I assure you!), I keep meeting old friends on facebook, and it rocks. Although Astin has a point about the privacy issue, it has been a lot of fun connecting with old friends from as far back as middle school. The best find of the last week or so has to be my old intramural sports partner in crime, Jessica. We played just about every sport the IM department had to offer, and usually did alright (we had a string of 2nd place finishes). She's back in Alaska, and it turns out that she will be moving to Seattle in the summer. I've been dying to get out and play organized sports, and it is infinitely more fun (and much easier) to find a team with a stellar woman. Sports aside, it will be fun to have another non-married (yet...) friend in town.

One of my favorite memories with Jessica was a night we came up to Seattle and eventually found ourselves driving around central/south Seattle. We got the munchies and saw a 7-11 and decided slurpees (and hot dogs?) sounded good. I'm 6'1", and if she isn't 6', she's 5'11 3/4". We're ready to check out, slurpees in hand, waiting for a short, stout woman in front of us to finish checking out. She turns around and does a double-take at the two of us.

Jessica and I look at each other.

"Dear Lawd! Thought giants come to get me!"


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seattle Sunset

2008-02-12 Sunset 002

2008-02-12 Sunset 021

In the top picture, I was trying to capture the surreal lighting of the sunset, but instead wound up with a neat spider-web tangle of tree branches.

The second picture isn't great, but it is the only picture I took which shows the contrast between the dark clouds and the long-forgotten, but still amazingly bright, sun. When all you have to compare clouds with are other gray clouds, I forget how gloomy it is up here in Seattle. But then the sun shines and opens mine eyes to the shocking truth.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Natural Selection, Please Kill Me Now!

I am a god-damned idiot.

Not that you didn't already know this, but today I did the stupidest thing since, well... since last Monday. OK, so I just realized I didn't post about the #1 stupid mistake in years, from last week. I was copying February data into January's spreadsheet, intending to save it as a new "February Loans" document. I clicked save. Oh shit.

Ooooh shit.

Do we have any backups of that data I just erased? No? Shit. Um...

I did end up finding an old spreadsheet that went through January 28th, but the data from the 29th to the 31st is gone forever. But don't tell anyone, because I don't think they've caught on just yet. I literally haven't made that mistake in a dozen years using Excel or Word, and I couldn't believe it.

On to today... oh god. It was bad. I really just wanted to crawl under my desk and hide for the rest of the day. Eventually, I realized that all the stupid, idiotic things that I do should probably just be the meat of this blog, because after I let it sink in, those posts are the most memorable. It sucks that it is me doing the dumb-ass stuff, I really wish I could have read about Brian buying a motorcycle last summer and not knowing what the fuck he was doing. Oh, man! Waffles just deleted an entire database by saving over it with nothing?! Ahhh hahaha!

But no, it was me. I've got the Simpson gene, and yes, shortly after my goof today, I imagined myself with a cooking pot on my head, running headlong into Bart and Homer while they wore helmets of their own.

On with it!

Monday starts off pretty good, actually. I wake up a little early and don't feel tired at all. I had a relaxing weekend, and capped it off last night by inviting Tessa and Jared over for some Indian food and a hot tub. They brought two bottles of their recently home-brewed Smokey Porter (yes, it is as good as it sounds), I "cooked" up some Indian, then we hopped in the hot tub for an hour or so. It was really an ideal way to wind down the weekend. Morning came, and I felt well rested and ready to tackle another week of work and school.

I get into the office an hour before my boss, because she lives out in the boonies. She walks in around 9:30am and says hi.

Hey Chris, how you doing?

Good, how was your weekend?

Oh, it was alright, I worked here a lot, like usual. How was your weekend?

It was fun, I rode the motorcycle down to Renton to play some poker. I also had an interview that went pretty well.


(what? what did I just say? did I just say that I had an interview? I've worked here for three weeks, and I just said I had an interview? Gotta cover my ass, quick!)

An interview for school, starting up in the Fall.


Boss: Oh...


I'm an idiot. Plain and simple. My boss knew I eventually want to go into teaching, but I gave the impression that the teaching thing is at least a year away. If I had been completely honest, they wouldn't have hired me for five months of temp work--she would have hired someone that sticks around after training. The interview was for school, but the school starts in a month--not in the Fall, and definitely not in a year or two, like my boss originally thought. I didn't need to say a god-damned thing, but I just blurt out, "HAY! HAD AN INTERVIEW THIS WEEKEND! GOOD TIME! GOOD TIME!"

Kill me now.

Karma is a bitch... I still love her though.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Funniest Game Show Moment?

You be the judge.

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Inaugural Seattle Poker Blogger Home Game!

Last night was a blast! Would have had eight, if Zeem had showed, but I understand why he was scared... I'll just say playing with this group isn't the best way to make money. Here was the line up:

Seat 1: mclarich

Matt's got game. He's a really cool and laid back guy, who joked around regardless of how well he was doing, which is always a big plus in my book. I seem to recall him winning a lot of pots without showing down, which is the type of play I try to emulate.

Seat 2: The Wife

Michelle's got it going on, plain and simple. Poker acumen, a hilarious personality, and hmm... what else... oh yeah, a smoking hot body. I now see what all the hub-bub was about at the Winter Gathering. Dr. Chako is one lucky guy. Michelle and I never actually tangled in a pot all night long, but that is probably because I was on the rail 30 minutes into each game.

Seat 3: Joshua

Joshua, the self-proclaimed non-blogger, who only made a blog last November so he could play in the home game. We really need to get this guy posting more (ooh, updated his blog today!), he's got the entertainment value of a Waffles, but he's much prettier (no offense, Waffles). Joshua may only be remembered by his lethal check out-of-position to induce a bet by John, only to pop John with an all-in. Oh, it was dirty! But I'll remember him for his plethora of hats. Hats are like a moonstone ring for Joshua, as his mood changes, he's gotta get a new hat. The cowboy hat comes out and he starts calling everyone "Hoss." Watch out for this guy in the future.

Seat 4: Your Hero!

I am a donk, plain and simple. I think everyone knew I was the mark, including myself, within the first orbit. Little do they know, I was only posturing last night. Give the image of a complete buffoon at the table the first home game, then as the weeks turn into months, months into years, my wins will slowly start to snowball into a college fund for my future kids.

Seat 5: Seattle John

Seattle John plays with the big dogs. During the second tournament, he got a text from a buddy of his down in LA at the Commerce, who had just jumped into a 1/2 full ring game with Gabe Kaplan, commentator on GSN's High Stakes Poker. 1/2 thousand... !!!... !!!!! I have a few connections in the poker world, so I can hold a conversation with the high rollers, but I am so far removed from that world, it is much more fantasy than reality. I remember a handful of times last night where John just made great plays. He was aggressive when the rest of the table started out passive. He took his time to sniff out my bluffs, and besides his "Fuck it" call in the second tourney (because he had another engagement to get to), I think he only made one bad play--which was on Joshua's low-blow check out-of-position, re-raise all-in. Ohhh, it was DIRTY!

Seat 6: Cayne

Cayne's a great host, and a quality guy. He never believed any bets that Joshua made, and defended his big blind like it was his first-born. Don't try and steal Cayne's blind, just don't! Cayne's a funny guy, and took just as much ribbing as he gave out. He had a fridge full of beer, a kitchen full of food, and a nice TV playing Rounders as we all arrived--can't ask for more than that.

Seat 7: Andre

The only non-blogger in attendance (if you count Joshua's blog). A good friend of Cayne, and Andre also provided the table, which is the nicest home-game table I've ever played on. Andre has some poker skills, and is a big fan of Arrested Development, so he will be considered the recipient of the first "honorary blogger for a night" reward, his ticket to play in the game. It is only good for one night though, so he better start cranking out the blog posts before our next get-together.


Much like the blogger tournaments online, you're playing with people who know more than just the basics of the game. People are thinking on different levels (me being towards the bottom), but everyone is considering position, pot odds, table image, stack sizes and a variety of other things when making decisions at the table. John got a screw job while holding AK or AQ to Joshua's A8, but other than that, I can't think of many suck outs on the evening--which obviously isn't the blogger norm!

Out of the seven players, I was probably the worst. Well, I was the worst last night, with two 6th place finishes, but that is results-oriented thinking--and results-based thinking is for losers! I was playing a loose-weak game, and it didn't work out well for me (nor for anyone who has tried it in the past). In the first tourney, I let Joshua catch up on the turn, then didn't believe he had a 3. In the second tourney, Andre's low pocket pair flopped a set against my over-pair of queens, and I wasn't able to get away from the min-raise. After the hand, it all made sense, but I couldn't get away from the ladies in the heat of the moment.

Michelle ended up bubbling both times, which is more aggravating than going out sixth both times. She took it well though, and I have a good feeling that Michelle and I will receive our just desserts next home game. Joshua luck-sacked his way into 1st place in the first tourney, followed by Cayne. In the second tourney, Andre got out to a monster lead after taking out John, me, and then Cayne, but Andre ran into a road-block when it got down to him, Matt and Michelle. Matt entered 3-handed play the short stack, but fired up the aggression and took a number of uncontested pots. Eventually, Michelle's 77 got out-flopped by Andre's Ace-Nine, and Matt ended up taking out Andre heads up.

A few of us were pushing for the second tourney to be some HORSE variant, but Cayne felt like Andre got the shaft in the first game because Andre got knocked out first and dealt the entire game. And it was just easier to deal and play NLHE, as opposed to a limit HORSE tourney. After the second tourney, we toyed with the idea of playing Chinese Poker, but settled on a dime/quarter HORSE game. I solidified my position as the worst player, by buying in for $5 and cashing out for $1 at the end of the night.

I can't speak for everyone else, but after the full five orbits of HORSE, I was dead tired, and ready to call it a night. We broke up, gave lame hugs to Michelle, then headed out. This is where the real fun begins.

Yesterday was actually a pretty nice day, so I decided to give the ol' motorcycle a much-needed spin. The city driving kills cars and motorcycles, if that is the only driving you do, so a nice 25-mile ride down to Renton sounded like a good idea. On the ride down, it was perfect. I got to ride in the carpool lane past all the congestion, and had fun seeing and driving through downtown Seattle at night. By the time I got to Renton, it was dark outside, but still 51 degrees, which is about 20 degrees warmer than a week ago--so it almost felt like summer riding!

The ride home was a different story. Sometime between 6:30pm and 1:00am, it decided to start raining. No biggie, I've ridden in the rain before. Have I ridden in the night, in the rain, on a freeway before? No, I haven't. And it is bullshit. I couldn't see anything for 25 miles on the freeway. It was like I wasn't wearing glasses. I had to tilt my head to the side in order to see out of my helmet, because I've got no windshield wipers on my helmet. I had to avoid standing water on the freeway, while trying to figure out where my lane was. The cars zipping past, throwing even more rain on me didn't help. Eventually, I just got behind a car with bright tail lights and followed him from a few hundred feet back.

Other than the ride home, I had an amazing time, and might look to host one of these get-togethers if there is enough interest in coming up to Seattle (or down to Seattle?? Schaubs??). The Wife should have some pictures up soon, if not already, so head over there if you want to see five ugly guys, one pretty guy, and one fox.

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Friday, February 08, 2008


... go getting all cocky on me now, Bremertron! This might be the only time in history it is raining everywhere BUT Bremertron. Usually, it'll be 70 degrees and sunny in Seattle, and just pouring across the Sound.

But not tonight! Enjoy it while you can, Bremertonians, you've earned it!

seattle rain

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Case of the Hungry Hot Tub Lid

Good evening, gentle readers. Won't you join me in a glass of wine? You've likely had a tough week, which will soon be over, and I must say--if anyone deserves to kick back with a glass of wine, it is you.

My one evening of rest and relaxation this week is soon coming to an end. Monday night was consumed by the first math test of the quarter, which could have gone better. Tuesday night began nicely, until I remembered my math assignment due the next night--which sucked the hours of the night away. Wednesday night was more math class, leaving me with a lengthy one hour to cool down before bed. I've been looking forward to tonight since Monday.

The night started off well, with a friendly "meow!" of welcome home from Ichi, and a tripping attempt by Watson. It wasn't dinnertime just yet though, and I did recall seeing some sun outside, so I hopped on my neglected girlfriend and gave her a ride to Trader Joe's. I picked up four cans of chicken noodle soup, a few cans of clam chowder and two packets of Indian to nip this cold in the bud, then hopped back on my bike. Being able to park anywhere with the motorcycle is a big plus I didn't get to experience in Tahoe much. If I had stopped on the way home from work, I would have either had to pay for parking, or get lucky and find a spot in Joe's very compact parking lot.

Back home, with the house warming, cats eating, and chicken noodle soup cooling, I flipped on the television and found a close Indiana vs. Illinois basketball game going on. I was also reading a new edition of National Geographic, when I remembered about the new season of Survivor starting up one of these weeks. After a quick check at, I discovered the new season started in approximately two minutes. Unexpected surprises, however small, put me in the best mood.

I flipped back and forth between the new Survivor season and the basketball game, which went to not one, but two overtimes. I think Indiana ended up pulling off the victory, in a game where both teams had multiple opportunities to clinch. I'm talking missed free-throws, stupid fouls, even a 10-second violation with less than a minute to play in overtime! I can honestly say, I've never seen that before--with no back-court press, mind you.

Thanks to the lackluster basketball play (although still a tight game, which always ups the entertainment value), I spent most of my time watching the first episode of the new Survivor season. The folks at Survivor have done "All-Star" survivor seasons before, but never quite like this. The two tribes are split up into one tribe consisting of all-stars, players who have played the game before and have been quite popular, and another tribe of Survivor fans--people who have watched the show and think they have what it takes to tough it out for 39 days.

I think the premise is a wonderful way to keep Survivor fresh. Admittedly, I only watched the final few episodes of the first Survivor (8 years ago?), and didn't watch any seasons of Survivor until last winter down in Nevada City. But I have definitely caught the bug, like many of you with "Lost" or "The Sopranos."

Initially, I thought the all-stars would have a huge advantage, and they did when it came to setting up camp right away and understanding what had to be done in order to live out there on their own. The contrast between the all-star camp and the fan camp was like night and day, although compared to other survivor first tribes, the fans did a very good job.

Most of the all-stars began creating alliances right out of the gate, and knew they were safe for at least the first tribal council. I think this may have led to some complacency on their part. Going up against a pack of hungry fans in the first immunity challenge, the all-stars got whooped, and unfortunately had to send a very interesting character home. One I would have liked to see stick around a little longer.

So up until this point in the night, my evening was going very nicely. A little motorcycle ride, some basketball on TV, chicken noodle soup, and an unexpected surprise of Survivor. I gave Angela a call, along with Renee and Tyler to set up our plans for Friday evening, then decided what would be better than a late-night hot tub in the storm?

In Seattle, we've got quite the wind storm tonight, and I'm having a hard time deciding whether hot tubbing in a storm or hot tubbing in the snow is my favorite. Hot tubbing in the snow is magical, but hot tubbing in a really nasty storm is unbelievable--you're entire body is encased in a 100+ degree protective water barrier, but you see the trees swaying from side to side, you can hear garbage cans tumbling down the street, and every so often you see something go flying by. Leaves, a piece of paper, farm animals--it all depends on the severity of the storm, and where the hot tub is located.

One time in Hawaii, I was hunkered down in a hot tub with a couple other kids I had just met (we were all around 14 yrs old). A storm was blowing lounge chairs all around the pool area, and when one eventually made its way into the hot tub, the guy's sister decided it was time to head out. Him and I waited out the storm, and when it passed, we got up out of the hot tub and all of the lounge chairs were heaped in a chaotic mess along the far side of the pool area, and our towels were nowhere to be found.

Back in Seattle, I decided that hot tubbing in the storm would be a fitting end to a relaxing evening, and also decided that it was dark, stormy, and private enough that skinny dipping wasn't out of the question. I turned off the lights in the kitchen, and quietly snuck outside. Interestingly enough, the storm had shook the hot tub lid off kilter a bit. I tried to unlatch one buckle from its slot, but it wasn't budging. Me and my naked behind were trying desperately to unlatch the hot tub lid, while both of us were getting colder and more aware of our surroundings.


What was that?!

Oh, just the garbage can falling over. OK, garbage cans do that--we're cool, we're cool.

*snap* and the hot tub lid finally comes unhinged, praise be to Jeebus! I flip half of the lid over onto the other half, like I've been doing the last few hot tubs. Mostly to save energy--not having to haul the entire lid on and off, which makes sense when it is just me in the hot tub. I quickly hopped in, expecting to be scorched, but my face drooped when I found the hot tub to only be lukewarm. I'm trying to think of an analogy to explain the way my heart sunk when the lukewarm water hit my skin, but words do not do the feeling justice, however powerful words may be!

OK, OK, I might be over-exaggerating a bit. Let's see if I can put the feeling of an unexpected lukewarm hot tub into words. It was like finding out that your wife has been cheating on you with your best friend... who's dog you were dog-sitting... who just pooped in your work shoes. There we go.

Maybe it was the lid getting knocked off its place a bit, or maybe it was the fact that half of the water had been splashed out of the hot tub by last weekend's charades. The hot tub can fit two comfortably, three with a little effort, and four with a "getting to know you better" feel. We had five in it last weekend, and the skinny-dippers out-numbered the clothed (and I was clothed!). I didn't notice it until now, but the water level was a good eight inches lower than usual. I really wish Marc would go on a diet.

I realize the hot tub stay would be a short, so I flip on the jets for a quick back massage before calling it a night. Luckily, the water level was still above the jets, or else I might have broken my favorite household appliance (do hot tubs fall into this category?). The jets work their magic on my aching back, and I'm contemplating a retreat back inside, when a gust of wind comes up and nearly flips the hot tub lid down onto me.

Hah! I say to myself. That could have been bad! What a fool I would look like to be walloped in the head by my beloved hot tub lid. I slide down a bit, to where my head is the only thing above the waterline. If I had been sitting up like before, I'd have a shorter neck right now! With my head down here though, if a gust of wind comes up and knocks over the lid, I wouldn't even be touched. All that would happen is...




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Sunday, February 03, 2008

What a Game! What a Weekend!

It feels great to call the big upset and have it come to fruition. It feels even better when you raise the stakes and win a bank-busting two dollar bet with one friend, and a 20 push-up bet with another. I was supremely confident in my bet, because I got 3 1/2 points on both of my bets for the underdog Giants, and everyone knows the Patriots only win by 3 points! If the Pats had scored on a last-second play, with no time left on the clock, do they still kick a P.A.T.?!?

I really did think the Giants stood a fair chance, hence the "Go Giants!" I hollered about 20 times at the donkarama on Friday night. Eli has been a completely different QB this year in the playoffs, and the front four on the G-Men's line is just amazing. The way they man-handled the Patriot's offensive line, arguably one of the best O-lines in the league, proves how great they are.

Saturday night was a little crazy. Josh and I headed to Pies and Pints, where Renee and Tyler showed up shortly after our arrival. Ten minutes later, Renee's friends Regine, Lisa and Angela joined us. Renee was trying to play match-maker and hook Angela and I up, which is usually kind of annoying... but Renee didn't make it too apparent, and Angela and I hit it off. After a pie, a pint, and a few rounds of pool, we all headed back to my place, where Marc was busy watching American Gladiators.

We played Liar's Dice for a few rounds, which is an amazingly fun game--but a little nuts with 8 people. Then we switched it up to Asshole, and the rest of the night got blurry in a hurry. I remember hot tubbing, and I remember getting to know Angela better... we'll see what happens there?

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Donkarama Win!

Donkament Win!

After a 30-minute heads up battle with "Dontknow," I emerged victorious over 25 fellow donks. Amazingly, I did it on only the first buy-in and pre-game add-on. My first table was amazing, with Hoy to my immediate left, Jordan two to my left, 23 Skidoo three to my left,J-Goat FOUR to my left, and a few other familiar faces.

Jordan started off on a heater, jumping up to 15k or so within the first few orbits. I won a monster 3-way pot that Jordan said he would have felt bad if he won. That put me past the 10k mark fairly early, and I never dipped below 10k for the rest of the night.

Soon after the big 3-way pot, Hoy, the gracious donor that he is, vowed he was going all-in the next five hands. He stayed true to his words, and I picked up a couple more nice pots.

The whole table was talking, everything from the Brandi Ha... Qualong ?Yei? porno ravaging the 2+2 forums (see Iggy), to the super bowl and a variety of other topics. Astin got moved to the table sometime after the first break, and I wanted to raise preflop with my Queens, but he had to have aces or kings, so I just called, with 23Skidoo in the BB joining us. Skidoo then bet out on the all-unders, connected flop. Astin made the scary smooth-call, and I knew I would lose the hand, so I gave it up. Turn ended up filling Astin's OESD, and 23Skidoo was sent to the rail.

It was fun to have a talkative table after playing against strangers in the pits of online poker for the last few months. I haven't had the bankroll, nor the desire, to play much poker recently, and I didn't boot up my computer until 5:56pm tonight. I saw the time and remembered reading Kat's post while I was at work today. The $1 buy-in to play with great poker players (even IF they are playing like donks), is such an awesome thing. I can't swing the $10 nightly tournies anymore, both the bankroll and time, so I salute Kat for putting this donkament together and keeping it going week-in and week-out.

So anywho, I get switched to the other table when we're down to two tables, just as Kat gets knocked out--so I don't get to play with the hostess with the mostest. Aforementioned Iggy was at the table, but not chatting. Surf, Sellthekids, Donkette and Yesterbay rounded out the table. Nothing too crazy happened, I either won some flips or got my money in ahead and my cards were holding up. Other than that, I was playing very passively. I wasn't defending my blind, wasn't getting into situations out of position, and just generally folding a ton.

Iggy seemed to be the only one picking up on my passiveness, and I continued to let him play aggressively (not sure if I could stop him if I tried). Plenty of other people tried to stop him, and got crushed. Well, he's raising all the time, he can't have good hands all the time! Then Iggy would get called and show the nuts. He continued his aggressive play well into the final table, and to make a long story short, we got down to four people, Iggy with around 120k, me with 60k, Dontknow with 40k and Surf with 30k.

Iggy was bullying all of us, and rightly so. Surf and Dontknow didn't want to bubble, and they were even playing tighter than I was, which is saying something! I looked Iggy up on a few hands, as he was only raising 2-3x BB. I got lucky, and won a large pot with a turned nut-flush, which Iggy was able to get away from with 80k chips already in the pot. A few hands later I knocked out Iggy with another flush (I think?).

The game quickly changed for me, going from passive bubble play to big chip leader with two short stacks. I began bullying, and min-raises seemed to do the trick. I'd raise, and they would both fold. I offered a chop, with me getting 1st place money and them sharing 2nd and 3rd money, but Surf politely declined. The next hand Dontknow knocked him out, and we were down to two. The heads up match started with me being a 190k-50k or so chip advantage. Heads up lasted forever, and both of us weren't willing to go to war without being in the lead. One of our only observers, Donkette, finally bowed out about 15 minutes into the heads up match, and I think she lasted the longest of any observers. It must have been boring as sin to watch, but actually seeing the cards and playing the match was a blast. Much like my strategy against Iggy when we were at four players, Dontknow played very passively and let my min-raises take his BB on a fairly consistent basis. I min-raised nearly every time from the button, and took down the pot pre-flop about 40% of the time. It made sense for me to keep this up, and as the blinds increased, I knew I would eventually prevail... assuming some big cooler hands didn't come up...

Luckily, only one cooler happened, where Dontknow's top pair tripped up after getting all the money in on the flop to my overpair. I still held the chiplead, and continued to grind it out. Thanks to all the rebuys, the two of us had PLENTY of room to play, so it was fun to get into a long heads up match. I grinded him back down to around 40k or so, and the next time he got all his chips into the middle, he was drawing dead by the river, which always feels great.

I ended up turning $3 into $107, for a nice $104 Friday night profit--nearly tripling my bankroll at Full Tilt, woot!

Thanks again to Kat for the tourney, and starting my Super Bowl weekend off on the right foot!