Monday, June 30, 2008

You call it's gonna be all over baby

The final table and fifth day of the $50,000 HORSE event started at 6 PM EST yesterday.

It wrapped up about a half hour ago, just after 8 AM EST.

Apparently, it was one hell of a night. Nice job again to The Tao for covering it all the way through. I'm a bit sad the Series is almost over.

If you recognize the quote in the title, then you know who won. A favorite of a lot of folks (including me), and I'm sure the broadcast is going to be extremely fun to watch sometime in August.

For those who don't get it, here's the video with the quote until ESPN tells me to pull it.

UPDATE: Video got pulled.

Me meme

H/t Katitude. If you are reading this, you are tagged, so comment away.

The Rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Mike
2. What is your favorite food? Steak
3. What high school did you go to? Regis
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Shannon Elizabeth
6. Favorite drink? Jack and Coke
7. Dream vacation? Road trip out west
8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Peaceful
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One Word to describe you. Stubborn
12. Your flickr name. Francase

Friday, June 27, 2008

Unavailable, please leave a message at the tone

I will not be around almost all weekend. I will be going to a conference this weekend, and while it is in the area and I could turn on the laptop if I wanted, I will be intentionally unplugging myself for the weekend so that I don't try to do leftover work or start wandering aimlessly around the interwebs.

Heck, I might even try to use the minimal free time I have to actually be active, and not slouched in front of a computer or the television.

Compared to the craziness of late, it might even be somewhat relaxing...possible, but not probable.

So, in the meantime, fill up on some other links:

Peace out, bitches.


Exactly one year ago today, I was laid off.

Naturally, I'm reflecting back on the last year, as I'm fond of doing. I'm also reflecting on my goals for this year and looking at how those are playing out so far.

I've been in my new job for four months now, and it's going fairly well. No complaints at all, really.

I've completed ten classes for my MBA in the past 12 months, out of 19 total classes needed for the degree. and I'll finish it up sometime in 2009. I've got seven to go, and I'm taking three in the fall, so I only need to take four courses in 2009 to finish the program and start paying off more student loans. I am glad that I've been working harder in studying for those courses - strangely, having the job may have helped in that department even though it greatly diminished the amount of time available to study.

I think it's time, though, to add another goal to the list. In weighing myself last night, I noticed that my weight has ballooned again, this time to the highest it has even been. I have gained 18 pounds during this year already, which would explain why my knees have been barking so much lately.

So, for the rest of the summer, that is where my focus needs to be. Whether it's walking or jogging around Kennesaw Mountain, or hitting the links, or going swimming, I need to be a LOT more active than I've been lately. While a lot of that has been due to stress, trying to exercise and be more active will probably also help to relieve that stress.

I doubt I will lose 45-50 pounds by Christmas, but considering all the other health items that have popped up lately, it is time for me to focus a lot more on my health and weight

Fixed Limit Texas Hold'Em

Some poker players love the thrill that comes with putting all of their money on the line in one single hand. Whether they are a reckless player or a wise one, it doesn’t matter as their chip stack could either double or disappear with the turn of a single card. However, there are people who play poker that don’t like to risk putting all of their money in and don’t want to play against those that do either. For these people there is Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em.

With this version of online poker, players don’t have to put all of their money on the line (unless their chip stack is next to nothing). Instead, there are betting limits in each round and players can not exceed the max bet at the table.

Typically, one will see the limit structure look something like this: $5/$10. This simply means that the maximum bet for the first two rounds will be $5 and, in the third and fourth round of betting, the max amount will raise to $10.

The maximum bet for the first couple of rounds is normally equal to the big blind. The big blind is the player two spots to the left of the dealer and they must lay down a forced bet, or in the case of the $5/$10 game, it would be $5.

Many people enjoy fixed limit because they don’t have to worry about any bullies at the table who will keep going all-in to steal blinds and pots away from more cautious players. If you are a player who prefers to play poker more conservatively, then this might be your game as things don’t get as crazy in this poker variation.

BetUS Casino is the ultimate meeting place for thrill seekers and serious gamblers. This online casino came to life in the late 90's and was already, before the Poker Boom era, a gamblers paradise.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Once again, I have to write a post that I didn't really want to write, but that I need to write.

Last month, on May 21, our dog Maggie turned 13. Unfortunately, she was developing some really serious health problems - at her annual checkup in March, we saw some fatty tumors, including one on her hip that was fairly big, and awful arthritis throughout her bones.

We had been giving her several different types of medicine to combat the growth and the pain she was feeling whenever she would walk, get up or down, or deal with the stairs. At the end of May, though, her condition deteriorated rapidly - very quickly, she was barely able to rouse herself to a standing position, and the growth on her hip was compressing the nerves to the point that she could not put any weight on her back right leg - it would either hang in the air or be splayed out to the side or underneath her.

It quickly became very difficult for her to do anything - eating (which is very bad for a Lab), going outside, going for a walk, even going to the bathroom. She dropped weight very quickly - almost 7 pounds since May. It unfortunately became apparent what was going to happen very soon.

At about noon on Friday, June 20, Maggie passed away to doggie heaven. It's been difficult trying to explain it all to Alex, but I think he understands pretty well that Maggie is in a better place now and isn't coming back, and he misses her just like we all miss her.

Trying to "catch" a snowball this past winter.

Enjoying the snowfall in the front yard.

From Easter a few years ago, when trying to climb a fence.

Giving Sammie some sugar kisses...

I really hate these types of posts. Still, we're glad she's not in any more pain and that it was a rapid decline instead of a slower, more painful decline. She had 13 good years and 1 bad month, but we'll all remember the good years very fondly.

And we will miss her.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Twenty eight minutes

In trying to drain a lot of stress and avoid the impending sick I could feel spreading throughout my body, I decided to log in for a little while last night to play.

It was a very good night in the Challenge, as I finished up about seven buyins in all.

One table was quite good to me, despite being the crack of poker. Yes, I sat down at a Pot-Limit Omaha 8/B table on Bodog for exactly twenty-eight minutes, at which point, per the rules, I had to leave my seat as I had more than doubled the $5 buyin.

It was quite bizarre. Besides, after the last week, I'm allowing myself one brag post.

Hand 1: Flop two pair, force a fold on the turn when a low hits, +1.11
Hand 2: Call UTG, but would have made the nut low. -0.10
Hand 3: Check BB, then fold on flop despite flopping two pair because there are too many players, avoid river suckout. -0.10
Hand 4: Fold SB. -0.05.
Hand 5: Fold from button Q-Q-2-2 non-suited.
Hand 6: Fold
Hand 7: Fold
Hand 8: Fold

Yes, that is five straight preflop folds in O8B, which I don't think anyone at this level does. Apparently, no one noticed.

Hand 9: Make nut low from UTG+1 when starting with A-2-3-10, one suit, with three to the river. +3.65 thanks to 6 players see the flop.
Hand 10: Fold UTG 8-6-5-3.

Now, I've been there one orbit, but I haven't hit 10% of my bankroll yet, so I can stay on. That is a good thing.

Hand 11: BB: K-J-10-5, single suited: Shove everyone off hand after betting pot on flop (with three pair??!?) and re-potting on turn. +1.40
Hand 12: Fold SB with ugly 10-7-5-4 non-suited crap.
Hand 13: A-Q-J-2, single-suited, flop the nut low on a five-way flop. +3.40.

I'm now over 10%, so I have to stand up the next time the big blind hits me, in 7 hands. I'm now at 14.26.

Hand 14: Fold 7-5-5-2, double-suited, which would have made nothing.
Hand 15: Scoop with crap. A-K-Q-4, with 3 spades. Another player chases a gutshot to the river, and missed, so my pair of Kings (?) and nut low of 8-4-3-2-A scoop the pot. +8.70.
Hand 16: Limp A-A-7-8 non-suited, then I fold on an all-low flop, which gave two players a sraight. -0.10
Hand 17: From UTG, I limp 10-4-3-2. Flop gives me nut low draw and flush draw, I bet pot, and get three callers. Turn is a 5 for the wheel, and I get two callers on another pot bet. River is another club which gives another player the high with a better flush. +9.64.

So, in 17 hands, at a .05/.10 table, I finished up $27.50.

PLO8B = crack.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This is probably my favorite Carlin clip, back when he was still pretty funny - the last few years, not so much, but even in decline he was still funnier than a lot of other comics.


Last week, I had to bring Sammie into the office for a little while because she was not feeling well, and I had to go into the office.

Apparently, today was part 2: Alex had to come into the office for a little while because he had a fever yesterday and could not go into school today.

However, I had a meeting that I absolutely had to attend, and since I'm single for the week, that meant no other options.

So, Alex came intot he office for a few hours, I got to go to my meeting and get the work done I needed to do, and once again my child was extremely quiet and did not disturb anyone. The only difference is that, in this case, Alex drew for about an hour on my giant dry-erase board.

It's amazing what can entertain a child. In this case, indulging the inner artist.

Unfortunately we also went to the doctor today, and found out why Alex (and probably Sammie) weren't feeling well. The doctor took one look at his throat, and confirmed with a culture, that he had strep. Since he no longer had a fever (it hit 103 yesterday, but 99 today) he is not contagious and can return to school tomorrow. Since Sammie had the same symptoms, that is probably what she had as well.

Now I have the symptoms of strep as well.

I can't stay home, though, until Friday to work from home, since I'm solo and I'd be in no shape to take care of kids while sick. However, I can try to write macros (which amazingly, I was able to do while Alex slept under my desk.)

Only three more days until the weekend, right?

Gambling Forum

*sponsored post*

This should appeal to the forum rats who read this.

I received another recent recommendation about a new online gambling and poker-related forum. It’s called, simply enough, Gambling Forum. It’s got a lot of users – almost 10,000 users today – though I couldn’t quite tell what their average daily traffic was.

There are a lot of reviews for other poker sites – mostly sites available to European players, but some reviews on U.S. accessible sites. There is also a decent compilation of reviews of online sports books – again, with most of the sites open to European players, but some sites open to Americans. It does bother me, though, that two of the top three American sites listed are Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, both involved in recent scandals.

The news releases published also have more of a global focus – in addition to U.S. news on the UIGEA and WTO conflicts, there is also news about Hong Kong, the EU, and live events abroad. There’s also tutorials and tips for a lot of common casino games (craps, baccarat, etc.)

Lastly, for folks looking for yet another way to scratch that itch, there are also video slots and no download casinos available on the site using embedded Flash players. There are also bonuses available for some of these sites, in some cases, not requiring a deposit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Random Thoughts

A bit on the stream-of-consciousness side, just to spew out everything I've thought "hey, I should write this down" over the past week.

  • It's really sad when a dog is no longer able to wag their tail - which happened to Maggie last night because the tumor on her hip is completely compressing nerves.
  • If you ever find out Bennett Salvatore is officiating a NBA game, get your bet in immediately.
  • I'm not really happy that the Celtics won as much as I am that Kobe Bryant lost.
  • If body wraps are so effective, how come we don't hear more about them?
  • I don't know if I should be surprised that aspartame converts to formaldehyde upon heat exposure, or if I shouldn't be surprised because most diet drinks have a foul taste.
  • Having two adults, two kids, and one dog in one bed is not comfortable, but it is funny.
  • Why do all kids shows have to have audience instruction and participation? Even my four-year old son is sick of Dora, Diego, and Backyardigans telling him to pretend-climb, jump, or sing. Maybe this means we can move on from these shows soon.
  • If you'd ventured to guess several years ago that I'd be able to communicate instantly with dozens of people from grade school, high school, college, poker games, old jobs, current jobs, and fraternity brothers, I'd have thought you were delusional, but it is eerie to see who finds me on Facebook nowadays.
  • I don't think I've ever cared so little about politics at a time when I should be caring the most.
  • I did not think I would eventually be writing several thousand words per day as a job.
  • If I did, I expected I'd be traveling a bit more.
  • Why would anyone think shutting down Park Avenue is a good idea?
  • I didn't know self-Googling was addictive.
  • It is amazing how a sleeping baby can cause relaxation in any circumstance - even in the office, writing a proposal, with one hand because the other is holding and patting the baby to sleep.
  • Why are the only two sites I regularly see ads for on ESPN the two sites most prevalent in recent cheating poker scandals?
  • Do flat registrations at the WSOP represent a decline in poker interest, or the crappy economy?
  • With everything else from the 80's coming back into vogue, it's good to see that "Die Yuppie Scum" is again alive and well before New York loses any more of its character to Sex-and-the-City wannabes.
  • I wish CNN had waited until right before I was going to a casino before they put out a list of ways to make quick money. The #1 way given was to head to the casino - which is definitely the best thing you could do when tight on funds (/sarcasm)
  • More evidence athletes are different than us: When we're hurt, or need surgery, we generally limit our activity or curl up on the couch or in bed before needed surgery. Tiger Woods plays 91 holes of golf, wins a few million, then has surgery for a torn ACL. NH, GG, well played sir.
  • A dry-erase board and a palette full of markers can provide hours of enjoyment for a toddler. She'll even draw all over herself, prompting laughs from coworkers.
  • You know you have a quiet child when they are with you in the office for an hour and a half - and no one realizes she's there until it's time to go.
  • I hope Willie Randolph got something extra for flying out to California, coaching the Mets for a win, then getting fired at 3 AM - besides the plane ticket home.
  • Another thing to be avoided at 3 AM - waking up because your four-year old has decided it is time to get up and has turned on the shower - and let it run, and run, and run....
  • Strangely, with the NBA Finals over, there may not be another sporting event I care about until September.
  • Read that last sentence again, then remember which page you're on, to see how strange a sentence that is.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Challenge update

I am now one week into the challenge I wrote about last week. This is as good a time as any to describe the results so far:

June 12: +3.50 - I played one $2 SnG and some cash tables, but not for very long.

June 13: -3.61 - I played two cash game sessions - one limit, one no-limit, with $3 buyins both times. I busted once and lost half the stack the other time.

June 14: -1.50 - I played three SnG's and cashed in two.

June 15: +6.58. I played three Sng's, and WON two of them, and sat for a while at a ring table to finish up 18 cents.

June 16: +1.83. Small ring game loss, and won one of two SnG's.

June 17: +23.88. I finished up half a buyin at a .05/.10 NL table. I also played three SnG's, and cashed in all three - a first, a second, and a third. I also tried my hand at a $1.50 MTT, and finished 28th of 94 runners.

So, overall, in week 1 I finished in the black by slightly more than $30. I like how BoDog continues to treat me very well.

I still haven't finished out how to get the graph on the right side of the page. I'm not sure if I'll do it or not, I may just stick with weekly posts.

Introduction to Hold Em

*sponsored post*

It is often said that Texas Hold' Em is a game that takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.

Well, time yourself, and see if you can read this post in a minute or less.

A regular game can have anywhere from two to ten players seated in a regular online game. Most sites will have games with blinds ranging from five and ten cents to as high as two thousand/four thousand dollars - which would require a massive hold 'em pokeri bankroll.

Every player is dealt two pocket cards. All players wishing to stay in the hand must at least call the big blind, which is the larger of two forced bets put out before the hand is dealt. Players can either call the current bet, raise the current bet, or fold their hand.

When all players have either called any bets/raises or folded their hand, the community cards begin to be dealt. Three rounds, also called streets, of cards are dealt - the flop (three cards), the turn (one card), and the river (one card) are dealt, with a round of betting after each. On each street, players have the option of checking their hand (to pass the action to the next player) or placing a bet.

If all players check their hand on a street and no one bets, the round of betting is complete and the next card is dealt. If a player bets, then all other players again have to option to call, raise, or fold.

In limit poker, there is a fixed amount that can be bet in any round. for example, in $1/$2 limit poker, a players can bet $1 before the flop or on the flop, and $2 on the turn or the river. In no limit texas pokeri, the player can bet any amount so long as it is larger than the big blind. No limit hold\ 'em poker can involve a lot more strategy, as you figure out what the right bet is, pot odds, and figure out how to read your opponents to determine what the correct play should be.

After the river, if there are two or more players remaining in the hand, it is time for the showdown and the best five-card hand wins, from a royal flush downward.

As stated earlier, a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master. Did you read this post in under a minute?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Armed and ready

Registered and all set for Event #16 of the mini-SOP on BoDog tonight at 9 PM.

I don't think I will be doing anything else - I've played a little, but not very much as of late as I'm actually enjoying sleeping and being out of the house.

Still, in calculating everything, I am up $4.93 since beginning this challenge last week. I have played 5 $2 Sng's, winning 3 and placing 3rd in another, while losing about $2 at ring games.

Hopefully, tonight's tourney goes better than the other mini-SOP events I have played thus far.

UPDATE: Out 82nd of 154 when my K-K lost to A-Q, all-in preflop, Ace on the flop. Yuck.

Hickory Smoked

An item of interest for the barbecue/food/southern/Food Network fans out there:

Apparently, the restaurant Lady & Sons in Savannah had a fire last night. Not the kind of fire normally used in preparing their barbecue and fried chicken, but one that could have burned the place down.

Thankfully, it was caught early. The funniest line, though, was as follows:

"Firefighters at first refused to let Paula Deen, who was wearing a robe and slippers, beyond the yellow security tape to get closer to the restaurant. She went under the tape and was quickly returned behind it. She was allowed to go through the tape when a firefighter recognized her."

Now that, I'm sure, was an interesting scene.

They re-opened for lunch today, so you can get your fix.

Happy Father's Day

Considering how much I had been posting lately, I'm surprised I went several days without making much of a post.

Yesterday was Father's Day, and it was definitely alot of fun.

Ever since I cam edown here, I've wanted to go to a certain restaurant. On Sunday, as part of celebrating Father's Day, we went to Fogo de Chao for lunch, and it was fabulous. We all feasted on the meat which came flying at us from all directions, and it all tasted phenomenal. As an added bonus, when we left, I got a card for a free lunch sometime this summer - so I think we will definitely take advantage of this again.

After eating to our hearts' content and getting a case of the meat sweats, we all went home for meat-induced naps before the second part of the day. Sammie did not even make it home - she fell asleep in the car on the way back - but when we got home, she just passed out while cuddling with me on the couch.
Mmmm.....meat coma.

After naptime, we went to see Kung Fu Panda, as we had promised Alex we would go to see it. It was also Sammie's first movie. If you are worried about taking really, really young children to the movies (or on an airplane, or some other confined space for a long time) food will be your best friend. In our case, a giant tub of popcorn.

The kids liked the movie a lot, though Sammie preferred to sit on the steps and munch popcorn than sit in her seat. Towards the end, Alex sat with her - which was ridiculously cute.
All in all, a good family outing, and a fun day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Support your soldier

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Macro Techno Babble

Considering the number of code-savvy folk that read this little spot of the intertubes, perhaps one of you can help me figure out this problem.

I am trying to write a macro in Microsoft Excel.

(No, that's not the problem, really).

I am trying to import data from a .csv file a user receives monthly into a form also generated with excel. I am trying to develop a macro that, when activated, will prompt the user for the file path and the row number, and then import the data within cells in that row to cells in the form and save as a separate file (thus not screwing with the template.

For some reason, I am running into problems getting the prompting to work. While I've been able to script the dialog box to select the file, the macro is not retrieving the file and then prompting the user to select a row.

If all of this just went completely over your head, then feel free to read the other posts.

If you have any ideas, though, you can write to me at

aposec72 AT gmail DOT com

with any magical suggestions that don't involve unicorns.

Motion to Reconsider

I wrote last week about taking a break from donkaments and playing a lot online.

Then, I won something decent.

In some ring game play since then, I've continued to chip up slowly but steady, just slugging away on the $10 and $25 NL and PLO tables without any swings.

I got the confirmation that my cashout request is approved - though it looks like it could take a while to show up. I left myself a small balance and some T$ to play with.

I think, instead, that what I will do, instead of breaking entirely, is set some new rules on playing.

If they sound familiar, it's because I've written about it before.

However, I'm not starting out at zero. But, I will be going by the same rules, for the most part:

  • I may not sit at a Sit and Go or cash table tournament with more than 5% of the bankroll or $5.
  • I may not buy into any Multi-Table tournament with more than 2% of the bankroll. The one exception is the mini-SOP event #15 on Monday, June 16 NL 6-Max event and is a sunk cost, already out from T$, not from cash.
  • The T$ are included in the total roll amount. Not that it should make much of a difference.
  • If at any time during a cash game session the money on the table is more than 10% of the total bankroll, I must leave when the blinds reach me.
I will continue this experiment until I drop to $0 (let's hope not), until December 31, or until I somehow reach $10,000.

Let's hope BoDog runs well and I employ enough patience to make this work.

The first step was tonight - and I finished up $5.07 for the day using the new rules. I finished 3rd in a $2 SnG and dinked around a bit in some cash tables. A good start, and hopefully I can figure out a way the get GoogleDocs to link into the sidebar so I don't have to write a whole bunch of the exact same post.

Last item - any readers planning on going to Biloxi for their WPT event Labor Day weekend?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Most of the poker sites that I use are just that - poker sites, and nothing else.

I've seen more sites and clients lately, though, that don't deal in just online poker. Even in the post-UIGEA landscape, with many e-wallets pulling their services from sites that do offer more, I'm seeing more and more sites that offer more than just poker.

Epassporte, for example, stopped doing business with sites that had anything other than online poker, before pulling out of the U.S. market entirely a few months ago.

However, there are more and more sites which are offering other games as well. Some act as a blackjack casino as well, with games ranging from classic single-handed blackjack, to bonus and multi-hand versions, to even tournaments in some cases.

Some sites have even begun offering online slot play. This is an area I've never played myself, but I imagine playing on line slots might also be some fun, especially if they offer some sort of promotional or progressive valuation.

In the end, it is interesting to see how, despite the fear of poker being on the decline, the level and rate of play of all games (live and online) are both increasing. If it weren't, we wouldn't be seeing record crowds again at the WSOP or more and more sites coming online with various options for players both inside and outside the U.S.

Tangible Results

Thanks to my nice showing the other day, I was able to convert a good amount of T$ into actual, real-live moolah.

I still have about T$40 remaining, after not doing so well in 4 mini-SOP events so far (the worst being last night when I finished 96th in the Fixed Limit Hold 'Em event - out of 120). So, we'll see how that turns out.

However, I'm always wary about donking off any decent cash, so I always seem to take a good amount out and use it for something we've been wanting to do for a while.

The three other times I've done so were for decent causes:

  • New dressers in the main bedroom.
  • Painting and decorating Samantha's bedroom before her arrival
  • APO Convention costs

Well, I've decided to do so again - we've been needing to replace our camera for a few months, as the one we have has stopped working and it would cost more to fix than to replace. Thankfully, the moemory cards are OK, so as long as we can get another digital camera, we can use them.

I've left a small amount on the site, but I've requested a payout for what I expect it would cost. Plus, I still have some T$ left. Frankly, if it all drops to zero, I will still feel OK because I've made sure to take some of the winnings off the table (and not be a complete donk).

Now, the big questions for you BoDog users - have you ever cashed out before, and how long does it take for a check request?

I've never used MoneyGram with them, and making a deposit through Moneygram in order to make a withdrawal doesn't make much sense to me, so I've requested a check. I'm wondering, though, how long it would take and if anytone has any stories (good or bad) they can share in the comments.

Recent hits

One of the more interesting things to see is the type of traffic that eventually finds its way here.

As some of you may have seen, there are a lot more counters in the sidebar, along with other recent segments.

Another interesting thing to see is the type of search that shows up here.

So, in the same vein as Dr. Pauly's top 5 lists, here's a few:

Last 5 Google Searches:

1. Strip Fire
2. Miss Glad (huh?)
3. Sith Squirrel
4. Atlanta Barbie
5. Hillary Huma lesbian (figures, with all the traffic that came from that post)

Last 5 Referrals:

1. Ace of Spades
2. Doubleplusundead
3. BrainMc
4. Riggstad's Nut Straight
5. This ain't hell

Unlike Pauly, I don't have a segment about the last five poker pros I pissed next to. Sorry. That's sorta difficult to do 2,000 miles away from Las Vegas.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The last gloat post

UPDATED 6/12: Word of more layoffs starts trickling out.

BAC Stock price when I left, June 2007: 49.19

BAC Stock Price when I cashed out my remaining shares, August 2007: 51.30

BAC Stock Price Today, June 2008: 29.66.

The best way to gloat?

ALWAYS go by the scoreboard.

I guess I got the last laugh after all - seeing that they have cut their earnings outlook, may cut their dividend, are selling a lot more preferred stock (and taking on more debt), cutting benefits as well as jobs, and are moving out of the Plaza in a couple years.

They've even fallen down to being the #3 bank behind JPMorgan Chase - which hasn't happened since 2001. Now, they are also saddled with Countrywide Mortgage.

On a more local level, the reorganization continues - to the point that my old department, in the end, had all duties moved to Chicago! It looks like anyone who remained was also either sacked or transferred as both business and debt (especially bad debt) expanded significantly.


You know, I think this picture is missing something...

That's better.

Monday, June 09, 2008

So Close (5/455)

I did not get to play in the Mini-SOP event this afternoon as I had planned.

So, I used some of the T$ to buy into the $5K guarantee, which ended up with a $450 overlay and a first prize of $1250.

I almost got there.

Well, for four hours of work, it isn't too bad.

I did flop a wheel at the final table to move up two spots after being short-stacked for a while. Maybe on further review I will post a further description and, well, it's late and I need to go to work soon.

This, however, is a bit of a help in converting those $T. Let's see if this can become another streak.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Top Priority

After the last few weeks of unexpected crazy, the top priorities this weekend are a zoo outing tomorrow evening (thaanks to Northside Hospital) and sleep.

So, this picture combines animals and sleep in a very cute way.

Have a good weekend. I doubt I will be posting at all. Play nice.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Red Alert in Birmingham

I had not done a Braves post in a while, and I was really hoping it could be something a little more positive - Chipper Jones hitting well, the walkoff home run by Francouer during the last live poker game - than this news.

John Smoltz's season, and possibly career, might be over. He's getting ready for shoulder surgery in Birmingham. It sounds like a rotator cuff surgery, and when you combine that with his four elbow surgeries and being 42 next season, this is probably going to be it.

On the bright side, we now have someone who could step into the broadcast booth or even into the dugout to coach/manage until the Hall of Fame calls in January 2014.

I do think he is a definite lock for the Hall , with his dominance as both a starter and a closer and his longevity, even though he has only one Cy Young award.

With the Braves only 3.5 GB, there's still plenty of time to make some moves, but considering the Braves were already looking for some starting pitching help, this will not make things any easier.

Mike Hampton could not be reached for comment, as he sprained his elbow reaching for the telephone.

Uber-post to catch up

For once, instead of making a bunch of itty-bitty posts, I think I’ll behave like Iggy and just write one massive, giant uber post to mark the 800th posting to this little corner of the interwebs (and a big thanks to the nearly 14,000 sets of eyes that have come here, plus a bunch of feeders.)

On Monday morning, I took my father back to the airport after an eight-night stay. All in all, it was a fairly uneventful trip, which is about the best that could be hoped for. On Sunday, my patience was beginning to wear a bit thin, but that could have also been due to helping move a friend on Friday and going to Six Flags on Saturday.

We talked about a number of things for future care and planning – he’s returned and set up appointments for radiation and chemotherapy treatments for his lung cancer, and seems to have a realistic but positive outlook on things. He thankfully seems a lot more grounded than he used to be.

Strangely enough, the one around the house who will probably miss him the most isn’t me, or the kids. It’s the dog. Having someone around during the day that moves around as badly as she does probably helped a bit, and it was probably nice for her to have company all day.

The kids enjoyed spending time with him, and we prepared them for his eventual return to Arizona, so they didn’t have too much of a meltdown when it was time to go. They did enjoy having him around, talking with him, and playing with him. They probably also enjoyed the occasional story of my younger days, when they listened.

The biggest thrill for the kids all week was probably Six Flags. Alex is just barely over 42” tall, but that is tall enough to ride some of the faster, taller rides. He was able to ride his first real rollercoaster – the Scream Machine – while sitting in the front row with me.

He LOVED it. He didn’t get sick, or scared, but thought it was “AWESOME” as he told me when we pulled back into the station.

He also got to go on the Canyon Blaster, the Mine Train, and Splashwater Falls, and enjoyed the new Thomas Town area built this year.

Samantha enjoyed Skull Island and playing in the water, while climbing up everything with me, so she had a good amount of fun as well at the park. She was pretty comfortable the rest of the week, even going and sitting next to him on the couch several times during the week.

Overall, I guess it was a good visit for everybody involved.

Now that this visit is out of the way, it’s back to life as normal – for the most part. In fairness, we haven’t been at “normal” for about a year, so it will take a while to get back there – and once we do, it’ll be time to upset the apple cart again as classes start in August and I’ll be gone some nights of the week.

Once August rolls around (by which time the WSOP and all associated online freerolls will be over) I will probably stop playing online poker entirely. I have a T$ balance still on Bodog which I will be using in their mini-SOP events (in which I am 0-for-2 so far), and a lot of freeroll tournaments coming up on Full Tilt in connection to the WSOP, but besides those I don’t think I will be playing too much anymore. I’ve noticed that I’ve been even more tired than normal lately, and this is probably the time when I need to rest up and enjoy other things before I start classes again.

I am enjoying the coverage Pauly is putting out there on Tao of Poker (which is some of the best writing around) and I’m glad it is on a site I can read during the day – I can’t pull up PokerNews. I love reading about it, and I wish I was there, and I don’t plan on pulling out of live play because it is so much fun.

But it is time to decide on no more donkaments for me for a while. I need a break. I’d like to have nights like the last two nights, where I can get home from work and have time to prepare a nice, normal dinner without worrying about that night’s tournament, or the next day’s classes. For the record, I think the fried chicken breasts and marinated pork steak were some of the best meals I’ve made in a long time (apologies for the lack of pics), just because I haven’t had the time to actually enjoy being in the kitchen, being around kids, writing posts that occasionally get an avalanche of views, and just take things in stride.

It’s been a non-stop barrage of trippy occurrences, one after the other.

So, it’s time to take a break of sorts from poker. It is summer vacation, right? Besides, with travel starting in a few weeks to (possibly) Washington, Florida, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Maryland, and maybe even the Winter 2008 version of a western sojourn along with any work travel that might pop up, I need to rest up.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Crash + Crash

Two wrongs don't make a right, and two system failures do not make for a working computer.

H/t Fail blog.

Thankfully, this did not happen on my computer, though it would not surprise me.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Mini-SOP Rundown

OK, I've looked it over, and here's what I'll probably be playing in Bodog's Mini-SOP. Besides, I have to use those T$ somehow and I'd like to actually turn them into cash.

All events are at 9 PM unless otherwise noted.

Of course, if I knock out $mokkee tomorrow night in the BoDonkey, I'll probably add one of the bigger events.

Yes, I'm going for 4 final tables in a row, and I'm gunning for a friggin WIN this time. I need it to have any prayer of being in the top 18, along with a field of about 50.

PLHE, Tonight, $15
NLHE, 6/3, $10
NLHE, 6/5, $15
NLHE, 6/7, $25
NLHE, 6/12, $20
NLHE, 6/15 (3 PM), $30