Saturday, September 30, 2006

How Long?

How long are we going to let ourselves be ruled by the incompetent? This guy is a caricature of a politician and he disgusts me.

I say this now, while it's still legal to say: We are within a decade of becoming a theocracy, ran by hypocrites and fools, and we will all yearn for the days of the old, 'decadent' society that allowed us to make our own choices about morality.


Mistress: "I'm reading your blog."

CL: "Oh no. I mean, oh?"

Mistress: "I'm looking for what you say about me."

CL: !

Mistress: "Hm. I like your writing. It's funny."

CL: "Thanks, dearest."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Okay, so I'm on my every-couple-of-weeks bloodletting, and I'm too tired to bitch about it. Hell, I’m just going to put up the ‘whine post worksheet.' You fill it in and just pretend like I wrote it:

Here we go again. I’ve lost __________ BB’s over the past hour/day/week (circle one).

I am the _________________ poker player ever! Every time I’m dealt ______________, it gets

a.) cracked;
b.) sucked out on at the river;
c.) knocked offline

If it wasn't for _____________, I'd __________ all the ____________!

I’m __________-ing tired of these _______________ players _____________ me on the ___________ with their crappy __________ (choose starting hand.) Online poker is so __________!

I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve

a.) never played the game before;
b.) lost all concentration;
c.) been unable to fold marginal hands;
d.) been anally probed with a barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat by Sam Farha.

I don’t think I’ll ever win again. Clearly, I’ll never make any ________________ at this game. I should _________ and take up __________ instead.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Since I'm not going to report my losing sessions in an effort to make myself look like a poker star, I've got to find some other things to talk about.

Is anyone else fucking sick of Ray Lewis? What a dick. Talk about letting it go to your head. There's a difference between being a leader and having to be the only one getting the glory. I'm probably the only guy in the world who thought his stripping the ball from HIS TEAMMATE so he could run it in for a TD against the Raiders was a dick move. Yesterday, there was a fumble late in the game against the Browns. Lewis jumps in LATE and takes the ball away from, yes, his teammate again, dances around and carried the ball off the field. What a tool.

Oh, and Shaun Alexander. You pussy, you homo. You brittle-boned, underachieving 'got my money now I'm gonna coast' motherfucker. Do you even CONSIDER how you affect other people when you break your foot and go on the disabled list for the foreseable future?


Friday, September 22, 2006

Two Bad Effing Days

I was probably going to blog about my lack luster poker play, or how we finally have DSL and I'm jacked into the collective, but I've had two REALLY bad days at work.

I nearly got shitcanned.

And I have poker blogs to blame for it. Well, I have myself to blame: blogs were only what I used to get myself in trouble.

But, I should start at the beginning. About a week ago, I started getting "You are not permitted to view this site-contact your web administrator" messages. Not being totally stupid, I realized that anything with "poker" in it was verboten.

So, I just needed to avoid urls with poker in them, right? Easy enough. Or, is it? (cue scary music)

I forgot that some blogs have "poker" in the URL, even if the name of the blog doesn't. And, I didn't know that, if you click on the comments link to a post with "poker" in the title, then you're going to have it in that url and it's going to get blocked to.

Or, I should say, blocked and reported. I got this ominous e-mail from my supervisor:

Chris, can you meet with me and __________ tomorrow at 2:30.

_______ is our agency's hammer. She's a very genteel fifty-something African American woman who speaks like a Harvard professor and weighs probably about a buck ten. But, the thought of meeting with her without a reason given beforehand strikes fear into any sane social worker. People who 'meet' with her tend to be announced as 'no longer working for the agency' at the next staff meeting. People joke about it and giggle nervously.

Of course! I respond. By the way, what's the meeting about?

No answer. Not a good sign.

I ask some discreet, probing questions of my co-workers and find out that someone else has a meeting beforehand. We confer, and try to figure out what might be going on. Promotion? Not likely. Special project? Possibly. I've recently had a goodly portion of my clients reassigned so I can focus on agencywide assignments.

But I have a sneaking suspicion this meeting won't be good.

My suspicions are confirmed within seconds of the meeting starting.

"We've been told by the IT department that you are playing poker online at work."

"Wha? Absolutely not! I've been reading blogs about poker, and I know that's wrong but-"

"What's a blog?" the Hammer asks.

Oh jeez, this can't be happening. I spend a surreal five minutes explaining how you can't play poker without downloading a ton of software and how that's impossible to do at work, what a blog is, and how I kept running into blocked sites. I wasn't shocked that the Hammer didn't know about this stuff, but the IT department surely should, especially if they're going to have people fired for it.

Clearly, the Hammer doesn't understand blogs, but she did seem to grasp that there was no way I could have played poker. She says that she needs to take the matter to the executive director and she'll 'be in touch' tomorrow.

That was Thursday. Friday is not a good day to be 'touched' by the Hammer- most people find themselves 'no longer working with the agency' on Fridays.

So, on Friday I sit at my desk and wait. And wait. I eat lunch. Then I wait some more. I can't concentrate on my work- I'm not inclined to do any if I'm going to get fired anyway. I go through phases of heart straining anxiety and nihilistic defiance. I compose a farewell e-mail to my co-workers and a letter to the executive director asking a chance to explain myself to him and the IT dept (neither sent.) I think about what I'm going to say if I'm fired. I wonder how I'm going to pay the mortgage and if we'll have to pull the Big Monkey out of pre-school.

In general, I'm in hell.

As the day goes on, I'm sure the Hammer's going to show up at the end of the day and can me. That would make sense- fewer people in the office and still get a full day's work out of me.

Finally, five o'clock comes. I go to my supervisor and ask what's going on. She calls the Hammer who tells her "Oh, we haven't come to a decision yet, we may have to wait until Monday."

"Screw this," I say. "This isn't how you treat people. I'm going home." I stomp out and drive home. I check the answering machine and find this message on it:

"Chris, this is Janet." my supervisor "Call me at home when you get in."

I take a breath and dial the number. "Hey, just wanted to let you know," Janet said. "The Hammer called me right after you left. You're not going to be fired, no repercussions, no written warnings- this ends here."

Ahh. Dodged a bullet. And learned a lesson- no more reading your degenerate blog entries at work. No way.

Learned something else as well- I'm done with this job. I have a lead on something new. This experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. Not to mention I've probably scuttled any chance I have at getting promoted.

I was supposed to have my homegame this weekend, but I'm exhausted from all this. I'm not up for anything today. I just want to forget about all this crap.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Overall, a good weekend:

Wanta B's Football League: Win (1-1 overall)

FFL: Win (1-1 overall)

Writing: Sold not one, but two stories to the "Best Of Neo-Opsis" anthology. Very excited.

Poker: Boo! Lost about 40BB's on Friday and Saturday, but have been able to recoup over half of it on Sunday and this morning. I was probably too tired to play this weekend; definitely not thinking much above level I, Definitely kept making stupid calls and bluffs.

I will persevere.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Weekly Wrap Up

Colin Powell is an American hero.

My question to the GOP: If your opinion is in the minority, and you accuse your opponents of being unpatriotic, don't YOU run the risk of being the traitors?

Actual writing news for a change. I've had a story sitting with Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, an up-and-coming Canadian publication, for over a year. I finally heard back from the editor who, sadly, rejected it.


He liked it and showed it to a new publishing company who was working on a Best Of Neo-Opsis anthology. The book's editor is interested in some original content and allegedly wants to include my story. I haven't heard back from that guy yet, but if all goes well, I'll have another credit to my bibliography (such as it is.)

I've had another story published by Neo-Opsis, so maybe it will make the cut for the Best Of collection. It's entitled "Putting Off 'Til Tomorrow..." and you can read a brief review here.

One of my writing goals was to be published in a 'best of' collection, so I'm very excited. In fact, I've gotten somewhat of a boost in interest in writing again. My idea tank has been dry for about a year, but I've had some interesting concepts lately. I'm going to look at some stories I have and get them polished up and submitted. Then we'll see about starting something new. The effort required, though, is somewhat scary. Not sure I'll have time to write and play. I may have to (gasp) compromise.

I'm going to pimp out some of the other stories I have available for sale in a later post, so keep an eye out.

Poker is goot, but nothing noteworthy. My 'roll's hovering around the $350 mark. My goal is $400 with 5k hands played before I move up to 1/2 LHE. My question: Is the number of hands sufficient in terms of 'putting my time' in at my current limit? I'm trying to avoid the rapid upward hike in limits then subsequent crash.

Good weekend yo. I'm heading to an actual par-tay tonight so I'll let you know if I find myself naked, violated, and chained to a street sign tomorrow morning. (One can only hope.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Competitiveness -EV for Poker?

I realized something today. Competitiveness is not always an asset in Poker. Not in the actual playing, but in the psychological realm:

I had a very lucrative (for me) week last week- won about 60 dollars/BB's, with about two thirds of it coming on Friday and Saturday. Yesterday, I drop $20 and I'm upset.

WTF? Excuse me? The need/expectation of winning every session is really silly and unrealistic. I'm way up for the week, month...hell...the year, and I'm sulky over ONE measly $20 losing session? Please.

I'm gradually getting the whole winning/losing thing into perspective and tempering my competitive spirit with reality, but there's still work to be done, obviously.


Speaking of work, I'll soon be putting this blog to work. So, if anyone has an ad they want to pay me to put up, shoot me some info and a link and I'll give it a look-see.

I'm hoping to make enough money to fund part/all of my upcoming Reno/San Fran trip.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mind Purge

Oh, baby! The dam just burst and a torrent of Aimless Stream of ConsciousnessTM is about to stomp a mudhole in your ass! Yeeeeaaaah boyeeeee!

Stick with it, there's poker content in there, I swear:

Isn't there a law against me doing so bad in fantasy football? I (used to) have an undefeated record on opening day.

I'm 2-0 today.

Oh well. A lot of this is a crapshoot. Who'd have thought Alexander would stink it up today? And Galloway went without a catch. Tony Gonzalez had a good start to the season, as did Anquan Boldin and Julius Jones, so I'm not exactly going to write the rest of the year off.

As long as we're talking about football, for Chrissakes, enough with the Manning vs. Manning showdown. I realise not even Stephen Hawkings could have imagined something as earth shattering as two brothers squaring off against each other but-

Oh, wait, Tiki and Ronde Barber. And they actually squared off against each other, as one played offense and the other defense.

I really don't think Payton v. Eli is worth maudlin, piano-laden human interest stories, with Chris Collinsworth tonguing the Manning clan's collective a-hole.

The Mistress and I have decided we want to go to Reno/Lake Tahoe/San Fran next year. Yes, there will be poker (oh yessss) but it's a family trip. Anyone have any suggestions about things to do and good, somewhat inexpensive places to stay in SF?

...oh, and where are the best cardrooms in Reno? Just asking, you know, out of curiosity.

I looked over my log and was surprised to see the winning run I've been on for the week. Alot of tense sessions where I'm done a bunch, then eke out a little win. This weekend, though, I've won over $30 at .50/1 and around $10 at .25/.50. My 'roll's over the $300 mark for the first time.

It's either feast or famine with me. I think I'm learning to deal with downswings a bit better, at least.

Pardon me if I don't find Clonie Gowan all that hot. A MILF? Yeah, I give you that one. Little long in the tooth for me, though.

And that's about if as far as poker content goes. I suck, but I don't have the time to get all analytical on your asses. And, God help me, I'm not all that interesed in doing it. I'm busy at work, and my home computer time is poker-dominated, especially when I'm winning.

Okay, tough guy, I'm writing this as I play, and I might be able to do so in the future, but I can't exactly write a treatise on the benefits of protecting your middle pair in a large pot while I watch flops. (Short version: you should)

Also, I'm just not knowledgeable enough to pass myself off as a teacher. I can parrot Sklansky's SSHE, but I can neither analyze it critically or expand upon it. At best I can apply it.

Speaking of knowledge, one of the top things I want to learn is how to figure out what my pre-flop equity is. I'm trying to break free of the paint-by numbers (although very good) guidelines provided in SSHE. I haven't found any charts offering these stats that I trust.

Is there one anyone can recommend, or is there no way around crunching hands through a poker stats application?

I have realized one thing, and it's given me a little more leeway pre-flop, is that SSHE's recommendations for loose v. tight games can be switched out based on my position and number of people in the pot IN EACH HAND.

In the past, I was determining if a table was tight or loose and then sticking with that assumption until I saw a trend in the other direction. Now, if I'm on the button, for example, and there're six limpers before me, I have a wider variety of hands I can play.

Why? Because my pot equity is higher. If there are six others in the pot, I only need to win one in seven times to break even, as opposed to one in three times if the table is playing tight that hand.

I know, I know, elementary stuff. I knew what pre-flop equity was, but I wasn't using my noggin to apply it outside of what I'd read in SSHE. I think this can only mean I'm growing. Now, what I need to do, is learn what pot equity I can expect out of potentially playable hands, and I can fine tune my hand selection even further.

If complaining how I can't write anything of substance and following it up with something that has some (slight) heft to it isn't Aimless Stream of ConsciousnessTM, then I don't know what is.

C'mon railbird, come back! You can't get us hooked then take our drugs away! I MUST see pros donk off huge pots then complain like the assholes I deal with in micro-limit land.

Ah, the Great York Interstate Fair! (Wind it up and it Runs Nine Days!) There's no better place to experience fat hick chicks in too-tight acid washed jeans, fat urban chicks in the latest "Ghetto Slut" attire, and carnies ogling your wife's boobs.

No, honestly, we had a good time, even though I may have to turn in my man card. One of the main purposes of the York Fair is to eat. A lot. I was geared up for fried this, frozen that, and maybe even a little barbeque this.

I started with what a light appetizer of fried veggies. Let me warn you, fellow fair goers, fried veggies, or as I'll forever refer to them "gut stuffer," is a fool's bet, a siren song. I was freakin' full to the gills after the last mushroom and it's golden-hued crispy shell went down my gullet.

No cheesesteak, no italian sausage, no (gasp) funnel cake! It was all I could do to force down a milkshake (large) before calling it quits. Quite disappointing.

Couldn't find any fried cheese curds, either. I would've made room for those, dammit.

How to shift your 4 year old's paradigm: Show her a cow being milked.

"That's how we get milk, hon."
Pause. Pause. "Oh."

Favorite T-shirts at the Great York Interstate Fair:
1. "I see dumb people"
2. "Silence is Golden. Duct Tape is Silver"

And, yes, since everything in my life works its way back to poker (according to the Mistress) I was talking gaming and poker with a Democratic candidate for the Pennsylania State House of Reps.

Dammit, his name escapes me, but he said that it won't be long before table games will be legal in Pennsylvania.

By his analysis, West Va. and Delaware will legalize table games "the second" the proposed slots parlors open up in Gettysburg and elsewhere. Pennsylvania will have to keep up with the "arms race" and allow table games as well.

Cool if it does, and God help me as well.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh, Sweet Endorphins

Mowed the lawn last night and that gave me a good boost. I need to see my doctor- the endorphin rush from that little bit of exercise was like a bong hit. Me thinkee my happy pills need to be tweaked.

In the near future, I think I'll write a bit about depression and how it feels to me.

For now I'll leave you a few things to ponder:

K9o, 68o, 39, A4o, 72o, Q3o, Q6o...

These are not good starting hands. Yet, this is just a mere sampling of the hands I got over and over and over last night. Card deadness=me.

The results of my last two sessions:

+$0.00 with a stack fluctuation of -18BB's and +1BB.

+$0.75 with a stack fluctuation of -4BB's and +4BB's.

Both nights at full attention levels, heavy into the grind. Glad I'm not doing this for a living.

On that tangent, I think it would be pretty cool to be a pro. Wow, what an earth shattering statement! It's incisive commentary like this that keeps 'em coming back. Seriously, I'd dig the sense of being my own employee, setting my own hours...I'd have to move, though, because I'd have to split my time between live and online...unless Pennsylvania suddenly decided to allow poker rooms. Fat chance of that, and just as well, because the Mistress would euthanize me if I even suggested it. (She lived through the unfortunate career change from social worker to brewer- I wouldn't put her through something like that again.)

Let me leave you with this question:

Which is more frightening:

A. That the US operates secret prisons, joining the ranks of the USSR, China, Nazi Germany and countless other dictatorships;

B. The fact that our President feels comfortable enough admitting, in public, that we operate such prisons.

Think about it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I was moving right along today and then, BAM! Depression just runs right over me. I'm in the dumps. Bad weather, bad food, no exercise, and my hot office is making me feel like crap! Now I understand how people who're depressed turn to destructive ways of self-medication. All I want to do is go home and either sleep or play poker.

I was taking a stab at eating better and I met my modest goals last week. Just screwed the pooch today though. What a fucking glutton I am! And, I need to get out and do some walking or lift some weights, even do some housecleaning. Something. Got to get the energy level up.

Poker is only 8.5 hours away. NFL starts tomorrow. Weekend in 2.5 days. Have to hold on. Hoooooold ooooonnnnnn!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Draft Disaster!

I didn’t get to my friend’s house until 3:30, just when our fantasy draft was set to start. I learned, to my intense pleasure, that they’d already chosen the draft order and I was first!

Outstanding. The only other time I’d made the starting pick was the year I won my first championship.

They were waiting for me to get there, so I didn’t have much time to think, but I knew who I wanted. I grabbed a sticker sheet and strode to the board. I pressed the sticker with “Alexander” on it to the board and did a little “in your face” move to my fellow team-members.

Everyone, strangely was silent, and remained that way for two picks. Then, finally, someone in the back says “Hey, Russo, did you really mean to pick a tight-end?”


Yes, I chose STEVEN Alexander instead of SAUN Alexander. Gah!

Thank God they were good sports about it. I put the Seattle running back’s sticker over the no-name tight-end’s to gales of laughter. It was so stupid, I couldn’t even come back with a witty rejoinder, I just sat down, shook my head, and took the abuse.

After the draft, got whored out playing silly games like 1-2-3 drop and Queens and Bitches. I'd never played them, and it showed.

Poker=Meh. Slowly recouping what I lost last week.

Hey how about that High Stakes Poker? I enjoyed watching Negreanu steam. I don’t dislike him, I just like the drama. Must’ve been tough on Lindgren, though, to pile on a friend like that.

I wonder why Abe Kaplan keeps grousing about the prop bets. I agree, it’s annoying to not know what they’re talking about, but I can’t see what the point is for Abe to keep saying that the producers have to do something about it. They do their commentary in post-production anyway, don’t they? Is Abe trying to send a message to the producers for later episodes? If so, this seems to be a silly way to do it.

I’d like them to incorporate the prop bets into the show- let us know what the bets are and what the stakes are.

HSP is the most entertaining poker program out there, no doubt. But, it comes across as canned, to me. Matusow was staked, that was clear. I’m wondering how many of the players are playing with their own money? How many are playing just for exposure?

There’s a rule of thumb amongst social scientists: You can’t get truly candid behavior from a subject once they know they’re being observed.

I find myself wondering how the play, decision making, and table talk is affected because of the oh-so-subtle cameras sharing the table.

Editor's note: Shaun Alexander. Gabe Kaplan. I steal time from work to write this crap, so I don't get a lot of time to proofread.

Friday, September 01, 2006

This Will Not be a Good Post

Just some disjointed tidbits to wrap up the week:

1. Fought back from being stuck 20BB's at a Stars .25/.50 limit table to finish up about a dollar and a half. Very satisfying to come back and post a winning session.

What's a 'bone' in relation to poker? Someone kept referring to other players as 'bones.' Given the context, I'm pretty sure it meant the same as fish or donkey. Has anyone heard this expression before?

2. Fantasy Football draft this weekend. This is a much more fun draft than my other league, as it's made up of my good friends from college. I've won back-to-back championships in this league and finished ITM last season.

3. Made reservations for AC! Not until March, though, and during the week. Weekends are just plain too expensive and I'm not confident that a poker player's rate will be available. It's a Thursday night, though, so I'm confident there will be action as it'll be getting close to the weekend. I'll have to think about playing a tourney- there's no other way but to consider it as -EV and it'll take precious time away from the cash games. Hmm, guess I've already made the decision.

I don't want to spend all my time at the Trop this trip. I want to try Caesar's renovated room, and maybe hit the Borgata. What I'd LIKE to do is build my 'roll at a 2/4 table then move up to 3/6 or even 5/10. We'll see.

4. The Bush Administration is now saying that people who don't support them in the war in Iraq are appeasing terrorists, and suffer from "moral confusion." That's nice. How soon before we have to round up these immoral appeasers to ensure a safe monarchy, er, country?

Oh well, I can't worry about that now. I need to get ready for the sickening display the GOP is planning for the 5-year anniversary of 9/11. It's unseemly how they claim each year's anniversary as their own, stirring up our fears for their gain while insinuating that they're the only ones patriotic and Christian enough to truly understand it. Then, as they drape themselves in the flag and rhetorically parade the dead in front of us, each of whom would vote Republican, presumably, if Clinton hadn't let Al-Queda kill them, they have the nerve to accuse Democrats of using the issue for political gain AND of being unpatriotic terrorists.

And I suppose most of the Little Brains out there who are too lazy, or dulled by their addiction to TV, or bullied by their clergy or by talk radio hosts, will lap it up again and vote for the GOP, who really couldn't give a shit about anything other than keeping the cash grab for the rich going for a few more years and pushing religion down our throats to keep us stupid and unquestioning.

Okay, I didn't intend to go on a political rant, but our country's in the worst mess I've ever seen and I'm tired of being quiet about it.

Anyway, have a good labor day holiday and win some money at the tables!