Thursday, March 23, 2006

I've gone to Hell and I like it

Hell, or Oblivion as it is called in this case, is the latest version of the Elder Scrolls by Bethesda Softworks. For those who haven't gotten it yet, it is a computer Role Playing Game (RPG) - probably the best one to released this year and ground breaking for many years to come.

Since my travel last week, this has been the next largest consumer of my time since Tuesday, when it was released. Given my S&G Challenge, this might be a better way to spend my money.

I am not really planning to review it - you can follow the links to thier site and read all the reviews. More just make a couple comments on it.

Being a fan of the Elder Scroll series of games, I have been following the news about this game as it progressed through development (not as fanatically as some people - they seriously need a life). As the game started getting previewed, it was sounding more and more exciting. The graphics are <insert superlatitive here>. The game play is <insert more superlatitives>. I actually bought into it a little and was expecting to be completely blown away. I have a fairly recent computer (less than 6 months old) and it was more than their recommended system in power.

I got the game on Tuesday, and as soon as I was home from work, I installed it. My wife is used to me not paying attention, but I went out of my way to emphasize that I was not available.

Now after all the hype, I was disappointed. As someone in the software business I should have known better. Now the graphics are fantastic - I don't know what I expected - perhaps something as good as the CGI you see in some movies. It wasn't that good. It was however better than I would have expected if it wasn't for all the hype. Some of the outdoor scenes are incredibly expansive - expecially when viewed at high res on a wide screen display.

But what I think will make this game the champion I think it is - is the game play. It is very very immersive and between the audio, the graphics and more importantly the story telling, you get sucked right in and keep wanting to go back.

One of the things that impresses so far is the completeness of it. The Elder Scrolls series of games are known for their open endedness. You can do just about anything you want - very little is scripted. If you don't follow the main story, so be it. If you are following a quest and decide to do something completely different in the quest, it handles it (I mean there are obvious limits). It is very neat to decide to do something you just thought of and discover the game handles it in a way that is natural and looks it is was the normal thing to do.

The computer guy in me is amazed by the AI that drives the NPCs - the non player characters you see in the game. They are not scripted, but rather have a bunch of rules and schedules which drive them. They go about their daily lives, including eating, sleeping, working, fighting, etc. They see strangers (either other NPCs or you) and stop to say hello and have conversations. Did I mention this is all voice acted, so you can actually overhear the conversations between two NPCs on the street? If you can imagine the level of effort that went into a game where all the conversations are voice acted, it is completely open ended in terms of what you want to do. There are over 16 square miles of scenery to explore, and more than 1500 different NPCs. Overall it is supposed to take 25 hrs to just play the main story line and 200 hours to do all the quest. Wow.

Anyway, if I don't appear to play as much of that other game (poker) as normal for the next little while, you can be assured I will be on the computer playing the this game.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I hate flying

Last week I had a short notice business trip to Chaska Minnesota. I flew out on Wednesday and back on Friday evening. It all started when I had to fly out of LAX instead of Orange County airport. Of course the timing was just right so I could compete with morning rush hour traffic to get to the airport on time. Did I mention I hate flying?

I then get to the airport, stand in line to get my boarding pass. I was smart enough to not check any baggage, so I skipped the baggage x-ray line. I ran into a co-worker in the line to get in the security line. That wait passed fairly quickly and we moved on to the real security line (don't ask). Once we were in the real security line for a while, so TSA guy came by checking boarding passes and leaves me in my line, but puts my co-worker in another (shorter) line. Did I mention I hate flying?

So my line slowly shuffles forward and the departure time for my flight approaches. Finally they come around and start pulling people from the line who were on my flight. My co-worker has long since cleared security and disappeared from sight. I now get my chance and manage to get through security with only one do-over. I had to remove my belt buckle and try again. Did I mention I hate flying?

So I stumble out of security, holding my pants up, trying to stick my laptop back in its bag, while dragging my suitcase and get hailed by a collection of co-workers (in total 9 of us were on this trip). Apparently our flight has been canceled and we are in a new line to get new boarding passes for a different flight. Did I mention I hate flying?

So after waiting for 45 minutes in the new boarding pass line, we get our new boarding passes and have an hour and a half to wait for the flight. Now Northwest, who we were flying, has this new "oversell the flight" policy. Part of their "get out of bankrupcy" plan no doubt. Unfortunately this means everyone is stuffed into the plane as much as possible. Did I mention I hate flying?

So we finally get on board and I am sitting in the middle of row, seat 20E, and there is no place to store our carry on luggage by the time we board. Apparently the DC10 overhead compartments are smaller than normal, so you get less bags in them and most of the people in our group had to then check their suitcases. Now the seat itself is exactly the same width as me. This means once I am sitting, I can no longer get into my pockets. So I have to sit with my arms crossed on my chest so I don't take any space from my seatting companions. Fortunately we had a strong tail wind, so I only had to sit this way for 2 and 1/2 hrs rather than the expected 3 and 1/2. Did I mention I hate flying?

Now because snacks are costing Northwest soo much money, you now have to buy your snacks (assuming you want them). I decided I would just buy the alcohol and try to make the flight slightly more tolerable. By this time I had the tray table out, so I had to fold it back into the arm rest, after putting my book somewhere, so I could semi-stand to get into my pocket which I couldn't access while sitting. I bought two drinks at once since I had no dillusions I would see the flight attendant again and the hassle of getting money was too painful to repeat. Did I mention I hate flying?

We finally get there and have only two more lines. The line for the baggage claim, since we had to check our carry on baggage and the rent-a-car line. At this point, it is now past supper time and all I have managed to accomplish all day is to fly to Minnesota from California. And I get to look forward to the same fun on Friday.

Now I really don't hate flying, I just hate having to drive to the airport, standing in a bazillion lines, cram myself into a airplane seat and pay $1 for a bag of peanuts and $5 for a drink. So next time I will pick a closer airport than LAX, one without long lines and fly first class. At that point I will only dislike flying.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Can you say straight flushes (plural)?

Ok, I am playing my S&G challenge, doing as well as usual (which isn't too good) and I get this hand:

NO_LIMIT TEXAS_HOLDEM $5+$1 (Real Money), #239,146,524
Brownsville Single Table Tournament, 13 Mar 2006 8:42 PM ET
Seat 1: Isle1183 ($2,130 in chips)
Seat 2: eagle eye 94 ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 3: pepsi man 1 ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 4: BIG T-BAG ($1,490 in chips)
Seat 5: vaxovaxo ($1,120 in chips)
Seat 6: mash035 ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 7: perks420 ($1,440 in chips)
Seat 8: kdawg1245 ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 9: boogy3 ($1,500 in chips)
Seat 10: darval ($1,320 in chips)
vaxovaxo posts blind ($10), mash035 posts blind ($20).

perks420 folds, kdawg1245 calls $20, boogy3 folds, darval calls $20, Isle1183 calls $20, eagle eye 94 folds, pepsi man 1 bets $100, BIG T-BAG folds, vaxovaxo calls $90, mash035 folds, kdawg1245 folds, darval calls $80, Isle1183 folds.

FLOP [board cards 6S,QC,10C ]
vaxovaxo checks, darval bets $200, pepsi man 1 calls $200, vaxovaxo folds.

TURN [board cards 6S,QC,10C,KC ]
darval bets $300, pepsi man 1 calls $300.

RIVER [board cards 6S,QC,10C,KC,9C ]
darval bets $720 and is all-in, pepsi man 1 folds.

darval wins $2,080.
Dealer: BIG T-BAG
Pot: $2,080
Isle1183, loses $20
eagle eye 94, loses $0
pepsi man 1, loses $600
BIG T-BAG, loses $0
vaxovaxo, loses $100
mash035, loses $20
perks420, loses $0
kdawg1245, loses $20
boogy3, loses $0
darval, bets $1,320, collects $2,080, net $760

It doesn't show it there, but I had J10o with a Jack of clubs. Cool I thought, I should have bet less at the end and see if I could get him to call, but I was happy.

It didn't seem like that many hands later, but it might have been:

NO_LIMIT TEXAS_HOLDEM $5+$1 (Real Money), #239,198,938
Brownsville Single Table Tournament, 13 Mar 2006 8:56 PM ET
Seat 1: Isle1183 ($2,050 in chips)
Seat 2: eagle eye 94 ($1,315 in chips)
Seat 3: pepsi man 1 ($800 in chips)
Seat 4: BIG T-BAG ($1,450 in chips)
Seat 5: vaxovaxo ($2,190 in chips)
Seat 6: mash035 ($1,840 in chips)
Seat 7: perks420 ($2,355 in chips)
Seat 9: boogy3 ($1,250 in chips)
Seat 10: darval ($1,750 in chips)
boogy3 posts blind ($15), darval posts blind ($30).

Isle1183 folds, eagle eye 94 folds, pepsi man 1 folds, BIG T-BAG folds, vaxovaxo calls $30, mash035 folds, perks420 calls $30, boogy3 calls $15, darval checks.

FLOP [board cards 9D,10S,8D ]
boogy3 bets $300, darval calls $300, vaxovaxo folds, perks420 folds.

TURN [board cards 9D,10S,8D,10D ]
boogy3 checks, darval bets $300, boogy3 calls $300.

RIVER [board cards 9D,10S,8D,10D,6D ]
boogy3 checks, darval bets $300, boogy3 calls $300.

darval shows [ 2D,7D ]
boogy3 mucks cards [ 6S,7S ]
darval wins $1,920.
Dealer: perks420
Pot: $1,920
Isle1183, loses $0
eagle eye 94, loses $0
pepsi man 1, loses $0
BIG T-BAG, loses $0
vaxovaxo, loses $30
mash035, loses $0
perks420, loses $30
boogy3, loses $930
darval, bets $930, collects $1,920, net $990

At some point later, I got into a heads up match with the chip lead. I slightly underbet this flop and I think he thought I was trying to steal it. His all-in was met by my call and my top pair held up.

NO_LIMIT TEXAS_HOLDEM $5+$1 (Real Money), #239,256,241
Brownsville Single Table Tournament, 13 Mar 2006 9:10 PM ET
Seat 1: Isle1183 ($1,050 in chips)
Seat 2: eagle eye 94 ($723 in chips)
Seat 3: pepsi man 1 ($1,374 in chips)
Seat 4: BIG T-BAG ($1,450 in chips)
Seat 5: vaxovaxo ($2,223 in chips)
Seat 6: mash035 ($2,015 in chips)
Seat 7: perks420 ($3,275 in chips)
Seat 10: darval ($2,890 in chips)
perks420 posts blind ($50), darval posts blind ($100).

Isle1183 folds, eagle eye 94 folds, pepsi man 1 calls $100, BIG T-BAG folds, vaxovaxo calls $100, mash035 folds, perks420 calls $50, darval bets $300, pepsi man 1 folds, vaxovaxo folds, perks420 calls $300.

FLOP [board cards 7C,QH,AD ]
perks420 checks, darval bets $400, perks420 bets $2,875 and is all-in, darval calls $2,090 and is all-in.

TURN [board cards 7C,QH,AD,3D ]

RIVER [board cards 7C,QH,AD,3D,8C ]

perks420 shows [ QC,9C ]
darval shows [ AH,KD ]
perks420 wins $385, darval wins $5,980.
Dealer: mash035
Pot: $6,365
Isle1183, loses $0
eagle eye 94, loses $0
pepsi man 1, loses $100
BIG T-BAG, loses $0
vaxovaxo, loses $100
mash035, loses $0
perks420, bets $3,275, collects $385, net -$2,890
darval, bets $2,890, collects $5,980, net $3,090

You would think after all this, I would win. I didn't even finish in the money, with a 5th place finish. Blah.. Straight flushes are cool tho. ;-)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Onwards and downwards again..

Got up nice and early this morning and figured I would continue my S&G challenge and see what I could do. The first game went all right, until I got busted out of course. I ended that one in 5th. The next one was a total waste (of course it only took 4 minutes) and I busted out in 10th. Then it sorta clicked (or I got a bunch of players I could beat) and finished in 1st. According to my self imposed rules, that mean my next game was at the $10+1 table. At this point, my $5+.50 games were actually break even (up $0.50). But I had lost both $10+1 games. So the next $10+1 game went just as good (bad) with a 7th place finish. I moved back to the $5+0.50 game and finished up with a 8th place finish.

Overall, I have now paid out $143 and won $105. Not going the right way after 23 games. My exit conditions are 100 games, $100 lost, or $100 won - which ever comes first.

So after those rather disappointing 3 hours, I decided to head over to Pokerstars and see what was happening there. I found a $5+0.50 MTT starting in a few minutes so I joined the fun. 1630 players. I made it through the 1st hour with better than my starting chips, but less than average stack size. I didn't make it through the second hour and finished in 468th place. The money (for what that was worth) started at 297th.

Time to leave poker for a while and go see if anything is happening in the real world.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Double shootout

I tried my second double shootout today. I found it interesting compared to my first one. The last time the first hand started with KK and I managed to go all-in to find out the other guy had AA. It was a real quick game.

This time I had AK on the first hand and I got into the same situation - the "other" guy decides to go all-in and I thought about it and folded. One guy did call and I was able to see the hand. The "other" guy had AA. Good call I guess.

I managed to spend the next hour in last place. We started with 8 at our table and I managed to be last place right through to 3 players. Then for the next hour, we ground it out. I managed to move up from last to first - the hard way. These guys wouldn't call most raises, so I could continuely steal. I felt like I owned the table. Once and a while they would get cards and fight back and since I rarely had cards, I just folded. I even called with the hammer one time, flop completely missed, I bet and they folded - so I showed it. I don't think they understood what happened to them. ;-)

Unfortunately once we got heads up, and were there for a while, the other guy finally started to get smart and go all-in. Since I rarely had cards, I only called when I had a chance. Obviously not winning. I started to think he was getting carried away and called an all-in with second pair. He had top pair and it help.

I was crippled and started to grind it out again. Unfortunately the blinds were finally big enough that I had to get into the all-in type of play. It worked everytime until the last.

It was fun tho and I suspect I will do it again.

Continuing the S&G Challenge

Before the shootout, I played a couple S&Gs. I started like I did last night with a 7th place finish (it didn't take long) and then like last night, I finished 2nd in the second one.

So far, I have played 18 tournies. I have paid out $110, won $80 for a total todate of -$30.00

Wow - scary

I didn't think he was that scary, but apparently the Quatloos sighting scared everyone away from the WWdN last night. I was disappointed there was no tournament and I couldn't even find anyone posting something about why. I even went ahead and took advantage of the rare pokerstars reload bonus, just to be prepared.

So in preparation for my favorite Thursday night MTT, I continued my S&G challenge. I only got 2 in before going to stars to play (and afterwards I was so disaapointed, I watched TV instead). I actually managed to finish in the money in one of them, so it was a net sum gain (not much tho).

1. 7th place finish.
2. 2nd place finish.

Total to date: -$34.00

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quatloos sighting

I have it on good authority that Quatloos, the unbelievably lucky WWdN winner from last week, was sighted moving from Las Vegas to LA to play in this weeks tournament. He almost got stuck in the traffic jam on the 605, but got "lucky" again and is ready to gambool with his cards tonight and show all those bloggers how to really play poker.

WPBT Player of the Year

As a newly minted poker blogger I am considering playing the events for the WPBT Player of the Year. Now there are some issues with this for me. I am not a good Omaha, stud or any of the other variations, player. I don't have an account on Full Tilt. The buy-ins are a little above my comfort level.

On the other hand, I like the comradery of playing in the twice WWdN tournies. I have even managed to money a few times in them.

So maybe if I just treat it as entertainment, go have a good time and enjoy myself it will be fun.

Sounds like a plan. Or I am just trying to convince myself.

I guess I have a couple days to decide.

On a different note, I continued to set new records in my S&G Challenge. I played 4 games at $5+0.50 and didn't manage to even make the money on one of them. I don't know if it is the fast levels, a weird mix of cards (I am getting starters, but very little completes) or what. The games from last night went like this:

1. 7th place finish.
2. 7th place finish.
3. 5th place finish.
4. 5th place finish.

Total to date: -$38.00

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Learn to think like a fish

Having recently played some 2/4 LHE at a B&M casino, I found this post by Felicia a very interesting read.

Kudos to Sirfwalgman for pointing it out to us.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Some prize

I mentioned in my last entry that Boody P was the first person to comment on one of my posts. I told he won a prize for that. It was a bit of a joke, of course, but my payback was a little more painful than I intended.

Tonight was the regular Tuesday WWdN tournament over at Pokerstars and I ened up on the same table as Bloody P. Things appeared to be going swimmingly until this hand came up:
PokerStars Game #4211189781: Tournament #20540898, Hold'em No Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2006/03/07 - 20:44:41 (ET)
Table '20540898 9' Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: Lasner (1060 in chips)
Seat 2: Gilain (1390 in chips)
Seat 3: dsheep (1105 in chips)
Seat 4: FishyMcDonK (1555 in chips)
Seat 5: smalldog (2460 in chips)
Seat 6: darval (1430 in chips)
Seat 7: Systems2005 (1410 in chips)
Seat 8: Bloody P (1340 in chips)
Seat 9: FatBaldGuy (1590 in chips)
darval: posts small blind 10
Systems2005: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to darval [Qd Qc]
Bloody P: raises 80 to 100
FatBaldGuy: folds
Lasner: folds
Gilain: folds
dsheep: folds
FishyMcDonK: folds
smalldog: folds
darval: raises 160 to 260
Systems2005: folds
Bloody P: calls 160
*** FLOP *** [2s 3s 7s]
darval: bets 400
Bloody P: raises 400 to 800
dsheep said, "hey - no raises, D!"
darval: raises 370 to 1170 and is all-in
Bloody P: calls 280 and is all-in
darval said, "oops"
*** TURN *** [2s 3s 7s] [9h]
*** RIVER *** [2s 3s 7s 9h] [3d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
darval: shows [Qd Qc] (two pair, Queens and Threes)
Bloody P: shows [Qh Ad] (a pair of Threes)
darval collected 2700 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2700 | Rake 0
Board [2s 3s 7s 9h 3d]
Seat 1: Lasner folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: Gilain folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: dsheep folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: FishyMcDonK folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: smalldog (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: darval (small blind) showed [Qd Qc] and won (2700) with two pair, Queens and Threes
Seat 7: Systems2005 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: Bloody P showed [Qh Ad] and lost with a pair of Threes
Seat 9: FatBaldGuy folded before Flop (didn't bet)
It was not the prize I wanted to give - although there might be a lesson in here somewhere.

So perhaps the lesson is to explain my thought process, and hope something can be learned here.

I had a high pocket pair. My original raise was for two purposes. The main one was to reduce the number of players in the hand to no more than 2 or 3. The second was to see/test the response to the raise that was on the board. If he had raised all-in, I would have had to think hard about calling it - and given this was early in a tournament, I probably would have laid it down.

The flop was pretty scary - I bet 400 as a test and I should have be concerned with the min raise, but I couldn't see the previous action being on suited cards. It may also have been a read on his play, but I am not sure of that. For whatever reason, I felt the right move was to push all-in and prevent a draw hand - maximize my overpair while they were still good. In hindsight, I am not sure this was a great move, but it seemed right at the time.

I am not sure why he called this, other than perhaps the belief I was bluffing. The board was even scary if I had gone in with the hammer.

Of course once he called, it was all over by the crying. I am curious to see what others think of this (in particular whether I should have pushed on the flop). I also hope Blood P is not too depressed to tell us what he was thinking at the time.

If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?

I have to admit, that as I get more into this blogging thing, I start to wonder what is the point if no-one is listening? I started thinking about this more yesterday when I read Wil Wheaton post "On the rise of trollblogs". For just a short time I thought about what I could post to stir it up enough to generate traffic. I then realised that generating traffic was not what it really about (for me anyway) and that I didn't care. Well, I cared, but not enough to change the reason I was writing this blog.

Continuing the blogsphere thing, I went looking to add to my rolls any interesting blogs I could find. Now I admit in some cases, they were people I knew or had worked with and in others just random blogs I happened to come across.

I did some searching for QNX, the operating system I work with every day on Technorati to see if anyone actually tagged their posts about QNX and found almost nothing. This led to some more creative searching and I found blogs from some people who I know do a lot of QNX work. The first is from CAMZ, a fellow QNX consultant, and at one time we were co-administrators of QNXZone, a website dedicated to QNX issues. The second I found was from a former co-worker of mine, ApM, who has two blogs. One is a livejournal called "c is for cookie, but that is insufficient" and the other is a more technical one called "geekstorming". ApM has an interesting sense of humor, but one you catch on to it, it makes for facinating reading. Unfortunately neither of these guys are very active in blogging, so updates are few and far between.

On a slightly different note, being a Canadian living in the south land, I like to keep up to date on some of the world issue from a Canadian perspecitve with Alec Saunders .LOG. He is an active blogger who always has something interesting to say about different issues.

So while this post is sitting draft form, Bloody P has to go ruin my 0 for 0 track record by actually reading my blog and posting a comment.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Continuing the S&G challenge

OK, so yesterday I finished with a 1st place finish. According to my self imposed rules, I moved up to a $10+1 S&G. This started off ok, but when push came to shove, I played bubble boy and finished in 4th.

A slight setback, but there is still a long ways to go. I jumped right back in with a $5+$0.50. Now in this one, I had an interesting hand (no hand history, so this is from memory).

My stack was about 2600 at this point. I was UTG+1 with K10s. I limped and about 5 players followed. The flop came a nice K10x. I did a min bet and the short stack 2 positions after me went all-in. In his case it was about 200 more. The guy after him follows suit and goes all-in as well (this time for about 500). I was happy at this point and then the guy on the button (who has a stack about the size of mine) calls the all-in. Now this was interesting cause he just called, rather than going all-in. I read this to mean either he had forgotten he was not last to act, or he was not confident enough to risk all his money. Either way, my mind was made up and I pushed all-in. He thought for a second and called.

Now Pokerroom has this feature (which I think is cool) where they show the percentages when all the remaining players are all-in. I like this feature. In this case, it showed 76% for me to win. I don't know how many times I have seen this before and it always seems to work til the river, when the chips slide to someone else. The turn came up and I was watching the percentages (it changed to 70%). The river missed and I watched over 6000 chips slide my way.

The rest of the game went fairly quick til we hit the money. It then seemed to take longer than it should. I suspect it was because we got there faster than we usually do. Normally the blinds are higher by the time you are down to three. No problem. I used my stack to basically raise every hand (and get out of the way when these guys actually got cards). It took a little while, but eventually I got rid of both of them and finished in 1st.

I then had to move back up to the $10+1. I played this a little bad. I suspect it was not adjusting fast enough to change from a big stack, short handed game, to a small stack, 10 player table. Either way, I ended up finishing in 6th place.

So tonight, I finished like this:

1. 4th place finish
2. 1st place finish
3. 6th place finish

Total to date: -$16.00

S&G Challenges

I was playing in a tournament on Sunday morning at Pokerroom and was already reading some websites at the same time (a really bad habit if I do say so). On one of the sites, someone was talking about personal S&G challenges - basically you set a goal and try to achieve it (27% ROI or double your money in less than xxx days or whatever). This led me to think about my own S&G performance.

The tournament I was playing at the time was one of those qualifier satellites where you get tickets to another satellite. I don't know why I was playing it, other than it was the next one starting when I checked at the site and poker is poker you know.. With all this thinking about S&Gs, I almost lost track of the tournament. There was about 69 people in it and the prize pool was 8 tickets and one cash prize. I managed to get to the "money" but literally got the money, going out in 9th place. Which was ok since I wasn't really in it for the tickets.

So with the tournament out of the way, I decided on the format for my personal challenge. My goal was to make $100 in less than 100 S&Gs. I also decided I would stop being foolish if I lost more than $100. I also decided I would take the following approach:

1. Start at $5+0.50 10 person S&GS
2. If I win, move up a level (ie to $10+1 S&Gs)
3. If I money, stay at the current level
4. If I lose, move down a level (with $5+0.50 being the lowest)

I had always thought I was doing pretty good with S&Gs. Generally at least breaking even, usually bubbling when I didn't make the money.

Well, let me tell you. I played 7 S&Gs before I had to deal with real world things in the afternoon. The fact I played 7 should give you a hint. I ended up playing just under 3 hours with results as follows:

1. 8th place finish
2. 9th place finish
3. 10th place finish
4. 6th place finish
5. 8th place finish
6. 7th place finish
7. 1st place finish

There is a message in this somewhere. ;-) I need to rethink my S&G strategy somewhat. Tonight I will move up to a $10+1 and see how fast I can fall back to the $5+0.50 level.

Total to date: -$13.50

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Technorati (and Sir Waffles)

As a newbie in the world of blogging (reading or writing apparently), I discovered Technorati after it was mentioned yesterday in Wil Wheatons blog. It seemed like a pretty cool site and I followed the links and prompts and "claimed" my blog. After I did what was required, I discovered I had a rank of Rank: 1,125,742 (0 links from 0 sites). I had to laugh at that - what other choice was there? Either way, it seemed like an iteresting place to keep an eye on, and I also followed the options and added some links in the left column here, related to their site.

While exploring the blogsphere and seeing what was up, I also came across this thing called frappr? in Sir Waffles blog. Apparently there is a competition to see who can map the most of their readers. I joined in since I are one. ;-)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Amazing Amazon (not!)

Alright.. I have used Amazon for a few things and have generally been
happy. Today on the other hand, I want to reach through the internet
and stranggle someone there.. This is not a normal feeling for me and
it shows you how frustrating it is.

It started off with an email from the Amazon Prime thingy. I have
been using my 3 month free trial and they notified me that it was
ending and I was going to be automatically charged for it unless I
changed something.

Ok, so I decided that since I had free shipping, I would order
Oblivion (which ships on March 20th). I went on their site and
ordered that - paid the extra for 1 day shipping (since it was only
$3.99). I then decided to grab a book since I was there anyway..
Click click and all done. I noticed they shipped separately but no
problem, since one was available right now and the the other was

Ok, now is when I got a little carried away. You know how they list
stuff that relates to what you order? Well they had some poker stuff,
and I saw clear plastic chip trays as well as cut cards. I'm thinking
I can use my free shipping to get the little stuff that ain't worth
buying because of the shipping. Click on the trays, click on the cut
card (a big 69 cent purchase). I'm happy so I go back to normal work
(or browsing as necessary).

I then notice I have some more email, so I go read it. chipsandgames,
an amazon partner has processed my order for the clear plastic trays.
A $14.99 item which then gets a $8.65!?! shipping charge. I am
contemplating this when another email comes in saying my $0.69 cut
card is now shipping with a $7.06!!!!! shipping charge.. I start
mumbling in my cube.

I go back to Amazons site and find out that, oh yeah, partner shipping
isn't covered by Prime. Great... grumble grumble.. I can live with that,
caveat emptor and all. But the stupid 1-click buying didn't
allow me to combine orders, so I try to write support at Amazon with
their email forms. I end up in this "***Please fix the areas
indicated below.***" loop with no areas indicated below. I then try
to use Internet Explorer - in case this is yet another thing I can
complain to Amazon about. That doesn't work either.

So at this point, I am about ready to go cancel my Amazon orders
altogether. I did write chipsandgames and (their email address
worked) and they said they combined my two orders and reduced the
shipping charge (I don't know how much, but it is a start).

Blah.. And to think I started my Amazon experience today, actually
thinking serious about paying for Prime membership..

S&G sized WWdN

Obviously there was a party and some of us weren't aware of it last night. It had to be the smallest WWdN tourny since I started playing them. There was at least one interesting part. Jay (L0K1) and I play a semi-regular home game with a guy named Dave. Dave keeps forgetting when these WWdN tournaments are on and usually remembers when the game is 1/2 over or something. He emails screenshots of "interesting" plays - usually when we get busted out, etc..

Well last night he remembered in time and put in an appearance that anyone playing or watching at the time won't forget. Sir Waffles wrote about it

I also joined one of the smallest WWDN's in history. I made the final table but busted out first hand. I was bluffing against Quantloos which is a bad idea since that guy NEVER EVER NEVER FOLDS. I had not seen him play so I had no idea. He called my all in with A7o on a AKQ and maybe flush board. Oh well. Perhaps he reads my blog. I saw him make FAR WORSE calls and EVERY SINGLE TIME HE SUCKED OUT.. I mean it was crazy. It was for sure his night as he easily took first. Congrats! Everyone was a little pissed at the guy I am sure.. I found it a little amusing. It was almost like the male version of Veneno!

I do have to admit I will rethink my home game strategy with him after watching that play. My advice to Dave (Quatloos) is to go buy a lottery ticket.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I hate being first out!

I hate being first out! and I can honestly say that it has never happened before. I will blame it all on the format.

For the first time I tried a double shootout format satellite on Pokerstars for the (now) $1 million tournament on Sunday. The format is 8 tables of 8 players which play their table until there is one person left (no table switching). Once everyone has wiped out their table, the winners form the final table. 2 seats for the sunday tournament are up for play, and 6 $35 2nd place prizes.

It seemed like a cool idea, and I was placed in the #1 position on table 5. My cards were a cool pair of pocket Kings and I was on the button. I raise to an even $100 and the SB raises to just under $400. I thought about a big raise, but just min raised. He comes back forcing me all-in and I think for a sec about his pocket Aces and decide to call anyway. Of course he DOES have pocket aces and although I end up with both a straight and flush draw by the river, nothing happens and I get to be first out. Blah!