Friday, July 28, 2006

2138 . .

. . that's how many people started the Main Event at the World Series of Poker today, on day 1A. There are still 3 day 1's to go with 2000+ players on each day for a total of over 8000 players in this year's Main Event. To put that into perspective that is over 7 times the population of my home town, oh and at $10,000 entry fee per player that is $80 Million+ in one poker tournament. Yeah, that's enough to pay each payroll of just over half the teams in the MLB this year, the Marlins 4 times even but who wants 4 teams like the Marlins?

Yes Manda, I am obsessed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Early Morning Blogging

Something, I think the pipes, is making an ever worsening sound when the AC kicks on, so loud that it woke me up this morning, at 4:30. /annoyed. Got up to investigate and turn off the AC so that it quits happening and to start looking up numbers for AC/plumbers, sounds like a great start to a Saturday.

If you are at all interested in keeping up with the WSOP this year you might want to add this blog to your bookmarks/rssfeeds. It is not the official update page but I really enjoy the writing style of Wil Wheaton who is writing most of the updates on days he is not playing, and after a poor showing in yesterday's Event #31 Wil is looking to be writing more than playing the rest of this World Series.

So the reason I have rediscovered the Pokerstars blog is Newsgator. I was starting to have rss feeds and bookmarks in so many places I was losing track of links that I either wanted to read everyday for personal enjoyment or needed to read everyday for work. The answer of course was a web-based rss reader. was and still is working well for my bookmarks but I'd rather not click through 50 bookmarks just to see the 5 that have updates. I have been using Sage for my rss feeds at work and home and really wanted that list combined, only way to go was with newsgator. The features I really enjoy are being able to mark individual posts as read versus the entire feed and the import of opml files which made getting both sets of Sage lists into it easy. So far I do not have any major complaints about this service at all.

Back to Poker for a minute and then this rambling is over.

A few weekends ago I went up to Blackhawk with some friends to play in a poker tournament. I had played some pretty bad poker in our last couple home games so I was not real thrilled with the prospect of heading up the hill to drop $70 quickly and then wait around for the rest of the group because I had played poorly but I did want to hang out with those guys so I went along. My strategy was to just play very tight, only try to steal when in position and nobody limped in ahead of you, and hope for decent cards.

The tourney started at 2pm and when we showed up at 12:30 to get register there was no one around yet other than the normal games going on in the Poker "Room". The Poker "Room" at the Ameristar is more of just an area with a fence around it that contains poker tables, I've always thought rooms had walls, see how much I actually know. When we registered there were maybe 10 names on the list already, we put it up to 15, and the pay out was guaranteed to the top 4, more if there are enough players.

Since it was lunch time food was in order and a greasy cheeseburger and a coke fit the bill just fine. I tried to lay off of the soda as much as possible to avoid getting jittery at the table and having to run to the bathroom during the breaks. It was also a rainy dreary day in the mountains and the casino still had the AC cranked on so I was freezing, soda does not help that shivering to stop much.

The game started with 3 tables of 10 or 11 each. I was immediately to the dealer's right at table 2 when play started, Jade was to my right and Leo was also at our table. Nate and Jay were at table 1. Rounds are 20 minutes long and blinds started at 25/50 with each stack at I think around 1500. My memory is not real good about this kind of thing and if I want to start blogging more about my poker playing I should probably start taking some notes every once in awhile.

The first round went by with no one getting knocked out but Jade was quick to exit once the blinds went up, unfortunately I did not benefit from his departure but I was not just giving away chips either. I was playing very tight and folding a ton of hands including a few middle aces if there was quite a bit of action before it was my turn to act pre-flop. After the third round we were down to 2 tables and I was one of the smaller stacks on the table but I focused on not doing anything dumb and going all in on the first pocket pair I saw, this worked out well as before too long Leo, Jay and I were all sitting at the final table of 10.

After a few hands I have the dealer chip and look down to see pocket Queens. Blinds are 200/400 at this point and everyone limped to me, I raised to 1000 and got 2 players to call. The flop comes Ace-Ace-Queen, full boat. The exact betting from here I am not exactly sure on since this was 2 weeks ago, notes I need notes! The turn was another Queen and my thought process was immediately damnit, he hit the boat too. Then I realized what I had, 4 of a kind, I pushed all in. I got folded to and pulled in the chips, I didn't quite double up on that hand but it was close and got me a lot closer to getting into part of the pay out.

This Saturday there were only enough players to pay out the top 4 so the final 6 of us were getting very fidgity almost everyone rooting against the short stack whomever it was, and it was rotating around the table. When we were at 6 I was trying to stay out of the way and not let a short stack double up but as soon as we got to 5 I got impatient and started calling those all ins with middle pair or top pair. Poker wise these were good moves, reality wise I got sucked out on 3 times, the last time busted me out where my queens got beat by a set on the river. Getting put out 5th in a tournament that pays out to the top 4 hurts quite a bit but I was happy with my play up to those last couple hands when I got impaitent. I am a firm believer that nothing is a waste of time as long as you learn something from it, and my lesson on this Saturday was to stay paitent and let the cards come to you.

Jay ended up taking 3rd and pulling in almost $400 and having 3 of the 5 of us at the final table was pretty impressive we thought, especially since none of us had played a tourney like this before. I think this was probably the best way I have yet to find to lose $70 in Blackhawk and look forward to my next trip up for a tourney, in a few months that is.

Ok an hour later this post is done!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Culture of life?

I figured it out, we should not be lobbying the President or Congress to get a bill on stem cells passed, we should be lobbying those folks the President owes his political capital too. So what do we lobby them with? How about supporting the entire culture of life, like pre and post natal care or maybe early childhood education, or how about saving kids from malaria in Africa? Shouldn't this agenda be about a culture of a decent chance at life too?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pirates of the ongoing sequels

It was a nice lazy Saturday today for my wife and I. We woke up around 9am which was justified sleeping in after staying out semi late to attend Jack's going away party at Casa Bonita. *side note about CB . . we did not venture into Black Bart's cave this time, which is a good thing as the 25 or so of us may have decided to camp out in there until escorted out * I got out to mow the lawn around 10am, the rain did wonders for the side that I still can't get the sprinklers to automatically turn on on, and my wife went to the bank and her folks place to avoid that lovely freshly mowed grass smell. After cleaning up a bit it was time for some lunch, not much too cook with in the fridge today but a package of those nifty tortellini from Barilla and a tin of Italian style tomatoes turns into a decent lunch.

After lunch it was time to venture beyond our own neck of the woods and over into Aurora to check out an apartment for my brother and soon to be sister-in-law who are relocating to the area. The place was pretty nice we both thought and hope one of the places we have looked at for them works out well. The second stop on our adventure was to the Pavillions to get some makeup for my wife. Since we had paid for 5 hours of parking it did not make much sense to leave downtown after only 30 minutes so we decided to catch a movie there, fortunately Pirates was playing in just 20 minutes, and the theatre was air conditioned, even better.

Here is where the reviewing of the movie takes place, so for those of you who have not seen it yet and do not want me to ruin it look away, come back some other time to read my blistering and witty writing, yes witty.

So that was not what I expected, and I do not know how I feel about that yet. I liked the movie in as much as the fight scenes are great, the visual effects blend in well, somewhat over the top though, and the locations were of course visually stunning. I know I should not expect a great story when I decided to see a sequel to a swashbuckler, and I didn't. I expected a swashbuckler, would that have been so hard to provide? The movie was drawn out, could have cut about 30 minutes out of this pretty easily. The injection of some of the characters from the first movie was a bit odd and I'm not even talking about the last scene. Ah the last scene, I actually admire the writers here, they already know there will be a 3rd movie coming out, hell it's already in production. They did not have to write in that subtle there could be a sequel wrapup if this makes a good bit of money for the producers ending that so many movies have now, which of course the first one did.

So my rating? I hold judgment until the final installment, since this was just part one of what is really a two part movie. My suggestion though, if it's hot outside and the theatre has AC go for it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Closets

So very much has gone on around the house in the past month, the latest of which was getting closet organizer stuff for both the closet in our bedroom, wife's closet, and the guest room, my closet. Before I run through the closet adventure I'll recap the other stuff we've been doing.

The night before our housewarming my folks were in town to help get ready and Dad helped me put in our $5 chandelier, that's right $5. We were at Lowe's a few weeks ago and were walking down the front isle and spotted the 90% off pallet with a few bits of lighting still on it including two chandeliers that for $5 would be perfect to replace the wobbly ceiling fan above the dining room table. I think it looks pretty good in there and man is it bright! To the left is before and to the right after.

The other piece of home improvement we endeavoured on that weekend was the sprinkler system. I did not write about the previous adventure with the sprinklers. Seized valves don't turn, even with vice grips, that sums it up. So $200 later there were two new valves and a new backflow preventer but still no sprinklers running. The box said everything was ok but the continually browning lawn told me a different story, that and the trying to run a manual cycle resulted in no water shooting. A good friend had put in a sprinkler system last summer so I thought he may have some hints or advice about what was going on. At the house warming he quite quickly got the valves turned on and sprinklers were running. The next morning things kicked off just fine for most of the zones. I still have one zone that won't kick on with the automatic programming but the valve is turning so hopefully that will be resolved this week.

OK back to our regularly scheduled post, closets. My wife has clothes, lots and lots of clothes. You'd think a smaller girl would have smaller clothes and they'd fit in a smaller space, smaller clothes just means more clothes to put in the same space, super. So we needed new closet organization stuff. We spent Saturday drawing up some plans about what we thought we wanted, mine was easy, double bars on one side, shelving in the middle and a single bar on the other side. Closet Maid makes exactly what I wanted for under $100 bucks and Lowes had it, awesome. My wife did not know exactly what she wanted, so to Lowe's we went, and she decided what I wanted would work as well, so for just under $160 we had two closet organizers.

First thing to do was rip out the existing closet, the hardest part of which was taking out the shelf that was in there that was wedged in. The solution was pretty easy, hacksaw and hammer, demolition is fun. Now that that was done it was time to get installing. The installation was pretty easy except for the part of the old closet we didn't take out. There were two pieces of half inch board that held up the old rod and shelves that we didn't take out, that moved the whole unit away from the wall one half inch. To allow for the attachment of the shelving to the back wall we had to attach some 2x2 blocks to the wall to attach the L shaped bracket to the shelves and back wall. I did forget to put the bracing on the side walls a half inch forward so I had install those in twice. Again we have before and after, left and right.

The only thing left to do on the closet in the guest room is get out the DREMEL Tool and cut down the rod for the side that is only 18 inches. Tomorrow I'm going to get my wife's closet put in, should be pretty easy now that I know what I'm doing. Here's a before shot of the closet, fortunately I don't have to empty it out.

And for those of you who thought you would escape the infamy of the clothes line post removal, I have a special blog post for that in the works.