Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One of the words in this post was on my SATs

Just dropped SteelerSteph off at the Detroit Metro Airport for a three and half week training in Raliegh, NC and I am feeling a little melancholy. It did not help that I was living in a sitcom this morning; I could practically hear the studio audience laughing. It quickly went from bad to worse when I got to work and reached its nadir as I drove away from the airport worrying about Stephanie lugging all her crap through the airport. “Will they hassle her for what I know is overweight baggage?” “Did she have too much carry-on? – who knows what the rules are these days?” “I hope she gets there ok”

I drove her unfamiliar mini-van away from the unfamiliar airport being careful not to hit anything, an exercise that increased in complexity because it was raining. What a recipe for a shitty day!

So what was the sitcom this morning? Glad you asked. I stayed up late last night since the bed and our bedroom was taken over by clothes in various stages of packing. I watched the Cardinals implode in the most spectacular fashion and finally got to bed around 1 AM. I knew that I had to be in the office by 7:30 this morning for an appointment with a director on my team. I don’t know what happened to the alarm set for 6 AM, but I do know that I went from dead sleep to full panic in about 2 seconds when Stepanie asked, “Don’t you have to be in to work early?” Sleepy Josh, “Yeah….what time is it?..... 7:29!?!?!?! Ohhh shit!”

I went into the bathroom and immediately stubbed my toe on a scale that was not there the day before. “Goddamnit, that hurt!!” Relieved the bladder and I turned on the water in the shower to get it hot and got ready to jump in. Standing outside the shower, I pull the little plunger thing up on the tub faucet and “WHAT THE FU-K?!?!?!” I was instantly confused, wet, and cold. Somehow the shower head was facing directly out at me and I quickly realized this was not going to be a good day. Water under control, dripping wet and pissed I asked Steph if she had done anything to the shower. “Nope”. Whatever, I gotta get going.

15 minutes later I am out the door and into school bus hell. I call the director I am supposed to be meeting with right then and get the info I need to get started for when I finally will make it into the office. The stalled Ford Taurus blocking the right lane of the two lane road was a perfect touch to the morning.

Director taken care of, I get back to my own desk to find out that our collaboration software is slowly grinding to a halt. Our instant messaging screen sharing meetings won’t work, our Quickplace rooms won’t authenticate and our webserver is not displaying the proper awareness that shows if the names listed on a page are in the office and logged in. Quicker than I can say, “Fan-Frickin-Tastic” I am neck deep in troubleshooting and have to bring down all the collaboration software for the firm during business hours. I am sure that even the non geek out there can appreciate that this is not a good thing.

11:30 and I finally got everything back online and 100% functional and I ran out the door to speed to the apartment and got Stephanie to the airport 2 hours before departure. I guess the silver lining in all this is that I was so busy and stressed this morning that I did not have any time to feel bad for myself (like I do now) and worry about the next month (like I am now). Somehow, writing about it here provides a level of catharsis and I feel a little better already.

Tomorrow will be a better day (how can it not, I have the bi-monthly office bowling league!!) and the dog, cat, and myself will start to work out our new routines. In all of this, I feel the worst for the dog. Steph has been home from work with him for the past 6 months. The little bastard is spoiled and he is pretty emotional for an animal. I am planning on making a trip home to the apartment everyday at lunch to let him out for a quick walk, but that will not make up all the time he spent at Steph’s side. I am slightly worried he might stroke out when she finally comes home. I am sure that at a minimum bladder control will be lost.

Soooooo. Bachelorhood until November 10th. What to do? I guess I hope that I don’t lose my whole bankroll on FT because of all the extra playing time I will have! I am going to set a rule that requires at least 30 mins of exercise before I fire up the virtual tables. It is always easier to exercise without SteelerSteph for some reason. Good chance to drop a few of the pounds that have attached themselves over the past few months. I should get the opportunity for some live play in the local casiono(s) and have high hopes for good results there. Watch some football, drink some beer, play some poker. It will be novel and new at first, but I am sure that by the time Steph gets back I will really be missing her.

Look me up at FullTilt, SteelerJosh.

Nadir was the word that somehow came to mind from the SATs. I am pretty sure it is a nerd word for the lowest point on something and the polar opposite of apogee. Insert nerd laugh here -->

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Live Poker Fun

I miss playing live poker. I forgot how much fun it can be to drink some beers, talk some smack, and rake some pots with friends. The stakes are low enough that it can probably be classified as pure fun, but if you get a little luck (as I did) you can make a nice profit. We played 3 five dollar SNGs with second place getting their buy in back and first taking the rest. With 7 players this created a $25 profit for taking it down. I hope they invite me back :)

If my buddy Aaron is reading this, I know he will say, "I told you so" but I had some serious luck. I was winning my races with AK and even got quad 6's one hand. It was a good night.

Game 1. Jim V was a card rack and was playing some good power poker with his big stack. The biggest hand of the game was one that was so rigged it belonged online. QQ vs J9 vs K10 on a QJ9 flop. Fireworks and Jim tripled up with his flopped straight. Jim and I got heads up and he had a decent chip advantage. I got it all in PF with A4 vs his 78 and he caught his straight on the river to take it down and I got my money back for finishing second.

Game 2. I took this one down without any real memorable hands. It seemed to go pretty fast and at the end it was me and Mike B. Time ran out and I won it on total chip count. Mike played solidly and it would have been an interesting HU match if time would have allowed it.

Game 3. I took this one down also with some solid play and a nice dose of luck. The first one out of the game was DFed when he could not get away from his pocket KK on an all heart flop. Three way, there was a pot sized raise (300) from EP, a call and Derek showed me his hand. None of the Ks had a heart on them and he was in a tough spot. Personally, I would have made an easy fold here but I did not advise him as such because I am a believer in one player to a hand. He made the interesting move of shoving all in and the EP raiser (Jim V.) folded (which surprised me) and then Matt agonized a long time over making a call. This was the first or second hand of the tourney so DFed's all in meant Matt would be all in. As it turned out, Matt had a baby flush and made the tough call. DFed missed the runner runner he would have needed to stay alive and was the first one out. He would be unhappy to know that Kings held up two or more three times this game. Oh well. Sixes would prove fickle too as BHoj got Jim V. all in with 66 vs Jim's 44 and the 4 on the flop sent Hoj packing. A hand or two later I hit quads with my pocket 6's and sent Matt home. It came down to Jim and me heads up and I had a huge chiplead and the game was called.

Final Results:
Game 1: Jim V., Josh S.
Game 2: Josh S., Mike B.
Game 3: Josh S., Jim V.

A good time and I am looking forward to the next time we can get together. I introduced them all to the Hammer and it was being played a good bit! I did not get it once the whole night, but there were a ton of 7s and 2s on the boards. I think it was played at least 6 times and picked up a few pots. There are some good players in the bunch and I am looking forward to being put to the test by them. Hopefully you can make it next time Bean!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Full Tilting

Tempted by Full Tilt’s new reload bonus and claims that they will be around for awhile, I reloaded on there what I withdrew from Party. The past two nights have been a mixed bag. Two tabling 1-2 Limit saw me lose 10 BB over 200 hands. Same old, same old, dodge a river card here, catch a river card there and the results would have been much better. Biggest loser of the night was my AK vs. AQ. One of those nights.

Last night was much better. While chatting with DNasty and watching his beloved Tigers put on a pitching clinic, I played in my first SNG on FT. It was the tightest $10 SNG, hell any level SNG, I have ever participated in. 45+ minutes in we still had 6 of the original 9 participants. Over an hour in, I busted on the bubble when I ran my AJ into the BB’s AA. The A on the flop all but sealed my deal. I did drop the hammer twice and advised the table (both times) of what I thought was the best damn hand in poker. The table was so tight, it did not seem to get me any extra action on my big hands….but it made an impression. When the pocket rockets sent me packing, the comment was something about the best damn hand in poker. J Amateurs!

Dissatisfied with my bubble, I fired up some 1-2 Limit and hung around my buy in. I lost with the Hilton Hoes twice and could never get any traction. Curious about the waters the next level up, I found a seat in a 2-4 game. It was a much better game and a few hands in, I noticed a familiar name to my left. change100. Hmmm, could it be “the change100”? That would be pretty cool and a first for me. I have never accidentally run into another blogger at the tables. If I did, I did not know it. I have certainly enjoyed playing with them on purpose in SNGs, MTTs, and blogger events but have never bumped into one accidentally in a ring game. I didn’t really know the protocol or etiquette for a situation like this so I just blundered ahead and asked in the chat box. “Change, shot in the dark here – are you a blogger?” Yup, it was her. “That is pretty cool”, I thought and then proceeded to check raise her after I limped in the SB with KQs. K36 flop and a K on the turn. The turn was checked around and I checked the river hoping for a bet (I was really out of position, but confident I had the best hand). Change100 obliged me and was not happy with my check raise. After expressing her displeasure in the chat box “aaarrgh” and making the crying call with 36 she let me know we were no longer friends J It was nice the couple hands it lasted. I felt a little bad check raising a blogger, but I would not expect anyone to play me soft and would not do that to someone either. When I recalled her perfect week with football picks (meaning she picked against my Steelers) I did not feel so bad about catching that 3rd King on the turn. 36 was her hand and the number of Jerome Bettis. Jerome was an awesome Steeler. Coincidence? I think not.

It was getting really late so I played a few more orbits and wished her luck. I wonder if I will start bumping into more bloggers as the pool of sites we can play on is shrinking. That would be a double edged sword. Cool to run into them, but most of them are pretty solid players so that is one less fish to fleece.

On the good news front, we have an end in sight to our home for sale in Ohio. We had a very low ball offer come in (it was so tempting to counter offer “at least kiss me first”) making a lot of demands. 20k below list. 3k towards their closing costs. All the appliances, we pay for their home warranty, and they want to close 60 days from now. Wow! It is a buyer’s market for sure, but that is a little outrageous. We countered with agreeing to all the concessions but only knocking 5k off our list. They responded by coming up 5k. Hmmm, this is not really getting us anywhere. Long story short, we sent an official counter offer last night for 10k off list and meeting all their demands and our agent expects it to be accepted. We shall see. However it shakes down, if we can sell this house life will be much better for the Steeler household. Maintaining two properties in two different states is neither a fun nor cheap experience. I hope this deal goes through.