Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yea, it's been a while. So what.

Absolutely no one has asked “What’s up with Special K?” Well tough, I’m going to tell you anyway.

Things are good, though they have been better. Those in my families who were sick are healing. Mr. C continues to recover from surgery. He is free of all foreign objects in his body. He has been cleared to drive and took that as an opportunity to go to Charleston, SC for lunch. For those who don’t know Carolina geography, that’s a 6 hour round trip for lunch. I am so glad he feels up to it.

My grandmother is doing better physically, but mentally she just isn’t there like she was just a few months ago. I’m sad for her. I’m sad that she has been sick and in pain. I’m sad that she doesn’t seem to have anything to look forward to. All of her friends and family of her generation is gone already. She did a great job in raising a great daughter (my mom) and son. Hell, she raised her brothers and sisters, so she raised kids through the depression and a world war. She was a fun Grandmother with way more patience than I deserved. I’m in no hurry to see her go. It’s just sad.

I’m traveling again. This time I’m in beautiful Atlanta, GA. It sure isn’t Jamaica. At least the weather was nice in J. Atlanta is probably the lease exciting big city I can think of. That’s because it is so much like Charlotte, just bigger. The tea is sweeter. The accents are thicker. The traffic is worse. Please take me home where my bed is softer and warmer.

My travel schedule is busy for January. I have one more week of potential ‘last minute’ travel on busniss. The second week of Jan is for study at (or near) home. Week 3 is for training for which I will travel to Redmond, WA. Then I return to CLT for the weekend before flying to Vegas with BG and Andres the Colombian. Rounders Mag and Zero Tilt Poker is having another event while I am there. That should make for another great time.

I’m going to miss Gold Preferred status on US Airways this year by 6000 miles. L

Christmas time was marked with catching up with folks I knew in High School. It was fun catching up with Jennifer and Tony (you can catch up with Tony at
http://half-lifeandtimes.blogspot.com/).

I got everything on my Christmas list this year. It pays to keep your list short.

God, thank you for my wife. I just can’t say that enough.

I’ve decided that ‘American Idol’ is a good thing. I’m not about to start watching, but the music that is coming out of the winners (I count Clay as a winner) is not bad. Unlike Rap, it is at least musical. I has been awhile since there has been any good new music on the radio.

Poker is on for next Friday night. Pool is on for Tuesday. Y’all go find your own fun.

Later

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Short Week

I love short weeks. Tomorrow is a vacation day for Microsoft so this work week is only four days. It great to start the week with only 4 more days to the weekend. Especially this time of year. It’s not that I dislike work. Mine can be fun, in a very geeky sort of way. It’s just that there is very little day light outside of working hours. It gets very hard to accomplish anything that involves being outdoors this time of year. And if we get a rainy weekend then I’m going to be behind in my chores for the rest of the winter.

So yesterday was the beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year. October was the shortest month of 2005, but won’t be the shortest month of 2006. Do you know why?

All of that snow and generally cold weather that large parts of the country has been seeing is just a preview. I would say it was a “warm-up”, but would mix the metaphors a bit much.

I guess it is a short post, too. More from the road soon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Back from Jamaica

'Twas the last weekend before Christmas...

I got back from my business trip in Jamaica late on Friday night. I really didn't do anything outside of the hotel except for work. I had one night out for dinner at a local sports bar. That was all of three blocks from the hotel. On the way I saw a flock of americans eating at the local KFC. What a waste that is, going all the way to Jamaica and eating the same crap that you can get in any city in the US.

Since I didn't get out, I also didn't get any good pictures. I tried to take a couple from the cab, but that was pretty weak. So no picture posting from this trip.

Thanks to my wife, I'm pretty much ready for Christmas. All of the gifts that need to be sent have been sent and the rest have been bought and are ready for delivery. Some are wrapped and some are not.

There might be some poker this week. Bullits is trying to host a game on Christmas Eve Eve. We'll see if the joy of the season has spread to the spouses. I'll probably warm up with some pub poker on Wednesday night. 'Tis the season for poker, I guess. I'll post my reports.

Y'all have a good week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jamaica

Three days in Jamaica and I haven’t blogged a thing. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about. I’ve just been so damn busy that I’ve had no energy left. This customer has been keeping me hopping from sun up to sun down. We are making great progress, so that keep me going, perhaps a little longer than I should. But I’ve only got a day and a half more, so I can keep burning it. Besides, I know my coworkers burn it just as hard, so I can take it too.

So what are the things to blog about. First of all, Kingston is firmly ensconsed in the third world. I really don’t mean to be unkind in saying that. It is just so obvious when riding around town and from the airport to “New Kingston” in particular. There are many housed without roofs, garbage that looks like its been on the road side for years, and people that look like they no worked since they put out the garbage.

The Hilton hotel is very nice. I think this is one of the places that the Kingston middle class comes to live it up. I’ve seen tons of new grads and wedded couples roaming the lobby and restaurants. They all look so happy to be here. I like seeing that and I’m happy for them.

The currency is a hoot. I’m drinking my Red Stripe beer (HOORAY BEER!) right now. I’m betting it cost around $250. No, I didn’t miss the decimal, it is really $250 jamaican. Dinner was just over $3000. The exchange rate to USD is about 60:1. I feel like I’m spending like Johnny F. Chan.

It was at the end of the paragraph above that my appetizer came followed closely by my entre. None of this is too surprising since I am sitting in the sushi bar/restaurant of the hotel. Now for some odd reason, I’m feeling a scoshe more buzzed than before. It could be that the soy sauce or the Red Strip has more alcohol than I anticipated. Must be the soy sauce.

You haven’t lived until you have heard a reagge band play Christmas songs like “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” I think this is the most English forgein country that I have ever seen. Jamaica was an English colony for hundreds of years. It makes the place very familiar in odd ways.

I love to hear the natives speak. They are so friendly to everyone. I can’t tell half the time when the native that I am with knows the person they are speaking to or not. They are so polite. It get embarssing having the door held open for me as much as it is. I won’t get used to it, but I could.

The weather is wonderful. The lows are in the high 60s and the highs are in the low 80s. The mountains are beautiful. The food is really good too. The Jamaicans are very picky about their food and they tend to eat really well. Chicken and seafood are the staples with beef very available, but expensive. Everything I have tried has be very tasty. The waiter at dinner last night took great pride as he explained that Red Stripe was “very good and world renouned.” How could I not have one or two after that.

This is a nice place, but I’ll still be happy to return home. This place in too much work. J I’ll have to see about coming back on a vacation . At this point, I would recommend it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Odd Ends

It has been a while since my last update. The flurry of activity over the Vegas weeks was a lot of fun and hard at the same time. That gave me a lot to write about. Since then it has been back to the grind. There's not much to write about the daily grind. I'm absolutely sure there will be no sympathy coming my way for that.

Here are some updates. Mr. C (my father-in-law and friend) is doing better. He is now off all tubes and needles and continues his recovery on track. There is still a lot of pain where his kidney used to be. If anyone reading this has had a kidney removed and remembers the length of the recovery process, please pass that along. You know how it can be nice to know what to expect. We continue to hope and pray for Mr. C’s complete recovery in the very near future. If you run into EasyEd on the tables at TiltZeroPoker, say Hi.

My next Vegas trip is already booked. Brian G. (who I think I will refer to as "Bullet" for the "Hold'em Bullets" tattoo he sports on his forearm) and Andres N. (who I would get a kick out of calling the Argentinean Asians, since he is from Colombia so it would irritate him greatly, though he would probably just think I was just another stupid American) and I (Special K) are jetting out to Vegas on January 24 for a few days of fun and poker. With a little luck they will happen at the same time. Tilt Zero Poker will be having another tourney at Binion’s and maybe some surprises again (see picture of me, Doyle, and Johnny below).

Business trips have been minimal. I had a trip to Durham last week and a local customer visit here in Charlotte. I have upcoming trips to Jamaica and Redmond, WA (the Borg Mother Ship as my younger brother likes to call it).

I did have an idea for this post, so here goes. I have heard several things recently that hit me as being very funny so I think I will share.

The first happened at Thanksgiving with my wife, Mother and Uncle in attendance. Our conversation worked around to the floods in New Orleans and the help those folks have been getting in various cities around the country. Then it was brought up that some folks receiving aid were not from New Orleans at all. That is when my mother exclaimed that "they are giving disasters a bad name." I about wet myself laughing. Sorry N.O., but that was funny as hell.

I don't really remember the context that well, but someone within earshot actually said "that is just the tip of the ice bucket."

The last item was from a coworker who was talking about an email he received from another coworker, this one for whom English is not the primary language. He explained out loud what was written and then added "I'm sure there is some language where that is hilarious." I can already tell I will take years refining the use of that particular line.

If the trip happens, I'll be sure to tote my camera to Jamaica, so come back for the pictures.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My New Cards are not Kind to Me

I got a new set of KEM cards this week. A very thoughtfull coworker brought them back from Seattel for me. I've never had a nice set of cards so I was excited to have a chance to try them out tonight. Another bud had his in-laws in town and the father and brother wanted to play some poker. The email went out and we had a table of 7 before you knew it.

The night started out great. Somewhere in the fisrt level I get KK. I put out a moderate raise and get a couple of callers. The flop comes KQX rainbow. Beautiful. I think I checked and got a small bet that I called. Another blank on the turn and I lead out with a nice bet and get one caller (the guy who bought the cards for me). The turn is the 4th K. Seems to me there were 3 clubs as well. I make another healthy bet (like 400). B calls asking if I have a larger flush. I answer 'I have a larger one.' He agrees.

I made the 'money' in that first tourney, but then the cards turned on me in an ugly way. We are 3 way now and I get K9 in the big blind. The button folds and the small blind calls. I check to see a flop. The flop comes 993. I've got a good stack, but a little below average. The small blind bets 400 and I go all in. He calls and turns over 1010. I love it and show the 9. The turn is a 4 and the river is a ... Ten. I can not believe it. If you go back to my last posting about a tournament, it was pocket tens that busted me out by catching a 10 on the river when I had the hand dominated.

OK math wizards, what are the odds of getting kicked out of two tournaments in a row by the same hand that catches the same card on the river both times. That's poker.

The final tournament wasn't any better. I got down a bit early when good starting hands wouldn't catch anything. I got back by catching a good card to put one player out. So I had a moderate chip stack. At this point we are 4 way. I'm in the big bling with K10o. The small bI have top pair with a great kicker. The small blind bets 400. He is a pretty tight player, but he has low starting standards so I'm hoping he caught a 10 with a lower kicker or an 8 with a good kicker. I go all in and he calls. Can you guess what he has. Yep, 10 10! The only other tens in the deck. That must be almost impossible. Neither of us improve and I'm out to Tens for the third straight tourney. Any math wizes got odds on that?

Maybe next time.
third straight tourney. Any math wizes got odds on that?

Maybe next time.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Whoa Ho! China Grove!

Looks like they had a little dust up in China Grove.

Normally I hate it when the police ignore real crime to bust up a friendly home game. In this case, it was not a friendly home game, but a for profit business. That really doesn't bother me. If you run an illicit business like this, you can expect to get arested. It's a cost of doing business. I really prefer that the house not take a rake. If I want to play for high stakes, I'll go to AC or Vegas. Good luck guys.

Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE — SBI agents and local law enforcement officers raided a poker game two weeks ago on Stirewalt Road where the buy-in fee for players was $500 each.
The Texas hold 'em poker game promised a 90 percent payoff, with the "house" keeping 10 percent.
With a $7,500 pot in the mix Nov. 9, the winner would have received 55 percent, or $4,125.
But officers raided the game halfway through the night's first hand.
A pair of armed, undercover officers were among the night's 15 players.
Lt. Kevin Auten, head of the Rowan County Sheriff's Department's special investigations unit, said the District Attorney's office was concerned mainly with bringing gambling charges against three men who were running the game and possibly two dealers.
No charges have been filed against the other players.
"That's where the line was drawn," Auten said.
The Sheriff's Department charged David Alexander Tilley, 63, of 2020 Stirewalt Road, China Grove; Charles Lewis Fellows of 1224 S. Fulton St., Salisbury; and John Luther Safrit of 931 N. Main St., Salisbury.
All three were charged with one count each of gambling, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Their first court appearance will be Dec. 16 in Rowan County District Court.
The game was being held in a garage at Tilley's residence.
Fellows was the "meet-and-greet fellow at the door," Auten said, and players paid their $500 buy-in to Safrit. The trio also were players. The two dealers were in addition to the 15 players.
The names and telephone numbers of Tilley and Fellows also were listed on a flyer that was being circulated to advertise the Wednesday night games.
Auten said it's believed that the Nov. 9 game was only the second one held at Tilley's residence.
A citizen made the Sheriff's Department aware of the flyer being circulated. It promised a 90 percent payoff, with 55 percent going to the night's winner, 20 percent to second place, 10 percent to third place and $500 (a return of the buy-in fee) for fourth place.
The flyer also noted that parking was in the back and entry to the garage was through a back door. "Doors opened" at 5 p.m. and closed at 6:30 p.m., according to the flyer.
Auten said the garage had blankets over the windows. Snacks and drinks were available, but no alcohol, he added.
Members of the SBN, Sheriff's Department, Landis Police Department and Salisbury Police Department executed the search warrant that allowed them to break up the game.
Officers seized the $7,500 that represented the players' entry fees. The SBN processed the scene.
Auten said this particular raid doesn't mean his investigations unit is scouring the county, looking for poker games at people's houses. But this particular game drew the Sheriff's Department's attention for two reasons.
Clearly, from the flyers in hand, the game was being run out of Tilley's house as a for-profit business, Auten said. The profit for the house on Nov. 9 would have been $750, for example.
Officers also were concerned about the flyers which, by calling the telephone numbers provided, directed people to the game.
Auten said it presented a safety concern in that anybody — someone armed, for example, and unknown to the game's sponsors and other players — could arrive at the residence knowing a large amount of money was going to be on hand.
The fact that the undercover officers were able to buy into the game offered proof enough, Auten noted.
"That flyer — we got it, who else could have gotten it?" Auten said.
Auten said he is not aware that the men charged have faced prior gambling charges.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Headache - Sore Throat - Cold

Yuck. For the past week, I've been dealing with a cold. I'm on the back side of it now, but it sure has been inconvenient. With Mr. C in and now just out of the hospital, I've had to keep my distance. The last thing that poor man needs is to catch my cold. My wife has ordered me to get well by Thursday. I have to admit, it's a good idea. I just don't have much control over the situation.

I started writing up the story of how I got from Tobey Maguire to having the two greatest poker players in the world call my ailing father-in-law. It will most likely end up a corney piece of garbage, but it's a good exercise none the less.

As I mentioned eariler, Mr. C is out of the hospital. They let him go last night. I am sure he is much more comfortable at home, but it didn't start out that way. We had a nice little rain storm and something happened to the power at his house. It was out all night. The temperature in the house got down to 61. I don't think the poor man has warmed up yet. But things are better now. Once the cable and high-speed internet start working again, he will be in good shape.

My grandmother will also be home for Thanksgiving. She has been in rehab since the end of her hospitalization for a blood clot in her leg. She will only be home for the day. With some luck and hard work, she will be home permanently in a couple weeks.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. If you live in Canada I hope you already had a good Thanksgiving, and if you live elsewhere, make it the best Thursday ever.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Weekly Wrap

It has been a slow week. But then what week wouldn't be slow after traveling to Las Vegas, making a bunch of new friends, meeting 2 people who are famous as the best in their field and generally having a great time. On the other hand, I've picked up a nice little cold. That has helped me to slow down and concentrate on what lies ahead.

Mr. C had his operation this week and I am happy to report that he is doing well. There were some options that the doctors were prepared to use if necessary. Each of the options would have either extended Mr. C's recovery time or made a great change in his quality of life. Luckily, they had to use none of the options. Everything went as smoothly as could have been hoped. He should be out of the hospital early next week.

I've also been spending some time thinking about what lies ahead of me. Each of us goes through times when we wish we could just lock everything down and keep life just the way it is. The past couple of years seemed like that to me. The job was good. The house needed attention and I liked doing fix-up. The wife, the friends, church; all good. I could always earn more or have a few more toys, but having things to look forward to is a big part of being happy.

Most of the above is still great. Family is a little sick at this time, but it looks like everyone will recover. The job is a bit rocky and I'm not sure how long I'm going to want to continue in this role I have now. I have so many things that I want to learn and I don't think that is going to happen in my current group. If I can't make this group work, I'm pretty sure I can find something else inside the company (Microsoft) to satisfy me. I've got almost 12 years invested here and I don't want to cash that in just yet.

I'm also looking to design and publish an internet web site for selling photographs. I have had some success in selling some of the prints that I've posted to my other web sites and pictures that I've taken at various events (weddings, poker tournaments). I think it is about time to look more professional. If making it easier to order makes for more sales then I'll take that too.

Gee, if that wasn't enough, me and the wife have been making plans to remodel our kitchen and adding a large sunroom to the house. We've secured the home equity line. Now we need to get someone to help us with the plans.

As you can tell, I'm big on knowing what needs to be done. I'm just not that big on getting things done right now. I guess it is time to make a list and start checking them off.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Reality

I got back to Charlotte about an hour late on Monday morning and decided to go into work to handle a few issues. I made it through to about 1 o’clock when I felt myself starting to crash. So I went home and did just that. After a few hours of sleep I got up to visit with Mrs. K and worked until midnight. Four more hours of sleep and then it was time to head for the hospital.

There is just no good analogy for what life is like right now. Friday night I’m hanging out with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson and Tuesday I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room. Mr. C’s big operation is today. My wife got to the hospital at 5 am. I followed at 6. It is now 3 pm and we have been told hourly that things are going well. The operation was supposed to take between 3.5 and 5 hours. It has now been 8 hours. It gets frightening when an already stressful situation doesn’t go according to plan.

Everone is holding up as best they can but I’ve seen about every member of the family in tears. Only for a bit, but it’s hard to watch none the less.

One hour later: The doctors finished up finally. Everything is going to be OK. The operation was a success. Mr. C’s recovery will take 5-10 days of hospitalization and 8 to 10 weeks total, but recovery should be total with no permanent change in lifestyle. Praise God. There have been so many well wishes. The whole family thanks every one of you.

Two hours more: I'm home now. Tonight's assignment is to hold down the home front. I feed the dogs, put our charity clothing for pickup and post a week's postings to the blog. What a week with lots more to come.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Down Sunday

Today is a down day. After the hetic pace of the last few days, that is a relief. I woke up around 10 am, surprisingly fresh considering I didn’t get to bed until about 5 am. I’ll pay that price later. I got packed and checked out of the room around 11. I stored my bags at the bell station and went for brunch. Then it was time for some poker. I played $2-4 limit for 4 hours and took a total of $24. Not a great rate or pay per hour (almost 1.2 big bets per hour) but it was high of entertainment value.

Then I went to talk to Monster about what was next and to listen to the conversations between the partners. I have a lot to learn about this business, just out of interest for now, but who knows what the future holds.

There was one more item on the list exciting events. Monster and I went the Steak House at Treasure Island with Trish from the Doyle Brunson Poker Network for a possible dinner with Johnny Chan. The meal was great but Johnny was busy with something at the Venician, so no Johnny Chan tonight.

From TI, it was time to go to the airport for the overnight trip back to Charlotte and the real world. It is so much fun stepping out of the grind and doing good work for folks that really appreciate what I do. That is certainly the case with ZTP, both players and management. I’m really looking forward to doing more in the future.

Tuesday is Mr. C’s operation so the jolt back to reality will be swift, but I as so grateful for the events of the last few weeks that I have a great deal of energy to give. Mrs. K’s family will need a great deal of help over the next few weeks. I’ll be there.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday


Wow, what a whirlwind. This is Vegas, baby.

Where to start? The poker play is starting to come around. I played positive poker to get back my losses from Friday, but nothing real special.

The party for Doyle was something so special, it was one of those events that I’ll be remembering for years. Of course Doyle Brunson was there in his trademark hat and smile. He is every bit the gentleman that I’ve seen on TV. He sat for pictures with everyone who wanted one. He signed anything that was put in front of him.

The next thing we know Johnny Chan walks in. He too was gracious and a gentleman and as nice as could be. But the reason for the trip became clear. Not just the trip actually, maybe the whole last year starting with the “Tobey Maguire Incident.”

Those who follow this space know some about the illness that is facing my father-in-law, Mr. C. He loves Vegas and wanted to come with me on this trip and I wanted him here. He is always a hell of a lot of fun to be around. Illness kept him home for this trip, but I still wanted to share this event with him. I asked Doyle if he would speak to Mr. C and he said “of course” with out hesitation. I rang him up and he and Doyle chatted for a few minutes.

Fifteen minutes later I ask the same of Johnny Chan and got the same response, an enthusiastic ‘Sure”. My wife reports that Mr. C didn’t get any sleep that night and has had a great time telling his friends and family about his calls. I couldn’t be any happier about how that worked out. Getting this opportunity right at this time goes beyond lucky and moves strongly into miraculous. I am humbled to have been chosen to be the vehicle to make it happen.

After the party we all went down to the poker room to shoot the cover of the first Rounders Magazine with Doyle and Johnny at Binion’s final table. I’ve never done a magazine cover to say the least, but it went really well. I think we got several shots to use.

Then it was time for more poker where I took down another $50. Unlike most of the Tilt Zero crew, I hit the hay about 1:30.

Saturday was consumed by the “Fear and Tilting in Las Vegas” (FATLV) poker tournament. The event attracted almost 200 participants each paying $260. The winner of the event was to take home over $12k cash, a $1500 seat in a 2006 WSOP event, a real nice watch, a very big trophy and other various prizes.

The folks at Binion’s know how to run a tourney. Michael and Carol were running around all night shifting players, breaking tables and keeping players informed as the tourney progressed. I am quite impressed with the Binion’s in general and these two in particular. Kidos.

The tourney started at 6 pm and didn’t wrap unitl almost 3 am with the top two players chopping the money and playing for the seat and other goodies. There was one semi-famous player competing. Andy Nguin (sp?) was the winner of the casino employees event at this past year’s WSOP. Andy was seated, bracelet and all and did very well and making the money.

Read more about the event and the entire weekend at www.tiltzeropoker.com

Saturday, November 12, 2005

20 Bracelets Between the Three of Us

















Doyle Brunson, Special K, and Johnny Chan

Friday, November 11, 2005

Next stop, Vegas



I finally got to Vegas about 2.5 hours late, but things smoothed out from there. I met up with Monster and Jason at the appointed spot at the airport and we were on our way.

The first stop was to pick up Zaina. She is the ZTP poker babe. I found out that I’m supposed to shoot some pictures of her for the site this weekend though I have no idea when our where. I’m letting Monster handle the details.

After a short stop at Casa de Monster where we meet up with Chris, Matt, and Kelly (Jason’s Special K), we are off to Binion’s. It’s a little thing, but it was cool just riding around and seeing sides of Vegas that I’ve not seen before like the strip from a distance and a lot of the casinos that I’ve not been to.

In any case, we got to Binions and the fun starts almost immediately. First thing, Gus Hanson wanders past us on his way to do an interview for a new Fox poker series (Inside Poker if I remember correctly). Gus is great about posing for some pictures with the TZP gang. Next we see Chris Moneymaker playing in the $60 tournament. (What’s that all about?) Chris is a great guy. I watched him graciously pose for pictures, sign autographs, chat, and do whatever he could for the fans. I kinds of felt sorry for him until I remembered that this was his full time job – Be nice (marketable) and play poker.

Next up at the Fox chair was Mrs. K’s favorite (not), Mike the Mouth Matusow. I don’t think Mike ever stops. I’ve heard people I trust say that his abrasiveness is just a table persona, but I no longer believe that. He was brutally ragging on Gus and Chris the whole night. To be fair and balanced, he also was gracious with fan requests for pictures and autographs.

A lot of ZTP players had gathered in the Binion’s poker area by this time and Monster organized a nice $25 buy in tournament for everyone. As that was getting going (and often during the tournament) we HAD to drink something called a Scooby Snack. I have no idea what was in this thing, but it was green and tasted like fruit punch.

I had a pretty good tourney, though much too short. I got pretty cold cards through the first 3 levels and was starting to get short on chip. The blinds were 200/400 and I had 1800 left. I think it was the first hand at that level and I get AA. Bet 800 UTG and get put all in by one player (Chris). I insta-call. He turns over something like QJ. My aces hold up and I double up. Chris didn’t get hurt too badly as he still had more chips.

The very next hand I look down at AKo from the BB. Chris raises me 700 and I just call. I hate what this hand does to me so I’ve got an opportunity to see if I hit the flop before committing all of my chips. Well, I hit with a flop something like K83 rainbow. I check. Chris bets another 700 and I go over the top. I didn’t what to push him out as I needed to double again to get into contention. He calls and he flips over two tens. The turn is an Ace to give me two pair and I’ve got him again… until the river that is. Yep, he two outs me to catch a ten on the river and I’m done. That’s poker.

And that was Thursday. I finally made it to bed about 1:30 (that’s 4:30 according to my internal clock). But this is Vegas and I’ll just save my good sleep for next week. Tonight is the party for Doyle Brunson after more poker and other hijinx.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

CLT to DEN

Leg one of the ZTP adventure is half done. I’m writing from the Denver airport meaning I am halfway to Vegas. The first leg was terrific. I got bumped up to first class on the nearly full flight. I had a good seat assignment going in, but getting first class on a 3.5 hour flight is a jackpot.

Now comes another roll of the dice as I have no seat assignment on the DEN to LAS leg. That, by the way, is a sign that I have been traveling too much. When you refer to airports by their codes, it’s time to stay home more. I seem to end up in DEN, CHW, LGA, and FFL way too much.

Even though US Airways and America West are one airline corporately, they are still two different airlines when it comes to getting seat assignments. The US Air counters can’t get you a seat on an America West flight and vice versa. No problem. This is only a two hour leg. I can survive most anything for 2 hours, especially when Vegas is on the other end.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had free WiFi service in Denver. I know I had tried before and it was only available for pay (like $10 per day). That was great because I had a call from a customer and I needed to send some email. For some reason, the free part ran out after 45 minutes, but 45 is a lot more than zero.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Turning My Mind to Vegas

It is back to the grind of trying to grab all that life has to offer.

Today I got in a pretty decent day of work before 5 o’clock. I was important to get every case wrapped up and put away for the weekend. Now I am free to turn my mind to Vegas, but not yet.

My Grandmother is in an “elderly health care center”. She developed a blood clot behind one of her knees and has been unable to walk without sever pain for weeks. It put her in the hospital for a while and now they are trying to get her mobility back so that she can return to her house. Current estimates are that it will take 4 or 5 more weeks. The poor woman is not happy about the situation. I can’ blame her. She has always been a home body and now she is forced to eat their food and live on their schedule. I wouldn’t like it either. So to break her monotony, I stopped by for a visit. I don’t know about her, but it made me feel better. I could see that the facility was nice and neat. The staff seems to care about what they were doing. Great, with that done I can turn my mind to Vegas!! but not yet.

Next on the agenda is my Wednesday night pool league. With all of the travel to Europe and Vegas and Vancouver and illnesses, I’ve not been able to make many matches so it was important that I squeeze in a trip to the pool hall. It was a good thing that I did. I pulled a match with a tough opponent. Because of the handicap system used by the APA, I had to win 5 games (8 ball) before he won 4. It started out well enough with me taking the first game. Through good shooting and good luck, he took the next 3 games leaving me to win 4 in a row or post a big L. I got hot and lucky at the right time taking all four of the remaining games to win the match. Post a big win for the Hall of Justice. Now I can really turn my mind to Vegas.

I arrive at 4:20 tomorrow where the Tilt Zero boys will pick me up and put me on my way. I’m ready.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Next Big Adventure is On!

The announcement of my next big jump into the poker world is here. On Thursday I am traveling back to Binions in Downtown Las Vegas to photograph and participate in Tilt Zero Poker’s “Fear and Tilting.” The trip will feature a VIP party with Doyle Brunson and a poker tournament with Johnny Chan. This reads like a poker player’s trip to heaven or poker fantasy camp.

This is all a result of my trip to cover the Doyle Brunson North America Championship and the Fiesta al Lago at the Bellagio last month (see blog entries below). That is where I met Monster. This guy and his assistant Chris are working their butts off to make Tilt Zero and their new magazine a big-time hit. When someone works this hard and it loyal to his people then that is a great place to get involved so long as you are willing to work just as hard.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am so appreciative to guys at www.lasvegasvegas.com for giving me the opportunity to get involved and for treating me so well. Flipchipro, Dr. Pauly, and the Poker Prof are terrific folks and you should read their site daily (and twice on Sunday).

This takes me back to how I met Flipchipro and the Prof. I refer to it as the “Tobey Maguire Incident”. It was Fiesta al Lago III on October 2004. I was hanging around the tournament poker area at the Bellagio, looking for the faces that I had seen on the WTP and WSOP broadcasts. I saw Eric Sidel, Kathy Lebert, and Men The Master among others. I saw some people taking pictures so I, of course, joined in.

Then a voice on the PA started announcing the players for the final table of the previous day’s event. Among the names was Tobey Maguire. This was Tobey’s first big final table and he drew a good crowd. I wandered over and started taking some shots as did a white-haired gentleman to my left. I noticed that this other fellow had a nice Nikon camera setup.

Next thing I know, Tobey is chatting with the security guard and then the guard starts heading our way. He was polite but firm in his request for us to stop taking pictures of “Mr. Maguire.” My older friend protested that he had permission from Bellagio management to which the guard offered (threatened) to have that reconsidered.. At that point, we both agreed that we would take no more pictures of “Mr. Maguire.” Geeez.. That was my second run-in with a celebrity that month, but “The Cameron Diaz Incident” or “Hayden Valley Glee Club” is another story for another time.

From there I learned that my partner in crime was Flipchipro from LVV. He then introduced the Poker Prof and professional poker player Charlie Shoten. With that I was started down a road that continues to run in the right direction.

So if you happen to be in Vegas this weekend, stop by Binions and look for the guy with a mustache, goatee, and camera and say hi.

This slide is hurting my butt!

This poker hobby really does hurt sometimes. I seem to be on the loosing streak from hell right now. It must be time to stop playing for a while and go back to studying. I’ve got books scattered all over my desk from guys like Skalnsky, Miller, and Brunson. There must be some wisdom in there somewhere.

I lost $10 on Stars tonight. That is not going to change my lifestyle any, but man it hurts when is comes night after night. Play tight, play loose, it doesn’t seem to matter. If I get a good hand and someone plays back at me, my hand is second. If I get a good hand and I’m in the lead, I find out when everybody else folds and I rake the $.30 in the pot. It is just going like that. I built up my current bankroll form a quarter that was left over from my first go at on-line poker. At it’s height, the quarter reached $370. That was almost exclusively playing Limit. Now it is approaching $100 again. Most of that slide was from playing limit. Now I’m trying some no limit, trying to change my luck. No dice.

The slide continues. I’m going to lay out for this week. I’ll get more work done, work on my pool game, and maybe print some more pictures. I’ll make an exception for Dr. Pauly’s Saturday tournament on Poker Stars, but that is it. Maybe I can save up some mojo in the next 5 days.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Poker Lesson - Worlds Collide

Tonight, the wife and I went over to her parent’s house. Her dad (Mr. C for those following along) has been under a lot of stress. She (Mrs. K) and her mom have been wanting to learn a bit more about “this poker thing” that I’m always going on about. So tonight we decided to kill both birds by making it a dinner and poker party for the four of us.

Everyone had a good time, that if for sure. It was really freaky watching my wife play. She didn’t have any experience and didn’t get lucky with the cards, but I could see that she will be a tough player if she decides to continue playing. She has a great poker face and manner at the table. Also, I know how fast she learns and if she finds my poker books I’ll be in big trouble. It reminds me of the old Seinfeld episode where George’s worlds are colliding. Husband Special K will KILL poker Special K. Of course, nobody loves Poker Special K so I guess it’s not a big deal.

If you are wondering how the tournament went, I smoked ‘em. It took a bit of a suck out on the last hand where I improved my 2 pair to a boat to beat the MIL’s made flush, but I had lots of outs. I had four to the nut flush (7 outs), 2 non-flush A’s and 2 non-flush 2’s to take the pot. 11 outs for about a 1 in 5 shot.

That brings me to a question that I’d like to hear some opinions on: What is your definition of a suck out?

I don’t what to skew the results of this highly scientific survey, but I’ll give you my opinion. I think it is anytime a hands is dominated 20:1 or more (has a 5% chance or less to win a hand) and then wins, then you’ve got a suck out. You need runner-runner to draw an inside straight and get it (3.1%) that’s a suckout. One shot at an inside straight and hit it (9%), not a suck out. Maybe you think it is. This roughly translates into catching a 2-outer or less. Maybe you’ll loosen your definition to a 3 or 4-outer. Leave a comment. Let me know.

Remember to play Pauly’s (that’s Mr. Doctor to you) Tourney on Poker Stars, Saturday at 1 pm est. See taopoker.blogspot.com for all of the details.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Blogger Problem

An interesting thing is happening to my blog. I signed up to be an affiliate with Doyle's Room and wanted to put an icon in the sidebar of this page so that interested readers could click and quickly sign up with my bonus code.

I have edited the sidebar before as you can tell. I've added the WBPT logo and the Card Clubs Top Site icon without any problems. But whenever I add the code for Doyle's Room or just the words "Click on the above icon to earn a deposit bonus of 25-35% up to $135." the sidebar updates for exactly one viewing and then reverts to an earlier version.

Does Blogger not allow this type of content? I find this hard to believe since similar content exists on other sites that I frequient. Am I tripping over something more technical? If any body has a clue, please fill me in.

Update 1: No, I don't think I have it narrowed down anymore. While I was typing this post, my sidebar reverted back to an earlier style without any of above content in the sidebar. I know because I'm trying to expand the posting area to make it wider and format the sidebar items to be centered in it's columns.

The changes are posting and work once and now sometimes two, three or four times and then reverts back. Aaarrrrrrgggggg. Help.

Update 2: Now it put itself back when I updated this post. Talk about confusing. So now I went back and put Doyle back in the sidebar. If you see Doyle, the new side bar is up, if you see the Card Club icon at the top of the side bar, you're seeing sidebar classic.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Poker at BG's (cont.)

For the second tourney, the buy in went up to 30 er… credits and I knew that I had to change up if I was going to do anything. I started by calling Dr. Pauly for my first dial-a-shot. I never drink at the poker table. I thought that now was the time to change that. I’m new to the dial-a-shot thing and I really don’t know the protocol for leaving a dial-a-shot on voice mail, but it was all I got so I asked for a return call for the next 20 minutes and waited. No callback came so I shot without him.

Something must have clicked because shortly thereafter I busted out a player when my 2 pair held up against his flush draw. Several hands later I called down a stone cold bluff with a middle pair to bust player #2. I lost the next all in (his all in) to the eventual second place finisher. The very next hand had the player to his right go all in pre-flop. I held Ad3d and his all in would cost me about 1/3 of my chips. Call. He turns KQ and misses.

This leaves me heads up with the player to my left. I have about a 8-to-1 chip lead. I pound him down a bit and then he doubles up. So I pound him down some more until eventually he goes all in with a board of 4 5 Q. He has a 4 and I have a Q. End of match.

After the month of poker that I have had, this doesn’t make up for the losses, but at least I feel like I can play poker. Maybe it is just a flash. I hope not. Actually, poker is going to have to take a back seat to the real world issues going on, at least for a while.

Thanks Dr. Pauly, where ever you are.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Major WPT Photo Archive

One good thing about MSN spaces is the ease of putting a large number of pictures up on the site. I've placed the best of my pictures from the WPT - Doyle Brunson North America Championship on my MSN Space. Go check it out.

Poker at BGs again

The month of October continues to run bad. For Pete's sake, I feel like a discount Daniel Negreanu. I can't claim to be full priced playing a $20 freeze-out (make that 20 credit freeze-out).

We got started tonight and I get Ah2h early in the second round. The board flops A210 with 2 diamonds. I bet 300 and get raised to 600. I call. The next two cards are also hearts with both of us checking. Lucky that I was last to act and the other player mis-played the hand since he had the nut flush. But still, it put a 600 dent in my 2000 stack.

A few hands later I get AhQh on the small blind. I call a raise for 300. The flop contains a K and two hearts. I bet 300 and the only other player in the hand raises to 600. So now I'm down to 775 in chips so I go all in. It won't do this early to be down so far. He turns over a pair of 10s and I don't get an A, Q or heart to loose that hand as well. The whole tourney took about 50 minutes.

This bad run had better end soon. I think I've alread blown the profit that I had built up over a year and a half this month. Oh well, another tourney will start with this one ends in about two hours. Wish me luck.

45 and the ups and downs

This is one of those Saturday mornings where the weather is beautiful and there is much to do. Problem is, I just don’t have the energy of motivation to get started. Sounds like a good time to post to the blog. (

The world of Special K is so up and down right now. On the down side, Mr. C continues to have problems. He is very uncomfortable from the exploratory surgery of this past week. Mrs. C and I were up late helping with that situation. Mr. C has taken so much over the past 6 months, and the blows keep coming. There is just no fairness in this situation.

On the up side, I’m working on a very exciting deal that is an offshoot of my work at the WPT Poker Tourney last week. The guys that I am working with are very excited about their project (to be unveiled in December) and seem genuinely excited to have me be a part of it. I could say what all of this is about, but I prefer to wait until all of the details are worked out. I just don’t want to jinx it, but it would be a great part-time job for me since I have the time and I love poker. There is quite an excitement about being involved in the whole poker community. You’ll have to check back in this space for details in the next couple weeks.

Oh yea, yesterday was my 45th birthday. Actually it was the 45th anniversary of my birth since I only really had one physical birth day, but you know what I mean. With all that has been going on, I didn’t even realize that it was my birthday until mid-afternoon. My and the wife went out for a special dinner at a very nice restaurant. We have always had a great experience at this place and last night was a big let-down. The food came way too fast. My steak was way over-done and had to be sent back. The waiter was very aware of the situation, but offered no compensation. I usually expect a free desert or something when they screw up that bad. But then, considering how the rest of the evening went, I guess it wasn’t that bad. I got to spend a pleasant hour and a half with my wife. That can’t be bad.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Things get worse

Yesterday's doctor’s visit was actually exploratory surgery for Mr. C. If we thought things were bad before, now they are much worse. I won’t go into details except to say that none of this is immediately life threatening. It is all life changing and this is similar to what Mr.C’s father went through. That scares him to death.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Real World Intrudes Again

I can’t believe the last 4 hours. It was then that my wife called. I could tell from her first word that something was bad. I was in Vancouver, 3500 miles from home and she is in tears. That is not acceptable. Now I’m on a plane with the saddest song I know of playing in my head phones holding back the tears and wishing the damn plane would fly faster. Maybe it would be easier if the lump in my throat would go down.

Mrs. K called to tell me that her father got another bad break today. I haven’t written about his problems as he is private about these thing and I respect this man more than anyone else (outside of of the family that I grew up with and my wife). But right now it seems bad.

Mr. C is secheduled to have a kidney removed on Thursday. The plan for my business trip to Vancouver was to get done by Wednesday and catch the red-eye back to Charlotte to support my wife and her family. Then the call came.

It seems that a pre-surgery MRI shows something on his other kidney. It may be nothing, but it may be very serious, especially with the other kidney about to come out. Now we are all scared to death and Barry Mainlow is singing “It’s raining like a Monday and the world seems so unkind.” No shit, Barry.

There comes a time to stand by and wait and a time for action. This calls for clear action. My customer was great in insisting that I take care of family first and I bid them goodbuy. I packed while talking to US Airways using my bluetooth headset. The call takes so long that I also checked out of the hotel and got 15 minutes down the road before my flights are all set. Thank goodness that I did. Otherwise I would never have made the flight.

So now I am writing on the plane between Vancouver and Las Vegas where I will catch the 11:45 flight to Charlotte. Barring a problem, I’ll be home before Mr. C sees the doctor.

It is times like this that we all need to do what ever it is that will make us proud. That sounds selfish in a way, but really it allows me to get outside of myself and see the end of the ordeal. In each action, will I be happy with myself over the decisions that I made? If I help ease pain where I can and I act in the best interest of others then I will be proud of myself. Sometimes that will mean doing things and saying things that soothe or sometimes hurt, but always with others’ best interest in mind. I can live or die in peace with that.

So it is now a time for others and a time for action. Wish us well and pray if you can.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Reload Day

Today I hung out in Vancouver, the site of my next customer visit. I have really been burning my candle at both ends this past week, so I spent 90% of today in my hotel room. I took a walk to find my customer's location, went out to lunch, read email, sent email, listened to the NASCAR race and football games, and generally didn't move much. I even got in a short nap which I haven't done in 5 or 6 weeks. Tomorrow, it is back to the real world of computers. But since I've got a good connection to the internet, let's continue to relive the Doyle Brunson North America Poker Championship. Here are more pictures:





































































































Saturday, October 22, 2005

More WPT Pictures

I'm finally back to a location with high-speed internet. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So to celibrate I will post some of the other pictures from the WPT event. Enjoy.












































































































Me and Pauly

The Final Table


What an increadble night. The WPT final table of the Doyle Brunson North America Championship was everything I hoped for and more. But let’s go back to recap the whole day.

It started with me getting together with my friends (who happen to be Mrs. K’s aunt and husband) for lunch at the Bellagio CafĂ©. This place is just off of the Conservatory and overlooking to pool. What a great place.

Next I went to the Mirage to play some $3-6 Hold’em. This game went about the same as the rest. I won an early pot and then couldn’t buy the right card, but oh my table-mates could. Lost $70 before the guys from Tilt Zero Poker and Rounders Magizine rescued me. I looks like they will be making use of my photography skills in coverage of some upcoming poker event on the east coast (think Atlantic City, Foxwoods and Tunica).

Then it was time for the final table. The room was small. There was only about 100 spectators including press and TV crew. The match was fabulous. The first two players left fairly quickly. That got the competition down to four players. It stayed that way for hours with the ships moving back and forth all round the table. Finally the blinds got up high enough to start forcing some drastic action. Once the 4th place player dropped out, the action picked up, and once Gavin Smith went out in 3rd it didn’t take long for a champion. The match concluded just before 2 am after about 135 hands.

You can read about the details of the match at:

Taopoker.blogspot.com
http://www.pokerpressbox.com/
http://www.pokerwire.com/
www.bluffmedia.com


I’m going to throw up a few pictures from tonight now and many more tomorrow and Sunday when I get high-speed internet back.

Before I end this adventure, I have to give my most humble thanks to Flipchip, Dr. Pauly, and the Poker Prof for allowing me the thrill that this week has been. I would jump at the chance to help these guys out anytime and I really hope that we can work together in the future. Also thanks to BJ, Larry, Jen, Tang, Chris, John, Ernie, Lisa, and Jackie. You all deserve thanks for your helpfulness and friendship.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Vegas Day 5 – WPT Final Event Day 3

The action here in Vegas gets more intense by the hour. The WPT Tournament played down to the final 6 players, but it took until after 3am to get there. You can read more about the hands and finalist at taopoker.blogspot.com and www.lasvegasvegas.com. Here are the finalists and their chipcounts courtesy of Dr. Pauly and Poker Wire:

Seat 1: Tony Grand 118K
Seat 2: Minh Ly 3.056M
Seat 3: Dan Harrington 2.937M
Seat 4: Don Zewin 552K
Seat 5: Gavin Smith 1.368M
Seat 6: Jan Sorensen 370K

After watching these guys play for three days straight, I would not want to have my money on the line against any one of them. They are fearless and smart. I would watch out for Gavin Smith if I were one of them. Gavin talks a lot, but really appears to be in the game. It looks like he has major aura working this week. Tonight will tell.

It was tough shooting as they moved the 5 tables left in the tournament back to the main poker room. It was cramped as regular players, staff, press, and the pros were all having to navigate in very narrow isles. I got some good shots, but didn't spend as much time working the floor as on other days. I figured they could use the room.

Taping for the TV broadcase starts at 7pm tonight and I’ve got my credentials lined up finally. I’ve been shooting without actually having credentials, though the WPT and Bellagio staff are aware of who I am working with, so it’s not like I’m really getting away with anything. I do have to be a bit warry of the security staff. But they’ve actually been great as well. I can’t imagine where the Bellagio gets these people, the security staff, that is. Everyone of them is big and in shape, but as nice and helpful as anyone I know. It is an awesome combination and they should be congratulated.

Last night’s poker was just down right weird. I started at the Excalur’s poker room playing $2-4 limit (aka donky poker). I sat down and won the first hand. I played there for another 2 hours and I don’t remember winning another hand. I left when I got down about $40. I cut through NYNY, looking to see if they had a poker room (they apparently do not) and went back to the only poker room that loves me, the Monte Carlo.

The love was still there early on. I started with $100 and quickly built it up to $160 or so. This was with some of the locals in a loose/passive game. Then the donkeys came and the game changed to a bit tighter and more aggressive. That would have been OK, but my cards dried up again as well. Anytime I got a hand worth playing, someone else got a little better hand and took my pot.

I had had enough donkey poker and decided to try something different, $1-2 no limit. Boy was that a change. I sat down at about 1:00 am and got AA on my second hand. They held up and I doubled up my new $100 stake. I had a couple hands not win which got me back close to $100. Then I played a JQs and flopped 9 10 K for a straight. I took all four betting rounds to push all my chips in and got called by 2 players. The straight won and I tripled up. Shortly thereafter, the table broke up and I split, now slightly up for Vegas.

Today, I lunch with Mrs. K’s aunt and her husband, meet with a fellow from Rounders Magizine, and stay up into the wee hours watching some poker player win a million dollars. Just another day in Vegas baby.

(I'll post more pictures later)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vegas - Day 4 Final Event - Day 2

Another good, fun day in Vegas. I woke up late and headed back to Bellagio. I got there about an hour after play began for the day. As it turned out, the rest of the LasVegasVegas.com crew knows to pace themselves and did not show up for another hour after that.

I concentrated my photography a little more on the creative and capturing the intense moments today. I got the portraits yesterday. The players didn’t disappoint me. I’ve posted some of my favorites here including the Devilfish, David Uilliot peering over his glasses in my direction and Vasilis Lazarou at the moment he got sucked out on.

On of the most incredible moments I have ever seen was one player (I didn’t get his name) was in the small blind with Johnny “F.” Chan to his left in the big blind. The way I heard the start of the hand was that the SB puts in a healthy raise. John thinks and goes all in saying that the player was in big trouble. The SB calls and Johnny turns over AA. The SB also turns over AA and no flush hits the board for a split pot.

Other bright spots were meeting more of the poker pros including an Italian Redneck from Greenville, NC, the poker room manager from the Bellagio (who comp’ed my dinner), and meeting fellow poker blogger Bad Blood.

My poker play even picked up. I played at the Monte Carlo tonight. Theirs is a poker room that has been around for 10 years or more. They had one of the best $2-4 games I have seen in Vegas. It was loose passive with lots of locals that made winning pots with nothing easy. The played with only one $2 blind. This led to several hands where no one bet. The room is non-smoking and very nice, but small with only about 8-10 tables. Still, I enjoyed it and will go back.

Oh yea, did I mention that Cortney Friel (Shana Hyatt's replacement) showed up to tape her segements. I guess she will do OK.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Vegas - Day 3 Final Event - Day 1

Things, other than my poker game, are going well. This was the most anticipated day of the trip: Day 1 of the final event of the Fiesta al Lago Poker Tournament. The contest started with 420 players. The reason for the anticipation was the pros that would be playing. It did not disappoint.

Almost every player that I could think of was there. I don’t think it will work to keep listing the pros spotted. There were just too many. About the only pros missing were Annie Duke, Clonie Gowen, and Marcel Lusk. I’ll probably think of more later on. I need to look for Michael Gratz, since he is fellow North Carolinian.

Thanks to Flipchip and the Poker Prof, I had no trouble taking all of the shots that I desired or that they needed for their site. If you don’t know about it, go visit www.lasvegasvegas.com. If you do know about it, go back. There is something new every day. Amy from the World Poker Tour took care of me in getting me credentialed on short notice. Monster from Rounders (a new mag coming out in December) was as friendly as he could be as well. This just seems to be a great group of folks to be around.

I also, finally, caught up with the Poker Prof and Dr. Pauly. It was nice to share a beer with guys that I have some much in common with and to learn from their poker wisdom.

Speaking of which, I could really use some help. Most of the help just needs to come from the cards. It seems like a year since I caught a card. I tried to use some of the tips that the guys shared with me, but I still got killed at the MGM.

I did manage to turn things around a bit at a late night game at the Riveria. In that game I caught my 6th straight flush and also got paid off nicely by hitting a nut flush on another hand. But I also got some beats in that game as well. There was one older lady at the table. She spoke as if she was from Russia. She would not raise if she flopped a boat or straight flush. She kept getting trips and boats and straight and never once raised. Not once. Aaarrrrrrg.

Tomorrow it is back to the Bellagio for more poker pictures. Maybe I can get some more poker lessons.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vegas Day 2

Yesterday was a lot slower than Sunday. It rained for much of the day. But that was OK as I spent most of the day being seen at the Fiesta al Lago poker tournament. I have permission to say that I am with Fox Sports and LasVegasVegas.com from the publisher. I guess as long at they say that too, then it is true.

I took about 100 pictures, mostly of the final table of an event that started on Sunday. One of LasVegasVegas’ favorite pros, Max Pescatori, was at this final table which made it fun to watch. I got this shot when Max went all-in pre-flop and flopped a full boat of Queens over Aces.

My poker playing is not going quite so well. I have been so card dead that it is not even funny. I played last night for 3 ½ hours. I won a total of two hands. One of those was a total bluff and the other I flopped a set of 9s. It is not that I didn’t hit any hands, though they were damn few. I flopped a nut flush from the SB only to have a player hit a straight flush with 4 on the board on the river. In another hand (my last of the night), I hit a set of 2s on the flop, only to have another player complete a straight on the turn and no board paris to help me out. It was brutal.

Today has much promise. The main event of the tourney starts up. I expect most all of the major pros to be there. I’ve already seen many hanging around and playing. I’d better get busy if I’m going to make it on time.










Pros Spotted
Kathy Liebert
Chris Ferguson
Daniel Negreanu
Evelyn Ng
David Pham
Max Pescatori
Wendeen Eolias
Tony Ma
Hung La
Min Nguyen
Ron Rose
Johnny Chan