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04/11/2006: "take the world in a love embrace"

in this post i'll ruminate on:

* a little live action $6/$6 NLHE

* High Stakes Poker, Season II

* a Goldfish left a Lincoln Log in my sock drawer!

* Music in the Time of Cholera

all that after the jump!


greetings and salutations, weary traveller. come in, sit awhile and let me bore you with useless tales of life's mundanity.

after last week's poker clinic, i hit Northside for a little $6/$6 NLHE. it was my first time back since the Badbeat Jackpot, so my payout ($735) was waiting for me. essentially poker would be a freeroll! Wednesdays have started to prove a busy poker day at Northside. while doors open at 2PM, generally the game gets running about 2:30-3PM. we eventually end up running eleven handed and by 7ish they are starting a second table. poker is alive and well, kids, despite tales of its demise. this day saw me making a little dough, catching some good hands, and pulling some bluffs. it also saw me making some good reads/laydowns and avoiding some monster suckouts...so it was nice! first, since i have previously lamented about my demise with pocket kings, i'll start with the $200+ win. the table small stack - this guy, a regular, routinely buys in for $100, despite the fact that most stacks average around $1000 - and i get heads up on the flop; i have wired kings and have raised my big blind enough to only have a single caller. with the flop coming queen-high and no draws available, it takes till the river for me to get him all-in (i have a 4-1 chip advantage pre-flop.) he mucks and rebuys for $100 while i internally do the watusi, finally having a big pocket pair survive. later, against the same guy, i will turn a full house with the payoff flush hitting on the river; another $200+ pot and another $100 reload. by 5PM the table is pretty well set, with two players having over $1500 in front. i am up around $400 and UTG+1 i squeeze out wired jacks. i put in my standard early position raise of 4xBB and get two callers. flop comes low, unconnected and unsuited cards and i am scared one player might have hit a set and one player - well, who knows what he has (we'll get to that in a sec.) i make a 1/3rd pot bet which is raised by the Unknown Player and called by The Other. what's a man to do? i fold. the Unknown Player puts The Other all in on the turn and flips queens; The Other shows ace-little for a flush draw. ace-little? calling a 4xBB raise and a middle position smooth call? oh, sorry, they were sooooooted. the Unknown Player's queens hold up and he is now at about $2K. wow. so why is he an the Unknown Player? he changes gears at random it seems. i watched him suckout with a river straight against aces that were played hard, fast, and aggressive by another formidable stack. his hand? 10-8o! i also watched him open all-in with aces (and show) and call a flop all-in with bottom pair (which was not good.) his play is erratic and kinda frightening. he is also known to either go broke or get rich - today he is doing the later from a $200 buy-in and single $200 reload, so up sixteen hundy. wow. how i got away from my jacks vs. his kings, i will never know. he just "looked" like he was not lying. his body (a blob of around 300lbs) seemed relaxed and disinterested in a call...so of course i figured his re-raise for wanting a call! ah Caro, many thanks! his ploy worked on the other guy, though. i cashed out at 7PM with an extra $420, on top of my $735 freeroll! woot!

i am a little behind in news, but appears that GSN is having a season two of High Stakes Poker. can i tell you how happy that makes me? seriously, HSP is the best poker show on the air, easily crushing new WPT episodes as well as new Poker Super Stars episodes. thank god they are doing it again, this time at the Palms. Negreanu has a small blurb about it his Monday blog entry.

i have some serious issues: i really get into biblical history. not too weird, seeing as i spent a lot of my life in baptist-related educational facilities, plus the fact i love arguing! so you shouldn't find it so odd that i was anxiously waiting for Sunday's premier of National Geographic's The Gospel of Judas. saturday afternoon/evening found me on the lanai doing a little wireless research/refreshing of my knowledge on gnostics, New Testament authors, the Q Source, and modern biblical scholars' opinions. overall the NGC's show was interesting. headed into Easter Week, it did create the usual storm of controversy. what can be expected? religion is an American sacred cow, pardon the pun. anyway, if you didn't see the show, look for reruns. just from a historical aspect it is interesting. from a political/theocratic aspect, it should be required!

lately i have been doing a lot of listening to music, mostly due to my 60-90 minute daily workouts. so i have been loading the iPod up, particularly with CDs that have some beats. my wife wanted more rap, so i began adding some of the old school rap that i owned, plus began making her a playlist with new notable artists such as Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Bun B - all from Houston (Matt Sonzala has the cover story in this month's issue of The Source!) anyway, it got me to thinking about my music history, how i went from the music of my parents to my own vast library. who would have thought that my innocent purchase of Run DMC's Raising Hell would lead to 2006's latest releases? did i mention i recently iTuned The Outfield's freshman release Play Deep? ok, so i'll listen to almost anything. listed below are notable releases that strike me as having personal, long lasting effect:

   The Beatles - 1962-1966 (1973) [pre-1979 for me]
   Elton John - Greatest Hits (1974) [pre-1979 for me]
   Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life (1976) [pre-1979 for me]

the first two were tapes that i cribbed from my stepmother's stash. she had been pretty hip as a young adult, spending several months touring Europe following Elton John and when she married my dad she had a reel-to-reel with such items as Jethro Tull's Aqualung and something by Bread. regarding the Stevie Wonder tape, i distinctly remember my dad taking me out after the Grammies (on a Sunday night no less!) to go to Cactus Records and buy the double issue of Songs in the Key of Life. Wonder had just raked in both Best Male Pop Vocal and Album of the Year; i guess my dad was trying to be hip. i also remember that i listened to Songs in the Key of Life vastly more than he did.

   Michael Jackson - Off The Wall (1979)
   Men at Work - Business as Usual (1982)
   Huey Lewis and the News - Sports (1983)
   The Outfield - Play Deep (1985)

cheesy pop fodder, but stuff i can still belt out lyrics too. my dad had recently returned from a business trip to Singapore and he brought me a first generation Sony Walkman. i mowed a hella-lot of yards those summers, blasting albums such as these.

   Boston - Boston (1976) [pre-1984 for me]
   Boston - Don't Look Back (1978) [pre-1984 for me]
   Billy Squier - Emotions In Motion (1982) [pre-1984 for me]
   Van Halen - all releases up to 1984 (1978 to 1973) [pre-1984 for me]

somewhere around 1984, my freshman year in high school, i befriended the only head at my private Baptist school. in the era of cassettes, he made me copies of all these above, which i paired with my personal pop smear, and again, mowed the hell out of some yards. this helped set me up for a widening range of musical sensibilities.

   Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill (1986)
   Run DMC - Raising Hell (1986)

i don't remember the hows or whys, but i do know that i bought both of these and played the shiet out of them. i remember the Beastie tape having no lettering on either side because i had played it so much.

   The Cure - Standing on a Beach / Staring at the Sea (1986)
   Gene Loves Jezebel - Discover (1986)
   The Jesus and Mary Chain - Darklands (1986)
   The Cult - Electric(1987)

1986 was a tumultous year for me personally. i left the safety of private Baptist schooling in Louisiana and attended public, but still pretty-well-off suburban schooling in Kingwood, TX. i discovered clubs, dance music, goths, became aware of "real" drugs (but remained off of them (no small feat)) and lost my virginity. i am pretty sure The Cure was playing for that last event. much to the consternation of our principal and the PTA, my senior class of 1988 chose The Cult's cover of "Born to Be Wild" as our class song. our valedictorian took his finals on Ecstasy and sent his favorite chemistry teacher an in-school stripper (garnering him national media attention and the privilege of not walking. he would attend Brown on a full scholarship.) good times, good times.

that takes us up to 1988, which was graduation and freshman year of college...that will have to wait for part duex of this über-post.


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