Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mini Explosion

There are now a half a dozen mini coopers in the company parking lot. Mine was the second one, and I'm still the only convertable with a turbo sports package. All different colors too, there's a red one, a white one, a green one, oh, you get the picture. Let's Motor!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Twelfth of Fifty

Monday after work started towards the card club, and realizing I was two hours early, spied and stopped for dinner at some joint on the side of the boulevard called Angelo's Fine Italian Cuisine. They were not kidding. Some of the best fettuccine with shrimp, peppers, and red sauce that I have ever tasted. The two glasses of wine helped to enjoyment that much more. Finished up the Police box set on the way to the club and arrived in a good mood. Paid my sawbuck and was assigned table four seat one. Oh boy. When the characters started to take their seats for the tournament, I noticed a lot of folk who like to gamble approach table four. Lucky me, seems I was in for a couple of hours of folding as they pushed their chips all-in on just about every hand. I was prepared for this, and didn't mind at all. On the last hand of the re-buy period, I bought a super-size add-on which consists of twenty five hundred in chips for another twenty five bucks. When you start with only three hundred in chips, this is a big bonus. The second hour has four fifteen minute levels, and when the antes start to kick in, a round of poker gets expensive. Table five after three hours. Finally our table four broke up after three and a half hours of play, with me folding almost every hand during that time. I'm moved to table one with a much more laid back crowd. A couple of the quieter players follow me from table four. Right off the bat I'm dealt a pair of aces and called someone else's all-in raise. His king-jack could not catch up and I doubled up and crippled his stack. The very next hand I call another all-in with Ace Jack, they showed a pair of nines and with an ace on the flop, I eliminate him and and add a few thousand more to my stack including additional limper's chips who did not call with all they had. Wow, I was being blinded away at the old table, and within two hands moved up respectively to over ten thousand in chips. The next hour went smooth as I was just starting to get settled in. Table three breaks up, and then table two starts knocking players out ever other hand to the point where the director starts pulling from our table one to fill in the empty seats on their table two. Gets down to twelve players, six at each table and the guy on my right raises to five grand. I look down and find ace-queen, both of diamonds and have to make a decision. To go all in for about fifteen grand and try and take him on, or fold and wait for a couple of others to be eliminated and coast to the final table. It took a minute or so, but I finally pushed all-in and he quickly called with two jacks. I received no help from the flop, turn, nor river and was out in twelfth without any prize money. C'est la vie. I coasted all night, and then went out with nary a whimper. I will probably be back there next week. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

View of Smoke from Space

Check out this NASA image site for smoke trails from Southern California.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chop Top Two of Fifty

After checking the P.O. Box after work last night, I still had plenty of time to check back at the little local card club for the Monday night tournaments that the security guard at Dodger Stadium told me had started up again. It use to be a fun time, even though it was canceled the last couple of times I went there. So I zagged down through Bell Gardens and was listening to the Police Box Set. The mood just seemed right. I walk in and see how the place has been fixed up. Tables are all arranged at a sweeping angle between the doors instead of harsh logical settings as it was before. One cash game was going on, and a Pai Gow game was starting up against the back wall. I turned the other way and sat in the restaurant for a meal, since I was over an hour early for the start time and hadn't had a meal in six hours. Sat, ordered, grabbed a Poker Pro magazine, chatted up the floor man to confirm start time and waited. Read a few good articles and a dozen bad ones, then wandered over to the window to sign up. Parted with a sawbuck, received my seat card, and walked outside to wait some more. Clear night sky above. No stars. City lights to bright. Also smoke haze was all around the horizon. Malibu to the west, Santa Clarita to north, Riverside to the east, and Irvine to the south, all ablaze and smoking in the distances. It was over thirty miles to fire nearest to where I was. Just before start time, I walked back in and sat down at my table. Looks like four tables are setup and players wandering everywhere. From the seven seat at table two, things looked okay. A loose aggressive player on my right that had me folding many large, but marginal hands pre-flop, and a tight aggressive player in the ten seat across from me, forcing me to be sure of my raises and calls. I ended up folding over ninety percent of my hands for the first three levels. That first hour or so, nearly a dozen other players wandered in and wanted to play, so near the middle of the third level, the director called another dealer and setup a fifth full table. Cool, a pool a fifty. In this tournament, you can buy a single re-buy for ten, [which gets you five hundred in chips] a double for twenty, [a thousand in chips], or wait and do an add-on at the end of the third level for twenty five [and get twenty five hundred in chips]. Since I was folding to outrageous raises when it was my turn to be the blinds, I did a double re-buy and just kept waiting and folding. I was watching the other players playing, having a good time, bluffing, and re-buying two and three times to stay in during those first three levels. What a wild hour or so. At the end of the third level I left my twenty-five for the add-on on the table and went out to discuss the tourney so far with the few folk I recognized there. Most had extreme stories of bad beats and fluctuating stacks of chips. I mentioned that I have only played three hands and folded all the rest due to the action at my table. I did not mention that was working a strategy that included folding large marginal hands. After the re-buy and add-on period was over, I started to look for hands with appropriate situations to play them in. Tighten up and raise with only the best hands in early position behind the blinds, and loosening up in late position including on the button if no other raises were in yet. The opportunities were few and far between as many times I would have a small pair or two Broadway cards only to be behind a raise and a re-raise already at the pot. I was not going to war with these types of hands against those types of raises. Finally I was being dealt a pair of aces here, a pair of kings there, and was the one doing the raising and re-raising take a few pots and eliminate a few of the shorter stacks. This cycle of low cards to high cards usually happens every twenty to thirty hands or so, but it was more like fifty hands for me. I scraped up enough to make it to the final eleven players, only to see a middle position raise from the short stack of seven thousand all-in, and me in the big blind for four thousand already holding a three-six of hearts. Ugh. Everyone else folded to me and I could either let him have the antes, and blinds of almost ten grand or put up a few more thousand and call his raise and race a flop, turn and river cards for the pot. It was my toughest decision of the night, and even with pot odds of three to one, my cards were a much bigger underdog if he had a high pair. I called three grand leaving another ten grand in my stack and he shows two black jacks. All black cards showed up on the board and I ended up contributing to his rise to the final table. Finally the other table after four hours of play knocked out the remaining couple of players so that we could form a final table of nine. Instead of paying just the top four, we voted to pay down to ninth place, and send ten percent out to the dealers. Play continued after a break and we drew for seats. To my right sat a woman who I guessed that she had a set of queens when she did when I had two pair of kings and jacks and folded to her big raise, another player called her and she showed that I was right by eliminating the other player in eighth place. I did pick up a few hands and no one called my raises from the small blind nor from the button for a few rounds as I stayed a medium stack and others started falling to my amazement faster than leaves in fall. Some were falling by playing any ace, even if their other card was as low as a two. I wasn't playing anything lower than ace-ten and my cards were luckily holding up. That's what I said every time I won a pot. That I was 'lucky'. I wasn't telling them that I was folding the kind of hands that they were playing. When it got down to four players, the chip leader had about thirty thousand more than second place and fourth place and I had about fifteen grand each with blinds going up to four thousand and eight thousand and five hundred each in antes. My ace-jack beat won a race with the leader who had ace-eight. The chip leader won a couple of races and eliminated both fourth and second chip players chip stacks before I could stretch and say 'wow, heads up play time'. The final two of us battle as I took three straight pots to nearly even out the our stacks and offered to be sent away for five hundred. I re-raised the next hand and offered to go away for four hundred [second place paid 350 that night and first paid 725]. I reminded him that if he won six hundred or over that it would involve immediate paperwork for the IRS and the director nodded when he looked at him. I took another small pot with a raise and the director put the final grand on the table and showed us what we were playing for. I mentioned that it was my lucky night and I was going to end up with all the playing chips. The other player's eyes went big when I reached into half of the prize money and pushed all the five dollar chips to the other leaving five hundred in one stack and putting five seventy five on the stack closest to him and saying, I'll even go for this split, and he finally said OK. Five Benjamins for me and just under six for him. One AM and the alarm goes off in four hours, thanks, it was great, gotta go, and we shook hands, signed the roll, and parted from the card palace. All in all, a good night for Proto.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wind fanning the flames

Malibu observer writing about the fires and stalkaratzzi:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Across the Universe

The two part Menagerie will be playing in 300 theaters around the USA on Tuesday, November 13th to promote the HD-DVD version of Star Trek episodes. Might be fun watching an old 4x3 TV episode on the big screen. They are still casting younger actors for the latest movie. Zachary Quinto of Heroes' Sylar as Spock and Chris Pine is considering the role of Kirk. Korean-American actor John Cho as Sulu, and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Star Trekkin' is still alive.

Monday, October 15, 2007

UIGA testmony Radley Balko testifies before Congress about online gambling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

821 of 1337

A lot of fun competition this afternoon. Folk were helping each other get along until someone re-raised all in. Then it was each best hand for itself. Thought I had a cinch three of a kind an hour and a half into the blogger's tournament, and got 'flushed' down the river, again. At least I didn't go out on a single pair. Or worse, a bluff. Will try again next year...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Have you see all the prizes for this tournament today? I do not want to go out on the bubble this year! And why aren't you playing?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Omaha Luck

Thanks Nadine, luck was with me today. Enough good luck to get to the final table through six tables of live players. I arrived a half an hour late. Zooming down the interstate number fifteen was not as quick as I would have liked it to have been. I walked up to the desk and asked the director if I could still buy in. He said if he has a seat in the next fifteen minutes, I could buy in then. So I left my name and filled a cup of player's coffee and waited. A few other people asked the same thing and ten minutes later, a new table was started for a half a dozen of us plus an over flow from a non-dwindling table. As you can see buy the rapid blind structure, you need to make a move fast and collect chips, or buy the time the blind bets get to ten thousand and twenty thousand, you aren't going to last very long. Still I played the tightest omaha game of my life. For going a king with a pair of sixes and waiting for pairs of kings, queens, and aces to play with an ace two for the low half of the pot, if a low hand qualified. To qualify for a low hand, you have to have five cards that are eight or less. Three on the board, and two in your hand. For the high hand, normal poker rules apply except for the three on the board, two in your hand rule. Came in seventh of nearly sixty and took home a benjamin for my trouble. Time to rest from the playing and the traffic there and back. Will be shooting for good time Sunday afternoon for the blogger tournament.

Air Apparent

Wow, running the portable room air-conditioner for a couple of days last month doubled my electric bill. Yeah, right. An upstairs apartment with windows on all four sides. Now where am I going to find thirty bucks... Hmmm, there's a Omaha tournament in Lake Elsinore this morning. Warm up the mini, I'm motoring!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So long dinner

One of the couples I met at the Stadium Club this year threw an after season thank you dinner for the bartenders and wait staff that treated us so well over the last few years and asked me to participate. I gladly accepted to help show my appreciation for the wonderful professional and friendly service I always get there. We met at a BBQ Restaurant at a mall in the valley, and the one that requested a non-sushi place went to Arizona to watch her cubs in the playoffs instead. No worries, the other nine of us showed up and had a great time. I'm glad I showed up to help thank them for another wonderful year of service.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Maudie embedded this thing into her blog and now I can't stop playing it between calls...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Blogger's Poker Tournament coming up at Poker Stars

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 3512560

Have you?