Friday, November 28, 2008

thanksgiving on the farm

The yearly tradition for thanksgiving is for my dad's side of the family to goto his parents house on a farm in Worthington (rural sw minnesota). As a kid we would go there a lot and I always had the time of my life and I think it was great for my development. I would ride tractors, make fires, shoot guns, and ride dirt bikes. I think a lot of other city kids miss out on this stuff and I'm grateful to have experienced a little bit of it.

It's always a nice true vacation as except for maybe a few low-stakes hands in the car on my laptop, it's poker free.

We are all ready to go skiing and snowboarding out west but nobody really has any worthwhile snow. I was able to convince jay, dave, billy, and dave p to get vail season passes too as it's just such a good deal so we're hoping they can get some snow soon. It works at Vail, beaver creek, heavenly, Arapaho basin, and Breckenridge. All for $579. Their website says 620 now but if you have a friend refer you you can still get it for 579. Pretty sick.

There has been talks of a pickup pond hockey type hockey game as well as some snow football once we get some snow and I'm looking forward to both. I've only skated now twice in the last billion years but owell it'll be fun to go screw around as most people are about as bad as I am.

I got a sick new laptop a few days ago and so far I really love it. It's the ultraportable toshiba R600 which has a 12" screen and weighs 2.5 pounds. It also has a transreflective (or something) screen that works in direct sunlight so I'm seeing some poker on the beach in my future. It also has a solid state hard drive which makes it faster and more durable. The battery life seems to be about 4 hours which is 4 times better than my last hunk of junk. The one negative thing is there is only 1 speaker and it's brutal as far as sound quality. Not a huge deal but annoying nonetheless.

Everyone laments about vista and this has been my first experience with it and so far I really like it. I haven't had any crashes or issues and I like how everything just seems smoother and thought out. I did HATE the UAC (the thing that pops up whenever you open a program or file and asks you if in fact you wanted to do that) as well as was confused as to where to find how to enable hidden folders to access my poker stars hands (which are stored in the user apps dir instead of program files) but past that it seems pretty sleek.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rise Against

For Dave Schnettler and Mike Pickett's birthday they decided to get a vip suite at myth for the Rise against concert and what an idea it was. We didn't get there for the first band, but thrice and alkaline trio played also and they were really good...but Rise just knocked everyone's socks off. They are just so good in concert. I highly recommend the suite to anyone for concerts too. Can easily fit 20-30 people in there comfortably and everything just works out smoothly. We did get a little rowdy and I think one person got kicked out at the end but it was just hard not be to with how good rise against was.

Some seasons out west are snowy in November and I've been following the weather daily and it just hasn't been. I've been ready to pack my bags and go for a couple weeks but nowhere has much open and I'll just have to wait. The long range forecast is warm and dry, too. Hopefully early December will be different.

Michelle and I went ice skating last week and it was my first time on skates in probably 15 years. Since I ski and rollerblade it came back nicely and it was fun to get out there and cruise around with how much hockey we watch these days. Some of the guys are talking about a pickup game, that sounds really fun. Matter of fact I'm gonna go make a few phones calls and see if we can set that up next week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

LA and it's aftermath

LA was a real good trip and I ended up staying a couple extra days cause it was fun spending time with some really awesome people as well as poker was going well. Most nights I was going to bed between 4am and 8am (which is of course 6am and 10am MN time) and my flight landed at 6am and I didn't sleep on the plane, so I came back with the standard backwards sleep schedule. This isn't particularly a huge deal, it's just pretty annoying especially when you want to hang out with friends and girlfriends who are on regular schedules.

So the last 3 days I've been trying to fix it. 2 nights ago I was able to crash from 230am-630am which I figured wouldn't be that bad because I should still be tired the next when I went to bed at 230am last night I figured I could sleep. But then it was 430am and I still hadn't gotten a wink, so I got up and started playing poker. I lost my ass in like an hour so I had to quit and just kill time. A few friends had spent the night so I drove them home at 11am that probably wasn't a super good idea... I was sober but it was like i was drunk from being so tired. We made it though. I fully intended on sleeping when I got home but then I was talking to a buddy and I'm like "damn, I've made it this far, should just stay up all day and sleep at like 8 or 9pm and wake up and play the heartland poker tour tourney at 9am." So that's what I did. I played poker for 8 hours straight and man was it tough. the 4pm-5pm stretch was by far the hardest but once I got to 6pm it was smooth sailing minus the fact that I started seeing colors on white paper in addition to having the standard sleep deprived vision impairment. I actually did alright in my marathon poker session.

When I got in bed a little after 8, my body was kinda past the whole sleepiness thing. Adrenaline had obviously kicked in and so I had a couple beers and watched the end of the wild game and when it was over, conked out quickly. I woke up at 1230 for no reason and was like screw this but was able to quickly fall back asleep. Then I woke up at 230 and had no such luck. I tossed and turned. No chance. Argh. I gave it a half hour now I'm gonna go give it another shot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Johnny Chan

When I was a very new poker player, I would watch rounders over and over. I've probably seen it 30 or 40 times. In the last couple years I watch it perhaps once or twice a year for nostalgias sake. So when Johny Chan came up and sat down next to me at our $500/1000 game I had to admit I was like woah. I've played with many more notable people and better players than him, but there was just something cool about playing a limit holdem pot vs johnny chan- the guy who was so incredibly glorified in that movie. The only hand we got involved together was actually pretty boring and standard but I may as well share it.

Johny raised in MP, I 3 bet right behind with TT, all folded, he called.

Flop Q74 with 2 hearts.

He c/r I call.

Turn offsuit 9

He checked I bet, he called

river offsuit 2

He checked I bet, he folded.

I mean, if you woulda told me 5 years ago when I first saw this movie that I would be playing poker some day for real and not in some contrived situation(like some tournament) with Johnny chan I would have thought you were out of your mind. Now the only person left who I'd like to play with is Doyle brunson and I can't imagine playing with him outside of a tournament really. I also kinda want to play lhe with Phil Ivey cause I hear he's one of the best and I want to see if there's anything subtle I can pick up from him...

So far so good on the trip, but anyone who has played big white chips knows it can change drastically in a hurry...wish me luck!

Monday, November 3, 2008

boys night

On Thursday we decided a little boys night was in order, so the 4 of us with season tix decided to grab a nice dinner before the game (me, Schneider, Pickett and Dave p). Pickett had heard good things from somebody about this new steakhouse in st Paul called the strip club. Pretty fitting name for boys night. My initial reaction when we walked in was a touch underwhelming but as the night progressed the decor grew on me hugely and I really like it now.

It was one of the better dinner experiences I've had and I eat out a lot(more than i should). Our waiter was one of the best I've ever had - he was really attentive and helpful (and yet not annoying/over the top) and even called us a cab to get to the game. The food was really good. We all got steaks of somesort and everyone was pleased. One of the appetizers stood out as really good - it was like beef tips or something. Basically rib eye marinated in BBQ sauce and then grilled with some peppers or something. It only comes with 2 so it's pretty small but it really hits the spot.

We started with some wine but then got intrigued by the $25 dollar 750ml beers at the bottom of the list so we asked the waiter about them and he said he personally picked them and they are all fantastic. We decided why not try all 3 so he got us all 3 glasses and poured them all and it was quite the sight with 3 beers, a glass of wine, and water all in front of everyone on this little table. 2 of them were Belgian imports while the third was from some small brewery in Colorado. All 9-10% alcohol content. They were super good, as was the wine, so much so that we decided to get another bottle. Schneider said it may be one of his favorites. I hope he wrote it down because it wasn't very expensive.

All that eating and drinking and we were ready for some hockey. Dave P and I had 20 bucks on how long the cab would take to get to the stadium. I had under 7 minutes and Dave had the over. 6:05 later we were there. There was a light we coulda missed that woulda made for a sweat butttttt our cabby decided yellow means go. ship it!

The wild game started off far more intense than many and we were finally like YES! there is going to be a fight finally! (I've been to 5 games so far, 0 fights) Nope. Just some scuffling. The game was tight and down to the wire but we just couldn't capitalize on the most power plays I think I've ever seen. Montreal was sick at killing them and ended up winning which was well deserved in my book.

Going drink for drink with Pickett and Dave P is recipe for disaster so by the third period it was time for a round off for beeker. Those boys don't slow down. Schneider had stopped after round 1 or 2 at the game. By the time the game was done I was feeling like a little extended break. We walked to a local bar and Dave and mike went in for a drink and Schneider and I waited outside cause it was super nice out and just pretty chill and talk a little trash with Montreal fans...most of which had came down from Manitoba. They were all real nice and fun to chat with.

Chal was at the game (but not with us) and somehow had gone home after so we swung by his house and then went downtown to meet up with some of the other boys (Frank, Adam, Johny, Justin). We got apps/drinks at the 508 which really hit the spot for me. We hung out there for awhile then hit up the drink and stinky petes or something where nothing notable really happened. By 1am I was ready to just go home and relax so Dave p, chal and I came back here to chill. Chal was giving me grief about being kinda tired, demanding I stay up so I told him I'd promise him an hour. On the way home Dave P slept most of the way so as we're pulling up I'm like ok everyone have their cell phone and wallet (chal has lost like 4 cell phones in cabs). Chal said yep and dave didn't really respond. We got out of the cab and Dave p is like oman my phone must be in the cab. Wtf i just asked if you had it. Haha. It was there and all is well.

One side note I didn't understand is we called a cab from my house initially and Dave p got caught up in traffic on the way here so when I told the cabby to start the meter, our buddy will be here in 10 minutes he said "god dammit" and was all put out. I don't understand? Is it that crappy of a rate that they get to charge for waiting or what's the deal? I thought cabby's live for big fairs and ours was going to be at least 50 or 60 bucks cause we had to swing by Pickett's, too. Of course on the way we missed a turn because we were too busy talking and he was pissed about that too. Who cares dude? The meter is running and it was our fault. We don't give a shit. Must be just an unhappy person. Pickett lost the paper rock scissors for who had to pay and wasn't there for most of the shenanigans so I'm not sure how much he tipped him, but I wouldn't have given him anything which I'm sure would compound his view of the world but, hey that's not my problem...I was pleasant.