Monthly Archives: April 2007

Belated Christmas Post

Yeah, you know I can’t let Christmas just slip past me without making some rant about it. So, here is my rather belated Christmas post. Enjoy!

As much as I rant and rave about not liking Christmas every year, there always seem to be a few people who insist on defying my wishes and end up getting me a gift. Here are a few of the things I received, supposedly from a Saint in a church that I don’t even believe in (Saint Nick, just in case you didn’t know who I’m talking about).

Dal Negro Plastic Poker Cards
These are totally sweet. I’ve been eyeballing a set of these bad boys for about a year now. Problem was, I already had two sets of KEM cards, and simply couldn’t justify the $20+ it would cost me to get what is essentially an inferior set of cards.

Well, it might have been nicer to just receive $20 in cash, but I pretty much would have spent the money eating out at Arby’s or something. So things are better this way. Now if I could just get my hands on some Gemaco cards.

Mini Planetarium
Every year, I tell my wife to not spend money on me. If there’s something that I want, I’ll go out and get it myself. And every year, my wife defies my wishes and gets me something.

I would totally love something like this if it actually worked well, so I’m gonna try real hard to get some use out of this. Now if only I could get my hands on a 30” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

LED Headlight
This thing is sweet! I wear it all the time. You know, just in case I’m wandering around and find myself in a cave. But seriously, I love it. Now if I could only get my hands on a FN P90 so I can go do some night hunting.

Video iPod
This came from my boss. Yeah, I know, you wish you had a boss as cool as mine. But you DON’T! Yep, sucks for you.

The beauty of this Christmas gift is that my boss is Jewish… that and my gift to him was a couple of peanut butter cookies. I know what you’re thinking: Stu, you gave somebody a Christmas gift?! In my defense, my wife made me do it.

I was actually hoping he would break out the dreidel on me. I need to keep up on my gambling skills.

Kris Kringle DVD
My older brother, who presented this gift to me from him and his family, apparently doesn’t realize my incredible hatred for the symbols, especially Kris Kringle, Santa Clause, St. Nicholas, and so forth that detracts from our Lord and Savior. But I’m sure my kids will love it.

I once read, “I love Santa Claus with all my heart because he represents Christ.”

SAY WHAT?!

Begin rant. Stand tall soldiers!

Hey, whatever makes you feel better about worshipping a jolly fat man in a red suit that practices slave labor and is apparently bigoted against dwarves with pointy ears.

I love my country, not a piece of cloth. I don’t worship my country’s flag. I would not be willing to die for it. For what it represents, yes. For a piece of cloth? No.

If Santa Claus asked you to die for him, would you accept? Personally, if Santa Claus got anywhere near me I’d KICK HIM IN THE CROTCH!

Furthermore, since when does Santa Clause symbolize Christ? I don’t see the relation. I choose to love Christ, not a jolly fat man that has nothing to do with Him. No offense to my Catholic friends out there, nor to St. Nicholas who I’m sure was a good man. But do you honestly think St. Nicholas would dare claim, after being grossly twisted into what we know as Santa Claus, to be the symbol of Christ?

End rant. Carry on! Umm… and Merry freakin’ Christmas!

Desktop Tower Defense: Super-Duper Time Waster

Thanks to “Buck” Roberts, I have thoroughly wasted a large chunk of my life that I can never get back when he introduced me to the game Desktop Tower Defense.

There was a time when I looked forward to getting off work so I could relax and spend time with my family. But addiction is such a sad disease, and it takes its toll on one’s life. These days, my free time is spent obsessing over killing those *$@! flying bosses!

I plead with you to not click the link I have provided above, lest you become sucked into a hole with a bottomless pit as I have. But, if you must, my strategy may help you:

Note the cheap pellet guns to guide the path of those deranged little ball dudes, leading them to the center — a place I like to call “The Gauntlet” — where fully upgraded squirters pummel the living tar out of any who dare enter.

Click the image to see a bigger one.

Good luck my friend. Not in winning the game, but in breaking your addiction.

Poker: Sometimes It’s About the Endurance

Since my last post, I’ve played in quite a few more tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. I really need to slow it down a bit.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. What do I mean by endurance? Take a look at this screenshot showing my statistics for the last tournament I played in:

Endurance Poker

This is where I sat after outlasting 81 players in a tourny of 90. What it shows, essentially, is that I’ve been dealt 52 hands and I’ve won 3. I had only played four hands past the flop, and I won two of those.

So even though I had only played a few hands, winning only 3, I had lasted long enough to place “in the bubble.” You just got to be smart, knowing when to play and when to fold… though Kenny Rogers says it so much more eloquently. Outlast everybody else, no matter whether you’re winning or losing.

Sometimes poker is as much about how patient you can be as it is getting lucky. Few amateurs understand this.

Here’s a “What would you do?” scenario for you.

I am dealt pocket kings. There is a pre-flop raise to 160 (double the big blind.) Three people ahead of me call, I call, plus two people behind me call. The third behind me raises all-in (about 6,000 or so). There’s a fold, then another raise all-in (to about 10,000), and a caller right behind him. It comes to me. There are two players left to act after me.

What would you do?

Most people would call. I folded. Why? Odds.

I don’t care if the three people that called before me had absolute junk. If I call, my odds are less than 30% regardless of what they’re holding, and I can be almost certain two of them have an ace. For 30% I’d call a small raise, but no way am I going to risk everything. If either of the two players behind me call, my odds shrink even more. And, as you could probably tell, I’m at a very loose table where the odds are high one of the two will call.

So what happened? The two players behind me followed my lead in folding. The players flipped their cards, showing mediocre garbage. At first I laughed, especially since one of them flipped a 10-6 and nobody had an ace. Then the flop brought the player on the 10-6 a straight draw. He landed his straight on the river. Then I laughed again and told everybody what I had laid down. They probably thought I was nuts without any idea why I ever would have laid down pocket kings pre-flop.

Odds my friends. If you don’t understand them, then you’re simply playing by luck. There’s your poker lesson for the week. That’ll be $20.

Getting Hot on Full Tilt Poker

With the feds banning the ability to deposit money into online gambling accounts in the U.S., I went looking for some crazy loop hole to get around it. Well, I didn’t have to look far. Full Tilt Poker allows deposits through third-party off-shore accounts.

I haven’t quite yet had the desire necessary to go through the process of opening a new account with a money-transfer service, depositing money into it, then transferring the money to Full Tilt.

But one thing that I found fun was that they hold play-money sit-and-go tournaments, something that most other poker sites don’t have.

The tournaments are nice because when money’s not involved, there are simply too many crazies out there, betting when they normally wouldn’t on the hope of getting lucky. Sometimes they do, but even if they don’t, they just get more chips and keep going at it. It’s tough to have a serious game with those kind of players around.

Thus the tournament. The crazies end up getting knocked out and aren’t allowed to return. Eventually, all (at least most) of the crazies are out of the tournament and you can have a decent game with the serious players.

How crazy are people? Well, let me put it this way. The last tournament I played had 90 players to start. After one hand — yes, the VERY FIRST hand — 22 players got knocked out. After just 12 hands more than two-thirds of the players were gone, leaving fewer than thirty. At that point I had only played three hands.

After 17 hands, I took the following screen shot showing my stats for the game up to that point:

I ended up coming in seventh, the 10th out of 16 tournaments in which I had placed “in the bubble” as they say. My stats for the entire game:

Here’s a quickview of my Full Tilt Poker play-money tournament history:

game players finished winnings
Texas NL 9 1st 1,125
Texas NL 9 4th 0
Texas NL 9 1st 1,125
Texas NL 9 4th 0
Texas NL 9 9th 0
Texas NL 9 2nd 675
Texas NL 90 29th 0
Texas NL 90 36th 0
Texas NL 18 3rd 900
Texas NL 18 1st 1,800
Texas NL 18 1st 1,800
Texas NL 18 ? 0
Omaha Hi PL 9 1st 1,125
Texas NL 9 2nd 675
Texas NL 18 2nd 1,350
Texas NL 90 7th 900

I know the game will change if I ever decide to play for real money, but my record thus far has me feeling pretty good about it.