The radio crackles to life with the question "Has -anyone- caught a fish lately? In the last hour or so?" and the response is deafening silence. (This post brought to you from the calm blue fishless waters off of Key West.)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I'm off to Key West until Sunday. Tomorrow I will be on a boat with Landow, Bacon-Bikini Mary, StB, and the AlCantHang Experience, gunning for sailfish, mahi, marlins or whatever else we can land.
The rest of the weekend, I will be thinking of all of you, and your many mobneys that I will soon be collecting, as I work on my beer gut by the pool.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
There's no logic at work here, Andy. Let that one go. In the grand design, women were drawn from a different set of blueprints.A few random thoughts tumbling around my head today:
--Special Agent Dale Cooper
And remember, if you're not sure about something, rub it against a piece of paper. If the paper turns clear, it's your window to weight gain!
--Dr. Nick Riviera
1. "Special" Teams Indeed - Although the Jets special teams performed a bit better in Week 3 by, you know, not allowing a return of 60+ yards, must they make me sweat out every game? Up 31-13 in the fourth quarter, the Jets immediately settled into the "prevent" defense, which as any idiot knows, usually prevents the Jets from winning the game. Cheers were heard from sports books around the country as Miami efficiently took the 8- and 10-yard gains the Jets were allowing and closed the gap to 31-28 (on a 3-point Jets spread - certainly nobody was betting on the Jets). It ultimately came down to a Miami onsides kick attempt against the Jets special teams. The Jets were one very scary onsides kick attempt (two, really, after Chris Baker punched the first one out-of-bounds instead of just using his superior height advantage to CATCH it) from potentially losing the game. Though how comical was it to watch Dolphins kicker Jay Feely scramble for that loose ball?
2. Action Jackson, or Yes, Alceste, I Too Can Lay Down Aces on the Turn - 10/20 at Borgata. A TAG in early position open-raises, a doofus in Middle Position 3-bets, and I wake up with AcAd. I cap, the uber-donkey on my left calls 4 cold (which means he has a hand better than the Hammer), and the other two players both call. Flop comes K-T-2, two hearts, and the TAG leads into me. MP calls, and I think for a long time about throwing my hand away. There's no way TAG leads into me without a set on this board. But just to be certain he's not on AK, I raise. Uber-donkey calls two cold (that's 6 bets cold now), TAG 3-bets. MP calls, I call, Uber-donkey calls (7). Turn is the 9 of hearts, TAG bets, MP calls, I puke and fold. Uber-donkey raises, TAG calls, MP folds. River is a second king, TAG bets, Uber-donkey raises all-in, TAG calls and tables... TT. Shocker. Uber-donkey had Ah8h. Why not?
3. What's My Line? - You know that scene in Swingers where Mike and Rob are in the diner? I feel like that's my life right now.
4. By The Way... - Last but not least, your Week 1 update to the Weight Gain Challenge. Dawn Summers, I am coming for your mobneys!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Well that was ugly. Maybe I shouldn't have spit on God's plan. I had a total of ONE pot pushed to me in five hours. At 9:30, after not winning in over two hours, I gave myself one more push to win a pot. No dice. I got as close as headsup on the turn, but I only had an unimproved ace. As soon as my opponent check-raised, I was gone. To make matters worse, the guy on my left was a drooling idiot who couldn't keep track of the action (must be hard when you play every hand) and never knew how much to bet. Gah. Final damage - stuck 850. I've had bad days and bad runs before, but this was pretty brutal. Made worse by the fact that I don't think I played badly. Oh well - no HDTV for a while I guess.
So Daddy wants a new tv for make pretty the football. Logically, Borgata 10/20 donkeys should pay for it. Thus we will live-blog the effort.
11:10am - first bad beat. Got to the Academy gate only to see a long line already loading onto the 11:30 bus. I missed it by two seats. As of 11:35 there are easily 40 people waiting for the 12 noon bus. This may be God's way of telling me not to go, that instead I should be atoning for my sins like my Jewish brethren, but I'd be lying if I said this was the first time I've spit on God's master plan.
11:55 - brag: the noon bus left 15 minutes early and I'm on my way. Beat: we're stuck in traffic on the turnpike. Variance: the driver is blasting 'motown's greatest hits'. Also, random thought: how crowded would the bus station have been if the Jews weren't all at home trying really hard not to think about food?
4:39 - been playing for an hour. Not much doing yet. My first table broke after 3 hands when a 20/40 game opened. We won't even talk about what a clusterfuck getting off the bus at Trump Marina was. Also, my grandmother had a small stroke. This is really not off to a good start.
6:32 - down 207. 0 for 3 against the live oneon my left. Haven't won a pot since 4:55.
7:50 - finally won a pot with a turned set of queens but then had aces cracked. I managed to get away on the turn. Stuck 300. Can't get anything going. But hey at least my reads are good. I'll take the small victories right now.
8:45 - I can't beat anyone. Flopped set of 5s rivered by a set of aces. Only won one pot since 4:55. Stuck 6 and a half now.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Early September was stressful. We all respond to stress differently, and I respond by not eating (which is a fucking tragedy, given my rail-thin form). The last time I was on a scale prior to that was in mid-July, at Gary Cox's house during Okie-Vegas. I noticed a scale when I went to relieve the contents of a six pack of beer from my bladder, and hopped on it after I was done. The scale told me that I was smack dab where my weight seems to have settled the last few years -- 130 pounds.
Now, well, the camera doesn't lie:
As I said, stress is not good for my eating habits. Anyway, there's your baseline for the Weight Gain Challenge -- 124.4 pounds. I'm still accepting all action. The prop is even money that I can't gain 17 pounds by December 6. Current
action junkies suckers gamblers:
Dawn Summers for $100,
BWOP (who, as a newer blogger, is deserving of some click-throughs if you haven't given her a chance yet) for $100,
a modified prop with Maudie for dinner of the winner's choice in Vegas,
StB for $50,
Joaquin for a $60 tourney buy-in,
Grubette for $17 and a shot,
Ugarles for $20,
Kaz for a Brooklyn dinner (bet slightly modified in her case),
Bacon Bikini Mary for $66.60,
Alceste for $50,
Drizz for a $20 bet on the Yankees in 2008 (if I win) versus a $20 bet at a pai gow table (if he wins),
Blinders for $20, and
Falstaff, sneaking in just under the wire for a modified his weight loss v. my weight gain at $5/pound (a bit more complicated than this description, but it'll do).
TOTAL: $423.60 in cash, a $60 tourney buy-in, a $20 sportsbook / pai gow bet, $5 per pound, a Brooklyn dinner, a Vegas dinner, and a shot of booze. And, um, a pedicure.
Former wrestler Joaquin thinks it's not possible for me to win
(although interestingly has refrained from betting the farm against me). If he's right, this is an easy win for anyone who offers action in the comments before the end of the day Friday.
Friday, September 14, 2007
As I was flying to Austin last night, generally pondering the state of my life, I realized that I hav become an out-of-shape sluggard. But having been down this road before, I also realized that my stick-to-it-iveness can be sorely lacking when it comes to exercise. As my plane was passing over Norman OK and I was waving to Maudie at the Riverwind Casino, thinking about how long it will be before I see people in Vegas, inspiration struck.
Thus was born the Great Weight Gain Prop Bet of 2007. This is where you people come in.
The bet is simple. Even money that I can't gain 17 pounds by Thursday December 6, 2007, the day I leave to meet everyone in Vegas.
A few things to note:
1. There are 11 1/2 weeks til Vegas. I have no idea if this is a realistic goal. I intended to consult with our resident workout expert (Bad Blood) but it didn't happen.
2. I come from a thin family, though I am the thinnest.
3. The most I have ever weighed is 135. Due to some recent events, I am currently only 125. That means my target is a personal high.
4. The first baseline official weigh-in will be Monday night.
5. I am accepting ALL action in comments to this post until next Friday. Consider this your chance to busto me.
Have at it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
On last night's episode of High Stakes Poker, which I watched during my lunch today courtesy of the magic that is PokerTube (and by the way, this is your signal to STOP READING RIGHT NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED), Phil Hellmuth gave an entertaining lesson in table talk.
The first hand of the episode, Hellmuth opened to $2200 in early position with 7h 2h (the players had a standing prop bet that anyone who won with 7-2 would be paid $500 by every other player at the table). He was called by the small blind and by Mike Baxter in the big blind, with Jh Tc, for a total pot of $7,400.
The flop came Qc 9d 5s, missing everbody but giving Baxter an open-ended straight draw. The action checked to Hellmuth, who bet $6,000. After a fold by the small blind, Baxter called the $6,000 bet. The turn came Qc 9d 5s Th, making a pair of tens for Baxter to go along with his straight draw and, incidentally, giving him a lock hand. He checked to Hellmuth, whose bet of $17,000 put Baxter in a really tough spot.
Baxter was leaning with his elbows on the table rail, hands in front of his mouth, and grimaced at Hellmuth's bet. He looked slightly to the right, then stared down at the board, weighing his options. He rubbed his chin against the back of his hands, uncertain what to do. Hellmuth noted all of these actions and said to Baxter, "I know you have ten-jack, and I know you're calling already. I'm charging the max. *pause* The river's gonna be cheaper."
Baxter didn't look up at Hellmuth once, but continued to stare through the board for a few moments of silence. Hellmuth, perhaps trying to goad Baxter into a fold (or perhaps just being his egotistical self), then added "And I'm tough to read, because I talk with my big hands too. I *could* be bluffing..."
After a few more moments of thought, Baxter put $10,000 into the pot. Hellmuth asked "Is that a call?" Baxter replied "Yeah, I call," and added the other $7,000.
The river was no help to anyone: Qc 9d 5s Th 6d. Baxter again checked to Hellmuth. Into a $54,000 pot, Hellmuth bet $44,000. Baxter didn't instantly call, but he did eventually make the call, tabling the winner in a huge pot and prompting a classic Hellmuth blow-up.
Now, there's no way we'll ever know if Baxter would have folded his tens on the turn but for Hellmuth opening his yapper. Saying "And I'm tough to read, because I talk with my big hands too" couldn't have helped Hellmuth. A sharp player (and who's to say Baxter isn't that sharp?) may have picked up on this little linguistic slip and realized that there was an incredibly high likelihood that Hellmuth was bluffing and that a pair of tens was the best hand.
It also looked incredibly fishy for Hellmuth to bet $44,000 on the river, after calling Baxter's hand on the turn and telling Baxter that he'd make a smaller value bet on the river as long as Baxter didn't hit. At that point, the "story of the hand" completely fell apart, and all because Hellmuth couldn't keep his damn mouth shut on the turn, thinking that he would be able to bully the "Live One" into folding.
The point of this post isn't to claim that good poker players never engage in table talk. Like anything else, table talk is a stylistic choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to playing the monk or playing the mouth. The point is only to show that sometimes when you talk, you may be saying more than you think you are.
Monday, September 10, 2007
...and no snarky post. Jane Wyman dead today, age 93. (Makes me think of Gerald Ford: "Jane Wyman shot dead today, at the senseless age of 93.") One point to Team DuggleReaper, who vaults into first place in the standings.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Guess who's allergic to the new mattress he bought two and a half months ago. If you guessed "the person who has never been diagnosed as allergic to anything in his life", you're right! On the bright side, at least that person won't have to worry about rolling around in said bed with anyone for a while.
Also, my ipod bricked over the weekend. Dead. Kaput. Diagnosis as of last night: HD failure at age 2 years, 9 months. Not a total loss (I have all the music backed up on my laptop), but really, for $300 I expect more than two and a half years of use.
It has not been a good week.
The end has come for the Maestro, famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. One point each for Team Mary! and Team Chilly, but no major shake-ups in the standings. Only three teams remain with the dreaded goose egg. Can April, BkynPlague and Jordan notch a tally before the year is up?
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I'm back. It was a great trip, in that: I won a small amount ($750); I got to hang out with some fun, quality people; and all the time at the tables completely took my mind off of everything else. When you're a "thinker" the way I am, having something on which to focus all of your attention, to the exclusion of anything else, can be a huge blessing. It gave me a chance to get a little distance and perspective on things that were causing me some anxiety last week, and that I was probably overthinking, and I feel better for it today now that I'm back in Brooklyn.
I was explaining to Alceste and to Heather why I simultaneously love and hate the 10/20 game: it can be massively profitable (love), but it can be extremely high variance (hate). To illustrate the variance, I had a stretch of an hour and a half on Saturday afternoon where I lost $700 worth of pots on the river. Heather found herself stuck $350 inside of an hour before turning that around into a $250 profit (a $600 swing) in the next hour. Her table was so juicy that I took the four-seat when it opened and had a $600 swing of my own, turning $500 into $1100 in an hour and a half. The trick, of course, is not letting the beats tilt you when they come.
All in all, a fantastic weekend. It's great to have a hobby that not only can provide a total diversion when necessary, but that also pays me for the therapy it provides. I almost want to go back again next weekend...