Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Crescent City Daze

G-Rob said post your own New Orleans memories, so here I am. Warning - while not Iggy-level uber, this is pretty wordy. Sing up for Empire Poker then settle in for a read.

Or there I was, 18 years old and bulletproof. The proud survivor of two whole months of college life, six bottles of Robitussion DX, about 3 pounds of marijuana, 6 gallons of Mezcal and an obscenely geeky number of hours of D&D (including one night involving rum & cokes, an ex-girlfriend, a papasan chair, memory loss and skinned knees, but that's for later). Jason, the Troll-guy from down the hall, and Steven, the elf-guy that was his roomie, had the brilliant idea to go to New Orleans for fall break.

"Great idea! How far away is it?"

"About 10 hours."

"Shit, that's a long way."

"Naah, man. We'll stop in my place in Montgomery, smoke up, and the next morning we'll cruise on to Nawlins."


I've always been a tough sell. So that's what we did. Note to the wise: when stoned, really, it's still important to REHEAT the spaghetti from lunch. I promise. Not that I speak from experience or anything.

So that's how I found my self rolling into New Orleans in a 1978 baby blue Chevrolet Impala that until that weekend had never seen the outside of the great state of South Carolina in October of 1991. Jason was our tour guide through our day in NO, including a walking trek through the Quarter, a fantastic art gallery where there was a framed photo of Tennessee Williams' dog on a balcony labeled "StreetDog named Desire," Marie Laveaux's House of Voodoo (where I bought a carved crystal skull for my goth-esque girlfriend), and eventually to Mecca, ahem, Bourbon Street.

So we did the standard touristy things that 18-year-old guys do in New Orleans, go into Pat O'Briens, get thrown out of Pat O'Briens, Go somewhere else and drink hurricanes, and eventually end up at a strip bar. Some patterns, once established, do not cary with age.

This particular establishment was entitled, subtly enough, Big Daddy's Topless & Bottomless, and promised no cover if over 21.

"Of course, don't we look 21?"

"Just don't start any shit, kid."

"Yes, Sir."



SOOooo, that encounter behind us, we enter quite possibly the most exciting place in the world - MY VERY FIRST STRIP CLUB. The new does indeed wear off after you realize that they ALL have that same carpet, but remember, I was a newly minted 18 in a world where only 21 mattered. So we sat down with our 3-drink minimum, Steven commits the cardinal sin of actually collecting his change in quarters off the drink tray, and we settle in. We quickly figured out that fortunately, we were not going to see anyone resembling a Big Daddy disrobe, but there was very little truth in the advertising of "bottomless," unless the defining portion of "-less" was somehow different from "top" to "bottom." But we weren't complaining.

I can remember her like it was yesterday. Short black pageboy hair, sexy, half-Asian eyes, alabaster skin, and a tattoo of a dragon that started on the front of her right shoulder and curled all the way around her torso to just lick across her left hipbone. No idea what her name was, but she moved in ways I had never seen a woman move before. Admittedly, the combination of her dancing and my level of inebriation may have contributed to that inimicable movement.

All of us put together couldn't afford even one table dance, but the point at which she took Jason's racoon-tail hat off his head and ran it between her legs and across both tattoos was certainly more than we had bargained for. Jason bronzed that hat later.

When we could no longer afford the inflated prices for domestic beverages, and were all out of singles, we staggered out into the night and made our way to Mecca, wait, used that already, Wet Willies. Now Wet Willie's is apparently a chain of bars, as I once had an unfortunate grain alcohol/karaoke experience in a similar establishment in Charleston once, but this was my first encounter with a 40' wall of slushie machines and Everclear. I vaguely recall something called Rocket Fuel, which was a much better descriptor than Topless & Bottomless. Then I vaguely recall three 18-year-olds lined up in a row taking a piss in the middle of a public park (under a streetlight, of course), and somehow managing to find my car and make it back to a hotel for the night, where we discovered that hotel ashtrays will shatter under the heat of incense cones, and that inordinate amounts of beverage and weed do not typically make for a happy morning.

But that's my (hazy) memory of the city of New Orleans. She treated me well, introduced me to grain alcohol, voodoo and topless bars, and for that I'll always think of her kindly. May she rise again.

Monday, August 29, 2005


So I decided to give this one a try - sign up through me to Empire Poker and get a 20% signup bonus up to $100. Let's see if anything comes of this affiliate bit. I play Empire occassionally and find the players there to be trout-like, to say the least, so you should certainly be able to make back some coin off of those idiots and clear your bonus fairly quickly. Or you can sign up using Bonus Code NUTS17469, but the link is easier.




Just a quick thought and prayer (or whatever you do) to the folks in Louisiana and Mississippi today.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Friday night tilt game

So I discovered a bit of frustration last night that cost me a bit in winnings. Occassionally, when we have our little home game, Jim "Dad" E. will amass a pile of chips through a bunch of lucky catches and some pretty solid play, then shift into uber-calling statio mode. That's what happened last night. I had gotten frustrated because I had been unable to push Dad off a pot ALL NIGHT, without just a ridiculous bet, and he ended up catching his garbage more often than not. I know, long term that's the kind of play I want across the table, but in the heat of the moment it get's frustrating as shit.

Hand example - It's late in the evening and we're stopping play in about 15 minutes. I look down a two red Jacks. I raise to $2, 4x the BB, and Dad calls. Flop come xQ9, and I'm a little nervous. Dad checks, I bet out with $10. I put him on AK here, because he loves to play his unpaired overcards and sticks around with the a lot. He goes into the tank for a minutes and calls. Turn is another 9, and he checks. I check, wanting a free card to fill me up on the river. River is a 10, no flush draws, no good straight draws out there, esp. since I'm holding Jacks. Dad checks, I bet out another $10. He goes into the tank for about 4 minutes and finally calls, turning up Q4 off-suit! I try to hide the fact that I'm steaming, but manage to donk off another $20 to Uncle Phil a couple hands later when he rivers a flush after raising all-in to $16 on a $10 bet into a $6 pot. The all-in move I think was okay by Phil since it was the last hand of the night, but to go all-in on an obvious overbet was a little reckless.

So I ended up tilting off about $40 of my profit on two hands. The one to Phil was a bad move on his part mathematically - he had no pair, one overcard to the board, and a straight draw and flush draw. He had a outs (18, actually) but I thought by betting almost twice the pot I made the odds really wrong to call, much less raise an amount that would almost certainly get called, since his raise was less than my bet. So long-term, I want folks to make that call all day long. But the other one bugs me - did I play it wrong? Should I have bet the turn? I certainly didn't expect Dad to check-call with top pair. Maybe when I have vulnerable pairs like JJ I should up the preflop raise to clear out real junk hands. Advice is welcome, those two hands are gonna bug me for a while.

Otherwise I played pretty well, doubled my buy-in, but I'm frustrated because right there at the end I gave up two more buy-ins plus a little change.

Friday, August 26, 2005


An endearing, fat, aging rogue who appears in several of the plays of William Shakespeare. He is prominent in the two parts of King Henry the Fourth, where he is the jolly companion of Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. Falstaff is a lover of wine, women, and song; although a coward in practice, he loves to tell tales of his supposed bravery.

I can't think of a much more appropriate moniker. I'll take it. Thanks, Wes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Harrington on Hold 'Em Vol. 1

Just finished it. I liked it. It took a while to finish because it wasn't as quick a read as the latest Tom Clancy book, but overall well-written and enjoyable. Here are my opinions, because it is my blog after all :).

Let's start by laying out there that this book is not for beginners. Before reading HOH a player should at the very least have played in a couple of No Limit Hold Em tournaments and spent some serious time working on their understanding of the game. I think this should probably be the third book someone should read on NLHE, after any of a dozen good introductory books and Super System (I haven't read Vol. II yet). I started with Phil Gordon's The Read Deal, which had some entertaining stories and a few viable tips on the concepts of play, then read Super System and a couple of others. But I recommend at least getting an intro book and SS under your belt before tackling HOH.

And this book will not be for everyone, because not everyone wants to play tournaments. If that's not your thing, don't bother. Not that I don't find the concepts in HOH Vol. I very useful and salient to ring game play, but it is geared primarily toward tournament play, and decisions that are wise when your opponent can't reach into her pocket for more ammo are downright stupid in a ring game.

That all said, I found it pretty useful. I tend to be an aggressive player (chorus of DUH!!! in the background), so the tips on more conservative style of play I found helpful for tempering my aggression with mathematics so that I can make the more frequently correct play. Harrington stresses pot odds over and over and over again, so by the time I got about 2/3 of the way through the book, I started to get it. His explanations (and re-explanations) of pot odds were very useful to me, especially in helping me understand the appropriate bets to make and to call (which is, after all, what pot odds are for, dumbass!). The explanations and examples of pot odds were very good, and I have found it helping my ring game play as much if not more than my tournament play. But I'm still new at this, so that's to be expected.

Dan describes himself as a conservative player, and I'm sure that compared to folks like Gus Hansen he is, but he still advocates an aggressive style. The points in the book that I liked were the times when he stressed that your entire poker career is one long game, and as long as you are making the +EV moves, they will in the long run pay off. This is hard to remember in the heat of the moment, but will help fend off tilt in the future (maybe). Another interesting statement that Harrington makes (steals actually from Sklansky, with attribution) is that your job as a poker player is not necessarily to win the hand, but to make the right decisions every time while putting your opponent into a position where she makes a mistake. I like that.

The book is divided up into sections like Starting Hands, Reading the Board, Betting Before the Flop, Betting after the Flop, Betting on 4th & 5th Streets, etc. and each section has a set of problems after the chapter to illustrate points from the section. I found this pretty interesting, since these problems are taken from actual hands, and frequently Dan goes into a long explanation of why you should behave in a certain way in these situations, and the player who really played the hand did something completely different! Not all of these real-life situations work out to the detriment of the folks playing, proving that at times poker is as much about making the wrong move at the right time as it is making the right move, period (I think that's an Iggy-ism).

So I liked it, that wasn't quite as clear a review as I'd hoped for, but I just got out of rehearsal and sat into the $1 Limit O8 tourney on Stars and those folks are loopier than me.


PS - nicknames still needed, but I like BigPirate's suggestion of Falstaff - Shakespearean, and a Beer, too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nickname needed - taking suggestions

So since I realize that John is one of the more common names on the planet, and since BadBlood asked if I had an internet nickname that folks could use to relieve confusion, I realized that I don't. So I suppose I need one. And given most of the folks I associate with, Fatass isn't going to give me any more individuality than my given name, so a little more help there, please.

Since Brad-o-ween (see most of the folks that I have links to for great trip reports) I've driven from Charlotte to Newberry, SC (family shit, no other reason to EVER go to Newberry, SC), Spartanburg, SC for work, and Durham, NC for work. That totals up to about 16 hours driving since Saturday, and my ass is whooped. My goal for the rest of the week is to just drive to and from work, and nothing more. But I did see this idiot on the road today - and I sometimes claim that people in the South are literate.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Brad-o-ween Trip Report

So this will be a short(ish) trip report, mostly hitting on the highlights (many) and lowlights (few) of my trip to G-Vegas and my first meeting with a bunch of the blogger crowd.

Highlight - meeting most of the bloggers that I read daily, including Iggy, G-Rob, Otis, CJ, BadBlood, Daddy, Pauly, AlCantHang, Boy Genius, DoubleAs, Maudie, Gracie, Maigrey and some more folks I'm sure I've inadvertantly left out. I gotta admit, I was nervous rolling up in there like I played the game and wrote something worth reading. But it was cool, everybody was really cool. Al was exactly like you'd expect from reading his blog, BadBlood's guns aren't REALLY that big, only about as big as my fucking THIGH! Pauly was super-cool, Otis threw a hellacious party and Iggy...what do you say about the Blogfather? He's everything you'd think a Guinness-swigging dwarf housewife would ever aspire to be, including a damn fine card player.

Lowlight - my early exit from the tourney. Like all things discussed here on pokerstage, we were playing for bragging rights only, but my exit in 31st out of 43 was still less than stellar. Let's see exactly how our hero fared -

So I'm sitting there, playing fairly tight-aggressive, picking my spots, trying to stay away from Al and Blood, who were both at my table, trying to pick on folks I thought were a little weaker, like Ben and unfortunately BigMike, who was obviously card dead, and I find myself with a pile of the chips on the table midway through the second level.

Kudos to BadBlood for making player-friendly levels - rock on!

I look down to K6 diamonds. For the record, this is NOT A PLAYABLE HAND. In ordinary circumstances. But when you've got a bunch of chips and you're on the button, AND it folds around to you, then it looks like a blind steal opportunity. Unfortunately that's apparently what my little bet looked like to the blinds too, since they stuck around. Flop comes all low shite with 2 diamonds and the 6 of clubs. So now I have a 2nd nut flush draw and a shitty pair. Debbie is first to act as small blind, and she bets out about 1/4 or 1/5 of her stack. She's looking short now, so I say "I raise you all in," thinking She's got unpaired overcards, she'll fold.

Nope. And Nope. Deb calls, and turns up 9s. She's significantly ahead at this point, but I feel confident in my ability to catch a diamond. And I do. The 9 of diamonds is the turn, and I am ROLLING. Deb pushes back, feeling like it's over, and Pauly says "you need the board to pair."

That's when I do it. Ignoring all logic about the tempting of fate and pissing into the wind, I utter those fateful words "or the last nine."

River. Case 9. Runner Runner Quads. I am spanked on the nuts by the poker gods. I get a little tilty, make a stupid push into Deb AGAIN with pocket 10s when I KNOW FULL WELL she's got an Ace, with the board reading A3A3, and sure enough, my read was spot on that time. Out to sign the ranking sheet of shame.

Highlight - Eva's Long Island Iced Tea, the official consolation drink of getting busted out early.

Highlight - thank God for cash games. Now I was more intimidated sitting at the cash game than I was at the tournament! At that table, I only knew two bloggers, until Pauly got moved to us after BigMike busted out. The Cash game looked something like this:

Me (John)
Frank the Tank
Tracy (sp?)

This has a HUGE potential to be a bloodbath, Hammers flying, Jackhammers flying, everything you could expect from a bunch of bloggers around one table.

Highlight - making a decent profit off that table after pissing away half my stack early to G-Rob.

Lowlight - Not for me, but watching G-Rob take out both Maigrey AND BadBlood in the same hand when all three catch the diamond flush. Blood has K-hi, Maigrey is a 3 away from the straight flush, and in what was to be a theme for a while, G-Rob has the nuts. My highlight in that hand was the preflop fold, my best move. Blood and Maigrey rebuy.

Highlight - calling the forthcoming suckout on FranktheTank with A8 into a board of 7 10 J when Frank pushed all-in. My words - "So it's $32 to see if I can suck out on you?"
Frank "Yep."

Turn is rag. River is Ace. Frank declines to rebuy.

Highlight - With 3 players left and 15 minutes until Mrs. Otis needs the table to set up food, TheMark asks if we want to switch to Omaha. Omaha 8, No Limit, 3-Handed. Me, TheMark, BadBlood. I have never before had so much fun playing such atrocious poker. Blind calls, blind raises, half-drunken figuring out the low, and me and TheMark getting quartered on the HIGH with 6s and Q kicker, while Blood takes the low. Total silliness and a helluva lot of fun.

That pretty much describes the day - a helluva lot of fun. I've met nicer people, but they weren't nearly as entertaining. And then the Hooters girls showed up, and it was really a party. Can't wait til next time I get a chance to meet up with those folks!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Google game

Game I swiped from Gracie.

John is one of the true experts in blogging and one of the real pioneers of Internet (yeah right)

John is fearless in exposing the coup in America (working on it)

John is available for seminars on sake (or sake on seminars)

John is fun as a Son (sure...Dad?)

John is an important work of mythological Gnosticism (Absolutely! What is gnosticism?)

john is exceptional talent i also think that he is like modern,younger, fresher r.kelly (only without the screwing teenage girls thing, really)

John is the greatest person ever born on earth (just ask me)

John is the climax of the Law. (But not the Climax of Ty Law. I want nothing to do with cornerbacks)

JOHN IS A GEEK (well...yeah)

John is generally accounted "the last of the Fathers". (more usually called a sonufa...)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Can I finish the last 60?

41. I have travelled to Toronto and Sicily and those are the only places outside the US that I have been.
42. I lost my passport and had to talk my way back into the US from Toronto with a driver's license and smile. Or a hangover so bad the Canucks didn't want me anymore.
43. I was thrown out of the theatre scene shop in college for ineptitude, and now make my living in technical theatre construction.
44. I love irony.
45. My eyes are bluish.
46. I cried when my wife's dog died even though I hated the little fucker.
47. I enjoy cooking, but still eat out too much.
48. Yeah, I know, you can never eat out too much in that regard, you perv.
49. I have accepted my status as geek.
50. I minored in English in college. I blame my diarrhea of the mouth on this.
51. I prefer lighter beers like Dos Equis.
52. I don't really like comedy movies.
53. I think Tom Green should be taken out and shot before he fucks up the gene pool.
54. I love New York City. It has a vibe that I've never felt anywhere else, even Vegas.
55. Having my poem just published in a book definitely ranks as one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me.
56. My first car was a 1978 Chev Impala. I drove it until the engine finally imploded in 1994.
57. I have one tatto. It is chinese characters that loosely translates into Seize the Day.
58. It's on the inside of my left forearm.
59. Yes it hurt like fuck.
60. Johnny Cash is one of my personal heroes.
61. I think the best show I've ever lit may have been the recent production of Anna Karenina. It were pretty.
62. My favorite show I've ever directed was Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally.
63. Edward Norton Jr. is my favorite actor.
64. I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the dialogue.
65. But I don't even claim to read porn for the articles.
66. I have lost touch with almost everyone I knew in high school and college, and am close to none of the ones I still occassionally see, and I really regret that fact.
67. I've started working out and now remember that I hate working out.
68. I've recently developed a love for 70s punk rock.
69. My dad and I used to watch MASH together when I was a kid. I started buying MASH on DVD and taking them home for holidays. It's still cool.
70. My favorite food is fried chicken from a gas station on my way home from work. I don't want to know what they put in the batter, but that shit is amazing!
71. I still love my wife.
72. I hate mowing the grass, so I make her do it.
73. I have never changed my own oil and do not intend to.
74. I can change my own tires, but pay AAA good money, so why should I have to.
75. I have had only one job since I graduated college. And I still like it.
76. I like to play poker as much for the social aspects as the money.
77. But I reallllly like money.
78. I would move back to Bullock Creek SC in a heartbeat and live in the sticks if I could make a living there.
79. And get high-speed internet.
80. I painted my office purple. REALLY purple.
81. I like challenging my beliefs and the beliefs of other people.
82. I enjoy debate and arguing (as long as it doesn't get too nasty).
83. I love going to concerts, but not much for the outdoor amphitheatre vibe.
84. I go to Merlefest every year with my sister for some amazing music.
85. I really don't go anywhere except the crapper without my cell phone. I even use it for an alarm clock.
86. I'm terribly disorganized.
87. I'm amazed at how uninteresting I'm feeling working so hard at coming up with 100 things.
88. I do wear one of the yellow wristbands. My theatre mentor died of lung cancer a couple years ago. I still miss calling him for advise. Suzy's mom died of breast cancer before we met. It pisses me off that if she had gotten sick now, she probably would have had a full recovery. But she got sick then, and died. I never met her. That bugs me a little.
89. Both my parents are still alive and I talk with one or both of them at least once a week.
90. I procrastinate on an Olympic level. I can work hard when necessary, but would much rather hire a minion.
91. I have had my ear pierced since I was 17. I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way to my high school graduation, lied about my age, and got my ear pierced. If that ain't redneck, I don't know what is.
92. My nephew looks just like me, but clean-shaven and skinny. Poor bastard.
93. I hate wearing shoes that lace, which means a lot of Birkenstocks and Merrell mocs.
94. All I want for my birthday is for people to come over, play poker and be cool.
95. I was depressed for about half a year after 9/11, and I didn't know anyone who was killed or injured. It just shook me up a lot.
96. I spent six months in AA when I was in college. Ironically before I was old enough to drink legally. I realized I didn't have a problem with alcohol, I had a problem with women. And I sure as shit wasn't giving up sex.
97. I know from personal experience that having sex while driving a car means that you probably won't do either one very well.
98. My most prized posession is a piece of Catawba Indian pottery that my great-aunt left to me. It's over 100 ears old and is a really neat piece of family history.
99. If I could live anywhere in the world, I'd probably pick New York City. If I had to live on the money I make now, Asheville. Very different, but very cool town.
100. I am afraid of snakes. Like scream like a little girl afraid. But if given the opportunity I will fuck one up with a shovel.

There. Done. 100 things about me. I dare you to read them all.



Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cross posting coolness

Go to my other blog and read the latest post. It's totally non-poker, but is one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me.



Played a $1 Omaha Hi MTT on Stars last night - sucked. A lot. I've played enough O8 to feel like I know what a starting hand looks like, but Omaha Hi is a lot tighter and I didn't see shit. Finally after the first break I just got bored and donked off the rest of my chips.

Then I played a $5 7-Stud MTT on Party. I think I actually did fairly well in this one. Top 200 out of 550 or so, for my 2nd stud tourney. I felt like I was beginning to understand what good starting cards looked like by the time the blinds were high, and I busted out the real assmunch at the table who kept telling everyone what fish we were. Last time I checked, Stud was a drawing game, but that's just me. Maybe when I'm showing two pair, you should think it likely that one of my other three cards made the boat - SINCE I CAPPED THE BETS ON 6TH AND 7TH STREET!

Hosting a small tourney Saturday in celebration of the birthday - $10 with one rebuy and one add-on after the first hour. Should be fun. I only have room for 16 at the house, but if folks want to come to Charlotte to play, lemme know.



Monday, August 08, 2005

Rant over

I feel better now, thank you. You will now be returned to your normal programming. Please do not adjust your sets.

FN POS Friendster crap!

Ok, so I was trying to set up a Friendster blog because I don't want this one to get all screwed up with other shit, and because a couple of old friends are on there and it seemed easy enough UNTIL I tried to make a new post and couldn't figure out the click n' wait and go back to the same Fn page interface Piece of Crap they call a blog software.

So anyway, I'll just make a different blog here on lil ol' blogger and let Google figure it out.

Fuck Friendster!!!!!!

Actual poker content

Of a sort. Home Poker Tourney kicks ass! Not only does this site give you the best links for building your own table (aaahhh, someday), and reviews on chips (how I decided to buy Nexgens), but if you need a blinds structure for your tourney, and have different chips than the colors he has listed, he'll make a list of blinds specific to your chip selection!

How cool is that?!?

10 more

I'll get to 100 or someone will shoot me. Or not. Screaming into the void, as it were.

21. I don't really go to the movies. It's not my thing. I like the outing aspect, but I'd rather go to theatre.

22. I drive a purple PT Cruiser with Blue ghost Flames on the front.

23. I wish I had kept in better touch with some friends from high school. I sometimes feel a little drifty, like there aren't people (outside of family) who have known me for very long. And I guess that's true.

24. My favorite book if Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides. I was never a jock, but I can relate a lot to the characters in that book.

25. I've never been arrested. Because I've never been caught. And aside from illegal gambling, college drug use was the worst thing I did.

26. I dropped out of graduate school after two semesters. Money and annoyance were the main factors.

27. I have shaved my entire face once in the past 13 years. And we're keeping it that way. As soon as I was able to grow a beard/goatee, I did.

28. I'm a cat person. Dogs are smelly and put their noses in your crotch. I only allow certain people to put their faces in my crotch, and no animals. Even from SC, I have my standards. They're low, but they exist.

29. I moved out of my parents' home at 19 after my 2nd year of college and have been pretty independent since then. Nothing spectacular, but that's what it is.

30. I like lemonade.

31. I have a thing for homemade peach ice cream. My grandfather owned a peach orchard (100 acres) and when I was a kid we still had a few trees. I remember sitting on the ice cream churn freezing my junk off while my sister turned the crank. Not my crank, you perv. On the churn.

32. I've never fired a handgun, but am a naturally good shot with long guns.

33. I don't own a gun now.

34. I have 3 siblings - a brother (52), a sister (49) and another brother (48). I was a post-script.

35. My oldest niece is a high school English teacher with her Master's degree. That makes me feel old.

36. I wear a big steel Superman ring, because I think Chris Reeve was a fuckin' badass. And 'cause I'm a geek.

37. I collected comic books for a long time, until I sold them all to buy Magic Cards.

38. I played Magic competitively for 2 years, then sold all my cards for a profit.

39. I never won anything.

40. I ran track my senior year of high school. The thought of a 4-mile run now makes my knees ache sitting here and I become a little queasy with just the thought.

Look - a double dose. If I actually play any fucking poker, I'll put up some poker content.

Waiting on my new Nexgen chips to arrive - should be here in time for my home tourney this weekend (in honor of my birthday).



Saturday, August 06, 2005

10 More things

I get F'n tired trying to come up with 100 things, so they'll come in 10 at a time until I get bored with it.

11. I drink an UNGODLY amount of Mountain Dew. I should boycott Pepsi products, because I had a rich uncle who owned the Pepsi bottling plant in G-Vegas, and he never did shite for me, but I need the stuff.

12. I was just elected the Vice-President of the North Carolina Theatre Conferece, the statewide service and advocacy organization for theatre. It's pretty cool, it also means that next year I take over as President. Ahhh, the power. Mwah-hah-hah-hah. Oh yeah, it's a totally volunteer position, but it makes good resume fodder.

13. I have a stuffed black panther Beanie Baby sitting on top of my PC. I have no friggin' idea why it's here. I own it because my wife worked at a Hallmark Gold store when Beanie Babies were selling for a shitload of money, we bought a bunch of them for like $3 each, put them in a box, and forgot about them. Now they're not even worth the $3 each. Collectibles speculating requires a steady finger on the pulse of American stupidity, and I have lost my touch.

14. I did once net about $400 selling cheesy framed posters of Billy Ray Cyrus at a flea market. These things happen mostly in South Carolina, I imagine.

15. I'm going to Bradoween V in a couple weeks and I'm excited about meeting a lot of the people whose blogs I read regularly. And Daddy, who posts the most F'd up shite in the free world.

16. I just directed Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, which means I've now directed Hamlet, I Hate Hamlet and R&G, leaving on Fortinbras to hit the Hamlet & spinoffs cycle. Not likely to happen soon, 'cause Fortinbras isn't as funny as those other shows. But funnier than Hamlet. Unless it's REALLY bad Hamlet, which can be pretty damn funny.

17. I'm fat. But working on it. At 6'1" and 32, the doctor has some stupid f'n idea that 260 is a little heavy. I told her that it wasn't looking too healthy on her 5'5" arse, either, but who was counting. So I'm on a diet, which makes me even more cranky than normal.

18. I work for a cool company called Barbizon, building and renovating theatre, TV studios and Churches. I design and install lighting and rigging systems. We've done some cool projects nationally, like MSNBC, ESPN, Boston Symphony Hall, and I've done a bunch of shite around NC that you've never heard of unless you live here. It beats digging ditches.

19. And it beats the hell out of working as a logger, which is what my dad does. He owns a small logging company in Bullock Creek. He may be the main employer actually based in Bullock Creek, since he has 4-5 people depending on the day and hangovers. I think there might be a moonshiner that has more people, but I think he's the largest industry in his town. a little sad, really.

20. I was on TV once. Last year, actually, I did a spoken word performance that was edited and run as a promo on Turner South TV. It got pretty good rotation during the Braves games. I got about a grand for it, so it was cool. And my mom saw me on TV, so she thinks I'm a real actor now. I didn't bother to tell her that most people on TV aren't real actors.

10 more later. Unless you're lucky.



Friday, August 05, 2005

100 things about me.

Stole this idea from Maudie. And others.

1. I was born in Bullock Creek South Carolina, but I got over it.
2. I spent a long time beating my Southern accent into submission in acting classes. Ironically, it appears most heavily when I say the word "accent."
3. I'm a stage director, theatre manager and lighting designer. Director by choice and preference, manager because I founded the company, and lighting designer because people will give me money to do it.
4. I went to Winthrop University and got my degree in acting rather than any other type of technical theatre, because I can't draft for shit and didn't want to take costume or scenic design.
5. I like Tori Amos, Sam Bush, The Indigo Girls, The Sex Pistols, The NY Dolls, Bela Fleck and about any other kind of music.
6. John Hiatt solo performed the best concert I've ever seen in my life.
7. And that's a lot, because I supported myself for a couple of summers running followspot and deck crew for the tours that came through a 13,000-seat arena here in Charlotte.
8. I live in what they call the Queen City and I have a degree in theatre. My dad still kinda thinks I'm gay.
9. I'm not.
10. My wife of 10 years is glad that my dad is wrong.

More will come later. Not sure if I'll ever get to 100, but we'll see.


So I suck at keeping to plans

Mere days after I posted my intent to stay away from the $1 SNGs at Stars, my overwhelming desire to donk off chips took control of my trackball again, and I was plunged into the nether regions of the 'net.

Okay, maybe it wasn't as bad as all that, and more like my bankroll of Stars sucks ass right now, so a $10 SNG was my entire roll, so I decided to play two $1 SNGs instead.

First one - here's the plan: use everything I'm currently gleaning from Harrington on Hold Em to play my best game, and shoot to win, not place.

Second one started about 10 minutes later with the express desire to be that guy. The uber-donk who calls cause is was sooooted. Real LAGy. Was entertaining. Lasted til the first break then the donkey caught up with me. More like got blinded into shit for chips and pushed with crap. Crap didn't rise to the top. Donkey go home.

Back to the first one, where wife says "can you come get this off the top shelf?"

"Sure honey" Clicks Sit Out Next Hand.

Dealt Pocket Aces.

Scrambles for trackball like a madman.

Triples up.

Goes upstairs to perform husbandly duties.

Not those husbandly duties you fuckin' perv. The real ones - get things off the top shelf, open jars and squish a bug.

Twenty minutes later come back to be at the final table. Finish 3rd for $7, effectively doubling my Stars BR.

Being broke sucks, but I just spent cash on a set of 500 Nexgen chips that this guy on Ebay was sellingfor $.17 each, which was the best price I could find, and he wasn't butt-raping me on the freight, which is kinda SOP for Ebay. They should be here in time for the 10th anniversary 21st Birthday Bash next Saturday!



Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Go here. Scroll down, read the No Guarantees post.


Hug somebody.


Shut up, I know I'm a big hairy pussy. But people doing nice things for people renews my faith in this world full of arseholes.

Back to the SNGs and some database crunching

So I've been wondering - if my numbers say I'm up $1400.00 for the last months, why don't I have any F'n money in my poker accounts? So the other night I sat down for some serious spreadsheeting.

I keep track of everything I play in an Excel spreadsheet. Mostly because if I'm sitting at my home PC, I want to play poker, not figure out how to use Pokertracker. Someday I'll order Iggy's Book on the subject. So my spreadsheet shows Monthly won/loss amount (July sucked) and Yearly won/loss amount (+$1,400.00 ish). But that doesn't go into where I'm winning or losing money. So I broke it down further, into $5 sit n' go's. $10 SNGs, Multi-Table Tournaments, and Home Games/Live Tourneys.

So I'm up for the year in all these categories, but here's what I figured out - Big tourneys are a boost, but since I cashed out most of those winnings and spent it on other stuff, that's not part of my bankroll. SNGs are profitable, and I should stick with them for now. Live games are seriously profitable (+500 ish for the year), so play those whenever possible. Lay off the pissant $1 SNGs, because they're a waste of time. Stay away from online ring games.

This last thing runs counter to everything I've read, seen or thought. But here's the deal - I can't handle the swings at the levels I play at. I deposit $100 every couple of weeks or so, and a couple of cold sessions at a Party Poker ring game cleans me out. My risk is better managed playing $5 and $10 sit n go tourneys, and using profits to play in low-level Multi-table tourneys. So that's the current plan - play the SNGs til my bankroll is sufficient to handle the swings at the ring games, then mix up my play. And maybe think about building a cash bankroll. But it's too easy to use the cash I win to live off of, thus not touching my other income. But I should try.

On another note - I'm thinking about uprgrading my chips. I'm thinking pretty seriously about these. Let me know what you think, if you've played with them, likes, dislikes, whatever.



Monday, August 01, 2005

Good Weekend

Do you have any idea how long it takes to clean somebody out of $30 if the blinds are $.25 & $.50?

About 20 minutes if the somebody is Phil. Poor bastard would not allow himself to be pushed off the pot, and the Tainted-Ass Monkey Fucker (entirely too long for a nickname) dropped 3 buy-ins in record time.

In other news, Andrew learned a lesson about pot odds when I sucked out on him twice after he didn't bet hard enough. Good enough for a $70 profit for me. That'll do for an evening.