Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have a Good One....

Other people dreams ( along with holiday photo's) are very boring so you may want to skip to the next blog at this point.My dream last night was a weird mix of being upset at it being 10 yrs since I met the ex Mrs A,running and gunning in Modern Warfare 2 and Sarah Connor advising there was a storm coming!

It does amuse me to think that if I could step into a time machine,go back ten years and then jump forward I'd be asking who the heck let in the black and white dog currently lying beside the radiator! I'm probably too reflective at times,pondering so many what ifs and different paths my life could have taken.I did have regrets when I split from the ex over me being too selfish,playing too much poker and smoking too much.I can look back now and also remember feeling bored,restless and stuck in a relationship which felt as if it had run it's course,perhaps because neither of us worked hard enough to keep it going.

I suppose there are regrets too because only one relationship since has come anywhere near the universes colliding,stars exploding feeling I had back at the start of the Millennium when I met the ex Mrs A.I'm certainly not putting the ex Mrs A on some kind of pedestal.She was sleeping with me last year whilst seeing the guy she's now moved in with down South.That and the shock that she was so willing to leave her 15yr old daughter behind to make the move almost make me wish I'd just gone home when I popped out for a takeaway a couple of days after we met ( we spent first week of 2000 in bed).

Of course knowing how strong my feelings were and the overall crappy outcome makes it harder to give up much emotionally again in a relationship.I'm certainly not convinced internet dating is the answer.Then again maybe I'm just too fussy these days and have no intentions of changing a lifestyle I actually quite enjoy.( despite occasional lonely moments) The last woman I met online was good looking,had a nice enough personality and was dirty as hell but there just wasn't that special spark between us.Earlier in the year I did try giving it a month or so in case those feelings came with time but the "I'm nuts about you" phonecalls she made to me at 1am made me realise I was never going to feel like that about her.

Anyway to far more important matters and congrats to Kris Boyd on beating the diving Martian's SPL scoring record after he bagged five last night in the 7-1 drubbing handed out at Ibrox to Dundee United.Let's hope he can repeat the dose on Sunday against the mutants.That's why we're Champions!

I'm visiting my sis tomorrow for drinks with her friends and the s-man is coming over on Saturday for our usual Call of Duty/ Motorstorm ps3 session before I go to the game on Sunday.

I did play six $22's last night and the plan for today is to grind some more and get back to newb tubing on Modern Warfare...

Thanks for reading and here's to a healthy,happy 2010!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Behind You....Oooops

It's all getting a little frustrating being stuck indoors most of the time.I seem to have a good day or two,venture out and then suffer as the lump at the base of my back flares up further.I've also missed attending the Gers home games since Nov, although I have a ticket for our away game at the Piggery v them on Jan 4th and I'm really hoping to be well enough to make that one as the atmosphere in the Rangers end at an Old Firm game is incredible.

In fact I remember being late to get into their midden a couple of years back.We were all singing "Nakamura ate my dog" and banging on the cheap corrugated iron so loudly that we didn't hear 50,000 celtc fans celebrating an early goal.Two Pies and I thought their scoreboard was faulty when we reached the top of the stairs and glanced at it as we went to take our seats.I'd settle for a repeat of yesterdays 4-1 win over Hibs and more chants of "That's why we're Champions" and "So fuckin' easy"...

To the poker and The Bloggerment was good fun as usual.We had 13 runners again and I do wonder if it would be better to play it every two weeks or monthly to keep it fresh.Of course if Dudley ( resdentevil on Stars) wasn't 106 and completely senile he may have remembered to show up and help add to the numbers.Anyway I got it in with AK V AJ and JJ and went out when I didn't hit.

As Mr Cloud mentioned on his blog I've been helping him out with his sng game recently and I'm really pleased that so far it's going well and his results are reflecting that.( cue large downswing for Mr C!) Of course the fact that Mr C was a winning player already made my job far easier and I'm happy that I've learned a thing or two myself along the way too.I've got plenty of time on my hands at the moment and if any other low stakes sng players want any help then let me know in the comments or by email.( address at top) No fees although you have to be prepared to accept criticism and learn from it.

I only played a few more $22's last night on Party after the Bloggy and suffered from several disconnections at vital times.I was able to open other websites so I assume it was Party's fault and not my laptop/connection.In the last game I was heads up and had 7k to the chipleaders 13k.I raised JJ and his timeclock counted down to 3 seconds before it gave me the Disconnection notice.I get Party to email me all my sng hand histories and of course the villain folded to my JJ raise and then raised every pot when I was "away".( I missed AA too obviously.Grrr)

I like the Party $22's but I'm not putting up with that crap and will be taking my roll and rake back to Stars if it carries on.

Ok,just time for another Modern Warfare Vid.Nice epic fail....

Edit:Just found this one and loved it too.Enjoy Pud! ( and btw are comments working on your blog as I've tried to leave a few and it does''t seem to be working!)

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bloggerment Tonight

I had a good Xmas at my folks place and have been playing loads of Modern Warfare ( usually quite badly) and some more $22's at Party.

Not much going on so I thought I'd have a quick moan about forum talk.Maybe it's just me being a grumpy old git but do people think typing "This" and quoting somebody else really adds to the debate? Ahh well at least "google is your friend".Fuck off you patronising tosser!

I realise that people want their posts to stand out, however exaggerating and calling everything "insane" or "ridiculous" gets on my wick too.Adding stupid boxes like this [x] - Total Fud, also strikes me as almost as annoying as Brits calling it a "level" when somebody is joking in a post.I like America and Americans but does everybody have to be "dude".Such douchebaggery!!

It's probably looking at the Modern Warfare forums which has tipped me over the edge.MW players seem to have bigger egos and be more pathetic than even poker players usually manage.Somebody posts a vid on youtube of themselves killing 100 players in less than 30 seconds and the first response is "Noob".

Righty I'm off to watch the end of Rangers gubbing Hibs ( 4-1 at the moment).Hope to see you at the Bloggerment tonight on Stars.All welcome as usual.

/End Post!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friends will be Friends...

Friday was great.I took Step A out for Mcd's and probably sounded like a right old git as I warned her about boys with hormones and pushed her to keep working hard at school.I was a bit unsure on the alcohol front( she came home drunk a month or so back) as I certainly don't want to encourage her, but at 15 I was drinking too and nobody had ever told her the basics such as not drinking on an empty stomach,having a glass milk before going out and trying to drink lots of water before bed when she comes home.

Anyway the place was busy and I asked her to get us a free table as I queued to save time."But then I'll have to shout to let you know where I am", Step A said.As I could sense her unease at drawing attention to herself I assured her I when I heard her call out, I'd jump on the fast food counter,swing my arms round in a windmill pointy fashion and yell,"There's Step A" at the top of my voice.That got a smile.

After dropping her off I was home in time for the visit of Al Eleven ( the San Jose Salmon aka Miami Trout) and Mrs E.We had a fine old night on da herb, although since Al is smoking less these days he had to accept the downgrade from his previous "Iron Lungs" nickname to the more realistic "Pink lungs poofter" moniker.( though to be fair I added the poofter bit just now!)

Al,Mrs Eleven and the S-man are coming over tonight ( assuming I'm not snowed in by then) and once again I'm looking forward to chewing the fat with a few of my closest friends.Apologies to the Big Chap and Dudley as we're not going to get a poker home game this time round unfortunately.

If it doesn't piss Mrs E off too much we might get some Call of Duty played tonight too.I'm really starting to get hooked on the online game and my kill/death ratio is improving slightly too.The s-man takes the run+ gun LAG ( loose aggressive) approach and I stick to my TAG ( Tight Aggressive) style of mooching around trying to sneak up and knife people.

I also finally got round to watching the first episode of Prison Break ( liked it too) and that hasn't left room for much poker recently.

After the Bloggerment last night ( congrats to Mair on winning it) I watched Barney win his first round match at the World Darts Championship and then hit up the $22's where I couldn't get a hand to hold or hit for about 10 games before I finally took one down and cashed in a couple of others for a break even session.

Oh and I listened to the Radio 1 charts for the first time since I used to tape my favourite singles from it when Bruno Brookes presented it back in the day.I have to own up to cheering loudly when it was finally announced that the X-Factor winner had been beaten to the Xmas number 1 spot by Rage against the Machine with their "Killing in the Name" song.GIRUY Cowell and co! I don't use Facespace,Mybook or have any other web presence other than this blog, but I take my hat off to those who organised the campaign and I'm look forward to next years X-Factor smasher already.( "Holidays in the Sun" perhaps?)

Righty,enough wittering for now.If I don't post before the 25th then have a Merry Xmas reader! Enjoy the vid...

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking Out Snipers

My boss and a young apprentice manager were out this morning to pay me a visit,get an update on my health and to try and get a general idea of when I'll be going back to work.My right leg does feel much better, however I still can't sleep properly on my right side ( the side I fall asleep on) and I still have a lump at the base of my back where I tore muscles.I gave them an estimated date of mid Jan.

Everyone who saw the car either at the scene or in the photo's I posted back on Nov 6th reckons I'm very lucky to have walked away.I suppose at the time I thought that having made it out the car alive,I'd soon heal up in a week or so.On my last visit the Doc said it could take around 3 months to heal and despite my "luck" I may also have to accept that the injuries will always cause me some degree of pain.

It's just very frustrating to be stuck indoors doing very little for so long.I could have used this time to try and really grind the turbo's but being loaded up on painkillers + diazepam and feeling a bit low in general means that I just haven't felt like playing much at all.I have really enjoyed going through the Sng turbo hand histories people have sent me to look at and hopefully I've helped make a real difference to their games.Feel free to send more to the email address above, but be warned I tell it like it is and won't put too much sugar coating on it if I see clear mistakes that are costing you money!

In other news I believe my good mate Al Eleven(and Mrs E)are now back in Scotland for their Xmas visit and I'm looking forward to seeing them.I've known them both since school days and they stay in the US these days.As usual, being blokes there has been talk of poker home games ( with Dudley,s-man,Two Pies,Big Chap etc) and Call of Duty sessions but nothing arranged.I do have some fine herbs waiting for Al so my guess is he'll be in touch soon...

I'm also seeing Step A tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to catching up with her, although as usual I've not much of an idea what subjects 15yr olds like to chat about these days.I recall being her age and constantly being asked "How's school going?" and other such standard boring adult type questions.Answering "It's crap" usually brought about the standard lecture about how important it is to "stick in" and study hard if you want to avoid a life of asking customers if they'd like to "go large" with their happy meal.Yeah,Whateva..

Apologies if I've put this clip up before.I think I posted it on Raisetheriver somewhere but it may have been here.It's of some kid owning ( don't wanna lose a reader with pwning!) another in COD:Modern Warfare 2 and if you like the game or play shooters online I think it'll raise a smile...

Ok,thanks for reading.Don't forget all are welcome to play in Sundays $5.50 Blogger/Raise the River tourney on Pokerstars this Sunday.Hope to see you there....

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Straw Dogs

There's not been very much going on.Still off work,back still hurting and apart from the great news that my sisters baby scan went well today,there really isn't much to write about.I wrote the post below back at the end of September and as I've hee haw else to say today,here it is....

Ok,so as a result of thousands of hours of play and continued studying of the game I'm fortunate enough to have gained enough skill at the pokers to beat the low limit donkeys.I don't tilt very often and never, ever get angry and start berating the fish in the chatbox.

The first part re the hours and study are quite self explanatory but keeping calm emotionally at the table is something I want to look into further.Anthony Holden wrote that "Whether he likes it or not, a man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life." -- (from "Big Deal")

I recall as a teenager and a young man in my early twenties being really keen to find myself and gain a true sense of my own identity.Am I outgoing? Confident? Toe curlingly shy? Laid back? Quick tempered? Serious? Happy? Sad? We all come across as slightly different people depending on who we're dealing with at the time and it used to bother me that I could never seem to find the one true self within me.As I grew into my late twenties and thirties I came to realise that the answer is that human beings are complex and that it's ok to feel/be most of these conflicting emotions at the same time.We're all a bit of everything,it's all good and life is for living and not for paying attention to the detail all the time.

In "Straw Dogs" by John Gray ( one of my fav books) he wrote that "We labour under an error. We act in the belief that we are all of one piece, but we are able to cope with things only because we are a succession of fragments. We cannot shake off the sense that we are enduring selves, and yet we know we are not."

Yep,we're all just animals and as much as we like to think we're all unique and special the fact is that Pink Floyd had it right.We're all just bricks in the wall.

To take this nonsense post back to keeping calm at the table, a girl I went out with recently reckoned I was quite cold emotionally.I think maybe I just didn't fancy her that much, but it did get me thinking that maybe that is part of the reason I don't steam much at the tables.Perhaps I am a cold fish!

Cliffnotes: I'm an emotional robot who reckons human beings are nothing special and we're all just bricks in the wall...

Yet watching something like this clip from the amazing( especially as teenager on acid!) film "The Princess Bride" still brings a tear to my eye.

I wrote that I don't tilt often but I'm not immune.Perhaps it's just experience and because I try not to feel any great sense of entitlement when I sit down.Afterall I'm only entitled to play my best game.Having hands hold up and win is outwith my control.When it does get too much I find taking breaks and using techniques such as clenching my hands into a fist so hard my body shakes help to relieve the stress of repeated bad beats.

Thanks for reading.Back soon...

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Monday, December 07, 2009

When a Roll is not a Roll..

I've been reading an interesting 2+2 thread where mental game coach,Jared Tendler,gives some great advice on the part of the game I'd give at least equal status to poker skill.I've only read a few pages and I can already see that part of the reason I don't play higher stakes at the moment despite having the bankroll is because I've already spent a good chunk of my bankroll in my head.

I'm hoping to spend about £900 on paying my council tax upfront next April,the usual £450-ish for my football season ticket in May,car insurance in June etc etc.Now all these commitments are months away and even making $400-$500 per month between now and then should cover most of them, but subconsciously although I'm working with $4.5k ( aprox my roll after recent cashout towards car) I feel that at least half of that is already accounted for and indeed spent.

I like the cushion of having a big roll.I can lose 10-15 sng buy-ins on a bad night or two and sleep like a baby as I know I have plenty behind.My Stars roll was down to 58 cents with 4 games in running at one point and luckily I took one down and have built my roll there to about $550 since then.To be fair I knew that even if I'd busted it,I still had plenty on Party.

Of course the fear of failure and the fear of losing more than say $300 in one session also put me off attempting to play much higher.( though with the quality of recent herbals obtained I'm not sure it's possible to play any higher!)

Maybe I should simply cashout a good chunk now and push the boundaries a bit more with the cash I do keep in my roll.

As per the 2+2 thread I often see winnings as money earned which means that after having such good month in September I was reluctant to play much in October because I knew I wouldn't run as well and there was always a chance of hitting a downswing and losing back some of the money I felt ( wrongly) was earned and in the bank.In fact all I'd done was to add Septembers decent profit to my bankroll which is there to be played with and which is designed to absorb all ups and downs at the levels I play at.

Away from the felt I did enjoy seeing Step A when I took Nacho to her Dads for the weekend.Apparently I didn't notice her new "scene kid" hair do.I've heard of Neds,Goths and Emo but being a scene kid is a new one for me! She did go ice-skating on Sat night and at least used the £70 skates I bought her earlier in the year,probably for the first time.I also met the the ex Mrs A's brother the other day and asked him to ask his other sister ( Step A's aunt) to try and keep in touch with the wee one as she doesn't have much of a female influence in her life now that her Mum has buggered off down South.

Righty thanks for reading and thanks also to everyone who pimped/showed up to play in Sundays Bloggerment.QKs losing a race to JJ was my downfall this week.

Back soon....

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Duck Down....Jacket

Made it to the Docs yesterday and she gave me some mild diazepam for minor muscle spasms,more pain killers and a sick line for 3 more weeks.I called my work and it looks like my boss will be paying me a mandatory visit next week which is fine by me but also strikes me as a complete waste of time.Maybe he'll bring the big card and collection money my colleagues will have organised in my absence.( turn sarcasm meter up to full please)

It's frustrating because one minute I feel like I'm on the mend and then it hurts some more.That's partly due to the nurofen and co-codamol masking the pain I suppose.

I did pick the car up yesterday and also bought a fine new Icefield Down jacket, but I'm paying for it now and I think I just need to keep taking it easy and give myself a chance to heal properly.

Being off work for so long has given me a lot of thinking time and I find myself actually feeling more positive mentally as a result of the accident, despite being temporarily worse off physically.Perhaps I was starting to come out of a bit of a mental funk anyway.As 2010 approaches it's certainly been an up and down decade for me.It began with so much promise, meeting the ex Mrs A at a Millennium party and embarking upon the longest relationship of my life, and ends with me nearly killing myself in a car crash and eating dinner from a tray most nights.

I'm certainly not pining for a relationship, although I do have some regrets about a few relationships/friendships lost due to simply feeling awkward about what to say after leavings things for too long.

Such is the nature of the internet that I could be dating a new girl every week and indeed I had another lady mail me her number just yesterday.Perhaps she will be the one, but after meeting a few I'm beginning to have doubts over just how effective internet dating can be as you can never tell if any spark you seem to have online will translate into real life.

I'm not complaining about my lot as the decade ends.I'm healthy ( or at least will be in a few weeks hopefully),close to my family,have some great friends,earn over the national average,have no debt other than a tiny mortgage and have the freedom to play poker,eat takeaway meals,watch football,smoke as much as I like and spend my money how I see fit.As far as kids go I'm still in touch with Step A and I'm also really looking forward to becoming an uncle next June.Of course I'm also lucky to own the greatest half Staffie/half whippet mongrel dog that ever lived!

To the poker and I'm really liking Party's new stacking tables feature.I still reckon 4 tabling when smoking fine herb is more than enough but stacking certainly makes life at the felt easier.( though it is in beta mode and does require a few tweaks)

Not a lot more poker to report other than to say that The Bloggerment is open for registration on Stars so get over there and sign up for the game!

Oh and a quick apology to anyone who opened my last post at work and had to click away quickly due to the Countdown clip!

Craghopper Icefield Down Jacket.£65 from Debenhams just now.Hotter than Darvin Moon's run to the WSOP main event final table....

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

You Can't Beat a Bit of Bully!

First up congrats to Bullmeister on taking down the The Bloggerment last Sunday and thanks to the 25 players who showed up to play.Two Pies was round that night to watch the football and "The Damned United" so I wasn't too bothered about crashing out the game quite early.I did manage to make the top 2 from 3 in a mini sng to determine the last two RTR players at the upcoming meet in Jan which I'm quite pleased about.

On the health front I do feel much better although I've not stopped the pain killers, still can't sleep on my right side,my right leg still hurts and I've got a swollen lumpy bit at the bottom of my back.I've got the Doc's tomorrow morning and I'll see what she says about going back to work.I've never had to have a sick line ( required in the UK if you're off for over 7 days)before and I don't really want to go back to work until the pain eases some more.She did say that torn muscles take 4-6weeks to heal and the accident happened a month ago.

To the poker and as per previous posts I'm not going to be doing monthly stats anymore as doing so keeps my focus on the short term too much.I only played about 180sngs in November and did make a slight profit.My goal for December is to try and play nearer 400 turbo sngs and to turn a profit.I did manage to procure some of the finest herbals I've had in a long time so that 400 goal might be pushing it a bit!

I mentioned on RTR that I'd be happy to try a bit of sng coaching and a couple of players responded.I've done one live session via teamviewer and also gone over a dozen hand histories and sent them back after viewing them in the cardrunners hand replayer.The live session was done using Yahoo IM and it wasn't actually that easy to watch a couple of tables whilst typing advice and chatting in general.I felt beforehand that live sessions were the way to go, but going over hand histories and commenting on specific hands may actually be the better way to learn.As I'm off work I certainly have the free time to go through hand histories and if any other low stakes turbo sng players want to email me any I'll take a look.( email address at top of blog)

I also played a $5 Old Firm challenge tourney with 21 runners between fans of Scotlands Champions and our rivals across the city.It was my idea to type "Champ or fud into the chatbox at the start to work out who was on which side and it was funny to see quite a few typing "Champ" when we started the game.The blinds started at 0-20 ( 20 mins long Zzzzz) and I eventually went out when my AQd fell to 55.

I did look on youtube for a suitable Bullseye clip but this Countdown one appealed far more to my mature,sophisticated sense of humour...

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