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Views: 996
Date Posted: Dec. 29, 12:55pm, 1 Comment

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.


There is great need for a sarcasm font.


How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?


Was learning cursive really necessary?


Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.


Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. And not just where to send the flowers.


I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.


Bad decisions often make the best stories.


You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.


Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my movie collection...again.


I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page article that I swear I did not make any changes to.


I hate leaving my house feeling confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.


I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.


I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.


Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.   Then there's my Dad who watched reruns of mysteries and never can figure out who is the killer.


I would rather try to carry ten plastic grocery bags in each hand than take two trips to bring my groceries in.


I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.


How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?


Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three times and still not know what time it is.


That's all I'm saying....

Views: 992
Date Posted: Dec. 24, 1:09pm, 2 Comments

Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns?

Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music. - Tom Sims


I came to truly believe in A Superior Being when I received my first toy at Christmas. It was the answer to my prayers.


I come from humble stock. Hell, our stock came from humble stock.  December 25th was a break in the routine of being poor, as I recall it.  

Or it was a break in being refused everything in the world that I thought I absolutely could not live without. As my parents remembered it.

Sure, love and security and caring discipline and a good home are nice, but somehow I figured toys were truly indicative of parental affection.


I remember Christmas.   Driving to Grandma's house (it was definitely hers, Grandpa was just paying for it) was ten hours winding through tiny towns on two-lane blacktop. A ride that's now barely seven hours on the Interstate.

Eight miles into the trip, well, some people credit my little brother and I with being the kids who first said, "Are we almost there yet?"

Detroit never made a car big enough for the two of us.   Michael and I would be about ready to kill each other by the time we finally got to Punxsutawney.

One trip, during a lull, I began to doze off and I thought I heard my folks discussing how they could sell us to the highest bidder. The next time they stopped for gas.

Mom was willing to just give us away.  But Dad told her she should be more practical.


When we'd burst into the house, Grandma would always be standing in the kitchen with an apron on and Grandpa was always on the toilet.

The kitchen would smell like fresh bread and warm cinnamon rolls and steaming coffee, which I never drank back then.   On the counter there'd be yellow noodles, dusted with flour, pounded on a thin towel.

The table would be straining to hold up under the weight of incredible dishes my Mom had learned to prepare as a girl.  But never seemed to have the time to cook at home.   I'd start eating like I was Idi Amin and I wouldn't stop until forced to go to bed.


On Christmas morning - when I was really little - I would levitate over my crib railing and roll down the stairs to the dining room.   There the biggest tree I had ever seen indoors would tower over a huge pile of brightly colored packages.

Did you ever notice how the trees seemed smaller as you grew bigger?


A few years later, I'd pop up in bed and Michael would be already sitting there, tapping me on the shoulder.  

"Let's go," he'd whisper.   It was about 2:40 a.m.   And we'd tiptoe out to see what we could see.  Once - real early - we saw Santa Claus actually setting out the presents.   He was wearing a red suit and a red cap and he had long white hair sticking out of the cap.  Oh, and of course, a long white beard.

Anybody else would've looked silly in that outfit.   He had the same build as Grandpa.   At first I thought Grandpa might have truly been Santa until Michael reminded me that he didn't have a beard.  

And another thing, I knew Grandpa didn't have a red suit or I would've seen it some other time.


We weren't allowed to start opening presents until everybody else was up.   So, we had to keep quiet until "a reasonable hour."  Which we decided was about 6 a.m.  Then we'd start accidentally bumping into stuff and telling each other real loud to hush.   "Quiet! You'll wake everybody up!!"  

Sometimes we'd have to actually holler a little.  Until Mom made Dad get out of bed.


When we stopped being the two cutest little boys anybody had ever seen in their lives, our parents told us they weren't going to put up with our nonsense any more.

And we'd have to start sleeping later on Christmas morning.

I was about eight and big for my age.   Michael was miffed 'cause he thought he still had a couple of good years left in him.  I'll admit it - he was cute.


No longer able to get by on just our good looks, we decided to use our brains.   I suggested - and Michael backed me up on this - since December 25th was really Jesus Christ's birthday, maybe we should open our gifts on Christmas Eve.  

You know, the better to focus on the true meaning of the Christmas holiday itself.

They fell for it.


Views: 1413
Date Posted: Dec. 23, 3:30pm, 0 Comments

As you get older, three things happen.  The first is your memory goes,

and I can't remember the other two. - Norman Wisdom."babies_copy_3-sh.jpg"


When I was a much younger man - 42 - my parents gave me an original copy of the New York Times for December 24, 1946, my birth date. The paper cost three cents when published.

Times have changed; bought the same publication just last Friday for two dollars.

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years. - Abraham Lincoln


Much has changed.

Back then, at all Horn & Hardart Automats, you could get a Christmas Day Special of selected young turkey, roasted to a golden turn by expert chefs, for 80 cents. Dinner included savory filling, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and carrots.

Gives some historical perspective to today's 99-cent menu at the local drive-thru.


In youth, we run into difficulties. In old age, difficulties run into us.- Beverly Sills.


Northwest Orient Airlines had seats available on their four-engine, 44-passenger luxury service from New York City to Portland, Oregon, for just $118.30 plus tax.

I am guessing the stewardesses were young and pretty and you would get a halfway decent meal at no additional charge. Oh, and your bags rode for free.

The bad news was the flight took 15 hours and 25 minutes.


You can live to be a hundred, if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred. - Woody Allen.


Prices were low, but so were salaries.

In 1946, 47% of American families had an annual income of less than $2,000.

In the classifieds, under Help Wanted-Female, bookkeepers were being offered $35-$45 weekly.   Another ad, this one in Help Wanted - Male, asked for "BKKPR, alert, commanding personality, managerial timber; $50 start."

An alert male was probably harder to find.

I didn't get old on purpose, it just happened. If you're lucky, it could happen to you. - Andy Rooney.


The president of the New York Stock Exchange had just received a raise to $40,000 annually. RADIO - that was the name of the company - led the most active trading list at 19,300 shares. Total volume was 1,170,000. (Today, every day, NYSE trading volume can exceed three billion.)

In 1946, on Christmas Eve, radio - the communications medium - was the most popular form of commercial entertainment.   That and pro whittling.

A half page of the N.Y. Times was devoted to a schedule of programs hosted by such superstars as Rudy Valee, Arthur Godfrey, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Red Skelton and Amos & Andy.

Not exactly The Morning Zoo.


How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was? - Satchel Paige.


A basketball game between Duquesne and Tennessee was called off when the Volunteers refused to take the floor unless assured Charles Cooper, the Negro freshman star, would not play for the Dukes.   More than 2,600 fans were already in the gymnasium when the cancellation was announced.

If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself. - Eubie Blake.  And Mickey Mantle.


An advertisement for the Capitol movie theater promoted Claudette Colbert and Walter Pidgeon in MGM's "The Secret Heart." That sentimental gentleman Tommy Dorsey, complete with his trombone and an augmented orchestra of 40 - plus comedian Jack Carter - was appearing in person.

The ad reads... "Parents! Is your daughter a problem child? Must her romantic ideals agree with yours or may she follow her own heart? Girls! Are your parents' ideas of love and life old-fashioned?"


There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age. I missed it coming and going. - J. B. Priestly.


I guess change is relative.

I have long been amazed by one woman's experience.  When my grandmother was three years old, the Wright brothers flew the first airplane 120 feet.   Just 66 years later, Grandma watched as Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.

My next few years could be interesting.

Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week. - Louis Kronenberger.


I'll be honest with you. When I three-bet out of position with two napkins and some mouthy punk folds like a beach chair, gosh, parts of me feel practically unused.

I play poker because it keeps me young.

Views: 398
Date Posted: Dec. 18, 1:01pm, 1 Comment

Become your own hero.  And act accordingly.

Always try to help a friend in need.  And love your friends, no matter who they are.

Believe in yourself.

Be brave...but it's ok to be afraid sometimes.  Just keep going.

Always be aware of what's around you.

Study hard.  And often.

Laugh often.  And hard.

Trust your instincts.

Don't be overly concerned with your weight, it's just a number.

Always try to see the glass half full.

Meet new people, even if they seem different to you.

Remain calm, even when it seems hopeless.

Take lots of naps.  Rest is good for you.

Be weird whenever you have the chance.

Don't waste food. Or time.


Take an occasional risk.

Try to have a little fun each day.'s important.


Invest in yourself.

Say 'I love you' often.

Express yourself creatively.

Be conscious of your appearance.

Always be up for surprises.

Love someone with all of your heart.

Watch your step.

Remember - it will get better.

Exercise to keep fit.

Live up to your name.

Seize the Moment.

Indulge in the things you truly love.

Cherish every day. 

Views: 408
Date Posted: Dec. 11, 11:59am, 1 Comment

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. - John 8:7.


1. Goal Setting. Analyze yourself. Be brutally honest. Where are you now? What have you done to arrive here? What have you done wrong? Done right? What are your defeats? What are your victories?

Now that you know where you are and how you got here, you must explore a new route to a new destination. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? Are you capable of reaching that level of performance and satisfaction? What are your goals?

Write down your answers. Be specific.

One key to a successful poker life is understanding what makes you happy as a poker player. What makes me happy is ending the month with more money than I started with. A simple goal, which may be a leak itself, as I am often hesitant to take necessary risks.

This goal is also insufficiently specific. Specifically, my goal is to show a $1000 profit


I came across the following example in another player's blog.

10 day goals: (November 21st – 30th) Win 5 nl cash game buyins. Win 10bb's in lhe. Have three consecutive winning sessions of cash games . Win 1 sng mtt. Get to 14,000 fpps on stars. Get to 8,000 ftps on tilt. Play 12 hours of cash. Play 50 sng mtts. Make $200.

Note. This player made $500 in that period. And while his goal was to win just one SNG MTT, he actually won 2 of 22.  Feel free to exceed your goals.

Cash is really just a means of keeping score. Do something with your winnings. Just don't let them sit there. Move up, if you're ready. Take a shot if you are feeling confident. cash out some portion of your BR, if you are ready to do some spending.

Which brings us to rewards.

My big goal is the 2010 WSOP.


2. Focus. For my happiness, "playing" poker seems somewhat inappropriate. I work at the game. Every successful, i.e., money-winning, player has worked at the game. And, if you don't keep working, you will soon fall behind. If I am not willing to do my best, I shouldn't sit down at the table.

But I do.

"Concentration is the secret of strength," Emerson explains. Personally, I need to eliminate distractions. The television is invariably playing noisily. Between hands, I am often e-mailing or surfing the internet. One of my changes must be to reduce distractions.

I am multi-tabling as I write this blog. The TV is blaring in the background.


3. Personal Improvement. The better your health, the better you will perform. At virtually every human endeavor. Including poker.

Phil Ivey sprints up and down the hallway in his palatial home. He lifts weighs in his private gym. Assassinato jogs 3 or 4 miles as daily as possible.

Poker may or may not be a sport, but you better get in shape if you want to win on a regular basis.

I recently purchased a fitness-club-quality elliptical trainer which awaits within an arm's reach. I get in a brief "sprint" during five-minute MTT breaks.

I have eliminated all beverages during play except for filtered ice water.


4. Better Players. Study them. Read their books. Rail their games. Watch their videos. Observe their lifestyles. Listen to what they say. Emulate winners.

"If you want to be a winning player," offers Antonio Esfandiari, "you really have to be one step ahead of the next guy. You have to be really, really determined."

Don't walk the poker road alone. Make friends. Form a sweat group. Share hand histories. Find a mentor. Join a training site.

Become active at Poker Curious.


5. Game Selection. Every time you sit down to play, you better have a reason for being there. First of all, are you ready to play your A-game? Are you confident, prepared, fit, etc? Assuming a positive response, you can maximize your win-rate with proper table selection. No surprise here - the softer the competition, the more you should be able to win. Is the game juicy? Are there players you can exploit?

Deciding when to play and with whom to play are the two most important keys to your poker profitability.


Bonus change to improve your game. William James said, "Act the part and you will become the part." Act as if you are already a better player. And believe it. You are not only skillful but unusually lucky.

Don't berate opponents in the chat box. Stay away from the Bad Beat Forums, because you don't yourself tell bad beat stories.

Think like a top player. Eschew tilt. Take pride in your game.

Set aside time to enjoy with your family. Read a non-poker book, one without too many pictures.

If you become a better person, you will surely become a better poker player.


By the way, I turned off the television. Bach is playing so softly I can hardly hear it.

I am playing better already.

Views: 455
Date Posted: Dec. 9, 9:49am, 3 Comments

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.


"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.


Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning : "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"


The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."


The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.. Be assured you are in my prayers."


The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."


So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . . Alone.. . .


 That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever.


Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient: But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.


But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well... She died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.


And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.


So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember --- When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Views: 351
Date Posted: Dec. 6, 3:10pm, 0 Comments

These are a few hands I saved, because I hoped to learn why I won or - more often - why I lost. The reason I lost is usually because I don't know how to play PLO/8 yet. The reason I won suggests a great percentage of the players in these MTTs know even less than I do. I suggest you give these games a try. Weak fields and it's not hold'em. My head's about to explode from hold'em. When you lose here, it usually your own fault, if you know what I mean. (I used to compare a hand's relative strength pre-flop. I used Cardplayer Tools to run the hand completely.)


An example of somebody playing worse. And me flopping good, with a weak hand.


PokerStars. $2.00+$0.20 Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level I (10/20) - 9-max Seat #5 is the button Seat 1: BARKER AJAX (3000 in chips)

Seat 2: thesebdu52 (3000 in chips)

Seat 3: Romtyx (2910 in chips)

Seat 4: blaster61 (292 in chips) (292 chips & we are still at 10/20.)

Seat 5: faustin83 (5736 in chips)

Seat 6: RangoTango (2410 in chips)

Seat 8: Hechtangler (2672 in chips) S

Seat 9: AcashisclayA (2860 in chips)

RangoTango: posts small blind 10 Hechtangler: posts big blind 20

*** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to BARKER AJAX [Ah 8d Qs 2d]

AcashisclayA: folds

BARKER AJAX: calls 20

ctlauck is connected

thesebdu52: raises 20 to 40

Romtyx: calls 40

blaster61: raises 170 to 210 (raised OOP without an Ace.)

faustin83: calls 210

RangoTango: folds

Hechtangler: calls 190

BARKER AJAX: calls 190

thesebdu52: calls 170

Romtyx: folds

*** FLOP *** [4c 3d 7h]

Hechtangler: checks

BARKER AJAX: checks (I now have nut low & am 80% to win Lo)

thesebdu52: checks

blaster61: bets 82 and is all-in

faustin83: raises 1264 to 1346 (set of 7s 80% to win Hi)

Hechtangler: calls 1346

BARKER AJAX: calls 1346

thesebdu52: raises 1444 to 2790 and is all-in (re-raises! with no chance for scoop, no chance for Lo, 8% chance of winning Hi.)

faustin83: raises 2736 to 5526 and is all-in

Hechtangler: calls 1116 and is all-in

BARKER AJAX: calls 1444 and is all-in Uncalled bet (2736) returned to faustin83

*** TURN *** [4c 3d 7h] [6h] *** RIVER *** [4c 3d 7h 6h] [9c]


BARKER AJAX showed [Ah 8d Qs 2d] and won (6007) with HI: high card Ace; LO: 6,4,3,2,A

thesebdu52 showed [Ts Ks Kc 5d] and lost with HI: a pair of Kings

blaster61 showed [2s 4d 3s 8h] and lost with HI: two pair, Fours and Threes; LO: 7,6,4,3,2

faustin83 (button) showed [5h 7c 7d 2h] & won (6007) with HI: a straight, Three to Seven; LO: 6,5,4,3,2

Hechtangler (big blind) showed [Qd 6d 9h Ad] and lost with HI: two pair, Nines and Sixes; LO: 7,6,4,3,A 

Lessons: Be timid early. Don't min-raise, especially out of position. Look for reasons to not play a hand. PLO/8 is not NLH - top pair in your hand is basically worthless. Don't chase a low if you do not already have four to a Lo on the flop. *** Typically, a 9 is not a card you want in your hand. It's useless for a Lo and you'll often find yourself with second Hi.


PokerStars Tournament  $4.00+$0.40 USD Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level 2000/4000 - 2009/12/02 18:49:31 ET 9-max Seat #9 is the button

Seat 1: BARKER AJAX (19782 in chips)

Seat 2: Y.S.o43 (64163 in chips)

Seat 3: alvaro442 (85749 in chips)

Seat 4: Dave5546 (24580 in chips)

Seat 5: dubai falcon (65887 in chips)

Seat 6: sirhc2304 (4479 in chips)

Seat 7: peerke55 (123728 in chips)

Seat 9: GrabYaGun (99496 in chips)

BARKER AJAX: posts small blind 2000 Y.S.o43: posts big blind 4000

*** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to BARKER AJAX [2d Jh Ad 8h] (double-suited:3 possible str8s, nut Lo potential) alvaro442: folds Dave5546: folds dubai falcon: raises 4000 to 8000 sirhc2304: folds peerke55: folds GrabYaGun: folds BARKER AJAX: raises 11782 to 19782 and is all-in (I'm a 62%-38% favorite vs. villain) Y.S.o43: folds dubai falcon: calls 11782

*** FLOP *** [9c 8s 7d] (Not a good flop for me. I'm 40-60 for Hi. 18% for scoop)

*** TURN *** [9c 8s 7d] [Ac] *** RIVER *** [9c 8s 7d Ac] [5c]

*** SHOW DOWN ***

BARKER AJAX: shows [2d Jh Ad 8h] (HI: two pair, Aces and Eights; LO: 8,7,5,2,A)

dubai falcon: shows [4h 2c As 9d] (HI: two pair, Aces and Nines; LO: 7,5,4,2,A)

 *** SUMMARY *** Total pot 43564  Board [9c 8s 7d Ac 5c]

BARKER AJAX showed [2d Jh Ad 8h] and lost with HI: two pair, Aces and Eights; LO: 8,7,5,2,A dubai falcon showed [4h 2c As 9d] & won (43564) with HI: two pair, Aces and Nines; LO: 7,5,4,2,A

Lessons: Sooner or later - especially later - you have to gamble. All you can do is get your chips in good and hope for the best.



PokerStars  Tournament  $4.00+$0.40  Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level 150/300- 2009/12/01 16:37:07 ET 9-max Seat #3 is button

Seat 1: BARKER AJAX (1645 in chips)

Seat 2: SonofEarle (3540 in chips)

Seat 3: GoGetsIt (4380 in chips)

Seat 4: leonk1968 (17686 in chips)

Seat 5: Steve9990 (5333 in chips)

Seat 6: coppler (8315 in chips)

Seat 7: domin1907 (7353 in chips)

Seat 8: carl rocks (12837 in chips)

Seat 9: Anosloucos (9844 in chips)

leonk1968: posts small blind 150 Steve9990: posts big blind 300

*** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to BARKER AJAX [5c 2d Ah 9d]

coppler: folds

domin1907: calls 300

carl rocks: folds

Anosloucos: folds

BARKER AJAX: calls 300 (I'm short-stacked & trying to see a cheap flop.)

SonofEarle: raises 1350 to 1650 (Villain is a 65-44% favorite pre-flop.)

GoGetsIt: folds

leonk1968: folds

Steve9990: folds

domin1907: folds

BARKER AJAX: calls 1345 and is all-in (I'd planned to call any raises.) 

 *** FLOP *** [5s Kh Ad] *** TURN *** [5s Kh Ad] [2c] *** RIVER *** [5s Kh Ad 2c] [7c] *** SHOW DOWN *** BARKER AJAX: shows [5c 2d Ah 9d] (HI: two pair, Aces and Fives) (triple counterfeited!!  Yikes!!)

SonofEarle: shows [4d As 3d Kd] (HI: a straight, Ace to Five; LO: 5,4,3,2,A)

*** SUMMARY *** Total pot 4040 | Rake 0 Board [5s Kh Ad 2c 7c]

BARKER AJAX showed [5c 2d Ah 9d] and lost with HI: two pair, Aces and Fives

SonofEarle showed [4d As 3d Kd] and won (4040) with HI: a straight, Ace to Five; LO: 5,4,3,2,A 

Lessons: I had a 31% of scooping pre-flop. Get three or four callers and it's not inconceivable you can triple up.  It is also not inconceivable you might get triple counterfeited.  Three pairs is not (usually) a winning hand.)



Views: 343
Date Posted: Dec. 3, 9:07am, 1 Comment


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