Sunday, December 28, 2008

Live Blogging: Going for the Record

$11 entry, $500,000 guaranteed Guinness Book of World Record attempt on Poker Stars.

Cool idea, and I played a few satellites to get in for $2, so I'm trying to turn this $2 into $30,000 for a cool 1,500,000% ROI.

We've got action capped at 35,000 runners. Now, this doesn't make much sense to me. Why would you cap a tournament where you are trying to set a world record? Is it just a marketing ploy? Next week will they cap the tournament at 40,000?

And we're underway!

3,000 starting stacks, ten players to a table, 10 minute blind intervals.

I'll be reviewing hands where I see flops. Feel free to skip to the bolded hands for where the action is at.

#1: 9d4d in the BB. Three limpers and I check my option. Check-fold the flop. No fireworks here!

#2: AhTh in middle position. Folds to me and I pop it 3xBB, button and BB call, three to the flop. 8s 2d 5c. BB checks, I bet half the pot (not sure why half), both call (490pot). We all check the 6c on the turn. River brings a nice Td. BB checks, I bet 200, button folds and BB calls with 3d3s. This pot boosts me up to 3,500.

#3: 8h2d in the BB, two limpers and I check my option. Check-fold the flop.

#4: Ad9c in the SB, two limpers and I limp, BB joins us for four to the flop. Check-fold the 8h Jh Qs flop.

#5: QdTs in the cut-off, folds to me and I pop it 3xBB. BB defends. Qh 9c 5s flop. BB checks and I fire 120 into a 195 pot. BB calls. We both check the Ks on the turn. We both check the 5d on the river and he flips over KdTc for the turned top pair. Down to 3,250.

#6: 6c5c in the hi-jack. Folds to the person to my right, who min-raises. I call, as does the sb (bb sitting out this hand). Fold on the Qc Js 9d flop.

#7: KdQs in the BB. Six limpers! I check my option. Check-fold the Jd Js 6h flop.

#8: Jd8d UTG+1. UTG limps, as do I and we get four to the flop. 9d 6d 2d! Flop the flush! UTG fires 80 at the flop, which I min-raise. Other two limpers fold and UTG calls. Ah on the turn and UTG checks, I fire 440 into the 500 pot, trying to make any bare Ad pay for the river, UTG calls. 2s falls on the river, UTG checks. I'm a bit worried about the limped rockets, but if he had an Ad he would have raised my flop bet likely. I fire another 440 and UTG calls with Ac 9s for top two pair. (4,265)

#9: 9h 7c in the BB. Two limpers, I check my BB. Flop Qs 9c 3d, checks around. As on the turn. I check, next to act min-bets, button calls and I call trying to hit another 9 or a 7. I miss the river and check-fold.

#10: 6h 5h in the CO. UTG+1 raises 3xBB and I call, feeling frisky. BB joins us (475). Flop Ts 9c 5d. BB checks, UTG+1 bets 250 and I min-raise to 500 with bottom pair, putting UTG+2 on AK-AT. BB cold-calls (uh oh) and UTG+1 calls (1975). Turn comes a beautiful 6s. Checks to me and I fire 1300 and they both fold. Hand I was done with after the flop turned into my pot! (5,490)

#11: Kc 6s in the BB. 3 limpers to me, check my option (notice a trend?). Flop checks around, check-fold the A on turn.

#12: 7s 5c in BB. 2 limpers to me, check my option. Flop 3d 5d Js. SB checks and I fire 120 into the 180 pot. Button folds, sb calls. Turn Jd, both check. Ts river, both check and he shows pocket 9's. (5,385)

#13: Ac 9d in SB. 2 limpers to me, 4 to the flop. Ah 7s 7d. Fire 120 into 240 pot and take it down. (5,565)

#14: Ac Qd in middle position. One limper and I pop to 3xBB (too small?). Limper calls (600). Flop 2d 7c 6d. Limper checks to me, I fire 640 into the 600 pot and limper goes All-in for 2k more. I fake-tank and fold. Flop bet too large? (4,775)

#15: 8h 6c in BB. Check option, check-fold. Weeeak?!

Hand of note: Ouch! Ace-hi flush just got sent to the rail by the Q-hi straight flush! Glad I didn't have that Ace-hi flush...

Table Change!!!

Break time. First break: 4,695 chips is good for a slightly above-average stack. 26,344 players out of the initial 35,000 remain after one hour of play. Largest stack: 24,594; smallest stack: one chip. Alright, who reverse-Hoy'd someone and got caught?!

#16: 9s 9c UTG +2, raise it up 3xBB. Two callers. Everyone checks the 8s Tc Qd flop and I fire 700 into the 1,150 pot with the 8h on the turn and take it down. (5,515)

#17: A4dd loses AIPF for 250 chips against a short-stack's KQo. (5,030)

#18: Ah Jd takes out small stack's KTo for 1,770. (6,065)

#19: Kd 8d in the CO, open-raise 3xBB. Button only caller. Flop w/ two diamonds and all unders, bet the pot and button folds. (6,500)

#20: 5s 5h in middle position. Both blinds are sitting out, UTG min-raises and I am the only caller. Flop is 2d 7h Ks. UTG checks, I fire 600 into a 810 pot and take it down. (7,040)

Table Change #2

#21: 9c 8d in BB. Check option, check-fold flop.

Haven't seen many flops in the past half-hour, but there has been plenty of pre-flop action!

#22: 2h 5s in BB. Check option, check-fold flop. (7,035)

Table Change #3

#23: Ac Qd in SB. 150/300, 40a level. UTG raises to 780, CO calls, I call in SB (3,040 pot). Three to a flop of Jc 8s 2c. I check, UTG bets 1,500, CO raises all-in, I fold, UTG calls. UTG has QQ, CO has AJ and UTG's hand holds. (Down to 5,715)

#24 8h 8d in middle position. Open-raise 3xBB, BB re-raises 3x my raise for about half my stack. I think for 20 seconds, then push. He calls and flips over AKo. Flop 3h 4s 5s, Turn kills me with the 2c, River 9c. I'm out in 12184th.

The last hand was definitely marginal, I was a flip at best. I was about 2.5k below the avg stack and had to make something happen, such as... exiting stage left!

$2 well spent!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Xmas 2008--Wii Bowling!

Another Xmas is in the books. My big present this year is my season's pass to Stevens, which I hope to take full advantage of this ski season. The most visual present this year went to my mom--a wii. I've read a handful of other bloggers opening wiis for the first time this Xmas as well, and I agree with them that these systems are a ton of fun! My mom really likes the Wii Sports games, primarily golf and bowling.

Wii Bowling brings out the sports competitor in my mom, and as soon as she saw my sister and I bowling a few frames she broke out all the bowling lingo (which I'm sure ZOOKS is familiar with). I can't remember half of what she said, something about being too heavy on the head pin. My sis said, "Mom, I think you're the only person I know who cringes when the ball is heading right towards the front pin." Of course, mom likes to retell her stories of growing up, and how her dad hustled people by averaging 180 with his right hand, then switching over to his left-handed 220 average when money was on the line.

She told us how her dad would have her spend hours on one and two-pin split shots. If you bowl many open frames against my mom, you don't stand a chance--she's a surgeon out there on the Wii Bowling front.

In the spirit of my mom's dad, who I never really got to meet (he died when I was two), I am rolling left-handed.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fantasy Football Finals

Finished 2nd in Skidoo's money league this year, to double up my poker bankroll! I lost in the finals to Memphis Mojo, who steamrolled through the playoffs. I entered the playoffs as the #1 seed, but that one seed was a bit misleading. Mojo led the league in points, was the #6 seed going into the playoffs--good ol' heads up play! I could have scored 21 points higher if I had played everything perfect, including starting both NYG running backs (who both went for +20 points), but who starts two running backs from the same team in the finals of a fantasy league?!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stevens Pass Day 2: Andrew and Eddie

Woke up at 5:30am in preparation for another 3 hour drive to the pass. This time I picked up Andrew and Eddie en route. Andrew is a skiing dynamo, and I grew up skiing with him and his family at Stevens Pass. He is a good, good skier. Eddie, on the other hand, has never been skiing or boarding. I volunteered by board, boots, gloves and goggles, and Eddie bought the lift ticket. Andrew and I zoomed off and took advantage of the 6" of powder for the morning, leaving Eddie on the Daisy chair with a few quick tips before we left.

Andrew and I bombed Big Chief for four runs, then caught the bottom of Double Diamond on our way over to Skyline. The back side was still closed, and the 7th Heaven chair was not in operation for some reason, there seemed to be plenty of snow. The run on Double Diamond was a lot of fun, as a normally snowed in run with moguls was a powder run with little trees instead of moguls. I fell into a few of those trees, but the run was still a lot of fun.

At about 11am we made our way up Skyline and were contemplating hiking up 7th Heaven. We had planned on meeting up with Eddie for lunch at noon, so we'd be cutting it close hiking. And hike we did. Unfortunately, unlike on Friday, when the hiking route had been all pathed for Kristy and I, this time I got to path find. And path finding through the powder and 6" on top of the old route is a grunt. I got confused by the snowboard routes, as they looked a lot like the very faint hiking route. I would find myself in waist-deep powder and realize I was going the wrong way. Eventually Andrew and I made it to the top, and a half dozen snowboarders had taken advantage of our trail-blazing and met us at the top. They continued hiking to the top and were about ready to steal my first tracks. Even though Andrew's thigh was cramping, I decided to bomb down to the restaurant, because we were late meeting Eddie and I wanted first tracks for doing all the work, damnit!

The hike and subsequent run really took it out of me, and after and hour long lunch, Andrew and I took the rest of the day easy. We rode up Daisy with Eddie first thing in the afternoon, and got a couple of goofy videos. In one video I got a good initiation spray in on Eddie, so my job as introducer to the winter wonderland that is skiing and snowboarding was complete! Sadly, I cannot upload the videos as they are 102mb and 107mb, just over the 100mb maximum.

*edit oops, forgot to post this*


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stevens Pass Day 1: Perfection

If I keeled over right now, my seasons pass would cost $300 per trip. If I make the trip Monday, it will knock down to $150. I can't wait to get that number down to $20 or even $10!

"This is straight out of Lord of the Rings!" Kristy said of driving into the Cascade Mountains.

Snow was on the road all the way from Seattle, and the scenery was just amazing. The mountains looked menacing, like Mt. Doom, but with a lot more snow. The river alongside highway 2 looked serene, and each rock in the middle of the river had a foot of snow it, which turned rocks into mushrooms.

Since only four lifts were operating, we ended up hiking twice, once halfway up Big Chief and once 3/4th's of the way up 7th Heaven. Both places found us in waist-high powder, making the hike well worth it. I never thought I would hike up 7th Heaven, and I can't wait to see the look on Andrew's face Monday.

After skiing, boarding and hiking in 10 degree weather all day, we ended the day ordering Thai food, drinking beer, and relaxing in the hot tub.

Perfect day.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finally, My Good Deed of the Year

Well, I cut it close, but today I accomplished my good deed of 2008. I cleaned the bath tub and shower area at my parents' house. I was tempted to take before and after pictures, but I had already started scrubbing the shower tiles and was in a groove. The shower and bath tub have not had a serious cleaning in years, so I had my work cut out for me, and I wound up scrubbing nonstop for the entire 44 minutes and 19 seconds of Death Cab For Cutie's "Plans" album.

When the dust, grime, cat hair, soap, shampoo and yellow stains settled, I could hardly believe my eyes. What was once a predominantly yellow shower area was now back to its original porcelain white.

In other news, I am out-of-my-mind excited for ski season to start tomorrow up at Stevens Pass. They have a web cam going 24/7 and I've checked it a dozen times today. Each time I check it, the snow seems to be coming down harder and harder. The flakes at 3:45pm are just HUGE. The bottom two cameras are of highway 2, and you can't even tell a road is there, much less a 4-lane road. SNOOOOOW!!! Opening day is tomorrow, and I will be going up Friday and Monday, with a possibility of going on the weekend as well. I'm not as excited for the 6F degree HIGH temperature up there on Friday, but if there is two feet of powder, I think I'll be able to deal with it :)

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Tequila, Seahawks, Push Ups and Fantasy Finals OH MY!

Man oh man. Saturday night was a rough one. Josh and I rolled into Dare's a little before 9pm, when the party was set to start. I'm used to rolling into parties a little late, but Josh reasoned that the earlier we get to the party, the earlier we get to start drinking--and that made a whole lot of sense to me on Saturday night. Dare and Will were already at the house, but Josh and I made 4.

Dare came up with the brilliant idea of everyone doing shots of tequila when each new group of visitors arrived. I don't do shots, but it just felt right. A.Flew showed up and the five of us took shots. A few minutes later, a car-full of people showed up, which meant another round. I convinced dare to put a shot of tequila on top of the toilet, so whoever broke the seal first had to take a shot.

We played some cards in between rounds of shots, and we had a big game of Asshole going. First rule, made by Will, was President gets to be thumb-master, always a good rule. The second rule, made by Dare, was that if you make eye-contact with the Asshole, you have to take a drink. This rule was new to me, and amazing! I got to give a trivia question (holding a 2 as my only remaining card), and I asked what color the asshole's eyes are, which got plenty of people drinks.

I ended the night on the floor, after hugging the toilet for a while. Josh got us back to his place, and I woke up around 10:30am to the Seahawks leading the Rams, and a nice headache. I looked at my phone and had 3 voice mails from Tyler and Marc, who were supposed to come down to watch the game, but chicken-shitted out because of the snow. Bullshit!

The Seahawks pulled out the last-second field goal to win it in the 4th quarter, for our 3rd win of the season (two against the Rams! Eight in a row against the large beasts). Josh made some red beans and rice, and the meal was finally ready around 3:30pm, which was actually perfect for me, because up until about 3pm I had absolutely no appetite.

Sunday was definitely the hardest day of Push Up Challenge 2.0, but I got in my 117th push up of the day around 11pm. I also recruited Push Up Challenge 2.0's second official member, Will! Welcome aboard! Will got the crazy idea to add sit ups to the challenge, which I'm a fan of. So today I've got 118 push ups and 100 sit ups to do, each increasing by one until I max out at 200 or 300 of each. Will says 300, but I'm leaning towards 200. I like his style. I also got in my 2,000th push up since Thanksgiving in today, so that was a nice milestone on this chilly Monday.

Speaking of chilly, Stevens Pass opens limited operations on Thursday, so that is where I'll be! Gotta take advantage of my first season's pass while I'm on break!

In Fantasy news, if David Akers doesn't kick for 26 points tonight, I'm moving on to the fantasy finals in my money league! The $20 buy in represents a third of my Full Tilt Bankroll, so if I can get 1st or 2nd place money, it'll be a huge boost to the roll! I only made one decision this week that was not the best possible decision in setting my line up. I played the NY Jets defense over the NY Giants defense for the 2nd time all season (1st was bye week), and it paid off huge. My only mistake was not starting Minnesota's back up running back, he scored more than Lendale White or NYG's Ward--but both of those guys started and Minnesota's back up obviously did not, which is why I kept him on the bench.

Lastly, Suvivor Gabon ended...

(slight spoiler ahead)

...and it was a really good season to watch. Sugar was amazing towards the end of the game, giving up her chance for a million bucks so a more deserving person, could claim their rightful prize. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else do that in my years of watching.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sir Waffles' Little Secret

I think I found one of Waffles' secret blogs:

In other news related to his highness, I am now a level 76 night elf druid. One level from swift flight form in Northrend BAY-BEE!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poker, Poker!

I've been playing a bit more poker recently, mostly small buy-in SNGs and MTTs, along with hitting and running at the micro-stakes O8 limit tables. Omaha 8 or better will be the name of the game come my hosting of the Seattle Area Blogger Home Game in February, so get your practice in now, Chakos! Well, for at least one of the two tournies on the night.

I finally made it deep in a MTT this afternoon, bubbling the final table when the BB defended with Kc3s for 80% of his stack versus my SB push... and four-flushed me with spades. Granted, he was ahead of my Qh8d preflop, but I think it may have been a mis-click... the dude insta-called! Going deep in tournaments sure is fun though, gotta get me more of that!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's All In Your Head

I had a pretty dull weekend last week. The highlights were rock climbing, attending UW volleyball games and... playing online bridge with my mom. That's right, playing bridge with my mom was probably THE highlight of my weekend, and that fact made me rather depressed Sunday night. I stayed in Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and I felt like a pretty big loser.

Then Monday hit. I'm not really sure what happened Monday that pulled me out of my funk, but instead of viewing last weekend as a waste, I felt very fortunate. Sure, I'll probably have more fun this coming weekend--drinks on Friday with classmates, partying on Saturday, Seahawks game with friends on Sunday--but on Monday I realized that my time staying with the folks will come to an end soon. Staying in with one's parents all weekend probably is not many 26 year olds' idea of fun. But when I think about last weekend in the context of my life, and wondering how many more weekends like that I'll have, it makes the weekend feel much more special.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Holiday Spirit


Sunday, December 07, 2008


Why is it, after taking thousands of showers in my lifetime, that I forget to rinse the soap from my armpits like half the time?


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Rock Climbing

I went rock climbing on Thursday over at Marymoor Park, and on the way home I decided to swing by Magnuson Park and check the status on the new rock wall. A month ago I checked it out and there was a fence up and a half-built wall. Thursday, the fence was no longer there, and the wall was complete! Nobody else was around, so I decided to dink around on the wall after already climbing for a few hours at Marymoor.

I did not last long on Thursday, but I headed back Friday with snowboarding queen. I would have had a fun time climbing by myself, but she made it a whole lot more fun. Her ass is hypnotic. I mean... she is a real good climber! She's definitely got more skills than I do, but I've got about a foot wing span advantage, which helps narrow the skill gap. We passed by a 7-11 on the way back to my house and I got excited about the prospect of slurpees after climbing in the future, when she added, "and hot dogs!" She is awesome.

Today, I made it three days in a row at the new wall, and today was the first day I have seen anyone at the wall I hadn't invited. Since it is a Saturday, I guess it makes sense. There were a few guys using ropes to climb to the top on the rock walls, and some kids climbing low on the wall with their parents' supervision. I brought my camera today, and attempted to take some black and white photographs of the wall. My dad tagged along and took photos of birds elsewhere in the park for the first hour, then came back to the climbing wall and took a few shots of me bouldering.

Will I go for the Connect Four tomorrow? We shall see!

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Prelude to Winter 2008

This winter has the possibility to be most fun yet. It is almost painful sitting here, waiting for the snow to fall in the mountains. Nearly all of the ski resorts have zero-inch bases, and it is December 4th. I've been loving the warm weather in Seattle, and I've done an alright job of taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather... but I'm not kidding anyone. I can't wait for the snow to start falling.

Why can't I wait for snow? Because this year I have my first ever season's pass. Not only that, but J, a friend who I've gone to school with since kindergarten, also has a pass. Not only does J have a pass, but a mighty fine woman from my teaching cohort also has a pass--and she went 20 times last year. A kindergarten teacher in training, who models in her spare time. She "can't wait to board all day, grab a beer and jump in the hot tub."

Sweet Jesus. This winter is going to be awesome.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 042258


Group Poem

Last week in my teaching program, we did a fun little exercise where everyone at each table got out a piece of paper and wrote one line of a poem. It could be a favorite line from a favorite poem, or a line the person just came up with. When time is called, you pass the paper to your left and receive the paper from the person to your right, and add a line to their poem. You do this until the original person gets their poem back. The purpose of the poem project is to read what the people before you have written and stay true to the story, but also add to it.

Here is the poem I started, and my classmates finished:

The pretty girl to my right,
Doesn't even know my name.
She is always there, right beside me.
Am I invisible to her sight?
Does she not see my pain?
Oh, if only she knew how I really felt, I could wrap my hand around her belt.

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Goldmyer Hot Springs

Eddie from my cohort, a guy who I've gone on a few hikes with over the summer, invited me to join him and a few friends on Sunday for a hike to Goldmyer Hot Springs. Originally, I declined, because I knew I would be playing tackle football on Thursday and playing ultimate all day Saturday. Then I found out we'd be breaking record highs for Sunday, November 30th in Seattle, so I opted in. 55 degrees on November 30th is crazy!

The forecast took a bit of a turn for the worse as the week progressed, but it was still above normal temperatures for the hike. It actually turned out that the weather would not have mattered, because the hike was all in old growth forest, and even though it was a clear and sunny day--we only rarely saw the sun. The four mile trail was really easy, no elevation gain at all. Out of Tom, Eddie, Mary Ann, Kristy and I, I was the slowest hiker. I haven't been the slowest hiker in a group for a looong time.

We got to the Hot Springs and at first, I was a bit disappointed. I didn't realize there was a $15 fee. I'm used to hot springs being free--but at least Mary Ann paid in advance. At first glance, the hot springs looked like two small pools, cascading down from a cave entrance. Upon closer inspection, the cave goes back a good 25ft, with waist-high 104 degree water (it feels just as hot as the hot tub at home). You can stand up in the cave, it is extra dark, and it doubles as a sauna. I couldn't stand the heat, so I got out of the kitchen and hopped in the river (~45 degrees?). I couldn't help but imagine myself there in the winter with fresh snow on the ground. It was well worth the $15. The NWWP, keepers of the hot springs, cap the hot spring usage to 20 people per day--which is great. We had some company, but there was plenty of space for everyone.

Highly recommended.


Power... Overwhelming!!!

That's right, toss in an old Protoss Archon quote for all my dorks out there. Pushup Challenge 2.0 is in full swing, and doing 100 push ups a day is starting to get easy. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but instead of just doing 100 a day, I decided to add one each day, so today my quota is 106. This new addition to the challenge--adding one push up every day--adds another element to betting on when I drop dead and don't meet my daily quota. Pick a day, and if I can make it past that day, you donate money to charity--simple as that. You specify the amount and the charity, but for God's sake! Give me some incentive to keep this challenge going!

In Bankroll Challenge news, I won! I couldn't believe it either! Waffles was wrong, and bells rang from here to China in celebration. Waffles is actually talking about joining us for our next challenge, which I think the good doctor should set up. I'm not sure if this is a good month for it--it works for me, especially because my bankroll shot down to $60 over the last two days of play. I've also got tons of time to play, which could really be a bad thing if the last bankroll challenge has any bearing on this one.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bankroll Challenge Update

The time has come to square away the bankroll challenge with Dr. Chako. It pains me to say that I was neither a winning, nor a break-even, poker player in the month of November. I was a big loser, shocking.

I began November with a bankroll at $107.25 and finished at $78.70. For the purpose of our bet, I am left with 73.4% of my initial bankroll. I think our bet is going to be awfully close, and I've got my fingers crossed that Dr. C will have a lower percent of his starting bankroll than I did.

I did learn a few things about my poker game through this challenge:
1) I never lost money playing a Matrix SNG--I need to play more of these
2) I had more winning sessions than losing sessions at O/8 ring games, but when I lost, I lost a lot more than when I won. Set a stop-loss, perhaps?
3) Towards the end of the challenge I played lots of big field MTTs and SNGs to try for a big score, which is probably the dumbest thing to do when trying to build a bankroll. I need to stick to the Matrices.