Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Where'd everybody go?

Wow!

Clinked on links at right to check on old blogger buds. Some links are gone. Most haven't posted in years.

Jeez!!! Guess you can call me Rip van Winkle. I'll clean them up sometime soon...

Anybody know exactly when in December the Poker Blogger Gathering will be in Las Vegas this year? At least that education experience was still going, as of last winter; about time I got going to it -- especially with Southwest offering super cheap rates for another day or two.

Somebody, anybody. Gimme a date. For poker blogger con. Let's start there...

Meanwhile, I'm prepping to hit Vegas (finally!!!) June 28-July 7. I cannot wait!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Closed for repairs

This blog remains temporarily idle and closed for physical, mental and emotional repairs. Please stay tuned. We'll be back when you least expect it!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Slowly I Turned ...

OK, OK, I'm coming back. I'll write. Something. Sometime. Soon. And Sooner. (Still disowning Missoo.) If I can do it on Twitter, I'll do it here. Hey, maybe I should compile my Twit posts in this space too! A thought ...

And first person to correctly identify source of this post's title (and its lead-in) wins a cookie. Chocolate chip, probably...

What'd I miss in the last year-plus?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Half-mast for Boston

I just can't bring myself to write much about poker today. The Hollywood Poker Open results and discussions (John Roberts Jr. won the Main Event as it seemed he would, while the amazing William Corvaia fought his way to second place to go with two prelim wins and a third earlier in the series' St. Louis visit) will have to wait for another day.

All the talk and attention has been attracted to Boston, the murders by bombs near the finish area of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.

So very very very sad. My heart does go out to those truly suffering and directly affected.

I admit I'm something of a hard, cold case. People get hurt and die every day in many many ways and places. People suffer. Sadly, that is and always will be an unchangeable, unstoppable part of life. I try to empathize with and help all. One lost life is just like another -- sad, but done. And the rest of life goes on. And nothing will change that universal rhythm.

What's really sad and aggravating is the finger-pointing and false stories and fake heroes that events like the Boston Marathon Bombings always sprout. I saw it over and over in 25 years of newspaper work. I saw much good, like after the Luby's Cafeteria attack in Killeen, TX. I also saw much and many that were bad. I'm admit I'm jaded and turned off by it, by the noise-makers and flag-wavers and woe-warners and others trying to make a place for themselves and their egos in something that would be much better off without them around. My applause and appreciation is all for the quiet individual who helps the other individual in pain and need, and never seeks anything for it, not even recognition. Doing good and the right thing is its own reward, really. That's real heroism! That's being a good human.

This Boston thing will drag on and on and on; tragedy always makes for oppportunistic follow-ups to which the greedy and bored both flock. I'll say one more thing: This does not seem like terrorism of an international basis. Usually those kind of attacks feature suicide bombers, human bombs to cause the mayhem, faceless villains quick to claim the credit. This smells highly of domestic terrorism, of Oklahoma City and the assassination attempts on politicians and judges, of deluded cowards and crazies who'd attack theatres, schools or churches. But that's for the investigators to discover, that is their job. And they will. And the real instigators will be punished.

Meanwhile, let's just help ease sufferers' pains anywhere we can, one person at a time, one simple step at a time, anyway we best can. Please.

Monday, April 15, 2013

From HPO coverage to bed covers

OK. I promised a report tonight on the Hollywood Poker Open - St. Louis, which had its penultimate day on Sunday at the still-not-quite-open Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, MO.

They might get all the events done in the wee hours and not have to come back. That was becoming the plan at the HPO, making its first tour through town. The folks from Poker Tournament Consultants were doing a slam-bang job of moving things along ... mostly. But an unpaid bloggin' reporter with another job in the morning (that helps with bills!), well, you can only stay at it so long. And I'm sure the West Coast papers don't want to wait any longer for the news. And that pillow on the bed looks sooooo comfy...

So the brief report:

The $1,620 No Limit Hold'em Regional Championship Main Event was down to 4 players as things took a 15-minute break prior to Level 19 (2500/5000/500). Two Day Ones attracted a field of 75 and a prize pool of $109,125. Nine players were in line to cash. The contenders were whittled to 38 for Sunday's combined Day Two, and as things were drawing near a finish John Roberts Jr. of Fenton, Mo., had well over half the chips and was powering his way through his rivals with big bets and timely bigger cards/hands. Chris Lillie and Jeffrey Roberson, both of Rolla, Mo., were neck-and-neck for the runner-up spot, which would pay $21,825 compared to the winner's $34,920.

That a good enough blurb? How about the fact that for a while things went almost three hours with no eliminations at the final table -- and then Roberts rapidly sent three foes to the rail in barely half an hour to pretty well clarify things.

That enough? How about if I tossed in that Darlene Goetz of St. Peter's, Mo., won the Ladies NLHE title, outlasting 19 other women on Sunday for first prize of $1,960? There also may have been chop negotiations between Goetz and her last two rivals, Laura Forbes (Alton, Ill.) and Lori Lindley (Eureka, Mo.), to induce the conclusion. Well done, all.

And I'm well done, too. The eyelids won't cooperate. A full report and results here in your friendly blogger's nest as soon as possible on Monday or Tuesday. And get ready for the Heartland Poker Tour, which runs April 19-29 at St. Louis' River City Casino. I might even tell you a thing or two about what happens there.

If the brain revitalizes. And if the alluring bed ever turns me loose. I'm coming, Fluffy...

Friday, April 12, 2013

HPO - St. Louis version

The Championship Main Event of the Hollywood Poker Open starts today at Hollywood Casino-St. Louis. It's the 21st of 28 events in the tour's first stop here, and with a $1,620 entry fee things should be hopping. I hope.

The tournaments so far have been an embarassment for our city (Maryland Heights, a suburb in West County St. Louis), I'm afraid. How could Hollywood host such a big event with construction everywhere in the place, looking ugly and third-worldish and small? Hollywood Casino should have done better. Shame on them! Grade so far: C-minus.

There were two mega satellites for the Championship Main Event last night (Thursday). Two more Mega Sats are planned today, plus two Turbo Sats; entries to them are either $245 or $125. These satellites should help boost the field for Saturday's Flight B of the Main Event. It starts at noon local time; the Flight A starts at a similar time today, leading up to Day 2 for survivors at noon Sunday. The Championship Final Table is at noon Monday.

With all the construction and disorganization at the casino, I haven't done much playing so far. Not as much as I hoped to, as I would've liked to. The Seniors (Event 7) and Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Better (Event 13) tournaments were on my original agenda, but I've stuck to the ring games. A bit of variety, a bit of action, an agonizing long wait for seats (am I back at Bellagio? gimme a buzzer, no one can hear the PA!). Breaking even has been the sad pattern; still waiting for that solid run of goodness + luck.

Ah well. Back to the rings this afternoon, and then the final Mega Sat tonight for a place in Saturday's Main Flight B. If it's not meant to be, there's always Saturday's 7 pm $125 No Limit Nightly (Event 26). No, Chop, I will not enter the Ladies NLHE (Event 27) on Sunday afternoon; I look awful in drag. But I don't mind watching and schmoozing. And waiting for my ring name to be called again.

And no matter how frustrating and @*!%x$ the HPO's local debut has been, I'm still enthused because there's still the Heartland Poker Tour's latest St. Louis invasion coming up April 19-29 at River City Casino across town. It'll be HPT's third trip to town. They do things better, although it looks like Greg Raymer won't be there to defend his ME title because of other obligations. I really miss the the WSOP Circuit when we used to have a Harrah's (that's the property Hollywood bought), but one makes do as best one can.

Good cards and timing would help a lot too! G'luck all...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lent me your ears ... er, eyes

Is Lent over yet? Can I start writing again? The things I give up for absolutely no good reason at all. (But a wonderful excuse.)

Now excuse me while I go play some more live poker at St. Louis' Hollywood Casino (formerly Harrah's). The Hollywood Poker Open tour is in town, Day Two of 14 days' action. This better be good...

I'll be back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shame the Sham

NBC Heads-Up Poker 2013 predictions anyone?

Woo hoo, into Blogland! I'm not as hopeless as I thought! One password remembered; wish I could remember the one to GottaTalkPoker forum. Oh well, a quickie here before work starts. Thank you Forest Park CC and the library's computers! (Can't believe I found one open...)

OK, folks, your challenge here is to "Shame the Sham." Predict the outcomes of the heads-up matches to be held this Thursday through Saturday at Caesars in Las Vegas. If you don't want to know about the outcomes until the contests televise starting in late March, back away now -- and good luck dodging the news reports of the outcomes. For many years I tried. And failed.

So I'm tackling the fun heads-on. The drawing for pairings is tonight at Caesars; the matches begin Thursday. So, if we're going to do this right, I'll make my picks HERE in this thread's comments after the pairings are announced. You're welcome to do the same. Deadline to post your official picks here is the start of the first round Thursday. After that, it's all in fun for you -- you can't be recognized as the Best Sham Shamer. You're just another wanna-be.

That is, if anyone can beat me. (Oh, hush, orm ...).

Scoring: One point for each match winner correctly picked, top to bottom throughout the bracket. All picked before the contest starts. Just like in the NCAA office pools around the country. Wish ESPN could set up a fast Fantasy League on this! Ah well...

If I have a say in the contest I suggested at GottaTalkPoker (I'll have to wait to tonight to check into the forum), I would recommend the contest there have a deadline of like 7pm ET Thursday (depending on the opening day's schedule; give folks a little hedge on the first round). Pick only quarterfinal survivors, 2 in each "suit" (1 point apiece), finalists (3 points each) and champion (5 points). Tiebreaker to be earliest posted picks in the forum. Keep it all simpler. Prizes 5-3-1 from me to the best forum pickers. It's all up to bossman Jack Benny, though. We shall see.

Before the pairings are even drawn, I'll tell you I'm rooting for Doyle Brunson. He IS the Godfather. I would've picked Vanessa Selbst, but she's skipping this event to play the Aussie Millions in the land Down Under. One more early early pick: Jason Mercier.

OK. More to come. Class time. Thanks for dropping by. Don't feel embarassed when I outpick you; happens to the best of them...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This space (cadet) for rent

Meandering through the brain looking for the "on" switch, and trying to do something about this pile of notes that seems to have developed a good case of mitosis:

-- I hate when things start going "good" at the poker table for me. Like the out-of-control government and big business, then I want things to go "gooder." Meaning more profit, more, more, more! It don't work that way in real life. After a healthy string of cashing in tournaments and profits in live play, the last couple days have plateaued a bit: good play only leading to a string of 7ths, frustrating beats and ill-timed over-aggressiveness. Time to cut back on the poker and do other things until the weekend, at least.

-- Fun to play again at PokerStars in some Home Games. But it's also like stepping back in time 7 years: play money just doesn't get all the juices flowing any more. A good distraction, but there are better meals to chase that fill me better.

-- The multi-tabling is improving. The rest-of-week cutback will give me time to study what I've been doing right, what's overdone, what needs the most emphasis and tweaking for consistency and better success. There may be online ring games in my near-future; it's really been a long time since I tackled those.

-- You say I can play legal poker for real money at SkillBet, that it's actually a site approved of by the stingy ol' state of Misery I'm stuck in? But it's really more duplicate poker, sorta like duplicate bridge. No thanks!

-- Lost my Super Bowl pick last weekend. Still alive in the Yahoo! Survivor season-long race, since I switched at the last minute last weekend to Atlanta. Wonder what a 19-week one-pick winning streak rollover would have been worth in real money? This week's NFL picks: New England and San Francisco. Sorry Stacy. I gotta go with the chalks on the moneyline, they just figure to be too good. Though check back at the end of the week, I may adopt a dog if it comes with enough throw-ins (points).

-- If you missed it on Twitter, my best word of the month so far is "toptional." My phrase is "no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners." Still half a month to go...

-- Read any good books lately? I really enjoyed "Shan" by Eric Van Lustbader, the sequel to his "Jian." Wish he'd finished the planned trilogy, but apparently he moved on to other things after the second opus. Need to read his "Ninja" some day, but hard to find in the local libraries. If Lustbader's name rings a bell, it's because he picked up Robert Ludlum's Bourne franchise and has continued the series -- very well, thank you. I'm really looking forward to February, when Alex Berenson's next book ("Night Ranger") featuring John Wells comes out. Berenson and Daniel Silva are my favorite authors currently. And I'm still catching up on the large selection from Robert Randisi (check out his Rat Pack Mysterys, set in Las Vegas and featuring lots of familiar real-life characters, if you want good enjoyable reads!).

-- I think I like Manchester United best. Or Everton or Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspurs or Manchester City or Swansea City or ... Yeah, my loyalty is still for sale.

-- Who's going to Las Vegas for the summer? Want to share renting a place for a month or two or three?

-- I screwed up on Mardi Gras. Made plans to attend St. Louis activities one weekend and work the next ... and I had the weekends backwards. Oh well, I didn't really want to party and get drunk and catch beads and see lots of nekkid ...

-- How do you put tags on these things? Still trying to learn Blogspot's changes... Really need to find a new easier place to publish my blogs, maybe then I'd do it more often.

-- There was something I wanted to say. Can't remember what. Depression and bad memory are an awful one-two punch. I'll think of it. Meanwhile, where's the shovel?...

PS: WSOP likely to announce this afternoon the field for NBC Heads-Up Championship at Caesars at the end of the month. I still haven't gotten my phone call; how could you forget me, gang???

Friday, January 11, 2013

So much to do...

Just a quickie. I'm still around. Just been a week with so many other things to get done, never found time to blog. Today's the worst, on my way out and will be running around all day.

Did go 2-for-2 in forum tournaments played Thursday night -- almost simultaneously, which I am NOT good at. Won HoldePokerChat's NLHE event at Juicy Stakes for $60, then got serious (and luckier) at GottaTalkPoker's Limit 5-Card Draw (with Joker) at Aced/Carbon and somehow took it down for $12. That'll get me in a few more events. One of these days I'll win a really big one again and get outta debt! Wish I was at PCA in Atlantis or headed for the Aussie Millions or able to play COOP at PStars, but one does what one can.

More soon. Wish forums and websites (even Yahoo! and AOL) would stop changing things every few days; very annoying and frustrating to us brain-damaged manic depressives. Happy birthday 2 days late nephew Justin. Maybe I can get in some live poker tonight at Lumiere if my other business goes fast. Have a good day and a great weekend, all!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winning is fun

Happy birthday, sister Beth! I should have mentioned that at the end of yesterday's post, since I'm falling into a routine of posting at the end of days. Ah well...

Beth, mom, nephew Justin the StLToday super-writer and I had lunch Saturday at River City Casino's buffet. It was a madhouse. The casino was having its first giveaway of the year, coffeemakers for anyone it considered its "Tier III or above" gamblers. Insane. Took a half hour AFTER PAYING to get seated in the buffet, although there were PLENTY of empty tables around the room! Management of site-owner Pinnacle really should investigate, and offer decent service ... or it will lose customers.

I played about 45 minutes of 3-6 Limit Holdem after lunch in the magnificent River City Poker Room. That may be St. Louis' best place to play poker, although only 3 tables were going when I sat down. Very comfy, and amazingly wonderful room management. I also had my best day of the year: 50 bucks profit for my short play. Wish I could've stayed longer, or played the NLHE tournament that was cranking up as my family and I were leaving.

To cap a successful today, an hour or so ago I won the GottaTalkPoker League's game of the night, Limit Razz. First win since joining the forum! The $12 top prize basically didn't matter. Good socializing, good cardgame competition and a mostly enjoyable expenditure of one's time is what good life is all about. The idiots and bullies in the forum (sadly there are a couple) don't appreciate that; but heck, as long as the "mute" button works on them at the table, I'll get by and have fun.

Off to a 2-0 start in the NFL playoffs. Sunday I'm rooting for Baltimore and Seattle. And I'll be playing a lot more online poker while I watch.

Right now, life is very good...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Skeleton hunt begun

I've been sitting around most of the day so far, working not to feel sicker against this flu bug, digging through skeletons, trying to decide which online poker league game to play tonight.

I've also been surfing around amongst my own poker links, seeing what memories pop up, what still exists. A lot of the sites look like your classic post-Apocalypse movie: a vacant landscape frozen in time, a certain date (usually 2011) where things stopped moving, familiar names and faces and addresses ... with nobody there any more.

My key still works to the Shark Poker Tour forum. First visit in well over a year. What memories there when the door finally opened. The names: jigdog, hyppiechyck, vince37931, kardmania, tmac68, woohoo sue, the new Top Shark sharkarmy, treebor55, ralphc, and on and on. Even offrdmom, to whom I'm grateful for turning me on to GottaTalkPoker forum, where I'm playing more and more nowadays. The Shark counter says my last visit was "Thu Mar 25, 2010" ... but I usually left the door open when I came and went. "Most users ever online was 492 on Mon May 21, 2012 12:12 pm". Total posts 57,338; total topics 8154; total members 7,870, the newest at the end being itsomeeh. Geez, so many good happy angry profitable frustrating memories. So many memories.

The blame for the death lies on the Obama Justice Department. It pretty much killed with its Black Friday indictments/prosecutions of PStars, Full Tilt and AP/UB what the Bush and Republican-pushed UEIGA wounded: online poker in the USA. Where's our freedom to be adults and make our own decisions? Beyond sad. I hope those that continue to this day the fight for poker rights online don't suffer the same fate as my lost forums and friends.

I'll get the link lists in the right-hand column updated. But it'll be a slow process. Bear with me. And if you want to get your poker (or other interesting-to-me) blog on the list, drop me a line.

On the live poker front here in St. Louis, yesterday at Lumiere Place was break-even and short. Today I dropped by Hollywood Casino but didn't play; just picked up some copies of the PokerPlayerNewspaper with the tribute to Lou Krieger (RIP, friend). Tomorrow (Saturday) I plan to play a couple hours at River City Casino ... if the action is good. I'm meeting my mom and sister there to celebrate Beth's birthday -- so great having a younger sister to pick on! Though I don't pick on her as much these days, since she's a CPA and a superior tax account...

As to online poker action, I'm trying to decided which league game to tackle tonight. There's Poker101a's Bounty League at JuicyStakes (6.60, 3-buck bounties, NLHE), while GottaTalkPoker's got its NLHE Cheap Night (1.05 with 3 rebuys and 3 add-ons). I should play both. Both start at about 8 pm my time. I do not play my best these days when multi-tasking, and I really would like a win today to erase the "dead forum memories." I signed up for 101a's game because it needs minimum 8 players, and I was fifth in; really hope it happens, it should! And there's always a chance I could late-enter the GTP game, they take late entries for 36 minutes.

So what's new in your world? Beware the zombies. Shuffle up and deal... 

P.S.: This was my 100th post. I'm sure I won't keeping doing this every day, I'm too scattered. But I do hope to double that post total before the year ends...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where to be?

Getting ready to head out in a couple of hours, so decided to get a post done now.

Headed for Lumiere Place Casino/Poker Room in downtown St. Louis. Games probably won't be as good as when the Cards or Rams are hosting games and visiting teams' fans are in town. But we'll see. I'm ready to start the Live year on a good note.

Of course, if I had my druthers, I'd rather be at Atlantis Resort. The Bahamas. Poker Caribbean Adventure, hosted by PokerStars. Starts Saturday. I got addicted to this poker gig 20 years too late...

Readers, if you had your choice, where would you like to be this month? My choices would be first Atlantis, then Australia at the end of the month for the Australian Open. The LA Open Poker Classic (WPT event) would be nice, but I've been to Los Angeles, and ya can go there and play almost any time. Give me exotic diversity! (Plus I like it HOT!!!)

GottaTalkPoker's forum game tonight is Limit 5-Card Draw. That's the first game I ever learned; thank you, Grandma and Grandpa and Dad and Mom! Hope I get home in time to play; if not, there's next Thursday for it. HoldemPokerChat forum's also got a game tonight, No Limit Holdem, starting at the same time as GTP's game. May try double-tabling if I get home in time. I think I'd really rather not, because: 1.) I play my best poker when I'm focused and zoned on one game, one set of circumstances and possibilities and vibes; and 2.) I hope I'll still be playing live at Lumiere and piling up chips from the regulars and the tourists.

When you're a writer you want to go on and on. That's another resolution of mine this year: More short stories and vignettes, fewer novels. Quality and quantity need not be mutually exclusive in 2013!

And happy birthday brother Brian down in Florida...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day Two

Is it still today, or is it tomorrow? It's still today where I'm at.

So I'll type fast and see if I can keep the post-a-day streak intact.

The way Paragraph One sounds is about how my Humpday has gone. I did get GottaTalkPoker forum's link posted among my Recommends in the right-hand column. Found the new address of Doyle Brunson's blog and changed to it amongst the Blogs list, erasing the link from his Doyle's Room days. Still have so many things to correct and add and straighten out around here.

Played two GTP tournaments Wednesday at Aced/Carbon. Cashed in Pot Limit Omaha; crashed in Kansas City Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball. Had fun both times. The action is nice. And the mute button works if some folks forget that poker also has fun and socializing elements -- at least in low-stakes forum games. They're meant for experimenting and gambling sometimes.

Thursday it may be time to do the town. Catch up with Wingman Jim, and see if the ladies are braving the cold much yet. Ya gotta do that every now and then or you go computer blind/mad!

Two days and no Facebook. I do not miss it all!!! I'll find out what's going on around the universe in other ways, including websites, e-mails and Twitter.

Shoot, I think I'll even hit Lumiere Casino/Poker Room a little Thursday afternoon. Gotta make some bill-paying money. No modelling moolah due for another 12 days or so. Vacationing is nice, but working vacations and being paid to vacation is nicer.

Ciao for now...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I am back. Really!

Jeez, have I been Rip van Winkle-ing? No posts for all of 2012. Shoot, for most of 2011, too.

I am back. It is 2013. It is a year of writing, poker, and success. It is going to be a good one.

Stay tuned. A lot of housekeeping to come, a lot to catch up on. If you like to play poker, a good place to catch me these days is the GottaTalkPoker forum -- games every day, mostly via Carbon or Aced (which used to be PDC aka poker.com; R.I.P., another good ol' site.).

It's a new day. Let's shuffle up and deal! And Happy New Year, all!!!