Friday, October 28, 2005

BetFair, Cryptologic, and PartyPoker

I have been wondering of late how the changes at PartyPoker influenced (if it did at all) the decision by Betfair to stay with Cryptologic. First of all, PartyPoker cutting loose all of their skins suddenly made the online poker world a much bigger place. Some of these skins will of course disappear, but I’m sure a few of them will hold on and gain a bit of market share as they build up a more loyal customer base. With so many new independents (even if it was against their will), it would defiantly be a much more scary place for Betfair to wonder into at this time.

At the same time PartyPoker also introduced more table games. One of Cryptologic’s biggest advantages was that it offered a lot more than just poker (poker counts about 30% of Cryptologics revenues). So now that the largest online poker gaming room is now offering more than just poker, Cryptologic has a bit more to worry about.

This can also be an opportunity. For those skins that just can’t cut it on their own without PartyPokers massive base, some of them may just move over to Cryptologic so they can once again take advantage of massive community of players. Obviously it is still a bit too soon to see how things will play out, but I for one hope that Cryptologic will come out the better for it, after all, I hold shares in the company after all.

Cryptologic is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol CRYP.
Cryptologic is traded on the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) under the symbol CRY.
Cryptologic is traded on the LSE (London Stock Exchange) under the symbol CRP.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Well, now that Meiers is out, things should get interesting. Personally, I’m glad she’s gone, but now we just have to wonder, what’s next? Let’s face it, Bush does not give a rat’s ass about this country, so he just may pick someone else who meets his high standards of quality, ie, ‘I’ve known him/her for more than a decade.’

I can remember back to the 70-80’s in the Cold War era. The big thing was the Russians and the KGB Turn in your friends, family, neighbors, any threat to the state and they would be taken care of. Over there they had absolute power, search, seizure, no courts necessary, they could just do it.

Today, I can remember the 2000’s in the USA and the DHS. Turn in your friends, family, neighbors, any threat to the state and they would be taken care of. Over there they had absolute power, search, seizure, no courts necessary, they could just do it.

I for one find the similarities pretty fuckin’ scary and depressing.

Bad Bet

A very painful thing happened on Tuesday night during the private poker game—MOTH held at PokerStars on the last Tuesday of every month. I actually went out in 15th place. I had been playing very tight, my stack was all right, but not great and I finally got my first pair (about 5 minutes before the first break). Well, I bet it very aggressively and got called by a new person who had been playing nearly every hand trying to push people off of theirs, and since the table was by and large tight, he was doing pretty well.

Well, once the pot was decent, I went all in—I mean I had been play so tight all game that you could have stuck a lump of coal up my ass and had a diamond by the break. This person called with a pair of 10’s. We both ended up with two pair, so naturally, I was out, but at the same time most of the table was shocked that he called me with that. At the same time, this person labeled themselves as overly-aggressive and was played as such.

So while I can’t call it a bad beat, it was defiantly a ‘holly shit I can’t believe he called!’

And don’t forget that tomorrow night is the weekly game hosted by Team PokerStars very own Wil Wheaton!

What: WWdN: Up4Poker Invitational
Friday, October 28th. 9:00 PM EST
Password: monkey
Tournament number:

See ya there!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bubble Tilt

Is there such thing as Bubble Tilt? Of my past six tourneys, I have finished twice in the money and four times I bubbled out! Being so close and yet so far is pretty bad, but when it happens so many times in so short a time period, it can almost make you sick to your stomach.

Oh well, just let it all go and get ready for tonight. This evening I’m in a $10+1 private tourney on PS. With a bit of luck I will land in the money this time, and trust me, my bankroll can use it! One of the tourneys I bubbled out on was a $10+1 just like this one, and since my bankroll was only $30ish, there is 2/3 all tied up. Add on losing those others and it will pretty well be depleted if I don’t make some cash here soon. Good thing Friday is payday…LOL.

Now there’s a goal, make your bankroll last 3 days till you can add on to it. All in all, on reflection it hasn’t been too bad. My original $25 bankroll has lasted me two months, playing between 3-9 hours a week and tonight will be my 3rd $10+1 tourney, I guess I haven’t been doing all that bad. One of the $10 tourneys I bubbled out on (that hurt) and the other I placed 7th (3 paid) so I’m getting there (I hope). But without a doubt, I can’t afford more that 2 of these private $10’s a month (a total of 5 are open each month), so I will need to pace myself and play smart on my very low-limit games and build up some cash to cover them.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

PokerStars Blogger Championship

10/23/2005 2:58:30 PM

Table 43 of 180, total of 1473 players.

Starting in the SB with a 52s—fold

10/23/2005 3:04:58 PM
Lost our first one already, AA v 72s, our Laggy Hectorjelly’s HAMMER got a flush!!

10/23/2005 3:09:49 PM
Be nice to get a hand to take Hectorjelly down a notch or two!!

10/23/2005 3:11:02 PM
Keeping my head above water, $2,090 in chips.

10/23/2005 3:16:19 PM
blinds are up to 15/30—looks like they go up every 15 min. We seem to have 3 no-shows at our table, I hope to outlast them! At least I get to steal their blinds every now and then!
Down to 1392 people on 155 tables.

10/23/2005 3:28:35 PM
My first big bad hand of the day, just lost about $150, my 88 went from 30 to 60 so I called (jmoney2424 is pretty Laggy). I had a weak flush draw and a decent straight draw. Had a bet of 30 and the river helped my straight and then an A on the river. He bet 90 and I called, he had been holding pocked A’s.
Blinds are now 25/50 and there are 1297 people on 144 tables.
My stack of 1,860 is now below average of 2289

10/23/2005 3:35:09 PM
DAMNITALL, just had KQ with a TJx board, bet was 80 to me, was about to go 150 when a dog snoot hit my arm and I FOLDED, arrgh!!

10/23/2005 3:40:33 PM
Seems like the only cards that are any good are the ones I fold, my best hand in quite some time just came up, T9, so why not, course I get raised and I call and the flop sucks so I check and get a huge raise…oh well I really didn’t want to place in this one…
The freakin’ no-shows are doing better than me!

10/23/2005 4:00:37 PM
Finally picked up a couple of decent hands, up to 2510, putting me on average for the table, one big stack at seat 9 with 5375, still the average now is 2781 with 1059 players on 118 tables.

10/23/2005 4:12:26 PM
Just went all-in with my JJ v. Hectorjelly (he initiated) and showed AA, was gonna go puke till I rivered a J!!  5195 in chips!!
10/23/2005 4:23:18 PM
Just made a stupid play, took my A4s to a 2BB raise (I was in the BB). Crap flop and fold, down to 4395. Blinds are now 100/200.

10/23/2005 4:29:30 PM
Well, we have officially outlasted ½ the field. We are now at 661 players on 74 tables.
Huge stack just moved in to replace Hector, 19000+!!

Well, not anymore, just took a big hit.

10/23/2005 4:38:23 PM
Cards, cards, cards, where are all the card?!?! Stack down to 3670, so sad…

10/23/2005 4:43:03 PM
HAMMER time…and folded.

10/23/2005 4:46:24 PM
Out in 408th place…oh well.

*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to Budohorseman [Jc Qd]Budohorseman: calls 200HugoBall: foldsjmoney2424: foldsthebrux: foldsHedman75: raises 600 to 800occabid: foldsmattmrob99: foldsQuilantis: foldshartman77: foldsBudohorseman: calls 600*** FLOP *** [Jh Ah 3s]Budohorseman: bets 600Hedman75: raises 5960 to 6560 and is all-inBudohorseman: calls 1345 and is all-in*** TURN *** [Jh Ah 3s] [8s]*** RIVER *** [Jh Ah 3s 8s] [3h]*** SHOW DOWN ***Budohorseman: shows [Jc Qd] (two pair, Jacks and Threes)Hedman75: shows [Ac Kc] (two pair, Aces and Threes)Hedman75 collected 5790 from side potmattmrob99 said, "gg"
Just a bit shy of making it into the top 25% and about 220 spots out of ‘the money’ or actually ‘the prizes’ in this particular case. Oh well, had fun and got some experience while I was at it, not too many dumb calls, but I should not have played that last set out of position, forced me to put too much into the pot and then have to call it, after my 600 bet before he put me all in, if I had folded I would be down to having to play the next three hands or be blinded/anted out of the game…

Friday, October 21, 2005

Back in the game

Well after about of week of sng’s without a single finish in the money, I finally had one last night…yeah for me!! My first one of the evening I went out in 10th, three short of the money and my departure put everyone else into the final table…so sad.

After a short break I sat back down and got into another sng. It was going pretty well, managed to get my stack up a bit and then just hold it there for what seemed like forever. As time went on, I eventually found myself at the final table again, and it was about frickin’ time!

As I gaze around the table, I find myself in 4th seat, and about ½ the chips are being held by three of the nine players. And so it begins, after a bit, one is down and we are now on the bubble. A few hands later and the next one is gone, yeah I’m in 7th and in the money! Of course 2nd stack is immediately to my right and is very aggressive. I try to get my chips in where they count, and eventually I manage to double up. Not too much later, one more down, and that big stack to my right is not so big anymore.

As play continues, I keep watching people drop off. I’m in 6th, now 5th, now 4th, hey, things are going my way!! Then I have an ‘Oh Shit’ moment when I realize that I have taken few of those chips and now all the other stacks are getting huge. Now I’m in 3rd and within two hands, I find myself going heads up! I’m all psyched up, but my opponent has about a 5:1 chip advantage on me so I have some work to do.

Based on the blinds, antes, and my stack, I’ve got about 4-5 hands I can play assuming I fold them all, but that’s not what we are here for. The first hand was unimpressive, a weak pair (55 or 77 don’t remember which). So I did a 2BB raise and he folded. Hand two was interesting.


I pushed in ½ my stack and got a call…


Top two pair plus a heart flush draw so I went all in and got a call…

Turns over 7h8h…crap!

Tc…now if I can just avoid a 9 or a heart…

And the river is….


Oh well, what can you do. Since I bet ½ my stack pre-flop, I probably just should have went all-in and maybe gotten a fold, but I wanted something he would play so I could get me some chips before the blinds went up again. Who knows, maybe I’ll cash in tonight!!

What: WWdN: Decker711 Invitational
Friday, October 21st. 7:00 PM EST
Tournament number:

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Laying Down a Good Hand

I had a moment of revelation today. Been reading up on poker and have read about a bajillion blogs and message board posts on the topic of folding a good hand. Not really that I did not understand the concept, I have done it myself dozens of times already. I had just been misunderstanding what they were saying. I had been reading “good hand” as “winning hand.”

By that they mean being able to lay down AdAc with a board that shows JhTh9h 8h Ks and everyone else is betting 30BB. Granted this is painfully obvious, but it also refers to laying down a low straight or flush, weak sets etc.

That little bit of clarity has made many of the posts that I have read make much more sense than before. Of course now I have a bunch I need to reread now….

Monday, October 17, 2005

'The Grieving Process'

So when did we develop ‘The Grieving Process’ and when did it become mandatory? I heard a new story this morning, and it was quite tragic. During this 5-minute sound bite, I heard about how a chartered bus carrying a local school band from a state band competition crashed into a semi that jackknifed in front of it.

Turns out, there were five deaths, the bus driver, the band director, his wife their granddaughter and a student teacher. This is of course a sad and tragic event. But listening to the school principal (or superintendent, not sure which one) talk about it on the new gave me that sick-to-the-stomach feeling.

During his 5-minute sound bite I’m pretty sure I never heard the name of anyone killed in the accident, but did hear ‘The Grieving Process’ mentioned no less than 23 times. They are brining on extra counselors to help students, staff, and faculty deal with ‘The Grieving Process.’ They are brining in twice the number of substitute teachers to help the students, staff, and faculty deal with ‘The Grieving Process.’ The day will go on as usual, but at any time anyone can leave class and find a counselor to help them with ‘The Grieving Process.’ At the start of the school day, everyone will hear from a counselor or psychologist at the start of class and be told about ‘The Grieving Process.’ As a community, we will all now have to pull together to get through ‘The Grieving Process’ so we can all move on together. And on, and on, and on.

With all that extra staff, there will now be pressure to participate in ‘The Grieving Process’ even if you are not grieving over these losses. I’m sure that there will be notes made about those who did not go through ‘The Grieving Process’ for signs of them being apathetic sociopaths.

With all of this focus on ‘The Grieving Process,’ it has changed from a measure to help those who could actually use the support into some type of obligation that many will just not understand. It may well even cause more problems as some of the kids ask themselves if they are bad people or if something is wrong with them because they do not feel the need to be a part of ‘The Grieving Process.’ What will people think of me if I do not go through ‘The Grieving Process’ with them? I didn’t make it to that candlelight homage at 5 A.M. for some people I’ve never met and only one of which I’ve even heard of?

I’m not trying to belittle the tragedy that occurred. I’m sure that many of his students and several member of the faculty and staff will feel this loss sharply. It is the sense of obligation and the constant invocation of ‘The Grieving Process’ that, to me, is actually belittling the fact that a tragedy has occurred. The people who need to grieve will grieve in their own ways in their own time. Indirectly forcing everyone else into it will only detract from those who actually will.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pledge 2.0

Are kids still required to recite the pledge of allegiance in schools? No matter, it’s still done at US government events and US military bases worldwide. Like so many other things, it just seems to be a bit dated and out-of-touch with today’s society. So now I present to you the Pledge 2.0 Beta! Comments and suggestions are welcome!

I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America and to the corporations, for which it stands, one economy, under God, increasing deficits, with dividends and stock options for all major shareholders.


Had a very new and really quite painful experience last night. Playing in my SNG, just make it to the final table. My stack was pitiful and I needed to move soon or I would be blinded anted out in about 2.5 orbits or so (200/400+50).

So there is the button, about 3-4 seats away and I got some cards I was considering when…blackness! The computer for some unknown reason decided at that moment to lock up and go blank. I stared at it for a few seconds, jump into ‘oh shit’ mode and reboot.

Sadly, this computer has been in need of a format and reinstall for years, but the roomie hates it when I do that, mostly because she doesn’t back anything up or keep track of her activation codes etc. As a result, it takes a good (well, not good per se) 5-10 minutes for the damn thing to come back up and to get logged on.

By the time I managed to get my game back up, the button is pretty much back to where it had started. My already small stack was pretty much gone and now I was UTG and could last one more orbit. Got a KX, went all-in and of course busted out. So this month I’m getting one more new hard-drive, setting myself up a RAID and reinstalling everything and have a nice clean, fast system again!! Not that it will help my game mind you, but should that happen again I should be able to get back on in a hand or two, rather than ten!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Register on PokerStars for the Blogger Tourney

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 1373220

Life goes on...

Well, I pick up Moto’s remains on Monday. I got a bit of a surprise too. Turns out that the vet made a resin paw print of her and put her name on it before they sent her off with Gary for cremation at the Pet Valhalla. That pretty much brought me to tears again, it was quite touching and completely unexpected.

She is currently on the ancestor altar at the Zen Center and will be there until the ritual on November 12th. At that time, we will put her ashes in the Zen Garden and have some little indicator there as well. Just need to pick us a nice spot, after all, one day I will be there too!!

And this just in, WWdN is hosting a poker tourney!! That should be quite fun!
What: WWdN Where's My Burrito? Invitational
Friday, October 14th. 4:00 PM EST
Tournament number:

This tournament is open to anyone who reads WWdN or WWdN:IE, or who happens to know that the password is monkey. :)
It should be fun, a nice warm-up to the PokerStars Blogger Tourney, and if enough people show up (and enjoy it, of course) I will make it a weekly event, with the time (and buy-in) rotating to accomodate everyone who wants to play.

I’ll have to see what I can do to make it, will need to get out of work a bit early, but I will be able to make it up next week!

Just recently I was in a satellite tourney that was a $3+$.30 with Re-buys and Add-ons. I had budgeted myself the But-in, one re-buy and the add-on, so at most $9+$.30 for the tourney. I was not prepared for how willing people are to throw their cash away and get those re-buys. There were two people at my table who did 5 and 6 re-buys. I saw only one person lose their stack and leave, and a few others did 2 or 3 re-buys. My theory was if I couldn’t make 3000 chips last me the first hour I had no business being in the tourney.

Well, about 45 min into the game I’m down to about $850 and the blinds were $75/$150 and everyone at the table had done at least 2 re-buys and then those two who had done the 5 and 6 re-buy’s, well let’s just say that there were a freaking ton of chips on the table and my stack was effectively crippled. So I was considering doing my re-buy when finally, I hit some cards, made a hand and doubled up. Now I have about $1,700 and about 10 min left till the re-buy period ends and the break/add-on period starts.

At $1,700, it was survivable at the table, but I figured that if I didn’t hit some cards before we got down to 3 min left, I would bet out the minimum I could to get me to $1,500 or lower so I could do one re-buy and then the add-on shortly thereafter and return from the break with around $5,000ish. Just when I was getting ready to make that play, I caught some cards again and once again doubled up just before the break. When the next hour started I had a little better than $6,000 after my add-on.

I ended up busting out around half and hour later. My stack hadn’t changed all that much, but all the ones around me were getting quite large and those blinds were going up. I ended up in the BB with K2s with a couple limpers. The flop came K2X so I made a 3X BB ($1,600 I think) and got a caller. The turn came 2 so I went all in and got called again. Couldn’t believe that my full house KK222 lost, but that jerk had KK so he had the 22KKK full house. Oh well, that’s poker for ya!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oh no Moto

Oh no Moto!!

Today I did the toughest thing I ever have had to do…I had to put my dog down. Part of the reason it was so difficult, was that it was bloat. When I let her out at 5:45am, she seemed to be ok, maybe a bit stiff and slow, but hard to tell after just crawling out of bed. Not to mention the fact that she is a 13-year-old Akita!

So I let the other dogs out, got the coffee going, turned on the morning news, and let the other dogs in—she usually stays out in the mornings. I get ready and head off to work.

Around 9:42am I got a call from Sue asking me if Moto looked all right this morning. I told her she seemed fine (I may have mentioned her being a bit stiff, but I really don’t remember). Sue then told me that she was not responding well, was drooling quite a bit, seemed a bit bloated and asked me what I wanted her to do. I told her that if she though she needed to be taken in to go ahead and make the arrangements.

When she called back about 15 or so minutes’ later saying that our regular vet was out for a week, and the referral was someone who is not on our top 10 list, she wanted to know if I could do another vet (with some, they want payment in full if you are not a regular client). I told her to go ahead.

It is very unusual for Sue to call repeatedly about animals unless there is something very wrong. I finished up what I was working on and got myself out early and on the road, probably before 10:30. I was on my way home when Sue called me on my cell, she didn’t know that I had left, to tell me that she had at least one appointment for late in the afternoon, but she had just gotten a referral to a friends vet, so she was going to call them.

I was almost home when she called my cell again to tell me they would see Moto as soon as she got there, and that they had just left the house. So in just a few minutes, I was on my way there to.

We pretty much got there at the same time. I got poor old Moto out of Sue’s truck, and it was pretty obvious that she was not well. We got her out of the truck and into the vet’s. She pretty much just collapsed as soon as we hit the lobby, and just lay there panting. A couple minutes later and we were in the back (Moto needed to be carried) and waited for the doctor to show up.

It didn’t take him very long, a check to her heart showed irregular heartbeat, her gums were pale and cool, and her abdomen was distended. Then he said “I hate to do this to you now, but she is bloated and we need to know now if you want us to attempt surgery or if we should euthanise her.”

I looked to Sue for advice, but all she could say is that she was my dog. I don’t think that Sue understood that I was trying to get her view on what Moto’s chances were. Then the doctor spoke up with something I could understand—he talked numbers.

“Based on her current condition, I’d say she has a 50% chance of surviving the anesthesia, and maybe another 50% chance to survive the actual surgery. Depending upon how bad things are, we will probably need to remove some intestine and her spleen. Her recovery will not be easy. Then you also have to take into account her age…”

Once I heard that, the decision, while not easy, was quite obvious. 4:1 against her surviving the procedure weighted by the fact that she is a 13 year old Akita, a breed that normally has a span of 10-11 years. Somehow he managed to understand that I said, “Then I guess we have to put her down…”

“That’s the right choice” he said.

A few moments later and he had shaved a spot on her arm, tied it off, and put in a needle. The next moment, he had pushed the solution, and after a few more pants, she was gone. As her body settled, some of the gas that had built up gurgled out a bit, and then I knew that my Hashiimoto was gone.

Just last night she was all bouncy and happy, as animated as ever. I would guess that she was starting to get uncomfortable around 5ish in the morning when she woke me up. She didn’t show any signs, she just seemed less than her usual chipper self. A few hours later and she was gone.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved that dog. She is simply one in a million. There isn’t a creature in this house that didn’t love her, and I’m sure that before too long they are all going to realize that she is not here anymore. I’m pretty sure that her sister knows already, you can tell by how she looks at the door every time it opens and closes and Moto does not come out.

The cats will all be missing her quite soon too. They would always rub up on her and it was not uncommon to see a cat curled up with her when she was lying down and sleeping. Heck, even the pig will miss her, she was the only one who would let him sleep by them and she also tended to never finish all of her kibble, so he would always have something more to eat when he was done with his pig food.

I think one of the last things I said to her other than “I love you” was “thank you.” She brought me more happiness and joy than anyone has a right to expect. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be there with her at the end. She gave so much she deserved that much.

And now tonight will be the first night that I go to bed without my dog…

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

World Peace

During last nights Dharma talk, Tony was doing the Q&A and the concept of World Peace came up. Most people’s view of peace is quite confused and unclear. Most people assume that when you are not at war, then you must have peace. This is obviously not the case, when you are not at war, then you are in a state of not-war.

When you consider peace to be that point in time where you are not blowing someone up, then you live in a state of confusion that will eventually lead to more war. To be at peace requires that you can respect and understand, not necessarily agree with mind you. It requires that you can work together co-operatively despite any differences that may exist.

He also finds it very funny that so many people want to do something to help bring about World Peace but are at a loss as to what to do! World Peace is a wonderful to aspire to, because it is nothing more than a nebulous fiction that exists ‘out there.’ Spending a lifetime working towards World Peace is really just a lifetime working on nothing.

How can this be you ask? Well let me tell you. How can you get to World Peace if you can’t first take out the garbage, wash the dishes, do the laundry or take care of the yard? How can you have World Peace if you don’t even know your neighbors name? How can you have World Peace if you can’t help that person two doors down mend a fence or help them change a tire?

How can you build World Peace if your own house isn’t in order? How can you have World Peace if you can’t help a neighbor or stranger in need? World Peace starts very simply. It starts with each and every one of us. It does not require that we go to demonstrations or protests. All it requires is that we take out the garbage, wash the dishes, and do the laundry. It starts with your own home and with helping your neighbors.

It is very easy to point to something ‘out there’ and worry about it. It is very difficult to look at what is right in front of us. As a nation, we all pulled together for the Katrina and Rita relief efforts sending our extra cash and supplies their way. But check your local food bank. Many of them have been coming up very short because everyone sent their extra resources ‘out there.’

World Peace starts simple and small. It starts with each of us in our own homes. It reaches out to our neighbors, our block, our neighborhood, our city and so on. World Peace is a bottom-up process, not a top-down one. Until we all start working from that approach, World Peace will remain that nebulous entity in the sky!


Monday, October 03, 2005

So how was your weekend?

Got a bunch of yard work done this weekend...hopefully did the last mowing of the year and got some patches re-seeded. We’ll see how things look in a few weeks here.

Spent a good amount of time out at the Zen Center. Had the 2nd annual Compassion Fest, sort of an interfaith venture out at the DeKoven Center. Lot’s of music and art, garden walks and contemplations, critter mandalla, and a lot of donations for the food bank in Racine, the primary reason for this event. All in all, it turned out to be a very nice day, and the rain held off until everything was put away!!

Only sad thing was with everything else going on there was no time for poker—LOL!!