WSOP-C, NOLA: Want to say a big thank you to everybody that bought a piece of my package. Sounds weird but you know what I mean. We start off with the freeroll tomorrow and those that took big enough pieces get a piece of that.
I'm excited about the Main Event and this tournament series in general. Big thanks to my in laws for being able to watch the kids to allow me to play as much as necessary. Oddly, I have a very good feeling about this series.
Now, I'm just going to hit on some topics:
KARMA - For those that think only good things happen to bad people, give it some time. Lots of times "great" things end up being the worst thing for them. Lottery winners are one example.
JASON COLLINS - Forgotten in all this acclaim is there was a west coast baseball player in the 70s who was out. Think he co-invented the high five. He told anybody that would listen that he was gay. The sportswriters just didn't ever write a word about it. He later died of AIDS. Tommy Lasorda, was said to be fairly intolerant. Lasorda's son, a homosexual, later died of AIDS.
I find it odd that some of the hate steered Jason's way is predicated on the concept that somehow being gay is a choice. Maybe for some straight people being straight is a choice, but for me, being straight is what I am. I don't have to choose. There is no choice.
Logically speaking, if people could chose between being gay and being straight, they'd all chose to be straight. For hundreds of reasons, but here's three; there is no persecution, easier to get ahead in life, and it'd make their parents happier. Therefore since I didn't chose to be straight, and if anybody had a choice, they'd all likely chose being straight, then for gays it's probably not a choice either.
So, for the folks throwing around being gay is a choice, perhaps, they've got some soul searching of their own to do.
Collins took a brave first step but it's entirely possible, if we chose to ignore the former baseball player and that seems to be what the country is doing, that Collins still won't be the first active player in American team sports to be gay. He may not get signed next year. As he says in the article, he's basically just good for six tough fouls now. In a way, he's no different than John Amaechi, an NBA player who announced he was gay as soon as he retired. Collins might not play another game after his announcement either.
Robbie Rogers is a professional soccer player, who in his prime, came out... as he "retired." Maybe he retired first, but essentially the timing was the same. That was less than a year ago, now it's likely he'll get signed in the MLS. Perhaps, he should be getting a bigger share of the plaudits as a trailblazer. Especially if Collins doesn't get signed next year.
That's another issue that will stir the pot. Collins is borderline to make a team. So if a team doesn't sign him will they be accused of being anti-gay? Will it make a team more likely to sign him? Or less? Since he's borderline and he'll now bring all these detractors all things aren't equal. Should we then accuse the NBA of being homophobic if he gets passed over. What sucks is we'll never know either way. If he doesn't get signed, it might play out that the barrier won't really be broken until a player in the middle of a deal or in his prime comes out.
RELIGION - I believe in God. I don't believe in ghosts or aliens. I'm rational in regards to most things. Though logic helps with the belief in God. For example, if there is no God, it doesn't matter that I believed in him. If there is a God, AND it does matter to him if I believe him, I'm glad to be a believer.
That being said I have issues with organized religion. I don't think man as the voice of a deity makes any sense, and seeing as how all these "infallible" conduits have been only fallible through out all of history, I just don't buy it. On the other hand, that would make sense for him to send his son down to clear some things up. So, if you want a logical reason to buy into Jesus or some other messiah there's that one.
The concept of faith is another issue people tackle. The response to give me evidence, is just take it on faith. Taking things on faith usually tends to be a bad idea. I get that. You can wipe just about anything under the carpet if your go to response is you just have to believe.
However, it's logical that our tiny little brain can only accept a little bit of God. Life is full of questions and very few answers. Maybe we can't handle the answers, yet. Maybe being tested prepares us to understand him later. There is one great truth and irony in life. People refer to it by saying things like "if I knew then the things I know now," but still fall prey to the illusion.
For some reason, as a species we are ill prepared at conceiving the future when our opinions might change. We are always as smart as we'll ever be and that starts sometime around late high school. Yet, as we age, our opinions and worldviews change. We see we are more informed, but we still fail to recognize that our opinons are every changing. Hippies become Yuppies, metal heads hedge fund managers, and wild youth, grumpy old men.
Perhaps, in death our ability to understand the bigger picture will be expanded incredibly more. There's a reason that as people get closer to death, they get closer to religion. It's not universally true, but the lots of Veterans will tell you there are few atheisist in fox holes. From a conversation with a hospice nurse, people that pass, relatively painlessly, go in two ways, either in abstract fear or peacefully slightly blissfully. Want to guess which of those two groups believed in God and which group didn't? Btw, the exceptions were the terrible people that believe in God, they tended to share that look of horror at death.
I don't like when people use religion to persecute anybody for being different. God does the judging, . I also don't like people saying things like religion has caused more death than any disease. I disagree, the bigger truth is, people wrap themselves up in religion and fight wars, yes, even some of the Holy Wars, in the name of God and religion, but usually the motivating forces are entirely different. If religion is an opiate for the masses it's also an easy scapegoat to rev up a herd of people unhappy with their own lives.
For example, Pakistan and Indai are probably going to go to war one day, and God help us it won't be nuclear, but when they do, despite their religious differences it will be because of water and resources. Religion might foment the people but the reality is something entirely different. Course it will be billed as a Holy War, but it'll be a water war.
If man was incapale of religion or belieiving in God, there wouldn't be any less violence, there were just be different, perhaps, more honest, rationales for the violence. Power and money drive these things, but it's easier to radicalize and inspire hate through religion.
If you took away religion, there might be some less bloodshed (religious sacrifice and some of the Holy Wars are solely about religion) but there would also be a lot less good that I'm not so sure is so easily replaced. Sure, good hearted atheisists can pat themselves on the back and say they don't need God to be charitble or kind or generous, and even insinuate since religion isn't steering them to do those things that somehow they are intriniscally better. I don't accept the second part, but let's just for the sake of argument grant it.
Then in that world view, atheisists should be grateful for religion because it may be the only thing keeping other, less intrinisically good people, from being good. There is a lot of gray in this world and sometimes religion is the only thing keeping some people on the right side of it.
What's weird is the lengths athesists will go to attacking people who believe in God. As I said, I don't believe in ghosts or UFOs but I don't ridicule people that do. I also don't seek to outlaw it, either. If most people in our country wanted to say the pledge of allegiance "...under God... and Zeno the Squidman from Mars" I'd just shake my head at their silliness. I don't get why atheisists have this devout, almost faith based, determination to excise God from everything.
What harm is it doing to you? Just let people live and let live. When religion doesn't do that, attack it, but be specific. It's not because a Bible is used to swear in the President that those nuts from the Westboro church are ruining peoples lives. If you are mad at them, be mad at them. My Arab neighbor has nothing to do with the Russians in Boston nor do my peaceful Islamist friends I had in DC. Because there are a lot of bad Christians don't go after the good ones, just let 'em be.
OFFEND EVERYBODY? I probably did. Sorry, for that. Just some things I wanted to get off my chest.
My favorite weekend of the year is the opening weekend of March Madness. I've been filling out brackets since I was kid and getting sick, coincidentally every year the Madness kicked in round about Wednesday night during the ESPN preview shows. To my awesome parents credit, I don't think by the time I got to high school I even had to feign the symptoms. If I was allowed one or two days of hooky I'm glad they were those two days every year.
Still, as great as college basketball still is (Dunk City anybody?), a couple of things have jaded me about the tournament. One the kids leaving early and having to learn a new cast of characters every year. Marshall Henderson this year, Derrick Williams from Arizona last year, Kyrie Irving, the Kentucky roster, and on and on and on. Hi Otto Porter, glad I'm learned who you were for 40 minutes or so. Guess what there will be no redemption story for you because you are headed to three years of an NBA bench if you are lucky, if you are really lucky you'll have a long journeyman career. Or you a future D-Leaguer, and guess what I won't know your name in about 10 months time.
Yeah, it's hard to grow attached to kids when they are one or two and done. Once upon a time, veteranexperiencedsenior laden teams ran into veteran experienced senior laden teams and the impact was palpable. You didn't need a program guide, you knew all about the top five or six teams and you watched players grow into stars.
They did the 30 for 30 special on NC State and you saw just how incredible their run was and how great college basketball used to be. The Cardiac Pack winning the ACC tournament against Ralph Sampson and UVA, Michael Jordan and UNC, and then all the come from behind wins in the tournament, and the greatness of that Clyde Drexler, Akeem Olajuwon Houston team in the finals. Those teams, including that underated NC State team, would roll over most teams these days.
However, the flip side to the exodus every year is that while the major programs are in constant state of rebuilding, the secondary majors do build veteran senior laden teams that become tournament staples. The power of the Atlantic 10 this year is evidence of just what it can mean to have guys stick around school. Granted there is no more fertile a coaching farm than the A10 (Shaka Smart, Brad Evans, Chris Mooney, even newcomer Danny Hurley is touted for big things et al). Butler, St. Louis, La Salle, Temple and VCU all made their mark on the tournament. Sure all but La Salle didn't get over the hump in the second game but Butler and Temple were both a couple of plays away from putting three out of 16 teams from a mid-major conference.
The A10 conference is also fertile for programs worth raiding, another new evil of college basketball.
String together some success and suddenly the Davids become the Goliaths. Gonzaga got a taste of their own medicine going from Hunter to hunted, Richmond the original 15 seed to knock off a two seed (yeah, that was a loaded, loaded Syracuse team too) is now being discussed as a possible Big East member, and George Mason and Davidson candidates for the A10.
As Florida Gulf Coast will learn there is little to compare to in raising the profile of a school then wearing the Cinderella hat. Just about every school that has tasted it for a long run, or stringed together multiple runs, realizes the importance of basketball. Florida Gulf Coast's web servers have crashed from all the traffic. Their applications will increase 100 fold and their alumni will suddenly become 100% more engaged with a school that has only been in existence since the 90s.
FGC will,undoubtedly strive to recapture the thrill of making a National splash, and have already been raising funds to keep their coach and super-model husband at their beachfront school. Yes, they have a beach outside their dorms (so what if it's a lake they are minutes away from the real beach) and things like wakeboarding, jetskiing etc are said to be free to the students. No wonder they recruited all those kids that can jump out of the building that nobody's heard of.
Also, side note, why in the world was this school that already beat Miami this year seeded 15th. Did nobody look at how bad the 14s were this year? Did the committee not watch a single tape of the FGC?
Dunk city is the reason the tournament is still great, even if the product is suffering in other places. The one seeds aren't the giants they used to be and while the sense that anything can really happen is amazing when it does it's a little bit cheapened. Upsets used to mean more because it wasn't a young, talented but tournament inexperienced team getting toppled it was a loaded team of seniors on their last go who just ran into the wrong underdog on the wrong day.
Now those teams dealing with four years of tournament heartaches are the former underdogs who are now programs.
College basketball has changed and though the magic isn't quite what it used to be, it's still the best time of the year for anybody.
Now... I'm off my soapbox...
This year I of course was glued to the tv for the first round games. I cheer for the school I went to, its conference mates and UNC (born in Carolina, brother who used to go to Dean Smith basketball camp, autographs of every player on the 1980 team... so on). In North Carolina, college basketball is what college football is here, once you are hooked you are hooked.
So, I look at the 100k guarantee poker tournament at the Beau Rivage and saw that Day 1A would be going on during UNC's first round game at Villanova. Considering there was a good chance that the game would be UNC's only of the tournament, or UNC's only win of the tournament, I wasn't going to be playing poker and having to make critical decisions during it.
Thus, I opted to only fire one bullet on Saturday. Plus, I like first round games better than second round games (and I know as of this year I'm supposed to call them second round and third round games... but that point will miss many that read this).
The tournament couldn't have started out any better. Besides that one Bud Light commercial where the guy is happy to be on a blind date with a lesbian, I mostly enjoyed the day. La Salle got me off to an early start wiping up on an overrated Mountain West team and then the A10 schools kept rolling. After the first round they were undefeated and on the giving end of some blow outs.
BTW, I pegged LaSalle (and considered St. Marys) as a team that would exploit the play-in game advantage?
As VCU demonstrated getting an early start on the Madness can lead to big things. Everybody talks about the extra game and the extra travel (and La Salle's legs looked weak in the second half v. K-State) but they forget that one big reason the tournament was originally expanded to 64 teams was to make things fair... for the high seeds.
DePaul in three straight years played the winner of a play-in game as a one seed (79-81? or around there) and lost to the 8-9 champion each time. They were not alone as many high seeds fell. The logic, at the time, for this was that the lesser teams found their gear in the warmup games while the higher seeds couldn't get things started.
In this new era, I think this still holds true. What happens now is early on Sunday the play-in teams are notified before the brackets are released so they can begin to travel to Dayton for a Tuesday or Wednesday game. They travel play the game, win and then travel to their site for the "Second round game." I think it's a huge advantage that they don't even really have time to contemplate the enormity or spectacle of the tournament they just go play. Then go play again. Yes, the downside is it's a lot, but as VCU and UCONN proved a lot of games in a short span may take something out of you but it also makes you sharp.
La Salle has great veteran guards. That's one of the two most important elements for success. The other is being there before. They haven't. But even if they lacked tournament experience, guess what they got it in their play-in game and are rolling.
So, La Salle along with SLU, Butler, VCU, and Temple AND UNC all gave me happiness. My brackets weren't half bad either, so I was on a high. Throw in the soccer game in the blizzard late Friday night and I had about as good of results as a sports fan could ask for.
Oddly, poker sometimes seems to be tied into the success of my teams. Last year I was a final table in a circuit event in Tunica. I liked my table position and loved my chances to get a ring. Going on at the same time Duke-North Carolina. Like the Heels I was rolling along. Then maybe one of the worst five minute spells I've ever had.
We are down to four handed. I raise utg, the big stack in the Big Blind reraises and I shove KJ. He calls with K8. I flop a jack. Two cards later we split the pot each with a King high straight, he getting runner exactly runner to get there. The very next hand I look at pocket aces in the big blind. The button raises. The big stack calls from the small. I shove after I look at the two aces. The button folds and the big stack calls with Ace Jack. I can taste my ring. He finishes with a straight and I bust. I take two steps away from the table, allow myself for the first time that day to look at the giant movie screen showing the Duke-UNC game and see Austin Rivers of Duke drill the game winner. What?!?
Saturday was little different. The A10 teams kept falling. VCU, who as a rival to Richmond, I cared the least about and was probably happy they lost, got smashed early. Then St. Louis another popular final four sleeper pick took it on the chin. Meanwhile I began play much like my teams, badly.
The competition wasn't much to speak of, afterall this was the table where I had one guy who has never won anything in poker sternly tell us the only way to win one of these things was to stick it in and hope to get lucky. He did just that way too early and his KQ overcame the Aces of somebody else and he triumphantly held court. A half hour later he was gone but unfortunately I wasn't the guy who would get his eventually gift of chips.
Later I saw one guy bet pre-flop, cbet an all spade flop, bet a spade on the turn, and triple barrel the river. He won the hand with top pair king kicker no spade. The guy who called him on every street had top pair jack kicker no spade. Can't complain with the table draw.
Then instead of fleecing the sheep I decided to join the herd.
An active player overbet his standard raise and my radar told me jacks. Even with pocket tens I decided I should call and try and hit a set. A guy in the blind called behind me. Sure enough, I flopped a set of tens on an A Q 10 board (two clubs). Checked to me, I bet it and was called in two spots. The guy with the jacks I guess was fishing for a king.
The turn was a club and we all checked it. On the river, a brick, the player in the blind led out for 4k (into a 6 to 8k pot) the other player folded. I stewed and not being able to beat anything (really) called with my pocket tens. He triumphantly peeled over this set of queens like they were the stone cold nuts. When really the only hand I could call with (and I shouldn't have) that he could beat was my pocket 10s everything else beat him. I also stew just as long with a straight or a baby flush given the action. Given the player I think he could bet AQ there, so maybe he could see me calling the same hand there. Anyway, horrendous call on my part.
Later, I hero called a woman with third pair and she started to muck. Great read. Then she said, "I can't be good here and turned over third pair... Ace kicker." Totally, a spot I struggle with when I think my hand is good and trust my read, but my holding is so weak she could still have it beat. Thus, I should be raising not calling. Also, the action to me dictated she had to have something. I would run into pocket tens later with A9. Flop a nine and nothing else and exit the tournament.
-Wow, just sifted through a deluge of Spam comments. Thanks 'bots I'm glad to see I'm so popular with web trawlers. If I missed any real comments in the culling of things, my apologies. I really enjoy it when I get feedback and response. Sometimes you just feel like you are shouting into any empty canyon, and the Spam is like the echo. Is there anybody there. Lol. If you enjoy reading somebody's blog don't be afraid to send them even an empty comment or two just to let them know there are eyeballs on their writing.
Speaking of comments, I also do a march madness pool. If you are interested shoot me a comment letting me know who you, an email address for me to respond to, and I'll give you the information. I won't click publish on any emails or pool comments unless you specify you want me too.
-Alright, let's get the poker out of the way. Haven't blogged much at all about poker but I have been playing. Went down to the IP and played their new format tournament where they added seats for the WPT event (three $365 buy-ins) on top of the prize pool. Not bad because it almost nullifies the juice (depending on the turnout). However, since it's like a super turbo, I decided it wasn't worth me making the drive from New Orleans for more of them. My visit there consisted of needing to shove almost any two on the button when unopened after the fast levels made everybody short. I didn't improve after the small blind of course woke up to a hand.
With March Madness this week, my poker will be extremely limited but I hope to get over for one of the day 1s at the Beau. Maybe Saturday?
Have had some things going on in my personal life, weddings, bpartys, sick kids, friends in town, that have kept me from the Donkley over at Harrahs too much. I have played once and ran into Aces when I shoved a small pair and obviously got called. I love the way players show Aces in those situations, it gives you a little insight into them as people in players. There are some that slow-roll their monsters because they are clueless. Others slow roll them because they are jerks. Then they are some that smugly show the Aces like they did something. I prefer to try and flip them before my opponent even though it's his turn to show and acknowledge that randomness is giving me the best of it preflop.
I love this season, and though Richmond self-imploded in historic fashion I'll still have the Tar Heels to follow for one or two stiff challenges. I thought UNC, oddly has been overlooked and underseeded this year. Remarkably they've lost five times to teams ranked in the top four of the RPI. They also lost at Indiana (which is a place I believe no one won this year). Their other losses are all top fifty or so with the exception of the disappointing Long Horns loss. Course one seed Kansas lost to much worse TCU.
Well, who have the Heels beat? Everybody except Miami and Duke once they switched to a smaller line up. That's like 14 for 14. I thought an 8 seed was too rough on them, and really it's like the committee and the press forgot about them after they stumbled early in the year. Truth is they should have been a 5 or a 6.
Villanova is going to be a tough game and if they lose they'll have only themselves to blame and the committee will be somewhat vindicated for putting them on the eight line. If they win that Kansas awaits which is a tough blow. Obviously of the number ones I'd prefer to have Gonzaga awaiting. UNC fares fairly well as an Eight seed playing the number ones. I remember Rick Fox beating Oklahoma on a buzzer beater in the 80s or early 90s and then about ten years ago them beating Stanfraud on their way to the final four. So though the path is tougher UNC seems to shine in that challenge.
Don't know if I have the heart to pick UNC deep. I'm sure on one or two of the six or seven brackets I do, I'll have them going way too far. To be fair, before seeing them as an 8 I had planned on them doing damage. Sucks to play Kansas so early. In many ways, Kansas matches up superbly to them. Withey will likely dominate and they can get McAdoo in foul trouble and really cripple the Heels. I'm not overlooking Nova either because that team is capable of beating anyone. Bad draw.
As for my picks, I like Michigan this year but I also thought pre-tournament South Dakota State and Nate Wolters were going to get a win this year. Jay Bilas stole my line, but Wolters reminds me of Steve Nash. Kid can score dish and create. He's got a veteran team that have been to the dance before and this year are thinking win. So that creates adilemmafor me. I think I'm going to go with Michigan and just hope they shoot well.
Other insight, I agree any of about 12 teams can win it all. Though in a year of parity it might be safer to take a one seed all the way and have two or three in the final four. Typically the carnage will happen throughout the brackets and things will start to open up for the better teams. I feel like the recent year when four number one seeds made it, the parity was equally touted. On one or two of my brackets I'll go Chalk (maybe not Rock Chalk but Chalk).
I might be live blogging the early games we'll see.
Anyway, more to come.
"Wake up Daddy. I sharted in your bed."
How or why, does my three year old knows the term "sharted." Awesome, not really, gruesome, yes, awesome, no.
Let's set the scene a bit. My wife wakes up to go to work. If the baby gets up, which is 50% of the time, I wake up too. If the baby doesn't wake up then, she usually will about 45 minutes later when she hears the front door closing as "Mama" leaves (about 45% of the time). About 5% time, the glorious mornings I get to sleep in a little bit later, the baby won't wake up for another half hour or so.
There is another variable. My three year old sometimes gets up ready to attack the day. If so, I'll get up and get him breakfast. But sometimes, extremely rarely, he'll wake up and just crawl into bed along side me and go back to sleep. Which means, an extra hour or so of blissful sleep.
Considering both children and the wife are getting over small illnesses and I've had a number of restless (to put it mildly) nights attending to the kids, I need this sleep. Been running on fumes. Somehow, this morning, God smiled on me, or so I thought.
Nothing better than an unexpected extra hour or so of rest, and that's what happened this morning. Usually it portends a great day. Recipe for a good day, a well rested dad, and two well rested children.
There is a Murphy's law of parenting that needs to be mentioned. Usually my kids sleep in on mornings I have to ferry the three year old to school. When I need them wide awake and cooperative of course they opt to hibernate. On the weekends Saturday, Sunday where mom and dad can sleep in, or on a Thursday (today), where all I do is take them to Grandma's and I can sleep in, they are up at six-ish, never fails.
But for some reason, on this day, they weren't up.
About five minutes before my three year old said the words I'll never get out of my head "Wake up Daddy. I sharted in your bed," he got restless and got out of bed and went to the bathroom.
Every parent of young children is never fully asleep when the kids are up, so I listened to him put down the seat, climb up and go pee-pee. Wow, good job on the potty training, daddy. He's using the grown uptoilet. What anindependentand responsible young man, I get full credit for raising. I think I hear him poo too.
Then, I hear him jigger the flusher, I guess he didn't poo, usually he'd call me to come help him out. Then I hear his little feet tap across the wooden floor back toward the bed. Wait, is it possible he's going back to sleep. Can this morning get any better? The baby hasn't even woken up.
He leans up against me and then I can feel him fiddle with the covers. Sweet. I can allow myself to go back to sleep as soon as he settles. Some more movement, but I think he's settling down.
Probably the very moment after I allow myself to drift back into what feels like some deliciously illicit sleep, he leans into me and says...
"Wake up Daddy. I sharted in your bed."
Like I snorted anespressobean, I was instantly awake. So many "whats" immediately bang through my brain in response to that one single sentence.
In a crisis, things slow down, and your mind is capable of thinking multiple thoughts at once, as mine did:
Thought one: "Okay, how does he know what a shart is? Umm... Right, when he was sick last week somebody used that phrase in front of him because he soiled some underwear. Good job, parent... yes, the very same parent who was just patting himself on the back and trying to sleep in, is guilty for teaching a three year old the word shart."
Thought two: "Does he know why that's a bad word, or what half of a shart is?... No, I don't think so. Okay, got some more years or months before I have to deal with that bad word."
Thought three: "Gross. Did he really shart... on my bed... he's right next to me. Ugh."
Thought four: "Okay, maybe he used shart incorrectly and just farted."
Thought five: "Even if he sharted it should be in his underwear. And I should be relatively safe"
All that happened in my brain, thousands of little synapses firing at once, before I even opened my eyes.
Then, I take in the scene. I process it all its repugnant detail, my mind still racing.
He'spant-lessandbare bottomed Why? He must have pooped and come to get me to wipe him. Then, when on the bed he must have sharted. Oh, and he did indeed shart. (At the same moment, some Daddy pride) He's so smart. He heard the word once and used it correctly. But.... Ugh. Yes, he definitely sharted... on my bed. On my sheets and in multiple places. It's not much as far as volume goes, but that fiddling must have been him, going WTF and scattering the contaminated clump of sheets and blanket around in disgust. Little droplets or pellets. (At the same moment, some Daddy guilt) Oh, poor thing I guess he's still sick. What's worse, I recognize he's embarrassed (More daddy guilt), poor thing. He's kind of just in shock sitting there evaluating my opinion. Poor thing. WAIT, HE SHARTED ON MY BED ALL AROUND ME. Did he shart on me?
...No, thank God.
I'll spare you the grosser details of the clean up. The baby instantly waking up and demanding out of her crib as I'm trying to sanitize my house from top to bottom. Trying to clean the three year old. Trying to contain the scene. The spot of shart that was on his sock and dabbing its way across the hall. It was gross, more than gross.
Some days being a daddy will haunt you, and sometimes you think you've gotten a reprieve, an extra hour or so of sleep, but you are mistaken. Because at any moment your three year old can say to you, "Wake up Daddy, I sharted on your bed."
My sister got married New Years Eve. She and my father danced to a slowed down version of "Sweet Child of Mine." As one of my friends remarked that would probably be one of the top ten things he never thought he'd see in his life: My dad dancing to GNR.
Thought the wedding went great and I'm really happy for my sister and her new husband. The took the Flu with them on their honeymoon so it probably wasn't exactly what they had in mind, but while in New Orleans things went well.
Wrote a New Years letter. Pretty positive response so far. Tried to be outlandish and shocking as well as boring and proud. Think it worked. The boring part.
Played New Years Eve after the wedding and once again ran well. I think I'm four of five lifetime on New Years Eve at Harrahs. Ran pretty good so can't crow about the skill in involved. Anyway, at the Beau Rivage now. Played the first event as part of a package I sold to my friends. I'm blogging right now so it must not have gone well. Fairly card dead. Thought I played well in a couple of spots and made a bad call in another spot.
Anyway, longer update next time.
The tragedy inConnecticutobviously touched all of us, especially as parents of young children. Scary, senseless, crazy, and every adjective used to describe it by better wordsmiths than me. In the aftermath, I went to facebook to put out a little note from our GCP page conveying the heartbreak Gene and I both share as parents of young children. Before I could there staring me in the face was a message from Ruby Tuesdays in my feed. I joined some sort of March Madness basketball pool Ruby Tuesdays ran and had to hit like on their facebook page to enter and every once in a blue moon I get some sort of update. I think I might have eaten there once. Anyway, they chose to comment on the situation and it left a bitter taste in my mouth.
The first sentence extended their condolences and was the kind of message I was preparing to put out. The second sentence repeated their name and the message. On the whole nothing wrong with that. Then I realized why I was made uneasy. The postreekeda little bit of opportunism and sounded a bit like an advertisement. I know I'm being a little anal here but I have to question the motivation of some of these social media responses.
Immediately, that kind of post gets thousands of likes, in wrestling that's known as a cheap pop. You praise the town your show is in and everybody cheers. Who can dislike the sentiment that our hearts are broken with what's inConnecticut I realize that saying it is obviously done from a good place. However, when you repeat "your brand" as you would in a radio ad or any other ad you have to question the intentions. It's not quite profiteering but it is some sort of distant relative.
Why do I care what Ruby Tuesdays thinks of the tragedy for one. Nobody is going to be for it, and two why do I need to see Ruby Tuesdays two or three times with it. After it settled in a bit, and I realized why it made me uncomfortable I thought about replying in their feed, but my feeling was a sublte point and I didn't want to be attacked for seemingly discouraging the expression of emotions we all feel. So I didn't. Then, I decided not to post anything on GCP's page.
If it was in our region, obviously I think considering our readership, as acompanyit'd be our place to say something. Especially as players might some how be involved and joining the chorus of support could only be a good thing. Since it wasn't local, I think as an individual expressing my sadness was moreappropriatethan doing so under the GCP banner.
I'm not trying to pick on Ruby Tuesdays, as I'm sure they weren't the only company to do that, and in truth very easily the message likely came from a good place, and the person writing the post wasn't trying to do anything but extend a genuine condolence. Just felt off and exploitive--whether intentional or not I'll never know.
**Poker. Went to the Beau Rivage 15k guarantee as it's likely I won't play anything until the Million Dollar Heater in January. I have to say I played two or three hands rather poorly and was lucky to make some of my buy-in back in a short cash session. Couldn't believe I'd waste three hours of driving time to and from the coast away and take time away from my family to play bad. But I did. Probably, a good thing as I was feeling fairly confident after the Bayou Classic. Overconfidence and trying to be too smart in poker usually leads to bad things for me. Rather do it in a weekly tournament than at the Heater.
-I didn't cbet a hand I should have and let a guy turn a set. Compounding my mistake, I ignored my standard rules for weeklies when he check raised me on the turn and called him there and on the river. I didn't tab the guy for a "weekly" player so I called a little lighter. Most "weaker" weekly players are only reraising or check raising with big hands and sometimes even two pair should be a fold. Obviously no rule is so harsh that I always follow it and can be exploited but that's a pretty good one all things being equal.
Well, he was check-raising with a set and I should have given him more credit after his aggression. The fact that he's capable of making a move is regardless a little bit in that specific spot. Playing into my initial mistake, was there was a wide open player from Harrahs, New Orleans, Mike, on the button who I thought would do my betting for me on the checked flop but he checked behind. The mistake is not betting my hand in these fast structures especially as I had been fairly active to that point. No need to slow down. As Mike pointed out likely he calls me on the flop and folds to me on the turn or river and the other guy isn't in it to hit his set.
-I reraised a solid player from New Orleans when it was checked down to the river and I hit my flush. Basically, the only hand I could beat was if he turned a straight or had a smaller flush. He repopped me and I called. His second nuts, queen high flush, beat my jack high flush. Should have just called the river bet and not reopened the action as he's likely got a flush there most of the time. Probably should find a fold to his re-re-raise too (see above).
-Later in a cash game, I called off a short stack's river shove for $51 when he the board read AKQQJ when based on the action likely he had a ten. Maybe a full house--far less likely based on the action, and a flush draw on the board and his position. Regardless, I should have folded as at best I was chopping and I could have let the pot go. Probably he's rarely bluffing in that spot.
Happy Holidays to Everybody:
I'm won't be playing much at all except for maybe cash until the Heater. Looking forward to a fun holdiay season and hope everybody gets to spend some extra time with their families and enjoy things a little more as we all have that terrible reminder how precious every moment is with our kids and family.
**I haven't been able to blog in a while even though I got a maelstrom of thoughts I've wanted to get out on a whole range of topics. Obviously won't flesh them all out but here some tidbits...
**15 comments waiting for review. 15 out of 15 spam. Boo!
**It's never fun to have the water go out on your block. Less fun when you are dealing with a nasty stomach virus through the night. Yeah, that recently happened to me.
**Roger Goodell probably doesn't like Paul Tagliabue all that much. Can you imagine if say Bill Clinton was called in to help Obama with some sort of impasse with Congress, and he was like "Yeah, that's a good effort and all, but NO!"
**Hornets will likely be the Pelicans. Back in the 70s and early 80s when all the mascots went for the cartoonish lovable aestheticand not the edgy, menacing animals they are now, the Pelicans would have made sense. Though I'm eager to see what a angry, intimidating Pelican looks like. Pelicans, a bit like the Clippers, (and why would you want to be like the Clippers) just doesn't sound scary.
**Selling pieces of my Million Dollar heater action. All of the guarantees included in the package. Email me for details.
**Ran good at the Bayou Classic. Wish the fields were bigger but final tabled and cashed in a nooner (6th). Chopped things five ways in a five pm. Chopped things three ways in a 3 pm and four ways in the last chance tournament. Pretty good week. Maybe shouldn't have done so much chopping but I don't think I ever got less than second place money (usually more) so I can't complain. Had one brutal cash session and a couple of good ones. Also, I traded ten per cent with, Teddy, a reg who was still alive in the last nightly final table where Ricky Romero was sitting on a ton of chips. So, possibly I might have won more.
**In a mega, I stone cold bubbled. They gave out four seats and $1500 (essentially another seat). Traded $200 save with the other short stack who called me... as it was obvious whoever lost the hand would like miss out on the seat. We made the deal before we turned over the cards. I thought I was going to be ahead with a suited ace after he stewed forever before calling. He surprised me when he showed A10. Thought for sure it was a couple of face cards. He won. Later he chipped up and I just traded the $200 for equity in him in the Main if he won the seat. He did. More on this a bullet point or two later.
**I failed to trade 10% with Kenny Milam. I busted before we gave each other the agreement and sure enough he snapped off that tournament for $5500. Second time I think that's happened with Kenny.
**Turns out the guy I got a piece of from the mega, Dave Chocoles, is married to the twin sister of one of my good friend's fiancee, so once I found out the connection I was even happier to have a piece of him in the main. He played great in the mega and he's played well in Harrahs weeklies in the past. I think he's got the necessary aggression to be successful in poker and he plays position extremely well. In fact, I don't like to see him sit at my table in the weeklies because I know he's going to be mixing it up and taking chips.
Sure enough he played well in the main and made it to under three tables left. They paid 12 and I think Dave busted around 21st. John Holley flopped top set on him (7s) when Dave had pocket tens. Kind of got cornered the way the hand and the stack sizes played out. He 3bet John preflop and while I don't think Holley had the implied odds to set-mine, Holley doesn't have to give him credit for an overpair. Maybe if he played more with Dave he would have let it go.
Daveimmediatelyapologized about my per cent, and while I would have loved to have a share of 41k, no apologies necessary. I invested in him because I knew he was capable of a deep run. The final hand kind of played itself and he was just unlucky. Great run Dave!
**Liked to see Frank Alpandinar, David Weinstein, and a slew of other local names getting deep in the Main Event. They gave us a good sweat. Frank is getting closer and closer to jewelry but I know it only feels like it's further and further away. So many people there to root for including the local weekly regs like Kenny, Joan Rhodes, and others made it a fun tournament to sweat... and I hate sweating! I had some bad luck as thrice I walked in as friends busted. Once BJ McBrayer walked away from the table, then Barth Melius (btw, thanks for dinner Barth that was awesome!), and the third time I was about to go say hi to Jacob Naguin when he I spotted him not looking happy and walking away.
**In the nooner I final tabled I was one of the chipleaders (the chipleader?) with three tables left. Ross Leitz, playing pretty LAG-gy, raised from UTG. I spied AK on the button and 3bet him (I think the last time I 3bet him I turned over 75 of hearts so I expected action). The small blind with maybe 60% of my chips insta-called. I was kind of thrown and started giving him credit for big hands (in retrospect I shouldn't have--not that it mattered a whit). Ross called. I flopped QJ10. Hmmm. Guy fired in a big bet, Ross folded, I made the min-raise, he shoved and I called. He had AQ. He went JJ to scoop the pot. Ugh. Later when down to six I realized had I won that pot, that would have been good enough for third in chips--with six left. Tough blow. Good to succeed with friends as Barth, Gene D and Ross all made the money too.
I've mostly kept my mouth shut about politics but time to weigh in a little bit in the aftermath of the election. Feel free to skip if this isn't the reason you come here. Poker Talk Below under "Donkley."
My republican friends have greeted the election as the final push off the cliff. My Democratic friends areecstatic As usual I'm somewhere in the middle. My lack of passion centers around the fact that both parties despite their pontification and punditry are shades of the same color. Obviously, neither candidate winning would have made meecstatic, though this year I was leaning a lot more one way than the other. It's the way I lean most election cycles, moreso this year than other years though. What I do findparticularlyinteresting is the question of whether or not the feedback on social media, the out right fear and horror of the republican base, is even registering on the democrats. Probably not.
It's funny, Democrats think Republicans are evil and soulless because in their opinion Republicans don't want the federal government to help those who can't help themselves. Ironically, a democrat did a study on charitable donations and contributions, where overwhelmingly the soulless conservatives out donated the democrats. In fact, the caring democrats donated scandalously low. Who's soulless? Factor in money donated to churchs on top of that, and the Republicans are far outspending the dems in charity.
Republicans look at their neighborhood DMVs and think Democrats are stupid for thinking government run anything can be successful. Republicans want to be in charge of who they give their money too and who they help. Democrats want to give their money to the government to help. I guess they don't give to charity because they think their taxes are their charity--which makes sense. Government should be providing welfare and more. Dems point to GIANT tragedies like Sandy that they think can only be handled by a giant government organization. Let's be fair neither is soulless nor stupid simply because they are a Republican or a democrat. However, in my opinion that's thefundamentaldifference between the two groups half think they can solve the world's problems and half think the government should.
Every year they say it's the most important election EVER. Rarely, though is the result greeted with End Times kind of response Obama's second term has generated. Yes, there is always someone saying they are moving to Canada (oddly it's never... Mexico) but until this year has so big a segment of the population ever greeted the result with a fear our country is going to go down in flames? Why are the republicans so up in arms. Surely the Dems didn't think had Romney won that fire and brimstone would be greeted us come January? So, why the difference...
Take for example this quote one my republican friends have been circulating:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
Gulp. Tocqueville was a guy in the 1800s who accurately predicted a lot of things, for example there would be two super-powers in the next century Russia and us. He got a lot of things wrong too, to be fair. That doesn't make the quote any less scary. You know the reallybankrupt state of California gave the keys to the treasury to the voting masses years ago and has been stuck in the financial muck since then.
Have we reached a tipping point for our country?
Can a candidate not racking up debt by raiding the coffers to offer freebies to the masses ever win again? I'm not framing Obama as doing this, I'm accepting the framing of him by Republicans that he's doing this. To be clear, both parties have a history of doing this. As for Obama, there is this mass belief right now, he's guiltier than most of this platform.
I'm not sure I agree completely with my Republican friends that this election was about Freebies vs. Freedom. There were a lot of other things at play. However, both the Republicans and Democrats have produced Presidents that spend, spend, spend and spend some more. Their records of taxing and spending on their friends who got them elected is nearly identical. In fact, it's gross how they steal from one area of the "bank" to fund something else. Mostly we just borrow from China butcumulativelythat fiscal cliff nears every day.
Is Tocqueville correct? ...As much as it pains me to say... maybe.
What's the solution?
If it is the case. There isn't much of one. See Greece right now with riots in the streets and the people pissed that austerity is taking away their equivalent of food stamps, welfare, and other goverment freebies (healthcare probably). That will ensue here too should we not get financial things in order. Out of disorder anything can happen but Tocqueville is correct history has shown us most of the time it's order levied by the hands of a tyrant. Fun times for us and our kids ahead.
Not a solution but a fun discussion at least:
I saw a Democrat friend on facebook recommending breaking up the country. Stop the name calling and let the blues live with the blues and the reds live with the reds. Not such a bad idea. Obviously this is completely unrealistic, impractical and impossible, but let's just play with thehypothetical Everybody votes into United States and United States 2.0, by county or parish.
Should look something like this...
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