Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Storm Bonanza

Right on time, the winter storm that has been predicted to cause many problems across the midwest and the country began with a light, then heavier snow fall this afternoon. Now, almost five hours later, the ice is coming down.

However, I think the dude working at, their "editorial meterologist," must have just graduated with a bachelor's in advertising or something. Excerpts from the web site:

Multi-Day Dangerous, Destructive Winter Storm

A multi-day, multi-region potentially historic and destructive winter storm will unleash its fury beginning Monday and will last through Wednesday.

When everything is said and done, the storm may very well impact a third of the population of the United States; approximately 100 million people.


Incredible ice accumulation with some towns/cities experiencing as much as an inch of ice. This is destructive and crippling amount of ice which will knock out power to potentially hundreds of thousands of customers for days if not weeks.

Dude -- chill!

I have a feeling that I might be off work a day or two. I only hope that the ice doesn't cause the power outages that some are fearing.

Where is the damn global warming when you need it?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nice Run in WBCOOP 2011 Main Event

Although I got off to a very slow start, patience paid off in the WBCOOP 2011 Main Event as I finished in 25th place out of 872 runners. Almost six hours invested to fall short of the final table, however, was disappointing.

For the first couple of hours I was not getting anywhere. Then, horror of horrors, when I was short stacked and waiting to shove, I got distracted with a home matter and inadvertently folded pocket Aces! Needless to say, my language was quite colorful and objects were flying through the air!

I lucked out when I got Q-Q in the Big Blind and had two people raise. However, the flop brought an Ace and I thought I was a goner. One of the guys raised and drove the other player out. He had A-9 and flopped two pair. But then ... a Queen on the turn and I was back in the ball game!

Other bloggers who were hovering in the good half of the leader board for much of the tournament included wolfshead and Drizztdj. I eventually was at a table with wolfshead for the better part of an hour.

I played fundamentally solid poker and only had one player upset with me. Late in the tourney I raised in early position with A-Q and faced an all-in for a good percentage of my chips. I was guessing that, at worst, I was flipping. I was playing for first place and snap called. An Ace on the flop took care of his pocket Jacks. He couldn't believe I made the call so fast. The hand helped catapult me all the way to second place. However, a semi-bluff on a nut flush draw devoured a big chunk of my new found chips. Had I binked a diamond I would have been in first and had a nice cushion. As it was, I dropped down to about 14th place where I tended to hover as the play slowed down when we got to the $215 ticket bubble.

After the bubble burst, the play got wild and crazy. I didn't have the cards or position to push, so I just waited patiently for my chance. I got it when I was dealt K-K on the button. There was three-way pre-flop action and I had hopes of tripling up and moving toward the front of the pack. However, this happened:

Awk -- out in 25th place! One guy claimed he had J-J but folded. That would have made the hand even wilder. But -- what can you do?

So ... the only 2011 WBCOOP event I went deep in was the Main Event, so I guess I can't complain. My only question is ... who the hell were most of those players?

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

This Is How I Roll at WBCOOP

PokerStars Game #56638502007: Tournament #339187691, Freeroll Omaha Hi/Lo Pot Limit - Level XIII (400/800) - 2011/01/27 1:21:18 ET
Table '339187691 24' 9-max Seat #8 is the button
Seat 1: BUDA505 (20204 in chips)
Seat 2: WildDuces234 (12937 in chips)
Seat 3: timprov_mn (9879 in chips)
Seat 4: justalady42 (3059 in chips)
Seat 5: clearspine (41219 in chips)
Seat 6: bishkek4 (1820 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7: homer535 (48944 in chips)
Seat 8: callle82 (3570 in chips)
Seat 9: lightning36 (4944 in chips)
lightning36: posts small blind 400
BUDA505: posts big blind 800
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to lightning36 [3h Ah 4s 7d]
WildDuces234: folds
timprov_mn: folds
justalady42: folds
clearspine: folds
bishkek4: folds
homer535: folds
callle82 has timed out
callle82: folds
callle82 is sitting out
lightning36: calls 400
callle82 has returned
BUDA505: checks
*** FLOP *** [Jh 9h Kh] Ace-high flush!
lightning36: checks
BUDA505: checks
*** TURN *** [Jh 9h Kh] [4h] Yessssssss
lightning36: bets 800
BUDA505: calls 800
*** RIVER *** [Jh 9h Kh 4h] [9d] I don't think he has a boat
lightning36: bets 3200
BUDA505: raises 3200 to 6400
bishkek4 is connected
bishkek4 has returned
lightning36: calls 144 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (3056) returned to BUDA505
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BUDA505: shows [Qh Th 5h 2h] (HI: a straight flush, Nine to King) SHIT !!!
lightning36: shows [3h Ah 4s 7d] (HI: a flush, Ace high)
BUDA505 collected 9888 from pot
No low hand qualified
lightning36 finished the tournament in 74th place
lightning36 wins a 'SCOOP - $11 Entry' ticket
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 9888 Rake 0
Board [Jh 9h Kh 4h 9d]
Seat 1: BUDA505 (big blind) showed [Qh Th 5h 2h] and won (9888) with HI: a straight flush, Nine to King
Seat 2: WildDuces234 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: timprov_mn folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: justalady42 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: clearspine folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: bishkek4 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: homer535 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: callle82 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: lightning36 (small blind) showed [3h Ah 4s 7d] and lost with HI: a flush, Ace high


Monday, January 24, 2011

Twitter Twits and Internet Morons: In Defense of Jay Cutler

The hottest topic in sports today is Jay Cutler. As much as I hate to admit it, many supposed "Bears fans" completely turned on Cutler, calling him a wimp, a pussy, not even knowing much about the injury he suffered. Did Cutler play a crappy first half? Sure. But did he deserve the crap he caught for sitting out the second half when injured? No way. No way in hell. And the moronic tweets from some current and former NFL boneheads?

A major issue, of course, is that Cutler is just a different kind of guy. He disdains the media and tries to stay out of the limelight. He has rejected lucrative advertising opportunities. People talk about the sour look on his face. He is not a rah rah type of guy. But toughness? How can people even question it? He was sacked nine times in one half against the Giants. He was sacked 52 times during the regular season. Compare that to players like Eli or Peyton Manning, who were each sacked only 16 times each during the season!

Did Cutler ever whine, gripe, hang out his terrible and porous offensive line to dry? No, no, and no. He sucked it up and came back for more. He had 57 starts in a row before getting a concussion in the Giants game, causing him to miss one start, the next game against Carolina.

And this is not to even mention that Cutler has the added challenge of playing while managing Type 1 diabetes. And people question his toughness?

It kills me that all these fucking soft couch potatoes across the U.S. are quick to call Cutler a pussy. What a bunch of fucking life losers.

And everyone is a fucking doctor or expert on injuries. "I hurt my knee and I did stuff (or played)." Like they know the extent of Cutler's injury. Or would be able to play against a fierce NFL rush on a frigid field with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

And the NFL players? Calling out Cutler on Twitter? What a bunch of egomaniac asshats. Guys (Maurice Jones Drew) who missed games due to injury when their teams were fighting for playoff spots are taking shots at him. And showing such a lack of class and professionalism and lack of unity when the owners are wanting to crush them in the upcoming collective bargaining talks? Are they fucking stupid?

And how about Deion Sanders, the original Mr. Turf Toe, who missed almost two complete seasons worth of games because of his toe. Yeah, he was great on coverage, but he averaged only 2.6 tackles per game. Pussy stats. Shut the fuck up, egomaniac.

The Bears did not help the situation by saying that Cutler was questionable to return to the game. How about saying he is seriously injured and unable to return?

So now ... surprise -- we find out that Cutler has a grade 2 tear of his MCL. Sure -- play quarterback and try to pass when you can't plant your leg. He would have been worse than he was in the first half. The team doctors kept him out.

Strangely enough, if you couldn't tell, I kind of like Jay Cutler. He isn't your usual bozo jock. He doesn't kiss ass. He doesn't seem to give a crap what people say.

So ... all you faux Bears fans who immediately threw Cutler under the bus, all you know-nothing asshats in cyberspace who live for trolling discussion boards with worthless contributions, all you "experts" who formed stupid opinions without having any facts, and any of you stupid NFL players or former players who live to see your own uninformed drivel on Twitter --


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Death to the Packers!

Well, not really death, just a victory, at minimum, would be fine. The weather will be nice and cold in Chicago this afternoon. What better way to spend the day than watching professional football's oldest rivalry with a Super Bowl berth on the line?
The Packers are a very good team and are favored in the game. However, the Bears have played well in the previous two games against the Packers this season.
My prediction: A low scoring game with the Bears coming away with the victory in a squeaker decided by a field goal or less.
Bears 16 Packers 13

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Birthday and a Broken Heart, Part 2

Now I know I've got a heart -- 'cause it's breaking.

The Tin Man
The Wizard of Oz

Where to even begin?

It is difficult to remember, but there was a time before children. Then poof -- those days were gone. Kids come into your world and things are never the same.

The dirty diaper years seem to go on forever, but then you move past them to other challenges. Kids seem to grow up so fast that you cannot believe it.

One day they are tiny and totally dependent upon you, then before you know it they think they rule the world the way most teenagers do.

My baby girl is moving away today and it hurts so bad I can barely stand it. No matter how much you prepare there is just no way to lessen the pain.

It is not like things are perfect, of course. She hit her stride the past few years and suddenly her parents became these old, stupid people who just could not understand. My friends who have gone through this have suggested that this is part of the master plan -- the young adults' need for independence combined with their abrasive behavior make the separation bearable. "Just wait," they tell me, "she'll understand things much better after she spends some time out on her own." That may be right, but it only takes the edge off the hurt.

A little distance I could handle, but moving 1,000 miles away just seems so far and excessive. I tried to raise my kids to think for themselves and become who they wanted to be. I just did not expect the separation to be this soon and this far away.

I know my daughter has no idea of the sacrifices that were made for her along the way. Do any of us? It took me years to realize and truly appreciate what my parents did for me. I guess I will have to hope that she at least remembers some of the fun times for now.

A whole new exciting world is opening up for her. She will be happy to be back near her boyfriend and will face the challenge of living in a totally new environment. While I am sad I am also so happy for her. I truly hope she will continue to become exactly who she wants to be.

My mom once told me some advice that was passed down to her from her mother. "Your children are not yours," she said. "They belong to God. Your job is to raise them as best you can."

Well, as imperfect as I may be, I have tried my best. I guess we cannot ask much more of ourselves. But I hope that she does remember some things.

I hope she remembers that she always has a home here. I hope she remembers that she can count on me if she needs help or if things get tough. I hope she remembers that her dad loves her and always will.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Birthday and a Broken Heart, Part 1

The Birthday
Today is one of those days I tend to dread every year -- my birthday. Once you get past those young adult years it is not a whole lot of fun being reminded that you are getting older and are moving closer toward ... arrgh.

I never liked having a birthday in January. Growing up in suburban Chicago, the weather was almost always crappy on the big day. Cold and snow. Yuck.

My family tended to celebrate birthdays with a small celebration with just the immediate family. A cake with candles, open the presents -- a common routine. I started thinking back on some of my more memorable birthdays ...

6 years old -- A party with kids from school. We went to see a movie. Strangely enough, the movie was about a donkey. Hmmm ... a foreshadowing of my future online poker skill set?

9 years old -- Another party with kids from school. I got a bunch of model cars to build. I had so many that it almost felt like I was stealing or something.

18 years old -- Treated my best friends to dinner, then went after a girl from school with whom I had a love/hate relationship. I was in need of a little loving, and she rejected me. A week or so later she changed her mind and approached me. The answer: rejection! Yeah -- that was a complicated time ...

19 years old -- First year in college. A guy who was dating a friend of mine (the guy was a dick so I hesitate to use the word "friend") decided that a good old fashioned birthday spanking was in order. I was held down and this guy whomped on my ass like you wouldn't believe. It ranks as the second most physically painful experience of my life. It was THAT bad.

21 years old -- Surprise party thrown for me by my suitemates. It would be accurate to say that alcohol was consumed to a significant degree.

24 years old -- Second year of grad school. I was concerned about a friend in Texas and, still thinking that I was Superman at the time, borrowed money from my mom and flew to Texas to help her. She had been raped and was scared that the guy who did it was going to get out of jail. The first night there I slept in her bed (uh -- she slept on a couch -- really!) and found out the next morning that directly underneath the pillow was a loaded gun. She had an altercation with her boyfriend and as a result had a severly sprained ankle and could not walk. She drove us to Texas Tech so she could register for her spring classes. I had to carry her on my back from the parking lot to the fieldhouse, then carry her from one department registration line to another.

Before I left town in Illinois, I asked my girlfriend to get me two things for my birthday: a daily planner and a cherry pie. I know it sounds bad to ask for specific presents like that, but I was really broke. I needed the planner badly and had no money to buy it. As for the pie -- I was never a big fan of cake. Many of my birthdays have been celebrated with cherry pies.

When I got back home from Texas, I found out my girlfriend had dropped off two things for my birthday -- a plaid shirt and a cake. I grabbed the cake (my roommate knew something funny was going to happen), tore down the steps with it, ran out in the front yard and threw it in a tree! Needless to say, this was a relationship that was ready to end ...

Two others during the regular adult years (not sayin' how old) were of note. One was a surprise party my wife arranged. I thought I had safely made it through the day and was ready for a sigh of relief when I made it to 8:00 pm. We came back from a ride around town (I was totally clueless that I had been snookered) to find a house filled with friends and co-workers. It was quite a surprise, but a nice one, although I had to crank it back up for a few more hours.

Finally, my brother, who I sometimes refer to as the King of Komps, arranged for a party at my mom's house. Several family members and an old friend came by. It made for a very special day.

So ... today, although scheduled to be off work, I am in the office. Work, for me and many males, is a safe refuge from everyday life. Today it is helping me enjoy the special day with my work friends. It is also helping me deal with a most difficult situation -- a broken heart.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Da Bears vs the Evil Packers

After a great weekend of playoff football, the Chicago Bears still remain as one of the final four teams. Who'd a thunk it?

"Not I," said the smilingbrownbear, "Not I."
This has really been a unexpectedly fun season. Based on 2009, the future looked gloomy because many Bears fans were expecting the following:
1) Another crappy coaching job by Lovie Smith and his staff

2) The continued decline of Brian Urlacher

3) Mega interceptions courtesy of Jay Cutler

4) About 1,000 sacks due to a joke of an offensive line

However, Lovie and his crack staff of assistant coaches really came through. There is perhaps great value in hiring a host of former head coaches as your assistants?

Brian Urlacher came back from an injury and seemed to actually be doing it on the field instead of merely running off at the mouth. Franly, I was shocked. I thought he was through.

Jay Cutler, despite clunky mechanics, had a great year. The offense line was absolutely putrid at the beginning of the season. They have been much better the second half of the season.

Next Sunday the Bears host the Green Bay Packers with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl in Dallas. As much as people build up the Bears-Packers rivalry, the truth is that, at least in my lifetime, they have rarely both good in the same season. This year they are.

How rare is this game? In fact, it is the first time that they have faced each other in post season play since a week after Pearl Harbor!

The game has already been described as the "most important Chicago sporting event in history." I am prepared to hear some delicious hype the next few days.

My prediction: Althought I believe the Packers are probably the most talented team remaining, I am picking the Bears to squeak out a one or two point victory. Bear down!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trying to Avoid Looking Like a Media Fool

In my younger days, one of my best friends and I used to have this running joke about how we fought over microphones. We both both involved in civic organizations, both interested in public speaking, and we both couldn't wait to grab that microphone at a meeting or public event and be "da man."

It is not quite like that anymore. Heck, now I even have to read posts about how I am made fun of by some poofy metrosexual dude in Boston. Things change.

Anyway, at work our director was out of town and I was left in charge. A local television station wanted to run a story on the shootings in Arizona and was looking for someone in town to give his take on handling students with strange behavior. I got a call in the morning from someone trying to hook me up with a reporter, but I diverted the call and thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, the reporter caught up with me later on.

The problem with media interviews is that you have no control over what they use and how they use it. My experience had been that media just cared about a sound bite and nothing else. I didn't want to look like a chump.

Being a faithful employee who knows that his helping his workplace look good in the community is important, I agreed to do it. It would be interesting, though. I had 15 minutes to gather my thoughts and quickly prepare what I would say. Then wouldn't you know it -- being Friday, the last day before a holiday weekend and the beginning of the end of our heaviest period at work, I celebrated by wearing a Hawaiian shirt to work. Yes, I would look great on camera!

The filming actually went pretty well and the reporter seemed to be much better than previous ones with whom I have dealt. We were ready to end when we got into a conversation when she said "Wait -- a good reporter knows the sound bite when she hears it." And we filmed a little more. Heck, I didn't even remember exactly what I said and tried to replicate it. It came out kind of jumbled.

Amyway, the story ran on the late afternoon news show and my son watched it and said I sounded okay. I viewed it later last night and I wasn't as bad as I thought. The story the reporter developed was actually pretty good. I drifted off to sleep last night, ready for a long weekend ...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time for the WBCOOP at PokerStars

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.

Registration code: XXXXXX 349193

Sunday, January 09, 2011

lightning36 Challenge Update

Update of my lightning36 Challenge -- an attempt to turn $20 into $1000 on Bodog.

Dec 16, 2010: $19.97

Dec 27, 2010: $282.35

Jan 09, 2011: $406.21

Ah, but this was not just simply a matter of playing hands and having players ship me money. I quickly went up to $325, then had a horrendous streak of losing. So what does one do when losing at certain levels? Change things up! Instead of moving down as some players might do, I moved up! I started playing more $.25/.50 NL, then moved up to $.50/$1. I actually went down to about $100, and decided by best chance to recover was the $50/$1 level. I won some hands and got in a hand with a guy who appeared to be really crappy but kept lucking out. I flopped top two pair with a flush draw on the board. My raise was met by a re-raise. I figured that there was little chance the guy flopped a set, so I pushed all in. He called with a flush draw. I was now either going to go el busto or get back in the game. Fortunately no spades came on the turn or river (we all know that crubs would have gotten there!). I was back up to well over $200.

I decided to stick with the $.50/$1 level, and I have been able to make some progress.

The challenge continues!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Josie Sucks

Since Josie tends to, uh, shall we say ... EMBELLISH her accounts of poker hands and tournaments, I thought I would document what really happened in her tournament tonight. I went all-in pre-flop and she called with the VJ: J-10! gg me
Am I bitter? Well .................................................... nah. Just sayin' ...
And hey -- we had a great crowd tonight for the Very Josie and the Mookie. Congrats to Gary for his VJ win and to Miami Don for his Mookie Victory.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hey You -- WPBT People -- Yeah You ...

This past WPBT gathering in Las Vegas was fun, right? As much fun as it was, there were some comments that I heard way too many times. Most often they were a variation of one or more of these statements: 1) I have not posted in my blog much in the past year; 2) I have not been playing much online poker; and 3) I have not played in any online blogger events in a long time.

It is touching to see the many friendships that have been built over the years. However, the thing I found a tad disappointing is how many of the bloggers have gotten away from their roots. There was a time when it seemed like there was an online blogger tournament going on almost constantly. MATH, WWdN, The Mookie, Riverchasers, … However, now it seems like the only time we can get a big group together is if AlCantHang sets up another BBT or someone with lots of blogger influence (read Dr. Pauly) announces a tournament or a series. Other than that – deadsville. The Mookie has largely settled into a small one or two table SNG. Most of the other tournaments are long gone.

There were several people at the last WPBT that I had either not met, had briefly met, or had perhaps just heard of based on previous blogger tournaments or blogging in general. Had I ever actually played against these people more than a scattered time or two? If only there was some way to rebuild a little of what has evaporated over the years, I thought.

So … now is the time! My suggestion: carve out some time this Wednesday night to play one, or maybe even two blogger tournaments. The choices:

The Very Josie

You may have met Josie in December in Las Vegas. You know – the short Italian chick who loves to taunt and brag? Well, she hosts a tournament the first Wednesday of every month at 9 pm Eastern at Full Tilt – The Very Josie (password is pokerbaby). Her tournament has an old-time feel to it – fun with more than its share of garbage talk and donkelicious play. As an added incentive, whoever felts the queen of overblown self-evaluation of poker prowess will get their entry fee refunded by me. Yes – a bounty on VeryJosie. Talk about easy money …

The Mookie

And starting an hour after The Very Josie begins – The Mookie, the still-surviving blogger “home game” (password is vegas1). Of course, Mookie is long gone, but the Buddy Dank Radio crew still hosts a lively, fun tournament. The past two weeks have shown an increase in tournament players, including some oldies but goodies. There was even some primo trash talking last week – yowsa!

Don’t make excuses – just be there.

Catch ya on the flip side …

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