Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Last Post Before Vegas!

Since most of the Vegas crew is leaving in the next couple of days I thought I'd make this my last post until after Vegas (unless I get on-line before I get back).

I've played 3 SNG's on UB and come in second in all 3. Once it gets down to 4 handed it takes forever. Even getting heads-up has been a long haul. I start to go crazy and finally just want to get the damn thing over with so I usually end up all-in with something less the optimum. It's only a $1 tourny so it's not a big deal. The good news is that I am happy with my play and seem to be making fewer mistakes.

Now that the obligatory poker update is over I just wanted to make a brief mention of my agenda once I arrive in Vegas.


1:16pm - arrive in Vegas

1:17pm - kiss ground

1:18pm - start calling people from the list, who will be first?

After getting our bags, Maura and I will be heading to Enterprise rent-a-car. I got a sweet deal on a compact for 4 days. From there we will probably head downtown to check-in at the Las Vegas Club Hotel. Once the bags are inside the door the plan is to head over to the Rio and join the other bloggers in the marathon railbirding event. There will probably be a food stop somewhere as well. The plan from here depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, how I feel. I know there is a plan to "storm the castle" but it all depends on how things are going.

Saturday will start way too early for me as I will want some food before the tourny but I will make it to the Aladdin in time to register and then I suppose I will have to figure out how to play this damn game in a real live casino. I pity the people at my table who will have to put up with me doing math with my fingers and quite possibly my toes. If all goes according to plan there will also be a bounty for the person who knocks me out. Maura and I will definitely be at the after party so those who won the Barry Manilow contest will have to find me to claim their prize.

Sunday I plan to sleep in but I hear there is a celebrity champagne brunch at my hotel that we may check out. After that we plan on improvising. Either Sunday or Monday there will be a visit to the Las Vegas Hilton and the new Star Trek attraction. I will also be visiting the Barry Manilow store (he has a show at the hotel). Anyone still in town who wants to join us is more than welcome just let me know that you are interested and we can figure the details out later.

Tuesday morning we will be up early as our plane leaves around 9:30am. Then it's back home to start reading the thousands of trip reports and finding out what I missed while I was doing the things that I will write up in trip reports of my own.

See you all in Vegas!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Random Sunday: The Me Edition

Here's some random stuff about me, in no particular order. Enjoy!

  • I've had five jobs in five different industries in the past 11 years and that doesn't count all the temp. work I've done in between.
  • I have five step-siblings. Including one that I will probably never hear from again and two that I have never met.
  • I once moved people to tears during an audition for a play but I didn't get the part because I didn't have the right look.
  • I have never done anything while drunk that I later regretted but I have regretted not doing some things while I was drunk.
  • I love to drive but only when there are no passengers in my car.
  • I prefer Universal Studios over Disneyland.
  • My cat is named after my favorite hockey player who used to be a San Jose Shark. (Feel free to leave a guess in the comments)
  • I was baptized on November 11, 2000 at the age of 27.
  • This trip to Vegas will be the first time I have ever played poker "live". Please forgive me when I ask "how much is in the pot" for the 500th time.
  • I flunked college Chemistry and Precalculus. This forced me to change my major at least twice.
  • I don't like milk on my cereal.
  • I have never met my biological grandfather who, as far as I know, is still living.
  • My great-grandmother just turned 96.
  • If I could pick any career I would either be a veterinarian or a NASCAR driver.
  • On September 11th I was supposed to fly to Baltimore. I was at the airport as it hadn't been closed yet and had to explain what was going on to several people in the check-in line when the airport finally was closed.
  • I have never flown internationally and do not have a passport.
  • I collect souvenir shot glasses and celebrity autographs.
  • I spent a weekend assisting Lou Farrigno at an autograph show. I sat 10 feet away from Corey Feldmen and he never said so much as hello. The supporting cast of CHiPs and Mickey Rooney signed photos for me for free while David Carradine charged me $20.
  • I am a huge Star Trek fan but have never been to a Star Trek convention.
  • I have a cousin who is a Pediatric oncologist/hematologist and does cancer research. She is also married with 2 children (4 if you count her husband and the dog).

My brain just shut down so I'll end it right there. Plenty of conversation starters there so feel free to ask me about any of this in Vegas.

For the first time in history a women has led a lap at the Indy 500. How cool is that?!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I Married Some Kings And They Did Me Wrong

Just got knocked out of the $1600 guaranteed tourney on UB. I was having a decent tourney until the pocket kings showed their ugly faces. I haven't had a hard time lately with ditching hands that I know are beat but I couldn't fold those damn kings for anything. I kept saying to myself "he has aces, that's why his raising so much, fold you idiot" but did I listen......Of course not or I'd still be playing instead of writing this whiny blog post. I really wanted to smack myself up side the head when I saw that he did in fact have aces but I don't think that would have been punishment enough for the lack of brain function.

Oh well, there were a couple of hand histories that I saved and I may take some time to analyze them a bit over the weekend. Maybe give you all some insight into my thought process. We'll see how my quiet, peaceful weekend unfolds (family is on vacation and the house is all mine).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What The Hell Have I Gotten Myself Into?

I was in bed last night trying to fall asleep when all of a sudden it hit me, in a little over a week I am going to be in Vegas meeting a rather large group of poker bloggers. It was the "large group" part that got me and nearly sent me spiraling into a panic attack. See, I am an introvert and large groups of people scare the crap out of me. Who am I kidding, people in general frighten me but I hadn't really thought much about it until last night in those few minutes after I turn the light off and my mind wanders aimlessly in an effort to find that peace that comes with restful slumber. It's when all my epiphanies occur and sometimes I'm lucky enough to wake up remembering them. This was one I wish I had forgotten.

I am terribly shy around new people and all my insecurities seem to come out at exactly the wrong moments. Words come out of my mouth that I immediately want back and I quickly take note of the location of all the exits upon entering a room full of people I am supposed to socialize with. In other words, the thought of being in a room full of semi-complete strangers scares me to death.

Right now all of the fears that I thought were behind me have come to the surface and I feel like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.......Unless I conveniently miss my flight. ;)

(to be continued because it's past my bedtime)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Quick Update

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still alive. I'm testing my blood twice a day and my numbers are good. I really haven't changed my diet yet but my weekend eating is a bit different than my weekday eating so we'll see if the numbers continue to hold up. It's looking more like an example of what came first (you know, chicken or egg) the slightly high blood sugar or the other problems. Hopefully we'll have it figured out by June 1st which is when I see my regular doctor again. I've got 2 more tests between now and then so keep sending out the good vibes.

Speaking of good vibes, I want to thank everyone who has sent me good wishes either in the comments or through IM and e-mail. I really do appreciate it and I really like all the attention. ;)

As for getting back to poker blogging, I really do have some posts floating around in my head, they just aren't on the top of my priority list. At the very least I am hoping to do my own version of the "Vegas expectations" post that everyone else seems to be writing and maybe cluing everyone in on a few personality quirks that may be encountered. Other than that I'll be busy with school work that I want to get done before the trip. I am not about to take homework to Vegas!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Initially, Things Suck

My visit with my doctor went about how I expected. For most people that would be good but I was going in expecting the worst and hoping to be surprised with good news. The only good news, so far, is no medication. That could change once all the tests are done but for now I'll just have to check my blood sugar once a day and cut back on the carbs. That is probably the worst part because I love carbohydrates. This means that Vegas won't be four straight days of alcohol and Krispy Kremes like I had hoped. Maybe 2 days worth stretched over 4 days instead? My doctor is really cool and suggested half shots of tequila instead of full shots.

So over the next couple of weeks I have another doctor to meet as well as a nutritionist and more followup with my regular doctor. To say I am looking forward to the trip would be a huge understatement. Feel free to send some positive vibes my way via comments, e-mail, or even IM as I could really use some cheering up.

e-mail: april9807 at aol dot com
IM (AOL and Yahoo): april9807

Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Deja Vu

Regular readers of this blog will remember a post from January that described how I got out of jury duty. (Looks like the link doesn't work so just go to the January archives, it's the first post in the list). Turns out this also works for getting out of work. Of course, if you work in a hospital like I do, you get the added bonus of a trip to the Emergency Room.

I won't go into the details as it was a lot like that episode in January but I did manage to get to the phone and had a nurse come in to help me. The next few minutes are a blur as the nurse took my blood pressure and really didn't like the result. I remember someone putting a cool cloth on my neck and a lot of people helping me get into a wheelchair for a quick ride to the E.R. I also remember wishing I could get the blanket over my head so my co-workers didn't have to see me. Anyone want to take bets on how many people are going to ask me how I am and what happened, when I go back to work tomorrow? By the end of the day I am going to be tired of telling the story.

Long story short, I was doing much better a few minutes after I got to the E.R. The doctor didn't really do much except tell me to eat some breakfast so I will be following up with my regular doctor as soon as I can. Besides the drop in blood pressure, my blood sugar was a little on the high side. With diabetes in the family I want to be sure I am not heading down that road or, if I am, to get started on getting it under control. Hopefully I can get this taken care of before the Vegas trip but, either way, I will be taking it a little easier than I had originally planned. Passing out in the middle of the poker table is not something I want to experience.

I won't be playing a lot of poker between now and Vegas but I do have plenty of poker related posts in the works so my blog shouldn't be languishing during the next couple of weeks. As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is going much better than mine.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Big Slick Can Kiss My Ass!

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with the blog entitled Big Slick Nuts. This post deals with the hand also known as AK.

I was doing okay in this evening's WPBT WSOP tournament. I was 2nd for awhile and stayed in the top 10 for even longer. I was getting great hands and, when contested, I was taking down pots. Then, it happened. I was dealt what would become my new least favorite hand.

I don't even remember the specifics, I was watching Survivor and not taking notes, I just remember seeing Big Slick at least 3 times and losing all 3 showdowns. Actually the last one I was really short stacked and figured if I was going to go out it might as well be with the hand of death. I ran into Derek's pocket K's and no help arrived. I went out in 33rd. Not my best showing but better than the other night on Noble.

As I write this there are still 7 competitors left and at least 2 are readers. Will there be a reader victory for the first time in WPBT history?

UPDATE: The bloggers pulled it off again. Joe is going to the WSOP! Congratulations and thanks to Iggy for anothe great tourny!

Friday, May 13, 2005

And The Answer Is.....


Four people guessed correctly but since only two are planning on going to Vegas I have decided to declare them co-winners and buy them both a shot. Here are the winners:


Also getting the correct answer:

And honorable mention because at least he submitted an answer:

Thank you for playing and if Joanne and/or Dnasty make it to Vegas, I'll buy you a shot as well.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

My Secret Shame And A Contest

The first time I heard his music was probably while I was still in the womb so basically, I didn’t stand a chance. It’s not like I could go anywhere to get away from it, I was trapped for nine months.

I was probably seven when I got my first record player. It was one of those red boxed ones with a white plastic turntable and a matching case to store my albums. I have no doubt that the first album I played was one of his. By then I knew all the words to all his songs so it makes sense that I would play his albums and I played them almost continuously much to my dad’s dismay since his dislike for this singer is probably stronger than his dislike of Kenny Rogers and Phil Collins put together. Knowing this I was even more shocked at the present I received during my eighth Christmas.

All the gifts were unwrapped and the living room was a mess when my dad announced that I had one more present. It wasn’t in a big box wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on top. No, it was probably the smallest present I had ever received. It was a plain white envelope, nothing more. My parents could barely hold back their excitement as I tore open the envelope unable to imagine how something contained in that small of a package could be worth all this commotion. Yeah, I was an idiot!

So I get the envelope open and pull out two tickets to what was about to be my first concert ever. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I’m pretty sure my best friend heard my screaming from her house a block away.

I remember the concert in pieces, like snapshots in a photo album. There was a G-rated comedian who opened the show. The stage was circular and revolved so that everyone in the theatre could catch a glimpse of him during every song. He started almost every song at the piano but he didn’t stay there for more than a minute. At one point in the show he asked for a volunteer to come up and sing a song with him. The lady next to me went nuts and my mom nudged me trying to coax me into doing the same. I was a really shy child so there was no way in hell I was getting on that stage, even if I did know the song well enough to sing it in my sleep. Besides we weren’t close enough to be seen from the stage, even with the house lights on.

After the show, as we headed towards the exit, my mom and I saw a limo parked out by a side door. The rumor was that it was there to pick up the main attraction, the reason we had all gathered on that night. Mom and I stepped through the door moments before a security guard closed it behind us. We waited near the car with about 15 other crazy fans. It was freezing and I didn’t care. There was a chance I was going to get to meet my favorite singer, I wasn’t leaving.

This is where I wish my tale had a happy ending. Something along the lines of him emerging from the theatre and coming over to say hi, maybe sign an autograph but this isn’t a work of fiction. We stood there for what seemed like hours until my mom convinced me that he was probably long gone having left through some other exit. Truthfully I think she wanted to get to the car to warm up. In retrospect it was probably the right thing to do. Even if he had still been at the theatre he probably would have come out of the door and walked right by me like I didn’t exist and in turn crushing the dreams of his biggest fan. I remember it like it was only yesterday. No wonder I still listen to his music today.

At this point you’ve probably skipped ahead trying to find the name of this singer whose music I karaoked to long before karaoke was popular. Instead of revealing this little nugget of information I have devised a contest. I’ll give you a couple more clues as to this singers identity then you must send me an e-mail (please do not answer in the comments) with your guess. The winner will receive a free shot of the tequila of their choice at the AlCan’tHang after party in Vegas. Should more than one of you submit the correct answer I’ll come up with some sort of tie breaker to determine the winner. Only one entry per person will be accepted. The deadline for entry is 8pm Pacific time on Friday the 13th.

Your clues: He has been a guest judge on American Idol. He has almost 60 albums to his credit. One of his biggest hits was featured in one of the movies BG admitted was one of his secret shames.

If no one gets it from these clues I have one more I’ll add later. Taking into consideration that this is someone I am supposed to be ashamed of myself for liking, this should be easy.

Send all responses to april9807 AT aol DOT com

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I Should Have Known Better

I haven't played well all week. I am not particularly fond of Noble Poker. Really, how many more reasons did I need to stay out of the WPBT tournament that took place earlier this evening? I finished a dismal 41st and really can't recall any notable hands. At one point I stepped away from the computer to get my dinner and by the time I got back Pauly and G-rob had been moved to my table. At least the chat got more interesting.

Anyway, I big congratulations to BigPirate. Now get out and buy those Vegas tickets! Also a big thanks to Iggy for setting it up.

I'm going to go curl up in a dark corner for a while and reflect on my future at the poker tables. (Did I mention in last night's post that I tend to be a little dramatic from time-to-time?)

Where Am I In This Mess I Call a Blog

As I look back at my previous postings I find myself wondering who the hell wrote them? I see bits and pieces of me but not the ME that this blog was intended to be an outlet for. Instead I see the politically correct, don’t want to start any fights, have to be liked by everyone part of my personality that I convey on a daily basis. The me that stopped fighting with my stepmother years ago and still tells her family back east what they want to hear (except for a little slip a couple weeks ago that will probably come back to haunt me soon), even if it’s not the truth. What’s the point in having a somewhat anonymous outlet if I don’t use it to get out all the shit permeating my soul?

The first thing I need to get off my chest is that I suck at poker. I mean truly suck, as in have no business being at a table with real poker players. The good thing is that I can finally admit it. I really do want to become a better player but telling myself that I am better at the game than I really am, isn’t doing me a damn bit of good. Let me say it again, I SUCK AT POKER! I actually got mad at a guy who called my all in with 17 outs. He had 17 outs and I was pissed at him for calling. That is just fucking ridiculous (OMG, she just typed the f-word…..Get over it, it’s probably going to happen a lot more). I should have known my kings were no good and ditched them but I didn’t and got what I deserved. Of course even if I couldn’t figure out that I was beat I had no right to be pissed. Then I let him goad me into tilting and I replied to his comments with some not so nice comments of my own. I couldn’t stop myself. Luckily he shut up and the game continued until I went out on the bubble. Again, I deserved it.

So, if your still reading I bet you are wondering what else I need to get off my chest? I really don’t have a fucking clue (uh-oh, she used that word again). It’s way past my bed time and I have to work in a few hours….Or not, work hasn’t been that busy lately and I’m lucky I can pay all my bills let alone afford the trip to Vegas. The up side is that I get to sleep in a lot, but I don’t think that really makes up for the loss of income. Oh well, I actually like my job so I really should stop bitching. Besides, we get free food tomorrow (or later today after looking at the clock) for National Hospital Week, at least I think that is the excuse they are using to feed us burned hamburgers and cold chicken. Oh well, it’s better than the crap we usually get in the cafeteria.

Until next time, (that’s it, I have nothing witty to close with. For wit, go read one of the blogs listed on the blogroll.)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Chill Out!

A few months ago I revealed to a friend that I was playing on-line poker. This friend immediately became very concerned that I might be addicted to the game. I almost laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of that statement. First of all, I will readily admit that I am addicted to poker. I play it almost every day, I write about it, I read about it, and I watch it on TV. If you have any doubt just remember the title of this here blog. I am most certainly addicted to poker. Secondly, what’s the big deal? I was addicted to hockey yet no one blinked twice. Most people would joke with me about it and I rarely had a conversation where the subject wasn’t brought up at least once.

Addiction to hockey = okay.
Addiction to poker = not okay.

How messed up is that? Let’s break this down a bit.

Financially: Even with the lowest price season tickets, once I add in the price of food (not Arena food if I could help it but I still needed to eat out most of the time), souvenirs (even with a discount), and play-off tickets (which go up in price every round), I estimate I paid probably $3000 a year to “feed my addiction”. With poker I haven’t spent anywhere near that amount of money, even when you add the price of various poker books I have bought. Plus, with poker, there is the potential to make money and have a positive return in the long run. In hockey, even if my team wins the Stanley Cup, I don’t see much return for the investment. I’m sure I’d get some sort of special collectible and I would always have the joy of saying “the Sharks won the Stanley Cup” but I would still be down financially over the long term.

Score: Poker 1, Hockey 0

Time spent: Estimate 4-5 hours per home game times 42 home games a year (210 hours). Figure 3 hours for away games either on TV or radio times another 42 (126 hours). Then play-offs can potentially be another 120 hours (7 games per round x 3 hours, which is conservative but not all series go for 7 games). The grand total is 456 hours between the months of October and the middle of June. Poker, on the other hand, I probably average about 20 hours per week for a total of over 1000 hours a year. Hmmm, I spend twice as much time playing poker than I do watching hockey. That does include 3 extra months but it’s still significant.

Score: Poker 0, Hockey 1

Mental energy: Here I consider them to be equal. It’s great to win and it sucks to lose. That definitely applies to both hockey and poker. Hockey and poker break even here.

Final score: Poker 1, Hockey 1

Final analysis: As it stands right now, the two addictions are on equal footing. One costs more financially, the other takes up more time. With hockey still out of the picture I have one replacing the other which I don’t think is a big deal. When and if hockey gets their act together I will have to figure out which means more to me or figure out how to make them co-exist. For now I’m just going to chill out and have fun.

Happy news: Speaking of having fun, Maura is officially on sabbatical for the next 2 months. Feel free to let her know how jealous you are by stopping by her site and leaving her a comment.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cooling off

That's what I am doing right now. I just got knocked out of a SNG by a guy who has watched way to much poker on TV. His play is horrible and he is getting rewarded for it. He's calling all-in's with nothing and getting paid off every time. I've read about this kind of play on other blogs but this is the first time I've actually witnessed it. It's really disturbing. Oh well I guess that's poker and I can take solace in the fact that, over time, he will probably lose it all and then some but it's still annoying me bit time!

Great, he just won the tournament on another suckout!

(sound of April taking deep, cleansing breaths while counting to 1000)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Can You Say Final Table?

I think I am still in shock. The poker gods shined down on me again to help me reach the final table of the WPBT WSOP tournament. It truly was a miracle because I took a big hit in level 6 and didn't think I would make it much further. I had tried a hammer steal in level 5 but got re-raised and had to ditch it. After that I was "stealing" pots with standard raises for a while. Next thing I knew, people were talking about me. Someone on the rail was putting their money on me and one of my table mates was saying I was too aggressive to win. ME......AGGRESSIVE? Not a word typically used to describe me but I'll take it. I think all the attention was making me nervous because that was when I took the hit. Luckily I took out Bugsy66, with my hand of the night KJ, to get back into it. He had Q's but I flopped a K and Bugsy never improved.

Of course this is when Derek, who was playing well, was moved to my table. I realized we were down to two tables and I needed cards. This was when I went card dead. The blinds and antes were eating me up and I couldn't catch a break. I managed to stay alive until the second break but I was in last place with only T2385 and two places to go to make the final table. I was holding my breath and needed to throw-up but I kept getting just enough chips to stay alive. Finally I made it to the final table and, alas, this is where my tale ends. AQ vs AK crippled me and A7 vs. AJ nailed the coffin shut. Both hands lost to Slim999, same person who took most of my stack in level 6. He ended up finishing 2nd and 1st went to ABVidale.

A 9th place finish out of 63 is pretty damn good and I don't think I sucked anyone out or did anything truly atrocious to anyone. That's open to interpretation though.

Thanks to Iggy and Otis for setting it up and everyone on the rail who offered support. Special thanks to Pauly for starting the congratulatory "round of applause" when I went out. The support from the rail was overwhelming but I wouldn't want it any other way!

Is it time to leave for Vegas yet?

I'm A Fluke

I played a fairly solid game and got lucky at the right times. For that, my making it to the final 3 was a “fluke”. That’s on-line poker. Everyone thinks they deserve to win just because they were the chip leader for most of the tournament. Actually I don’t blame him for being angry. I had more than my fair share of hands go my way and he ended up bubbling out after holding the chip lead from the beginning of the tournament. I didn’t cause the crippling blow but I did take him out when my AQ won over his pair of 2’s. This knocked him out on the bubble and he left a comment for one of the other players to take out the 2 “flukes” (I wasn’t the only short stack getting lucky.)

This was the first of 2 SNG’s I played last night. I finished 3rd in both and went to bed happy with my play. The “fluke” tourney was long and I spent most of my time trying to survive. I was short stacked for most of it so I had to go all-in more often than I would have preferred. I did my best to pick the best hands only to have my opponent flip-up a better hand. That’s when the poker gods smiled down on me allowing the dealer to give me the cards I needed to win the hand. I know my opponent’s were getting frustrated but I did what I had to do and got lucky in the process.

I’ve been playing these $1 SNG’s all week in an effort get my bankroll back up to what it once was. These tournaments have been great practice in the fundamentals of the game. I’m up about $8 since last Monday (would have been more but Friday was a bad day). I’ve cut out all distractions, with the exception of music, and it has been paying off. I have been waiting for opportunities and making fewer mistakes. So far that strategy is working.

Of course I still get stupid from time to time. I’ve caught myself holding onto a hand longer than I should and I occasionally underestimate my opponent’s hand. Most people at this level aren’t bluffing and, even if they are, I should probably fold.

What I am most proud of are some of my lay-downs and some of my reads on my opponents. I’ve folded some big hands because I knew I was beat and I’ve pushed with nothing because I knew my opponent would fold to the pressure. I’m feeling good about my play this week but I know I have a lot to work on.

I have only won 3 tournaments this week because I can’t seem to get a decent chip stack to finish the game with. I have played hands where I knew I could have gotten more chips but my lack of aggression kept me from cashing in. On the hands where I know I am the best, I’m having a hard time figuring out how much I can bet and still get called. I tend to make a bet that gets called quickly leading me to believe that I could have bet more and still gotten a call. How do you know how much to bet?

Blogger Tournament Tonight

As of this moment there are 42 signed up. I plan on depositing and registering momentarily so there will be 43. That means we need 7 more to give away another WSOP seat. Password is the same as last week. E-mail Iggy ASAP if you need it.

What are you waiting for........ GET OFF YOUR ASS AND SIGN UP ALREADY!