Random thoughts about my interests which include (in no particular order) poker, finance & investing, politics, football and whatever else I happen to see that piques my interest

Saturday, July 31, 2010

And that's the way it is

Well folks, I am glad this work week is over. I am beat and I'm not sure why. Well outside of the fact I haven't slept particularly well all week. And I still have a cough, especially at night. I take the cough stuff the doc prescribed and though it doesn't seem to make me especially sleepy, I wake up pretty groggy the next morning. Oh well, it beats not waking up or waking up coughing in the middle of the night.

Outside of my cough, things were all right this week. Unfortunately they haven't been that great. Poker has kinda sucked online and I'm too broke to play live. After my last live session that may be a good thing. Online I just keep getting my aces cracked. 4 times in a row now. Against K9 who made a straight, K10 who made a boat, K8 suited who made a flush, and last against 55 who made a boat. And I always raise them preflop. I am just running on such a bad streak with them.

You would think I would even out by sucking out on these other yahoos but it's not to be. I don't suck out and I seem to be losing most of my races as well. If I have a pair against overcards, overcards hit the board. If I have overcards against a pair, nothing hits for me. Well enough of that shit. I'm gonna keep playing and not get too paranoid. Eventually I'll start holding up and then I will clean a couple of these people out. And make some real cash.

Just watched the movie Zombieland this week. Now that's a funny movie. Outside of the fact that the electricity still works everywhere, I just enjoyed the hell out of that movie. All the little rules, the Zombie Kill of the Week, the unfortunate killing of Bill Murray. No academy award winner but it doesn't pretend to be. It was just a fun movie. Woody Harrelson looked like he had fun making that one. Even the wife enjoyed it and she usually hates movies with a lot of violence.

Well time to go clean the kitchen floor. Hope everyone has a good weekend. Stay lucky you nuts. And don't forget rule 32 - enjoy the little things.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and of course The Ugly

It was a good weekend all in all but there were moments of badness and one of just pure ugliness that I hope not to see repeated anytime soon. As my last post mentioned, I woke up Friday coughing up a lung. Took the medications the doc gave me, the Zpack and the cough syrup and rested. That cough syrup with the hydrocodone didn't make me sleepy as much as dizzy so no operating heavy machinery last weekend.

We drove out to Steinhatchee on Friday afternoon/evening. It was a nice ride as we stayed off the Interstate. We did take the Suncoast Parkway which let us avoid a ton of traffic and red lights like US 19 has. Once we got up by the Crystal River nuke plant, we cut over to US 19 and kept heading north. Went through such metropolises (metropolii?) as Chiefland, Fanning Springs, and Hardeetown (no Hardees in Hardeetown but 2 are pretty close). Neat little towns. Finally we took the turn off to Steinhatchee. Saw a lot of land, not much in the way of civilization, unlike Pinellas County where we live. Just before night fell we arrived in the city of Steinhatchee. It certainly did not rival Rome or Paris for things to see, I will admit that. However I will also admit that the seafood was pretty kickass there. We dined at a place called Fiddlers that night. Had broiled flounder and broiled shrimp. O that was gooooood. We sat out on the deck, listening to the music, eating our dinner along with a fried mushroom appetizer, and watching the boats on the Steinhatchee River.

We drove around town a bit, unfortunately there is no way to go all the way to the Gulf as the town is a little inland up the river. Then we headed to our hotel in Gainesville which was fairly central to where we wanted to go. Nice hotel, especially for $49 a night. We were pretty beat so after looking up things we wanted to do the next day, we passed out kinda early.

The next morning we grabbed our free breakfast in the lobby and then decided to hit the road early. I wanted to go by Micanopy and the wife wanted to check out the Ocala Poker Room for their early afternoon tournament. Micanopy was cool. Really small town, the buildings all looked like the came out of the late 1800s and early 1900s. A number of antique shops, a few cafes, bookstores and a really neat stained glass place. I could have looked around in there for a long time. From there we continued south toward the poker room. Unfortunately, the address I had for the place and the info I pulled online made me turn right on 318 when I shoulda turned left. We got to see a lot of boonies lol. Eventually we worked it out and went to play some cards.

Nice little room they have there in Ocala. It's a jai alai fronton that only seems to have jai alai going 2 months of the year but at least they have poker for the entire year. Too bad they didn't have jai alai going then, I do enjoy watching it and placing the occasional short term investment on it. I have not seen it played live since the Tampa fronton closed about 15 years ago. Anyway we both sign up for the 1pm tourney. For $100 you get 10K in chips and for only $10 more they give you another 5K. That's a lot of chips and the blind structure is good with 30 minute levels and 2 levels of 100-200 blinds, one without an ante and one with a 25 ante. So you can afford to wait for some hands and whack the aggros with a little luck. Unfortunately luck was in short supply for me. If I could have gotten anything worth playing, I would have been fine. I saw so many hands of 9-4, 10-3 and 5-2 that it was sickening. At the end of the first hour I had played 2 hands that weren't my blinds and both were folded after the flop . After 2 hours I still hadn't won a hand. I also had only seen one pocket pair and they were 3s. Still hadn't seen A with anything better than a 7. Never even got KQ. Watched these other clowns getting AA, KK, etc but I could not get squat. Lost 2 hands to this yahoo off to my left. I watched him win 2 hands with Q6 suited and J7 off but the two hands I get involved with and tried to steal postflop he shows up with AK and AA. Both hands he didn't raise preflop from early position. He deserved to get whacked, especially with the Aces since he had 5 callers and yet no one catches anything on a 455 flop. I had 33 and tried to pick it up from the button but he calls postflop and then post turn with a 6. Now I feel pretty good about my hand but have to give him credit for something since he had AK last time we tangled and didn't raise. I'm looking for a 2 or 7 on the river but of course it's an Ace. He checks again but I just check and he turns over AA for the boat. No justice at all. He played like crap but gets rescued on the river. I wonder if no ace hits if he lays it down to my river bet but I doubt it. Of course I get no help on the river anyway.

And that's the way the whole tourney went. After 3 hours I have won a grand total of one hand with A-8 when I raised preflop then raised the one caller off the hand after the flop. I'm down to about 8K. Blinds are 300-600 so it's getting critical. My wife is two places to my right. She started out pretty well but is not getting anything much either now. She gets it all in a little later with K-10 but gets called by the guy next to me with KQ and another guy with AJ. Ace flops and she's gone. The next hand I finally get AK. I push all in for my last 3K and the guy next to me calls and shows KQ again. This time I get 2 pair and win my second hand of the day. Only took almost 4 hours. Next hand I dump and the guy next to me wins with AQ. So in 3 hands this guy has KQ, KQ, AQ which is better than my entire day. Very next hand I am UTG with 10-10. I'm leery of pushing too hard in that seat and losing to someone with KK or something in a later position, so I just call. Guy next to me calls as do the 2 blinds. Flop is nice, 8 5 2 rainbow. Checked to me and I bet half the pot. Guy next to me calls and the blinds fold. Next is a 3. I was gonna bet but I don't have enough behind to push someone out if I do so I just push in for my last 4K. Guy calls and turns over QQ. I don't suck out on the river (of course) and it's bye bye.

I wasn't upset, it was the way the day had gone. Amazing another clown doesn't raise his big pair and still wins against 3 other people. When you ain't got it, you ain't got it. What was most disappointing was in 4 hours you figure the luck will even out some and you'll catch something but it wasn't meant to be. It was bad but at least not ugly. That came a bit later.

Wife was playing 1-1 no limit holdem. I like this level as max buy in is 60 so you don't have to have a massive amount of cash to play some no limit holdem unlike the higher limits like 1-2, 2-5 and 5-10. I got put at the wife's table about a half hour after I busted. She was doing decently, up about 25 bucks. I got 2 good hands off the go, AK where I flop a K and end up splitting the pot with another guy who had AK, then AJ where I flopped nothing and folded. After that I got pretty much crapped on. Got a good read on the two guys to my right. Both were pretty fishy. My wife beat up on the guy just to my right like he was her personal ATM for a while and I couldn't wait to tangle with him when I had a hand. The guy to his right was way too aggressive and I figured I could take him for some big chips. He did win a really nice pot when he called a guys 5X raise from the big blind with 43 and flopped two 4s to bust the guys AA. That had to hurt.

Unfortunately my tourney luck found me at this table too. I got no end of crap hands again. 9-4 and 10-3 kept showing up. I just kept waiting for some carsd to play. Wife on the other hand won a nice pot when her pocket 8s got quadded up on the flop. Room was paying a high hand bonus of 300 bucks every hour and she was sitting with it after the first 10 minutes that hour. Had a good chance of holding up too but 50 minutes is a long time to wait. Unfortunately about 8 mins before the hour was up some clown in the next table plays AK and gets KKK on the board to take the high hand. The dealers moved and the one who dealt the high hand comes to our table. She dealt me absolute crap in the tourney so I expected nothing, especially the way my luck was running. So the yahoo who got high hand gets paid off and comes over to our table to tip his dealer and thanks her then says to my wife "I'm sorry you didn't get it, well no I'm not". What a classless thing to say. I realize you're happy and all but that was just bullshit in my book. My wife gives him a look then says, "Good for you buddy, but karma's a bitch" Loved that.

Couple of hands later, The Ugly came to town. I am none too happy at this point, especially after my wife lost the jackpot. I get dealt A4 of spades. The ATM 2 seats to my right raises to $4 and with a bunch of people who called preflop I figured why not call this raise from the small blind. So do 3 others. Flop is A 4 2 with 2 clubs and one spade. Unless someone has 3-5 this is a really good flop for me. I check my stack and since I only have $14 left I decide to push all in. I don't have enough to bet anything now and be able to push anyone off the hand after the turn so I figure my best move is to bet $14 into a $17 pot and try to take it down now. Everyone else folds except the original raiser. He looks at his cards, looks back, sighs and finally calls. I figure he either has a big ace or 2 clubs. I flip up my cards hoping he doesn't have 2 clubs as I know I'll lose to a flush draw. I am shocked when he flips over a red QJ. I mean he has no pairs, no draws, and even if he just puts me on an ace, he knows he needs runner runner to beat me. With 2 pair, he is almost drawing dead. Needs a runner runner set or straight. I figured his odds at that point and I put him at 2%. Of course it goes K-10 and he wins. I am livid but I just say "I cannot believe this" and walk out.

How do you call that hand with that holding. I mean you have absolutely nothing and you're gonna call that bet? That was all the proof I needed that poker was not my game that day. I sat down and worked on a crossword and just let my steam drain from my head. My wife cashed out plus a bit a little later and we went to get some dinner. Found a really good mexican place and had a great inexpensive dinner. No booze for me as I was gonna be taking the cough medicine in a little while but still a terrific dinner.

Satisfied in our stomachs, if not our wallets, we headed back to the hotel and crashed. I woke up way too early Sunday morning. The wife was a little later. We wanted to head out to Cedar Key which is on the coast southwest of Gainesville. We had found a Grandy's riding around on Saturday and were thinking of going to breakfast there but since it was the opposite direction from where we wanted to head I thought we'd hit a local place in one of the little towns on the way to Cedar Key. We hadn't been to a Grandys in many years as all the ones around here closed down years ago. Got the names of a few restaurants online and figured we'd hit one of them on the way to Cedar Key. Went through such famous towns as Archer and Bronson where we tried to find the Lady Luck Cafe. Apparently it had not been too lucky as it was no where to be found. So we pushed on to Cedar Key. Drove down what had to be the flattest straightest road in America. If it hadn't been for all the tall trees around you would swear you were driving through Kansas or something. Very few cars on the road, almost no homes or towns for the last 20 miles or so to Cedar Key. Just a whole lot of nothing.

We finally make it to Cedar Key. Not that it was a great long drive or anything cuz it wasn't. It was actually kinda nice drive, just not much going on. At least the traffic was next to nil. We stopped at this little cafe called Cooks Cafe. I got me some biscuits and gravy. I may have been raised up north but I learned when I lived in Texas that cream gravy makes almost everything better. Cooks sausage cream gravy was very good, a little thinner than I usually see but nice and peppery just the way I love it. Their home fries were excellent as well. My wife had a waffle and bacon, liked the bacon but the waffle was so/so. We then walked and drove around Cedar Key a bit. Nice little slice of old Florida on the Gulf. Main St was a quaint look at another time. It was quiet there and not a lot of people were around but I bet in the winter the place is packed.

Once we had our fill of Cedar Key we started heading back home. It was a nice day to travel, no rain and not much traffic. We also dropped by Yankeetown on the way back, I rather insisted on that. There is not much of anything there to speak of. On the way out of Yankeetown we came to a sign that we were now entering historic Crackertown. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of that, Yankeetown and Crackertown next to each other.

Made it back home a few hours later and vegged out for the rest of Sunday. My cold or respiratory infection or whatever was much better. At least I am not coughing uncontrollably but I am still coughing some, especially at night. So to wrap up, the good would have to include these small towns, especially Micanopy and Cedar Key. Just neat little places like a slice of old Florida. Also the poker room at Ocala, especially the staff was very good. The weather was nice, the food was very good for the most part. We made a special effort not to eat at chain restaurants while we traveled to support the local businesses as much as possible. Outside of a quicky lunch at Burger King we pretty much did that. The motel was definitely a good as well especially for 49 a nite.

The bad includes getting sick right before I left. Also my poor luck at the poker room didn't help. Two other things I noticed were a lot of these small towns had a lot of closed up businesses. It looks like the bad economy has really impacted some of these small towns a lot. Also these are not well to do areas anyway. Most of the money made in these areas are related to fishing, clams, scallops, etc as well as lumber. Not high profit industries for the workers. Saw a ton of manufactured homes out in the boonies and not that many regular ones. Steinhatchee looked to be 60 - 70 % manufactured homes.

The only thing I would classify as ugly was my last hand of poker. That beat down was just ugly. Well this post has taken long enough. Time to post. Stay lucky my friends, luckier than me at least.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Open wide and say "Ahh"

I'm taking the day off today. Unlike some other person who shall remain nameless, I don't normally get Fridays off, except for Good Friday, so this is distinctly different for me. Unfortunately it's not that I earned a day off or anything, it's because I am coughing so much that I would both be unable to function well in my job (which does require phone contact) and infecting the rest of my department with this cold. So now I know how Josie feels except I feel much worse.

I was planning on leaving tonight with the wife and taking a weekend to see a bit of Florida I never have seen before. Now that two of our 3 chicks are out of the nest and the third will soon be attending college, we are taking some time to do some stuff we couldn't do when we were younger and taking care of the kiddies. This weekend we were going to go up the west coast to Steinhatchee which is on Apalachicola Bay where the state bends out to the west toward the panhandle. As long as I've lived here, I really have not gone to see what small town Florida is like, most of my vacations with the kids and stuff were to places like DWorld, Universal Studios, NASA, and places like that or we went somewhere out of state. I haven't really gone on side roads much and never stopped in small towns. This weekend was a chance to do some of that as kind of a delayed birthday present.

First thing this morning I called the Dr office to see if I could get in and have her check out this cold. I was really coughing up a lung last night and this morning. She couldn't see me but one of her associates could so I went in to see him this morning. Had to wait awhile. Must be a bunch of sickies around as parking was full and the place was crowded. Eventually I got in to see him and he checked me out. A lot of this going around apparently. I got 2 prescriptions, one for Zpack? which is supposed to make me recover from this cold quickly and the other for a cough syrup that contains hydrocodone and will make me sleepy.

Anyway its medicine and nap time for me. Will decide later whether to go away or not, it will depend on how I'm feeling. Till then, stay lucky you nuts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book em Dano

50 already? Seems like only a month ago I was 25, with a baby boy and another on the way. Now both boys live in their own apartment and have good jobs and girl friends. Feels like it was a couple of weeks ago when my little girl was born. Now she's almost 18 and getting ready to go off to college. Lately I have found myself thinking of all this deep shit like what does it all mean, what do I want to do with the rest of my life, have I prepared my kids for their future, and will OJ have better luck finding Nicole's killer in jail than he did on the golf course. It boggles the mind sometimes.

Do I feel like a success when I look back at my life? What have I really done? Have I achieved anything?? Most times my answer is not really. Yet I have managed to help raise 3 good kids who are (mostly) productive members of society. Most of the credit goes to their mother but I haven't been a complete dud I guess. Maybe I should have that put on my tombstone "He wasn't a complete dud". I know I'll never be famous except by accident like from winning the lottery or something. When you come right down to it, I don't want to be famous anyway. I wouldn't mind being rich however. Enough of this maudlin bullshit anyway.

Still it's my birthday. 50 years ago today my mother was probably laying back in the Providence Lying In Hospital thinking "Thank God that's over". So how should I celebrate? It won't be playing poker that's for sure. My luck lately has been as poor as I've seen. I can't make a hand stand up and anyone calling me on a draw is just about guaranteed to hit it. I hit a set on the turn one hand and there were 2 cards to the flush as well on board though no straight draw. With 1300 in the pot I pushed all in for 2300 to make sure I don't give any flush draw the odds to draw to it. I still get called and the guy hits the river. 7 outs but of course it hits. He's getting about 1.5 to 1 odds to draw to his draw. His odds of winning the hand are about 5 to 1 against. That's the way the odds are working today. Last hand I have both open end straight and flush draws and the river is nothing. Again. So poker is done for the rest of the day for me. I don't need this aggravation on my birthday.

Gonna hit the library and spend some time with a few good books, have dinner with the wife and kiddies, pop open a bottle of wine and have a bit of cake and ice cream as well. A good day to relax and spend family time. I hope all of you have a good weekend. Take a little time to tell some older friend or relative what they mean to you today. Cuz they won't always be around you know. You might make their day. Stay lucky you nuts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What a Relief

Whew, glad that's over. Not the most pleasant way to spend a weekend my friends. After mid day on Saturday I never strayed far from the bathroom. And a good thing I didn't either. So I spent the weekend reading and playing poker online. It was slightly profitable but quite irritating to watch AA get busted by both QJ offsuit and 95 suited. I also followed the WSOP main event online on both Poker News and Dr Pauly's poker blog. Had to drink that citrate of magnesium 3 times. BLEH. Still I sucked it up and have been cleansed inside and out, had all kinds of pictures of my insides (and 2 polyps removed to boot) and now I'm back on solid food again.
I had an appointment with my GP yesterday afternoon after the colonoscopy in the morning. We talked of a few things and she sent me for an EKG after my appointment was done. All in all it was a pretty busy day but at least I got a nap in on the table when I was getting the colonoscopy. So they tell me I had 2 polyps but hell, they could have snapped some pics of my ass and woken me up a while later without doing anything else and I'd be none the wiser. I'll find out if the 2 polyps were anything to worry about when I see the gastroenterologist in a couple of weeks. By then I will have turned 50. Oh Yay. Of course it does beat the alternatives.
Tonight I'm watching the All Star game while I DVR Deadliest Catch. These are the episodes where Phil Harris died of a stroke. The man was only 3 1/2 years older than I am. Ouch. Anyway the NL may win this game yet. Between Joe Girardi making some bad pitching changes (why not bring in one of your best closers when the bases are loaded and you need an out?) and Josie's fave Big Sloppy taking a called 3rd strike when a hit drives in at least one run, the AL is in trouble. Well Ole Papi leads off the 9th for the AL and if they get some runners on Girardi still has AFraud to pinch hit with. Does this inspire me with confidence? Uh noooooo. I can see it now. Papi leads off the ninth with a hit. A Rod comes up after somebody makes an out and Mr Non Clutch hits into a DP to end the game. Wow Valverde of the Tigers is just throwing nasty stuff up there. So I'm gonna watch the bitter end of this game while I finish this poker tourney I'm in. Almost into the money now and I need some more chips to go further. Hope everyone has a good week. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Two Down, One To Go

Well I've had 2 tests done so far and both have been easier than I thought they would be. The echocardiogram went well, no problems found or anything. The CAT scan was even easier because they didn't inject me with dye (which always makes me vomit) and I didn't have to drink that berry/metallic crap before the test either. The doc just wanted a scan without the contrast they would get from using the dyes and stuff. So the CAT scan was easier and quicker than I thought it would be. Probably didn't hurt that they have improved CAT scans over the past 20 years since I last had one too. I didn't mind at all.

Got a call from the gastroenterologists office Friday to tell me I have gall stones. I don't know much about them but the doctor didn't seem too concerned. I have an appointment with my doctor on Monday and with the specialist in 2 weeks so I will talk to them both about it and see if I should be concerned. I read up about it a bit and it doesn't seem too bad, a lot depends how big the gall stones are in size.

This weekend is all about preparing for test number 3, the colonoscopy. I don't mind the actual test so much, hell I'm basically out of it for the test. That's a bit of a change from when I had my first test. I was awake through it all, saw the pictures and everything. Not something I really live to do. Nowadays they put you in a twilight sleep and you don't remember anything, at least I don't. And when the test was over I never felt any pain or anything from it. So the test itself is no real problem.

The prep on the other hand is a major pain in the ass. I gotta take this stuff 3 times during the next day and a half which will "cleanse" me from the inside out. Oh yay. After noon today I get nothing solid to eat until after the test on Monday morning. Nothing but broth and clear liquids. Unfortunately white wine doesn't qualify as a clear liquid, I don't think. Be funny to walk into the surgery center already hammered. Not so much for the doc I bet. Anyway the plan is to have a big breakfast this morning and pick up the crap I need to take over the next two days. Then suffer in relative silence, never far from the bathroom over the next 2 days until the "procedure" and then grab a good meal after it's all over. Bet I'm hungry then

Funny story from last week. A little background. Whenever that GEICO commercial comes on where the gecko and the old guy talk about ringtones you can download to your cell phone comes on, my wife threatens to add that Ring-a-dong ding ding di dong one that the old guy has on his phone. So after my echocardiogram, I went into the men's room at the medical building before I left. An old guy is taking a leak in there when I went in and as soon as I do his cell phone goes off. "Ringy dong ding ding di dong" is the first thing I hear. I almost lost it as soon as I heard it. Guy had to be in his 70s. It was all I could do to keep from laughing until he left. I really can't believe people are downloading that ring tone, especially old guys. Maybe his kids or grandkids did it to him. Either way, it was pretty funny.

Anyway, that is all the news fit to print. Needless to say the only gambling I will do this weekend will be online now. Have a great weekend everyone. Stay lucky you nuts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Clutching my 3 for all I'm worth

Good morning all and happy 4th of July Weekend

I hope all of you will take a moment this weekend to consider the origination of this holiday, the people who put their names on a document that surely would see them hung if their idea of a new society was unsuccessful, and all the sacrifices our ancestors made along with the ones our neighbors and even our families are making today.

As my title implies, I have been doing my damndest to hold onto the cash I've won so far without giving it all back. I go up a little, down a bit and at the end of the day I just hope I'm back where I started from. I just can't get over the hump and make a big score. Having said that, I have done well to avoid going on an extended losing streak as well. So I sit and wait sure that the poker gods will reward my patience. yeah right.

Yesterday afternoon I had an Echocardiogram run on me. Interesting experience, never had one before. The technician had a hard time finding my heart. She said it was 2 sizes to small. The only one she had seen that small before was a guy named Mr Grinch lol. Actually not true and the test went fine. Probably ok but I'll be talking to the doctor soon and she'll tell me how it looked. Next week I have a CAT scan scheduled. Oh yay. Haven't had one in over 20 years but they were no picnic for me when I was getting them regularly (I had cancer many years ago and part of the follow up was quarterly CAT scans) and setting records for projectile vomiting. According to the specialist I saw, they are much quicker and easier now. Also this time I don't have to choke down the crap I had to drink the other times I had a CAT scan. So hopefully it's not as bad this time around. The following week some dude gets to ram a garden hose up my butt and he gets paid to do it. Some job huh? I should be the one getting paid for that. Think I'll bring that up.......after they finish.

Enough of that fun stuff. Makes my cringe thinking about all that. This is gonna be a quiet weekend for me, outside of fireworks I'm sure one of my idiot neighbors will set off at 2 or 3 am this weekend. We should get rained on at some point every day as well. I'm too broke to be playing cards live this weekend so I'll be online trying to increase my number a good bit. Gotta hit the library and pick up a few books as well. Other than that I got the kitchen floor and my car to clean. Like I said, a really busy active weekend ahead. Hope you all enjoy yours. Stay lucky you nuts.