Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My life = open book

I caved in. It's official. I'm a fuckin dork. And to think I used to pick on them in school. Geeks and dorks were the ones that we picked on. I mean come on. It's the world's pecking order right? But now I'm entering into their realm. I opened a twitter account. If you want to follow my awesome daily life, my account name is dirtyvizzer.

You can see my past exciting posts at twitter.com/dirtyvizzer.

That completes my circle of dorkdom. Blog, facebook, and twitter. I think I'm gonna go read my calculus book for pleasure. oh wait, what am I talking about? How can I pick on a math major? I'm a fuckin CPA. I could just say I'll go make sure my debits and credits balance. God, I feel so dirty.

Monday, December 29, 2008

So I'm a hypocrite... shoot me

If you follow my blog, you know where I stand. Well, maybe. I probably come across as a guy who would never lend a helping hand to someone who is down on their luck. At least some of my friends (not the blogger ones - the nonbloggers, might I say) think so. But they're super f*ckin liberal anyways so even though I would never consider myself a republican, I'm no loony lefty either, and their views are... well, they are what they are I guess.

Anyways, so I always talk about how people get themselves in bad situations and they should suck it up etc etc. But, if you really know me in the blogger world, you do know that I tend to "give" towards stuff I believe in. It wasn't much but I donated to JamyHawk's cause and then later to Evy/Alcanthang "Save the boob" event. I'm not trying to say I'm great or anything cuz I'm not. I just know that as part of a community, I like to help out to the extent that I can for the things that I want to/choose to.

So, when I read about this tragic event that happened the night before Christmas, I felt that I should do my part... of course, being the cat person that I am, his pet dying just adds to the misery.

So, please go to the link below and help if you want/can. I'm not gonna call out any Christmas spirit or some shit like that (like the typical "you should help because it's Christmas" garbage). You should help if you want to and only because you want to. Not because you are nicer than anyone else or because you feel you have to. If you sympathize, then here's an opportunity to do something about it. But you're no less of a person if you don't and I truly mean that. I'm not using my blog to twist anyone's arm or make anyone feel any less about themselves. I can relate to this story so I want to help. But that's it. I'm no better for it, nor am I any worse for it. So, if you want to help, please click on the link below. Or even just for a good read. If after that, you don't do anything about it, there's absolutely nothing wrong. After all, he's not the only one who is suffering. But this guy just happens to know someone in the community.

http://helpjeffout.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 28, 2008

To twit or not to twit

I hope everyone is having a nice holiday break, regardless of what you celebrate. So while I was enjoying my brief time off from work, I noticed that Buddy is going to Canada. And he mentioned that he will update his status on twitter. I remember Pauly mentioning twitter and so now, I was kinda curious as to what this whole buzz is about. Between Facebook, blogs, emails, txts, and everything else, is there really a need for another status update thingy!?

So, I wanted to reach out to those of you who do use twitter and let me know what's so good about it... well, I was gonna... and then I found this video which pretty much answered my question...



Not bad. Not that any of you might care but if I end up opening a twitter account, I will let you know on my blog.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oops I did it again

For a while, I vowed not to read the housing bailout related news... mainly because it puts me on tilt. You know the story. Poor family can't afford the mortgage payment when their ARMs (that they chose to obtain) reprice and the interest rates are reset to levels they can't afford. Well, it was a slow afternoon and so, I caught this article on money.com.

My favorite part:
"After the monthly payment on his adjustable rate mortgage jumped to $2,400 from $1,300, he got a workout with the help of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a community advocacy group that offers mortgage-prevention counseling.
That workout may have pushed his payment down to $2,000, but it still represented more than 50% of the gross income he and his wife earn."

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... poor thing, Maybe you shoulda thought about that when you first got the mortgage! Have fun on the streets, Mr Bagley.

Winter report - brief poker summary

Ok, so my trip report is essentially done. I'm not even sure if anyone cares about the poker portion of the trip but I feel that I owe it to the title of my blog to talk about it. After all, if I don't talk about poker... hell, I don't know where I was going with that sentence. Alright, so I'm just gonna recap the sessions, not to the detail that maybe Jordan would do in his 5 part post about a hand or two where he recognized the twitch in his opponent and pwned him because he read it correctly as a weakness... :) I love your blog Jordan, just giving you shit cuz I know you can take it.

I started writing out this huge post about each of the sessions but I got bored as I was typing it up. And I didn't take nearly as good a notes as I should have on winning sessions... Just dollar amounts. So, instead of going into each of them, I'll just post by dollar amounts. On second thought, I'm not even gonna do that. Overall, in poker, I ended up about +$700. I started off the trip -$300 but from Friday night on, I would go on a mini heater. But again, no crazy hands, nothing too interesting. I think it was more that the players were loose so they were calling me down with worse hands. However, I know I was able to extract a lot of value based on that because of one consistent theme that I enjoyed through this trip.

My hand reading was on point.

There were numerous times that I would literally call out someone's hand in my head and sure enough, that's what they flip over. Earlier in the trip, I was watching the other players when I wasn't in the hand and I would try to make a read on them. Now, I hardly ever play live poker. So, I may not recognize the nervous twitch, the mannerism, etc etc, but one thing that is the same online or live is a player's betting pattern. And based on that, I was able to really narrow down the hand range and like I said, for several instances, I was able to exactly pinpoint what they had. One example was when BaconMary (this was Sunday night poker) got it all in against two other players... I whispered over to the guy who wasn't in the hand that she had top set, the other dude next to me had to have a set and the donkey in the other seat must be chasing a flush. They get it all in, flip over the cards and sure enough, Mary has top set with her JJ, guy to my right who was fairly tight shows his bottom set (I think 4s) and the donkey who stacked off earlier chasing was on a flush draw that never got there. Mary scooped up a nice pot. And I was proud of myself for literally calling out the hand. Sure, it could have been that I was lucky. But that wasn't the first or the last time during this trip that I felt I had a good feel for what the players were holding. And when that happens, it really helps, especially in extracting value. There were numerous times that I made a fairly thin value bet to get an extra $30-40 out of a person and again, this was one of those trips where that worked out.

None of it mattered though because my whole poker profit was given back to the local economy via craps. Probably no surprise to the readers out there. But remember... I am due!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you.

If you can guess what movie the title of this post is from, you get bonus points.

This always happens to me. I forgot that it does. And I don't really know why. But whenever I go to Vegas, I come back a little different... I'm not quite the same person as before the trip. I care less about my daily routine. The things that mattered to me before the trip seem to matter less. I get this "ah, I don't give a shit" mentality which tends to last for a few days before I am back in the groove of the daily grind. I don't know why. I flirt with the line of degeneracy in Vegas and I guess it takes me a few days before I become "normal" again.

The past few days, I pretty much had no desire to go out. I had some offers to join people for happy hours, christmas parties, birthday dinners, etc and I turned them all down. I just wasn't feeling it. Sure, I had other plans but they could have been rearranged. Pre-Vegas, I would have rearranged my plans. But this week, I'm just not feeling it. It's like the world around me doesn't matter. I'm numb. Vegas offers such a sensory overload with all the glitz and glamour mixed in with the filth and desperation that I think I become immune to anything else, at least for a while.

Vegas has such a distinct smell. Well, maybe it's the casinos. But I equate that to Vegas. You walk into any casino and you can smell it. And hear it. It's the weird smell of cigar and nasty carpeting. There's always some "peaceful" sound of water trickling into a fountain mixed in with the chaotic noise from the hundreds of slot machines. There's the feeling of excitement in the air as the tourists hope it's their lucky day... and the despair from those that are ready to leave after they got cleaned out by the house. There are people walking around with racks of chip colors you've never seen before, making you wonder what all this "economic downturn" is all about. But then you also see the guy nursing his last $20 stack at a 1-2NL table, folding to a bet on the turn when there's already $60 in the pot...

I know I'll be back to normal again. I'll be back to wanting to do things that I thought was fun before the trip. I know it because I've been there before and after a few days, I snapped out of it. Until then though, I think I'm just gonna be holed up in my house, trying to kick Vegas out of my system. But I know I can never completely get it out of the system. Because I love Vegas. It's like a drug and I'm addicted. See, the devil's changing me already.

I always thought Denver was cool...




American Cities That Best Fit You:



65% Denver



60% Austin



60% San Francisco



55% Atlanta



55% Las Vegas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All skillz



So I only won a $22 pot. Details, details. I'm so good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things I missed in the recap

There are always things that happen during the trip that no amount of recap posts could cover. Astin had the same idea (but beat me to it since he posts like 5 times a day... seriously, wtf do you do!?)

- I never got to do dial a shots. I promised Schaubs and LJ over text messages that I would... I never followed through. I was too drunk and having too much fun to text/call people. I did notice that I talked some shit to Fuel during the Steelers-Ravens game. I didn't remember this until I looked through my text messages the next day.

- Bayne has a knack for creating a nemesis. At the craps table, he introduced me the concept of position. Poker lingo was frequently thrown around as he was "raising" my bets "in position." You really had to be there to appreciate it. Few "checkraises" by me were priceless. At least I got to exercise "pot control" when the shooter crapped out.

- I saw snow. In Vegas. The morning that I was flying out was when the snow started falling. I was in the cab towards the airport when I saw it. Bouncers at the Rhino were talking about it though.

- Pauly mentioned to me that this is still one of the few blogs he reads. I remember him saying that before too and it's such an honor to hear that. When he commented on my post about the stuff that my mom found that belonged to my grandpa, I remember feeling very honored.

- I'll recap poker part of the trip in another post so that people not interested in reading poker stuff won't have to be bothered during the trip recap. Poker turned out to be profitable... craps table, not so much.

- Bad beat on the luggage. I didn't get it in time so they had to deliver it to my house. I guess it's not a total bad beat. It's like winning the side pot after losing the main pot to a bad beat.

All in all, it was a blast. Like everyone mentioned in their recaps so far, it's never enough time. And really, it just leaves a lasting impression. I remember walking through Imperial palace in April when I went there for my friend's birthday and when I walked by the hooker bar, it just felt weird when it was completely empty. I feel like I should always be able to find bloggers there. Hopefully, it won't be a full year until I see most of you again.

Winter gathering trip report Part 3

After we were cleaned out by the sirens that is the craps table, we called it a night. We didn't want to stay up too late (read: we went back to the room around 3am) because we had to check out of the room by 11. We went back to the sandwich joint at Bally's to claim the breakfast sandwich that was not available at 2am or whatever it was when we went there the night before. Bayne of course has to rub in the fact that his plastic reads "Total Rewards" and is comped by the action he gives to the Harrah's property as opposed to mine that proudly displays my company logo. I'm already on card tilt. He tries to rub it in further by telling me about the points but is unsuccessful in putting me on points tilt since I'm not even in the game... it's like bragging to me about how many UB points you have... I couldn't care less since I don't play there.

Note: As of today, I am now officially a member of Total Rewards. I checked my points balance online. I am a degen...

After dropping our bags off at the IP luggage checkin, we went upstairs to the sportsbook to join the other bloggers. I was getting fired up since it was a big game for the Steelers... the game against the hated Ravens. But before that, there was the big blogger event. The Real Football Fan test of Dawn Summers. As part of the committee, I was very interested in how she would do. Quite frankly, I didn't think she would pass. I just didn't think she would be interested enough to really study. And believe me. This test was no joke. The list of questions were quite impressive and even those of you who think you are a football buff would still struggle with some of the questions.

Once the testing started, I was impressed. I stood by her as she filled out her answer sheet and realized that she clearly did her homework. She crushed the test by getting 23 of 25 (requirement for passing was 20 of 25) while CK got a lot less (though she was exempt from Patriots related question, I think she will admit that Dawn did her homework). This event turned out to be a win win situation. If she failed, we woulda ridiculed her and still had a good time with it. Instead, she passed and the Patriots have a new, real fan. Any time there's a new real football fan, even if it's the Patriots, I would consider that a win. (Bad beat would be if she were a Ravens fan).

Once the testing was done, Bayne and I were joined by Joanada, Buddy, and Joshua Carlson for the Steelers - Ravens game. We were surrounded by Ravens fans but strangely enough, they were all nice people. At one point, I had to encourage them to start talking shit because I warned them that if the Steelers scored, we would be going crazy. We had the shots of soco queued up for the touchdown celebration. Unfortunately, that did not happen in the first half so we did one for good luck at half time. I think we had more after that but between the buckets of beer and shots of soco, my memory is fuzzy. All I know that when the Santonio Holmes catch was ruled a touchdown, Buddy and I celebrated like a bunch of school girls jumping up and down, hugging, downing more shots of soco... My memory is extremely fuzzy after this but I barely recall chowing down on some meat loaf at the IP with Bayne. I remember it tasting pretty shitty but I was starving so I wasn't picky.

Afterwards, I went over to play at the 1-2NL table at IP, another incredibly soft poker game, and since my flight was at 6am, I decided to just stay up all night and not get a room. Once I started sobering up, I walked over to Caesars to get some more food... except I wasn't feeling pizza and that was all that was available so I went over to the Venetian to the Noodles bar... I crushed the food there and then proceeded to play 1-2NL at the Venetian. Another winning session and then I decided to celebrate the winning sessions at the Rhino to complete my trip. At 4:30am, I left the Rhino smelling like cigarette smoke and cotton candy and headed for the airport. I felt pretty ghetto changing in the airport bathroom but I really didn't want to fly the whole way home smelling like that.

Man, I am a filthy dirtbag.

And this concludes the trip report. All, it was great seeing/meeting you. There are plenty of you that were not mentioned in the trip recap but I was happy to see/meet you all. Especially smokkee and Tina since I didn't get to meet them in the previous gathering.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter gathering trip report Part 2

So I left off last time with the part about how we went to the Venetian to get some poker fix in. Friday, I played the part of Mr Unsocial and actually just hung out by myself, playing poker over at the Venetian and then at the Wynn for most of the day. It wasn't until the evening that I joined the rest of the bloggers over at MGM. That was also around time my roommate for the trip was arriving. By the time he arrives though, he's on airline tilt since his flight is delayed so he proceeds to start drinking... a lot. He describes it in his trip report but he's drinking out of this gigantic glass that he bought for $9 with $5 refills. At one point, he finishes the glass, goes for 2nds and then is like gone for like 15 minutes. I wonder what happened to him and then he comes back to tell me that he finished the second one while he was at the bar and he was already working on his 3rd. I made sure to get the room key and the room number before he was too far gone.

When I got back to the room, I was very impressed. We were staying at Bally's cuz he got comped and so the room was "free." But really, the room was awesome. Much better than the $40 room I had at the IP for Thursday night... I mean I'm not complaining. I love the IP. Cheap and great location and I really can't ask for more... esp since I only spend like 4-6 hrs in the room... tops...

Friday was really a poker day. And the action was starting to pick up. More tourists and cowboys were coming in town and so the tables were definitely starting to get juicier. Then, on Saturday, we had the winter poker blogger tournament. I bust out early when I reraise Doc's LP raise from the BB with AK and we see an ace high flop. I cbet, he calls so I immediately put him on a hand like AJ or AQ. Maybe a set but you really can't fear sets in situations like that... esp since my reraise was a good chunk, I killed whatever set mining odds that you would ordinarily need. Not that that matters but that's always my intention is to make sure that the person is paying the wrong price to make the call. Well, I took his call as a weak ace so I decided to value bet the turn... except when he raises, now I know I'm probably screwed. But I have 6k remaining and the pot is like $16k after he raises me so I'm not gonna fold there. Maybe I should but I'm really not interested in roaching in that tournament. So I shove, Doc calls with his two pair and just like that, I am out. I felt bad that I didn't have a bust out bounty to give him... esp since Doc showed me his before the tournament started which was a nice card protector coin from Iraq. Whoever busted Doc must be psyched to have that. And Doc, it was fun playing at the table with you sir!

Well, once I busted out of the tournament, I just played more cash games at the Venetian to kill time until Bayne busted. I was in the mood to redeem myself at the craps table so when Bayne went out in a sick but fairly standard situation, I felt a little bad for him but I got over it quickly. We immediately headed over in search of some low stakes craps table and we were rewarded by a table at O'Sheas. You know, the empty tables are usually an indication of a cold table. And sure enough, I lived up to my hype as Iceman on my first attempt at redemption. First time I get the dice, I roll. Point is set. I think I roll one number in between. Maybe not. In less than a minute, I crapped out. Hey, at least if you're the one that likes to go the come bet route, you wouldn't have lost much money. However, if you go the Bayne system, then... well... sorry dude, at least I lost just as much. Well, maybe he won. He had a don't pass bet at first... however, I did redeem myself somewhat and by the end of the night, he was betting the pass line and placing bets... probably hoping that my "I am due!" statement would translate into some fire bet wins. Alas, I don't run like Astin so no fire bet cherry was popped for me. Seriously, how much of a luckbox is he!?

The irony of the craps table was that it was really cold at first, then it got better and once we were leaving Oshea's I think I was about break even... or maybe down a hundred or two. Nothing crazy. So Bayne and I go to Bally's and we decide to get some late night grub. After we down our sandwiches, we start heading to the room... but of course, the casino knows Bayne... so they cleverly place the craps table right by the elevators. We CAN'T not play if we're passing the craps table, regardless of how empty it is. So, sure enough, we pull out our cash and start placing bets. Few rolls later, we're down a couple of hundy. I am ok to call it quits, regretting the decision to play at this obvious cooler of a game when they tell us that they are closing down the table. You know shit's not going for us when they actually choose to close down a cooler table. You also know Bayne is a degen when he takes another hundy to go place bets at the other table since ours got closed. It didn't take long before we were in the elevator heading up to our "free" room. Between me and Bayne, I think we lost a combined total of $500 (memory is a little fuzzy so I could be wrong).

Bally's 1 - 0 Bloggers

Note: LJ, no spooning or any inappropriate behaviors took place during my stay at Bally's with Bayne. For real.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter gathering trip report Part 1

So I see that some people have already started the trip reports. Hell, some even did trip reports during the trip itself. That's sick dude (no pun intended). Well, I guess I'll start at the very beginning.

This year, I haven't been as active in the blogging community as I have been last year. In hindsight, I do wonder if my shaky marriage had something to do with how involved I became with the bloggers last year. My exwife traveled for work a lot and was out of town during the week but since I was married, it wasn't like I was gonna go out and get drunk and try to pick up chicks on the weekdays. So, I turned to online poker and to blogging, and there, I met a bunch of people that I now refer to as friends (LJ, notice the lack of quotes please, tyvm). Fast forward a year and now, as my divorce gets finalized, I am going out a lot more, hanging out with my friends, unsuccessfully trying to pick up chicks, and all in all, having a great time. This meant less time for poker, less time for blogging, and definitely less blogger tourneys. And I am not gonna lie. I was ok with that. Sure, I miss gchatting with my usual unproductive counterparts but besides that, I was totally ok with it.

What all that meant was that to be honest with you, I wasn't really looking forward to this trip. Sure, it's Vegas. Sure, I will still get to see some of my friends and sure, I would be able to put more faces to names. But even then, I just wasn't so excited. I thought, hell, if I just wanna play poker, I could play online. And if I just wanted to get drunk, I can do that with my buddies here. So why was it that I was going there again? Most of the ones that I became really close with over the past year weren't gonna be able to make it. I mean it was just looking like a bad beat all around!

Having said all that, I wasn't gonna back out of a trip to Vegas. Afterall, it is Vegas. Funny thing is, now, I no longer feel the excitement when the plane lands or when I get off the plane and into the airport. I see the slot machines and it's kind of a "no big deal, been there, done that" mentality... which was kinda sad, only because I miss the excitement that I used to feel for Vegas before. So, with the nostalgia gone and the whole trip was something I wasn't eagerly looking forward to, I just hoped that I could still enjoy the break from the daily grind.

But you know what? I knew why I would make every effort to make it to the winter gathering every year the moment I stepped foot in the Imperial Palace and walked to the Geisha Bar. Initially, I checked in, got all my stuff to the room and then came back down. The moment I got there, all the familiar faces are there. Al, Pauly, Buddy were the first ones that I immediately recognized. Then I saw Gnome and Kuro. Finally got to meet OhCaptain whose blog I currently do not read (sorry! that will now change!) but is a friend on facebook. Joanada giving me countless hugs from the moment she met me and all that served as a reminder as to how cool and open this group is... and that even if you don't always email each other or chat online or play in the same tournaments, when we all get together, it's almost like a high school reunion (I just assume since I've never been to my high school reunion). So, we start hanging out, catching up, just chatting. I meet PirateLawyer for the first time and he doesn't disappoint... within 2 minutes of meeting him, he's already telling me a bad beat story. Dude, good thing you passed your bar exam... you must owe a lot of money to a lot of people for all the bad beat stories you tell!

Eventually, Gnome, Kuro, PL and I decide to walk over to the Venetian to play some poker. One other thing I noticed this year about Vegas was how dead it was. Sure, there are still people but man, the tables were tighter and all in all, the action was a lot less than what I remembered from last year. The economy must be affecting it because I can't think of any other reason why it would be so different from the same time last year. On the way to the Venetian, we ran into Astin who did the whole canyon dive thing that he described on his blog. Sounds like a freakin blast and maybe next year, I'll have enough balls to do it. Once we get to the Venetian, we all sit at different tables and I'm not gonna go into details because quite frankly, poker is a pretty minor part of this whole trip in relation to the fun factor of other things. I might eventually post some interesting hands but really, I don't want to make that a part of my trip report since I have a lot more to talk about. It's weird how a gathering of poker bloggers would lend itself to me posting about a bunch of nonpoker related stuff. But that's why it's fun.

Part 2 to come later.

I run so good! (not quite the trip report)

I just landed in Richmond... and as I sit here typing away at the airport, one might wonder why I'm not just picking up my luggage and going home... I mean afterall, I didn't sleep at all last night... In the past 24hrs, the only sleep I got was the 3 hr flight from Vegas to Atlanta. Well, that was cuz I got dealt a great turn card. Let me explain.

Preflop, my hand selection was perfect. Since CK pointed out while I was planning my trip that the Ravens - Steelers game would be on Sunday afternoon, I should get on the red eye Sunday night or take an early Monday morning flight. So, after weighing out my options, I chose to take the 6am flight out of Vegas on Monday. The only decision was whether I should get a hotel room for Sunday night but if I have to leave around 4-5am to get to the airport in time for my flight, I thought getting a room was pointless. I was already freerolling the hotel portion of this trip by staying with Bayne... well, maybe freerolling isn't quite the word since it was a very expensive free room... fawkin craps tables...

So, anyways, I stick to my plan preflop and stay up all night. The flop was just what I hoped for and I was able to catch my flight out of Vegas and pass out on the plane. Next thing I know, we are getting ready to land in Atlanta. As soon as I get there, I get off the plane and realize that the gate across from where I just got off the plane is boarding for a flight back to Richmond. My initial flight was supposed to be at 2:30pm but this one is also Delta and this one leaves at 1pm! I go across and ask the gate attendant if I could switch my flight. She says no problem! Nice turn! The only issue was that I checked my luggage in at Vegas so that will be coming back on the later flight. She asked if I still wanted to proceed. Hmmm, facing a raise I see. No problem. Free wi-fi in Richmond vs not free in ATL made it an easy decision. After all, that'll give me some time to write up the trip report!

So now, I just sit here typing away and hoping that the river doesn't fuck me. If my luggage somehow doesn't make it here at 4pm (my initial arrival time), then that would be a bad beat!!!

Huh? Oh yeah, I guess you guys will want the full trip report. That will be coming shortly.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maybe I'll lose my friends if I do this...

In my previous post, Schaubs asked me why I didn't out the name of the firm. I mean I expressed my anger at the firm that cut two of my friends and I talked about how much I hated that firm. So, if I really hate them, wouldn't I just out them and say don't hire this firm or don't go work for this firm? Well... yeah, I guess that would make sense. The problem is, I no longer work there. So, there's a part of me that allows me to be more objective. Don't get me wrong. I am a very emotional guy and I sometimes let my emotions do the talking first before my brain kicks in. So, if I were still there and the things went down the way they did, I may have just walked out (even if I wasn't the one laid off - and not to sound cocky but I wouldn't have been and I'll go into why later).

Before I go into this post, I need to let you know how I operate. I am an ultra competitive guy. Not in the "keeping up with the Joneses" type of guy where if my neighbor has 3 cars, I feel I have to have 3 also. I'm not stupid nor shallow in that sense. But I want to perform better than others. I want to move up quicker than others. If that means that someone else has to go down, then so be it. It's like a poker tournament on the money bubble. If someone else has to bust for me to make the money, I couldn't care less if the guy loses to a sick runner runner one outer. Better him than me. Yep, I'm an ass. But you can't tell me that none of you ever feel that way. If you do, then you are a much better person than I am. But then, come sit at my poker table please.

From the way things went down, I was definitely pissed at the firm for handling the situation the way they did. It was low, classless, deceitful, and just petty. But, fairly typical of the firm that I remember. They talk about how they care about people but in reality, they don't give a shit about the people. My biggest gripe with them around the time I left was that they kept telling me they cared and that they valued my opinion. I remember telling one partner there that if the firm didn't care, I'd rather they just say "we pay you to do your fuckin job, not to give us your fuckin opinion so shut the fuck up and we'll handle our own situations." And you know what, I woulda respected that so much more than "yeah, we totally agree, we do need to make some changes blah blah blah blah blah *add slurping noises of them kissing my ass and sucking my you know what*" and then turning around and totally ignoring it. I mean what a waste of my time!

Well, so the other day, I told you that the firm cut a few people. Of course, my friends are totally baffled as to why it happened and you know, the layoffs are tough. Especially the one guy they let go is a close friend of mine, a pretty strong performer, dedicated, traveled a lot for the firm, never once complained, never left the firm (there are some there that left then came back), did everything he was asked to do, etc etc. He was a manager there and again, a pretty strong one at that as far as I know from when I used to work with him. But if I take my friend hat off and put my coworker hat on, this would be the reason that the people who got cut were cut.

The way an accounting firm is structured and works, basically, you have your partners at the top and then the each rank below. Once you become an equity partner (ie, have an actual stake in the firm), you get a piece of the pie... literally. You know, you get x% of the firm's revenue. Once the partner retires, you get a decent pension from what I was told... where is that pension coming from? Well, it's funded by the next generation of partners. In other words, the equity partner, once you make equity, have to pay into the firm. I mean when a firm is first set up, you raise capital right? So, it's kinda like that. It's ironic. You get promoted and then you get a loan to pay into the firm (believe me, in the long run, you'll come out way ahead). So, from the partners' point of view, they are looking for the next generation of partners.

Well, let's say the economy is shitty and so it's not like things are going great. Even then, as an accounting firm, you would always have jobs available but things aren't as great as other times. You decide you need to cut back on expenses. One option is the hiring freeze. But see, the other reality is that accounting firms by nature have a high turnover rate. So, if they were to stop hiring, they have to bank on the fact that no one would leave... which is possible with the job market out there but kind of a risk since they would be at the mercy of their employees. So, what's the other option? Well, it's simple really. They'll keep hiring new staff. But, they would have to make room so they would have to make cuts elsewhere. And that's where my friends came in to play.

The cuts have nothing to do with performance. Sure, one may argue that but in reality, it has more to do with their future outlooks. I've mentioned already that the accounting firms are always looking for the next generation of partners. If you're a guy who does solid work but doesn't make it known or clear that you want to make partner, or if you're not on a partner track, you become more expendable than the person who is clearly on partner track. And that's why I say that I probably would not have been cut if I were still there. While I was at the firm, everyone in the firm (even partners in other offices) knew my intention... which was to make partner. During firm retreats, I used to joke with some of the partners that I want to fund their retirement so it was their obligation to give me the opportunities to do so. I was driven, ambitious, and eager to make partner. In all honesty, for as long as I was with the firm, that's what I always thought. When my peers all mentioned that they didn't know what they wanted to do in the future, I never understood that mentality. I never understood how you can work in a place while wondering what the next step is. Of course, I went through that period once I started looking for another job and my performance was shit as a result. As long as I am with the company, I am gonna do whatever it takes to keep moving up. Even in a big corp like the one I currently work in, my thoughts are always, how do I put myself in position to run this dept, run this entire group, etc etc. I refuse to forever be a middle management figure... at least for now. That's not how I roll. I mean look at yourself in the mirror. Do you really want to do what you're doing now for the rest of your life?

In that sense, none of the four people that got let go seemed to be eager to become partner. Sure, my friend was committed to his work and loyal to the firm but I don't think he ever wants to be a partner there. I think the whole situation was handled extremely poorly but on the same token, the firm has no obligation to its people. Sometimes, I've heard people complain when they are let go that they were so loyal to the firm. I'm sorry all, but it's employment, not marriage. When push comes to shove, the company has no obligation to reciprocate the loyalty that you may feel you have given.

I'm not defending the firm for the way they handled it... but I would be lying if I said I didn't understand why they did what they did.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Reality

Everyday, the news gets merrier and merrier. I mean look over here. November had the largest monthly job loss total since December of 1974. Of course I'm being sarcastic. It's sickening. And yet it's one thing to read this online or see it in the news... it's so different when it happens to someone you know... in a city you live in.

Yesterday began as just another day for all of us. We go to work, talk shit over email about who's got the best fantasy football team, how much of a douchebag we are, etc etc... and then one of our friends responds to our email and says "guys, stop sending emails to this account, please switch to my gmail account because I was just fired." My first reaction? HA! Good one. Nice try dude but we're gonna continue to flood your work account! You see, I used to work in that firm. I know how that firm works and even though it's a pain in the ass for the IT guys over there, I knew it wasn't that big a deal. So, I didn't really take him seriously. Then about 30 minutes later, another one of our buddies respond with "we just got let go. NO JOKE." My response? Yeah, ok, dude, that's a pretty sick joke considering what's going on out there...

The sickest thing was, it was not a joke.

It turns out that two of our friends were part of an abrupt layoff that happened in my former accounting firm. The shocking thing is that about a month or so ago, a partner from that firm and I went to a football game and I asked him how this economy was affecting the firm. He said that even in times of poor economy and decreased spending, people hire CPAs because they want more work to be done around cost efficiency, internal controls testing, etc etc. So, in the back of my mind, I thought that hey, if I were to be let go from my current company (which as a financial institution, it's always possible), I can always swallow my pride and go back there if I'm desperate enough. You know, it was like your safety school.

So, needless to say, I was shocked by the news. We all got together last night over at a local bar to just hear about what happened. I mean, again, it was just so unthinkable. But I guess it goes to show that no job is safe. I offered to help but one of them said that he and his wife immediately started going through the bills and once they cut out all the things that weren't necessities (cable, gym membership, etc etc) that they could make do for a little while. The only debt they had was the mortgage (cars are paid off) and student loan.

I am fairly confident that being that it's right before tax season, if they didn't mind going back into public accounting, they would be able to find a job. However, it was quite depressing to see two of my friends get laid off like that with no warning whatsoever. It wasn't like the firm announced that the layoffs were coming or that they were cutting anyone. As a matter of fact, the firm managing partner called a meeting few days ago to say that the cuts were NOT happening... ah, so typical of that firm. I am so glad I quit. Like one of our friends said (a lot of us in our circle of friends met when we all worked in that firm), it shoulda been a sign when a bunch of us left around the same time.

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie. As great a career I had at that firm, that firm sucked ass in terms of taking care of its people or even caring about the people in general. They talk the talk but they stab in you in the back as soon as you turnaround. What a fuckin piece of shit firm. Thank god I no longer work there.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bad Beat!

Despite the title, this is not so much a bad beat post... well, there will be one part I will talk about that but I will give you a fair warning. See, recently, my nonpoker playing friends even use that term when something doesn't go our way... which I find very amusing. Today, my friends and I got together at Ipanema Grill for lunch, which is one of those meat feeding brazilian joints. I was getting pretty full but then I saw the guy walking around with the stick of sirloin steak... so I ran up to grab a plate and flipped the sign to green so that they guy would come over (green = more meat, red = no more). And just as I did that, the guy gave the last slab away and walked away. BAD BEAT! Well, even funnier was that my friend who was up by like the soup station or something saw the guy walk away and he comes back to the table and goes "dude, bad beat!" So true.

The other night, this girl wanted to get Arby's... sent us a text to see if we wanted to join but we had both eaten. Her response? BAD BEAT! (I did end up joining her since she conceded by coming to the Arby's closer to my house)

The usage of bad beat is spreading and I love it.

Ok, here's where poker related bad beat post comes...

Generally speaking, bad beats are unavoidable and I am ok with it. Sure, I'll whine about it but it's part of the game. If your AA < QQ all in pre, it sucks but really, do you expect the guy to fold QQ? It's a cooler from his point of view if the statistics hold up so it happens. What about if you hold AK and the money goes in on a K high flop and you lose to the 2 outer on the river? Sure, that sucks too but what if it was him that shoved all in on top? As in, let's say MP raises, you reraised from the SB with AK. Flop comes K-x-x. You cbet and he shoves. Sure, you call, and he catches the Q for the rivered set. That sucks too but you could at least make a case of he was trying to make a play (a horrible one at that).

The ones that truly annoy me or upset me are what I like to call the WTF Beats. They're so bad, it's not even a bad beat. Like this one:

2-4NL FR
Relevant stacks:
Me - $402
Villain - $1600+

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to RecessRampage [Ad Ah]
2 folds
Villain calls $4
MP calls $4
2 folds
RecessRampage raises to $20 <--- from the SB
BB folds
Villain calls $16
MP folds

*** FLOP *** [8h 2h Jd]
RecessRampage bets $33
Villain raises to $66
RecessRampage has 15 seconds left to act
RecessRampage has requested TIME

Ok, so this is an interesting spot. I raise from LP, he calls so he can easily have a middle pocket pair. I don't know much about him so he can also have like a suited connector. I think there are more hands than just a flopped set that he can try this minraise with so I decide that I'll pump this pot even more.

RecessRampage raises to $246
Villain calls $180

This is where I'm a little baffled. I raised to $246, leaving me $136 behind... in other words, I'm committed to this pot regardless of what falls on the turn. So, if so, why is he not shoving? Is he chasing something? Or can he just not let go of some medium pocket pair? Maybe like 99 or something?

*** TURN *** [8h 2h Jd] [4c]
RecessRampage bets $136, and is all in
Villain calls $136
RecessRampage shows [Ad Ah]
Villain shows [Qh Ts]

That's about as good a card as I can hope for if I'm ahead and since I'm not going anywhere, I just shove. I mean what else am I gonna do? Shockingly, this guy calls... and at first, I'm not even sure what he's asking for... well, that is until the river comes...

*** RIVER *** [8h 2h Jd 4c] [9h]
RecessRampage shows a pair of Aces
Villain shows a straight, Queen high
Villain wins the pot ($809) with a straight, Queen high

Um, nice 4 outer sir. You were a 10% FAVORITE to win so sure, why not call off the $136 on the turn. And THAT my friends, is a WTF beat... I mean really... what was he doing in the hand after my reraise on the flop??? What the fuck!?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Woot freeroll

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 798665

The rare poker post

My blog should be changed to "Other stuff and poker." It's becoming increasingly rare for me to post strategy or any situational thoughts... but it seems like that's been the trend on a lot of blogs. I mean, you all are tired of reading about how to play AK in position, out of position, 200BB deep v 100BB deep, etc etc right? Well, I sure am tired of talking about it. Plus, as I mentioned few posts ago, I'm playing bottish anyways so it probably doesn't even matter... for now. I would want to say that I am gonna renew my resolve and start reading up more poker material etc etc but right now, I am having more fun doing other stuff so it is what it is.

Having said that, this is a poker blog so I figured, I should post something poker related. About a week or two ago, crushmastac asked about overlimping/reraising in 6 max games. I'm sure a lot of you have seen it before. You know, where some guy limps UTG or UTG+1, someone raises in LP, blinds fold and then the original limper 3 bets. Trappy.

His question was what do I think about this play and how to counter it. Honestly, I think this is a question better suited for Bruechips who thinks about stuff like this probably more often than I do. (here's your blog pimpage dude) Having said that, I do have some thoughts.

You can't really counter that play. In other words, just like any 3 bet, you just have to go by how often this guy does it. In other words, if you have seen him do it with aces and only aces, it's pretty easy. You figure out if you have set mining odds and if not, you fold. If you have seen him do that frequently, that you need to push back by 4 betting or calling (if you have position... if not, I would recommend 4 betting). But what do I think of the play in general... well, it really depends. Just like any other "move" in poker, it really depends on whether you are capable of mixing it up or not.

If you are limp-reraising with only AA or KK, it's a terrible move. You're practically announcing what your hand is so that's obviously terrible. If you're gonna do that, you also need to start doing that with some other random hands. The question is, what would the random hands be? Should you include AK? AQ? Is that still too tight? Maybe you should try to do it with JJ+ and AQ+? That's one thought but if you are only doing it with that range, I still don't necessarily like it unless you are so afraid of playing post flop poker that you just want to end the hand pre. The only danger is that there's no guarantee that someone will raise and do you really want to see a flop 4 handed with AA? But let's just say that you love that move... well, one way to make it alright is by polarizing your ranges.

I think this is key for any of the moves though. Instead of starting to do it with terrible hands that could easily be dominated like AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ and pocket pairs TT and belowm, you might want to polarize the range. Now, your initial thought might be, what the hell are you talking about? How are the above hands easily dominated? Well, if you are not polarizing your range and are doing it with let's say top 5% of your hands, then the hands that will call you will usually dominate/beat what you have. You don't want to be in a situation where you are out of position and you are unsure how good your hand is after hitting top pair... in a overinflated pot preflop. So, instead, one thought would be to mix in some sh*t hands when you do this. So, instead of saying that you're gonna do the limp-reraise move with AQ+ and QQ+, you could also include 22-44 and maybe some suited connectors like 89 or T9. I'm not sure that polarizing those ranges make this a good move but it's definitely a thought. That way, if you don't hit and you cbet but you encounter resistance, the decision would generally be easier. Also, more often than not, you could bluff off the better hand. In other words, if you do the limp reraise with AQ and you hit a Q high flop and you bet out and the other guy folds, you most likely had the best hand to begin with. So, you didn't really gain much of an additional value since you had the best hand and you took it down by betting. On the other hand, if you polarize your range and you do that, then let's say you hold T9 and you pull the same move on the Q high flop. It's very possible that you could get several better hands to fold such as lower pocket pairs, a few Ax hands, etc. The ability to bluff off some of the better hands will be adding value to the move itself.

Polarizing ranges are key in any situation I believe. I used to think that when people said I needed to open up my range, that meant that I needed to raise with the top x% of hands as opposed to the top y% of hands (obv x > y here). However, now, I realized that by polarizing, you might be 3 betting with the top x% + some random hands as situation dictates which I think will obviously increase the frequency so that they might start playing back at you more often, even when you have a real hand which adds value as well as being able to take it down with a cbet post flop (if not pre) or having to fold to pressure post flop without too much agonizing decision.

I don't have the math to support any of this but this is more or less a "thought about poker" post so that's all you're gonna get from me. Maybe this helps, maybe this doesn't. Feel free to comment.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble

Turkey day was a huge success! Let's see... I don't even know where to start. Leading up to the turkey day, I went from store to store accumulating various ingredients. Then the night before, I prepared the brine and the stuffing... making the stuffing from scratch was a pain in the ass... and also, I made waaaaaay too much. Ah well, better too much than too little. At first, I was a little nervous about the stuffing but in the end, it tasted good. I used italian sausage which gave the stuffing a nice taste... I did think it was a bummer that I didn't have some of the boar that my buddy hunted... that coulda been good.

Later that night, I put the turkey in the brine and then I woke up in the middle of the night to flip it once. I then woke up early to make sure I didn't soak the turkey for too long (recommended time was 6 hrs - I think I did 7). I was worried since this was my first time that soaking it too long would make the turkey too salty. Anyways, I then stuffed the turkey, put it in the oven, and the waiting begins!

While I waited, I popped open a bottle of wine. I figured that if the food sucks, I'll just get everyone drunk. As my dad and I polished off the first bottle, my guests arrived with green bean casserole and apple pie. Now the waiting game was on. Even though I planned the turkey to be ready by 2:30, I think the actual time we got to eat was 4:30. Before I got too drunk, I made sure to start the mashed potatoes. I mixed it with shallots and that gave the potatoes a good flavor.

Here's the Astin-esque display of food:

Mashed potato


Turkey is ready!


Here's the turkey plate with stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce (last two, I did not make).



And voila, there you have it - the turkey dinner table:


Astin, thanks for the link to Alton Brown's website. The fact that I made the stuffing from scratch was a big hit (as was using shallots for mashed potatoes - yeah, like I came up with that on my own). Now, I will be eating leftovers for days... I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apple a day...

Keeps the doctors away. Right?

This morning, I did the unusual thing and went to play ball in the morning... well, it's unusual because usually, I play on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings... never on a Wednesday. However, with the Thanksgiving tomorrow, we all decided to squeeze in one more morning basketball so the usual morning crew got together to play some ball.

Afterwards, one of my buddies/coworker (we play at our company gym) comes up to me and asks me if I had the health screening done.

RR "Health screening? No. Why the hell would I do that? I'm f*ckin healthy." (yes, I'm obnoxious in person too)

Friend "It's free. They'll check your cholestrol and stuff. AND they'll give you a $25 gift card."

RR "What!? What are they gonna do. Draw blood and give me $25? To where?"

Friend "It's a $25 VISA card so you can use it anywhere. I'm about to go there right now."

RR "Shit, I'm in!"

The irony is that usually, I eat breakfast before I play ball. Nothing much, just cereal but this morning, I happened to skip breakfast. And that was apparently the requirement for getting the health screen. I knew someone was looking out for me.

Well, so we go there, get our tests done and sure enough, I'm $25 richer. AND we get the results for the cholestrol pretty quickly. Now I'm not like a super health concious eater... as a matter of fact, I drink a fair amount on the weekends and I don't really watch what I eat (I kinda do but I'm not a health nazi or anything... I don't eat fast food much but I don't worry too much about what's in something when I order at a restaurant - but then again, I don't eat out as much either). But one thing I do is I eat an apple a day... at a minimum.

I don't know if it's the apple or what but my cholestrol was below 160 (I think it was like 154 or something... I left my sheet in the car). I don't remember what my bad cholestrol level was besides the fact that it was only 2 digits and the doctor was telling me how great that was... and my good cholestrol was 67. Which was also very good. Actually, I might have them confused. Maybe my bad cholestrol was 67 and the good cholestrol was something higher. Either way, they were apparently both better than the "range for a healthy individual" and in the world of cholestrol, that's apparently a good thing.

Man, I might be lazy and I might not be a health nazi but apparently, hitting the gym 3 times a week and playing ball on the 4 days I don't go to the gym must be doing me some good (I know it sounds like a lot but the 3 times I "hit the gym", I only stay there for like an hour). And apples are key. As a matter of fact, I just crushed one for my afternoon snack right before I typed this up.

Safe travels to all and have a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm cooking the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes and since I never did that before (not the cooking but I never did the whole turkey dinner by myself), it's like an all in situation... feast or famine baby. Wish me luck. I'll make it like Astin and post some pics (regardless of whether it's great or a disaster). (btw, Astin, if you are reading this, the brine is ready so tonight, I'll soak the turkey and tomorrow morning, I'll stuff it and cook it. I can't f*ckin wait!!!!!!!)

Why I censor my posts sometimes, I will never know... most likely out of habit since that's how I type my emails (not work email, obv).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm a bot (poker post)

Last night, table chat:

pock007: just like i dont know rampage is a set farmer
pock007: rampage do u know ur a setr farmer?
RecessRampage: is that the same as set miner?
pock007: lol
pock007: u know what i mean ramp
pock007: heres a hint
pock007: 110100100101100101
pock007: do u compute?
RecessRampage: I'm a bot?
pock007: bingo
RecessRampage: sweet
pock007: :)

So this guy goes on for a while about how I'm a bot and I only play AA or KK... which was actually very interesting to me because according to HEM, I have no stats on this guy so he's either data mining or he observed something quickly or he's making assumptions based on the limited number of hands he's seen.

However, I think he's on to something.

The past few months, I've been on a pretty tough run where I can go few days making money and then I'll spend the next few days giving it back. It's really neither up nor down... at least not in any meaningful way and it's been frustrating to say the least. And based on what I can see from my HEM, there was nothing glaring... except maybe, I am becoming too predictable.

You see, as I started to go on a bad run, my desire to play has become less and less. But of course, I am a points degenerate so I have to get my 200pts per day... at least for 25 days out of each month so I can qualify for the ironman freeroll. And in my attempt to do that, I 4 table while I watch tv... half paying attention to the tables and half paying attention to the tube... which is probably why I don't notice a fellow blogger sitting at my table until I go through the HH. And during that period, I make a lot less "plays" and instead, I play my cards a lot more. The opponent is irrelevant unless the pot is huge... and even then, I'm just going by what the stats according to HEM says... so in other words, I am effectively playing like a bot.

This guy calling me out may be the best piece of advice I have gotten yet. Change doesn't happen overnight but let's see if I can start focusing on my poker mindset once again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maybe this will help...

I'm so cranky today. I was feeling fine in the morning, ready to start my short work week, and of course, I'm stupid enough to try to catch up on the financial news that I unintentionally avoided all weekend. Sure, Citigroup is waaaaaay too big to go under but man, another bailout? Sure, let's go spend money we don't have. Wait, spending money we don't have by banking on future growth??? Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn't it? Wait, what caused this turmoil again? I'm confused. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad thing but every bail out news that comes out seems to put me on tilt these days. So, maybe blogging will help... writing has always been moderately therapeutic for me.

So last week, I talked about some of the topics I wanted to discuss. Marriage and morals seem to be generate some interest even though the topic itself will probably be uninteresting once you realize what I'm talking about.

You see, last week, my friends and I were having one of our many useless (ie political and financial) discussions over email and one of our more conservative/republican friends brought up that Clinton "was a liar and a cheat and generally lower standards." His reasoning behind that was the whole Lewinsky deal. Another one of our conservative friends brought up the point that "a guy who cheats on his wife is more likely to lie and cheat elsewhere." So, that got me to thinking... is that really true?

Do you cheat on your marriage because you are generally someone with lower standards? Personally, I disagree. Now keep in mind, I never cheated on my wife during our marriage. That's not how I roll and marriage is a big deal to me and I really hoped it was a once in a lifetime event (granted, if I never remarry, it could still be a one time event). So, in that sense, I understand that cheating on your marriage is a big deal. But is it really because those people have less morals? Is someone who cheats on his wife a bigger liar than someone who deceives the nation to go into war? Ok, bad example, and that was somewhat of a poo fling that I wanted to avoid. If you call in sick to your work even though you're fine and you just wanted to take a "mental health day" is that more justifiable? Sure, one can argue that you never took an oath under God for employment. So then, my other question is, is it a bigger deal because you swear "in the presence of God" or some other sacred reason?

Personally, I don't think someone cheats on their marriage because they are a cheat and a liar... I mean doesn't it have more to do with temptation, filling the void, etc etc? In other words, let's say that your marriage was rocky. Things were not going well and every time you and your spouse talk, it was always about necessities (like bills, who picks up the kid, etc etc) and if it wasn't that, it was always an argument. Over time, that gets old, you end up spending more time at work... and then let's say you meet someone who is also going through something similar. Unrewarding home life, constant battle with the spouse, etc... you get along, the other person is fairly attractive, you share a connection that you can't find with too many other people, etc etc... is it really totally immoral and make you a low life scum to end up having an affair to fill a void in your marriage? Again, let me make one thing clear. I understand that you should talk to your wife/husband, have discussions, fight it out, go see a counselor or do whatever it takes since this is someone you swore that in good times and in bad, you would stick together with. But I guess I am just questioning that even if you did have an affair, does that make you a less moral person than someone else who didn't? You really can't compare the two, can you? Maybe the other person has a happy marriage so they weren't "tested" with temptation. So it's not like someone who doesn't cheat on his wife or better yet, who hasn't cheated on his wife yet, is someone who has better judgment or morals than the one who has, does it? Or does it?

I just don't think someone having an affair is really indicative of their moral levels but some of my friends seem to think that it is. And back to where the discussion came from, despite what Clinton did with that bitch Monica, I don't think he was any less of a President if he didn't do that. I didn't think John Edwards cheating on his wife was that big a deal either but I know the democrats are glad they went with Obama because people in this country would immediately denounce Edwards, based purely on his "family values" and regardless of what policies, domestic or foreign, he would be pushing for. And in my mind, a man (or a woman)'s home values (as long as it's not illegal) would not affect his/her job.

So, I would love to hear it from everyone about what they think on that. I mean what if it's your boss? Picture someone that you worked with that you look up to, who is amazing at his/her job, and someone that you want to be like. If you find out that that person had an affair with someone else, would that affect how you look at that person or how you work with that person? Why?

Wow... shockingly, that did help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where do I start????

So much on my mind and so much I wanna talk about... and yet so little time. Well, that's not true. I mean we all have the same amount of time right? So, it's just a matter of how we choose to spend it.

Over the next few days/weeks, here are things I want to touch on:
- what happened to my "going pro" and quitting job thing
- more bail out talk (insurance companies, banks, now auto!?)
- My outlook for 2009
- discussion about marriage and morals

But honestly speaking, right now, I am not in the mood to type this up. Work has slowed down so maybe I'll find some time to type then? Well... maybe not.

Is anyone interested in any strategy topics? 2008 is almost over so I definitely want to do a recap of 2008 for me, how I thought the games may have changed, what my experiences were like with 6 max vs FR, what I've learned so far, and where I want to take my game for 2009. But again, these are all the things that are swirling in my head that I really want to put down on paper but right now, writing is not what I want to do or how I want to spend my time.

I am having fun though and enjoying life which is way more than what I could have said about myself about 6-9 months ago. 2008 was a shitty year for me and so I am ready for it to be over. I hope 2008 was (and continues to be) a good year for the rest of you and I look forward to seeing a lot of you in less than a month!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you hate money?

More nonpoker posts from me. Man, when's the last time I posted anything poker. It's weird. I play every night still to at least hit the 200pts, I win some, lose some but nothing really comes up that seems worth talking about. Maybe it's because I've exhausted talking about how to play AK preflop and polarizing 3 bet ranges or maybe it's because anything I want to post about would just be another bad beat story...

Well, anyways...

The other day, my friends and I were having another discussion, somewhat related to politics but more in terms of general governance rather than Barrack vs Maverick. It's a debate that was pretty intense but hilarious as our group has a pretty liberal democrat and a somewhat conservative republican in the group. And obviously, I think we agree on most issues but we would pick on the few issues where we disagree and just pick that topic to death and then some and laugh about it later over several beers...

Anyways, at one point, there was a discussion that came up about Exxon (I think) making record profits in Q3. In a time like this when people were losing jobs, etc, some of my very liberal friends thought that it was wrong for companies to be posting record profits... that they should be lowering the price so that it is more affordable to the consumers.

Now to me, that was the most ridiculously stupid comment I've ever heard. And I love my friends and the ones who mentioned it but my god, are you stupid? Hmmm.... let's see... we sell a product that people will buy regardless of the price... wait, they'll still pay for it even if they don't have a job? Ok, sweet!!! How much can we charge them for it? That much???? Wow. Let's do it!!!

I mean it's the same concept I talked about before with the athletes making ridiculous amounts of money. If you hate that, stop watching them. Same concept. If you hate that the gas companies are making money, don't buy gas... of course, you can't get around this country without it so then I suggest you switch to something that consumes less of it. One of the guys who argued this point drives a SUV. Um... ok. Dump that Jeep and buy a Prius. If you are so concerned about the people without jobs or what not, tell your employer that you don't need a raise but to give it to Bob in accounting because he's got two kids and his wife just got laid off from Circuit City. I don't know, whatever. But I hate that they preach like there's something immoral about people making money off of others. The way I see it, if I have to step on top of a dead body to get ahead, that's what I do. I'm competitive, what can I say. Your loss is my gain. Am I an ass or am I a fierce competitor?

And don't get me started on people without a job and how we need to help them. Come back to me when there are zero jobs out there. My friend also mentioned that several people from his dept were cut. Tough shit. They're not the only ones who lost the job. I feel bad, I truly do, but it ain't my obligation to help them out. Plus, if they are concerned about the mortgage and stuff, they should go find another job. Sure, it might not have the benefits of the old job they had and maybe it doesn't pay as well. But it's a job. It's income. There are plenty of people who are choosing to be unemployed out there. I won't throw anyone under the bus but if you are one of them, you know who you are. Sure, you're looking. FOR A JOB THAT IS AT LEAST THE SAME AS THE ONE YOU HAD BEFORE OR BETTER!!!!! If you're truly desperate, you can find a job. You can be a waiter/waitress, flip burgers at McDs, or whatever. Sure, it's not what you went to school for but it's better than sitting on your ass all day not earning a paycheck isn't it? Or is it? And that's my point. I have no problem with everyone making their personal choice to draw welfare checks or to go and do something about it. But I don't want ANY of my money to go towards those that are complaining about their bad beats in life cuz they just got laid off.

Give me a fuckin break.

Wow, was I cranky this morning or what?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday Night Euphoria

That's the best way to sum up the whole evening.

Just to give a little background... my current circle of friends that I have in Richmond was probably the first set of friends that I met outside of basketball. I met this one guy through work and then his brother moved down to Richmond and then our circle just kept on expanding as we all met new people and kinda introduced them to our "group." Plenty of jackassery goes around but the one thing that always came back was our debate about football. For as long as I knew them, they would talk about how "this is the year" for the Redskins... and the time I met them coincides with around the time that Dan Snyder took over that team. And being in Richmond, you have to listen to a lot of that bullshit nonsense. And being the Steelers fan that I am, we would always heckle them and tell them how much they suck... and sure enough, for the most part, they have sucked the past decade or so that I've been friends with them so it's been fun.

Last time they played in the regular season was back in December of 2000... it was the last game at Three Rivers Stadium and we were watching from the bar, yelling, screaming, heckling each other, doing shots, and basically having a blast. Steelers beat the Redskins at that time, as they should, being the superior team that we are and at that point, we swore to each other that the next time these two teams meet, we would have to go to the game.

Fast forward 8 years and when the schedule came out this year, sure enough, the Steelers and Redskins are playing! On a MONDAY NIGHT!!!! We had a few chances where some of us thought we could score tickets from people we knew and sure enough, one of my buddies who is a Redskins fan came through with 4 tickets. Being busy at work and stuff, leading up to the game, I have to say that it wasn't as high on my priority list in terms of excitement as it should. But when I woke up on Monday, I was giddy. I had to go into work and finish a few things but I knew that in the afternoon, I would be out of there. Sure enough, by 3:30, we were on the road, cooler packed with beer and brats. And even better, since the 4th (who was supposed to be another Redskins fan) never materialized, our foursome was comprised of 3 Steelers fans and one Redskins fan. As the lone Redskins fan put it "it's feast or famine for me." We quickly retorted with "good luck finding the ride home."

On the ride up, I think we checked every 15 minutes if we still had the four tickets and the parking pass.



Once we got to DC around 5:45pm, we were thirsty... for a beer. The 6 pack of Winterlager that we purchased was key. That was the first winterlager I've had since last winter and it was just as tasty as I remembered it. Only three of us were drinkers so we downed 2 bottles of Winterlager each and then moved on to Miller Lite. At this point, there was a slight dilemma. One of our buddies had a neighbor who was also at this game who had a grill. And since we were gonna meet up with them, we had the brats but no grill. But see, we also decided to splurge on a parking pass so we were like right by the stadium. As such, we were in no mood to leave our spot so we decided to make friends with other tailgaters so we could use their grill. The brat that my buddy brought was the boar that he hunted a few weekends ago and man, even though I'm anti hunting, that shit was good. At one point though, the guys who let us use their grill was running out of charcoal and the fire was dying down...

Bad beat warning!!!!

Until miraculously, we found someone who was willing to give us the rest of the charcoal that they weren't using. Saved by the river!!!



We celebrated as we downed our 2nd or 3rd brat. It was very tasty. Not bad for our liberal tree hugging hunter friend. So, with our stomachs full and plenty of beers flowing through us, we headed into the stadium... and I will say this. I am impressed with the number of Steelers fans there. We were in the 400 section of the stadium so we were high up but I turned my head and all I can see was a sea of terrible towels!!!! Of course, I brought mine and I was waving that thing fanatically.

Here's the view from our seats...



I was already euphoric from the atmosphere and the booze and everything... really, words can't describe how excited I was and when we blocked their punt, we pretty much exploded. When Leftwich came in, I was chanting "We are Marshall!!!" I pretty much make no sense... but we were having a blast. (In my defense, I was a big fan of him when he was at Marshall, even though I'm a big ECU fan so it's not like that came out of nowhere)

Of course, the best part about the game was this.



We stayed until the very end of the game and so sure enough, as we were walking out of the stadium chanting "Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!" with seemingly everyone else and yelling "this is a home game for us!!!!" we saw the huge line of cars out the parking lot. Since neither I nor the Redskins fan were driving, we went back to the car and pounded more beers. I think we were even drinking on the way home. We stopped by at Sheetz around 2:30am to get some grub and I shove a cheesesteak down with lots of jalapenos and man, that tasted good.

Oh, and quick thanks to the driver. You're the man. And GO STEELERS. Responsible dads are key.

However, paradise one night leads to feeling of death the next. When I woke up this morning, I felt like dog shit... but I had to go into work so I made it in around 10am... with my voice completely hoarse. But as I sit here typing this up, I can't help but think that that was totally worth it. That was my very first Steelers game since I adopted them as my team back in '94 (when I first landed here) that I saw live and man... I am just not a talented enough writer to put it in any other words besides this.

It was AWESOME!

Blur - exanded (Halloween)

Alright, so let me take you all back to Friday... well, let's do Thursday. So Thursday night, our department has an impromptu happy hour... except when our dept has an impromptu happy hour, it's like weak. Wait, did I say "it's like"? I guess I meant IT'S GAY (no offense to those that like the same sex - I support your rights but the use of this terminology was impossible to pass up). Most of them are married or have kids so by the time I got to the happy hour which was around 6:30, there were 3 people remaining... 2 of which left shortly after I arrived. Fortunate for me, one of the guys on my team came a little later and then two of my buddies showed up so then the party was on. The bar we went to seemed to wanna get rid of the Sam Adams Octoberfest so it was $4 for the tall glass all night. What a deal! So, we started pounding drinks as we started arguing politics. I won't go into where I stand on the politics stuff until my next post but needless to say, most of our discussions recently have been all politics and our group has a wide array of uber liberals (though I don't think he considers himself that) and fairly conservative republicans... which makes the debates that much better. At one point, I was talking to my friend sitting across from me while the other two on each side of me were arguing with each other also... basically, the conversations are flowing across each other and it's like a yelling match followed by uncontrollable laughter at the ridiculousness of the situation. Well, part of the night also included the discussion on what I should dress up as for Halloween. See, tis the night before Halloween and I still didn't have a costume... and we were going to a costume party at my buddy's the next night. Well, that was the plan but I wasn't gonna go if I didn't have a costume since I'd be like the only one and I would feel lame for not embracing the spirit.

Initially, I thought about going as Kobayashi, you know, the hot dog eating former champion.



I figured I'd buy a Nathan's Hot Dog t-shirt, put fake ketchup and mustard on myself (yes, I know they don't put condiments on theirs but it's for effect) and have a couple of fake hot dogs, put the rising sun headband and voila, kobayashi. But, the props were hard to find and purchasing those things required some planning which I didn't do so that was out the window. So, when Friday morning rolled around, I needed to figure out quick what to be. And I'm one of those guys that don't really like to get a costume at a costume store... not that I want to make one but I want to play upon the big news of the year or some headlines that most people would immediately understand. (I was eminem one year, Backstreet boys another, and then a few years of just generic shit like the surgeon looking for a hot nurse, some alien costume, etc) I thought about somehow incorporating the demise of wall street but I couldn't think of anything clever at the time. But I wanted to dress up in something where I didn't have to go to a Halloween specialty store... and then it came to me.

So, as soon as I got off of work, I ran around to a few sports stores and a toy store in search of all the gear I needed. After 3 different stops, I was ready. With a leash tied to a stuffed dog and me wearing football pads, a red jersey where I taped #7 on, and a Falcons baseball cap (in a gangsta sideways fashion), my outfit was complete. The dog beating Michael Vick baby! Amongst my friends, I continuously make fun of the Hokies (I'm surrounded by friends who are all Hokies) to antagonize my friends so it was perfect. It woulda been better if I were able to find a Hokies jersey but the above attire was the best I can do in a span of 2 hrs. Even better was the fact that I was able to return the jersey and the pads the very next day so the cost was merely for the stuffed dog (which the following day I gave it to my friend's real dog for him to chew up) and the Falcons cap (that I have no idea what to do with).

I think my costume was a pretty decent hit at the party. Everyone seemed to immediately get the joke, I was continuously stomping on the dog so now, it's just a matter of me getting a hold of one of those pics before PETA finds it and burns my house down. We drank and partied till like 3am when the kegs were kicked and we were able to find a cab home.

The rest of the weekend was spent catching up on little errands here and there as well as recovering and getting ready... for MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!!!!!

But that, my friends, is a post for another day (or maybe later).

Blur

That's what my past few days seemed like... I have so much to say but so little time. I will update later but let's see, at a high level, Halloween was awesome, I went to the MNF game last night (GO STEELERS!) which was awesome, I felt like dog shit this morning, and today is election day. So much to cover but so little time. I plan on writing more tonight since I got so much to say. Oh my god. I am still giddy from the Steelers victory. That was my first Steelers game I've ever been to. It was so awesome. It was everything I wanted to be and more. BOOM!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween coming up...

Crap... 2 days till Halloween and I don't have a costume. A buddy of mine is having a Halloween party on Friday which I am planning on going but not unless I could get a costume. Working till late at night is not allowing me to hit the stores... which is a pity because I had a pretty decent idea for a costume. I hadn't really had time over the weekends and this past weekend, I was in Japan so I don't think I can go with my original plan... I have another thought of a different costume but I don't know if it's as good. But, I guess it's better to have a lame costume than not have one at all and not go to the party. Hmmm, it's 10pm, finished dinner and watching my favorite show Criminal Minds... of course, I'm DVRing bunch of episodes of House because I never used to watch that show and I am totally hooked so I can watch that now... another option is to work some more... I wonder if there's anything at Walmart that I can get... they're still open right? Oh shit... and I just realized I missed the last 3 innings of the world series... man, my mind is all over the place. Since my hamstring is feeling better, I am gonna go play ball tomorrow morning at 7... so I guess I'll just finish up a few more things for work and then just go to bed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My 40 hours in Tokyo

What a crazy trip it was. $1500 for the plane ticket, another $50 in parking, approximately $200 spent partying (even though food and drinks were paid for at wedding reception as well as the second party we went to), and I only got to spend 45 hours in my home country. To put it in perspective, I left my house in Richmond at 5:30am to catch the 7am flight to Chicago. From Chicago, I took the 10:50am flight to Tokyo which arrived around 2pm on Friday (Japan time - that's 1am EST). Add another couple of hours for driving from Narita International Airport to my house in Japan and door to door, it took 20 hours (actual total flight time one way is about 15 hours). Shockingly, coming back, it only took about 18 hours... I think there was less time for layover and we must have had decent tail wind. So, my total travel time for the trip was 38 hours. The total time I was in Japan (excluding periods of transit, ie the 2 hr car ride from the airport to the house each way) was 39 hours. Phew, what a trip. It's exhausting to put it on paper.

But it was totally worth it.

You see, this was my buddy's wedding. And this guy is not just a good friend. He's like a brother I never had. I've known him since high school... I don't even remember the first time we met but like many of my friends from the school days, I know I met him through basketball. And we played a lot of basketball... I mean when I look back to my high school days, that's pretty much all I remember is how much we played. On the weekends, we would get together after lunch and play for like 5-6 hours. There were plenty of hours spent in between and after wards, just sitting on the tennis courts (where the basketball hoops were set up) and talking about the usual stuff that teenage kids talk about (I am assuming)... girls, teachers, girls, basketball, girls... We got along, we thought alike, we even liked the same girls (and dated a few of the same), and so we obviously spent countless hours together and formed a very strong bond over the course of the teenage years as we were slowly being shaped into young adults.

I was quickly introduced to "his group" of friends to which I have quickly become a part of. This wasn't exactly normal, especially in Japan, because they were two years below me. I was a part of class of '94... these guys were all '96ers and in Japan where the age hierarchy is strong, even in an international school, most people embraced the concept of older = superior mentality... I, like in many instances, was an exception to that rule. By my senior year, I had very few friends in my grade and most of the people I hung out with were all two years my junior. Funny thing about this group is that at one point or another, we all fell in love with/chased/hooked up with the same girl. She was quite popular and now a very good friend of ours. At one point in the wedding, they had a slide show put together of all the older photos of the bride and groom growing up and there was a photo of all of us from the high school days taken at a beach... I turned to the girl and said, "hey, those were the good ol days when we all used to be in love with you! Do you miss that???" She slapped my arm and all of us at the table laughed. Drama back then was a good memory now.

The wedding was amazing. I had never been to a wedding in Japan before... well, I did go to one when I was much much younger... it was my uncle's wedding but I don't really remember anything from that aside from my mom crying. At that time, crying because you were so happy was a concept totally foreign to me so I remember being somewhat confused with why my mom was crying at such a happy occasion. But anyways, as such, I didn't know what to expect. The wedding itself was more western than the traditional Japanese. Makes sense since my buddy is Burmese (but now permanently resides in Japan with his parents and his sister) and his wife is a Japanese girl with a not-so-traditional outlook on Japanese culture and customs. The only glitch was that even though my buddy told me that he was asking me to be the witness to his wedding, I had no idea what that meant. I asked him what that meant and he just told me that I just have to "stand there and witness me signing the marriage certificate." At the time, I thought, oh ok, no big deal, just don't make me forget it. What I didn't know was that this was to occur during the ceremony. So, next thing I know, they are exchanging their vows and then I get called up... to witness, ie sign, the certificate after my buddy and his wife signed. Um, HOLY SHIT! That was a much bigger deal than I expected and all my friends did confirm that I looked like I didn't know about it. I never had much of a poker face...

The ceremony was followed by a sit down dinner reception at the brewery. It's clear that both my buddy and his wife love drinking though because plenty of references were made to getting drunk and not remembering... During the reception, where the dinner was like a 10 course meal, there were tons of speeches and good times were had by all. At one point, they changed into a traditional Burmese attire which was very cool too. After the slide show, my buddy came over and he said that he tried to find more recent photos of us together... since college, I've stayed here in the US and since he went back to Japan, the times we spend together post college has been reduced to few weeks a year. He said when he looked through the photos that we had from my most recent trip back in June, they were all inappropriate photos... which makes sense because I believe most of the photos were taken after he passed out and I was making obscene gestures or drawing a big penis on his arm... holy shit, how old am I again?

But being at the wedding and seeing old friends from high school brought back tons of old memories. One of my friends who was part of "the group" is from Fiji but now lives in Australia and I hadn't seen him since I graduated high school. And yet, when we started talking, it was as if not a single day had passed. We picked up right where we left off and even though some things were different (like he was with his wife, I had one and then lost one), much of it were the same and it was as if we were back in high school. When they saw how I interacted with "our girl" (which involves constantly arguing over the most mundane things) they just laughed and commented on how some things never change... even though at one point when we were going somewhere and she fell behind and missing for a little while, I was like "ah, who cares, let's just go to the next place. She knows where it's supposed to be" and my friends go "ah, that's different from the high school days."

My friends 1 - 0 me

Being with them reminded me of how we were in high school. In a sense, I miss those days. We had a whole life ahead of us full of dreams and ambition. We were so naive but eager and excited. But everyone is growing up and eventually, we will all be living our own lives. And for that, there was a piece of me that felt a little sad. But seeing my friend happy, I couldn't be happier for the two of them.

MnM, congratulations!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Busy busy!

Holy crap... hey everyone, this is a poker blog!!! And yet, my poker post gets like 3 comments while my nonpoker post gets 18? Insanity... but thanks for the comments. Very interesting stuff. And, I do agree with a point made that when I blocked the girl's shot, it was some of the guys that got mad, not the girl.

This week has been an extremely busy week for me. Not that it was unexpected because it wasn't... however, I am one of the few that was selected to be a part of this awesome program at work and the orientation for that program kicked off this week... which meant a full day orientation/team building one day and training the next... so that would be 2 days that were completely taken away from me... during one of the busiest weeks for our group since we have several filings due next week. Couple that with the fact that my buddy in Japan is getting married this weekend and that means I am flying back to Japan to be there for his wedding... My team has been incredibly understanding, considering I am taking time off during the busiest time... of course, I leave tomorrow (Thursday) and I'll be back by Sunday... I will be in Japan for almost as long as I would be flying round trip. Freakin insanity. My friend better not pull a RecessRampage and get divorced... cuz I'm not sure I can do this again... either that or his wedding date would have to be more conducive to my schedule.

The program at work is awesome though. As part of the program, there was also a dinner set up for us with the controller of the company and the dinner was freakin awesome. Between the orientation and all the stuff that's been laid out for us, it's very obvious to see how much resources will be spent on us and I am not gonna lie... it's very flattering AND it will be hard not to let it get to our heads. We have a similar program for all the new hires in the finance roles so the model for success is there (the program has been running for few years but we're the guinea pigs for the manager level). I am looking forward to all the challenges that will come our way and all the training/diverse experience we will have as well as the network that we will be building along the way. I have always been a strong+ performer, both here and at my previous job (where I was always rated one of the top performers there) but it's still flattering to be recognized in such a big company. I could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle but I am always lucky to be surrounded by good bosses as well as equipped with a good team... granted, I'd like to think that I had something to do with that.

So, in my personal life, things are going great and I can't be happier... now if I can only get a freakin date and the fuckin house would sell, things would be perfect. Oh, and if I can avoid bad beats... but hey, I'm not asking for the world here...

Good luck to everyone and have a nice weekend! My flight leaves in 6 hours!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nonpoker related question

This is really coming out of nowhere... or at least that's how it would seem. It's always been something I've been curious about. After spending most of my waking hours of Sunday working and getting fucked in the ass by fulltilt on the brief moments of playing poker, this is the best I can do...

You know how women ask for equal opportunities and equal everything, blah blah blah? Which is totally deserved, don't get me wrong. I am not here to put down women but I do have a question, especially to any female readers I may have. Ah shit... I may not have any. I'm gonna link all the ones I know so that maybe I'll get some responses. So, CK, LJ, Kat, Jo, Evy, Bacon, Fuel, react to me. Ha ha ha ha ha, I crack myself up.

Why is it that some women still expect you to open the car door for them? Well, let me back up, do you all want that/expect that? And if so why? Yeah yeah, I know, some of you like chivalry. But why is that? Why demand equal everything, ask to be treated as equals, and yet expect the guy to pay the tab or have them open doors for you? Do you like that as a nice gesture? Or do you expect that out of a man?

Why am I asking?

No particular reason. I was never brought up to treat a girl differently. Hell, I went to an all guys school for 12 years before college so in that sense, I never had to act "decent" in class. You know, like farting out loud was not only accepted... it was fuckin hilarious. Hell, I still laugh when I fart while taking a leak. I don't know how people at work stand in the urinal, fart while they pee, and not even crack a smile while I'm doing everything I can to suppress my laughter. Yeah, so I'm 12. Leave me alone. Apparently, so are all my friends. I digress.

Anyways, being that I was never accustomed to treating a girl differently, I noticed that in this country, of all places where women are kicking ass in every profession, the whole chivalry is more prevalent than in Japan where women are generally 2nd class citizens. How so? I mean that is still the country where if there's a girl and a guy in the room, the girl is expected to bring coffee/tea for everyone. If that's not being treated like 2nd class, I don't know what is.

So why is that? How can you demand equality in everything else but demand be treated special on a date? Maybe next time I go on a date (which at this rate may be never), I'll wait by my car door and see if she'll ever get the hint to open MY door. One time, I was playing basketball... it was a 5 on 5 and there was a girl on the other team. She wasn't all that good. And when she tried to shoot, I went and blocked her shot. Some guys thought that was uncool and let it be known. I immediately retorted with "if I can't block her shot, she shouldn't even be on the court." I mean if she were a he, and he sucks just as bad, nobody would say anything if I blocked HIS shot. Just because she's a girl, I should let her shoot? What kind of a fucked up logic is that? At least I respected her enough to treat her like all the guys. If you're on the court, you should expect equal treatment and you will get it. So again, why expect any different off the court?

Just curious.

Anybody wanna shed the light for me cuz I just don't see it?

Hmmmmm, I wonder if there's a correlation between not opening car doors and getting laid... if so, I'm screwed... well, actually, not...