Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I had a day of firsts today. For the first time, I won two multi-table tournaments in the same day. The first was my initial victory in a Shark event. I had come close before, but had never won one. The second was a victory in The Poker Forum Challenge (TPFC) open buy-in event.
How quickly things change. I was heading toward the final table in TPFC freeroll tournament earlier when some guy made an unbelievably donkish call on me and took most of my stack. He was the initial raiser and I called with Q-10 suited - my favorite hand - and saw a flop of Q-6-6. He checked, I raised big, and he called. The turn was a 6. He checked, I raised big, and he called. Now, I didn't think he had the 6 -- maybe playing A-6 suited -- but he could have had KK or QQ since he raised first. If so, I was prepared to lose on that. The river comes -- a Jack. He checked, I went all in with a boat -- sixes over Queens -- and he calls -- with J-J! The mofo went all the way to the river and risked almost his entire stack because he couldn't lay down his pocket Jacks even though there were three sixes on the board, an overcard (the Queen), and I was betting big-time. He gets his freakin two-outer and I was destroyed.
As I sat there stunned at how someone could make such a stupid play late in the tournament (he was not short stacked), someone said "Gutsy call." Gutsy call? It was a fucking stupid call for the ages, and the mofo gets my chips AND the admiration of someone who must have been just as stupid.
I briefly considered my retirement from online poker, and thought of my poker bud, murrythecat, and how he felt after losing deep in a tournament by a boneheaded play. Gawd, it sucks.
I soothed myself with some boneless wings and prepared to play my evening tournaments. Good thing I didn't retire.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The trial started Thursday morning with brief opening statements by the prosecution and defense. The defendant was being charged with breaking into a home and stealing $50 and two guns. The guns were lawfully owned. The big evidence against the guy (a 19 year old "kid", imo, with only a 9th grade education) was a set up footprints leading from his house to the house that was broken into, and a set of footprints leading back to his house. We know that drugs are somehow involved (based on questions asked in jury selection), but that information is being kept from us.
A full week after the break-in (why so long?), a SWAT team (overkill?) shows up at 8:00am at the kid's house, where he lives with parents and five siblings. There may also be a friend at the house. A SWAT team member sees the defendant trying to head out the back door, yet the defendant is the second person to exit from the front door? It did take some time for people to exit, but if you can imagine a SWAT team coming to your house at 8am ...
The prosecution sends up several police to testify. But hmmm ... where is the SWAT guy who saw the defendant heading out the back door? Not there. A specialist in crime scene investigation takes over 100 pictures, including pictures of the footprints and a picture of the door (where the illegal entry took place) , yet apparently didn't measure the footprints? And there was no mention of fingerprints found either inside the house or on the stolen guns? And the worst evidence was the defendant's own statements to police after being questioned after exiting the house during the SWAT raid? So a veteran police officer was able to verbally confuse the kid and get him to "admit" (the kid mixed up names) he stole the guns?
The guns were found in the defendant's little sisters' bedroom about 15 feet away from his door. But they weren't found until a week after the burglary. Couldn't someone else have put them there?
The kid had a hokey story. He said that a friend broke into the house. The defendant said he wanted no part of the break in, but was apparently not averse to dealing in the stolen booty, which appeared to include a pound of marijuana and some crack. Funny -- the victim didn't mention having drugs stolen from his house ... and most jury members actually found him scarier than the defendant.
When Thursday ended, right before closing arguments, I didn't think that I could find this guy guilty of stealing the weapons. He may have been the one to break in, but where was any physical evidence? Did the police even attempt to collect real evidence? Did the other jurors have the same reservations I did, or was this going to look like a repeat of Twelve Angry Men?
Closing arguments were Friday morning. A last-gasp emotional plea by the prosecution was silly. The lead defense attorney, a public defender, was clearly the best attorney in this case. She stated pretty bluntly that even if the defendant had something to do with the attempted sale of the guns, it was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the one who stole the weapons.
Both sides rest and the jury left to deliberate. One young guy asked to be the foreman and no one disagreed, so he was it. The foreman asked that we take an initial vote to see where we were. The first two votes were Guilty, and I was thinking "uh oh...". However, the initial count was 9-3 for Not Guilty. We started discussing the case, and everyone was speaking at the same time. Our foremen sat on his hands, so I quieted everyone down and asked that we speak one at a time so that everyone could be heard. We went around the table, and practically everyone was thinking the same thing: the kid was involved, but there was nothing to prove that he went inside the house and stole the guns.
We all knew we were missing parts of the big picture and would hopefully find them out after the case was over. The three who initially voted Not Guilty quickly changed their votes after hearing the resons why the rest voted the other way. The deliberation was over very quickly.
We went back into court and the verdict was read quickly. We were dismissed, and it was over.
Today's (Saturday's) local paper had a small article about the case. It appears that the defendant allegedly shot one of the guns into a car a few days after the theft, and the shooting was what led the SWAT team to the kid's house.
My questions: 1) Why was virtually no physical evidence collected after the guns were stolen? Was it because the crime was seen by police as one low life stealing from another? 2) Couldn't they get the kid on anything other that stealing the guns? 3) How did this case ever go to trial with such a lack of evidence?
I doubt that the defendant learned much from the trial except that lies sometimes might work. My guess is that he'll soon either be in prison or a grave. What a way to waste a life.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Day 1 : Report at 9:15 am. We see an instructional DVD and find out that one jury is being selected that day. I am not among the jurors to be interviewed and am dismissed for the day at 10:45 am. Rough day.
Day 2: Report at 9:30 am. I am delighted to see that a woman brought her laptop with a wireless connection and is playing Omaha H/L (for play money) on PokerStars. The guy sitting next to her is a poker player, so I feel a little more at home. We are told that a jury will be selected today, but since we are late in the morning, we will break for lunch early. What a tough life!
The jury selection began after lunch. A group of twelve were called to the jury box, and the first four were accepted by both sides. Two of the second four were excused, and I was called to replace one of them.
I was asked about previous jury duty. I served twice, but never was on a jury. One of the prosecuters asked me several questions, and I was sure I'd be excused. Much to my surprise, both sides accepted me.
The trial has to do with a residential burglary and involves guns and possibly drugs. Being pretty much an innocent guy most of my life, my time in a courtroom has been extremely limited. Tomorrow should be interesting.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I am second guessing myself on two moves: 1) The final move; and 2) A time late in the tournament when I laid down a good hand to a substantial all in. It seems like I have gotten burned more often than not in those situations, but if I could redo things, I would probably make the call.
I definitely need to improve my game when down to the final six or so. When I play live tournaments, I generally kick ass at the final table. In online tournaments, however, I have not been as successful. It's funny - I made the final table and cashed, yet feel a lack of satisfaction. I guess that winning or chopping is the only way to get that tournament buzz now.
In other exciting (yawn) news, my softball team squeaked out a one-run victory last night. I got two hits and was safe on an error, so no complaints there. However, I am now paying the price for not having my injured finger looked at when it was first injured. I finally went to the doctor since I am having trouble bending one of my fingers. The X-rays showed that I had a multiple fracture that is not healing correctly. I have an appointment to see a specialist 100 miles away in a few weeks. Lesson: Get to the damn doctor even if you hate going there.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
1) My senior year in high school, I won second place in my state for Mr. FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). I was going up against a guy from a top school, so I lied a little about my future plans to seem a little more competitive. Maybe I'd have won if I'd told the truth. My first unsuccessful bluff??
2) I grew up with a murderer who is now finally being tried for a murder he committed over twenty years ago. The original murder trial made national headlines because the guys who were convicted were on death row, then were exonerated. Oops -- almost executed the wrong dudes.
I went to college with a guy whom the press nicknamed "Dr. Death." He was a physician who killed several people. We don't know how many, but there is speculation that the number might exceed 40 internationally.
Get the message? Don't screw with me ... he he
3) I have a degree in Clinical Psychology. Most interesting professional moment was driving in my car with a student who was suicidal, not knowing that she had slit her wrists and was hiding the blood under her sweater.
4) I am addicted to the Polar Pops that you can buy at Circle K gas stations. I get a Diet Coke, then shoot it with a big stream of cherry fountain syrup. Yum!
5) One of my all-time favorite movies is The Valley of the Dolls. It's sappy and crappy, but I still like it, dammit!
6) I have no middle name.
7) In the summer during my college years, I sometimes worked as many as 70-80 hours/week. Never let it be said that I was a lazy shit.
Okay -- time for me to tag some bloggers. I choose ...
Okay, guys -- hope you join in the game!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Life continues as I let the reality of massive debt set upon me. This will be an interesting summer as we prepare to buy one house and clean, fix up, and move out of our old one. Got an estimate on replacing all our sliding glass windows -- ouch! Looks like I will be a living, breathing ATM for the next few months. I am unsure about going to Las Vegas until the smoke clears.
I was on Absolute Poker tonight to register in a private freeroll. I decided to play in a qualifier that cost some frequent player points. I haven't played much on Absolute in months, but for some reason decided to get in. I qualified for the next round, which didn't start for a few hours. I fell asleep and woke up just in time to get in and was reading articles about staging your home for potential buyers.
I got involved in a pot with K-5 hearts just to get a little action while reading. The flop brought an Ace of hearts, another heart, and a rag. Being tired and with no money invested, I decided to chase the nut flush draw and try to get a stack or go to bed. As luck would have it, I spiked a heart on the turn and took in a huge pot, crippling a few players. One player in particular was quite upset, and proceeded to vent. And then ... omg ... he said that he was writing a donkey note on me. Ha ha - haven't had one of those written (as far as I know) for some time. Like I freakin care. Got a few more important things to worry about, bud.