Posts Tagged ‘Poker’

Well well well.  If there is one thing that can shake me out of my blogging snooze, maybe it is the tried and true End of the Year meme.  I am inspired enough to continue the tradition so – Hello!  Sorry for the prolonged absence.  Let’s see if 2011 allows for a little more blogging time. 


Without further ado:


1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Is it too early in the meme to mention buying a house?  I bought a house.


2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I once made a New Year’s resolution to not worry about New Year’s resolutions.  Yeah.  I kept that one. 


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?



4. Did anyone close to you die?

Define “close.”  Close enough to go to his funeral?  Yes.  Drat.  I came very close to having ONE year with no funerals. 


5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A very warm pair of slippers.  I got a pair for Christmas but they need to be exchanged for a larger size.  California is COLD!


7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t do numbers.  Numbers do not etch themselves upon my memory.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think getting three different job offers was fairly reassuring. 


9. What was your biggest failure?

No big failures.  Just some disappointments.  Like my crappy poker stats at the end of the year.  *sigh* I would like to be in the top 25% out of almost 2 million players.  Which is still dismal compared to my 96% rating out of over one million players a couple of years ago.  But oh well.  72% this year.  Nothing I can do about it now. Stupid full-time job getting in the way of my poker playing.  *grumble*


Also, I and the medical establishment in Maui failed completely to alleviate any of my chronic issues this year.  Medical establishment – you suck (except maybe for that rather handsome ENT doc who actually figured one thing out).


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No major illness, but yes indeedy – more body parts broke down again this year.  Arthritis diagnosed.  Inflamed larynx (I have pictures!).  Undiagnosed hip issue. Potentially uncooperative reproductive system.   It’s the joy of aging, folks.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

That would be the aforementioned HOUSE.


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I gotta give a shout-out to my former co-workers this year.  I spent almost six months at my old workplace this year before I left again for another job.  The office has been a sinking ship and it’s been a weekly drama of people leaving, both voluntarily and involuntarily.  It’s been stressful, sad, frustrating, and just downright wrong to see a once very-highly-regarded office of professionals fade away.  But through it all, most of these folks have been supportive of each other while maintaining a (sometimes gallows-like) sense of humor. 


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Some people at the old company who do not warrant celebration.   


14. Where did most of your money go?

See #s 1 & 11.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving back to California.  Hello family and friends.  We’re baaaack!!!!


16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Hmmm….need to think about that a bit.


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Happier or sadder?  About the same, I think. 


2. Thinner or fatter?  Congrats to me.  This is one year I can say, without a doubt – fatter. 


No congrats to me.  Frak.

3. Richer or poorer?  About a hundred times poorer.  In cash. 


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?



19. What do you wish you’d done less of?



20. How will you be spending Christmas/Hanukkah?

Sweetie and I spent it with family in the various places that our families are located.


21. How many one-night stands?

None.  We sold most of our furniture in Maui. 


22. What was your favorite TV program?


AND – I rediscovered The Young Riders!  Yup.  That’s right – 1980s television goodness right there.




23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No hate in the 808 (or 916) brah. 


24. What was the best book you read?

Hmmm……the latest releases of the Fables trade paperbacks.  And, I have to say – I’m almost done with Atlas Shrugged and I’m glad I (almost) read it.  That’s probably a whole other blog.  



25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can I just change this to musical moments?  This year, I said good-bye to two of my all-time favorite bands, as both declared they are retiring. Sweetie just got me A-ha’s final album.  And Big Sis and I saw Scorpions live in concert.  Farewell, dear dudes.  That’s a lotta music between them (yes, A-ha produced more than one song in the 1980s….sheesh).


26. What did you want and get?

More time with family and friends.  A job with health insurance.  A house.


27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Toy Story 3


28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was, and still am today, 39.  Spent it with family and my former roomie and her family at mom’s house where she/we hosted a Chinese-fondue/hot pot dinner of awesomeness and yum.


29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Winning a few more poker games to bring my stats up.


30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?



31. What kept you sane?

Who you callin’ “sane” Willis?


32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I do not.


33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The on-going legal sideshow surrounding Prop 8 here in California.  Never should have passed in the first place, and this whole debacle is embarrassing.  The midterm elections were also kind of amusing for the amount of people who honestly think anyone seeking higher office in this country is capable of steering Congress in some productive direction.  Oh, and Christine O’Donnell, for comedic relief. 


34. Who did you miss?

 A-ha.  I missed seeing them in concert.  Never did get to see them.  Boo hoo. 


35. Who was the best new person you met?

Well, it was significant that I met the five principals of the firm that I am now working for.  Good group of folks.


36. Did you fall in love in 2010?

All the time.


36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

There’s always a better house somewhere down the road. 


37.  Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:


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I play poker and drink rum…

…nothing really wrong with that.

I was thinking about it tonight as I joined a couple of co-workers for a quick drink after work. 

My co-worker and the bartender are great wine aficionados.  They spent a bit of time talking about food and wine, and wine, and wine making.  All good stuff.  I like good wine.  But I will admit I do not have a very sophisticated wine palate.  My senses just aren’t that stellar and the appreciation of the subtleties of wine are lost on my sub par sense of taste.  So, I honestly don’t know oakey from woody or whatever the proper wine terms are. 

So, there they are talking food and wine.  And I’m talking about how the World Series of Poker just started up in Vegas and how I’d love to watch some of it.  Then, I ask the bartender if he has any rum from Belize, which of course he does not.  Don’t know where I’ll find any after I finish the wonderful bottle my dear friend just gave me after her wedding.  It just tastes soooooo much better than regular rum.  Buttery and vanilla-y and yum.  1 Barrel.  Where do I find that in the States?

Anyway, I thought it was funny.  Wine and food.  Rum and poker.

In defense of my cultured side, I also play piano, can eat a five-course meal with good table manners, and I love love love the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields.  And I do like wine.  And wine making.  I’d just rather watch a professional poker player than wine maker.   

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Books, Travels, and Sleep

Tonight is a hodge podge of randomness.

I am home!!! Woo hoooooo!  Back in my own kitchen and my own living room and my own home office.  Back in my spider-infested bathroom and muggy bedroom.  Back in shorts and no socks! 

Sweetie and I had an uneventful trip.  I was worried about possible slow lines at the airport so I made us leave his mom’s house earlier than usual.  He gave me a bit of crap for being at the airport over an hour and a half early, but I was happy to grab a poppyseed muffin and sit and munch at the terminal.  The Oakland Airport wasn’t too crowded this morning around 6:30 a.m.  I would rather be early and have time to sit and do nothing than to scramble and fret in front of a bunch of TSA agents. 

I managed to get a grand total of – zero minutes of sleep last night.  Which is stupid because I was exhausted.  We drove back to my mom-in-law’s house yesterday and made a quick trip over to Santa Cruz to see some friends who had been sick the week before.  We left when the kids went to bed and I was almost stumbling over my feet I was so tired.  So, we get back to the house, pack our bags, and dive into bed.  And………nothing.  No sleep.  I still can’t fall asleep.  I toss and turn, go out to the couch, turn my computer back on, turn it off, count sheep, recite state and capitols.  And nothing.  It was a relief to me when Sweetie’s alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. this morning just so I could get up and get ready to go.

So – zero sleep for me last night.  But I did manage to sleep on the plane.  In between the seatbelt alert beeping on (Please sit down and fasten your seatbelts) and off (looks like we have calmer air folks) and on (Sorry, we’re at 30,000 feet and still turbulent) and off (feel free to move around the plane) and on……..and….you get the picture.

But now we are home!  And I suspect I will sleep well tonight.  And I’m starting the first book of my 2010 Read Your Own Book Challenge.  Fun!

I finished reading “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffenegger.  She is the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife which I loved.  I suppose it’s hard to follow up such an original work with anything as intriguing.  This little ghost story was interesting and I like the realistic way Niffenegger weaves together her characters in an unreal story.  But the characters themselves didn’t grab me like Time Traveler’s and I kept expecting the story to really grab me and pull me in.  It never completely did.  But it’s a good ghost story and, of course, one of the best characters is Highgate Cemetery itself.  Good but not necessarily a must-read.

And with that, I should dig into my books.  I received about five other books for Christmas, including TWO poker books that I am looking forward to reading.  Dan Harrington has some great poker tournament strategy books.  After playing for so long, I find that I already know most of the basic concepts he talks about (and by “basic” I mean – seriously in-depth minutia of every aspect of poker play but essential minutia for any good player), but this particular book adds so much more information.  I’m gobbling it up.  So, as I predicted, there will be plenty of new books to distract me from my old books.  Which just means I’ll have to put in double reading time.  No better time to start then now!

Or maybe – as soon as I get some sleep.

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Poker and Patience

There are many real-world lessons one can learn while playing the game of poker.

Take patience, for instance.  Patience is a valuable trait to have in life.  In poker, it is absolutely essential. 

Sure, you can get lucky and win a few hands with bravado and bullying.  But it won’t last.  Consistently good players must learn the skill of patience to accompany the art of the bluff and the brilliance of a good read. 


And grrrrrr…….I am late in getting this entry written and right now my throat is feeling like crap on a cracker.  Which is not anything new.  After my last trip to California, I realized I can’t really blame my chronic sore throat on the dry California weather.  I don’t know what to blame it on.  It hurts all the time.  In Maui.  In California.  All the time.  I kept thinking I was getting sick but I never actually get sick.   My current theory is that I have bit of acid reflux in my throat and that’s what is causing the constant pain.  I drink more coffee when I am in California and I think there is too much acid in my system .  But who knows.  Despite my general disdain for many doctors in this world, I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist when I get back home.  And I am not just basing my disdain on my past prejudice of stupid doctors.  This is based on my sitting down with several different doctors since I moved here/there and being – at the best – less than impressed with them.  At the worst, I have been spitting mad after leaving the most-idiotic-dermatologist ever who simply looked at me strangely after I asked him to help me figure out what was wrong instead of just giving me something to mask the symptoms.  He looked at me and said (I kid you not) “Most of my patients don’t care about that.”    And he proceeded to give me a prescription and open the door to show me out. 

Anyway, I may get my throat checked out.  They may figure something out.  They may not.  I’ve decided I certainly don’t have the patience to be in chronic pain.  I’m a big fat whiney whiner when it comes to chronic discomfort.  I hate it, want it to desist, and am a general grouch.

Apparently I don’t have the patience to play Omaha poker either.  Theoretically, if I had been playing a poker game this evening, and it was a freeroll (free to enter) and there was the maximum number of 5,000 players and it lasted for over 3 and a half hours, and I was well in the running to get a free ticket to a non-freeroll, you would think that I would sit on my short stack and not get riled up when people bet into me and I would quietly fold and wait for ONLY FIVE more people to bust out of the 5,000-person tournament, and I would certainly, certainly, certainly not go all-in on the flop with the best hand when big stacks have a better drawing hand.  Of course not.  I have LEARNED PATIENCE DARNITALL.  I was just telling Sweetie on the phone how awesome it was that I was doing so well in an Omaha game where I have learned to look at the board and say to myself:” If anyone can possibly have a better hand than me, someone will.”  That’s just the way of Omaha poker.  I was sooooo patient for so long.  I would never never bubble (or close to bubble) when I was guaranteed to money (ticket) if I just sat and waited a couple more minutes.  Theoretically, never. 

Actual life, however, may be a different matter.  Maybe. 

So, instead of a thoughtful and insightful blog about the merits of patience in poker, you get a rant about my throat and my brilliant snap of patience (theoretically speaking of course) in the final moment of a poker tournament.  What can I say?  I come from a long line of impatient people – my grandmother and my mother, for two.  They are not women known for their patience.  I’m a bit better than both of them, but I guess I have a long way to go, baby.

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Oh, this week is going to be fun at Friday Five. The topic today is as follows:

…the idea is about “filling in” or substituting” …seems appropriate today doesn’t it? Ok…now let me make sure I word this correctly…If your phone rang today and you were given the opportunity to “fill in” for someone would you do it? Would you jump at the chance to “be the star”…” the person in charge” ..maybe even write the last chapter of a book that turns into a best seller..or an Oscar winning script! Remember ..this is your golden opportunity to shine….so what sort of offers would you take in a minute…LIST FIVE…they don’t have to be serious…the skies the limit! As always…we all want to know what you came up with..so be sure to put your link here so we can take a peek! Have fun and happy fiving! Love, Queenie (your substitute hostess for July!)

I like it! This is what I came up with on the spur of the moment:

1. *ring* *ring!*

Excuse me, Ms. Stone Girl?


Hi, this is wolf biologist Dean Cluff. I was just up at Ellesmere Island with renowned wolf biologist David Mech. But I’ve been called away to observe sloths in South America and we need someone to take over my research work here on the island with Dr. Mech.

Oh yes. I am THERE!

2. *ring!ring!*

Hello, this is pro poker player Phil Ivey. We are about to start Day 3 of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. I am currently sitting on a very comfortable stack of 376,000 in chips but I have been called away to film a commercial for Full Tilt Poker. Can you please come and take over my game for me?

3. *rriiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnggggg*

Hello, this is one of the organizers of the next Mind and Life Conference series. We are setting up our topic, agendas, and invitees for the next conference with the Dalai Lama and several of our participants have dropped out. We would like to invite you to come to Dharamsala, India to meet with our invited scientists and the Dalai Lama and share your insights on the next topic. No, it doesn’t matter what the scientific focus of the next conference will be. We are sure you will have some valuable input and questions for the Dalai Lama as you sit around the table with him.

4. *ringring* *ringring*

Hello, this is National Forest Service. We have a vacancy position in one of our remote cabins in the Tahoe National Forest and we need someone to live in the cabin and conduct some periodic surveys for us. This position will require some solitude time and a bit of hiking in the back country wilderness.

5. *Ring!*

Hello? Yes, this is Melina Kanakaredes. I’m quitting CSI: New York. Can you fill in for me and work alongside this Gary Sinise guy for a while?

You can join this week’s Friday Five over here:


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In case you have not heard, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary has released their annual update of new words. Many words that have been part of the vocabulary of regular folks for years are finally regular enough to be included in the dictionary.

Among the new words? Texas Hold ‘Em. Welcome Texas Hold ‘Em! Of course, the current definition is about as bare bones as you can get:

poker in which each player is dealt two cards facedown and all players share five cards dealt faceup.

I was hoping the official definition would include something about the game being a game of SKILL instead of “luck,” thereby improving the chances of getting an exception for Texas Hold ’em (and other poker games) from the darn Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (boooooo). But alas, no such help from Webster’s Dictionary. I say – regulate on-line poker and maybe make some money off it instead of trying to pretend that thousands of Americans don’t still play. Not that I would ever play poker on-line from Hawai’i. No sirree Bob.

And finally, welcome Mondegreen!!! This term is all about misunderstood lyrics. I love it. From merriam-webster.com:

Mondegreen—a noun defined as a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung—was first coined by author Sylvia Wright in 1954, when she wrote an article for Atlantic magazine confessing to a childhood misinterpretation of the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl of Moray.” When she first heard the lyric “they had slain the Earl of Moray and had laid him on the green,” she felt terribly sorry for the “poor Lady Mondegreen.”

In honor of this new word, merriam-webster online is asking people to submit their own personal favorite mondegreens. If you would like to submit, go here:


My sister has commented before on the hilarity of some of her and her hubby’s misheard song lyrics. Personally, I love “You’re the weather balloon” for Grease’s “You’re the one that I want.” I have a bunch. Probably the biggest doozy was trying to figure out what the heck the line was in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s song “Blinded by the Light.”

What do you hear? I always heard “wrapped up like a douche…..in the middle of the night….” not that that makes any sense, of course. That is what mondegreens are all about. Do you have a personal favorite?

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