Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A nice surprise

Gnomey told me yesterday that cashouts for U.S. players on PokerStars was available but I didn't have time to do it until today.

But when I did, I noticed that it included compensation for my tournament tickets. An added bonus!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The first day of the rest of my life

... has been ok without poker. Seems like I have a lot more time on my hands for other pursuits.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Do not adjust your dial

Looks like another historic day in the world of poker. When you type in the web address for Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker, you get the picture above.

Here's the Department of Justice press release.

At least there's geocaching.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back in black

Five years ago when I turned in my 1991 Mercury Tracer for a brand-new Mazda 6, I'd realized I'd missed on a few generations of car improvements -- air bags, side curtain air bags, digital odometers and readings, power locks and even a folding key that popped out like a switchblade.

When I returned to the showrooms after less than five years, I didn't expect many changes. But the field is clearly different with the car that I purchased to replaced my wrecked one.

One of the first things starts with the key fob, er fob, as there is no key.

You just keep it in your pocket and the door will unlock for you as you open it. Same goes with the ignition. With the fob nearby, all you do is put your foot on the brake and push the start button.

The car has Bluetooth, meaning that calls can come in through the car's system and speakers. Even after I bought my '6, I'd said that my next car had to have an iPod dock. This one does.

In addition to the airbags that my '6 used to have, this 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE comes with side air bags located on the side of the driver's and passenger's seat. It has a stability control that I'm told was invented by Mercedes. I was surprised that when I called my insurance to transfer the car over, they said coverage would be cheaper than my old '6, something that I attribute to these safety improvements.

It's interesting to note that the car's 200 horsepower from its small 2.4L engine is what my old 1977 Pontiac Trans Am produced in its 6.6L engine. (6.6L!) From what I've seen so far, it does carry a bit more power than my old Mazda, although what I've read in reviews is true -- the '6 had a lot sportier suspension. But all the extras thrown in (including steering wheel-mounted paddle gear shifters developed by Audi) are what makes this car worth getting.

I do miss my '6 but am happy that a sportier and hopefully safer alternative was available.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Last Monday I had an early start and was coming home from some grocery shopping when a wraithlike blur appeared to my right. You have that inner voice in your head to tell you that something is wrong even while it's happening and so I slammed on the brakes and jerked my wheel hard to the left.

A small-size pickup truck had run a stop sign from a side street in the neighborhood and smashed into the front of my car. I remember being surprised at myself that I didn't curse while it was all happening but let out an elongated "Ohhhhhhhh" while trying to control my car and in that amount of time my car had been struck, was being pulled along and finally stopped, destroyed. I was five blocks away from my house. The end of the Summerfest 5K, which at the time was a personal best for me last year, is just beyond this spot.

When my car came to a stop I smelled a dusty, chemical, smell. My air bag had deployed and I could see myself just staring at it. My head hadn't come in contact with it but my right hand had a rectangular welt from it bursting forth.

A week later, it still strikes me as something hard to figure out. It's like those hands where the money flies into the middle of the pot and you never see the rest of the cards until the dealer is pushing the pot to someone.

And just like a poker hand, I can think what if a second here or a second there but that doesn't matter. Reaction -- and a bit of luck -- are the reasons why neither I nor the other driver were injured. It's a good lesson for me that nothing in life can be taken for granted.

I'm thinking of this now, a week later, because the other driver's insurer called me today to say they are taking liability for the total loss of my vehicle.

When I bought that car in 2006 I thought at the time that I was going to have it for a long time. I really needed a car then, as my old one was breaking down. So many buy-ins from my bankroll went into it. Even more went in 2009 when I paid it off a year early.

I guess in a way that money has come back to me as I've been reimbursed for the wreck and am soon to buy a new catmobile.

And just like a hand, the money is immaterial. It's the sequence of events -- and its conclusion -- that always has you thinking about what happened.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crossed signals

Sometimes when I don't play as much as I should, I don't play as optimally as I should in hands.

Case in point just now when I had flopped a set in late position with 22 and there was a bet and a raise.

I called it, really should have raised, and then the raiser bet out the turn with three flush cards showing.

On the river, when the opponent also had a chance to make a straight, he laid out a nice value bet and I called after going into the tank.

It's hard enough to make the right choices in poker, let alone when you come in cold.


Earlier in the day, Sham and I met up with Skidoo and son at Turner Field for some tailgating and a Braves game. It was good seeing you and we'll have to get another group out soon!

Friday, April 08, 2011

The dangers of limp raising

No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

UTG: $17.58

UTG+1: $33.21

MP: $31.02

CO: $3.36

Hero (BTN): $25.00

SB: $15.00

BB: $25.00

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with 2 of spades 3 of spades

UTG calls $0.25, 1 fold, MP calls $0.25, CO raises to $0.50, Hero calls $0.50, 2 folds, UTG raises to $2.25, 1 fold, CO calls $1.75, 1 fold

Flop: ($5.60) Q of hearts 8 of clubs T of hearts (2 players)

UTG bets $1.25, CO calls $1.11 all in

Turn: ($7.82) T of diamonds (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: ($7.82) J of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $7.82

UTG shows A of diamonds A of clubs (two pair, Aces and Tens)

CO shows T of clubs J of hearts (a full house, Tens full of Jacks)

CO wins $7.43

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

Iron Man, continued

Had to burn 150 Full Tilt Iron Man medals today to get a continuing month since I didn't play enough days last month.

I can't remember the last time I had to do it but I'd better earn this one the regular way since I imagine with next month's wedding and overseas honeymoon it'll be hard for me to qualify then (you can only get a continuing month two months in a row).