Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From a Volkswagen to a Ferrari

It took a game that I once found in a bargain basement bin to upgrade today to one of the best video game system out there.

I lined up with a whole bunch of scruffy-looking video game dudes outside GameStop this morning to pick up my copy of Fallout 3. A few years ago I picked up the original Fallout and totally loved it.

Of course, after I had the new video game in hand, I had to walk over to Best Buy and get a system to play it in.

Everything about the Xbox 360 I love -- the way the controllers feel in hand, the crispness of the artificial worlds the 360 conjures.

I've been a devoted fan to the Wii, but there really isn't any comparison.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The one-day work week

One of the stranger things with having a varying schedule is having two days off, working one, and then having the next two days off.

I was pretty beat working yesterday but ended up going out anyway, with Sham and co-workers making a night of it at Moe's and Joe's.

It's funny how a place can change in a day - Sham and I were there on Saturday after going to the horrible Virginia-Ga Tech game and instead of having fun I was uncomfortable, with some dude smoking a cigar behind me.

Not too much poker with the football season of late, but one bright poker-related spot -- K Rose, who happens to be a Jager model, just told me she will be in Vegas the same weekend as bloggers ... and will be with four of her college girlfriends ... who are also models.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Bodog blogger tourney series is back

The Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series officially returns Tuesday October 28th, 2008 with special guest bounty player, professional poker player and author, Eric "Rizen" Lynch.

Bodog is proud to host it's second Poker Blogger Tournament Series, where poker bloggers worldwide are gathering Tuesday and Thursday nights in the Bodog Poker Room.

More details available at the official blogger series site at http://www.bodogbloggertournament.com

The hardest five doll-to I've ever won (Rays for series)

I picked the Tampa Bay Rays for the ALCS series because I saw value in the underdog, but man, sportsbook.com got some mileage out of my $5 as the series went from 3-1 to tied and then to a seventh game.

I know the Boston Red Sox have come back before to win Game 7s, but you don't want to live that way. Any screw up and it's fall vacation.

So Boston ... hello fall.

Sham and I were able to catch the game at (for once) a bar that sided on the Rays. Like the Cubs, there are FoSox (fake Sox) fans everywhere.

Sunday was awesome - the crew returned to Athens to play at Sandy Creek Park's frisbee golf course. Perfect weather. After separating into vegetarian/meatatarian cars, we ate lunch in Athens and then hit a second, albeit easier course, in Bishop, Ga. before returning home.

It was worth being out all day and even not sitting around and watching NFL all day. Of course, was able to be back in time to catch Sunday Night Football. lol

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Undefeated no more (Thrashers 3, Sabres 2)

Little did I know all the wins Sham and I have accrued this season have all been because of his hat trick.

Anytime he has his Georgia Tech hat on, his team has not lost. Same went tonight as we caught the Thrashers against the punk-ass Sabres. The Thrashers had a 2-0 lead in the first period, gave up a goal on a power play in the 2nd and then had the game tied in the third.

4-on-4 overtime yielded nothing, so it came to the penalty shots. Kovalchuk and Kozlov scored goals during that time to make it 2-1 for the win.

The dagger!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Four years with Full Tilt

God help me out here, cause I'm posessed/
I need the root of all evil for my stress/
Cause money's like a stong prescription drug, it's got me addicted/
To the pleasure and the pain it inflicted/
Somethin bout the paper with the pictures of the president's head/
Damn, it's like a motherfuckin plague that spread/
It's epidemic; forgotten, forgotten it got worse/
I keep my head on straight, makin money cause it's cursed/
Makin money makes a difference day by day so I gotta stay/
Paid, no doubt, day in and day out
-"Krazy," Tupac Shakur
The other day when I was checking my rakeback on Full Tilt, I noticed that it has been four years since my first deposit on the Web site.

It's been a good ride, developing as a player and becoming a regularly winning grinder.

Who knows what the next four years will bring, under a president who is a poker player, or one who plays craps?

Hopefully more fun, more discoveries and more profit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

38 days later

...my Bodog cash has arrived, I think.

Just minutes after I left to take Forrest and Clonie to the vet for their annual shots, a FedEx courier left a door tag on my door. Hopefully I can pick it up tonight while at work (it's about 5 minutes away).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ways to spend your poker profits (joining an athletic foundation)

I am now an official member of the University of Virginia Athletics Foundation.

Joining up was the answer to the simple question: "How do I get tickets to the 2009 ACC basketball tournament?"

The answer is: Donations.

I have to pay taxes on my poker profits anyway, so why not make a donation to a school that is 80 percent tax deductible that will also yield tickets to the March 12-15 event at the Georgia Dome?

So I did.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

OMG (Falcons 22, Bears 20)

This one was one to remember. After Atlanta misses a close field goal late in the fourth quarter, the Bears drive for a touchdown to take the lead by one point with 11 seconds left.

So what does Matt Ryan do? He makes a pass to put the Falcons in field goal range with one second left.

And this time the field goal is good.

The halls of the Georgia Dome were filled with people yelling and cheering after the game, almost like when the Atlanta Hawks forced Game 7 against the Boston Celtics earlier in the year.

Presto Killer

Free hand converter brought to you by CardRunners

Seat 1: La Riviera ($47.95)
Seat 2: Benjamin Gashaj ($39.20)
Seat 3: FavreNYJ4 ($131.20) -
Seat 4: ttraiderfan ($72.10) -
Seat 5: ferociousthrill ($47.85) Sitting Out
Seat 6: kurokitty ($100) -


ttraiderfan posts small blind $0.50
kurokitty posts BIG blind $1
Dealt To: kurokitty

CALL La Riviera ($1)
CALL Benjamin Gashaj ($1)
RAISE ttraiderfan ($2)
CALL kurokitty ($1)
CALL La Riviera ($1)
CALL Benjamin Gashaj ($1)


Pot: $8

CHECK ttraiderfan
CHECK kurokitty
CHECK La Riviera
BET Benjamin Gashaj ($3)
FOLD ttraiderfan
CALL kurokitty ($3)
CALL La Riviera ($3)


Pot: $17

CHECK kurokitty
CHECK La Riviera
BET Benjamin Gashaj ($13)
RAISE kurokitty ($95)
FOLD La Riviera
CALL Benjamin Gashaj ($21.20)
UNCALLED kurokitty ($60.80)


Pot: $85.4


Benjamin Gashaj:

kurokitty collected $82.4 from main pot with a full house, Nines full of Fours

Total pot: $85 Rake: $3

Final Board:

Seat 1: La Riviera folded on the Turn - Net Gain/Loss: ($-5)
Seat 2: Benjamin Gashaj showed [5h 5d] and lost with a full house, Fives full of Nines - Net Gain/Loss: ($-39.2)
Seat 3: FavreNYJ4 button didnt bet folded - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 4: ttraiderfan small blind folded on the Flop - Net Gain/Loss: ($-2)
Seat 5: ferociousthrill is sitting out - Net Gain/Loss: ($0)
Seat 6: kurokitty big blind showed [9c Qc] and won 82.40 with a full house, Nines full of Fours - Net Gain/Loss: ($43.2)

Free hand converter brought to you by CardRunners

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sportsbook's poker room

Since I had Sportsbook up and was trolling through the different lines this afternoon, I had an urge to try out their poker room.

The download was pretty fast and you just use your original login to get in. You can select from a range of people avatars and also an alias that they allow you to change any time you want.

Like sportsbetting-site-based poker rooms, the play at this NL$1/2 table I was at was pretty loose. People called raises with terrible cards and checked down winners (or losers).

I was down about $45 when I picked up 99, raised it, got a fishy guy to come along, made a set with 7T9 and he followed me all the way to the river with his A8 OESD.

Not a bad way to make some extra money for betting. It seems like things could be extremely fishy with the extreme ease of credit-card deposits.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sportsbook and credit card transactions

So with my brigade fully out of Bodog and not having any sportsbetting action for a few weeks, I finally caved in and signed onto sportsbook.com.

I tried my American Airlines Citibank MasterCard. It said "Over the credit limit," which is funny for a $200 transaction on a card that is completely clean. Whatever.

The second card I used, a Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa, went through fine.

It's funny- isn't it supposed to be impossible for US credit cards to have transactions with online sportsbooks?

Makes you go hmmm...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What Tupac said

I ain't a killer but don't push me/
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting pussy
-Tupac Shakur

I'm not a fan of Steve Rosenbloom, a columnist for ESPN and one of the Chicago newspapers, especially since he never responded to my Poker Grump-like e-mails telling him on a few occasions that his poker wisdom was faulty.

But Sham alerted me of this gem, a column about a White Sox fan getting practical joke revenge on his Cubs neighbor after the Cubs were swept from the first round of the playoffs this year.

My only thing would have been to change the neighbor's address to 2005, instead of 1908, when the Cubs last won the World Series.

2005 is the year the White Sox last won the World Championship. (Cough, cough).

The Praxis moon, for real

Two months ago, a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon, Praxis. We believe it was the result of overmining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone: They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in 50 Earth years. Due to the enormous size of their military budget the Klingons do not have the means to deal with this catastrophe.
-Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country

This afternoon I received a call from my financial adviser, who I haven't talked to in a few months, and she said that we should make some shifts in my portfolio that she oversees.

I came away with two things from this 1). We're talking again, which is good and 2). This economic crisis is the real deal.

It's something to think about, money, or rather finding ways to save money, gain money, here or there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My date with the NLCS

Somewhere around the time the L.A. Dodgers were thrashing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley in Game two of the division series matchup, I started to troll all of the playoff teams' Web sites.

My first thought was that if my schedule allowed it, I would love to see the Chicago White Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

But the tickets for those games -- in Chicago and Florida -- were unavailable. Same went for Milwaukee, the L.A. Angels and Philadelphia. Don't even think about Boston or the Cubs.

But, oddly enough, the L.A. Dodgers were offering tickets for the NLCS. This kind of means that no one really thought the Dodgers had a chance against the Cubs, hence their tickets were still for sale.

So in this global economy, I bought two tickets each for their home games 1 and 3, Upper Reserve seats, the cheapest I could find.

Granted, the Dodgers may not get a third home game (would be Game 6) against the Phillies. (If it doesn't happen, I get a refund).

But it didn't matter, because I wasn't planning on going to them anyway. I promptly listed them on an online ticket selling site and by Sunday, I sold both for a very nice profit.

This new hobby started last week when I had an extra ticket for this Sunday's Bears-Falcons game and I didn't want to be stuck $55 for it.

So I listed the tickets, and nearly immediately sold them for the price I wanted. I'm on my fourth 6-game season ticket pack, having sold the bulk of the tickets in those packs and even if I didn't sell another ticket, I'd run a profit for all of them.

I even sold a ticket to the upcoming Virginia-Ga Tech game for a profit although you can still get the tickets for regular price on the school's Web site.

It's been a weird experience. In the past, online ticket sites have been convenient ways for me to get impossible-to-get tickets, such as a game at Wrigley Field.

Whenever I bought playoff tickets, I only thought about securing some for myself and never for other people.

This has taught me some things:

1). There's a segment of people, even in this economy, that are pretty much willing to pay whatever the inflated market value is for a sporting event.

2). There are people not willing to see if they can buy a ticket for the same event for regular price.

If anything, it's been a good way for me to pay attention to goings-on in my city and beyond.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

For posterity

It’s got to be the curses. Not goats and black cats. Just curses. Four-letter curses. Four-letter baseball.
-Chicago Sun-Times writer Gordon Wittenmeyer, detailing the Cubs' worse-than-Mets postseason implosion.

I could care less about the Cubs.
-Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, when asked about the Cubs after the White Sox avoided being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday

Some real good value

Yesterday was another great day. In the morning I ran in Ted's Bison Stampede 5K, ate some Buffalo sliders, then came home and got ready to meet up with Sham.

We took a MARTA bus to get pretty close to Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium to see the Duke-Ga Tech game (Ga Tech 27, Duke, 0). We had $20 tickets thanks to a Skymiles promotion for Ga Tech football home games (type "skymiles" into the promotion code box). Pretty much worth it. You can see a lot more than on TV and it's fun to cheer with the fans.

Before the game, however, we had some tallboy Miller Lites and great wings at J.R. Crickets which has become my favorite sports bar in town because of its down-to-earth nature.

After the game, Sham and I caught more games at Manuel's before I went home to get my place ready for poker and the biggest pizza I've ever seen in my life -- a 28-inch pie to commemorate Empire's 28th birthday.

It was fun. We didn't have to play cards, but we did. No real fireworks, Sham was the big winner for the night. Cat just chipped away at chips (Poker Stars 1-0).

And today, Sunday NFL games! Too bad I have no action on any of the games.

Don't cry, Cubs

OMG, 97 wins and three and out in the first round? Something is terribly, terribly wrong here.

Congrats to L.A. for making it all possible.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Building a bank-roll

Gone are the days of getting a toaster for a new bank account, I guess.

There are two pretty hassle-free offers from respected banks that each offer $50 for opening a new checking account.

The first one is by Wells Fargo. You have to open the account by Oct. 17 and fund it with $100 and you will be deposited with $50 in 45 days, it says here.

The next one is by SunTrust, an Atlanta-based bank. It offers an interesting proposition that is mentioned in a recent Freakonomics blog post.

If you open a checking account by Dec. 31 and make a purchase by Feb. 15 on your SunTrust check card, you can either get a $50 check card or they will donate $100 to a charity of your choice.