so close, yet so far from paradise

congrats to LJ for making it deep (41st) and thanks for the rail!

one day....
posted @ 11:49 PM CST [link]in defense of Astin...
greetings and salutations!

hope any readers i have (besides the usual me) enjoyed my music from 2007. some good stuff out there this year.

the post title is not a backhanded comment. it has long been common knowledge amongst poker bloggers that Astin runs well. he can cardrack with the best of them. that fact has often left me envious. but folks, i am here to tell you that there is another facet of lucksackery: you also have to be good.

i can imagine many people reading are going, "c'mon? good? was Jamie Gold good? Jerry Yang? Robert Varkonyi? those guys are lucksacks of the first order!" and while i will agree that you can be a lucksack and a donksack at the same time and wild your way through a field and score big, if you lucksack it up and you keep lucksacking it up and continue to win tourneys, well there may be some truth to the idea that you have some skill. yeah, i said it, skill. see, i think Astin plays pretty damn good. sure, grabbing monster pocket pairs and huge setups help. but let me runs this out there: you can't have a good winning record on lucksackery alone. you gotta have some skill. why do i say this?

Monday's Hoy was a welcome relief. i think 27 runners showed up for 6-handed NLHE. weee!! and i started strong, bluffing like a fool and finally getting paid off when i setted my pair of jacks. sorry Dbag. i then got moved, donked off to Astin when his QJ in the BB turned trips. yeah, you read that right, trips. he stacked me (i was on a pure steal in the SB). but then, some hands later, i got lucksackaliscious and made quad sevens on the river to double up. screen shot, please! (oh, i got one.) then, exactly ten hands later, i rivered quad sevens again (!!) to pickup another T1500 or so. quads. twice. ten hands. sitting next to Astin was rubbing off on me!

so how did i finish? i barely made it to under three tables. i ran jacks into queens on what seemed an odd play to me and then tilted the remaining stack off with KQ to wired tens. donksackery. shitstackery. craptacular. i sucked.

see, i had all the lucksack stuff running. i mean, quads, twice, 10 hands. just based on that i should have won the damn thing. but i didn't. why? b/c you can be a lucksack and still lose. or when i say "you" i mean "me" b/c not Astin. that kid can win. i mean, who's playing in the TOC? 'nuff said.

so, in defense of Astin, lucksacking ain't all it is. if someone is running a pool, drop me a line. i want to place my bet.

in closing, since i listed out my tops in music last post, i wanted to give a shout out to one of the cable shows that made my 2007: Robot Chicken. this show makes me laugh my ass off. it is almost worth the price of cable, all by itself. hope you enjoyed the linky. "you must smell like feet wrapped in leathery, burnt bacon...." god damn that is funny
posted @ 03:14 PM CST [link]

friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears
below is what i found best in music in 2007. there is a rough 1 minute sample for each, or you can get the full songs as a CD-length, single MP3 here.

hit the jump & enjoy!
posted on Mon, 12.17.07 @ 07:28 PM CST [more..]

everyone gets everything he wants. i wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one.
it wasn't supposed to work out this way, but due to the UIGEA, Full Tilt was forced to give us our tournament winnings and let us buy our own airline tickets. in the past, these trips were idiot-proof; you showed up at the airport and were given a plane ticket; you got on the plane and were given a seat; you arrived at the hotel and were given a room key and on tourney day went down to the lobby and were given a seat card. now? well, now there was me and like my dad used to say, i could ruin an anvil with a hammer. so with all that FTP cash in hand, i bum-rushed the ticket counter, upgrading to 1st class for both me and my girlfriend. heck, i was up for boyfriend of the year! but in a moment of poor decision making, Phil Gordon talked me into roshamboing for my ticket; who the hell throws rock three times in a row?! to make matters worse, Phil not only won my ticket but would get to sit next to my lovely girlfriend for the entire 15 hour flight. thank god he just got married - you know what they say about a man's feet.

so here i was, 8000 miles from Melbourne; über-hotel paid for, Aussie Millions buy-in set, but flightless and short $3200 for another ticket.

as i watched all 6'9" of Phil saunter off with my ticket (and my girlfriend!) i must have looked like Hunter S. Thompson on his way to the Mint 400: wide-eyed, keyed-up, and certainly planning something desperate and wild. if the most depraved sight was a man in the depths of an ether binge, then i must have looked like Satan himself.

real gamblers, the men who will bet on the letters in the plate of the next passing car, those guys play it to the hilt; they don't keep a backup roll; what's in play is what they have to their name. ask Uncle Tilty how many times he went broke before the age of 30. that number is greater than my hat size, i assure you. but me, well i am a degenerate-in-waiting, so i had a little something in reserve: exactly $843. not much. how the hell was i going to parlay this into another ticket? time is of the essence - no way i could take this and play $1/$2 poker for 20 hours. i needed money now. and as i looked down the concourse, the happy smile of Buddha spread across my face. coming towards me were Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, Phil Ivey and Mr. Prop himself, Gavin Smith. if i couldn't turn $843 into $3200 off these guys, well then i must have learned absolutely nothing in that boiler room back in NYC. but what prop? i needed something fast and something that played to a natural advantage. let's not calling it cheating - but this was going to get a BBV thread on 2+2.

three of these four guys have some serious addiction issues with golf, we're talking "Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard" issues. what none of them knew is that i played four years of college golf on a scholarship, had gone to Q-school (missed qualifying by three strokes) and was a scratch golfer. but not only that, i liked to consider myself one helluva trick shot player. i once played a national tour champ 18 holes armed only with an empty beer bottle. i beat him by 8 strokes. Amarillo Slim and his broom pool cue ain't got nothing on me.

so, the trick was to make something sound wild, impossible, golf-related, and oh yeah, something i could do. now, you may not have thought about it, but airport terminals make great miniature golf courses. there are all sort of things to play off of and tons of space. and often, security is too busy swabbing down terrorists' shoes to worry about 4 guys playing golf in their airport. since i already wield a pretty good beer bottle (as a golf club...i'm a scotch man otherwise) the goal was to lure the boys into the flight lounge and then subtly make a wager on my skills. plenty of stuff to try out, but nothing looks cooler than chipping and putting. no one thinks about this, but using a beer bottle ain't easy. sure, driving is like playing baseball, but chipping and putting? it's like using salad tongs for brain surgery; precision is tough. but like everything else, practice makes perfect, and i could chip with a beer bottle better than many people can floss their teeth. so there it was: chip five in a row, tee'd off the bar, using the aptly placed Foster's sign for angle and into the beer pitcher on a table better than 20 feet away. i put in my whole $843. only Matusow was smart enough not to bet. this was like shooting fish in a barrel.

you've seen those MasterCard commercials where the tagline is "priceless"? well, the looks on their faces were...except for the little matter of $3372 that i rolled up and stuffed into my pocket! i wanted to soak in the the glory of their defeat, but i had to sprint to the ticket way was Phil Gordon stretching out those long legs near my girl!

see ya' in the Land Down Under, mate!
posted @ 09:08 PM CST [link]demon tied to a chair in my brain
last Monday and Wednesday i thought i played pretty good poker; Thursday i chicken-shitted out, worrying about winning "player of the week" for the buy-in to Full Tilt's Sunday $750K Guarantee. well, i won the player of the week and then did my old song and dance. i'd curse, but i am kinda beyond it.

don't get me wrong, i hate making mistakes and i really wanted to go deep, especially since i feel like i missed some plays on Thursday due to reticence. but of course, i managed to get all my money in on Sunday on the turn, when my OESD hit gin. unfortunately, my opponents gutterball hit gin too, giving him the higher straight. small mistake, but mistake nonetheless. after dropping two-thirds of my stack there, i pushed pocket sevens on a flop with an ace; that was certainly a rookie mistake. preflop i should have shoved and hoped for the best. allowing AQ to hit on the flop was turd-tacular.

last night was the Hoy. in usual fashion, i made a major mistake. unfortunately for VinNay, i sucked out when my J-10 made two pair, cracking his kings. poor guy, his first hand at our table, he pulls kings, and i donkey him out. continuing my luckboxery, i managed to get it all in with Drizz: my aces versus his kings. thanks Full Tilt for the right side of the setup! so propelled into the top three in chips kinda early, i battled around a bit before jamming into Columbo's straight. doh! my doubling him up made him chip leader and dropped me to middle-stacked. i then bowed out when my AQ was whacked by A-10; dominated hands always flop the joint. crap.

so anyway, i am back where i started, two steps forward, one step back. i am happy with some aspects of my game, but my new mantra is "big mistakes kill!" i am having that tattooed on my hand, right next to "decisions not outcomes". anyway, i hope to start learning something...soon!

i went to lunch, shopped a little, all the while thinking about my recent play. yeah, i really do think about poker a lot. it's not overly obsessive, but it it borders on it. i am committed to improving. anyway, one thing i can console myself with is this nugget: if i am not playing in a lot of pots, moving in and out, taking shots, and yes, sometimes making mistakes, then i might be playing too tight. mistakes, even big ones, are the collateral damage of going to war at the poker table (awful metaphor, eh?) there are no pretty wars and as such, there are few pretty poker wins. you will make mistakes, some unrecoverable, but the attempt generates opportunity. so while i dislike making mistakes, i need to learn from them, but not fear them.

i caved to wifey and moved to T-Mobile. picked up a Blackberry Curve to replace my Treo 700. it is certainly thinner and so far i don't miss the Windows Media look & feel. but what fscking genius at Blackberry decided to put the media card slot under the battery? hello? ever heard of hot-swappable? fscktards. the push email is new to me and not something that is necessarily needed. i have a few accounts that get a lot of spam and if i want them checked then i get all the spam "pushed" out. much easier to check those manually and search and destroy at my leisure. but hey, not to big a deal. yet. the nifty magnet in the case is a nice touch; puts the phone to sleep when you slide it in. i like that. and should i decide, chat is built in, with ICQ, Yahoo, MSN already installed. tested out Yahoo and it works fine, but since i only use Yahoo chat for work, don't look for me to be logging in and out of that a lot. heh. voice operation is standard, but i haven't tried it, same for bluetooth. i'll get around to that sometime. desktop sync'd up with Outlook, no issues as expect. overall, i am happy with the new toy. oh yeah, the "sales rep" said 3G is coming in 2008 (something i knew, but there is no firm rollout date for say, Houston, so i wasn't counting that in my decision making process.) i was told that the Curve will be able to access 3G with a new SIM card, which T-Mobile will be providing at no cost. i'll believe that when i see it.
posted @ 02:29 PM CST [link]

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