Friday, December 28, 2007


First I would like to thank Mr. Smartass for his comment on which MP3 player to buy, it was soooo helpful.

Seriously, thanks for the advice to everyone who commented. I decided to go with the Sansa View because Best Buy did not have the Zen and I was using a gift card so going to another store was not an option. Besides, I got a 16GB View for the same price as an 8GB Zen.

Once I got it home, the fun began. I had to go to the Sansa web-site to find the manual so I could figure out how to turn it on. I guess math is not the only thing I find challenging. As soon as I was done feeling like an idiot, I started downloading music. This is where the real problem started. I signed up with Rhapsody because I get a month free from Best Buy. Every time I start to transfer music, the site freezes after a few songs. I have to close the site, then reopen it to continue the transfer and then it just freezes again after a few songs. It has taken way longer than it should to get my music downloaded. Has anyone else had this problem? I'm wondering if it is the web-site, my laptop, or the MP3 player? It's just a really big pain in the ass so if anyone has any insight on this problem I would really appreciate it.

So, I have a new addiction. My little MP3 player has been glued to my ear for 24 hours now. It's so nice to listen to music and know I'm going to like each and every song that comes through the headphones. No more scanning radio channels looking for a good song. I have just under 200 songs downloaded already and I'm open to suggestions for more. What's on your MP3 player? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

MP3 Help

I need advice about which non-Apple MP3 player to buy. I am stuck between the SanSa View and the Creative Zen, 8GB versions. Which of the two is better, or am I missing something else? Please do not suggest an iPod as I will not consider it. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Poker Hates Me: Trip Report Part One

Although we arrived in Vegas late Wednesday afternoon, I decided to take it easy and just hang out at the condo that night. I was going to be in Vegas for a week so there would be plenty of time to play poker. I also had decided to heed Otis's advice and play poker during the day, leaving night time to socialize with the bloggers. It was great advice and made perfect sense, unfortunately poker seemed to be pissed off at me and I didn't post a win at any point during the week.

I headed to the MGM at 1pm on Thursday afternoon looking forward to check raising some douchebags in the 2-4 limit game. There was immediate seating and I sat down in the 8 seat with my rack of chips. I was ahead briefly but I couldn't catch any cards and, had I played my junk like everyone else at the table, I would have lost even more. Nothing was hitting. It was a shame too because this British couple showed up and started some serious donking around. They were the only British people not in town for the Hatton fight and were supposed to be on a plane back to England. It turned out there was a 6 hour delay so they decided to take a taxi back to the MGM for a bit more poker. They weren't trying to make a profit and probably went through 4 or 5 buy-ins. The wife was splitting her winnings with the dealers and they definitely made out better than she did. There were so many chips on the table and I couldn't get any of them. Finally it was time to leave and meet up with the parents for dinner. When I left the table, I was down $47.

On Friday I got to the MGM to find that there was only an interest list for 2-4. However, they were seating a 3-6 table and I decided to give it a shot. I was up and down most of the day and we didn't have a full table until almost 5pm. At one point we were playing 4-handed which I actually found to be kind of fun. I also discovered that I was sitting next to a local who knew all about the bloggers. He was actually preparing to meet some of them that evening and I offered to introduce him. Cactus Jack also gave me a few pointers on my play that I will hopefully remember in the future. By the end of the session I was up $50 but still down $3 for the trip. It was the best day I would have as far as poker play for the rest of my stay.

Saturday was the big tournament and I don't really count the entry fee as part of my poker bankroll. It's money saved for this specific purpose and if I happen to win some money, great and if I don't, I don't mind. I got down to the final 3 tables and was very short stacked. I finally found a hand when Rooster raised ahead of me. I knew it was my best chance and I knew he was going to call so I went all-in. My AK did not stand up against his monster 6 10 and I was out somewhere between 25 and 30. Of course Rooster took my chips and went on to win the whole damn thing so at least it wasn't a total loss. If I'm going to lose I want it to be to the person who eventually wins.

Sunday, I played no poker. I was too tired and there was lots of football on (I don't really like football but bloggers were there so I went to hang out).

On Monday I sat down at 3-6 again. It did not go well. I was never ahead of my buy-in and I just couldn't get any cards to help me out. It really, really sucked! After I went broke I had some time to kill before meeting the parents for dinner so I went looking for a lucky penny slot machine. Within minutes I had run my $20 up to $130. Thanks for the tips Grubby!

Tuesday came about and I was determine to take my slot winnings and win big. I left the table with $15. These 3 guys from Boston sat down about halfway through the session and actually knew what they were doing. Apparently they play at Foxwoods all the time. There was a lot of pre-flop raising and they were able to take down a lot of pots. Again, I couldn't get anything though I did have a couple of good plays and, after a few hours, I left with my head down and a tear in my eye (not really but it sounds more pitiful).

So, all in all the poker part of my Vegas trip sucked. I think it was a combination of bad cards and that fact that the MGM refurbished all their poker tables with this ugly brown felt. I think brown is an unlucky color for me, yeah it was the MGM's fault.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I just went through my blog links on the left and deleted a few. I am going to go through them one more time and delete any that haven't posted in the past 6 months. After that I will be adding some blogs to the list. If you want to be added please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.

Also, thanks for the "hugs", it meant a lot.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Need A Hug

I've been in a funk all day. Most of it was migraine induced but the math final I took while the migraine was raging didn't help, then my final didn't get submitted due to some sort of computer glitch so I have to take it again tomorrow. I also think some of the funk is the post-Vegas blues. Bloggers are affectionate people, they like to hug, and I don't get enough of that in my life. On days like today I just want to curl up in bed with someone's arms around me until the pain goes away. Is that really too much to ask?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I am finally home from Vegas and I have appeared to have grown a new appendage. My cat, Punkin, has not left my side since I walked into the house. When we walked in the door she started crying to let us know that she was happy to have us back and to tell us that we can never leave her again. She hasn't let me leave her sight and has even escorted me to the bathroom. While it is nice to be missed, I'm seriously considering drugging her food so I can have a few minutes of peace.

I suppose I should write up some sort of trip report. I have a great title, I just need to get a few things done here at home before I can write up my thoughts about the trip. A huge thank you to Falstaff for planning a great event and to the Venetian for putting up with us.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I've had a great time with the bloggers these last few days. Spending time with people who don't expect me to be anything other than what I am has been very peaceful. Since I haven't had to pretend to be someone else my head has been clear and I've had time to think about the state of my social life. While I'm okay with my life in San Jose, I'm certainly not content and definitely not as happy as I would like to be. What I need is someone who can give me their undivided attention without smothering me. Someone who "gets" me completely and can be there in the dark times as well as the light times. Unfortunately, romantic relationships scare me. I like unrequited romance but, if the object of my affection starts to return the feelings, if I start getting what I want, I have a panic attack and run in the opposite direction. Of course if I can find someone who "gets" me, maybe they can keep me from running.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts floating through my head that I felt like sharing. I want to thank everyone who mentioned to me over the last few days that they still read my blog. I was starting to think I had lost all my readers, and I certainly wouldn't blame you, so it was nice to know that I am missed when I don't write.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


We landed in Vegas around 4:30pm, a little later than scheduled but it was an uneventful flight so I'm okay with the late landing. The condo however, is fucking awesome, as always. The best part though is the location of my room. Normally the smaller room is in the front and you can hear everyone coming back to their rooms at night but this section of the building is all enclosed, like a hotel and my room is in the back. I also have a great view of the huge pool area and my own bathroom so I'm happy.

Tomorrow I'm hitting the strip and probably a poker room by the name of the MGM. I need to get in some practice before the big tournament on Saturday then I'll head over to the IP and see if I can get my drink on. Until then, safe flights to you all!

Monday, December 03, 2007


It's almost time for Vegas and I can't wait to get there. I miss all the bloggers and haven't played much poker in months. I should be landing in Vegas around 4pm on Wednesday and have until the following Wednesday to have as much fun as humanly possible.

This is also a birthday celebration for my dad, he turned the big 55 yesterday. He is now old enough to qualify for those active senior citizen apartment complexes. If you meet him this week make sure you say happy birthday and feel free to buy him a bourbon or take him to a strip club, he would be very appreciative. As for my step-mother, you have my permission to mess with her if you wish, she gets confused easily.

My cell phone number is on the massive spreadsheet so feel free to give me a call or send me a text if you want to get together in Vegas or just want to make sure I am still alive.

See you all soon!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Short Notice

I just found out today that Shelly will not be going to Vegas for the blogger gathering. What this means is I have a free bed available at the beautiful resort I am staying at. Yes, I said free. Not only is there a twin bed available but there is a full kitchen that can be used to save some money instead of eating out all the time. The resort has a huge pool area, a game room, and a free shuttle to the strip. On top of that, I will have access to a rental car.

Now for the downside, my dad and step mom will also be there. They will have their own room and a different schedule but will still be around. My dad is cool, my step mom is easy to ignore.

If anyone wants to save some money and stay at this fabulous resort during the blogger gathering, please send me an e-mail at April9807 AT AOL DOT com. We will be there from December 5 through December 12 and can accommodate someone for any of those nights.

CLARIFICATION: I want to clear something up that may be confusing. When I say my parents have their own room I mean they have their own bedroom within the condo. The layout is a master bedroom/bath where my parents will be, a room with 2 twin beds next to another bathroom, and a Murphy bed in the living room area (would be loud during daylight hours while my parents are up getting breakfast and stuff). The extra twin bed and Murphy bed are available. I don't snore but earplugs would be a good idea as my step mom doesn't know how to whisper and her voice can carry. If this still sounds like a good option, send me an e-mail.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Never ride to Thanksgiving dinner in my brother's 1968 Camaro. Not only will you exit the car and realize that car exhaust fumes have permeated every pore in your body, you will also lose part of your hearing and wake up the next day with serious back pain. His car is really more for racing and not so much for road trips.

I will be in Vegas for the December round-up of bloggers. I am looking forward to it even though I will have to take 2 finals while I am there. My parents (dad and step-mom) will also be there though I don't know that they will be at any of the blogger festivities. We are staying for a week so it's a vacation for all of us.

Lastly, Wil is appearing on tonight's episode of Numb3rs. Show him some support and tune in, CBS 10pm (9pm central).

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I'm sure at least one poker blogger has posted about this already but I'm way behind on my reading. Plus, it gives me something to blog about and it involves poker.

Professional poker player Jean-Robert Ballande is a contestant on this season of Survivor. I had no idea until I tuned in earlier this evening and heard Jeff Probst introduce a professional poker player. I looked up at the screen and there he was. At that moment I knew who I was going to be rooting for this season, though it would be easier for me if he would keep his shirt on. He does not have a body like James.

Jean-Robert's poker skills should put him at an advantage. Survivor and poker really aren't that different. They both take skill, with a little bit of luck thrown in, for a person to be successful. He needs to observe his opponents, find their weaknesses, and strike at the appropriate time. If he can do this, he might stand a chance.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Warning: This is one of those really serious, personal posts.

I'm reading a book called The Dogs of Babel and, last night, a couple of paragraphs really resonated with me. The book opens with a man finding out that his wife has died. The police believe it was an accident but it may very well have been suicide. As the husband explores his past with his wife he relives conversations where she reveals her inner demons, her past suicide attempt. She refers to suicide as a moment. There is this brief window of opportunity when it seems like the right time, a moment when nothing else matters but, if that opportunity isn't taken advantage of immediately, thoughts start creeping in. How hurt will family and friends be? Could I end up in a vegetative state instead? What if I jump and land on someone or land in front of a child who ends up traumatized for life? Once those thoughts start, the moment is gone.

This is the first time I've ever read anything that put my experience into words that made perfect sense. Throughout high school, as my depression was setting in, my life was made up of these moments. I never knew when one was going to strike but it was always fleeting, only seconds really, then I'd think about how hurt my grandmother would be or how I'd probably screw up and end up on a respirator for the rest of my life. The depression would still be there but the moment would be gone. As I got older, the moments stopped coming as often and, now, the medication, and my own self-awareness, keeps them at bay. The last moment was a split second in length and I can't even remember when it was. That is a big step.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Something Right

You know you are doing something right when the chip leader in a $10 SNG calls you an idiot. Actually the direct quote was "ur an idiot". Later she got upset when I called her re-raise with my bottom pair. We were heads-up and I knew there was a good chance that bottom pair was good. Turns out she also had bottom pair with a much worse kicker. Let's see, I'm guaranteed at least second place money and I hit bottom pair, heads-up.....I think gambling was the right choice in that situation, plus, it put my opponent on tilt. Anyone want to chime in with their thoughts?

Here's a bit more information: I had the chip lead. I had a fairly good read on her. When it got down to 3 players she was playing almost every hand and when it was the 2 of us, she didn't fold anything pre-flop. When she re-raised, it felt like a bluff and if I was wrong, I still would have had a playable stack but not the chip lead.

BTW, I won the tournament!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Official Damper

I am a real employee again, sort of. I was contacted about a secret shopper job but this job isn't as an independent contractor. Instead, I am working directly for the company and receiving a real paycheck with taxes taken out and everything. I spent a day in paid training and have about another 2 weeks before I am "certified" but I get paid for every minute of training and that pay goes up once I'm done with the formalities. I'll only be getting about 10 hours a week but it's better than nothing. Plus, they pay on a normal pay schedule, unlike most secret shopping companies that make you wait 30 to 60 days for the money.

As for school, my dad went into jackass mode and put a damper on my plans. Just once I'd like for him to say, "Hey, that sounds like a good idea." or "I'm proud of you for making this decision." Instead he has to pick it apart and tell me what he thinks I should be doing. No wonder I'm always depressed. I will give him some credit though as he has a higher opinion of my abilities than I do, it's his delivery of the information that sucks.

Well, it's late and I was up at an ungodly hour this morning for my 8 hours of training so I am off to sleep.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I just got accepted at the local Community College, again. Every couple of years I go back with the intention of getting a Certificate or another Associates Degree but I usually stop just short of the final goal. Usually it's a realization that, while I enjoyed the classes, the actual application of knowledge is boring as hell. In other words, the career sounds good in theory but in reality, not so much. So far I've been through the Paralegal program and the Medical Transcription/Billing programs. Now I'm going for Business Management.

What it really boils down to is I have lots of skills but no framework. I should be managing a department in some corporation by now instead of taking jobs as a lowly peon. And, while I may not completely enjoy the grind of a "real" job, I know that I can be really good at anything I set my mind to. So why Business Management? Like I said, I have the practical skills, now I just need the principles to go with them.

The next thing I need to do is find a part time job before classes start. I plan on taking online classes so my schedule should remain flexible for the time being and, although I enjoy Secret Shopping, it's not exactly paying me on a regular basis. Yes, I'm getting by but I need something a little more solid for a few hours a week. In case you haven't guessed, I did not take the low paying job I mentioned in my last post and, right after I submitted my application to be rehired at the hospital, they instituted a hiring freeze. With those options gone I've been trying to figure out what I want to do and today is when this whole Business Management plan hit me. I can't guarantee it's going to work out but at least its something.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What to do???

For those who don't know, the job I left the hospital for, the one at the Internet start-up, failed at the end of May. Since then I have been doing Customer Service Evaluations (fancy name for Secret Shopping). I'm having a lot of fun but the money comes in really slowly and I'm barely getting my bills paid. Today I had an interview for a job I would really, really enjoy. As a matter of fact, the job is mine if I want it. Problem is, it is way below my pay and skill level. I would have to continue the secret shopping but I really enjoy that so I'm okay with it.

The other option is to go back to the hospital and work primarily on weekends. I would make at least twice the money I am being offered at the "low pay" job and still have most of the week available to do the shopping gig. Problem is, it is the job I spent 5 years trying to leave due to an employee I don't get along with. If I took this job I would hardly ever work with her but her essence is always there and just thinking about being in the same building as her, even if our paths never cross, stresses me out.

Then there is the new, brick and mortar start-up, that my boss from the failed start-up is working at. This one has a much better chance of making it and the salary would probably be more than I have ever made at any job in the past. It would be new and interesting but also a lot of hard work. I would also be able to stop paying COBRA for my medical which would free up even more money. It will be at least another month or two until I would be hired so I still need to do something more substantial for income but I wouldn't want to accept "low pay" job and then turn around and leave them in a couple of months. They made it clear that they want me around for a while if I accept the job. I could go back to the hospital and leave in a couple of months as they are only hiring me per Diem anyway. Plus, I'm not really looking to go back there permanently but that doesn't seem quite right to me either. I'm not sure what to do at this point.

I don't know if the decision would be that difficult for most people. Either take the job that pays the most or take the one that is the most fun unless you can find one that is both fun and pays well, then take that one. For me, I have to also figure out which is going to be most conducive to my depression. Which choice won't make it worse. I deal with depression every day and never know how anything is going to affect me until I'm right in the middle of it. The job that I would enjoy the most may not be challenging enough but the one that pays the most may be a lot of hard work and too challenging. Both scenarios could make the depression worse. I won't know until I pick one. My only chance is if my brain suddenly clears and I have an epiphany. It happens, but not very often. I really don't know what to do.

So, anyone got an opinion to share or some words of wisdom? Any and all advice will be much appreciated.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What I Want

I know, it's been ages since I've written anything. I don't even know if anyone actually reads this anymore but there is a reason I haven't been writing. Like my twin, I got caunght up in what I thought this blog should be and not what I wanted it to be. I never promised this blog would be entirely about poker and I never promised it would always be a nice happy blog. Truth is, I started feeling like I couldn't write about what I wanted to write about. I felt like I needed to please others instead of myself. It's the story of my life really, but that's another post for another day.

Back in December, I had a conversation that left me feeling like I couldn't write about the deep, dark stuff anymore. Basically this person said that some of my posts seemed a little too personal and dark and that maybe I didn't need to publish everything I wrote. So, I stopped writing about the things I wanted to write about and eventually stopped writing almost completely. The dark stuff is part of me and this blog is my way to vent. If I can't vent about the bad parts of my life, then what's the point?

The thing is, this is my blog and I need to be able to write whatever I want without worrying how others are going to react. So, here's the deal, if you start reading something and it turns you off, stop reading it. If you read something and it worries you, send me an e-mail, IM me, or give me a call. I'll either reassure you or cry on your shoulder but I'm not going to sugarcoat my life just because it may make some people uncomfortable.

Does this mean I'm going to write more often? I have no idea but when I do write, it's going to be about whatever is on my mind, good, bad, or ugly.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'd Forgotten

I played on-line poker today for the first time in over a month. It didn't take me long to remember that I suck at poker. By the time I was done I had lost most of my buy-in. I can't really blame anyone but myself, except on that one hand where that damn calling station caught his card on the river. I played hands I don't normally play. I stayed in hands when I knew I should have folded. I played like a fucking donkey! It really sucked but it was free money.

Luckily, when I was in Austin last month, I played some okay poker. My Twin had a graduation party and, of course, there was some poker played. It was a $20 buy-in and I left with triple that. There was one hand I wish I could remember better but I had to make a decision for almost all of my chips. Was he bluffing? Was my 2 pair good? I finally said "I'll probably regret this" and pushed my chips in. I flipped up my cards and my opponent said "Re-buy". From there I just played my good hands and had fun. I think that was what was missing earlier today....the fun.

Since I have a little bit of money in my online account, I'll probably play some more over the weekend. Feel free to stop in and say hi if you see my at a table.

Check out Poker Letter!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's in a name?

It's no secret that I love reality shows. You name it and I've probably watched it so it was pretty obvious that I would be checking out Mark Burnett's newest offering "Pirate Master". I'm not going to get into how this show works as it's slightly complicated and I'll need to see another episode too really get it down. What I actually wanted to mention is one of my favorite parts of reality TV, the part where they flash the competitors name with thier job listed underneath.

I've seen some great job descriptions while watching these shows and I especially like the ones that you know are code for something that may be considered "less than optimal". Take for instance "VIP Hostess" and picture a tall blond with big boobs. In other words, she's probably a stripper. There are a million others I've seen over the years but the one I saw tonight on Pirate Master may just take the cake. One competitor, John, is a "Scientist/Exotic Dancer". What the hell? First of all, I saw him shirtless, I wasn't impressed....he was muscular but didn't have the "it" factor that makes a good exotic dancer. Second, I'd love to know what kind of science he is involved in. Something tells me it may include mixing drinks with "roofies" to get women in bed (provided he isn't gay like those Thunder From Down Under men). I heard him speak, there is no way he practices any kind of science that requires a brain (though he did know that Crocodiles like to hang out under Mangrove Trees).

Anyway, all above is said entirely in jest, I mean no offense to John, unless he doesn't know what offense means. I'm sure he is very good at which ever profession is actually paying his bills. So my question to my readers is this, what is the best job description you've ever seen on a reality TV show? Please share in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When It Rains

Last week was about the shittiest week I've had in years. First, the Sharks got knocked out of the playoffs. Second, the best cat I've ever owned passed away (no offense Punkin, you are my second favorite). Third, I found out the job I left my secure job at the hospital for, will only be able to pay me through the end of the month. Fourth, I have a cold sore the size of a dime on my lip. Seriously, if you've had a worse week lately, I'd like to hear about it.

Being faced with unemployment sucks but I've been there before. Usually it's by my choice but getting a new job usually isn't that difficult for me. I've got skills that can be used in almost any industry. The biggest problem is that I love working from home and there are very few legitimate options out there that would allow me to continue. I'm not really sure what type of job I would take that would be outside of the home. I really don't want to go back to sitting in a cubicle and I'm tired of health care. Hopefully I'll figure it out before I get really strapped for cash. I've already canceled Vegas in June to give myself a bit more time and I don't even want to go into how much that sucks!

The only good thing right now is that on Thursday I'm flying to Austin to hang out with my twin. In case you haven't heard, she is graduating from college. I can't wait to get away from the crap for a few days. Maybe I won't come back (trust me, the heat will drive me back to the Bay area, no offense April).

So, here is too a better week and an awesome end to the month of May. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good-bye Ricci

Ricci was named after my favorite hockey player, Mike Ricci. When Ricci moved in he was 12 pounds and looked emaciated, he soon grew to 18 pounds of pure fat. He was the most adorable cat ever. He had a look that would convince you that there wasn't much going on in that brain of his yet I always felt he was the smartest creature in the house. He got along with everyone and would purr at the slightest bit of attention. He slept with me every night and became my big snuggle-bear. He was my baby.

My baby passed away at 3:30 Tuesday morning. He was at home with me and my other baby Punkin, and went peacefully but I gotta say, it really fucking sucks. He was the most handsome cat I've ever seen and I'm going to miss him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Title Because I Can't Think Of One

I care way too much about what others think about me. I always have and probably always will. And, not just people I know, but I care about what complete strangers think about me as well. Though I have discovered there is one exception to this, when I am at a poker table I don't give a flying fuck what anyone thinks. As long as they are strangers that is. Do I want to be liked? Sure, who doesn't but at the poker table I don't feel as if it is as necessary. I mean, I'm never going to play the way every person at the table wants me too. I've got my style and they have theirs. If I am off my game, I shouldn't be at the table and if I care what the table is thinking about me, I'm definitely not going to be on my game. So, when I sit down at the table, I am basically saying "Fuck it" and it tends to work.

I haven't always been this way at the poker table. The first time I sat down at that table at Excalibur, I was scared to death I was going to do something stupid and someone was going to criticize me for it. I got to the point where I was off my game every time I sat down and, last June, it all came to a head.

Last June, while I was in Las Vegas with the bloggers, I couldn't win money to save my life. I was so off my game that I actually fell into a slight depression and spent part of my last night alone in the room watching cable while my friends were burning up the Craps table. I was having fun at the poker table but I just couldn't win because I was concentrating too much on making friends with complete strangers (non-bloggers, I always want to make friends with bloggers). I needed to find a balance, friendly but still playing my game. I knew I could do it but I wasn't sure how.

In December at the blogger event, it all clicked. I played less poker and it worked out much better. I think there was only one session where I left the table down and I wasn't down enough to worry about. I was friendly but not distracted. I paid more attention to how the other people were playing and less attention what they might think if I played a certain hand. I didn't play much poker before the Blogger tournament but the lesson I had learned carried over.

Usually when I play a blogger game I am even more off than with strangers. See, I am friends with many of these people and I get so afraid of what they might say about my game that I can't play the way I want to. Every move takes more thought than usual because I'm not only thinking about how to play the hand but I'm thinking about what everyone at the table will think if I play it incorrectly. In December, when I sat down at the blogger tournament, I discovered that most of the others at my table were bloggers I had never met. They didn't know me, I didn't know them, we were strangers. I played my game and didn't care if anyone at the table liked me or not. This prepared me for the later stages of the tournament when I was sitting with more familiar faces. I kept my game going and managed a nerve racking 7th place finish.

I'm sure the next time I sit down with bloggers I'll slip a bit, especially if they are bloggers whose games I really respect but I can sit down with a table of strangers with no problem as I did just 2 weeks ago when I was in Reno for my birthday. I played my game, my way and left Reno up for the weekend. I felt good the entire time I was at the table, though the drinks could have had something to do with that as they were strong for free casino drinks, and I was very proud of myself for reaching this place in my game. Now if I could just carry it over into the rest of my life......

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Vegas on my mind

I bought a plane ticket to Vegas for the next blogger gathering. I got an awesome deal from Southwest and had to take it. Unfortunately it looks like I'll be sleeping in the streets since no one seems to want to room with me and I can't afford the cost of a room by myself. Maybe I can get a cheap car rental and sleep in it. The offer is still open. Anyone who wants to split the cost of a room, let me know. I'll even consider those of you I think are creepy (if you have to ask, it's probably you). Seriously, I can provide references if needed, just ask Max.

Max says, "April is the bestest person I know!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Roommate Needed

In case you haven't heard there is a little trip to Vegas coming up soon. Falstaff has a block of rooms at the Orleans set aside and I need a roommate to split the cost with. Here is the important information straight from PokerStage:

The room block is ready for booking at The Orleans. For those who have forgotten, the rates are as follows -
Wednesday Night - $60
Thursday Night - $60
Friday Night - $110
Saturday Night - $110
Sunday Night - $65
There are 50 rooms held at those rates, plus the million dollars in taxes and other fees that come with. The room block will vanish in three weeks, so don't dick around!Call 1-800-675-3267 for reservations. Make sure you tell them this is for the World Poker Blogger Tour, June 6-10.

Also, if you're coming, please email me, so I can start compiling a contact list of everybody that will be there. Let me know your Real name (if you want), blogger name, dates of arrival and departure, where you're staying, and contact info (if you want people to have it). This list will be distributed to everyone who's coming, so if you don't want your cell phone number bandied about, tell me.

So, if you are interested in sharing the cost for any of those nights please send me an e-mail at April9807 AT aol DOT com. As long as I've met you and didn't think you were creepy, I'm willing to room with you.

Also, everyone's favorite drunken hippie has arranged for a couple of bracelet races to send some people to that big tournament that will be going on in June. One tournament is for bloggers only while the other if for anyone. If you are interested, here are the details:

Tournament name:
Blogger Bracelet Race
When: Sunday, April 29th, 7pm ET
Game: NLHE DeepstackBuyin: $24+2 or token
Password: email with blog URL for password

Tournament name: Chasers/Blogger Bracelet Race
When: Sunday, May 13th, 7pm ET
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $24+2 or token
Password: riverchasers

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mom News

On the morning of Friday the 13th, while on her way to work, my mom had a little accident.

She is fine (She'll be very sore and bruised) but the car is totalled. It took 3 guys to get her out of the car as it came to rest on the passenger side after rolling over. It shouldn't even be snowing in Maine anymore, it's April for crying out loud! Since she made it out alive the part that pisses her off most is that she had just made her last car payment 3 weeks ago. She was also pissed that a member of our extended family drove by, recognized her and immediately called my Aunt Roberta, who called my Aunt Cindy, who I'm sure called my grandmother. I told mom that if she didn't want the family to find out, she should have had the accident a little further from home....she didn't seem to find that idea as amusing as I did!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Warren Strelow Passes

Most people don't know who Warren Strelow was but to a number of NHL goalies, he was a mentor like no other. He not only coached the San Jose Sharks net-minders in recent years, he coached the goalies on the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympic team. He was also the goalie coach in the 2002 Olympics where the US won the silver and he was inducted into the hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. Warren Strelow died early this morning at the age of 73 following a series of illnesses. He will be missed by many and my thoughts are with his family.

For more on the story: San Jose Sharks Organization Mourns the Passing of Goaltending Coach Warren Strelow

Update: And more on Strelow. With quotes from within the Sharks Organization.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's Not Right!!!

I knew Phil Gordon was getting married and I had resigned myself to that fact but why, oh why, did they have to pick my birthday as the day they exchange vows? That is just not right! Should anyone want to join me in a pity party on that day, I'll be in Reno getting shitfaced. Feel free to join me and offer up your sympathies.

That is all, nothing more to see here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I Shouldn't Be Typing

Yesterday I had a Cortisone shot in the base of my left thumb. I doubt typing is on the list of recommended activities but this is what I do for my readers, if I actually have any left. My job has been incredibly busy. When I imagined myself working from home I pictured myself blogging every day, staying current with the Tivo, and just being able to relax whenever I felt like it. Instead, I work from sun up to sun down, 7 days a week. If I hated my job this would be a problem but I actually love this job and want this company to be successful. If it means rearranging the picture I had in my head, so be it.

Probably the worst part of working from home is the amount of time I am inactive. I've put on the weight I lost and added a few more pounds. It's not something I'm proud of but I really should have expected it. At the hospital I was on my feet all day, now I sit on my ass all day. It's not exactly conducive to maintaining my slightly overweight frame and definitely not going to help me to lose weight. So, I have been trying to get up off my ass and start walking. Since I'm not a big fan of sunlight this hasn't worked all that well but, I'm trying and every little bit helps.

Actually I did lose some weight last weekend. My dad, stepmom and I all went to get our hair cut. Mine hadn't been cut since last June so it was desperately needed. We went to this little hole in the wall where the price range is $8 and up. Kind of an Asian Supercuts. I sat in the chair and the little Asian lady started doing her thing. At one point she stopped and asked if it was short enough. I made the mistake of saying no. Next thing I knew I had the shortest haircut I have ever had. With the curl it falls just to the bottom of my ears. I spent most of the week reaching back to take my hair out of the ponytail that didn't exist. Luckily, once I got over the shock, I realized I like the cut. Not bad for $10.

One last thing before my hand gives out. I played in one of the Full Tilt PPA freerolls on Friday. These were set up as part of a promotion to get people to join the PPA and the top 18 got a custom Full Tilt Jersey. I didn't realize how much I wanted the damn thing until I got so close I could feel the jersey on my skin. So what do I do? I go out in 27th place, 9 fucking places from the prize. If it hadn't been for a couple of really good suckouts, I would have been out a lot earlier and probably wouldn't have been as pissed about missing the damn jersey by 9 fucking places. As all the pros say...."That's poker!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The First Couple of Poker

When it comes to professional poker players my dad is almost completely clueless. He knows a few names and even fewer faces but wanted to go with me to Bay 101 and check things out. Yesterday was a bit disappointing for him because Shannon Elizabeth didn't show up. I tried to make up for it by pointing out Liz Lieu, Cyndy Violette and Vanessa Ruosso. Today he was looking forward to seeing Jennifer Tilly and Phil Laak.

Jennifer and Phil both had bounties on their heads so they were at different tables. Since my dad couldn't get a good view of Jennifer I made sure to point out Isabelle Mercier and Evelyn Ng who were both in his view range. After player introductions we ate lunch at the Deli and by the time we finished both Jennifer and Phil had been eliminated from the tournament. I figured they would be long gone so I was pleasantly surprised to find them signing autographs and taking photos with anyone who asked. They were very gracious, signing for at least a half an hour, and didn't seem to care that they were both out of the tournament. My dad didn't get their autographs (I did!) but he did comment on how cool it was that they would do that. Especially since other players couldn't get out of there fast enough when they got beat. So I have now dubbed them the first couple of poker for their graciousness to their fans.

I didn't stay very long at the tournament today as I wasn't feeling very good. I don't know how they decide who to put bounties on though. Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington, and Ted Forrest were all there but not considered "stars" this year. How do you not make Johnny Chan a "shooting star"? Maybe it's better this way. Last I checked he was still in the tournament while a lot of the bounty players were gone.

Monday, March 12, 2007

"He looks like a little weasel!"

When I arrived at Bay 101 the action had already started. My dad came with me for the first couple of hours so I was showing him around, trying to figure out which "star" was at which table. I soon ran into the Poker Shrink and got some information. Shannon Elizabeth was a no show, much to my dad's dismay, but Liz Lieu had been asked to take her place as a "star". I'll let the guys decide if that is an upgrade or not. Also a no show was James Woods although his name was still on the schedule for today. Hellmuth had yet to arrive but that didn't surprise me. I should have asked the Shrink what the over/under was on his arrival.

My dad really doesn't know what any of the pros look like with one exception. He watched Rob and Amber's Vegas reality show so he had seen Daniel Negraneau a few times. Daniel was wearing an Owen Nolan Sharks Jersey and, when I pointed him out, my dad came up with the brilliant line that is the title of this post. Score one for dad.

Dad and I ate lunch in the Deli and, shortly after the first break I had to take him back to work. When I returned to Bay 101 about 20 minutes later, Hellmuth was still not there. I managed to find a nice place to stand and had a great view of a table that featured Kenna James, Doug Le, and Tuan Le. Tuan went all-in a couple of times and managed to double up each time. Then, about 3 hours and 13 minutes after the star, Phil Hellmuth showed up. He was at the table just to the right of the one I was watching. You would think that, since he was so late, he would be interested in doubling up soon, instead he wandered around and chatted it up with some of the other pros.

Last year, about 4 hours into the tournament they had already lost about 8 shooting stars. This year, the first didn't get knocked out until after Phil arrived. That lucky star was none other than Kathy Liebert. Shortly after Hoyt Corkins, Vanessa Ruosso, and Eli Elizra were knocked out. At that point the second break was upon us and I decided to head home. Still in when I left were: Tuan Le, Kenna James, David Williams, Gavin Smith, Cyndy Violette, J.C. Tran, Liz Lieu, Daniel Negraneau, Scotty Nguyen, Chad Brown, Freddy Deeb, Josh Arieh, Allen Cunningham, Hellmuth, John Hennigan, Nam Le, Tom McEvoy, and Robert Williamson.

I'll be back tomorrow for day two.

EDIT: I was just checking out Cardplayer to see who was knocked out since I left and noticed that Kathy Liebert is still listed on the leaderboard. I repeat....She was the first "Star" knocked out, she is no longer in the tournament despite what Cardplayer is saying. I had way less access than they do and I knew she was out, get with it Cardplayer!

I also just went back and read through some of Cardplayer's coverage, not only do they not have Kathy Liebert listed as being out but they have John Hennigan listed as being the first "star" knocked out. I can assure you that when I left at 3:45pm he was still playing, I had a good view of the back of his head.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mixed Post

Today I played in the BloggerPod tournament. I finished in 44th. I was kicked in the junk by a donkey who's best, and only, move was all-in. As I said to Waffles upon exiting, I tried. Stupid turn card.

Tomorrow is the start of the Bay 101 Shooting Star tournament. This is the WPT stop where the "Pro's" have bounties on their heads. Day 1 may be the most interesting with Hellmuth and Matusow playing. Day one also features Daniel "would you like some cheese with that whine?" Negreanu, James Woods, Shannon Elizabeth, and Kathy Liebert. If anything interesting happens I'll definitely post it.

The Sharks are winning again and I'm looking forward to the playoffs. That is all I'll say on that subject as I don't want to offend the great and powerful Hockey gods.

The Amazing Race All-Stars (SPOILER)
I seriously don't know if I will continue to watch or not. I know a lot of people are sick of Rob and Amber but I like them. Without them I think the show will get boring fast and I really don't have a favorite now. Oh and Rob, I think you need to invest in some spelling lessons. It's Philippines not Philippeans.

That's all I got for tonight. My brain actually shut off in the middle so I'm surprised I got that out. I will have a report from the Shooting Star though so look for that tomorrow.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What The Frack!!!!!!!!!!

I just got done watching Battlestar Galactica and I'm in total and complete shock!!!!! If you don't watch you can skip this post and if you do watch and haven't watched yet....What the fuck are you waiting for??? I won't ruin it for the Tivo crowd but have I said "What the fuck" yet? I realize there is probably more going on then meets the eye (Cylon anyone?) but right now I can't believe it! Even as it was happening I didn't think it was happening. After the credits rolled I expected someone to come on the screen and say, "Ha, ha, early April Fool's". Hell, the TV is off and I'm expecting it to come on my screen.

What are the writers thinking????

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Little Bit of Everything

I didn't play much poker in February. I thought that since I was working from home I would have more time for poker but, the truth is, I have less. Or maybe I'm just bored and need a break from the game. I made the decision at the end of January to stop playing above my limits (I know I should have been doing that all along) and I've been sticking to it. The 25 cent tables are boring as hell. As for $1.25 sit-n-go's, well, they are all-in crapshoots. I usually just sit and wait for good cards and can get in the top four. Of course, top 3 pays so I've bubbled a few times and taken third a lot. I have yet to win because I suck at heads up. But, with my bankroll, I have no business playing at higher levels.

And, I'm registered. Are you?

Bay 101 Shooting Star
It's almost time for the WPT's stop in the Bay Area. The week of March 12th all the big names will be in town with bounties on their heads. I'll be making the 5 minute trek to the card club to check out the action and I'll be back here with my take on the action. If anyone who reads this blog is going to be in town covering the action, drop be an e-mail. I'm available for airport runs, food runs, and late night whatever. I know a couple pubs we can hit up or, if time permits, the Sharks have 2 home games that week and I can most likely get tickets.

I'm still majorly addicted to TV. Heroes has renewed my faith in quality TV and I'm not sure what I watched before Battlestar Galatica but it couldn't have been nearly as good. I've also got a new guilty pleasure, Men in Trees. There are some hot men in Alaska, McDreamy better watch his back!

My Knee
It was doing really well until last night when I smacked it against the desk in the one spot that hadn't healed yet. I almost passed out from the pain and probably set my full recovery back another month.

I also had the silly notion that working from home would give me more time to blog. Guess we know how that is going! I'll keep trying though. I have a lot to say and you're going to get to hear it whether you want to or not, so stay tuned!

Shameless Plug
Visit Bodog Poker

Monday, February 19, 2007

New Look

For those reading through bloglines, the blog has a new look. Take a peek and let me know what you think. The next step is to update the blog links. If you want to be added, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. Unless your blog sucks more than mine, I'll give you a link.

One thing I realized tonight about my new car. It is the exact same car that Hiro and Ando rented on Heroes. Same color, same interior. I wonder if that was in my subconscious when I went to buy it?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My New Toy

This is my brand new, fresh off the truck, 2007 Nissan Versa. If it is possible to be in love with a car, I'm head over heels! Only difference is I have the lighter colored interior.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

In The Quiet

Everyone is sleeping except me and my cat Ricci who is scratching at a flea that had the nerve to interrupt his midnight nap, which will be followed by his 1am nap, then the 2am nap and so on. I can hear the fan inside my laptop, the freezer humming nearby and, finally, what sounds like the Light Rail horn in the distance. Occasionally a car drives by but the street is never very busy inside the mobile home park. I think the new neighbors are vacuuming. Who the hell vacuums at midnight? Especially young single guys in their bachelor pad. Maybe there is a special visitor coming soon and they don't want anyone to know that they are slobs. Of course one of them could be obsessive compulsive but, since they finally stopped, I don't really care.

Ricci has now decided that he needs to bathe before going back to sleep. He's pretty fat so he only cleans a small area then continues with his nap. Punkin is pretending to be asleep nearby. She knows I'll be going to bed soon and she doesn't want to miss out on annoying me as I try to fall asleep.

The vacuuming is still going on next door. I guess he just moved to another room. I hate to tell him but, unless they replaced the carpet since the previous owner, he should just give it up. She had sloppiness down to an art form. It took a month for workers to make that place inhabitable and I don't remember seeing new carpet going in. Supposedly, she had money but she certainly didn't live like it.

I've been sitting in this chair too long, my ass is getting sore. But, the quiet is kind of nice and I feel like, if I move, it will all go away. Then again, I'm getting tired of that fucking vacuum cleaner interrupting my thoughts. I'll probably be hearing it in my dreams when I finally go to sleep which I think I'll do now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Last Day

It's my last day at the hospital and I am going to attempt to live blog it. What are they going to do, fire me?

5:51am - pulled into parking lot, 9 minutes early. That's 9 more minutes I could have slept.

5:55am - finally get out of car. See Miguel smoking in the parking garage. I've been here 5 years and that's the first time I've seen him smoke. Shows how much I pay attention to co-workers.

5:56am - punch in. I think this means I can leave 5 minutes early.

6:00am - turn pager on and officially open for business. Check box for morning EKG's and find it empty. Uh oh, this could be bad. It could be a sign of a busy day. Murphy's law, morning starts slow and by the end of the day you are pulling your hair out because of the craziness.

6:01am - pray to the gods that it is a quiet day!

6:10am - Go to ER to gather the EKG's that were done the night before. Damn, they were busy.

6:15am- back to department to catch up on paperwork. Check box, still no EKG's. Send up another silent prayer for a quiet day.

6:50am - paperwork is caught up. Now I wait for the coffee shop in the lobby to open. I've got 10 minutes. I think I'm going to live dangerously and go for caffeinated today!

7:17am - I have free coffee (with caffeine) and pastry. The day can officially begin.

7:56am - I just finished my first EKG of the day. Since we have all that patient confidentiality BS I can't talk about her but I don't think her husband is covered by that. The first thing I notice when I walk in the room is his San Francisco 49er jacket. I immediately offered my condolences, as I often do when meeting a 49er fan (Maura can attest to that). This led to a nice sports discussion and the revelation that he and his wife have been together for over 50 years. Hard to believe but there are still people out there who make it work. That is one thing I will miss, meeting couples who still obviously love each other after decades of marriage. Especially these two because if I were her, I would have dumped him the second I found out he was a 49er fan.

8:22am - Just got my first piece of cake for the day. Everyone here knows about my love of all things butter creme so I expect more before the day is out. This one is homemade with chocolate frosting made by Rock, the hottest male nurse in the hospital. His muscles alone make him hotter than McSteamy and McDreamy combined and damn, he makes a good cake.

9:06am - That's 2 EKG's for the day. I've mostly been visiting with co-workers and rubbing it in that this is my last day. I'm evil but it's so much fun! and seriously, today is all about me.....right?

10:28am - No I haven't been busy, just finished my third EKG. I've been visiting with people and making smart ass comments in an attempt to get fired so I can go home early. Basically my motto for the day is "What are they going to do, fire me?" Go right ahead and do it so I can go home and watch General Hospital.

1:15pm - Still not busy. I've done 7 EKG's. The hospital bought pizza for the entire hospital staff so I was hanging out with the Respiratory Therapists waiting for the pizza. Soon I will be eating a cupcake that has about 2 or 3 inches of butter creme frosting on it, my going away gift from my manager. She knows me so well.

1:50pm - Had a little rush there, I did 2 EKG's in a row. I'm starting to feel like I'm at work which isn't really what I had in mind for my last day. And where is my cupcake, dammit!

2:33pm - Crap! The doctor showed up to read the EKG's from the last 24 hours. I'm actually going to have to work. I have to type up his reports and make copies, do filing. And I still don't have my cupcake! I'm gonna need the sugar rush to make it through the rest of the day.

5:20pm/5:45pm - I still haven't been that busy but the stupid fracking computer went down so I couldn't update until now and I know you've all been waiting to find out if I finally got my cupcake. The answer is yes and it was very yummy. Really all I have left to do is a little filing then, at 6:30pm, I can get the hell out of Dodge. I'd really like to say "Fuck it" and leave the filing for my soon to be ex co-worker but she knows where I live so I shouldn't piss her off.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

National Freedom Day

According to the calendar I saw today, tomorrow is "National Freedom Day". I'm not sure exactly what that means, I guess I'm supposed to appreciate the fact that I can play poker online in the comfort of my own home......wait a minute.....Actually this post has nothing to do with poker, the UIGEA or Neteller. For me, tomorrow is the start of a new type of freedom.

Tomorrow at 6:30pm PST, I will be walking out of the hospital I've worked at for the past five years and not going back. Yes, tomorrow is my last day of 12 hour torture as an EKG Technician. No more early mornings. No more sweaty boobs and hairy chests. No more doctors acting like they are gods while they treat their patients like crap. No more evil co-worker from hell.

After tomorrow I will be working from home. Sleeping in, staying up late, as long as my work gets done, I can set my own schedule. How fraking cool is that??

Friday, January 05, 2007

So Far, I Like It

My first week on my new work schedule went well. For those not paying attention, I'm working 2 twelve hour shifts at the hospital per week leaving me with 5 days off. Not really off, but with no commute, as my other job I can do from home or anywhere else with wireless access. 12 hours is a little much on my still bruised knee but one of the advantages to working in a hospital is an unlimited supply of ice packs.

Poker has sucked this week. If you are going to enter Al's Blogger Dead Pool, I would be a sure bet right now to be the first blogger to lose my bankroll. It won't hurt my feelings if you decide to put me on your list and I will be honest about being broke so you will get full credit.

Speaking of Dead Pool's, I am taking part in F-Train's pool. It is totally morbid but I actually subscribe to celebrity death beeper and CNN sends me an e-mail whenever someone important dies, so morbid is evidently my thing. For those who want to follow along at home, here is my list:
1. Sid Caesar
2. Dick Clark
3. Tony Curtis
4. Farrah Fawcett
5. Annette Funicello
6. Estelle Getty
7. Zsa Zsa Gabor
8. Charlton Heston
9. Meat Loaf
10. Ricardo Montalbon
11. Harry Morgan
12. Nancy Reagan
13. Keith Richards
14. Nicole Richie
15. Roy Scheider

I realize Fidel Castro is a given and I should have included him, but it just seemed too easy. There were so many choices and selecting just 15 was tough but I'm happy with my list and I think I have a couple of dark horses that may just pay off.

And with that, I am off for tonight.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Welcome 2007!!!

Thank the gods it is finally 2007! 2006 probably wasn't my worst year ever but it was pretty damn close, at least top 3. My poker game was a great metaphor for my life in general, up and down with me seeing the down more often than I would have liked. I'm hoping the last trip to Vegas will be the turning point for both my game and my life as the highs far outweighed the lows on that trip (and those who were there know about the lows so that is saying a lot).

And that is the last I will be saying about 2006, it's gone, good riddance!

In 2007 I am looking forward to transitioning out of my job at the hospital and into the job I am doing from home for an awesome start-up. This job will also allow me travel if I want as I can work from anywhere with a wireless connection. If I can get my finances in order, I may make some appearances at some of the smaller, non-Vegas, blogger events. Plus I will probably visit my family in Maine a little more often, especially since Jet Blue now flies to Portland.

I am also hoping my poker game improves over the next year. Like I said, Vegas in December was a good start, but I want to see more consistency in my results throughout the year. So far, I've been playing a lot of HORSE on FT and I have been winning more than losing, however I have a lot of holes to plug up before that winning will mean anything. Seriously, if I leave the table with 25 cents more than I started with I consider it a win so the fact that I have been winning isn't a big deal...yet.

And that is pretty much it. No resolutions, just a lot of hope for a better year! May your year be filled with happiness and good health!