Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seven Out

First audition sucked.
I'm not going to bother to go over it at the moment because I'm obviously not in the mood.
I also don't want to bitch about what went wrong from my perspective as I know I wasn't nearly as good as I should be.  I don't know what it was.  I don't feel like it was nerves but that means I have to chalk it up for not being ready - and I also felt ready.  So, whatever.
Monday starts another week at school where I'll have to buckle down and get more practice and come back better and more prepared next time.

Going to kick back a few cold ones right about now and then pass out. Tomorrow is a new day.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Love and other Evil Tricks Satan Pulls on us

Josie and Carmel both had a post about our relationship.
I'm assuming that this means when Josie comes into town she'll get to be part of my first 3-some (her me and Carmel obviously).

I find it curious that there are those out there clamoring for more info, or for that matter any info, about our failed relationship and I'm not really 100% sure why you all want it.
I guess it's the whole train wreck scenario - you just can't look away from it.

However, if you are coming here for info you'll most likely be disappointed.
I had a long reply written up (which has not yet been deleted) but I don't have it in me to hit the publish button. I guess it's just not my style.

I have no issue pointing out my flaws and making fun of myself to get a good laugh!
I'm great at it - I've been practicing it practically my whole life.

I'm a fat boring white guy with a small penis (well, slightly below average).  My hair is thinning, my middle is thickening and to most of the outside world I'm pretty much just a rude asshole.

I make bad jokes - really bad jokes at times - and I think they are all funny.
I'm not remotely racist or sexist but the jokes make me smile and usually at inappropriate times I have to share them.

However, what I try to not do is tell stories where my embarrassment is not the focal point.  And to be completely honest - if I were to tell stories about my failed relationship with Carmel I have a feeling that they would come off the wrong way.  No matter what my feelings are, the only person I want to make look bad is me.

So, inspired by Carmel's post, I'm thinking about making a list of some really inappropriate things I have said in the past.
I'm also thinking about sharing some really odd stories about things that have happened to me during our failed relationship.

I'm an asshole, I'm cool with that.  But I feel it would be a dick move to talk about something that hasn't even gotten a chance to become a thing of the past yet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


So today was the last day, for a while, that I would have anyone else in the office helping out.
My co-worker is taking a break to get some surgery, some kemo and some recovery.
We've been telling management from the moment we knew her time was short to get someone else for us to train to help out while she was gone.  They didn't need to know everything, but we could give this person enough info to get by and my phone number if a real thought process needed to be formed.
A paper pusher, a phone caller, simple shit to make sure that I wasn't getting royally screwed by having to do the work of two people plus whatever else management decides to dump on me.
Well, none of that came to fruition and knowing that if I were to try to run the office by only working at night things would collapse worse than a bad breast implant I made a managerial decision.

I informed my bosses of what my new schedule would look like.  In fact, I made it appear as though I was actually asking them permission and laid out two different options that we could take this little parade.

Much as I predicted, they choose wisely (the choice I wanted them to make - the choice I knew that they would make, the only logical choice actually).   As I arrived to work today the Store Manager saw me and asked me "Is this really what you want to do" and I replied that it's no different than what I am doing now, the times have just changed as all and I'll now be available to help out our installers, vendors and whatnot.
A bit later in the day I am told that HR gave it the thumbs up.

So, I no longer will be doing any closing shifts and I will be working/class 6 days a week instead of 7.  The only real downfall is I'm going to have to figure out how to wake up early again as my days are going to be 5:30 am - 4pm and 7-4 Saturday.

However, this all hinges on me NOT passing my audition and getting offered a position at Casino BS.
The reality of the situation is I'm a f'n bad-ass, I will pass my audition and I will be offered a job.  So, until my Co-worker comes back I'll work Monday- Friday 6-3 and NOT have class.

The only thing I'd have to figure out is how to function without a whole lot of sleep (I need a course in how to successfully power nap) on the days where I have to put 9 hours into my retail job and 8 hours into my new awesome, chick picking up (according to Rob), career.


Something about Women

Over on Josie's blog she just posted a great tutorial on how to pick up chicks and get laid.
I'm of the firm opinion that she saw how pathetic I am at getting the women-folk, she didn't want to offend me by sending me the steps personally so she did it as a "to all you lazy and dumb men" tutorial.

So, for entertainment value, I'm going to touch on her steps and point out how deficient I am in the chicky-poo category.

Step 1 - Don't get caught dead in the friend zone
Well - anyone who knows me knows that I'm 100% perpetually in the friend zone.  I've set up shop and even have a sleeping bag.  There is no getting me out because I'm just such a great listener and buddy.  If I meed a chick there is a 97% chance I will end up in this zone and only a 3% chances that I will end up in the get in my pants zone.

We'll end today's lesson there.  Since I have obviously failed at step 1, there is no need to continue.  Once you enter the FZ it's pretty much a losing task to go anywhere else so the rest of the steps won't really help you too much.  The only thing that's going to help is a chloroform rag, some roofies or a night of binge drinking causing her to lose her inhibitions and then regret everything she did the night before and probably kicking you out of even the friend zone because now it's too awkward to see you as that any more.

My last failed pick up line
Roses are red, Violets are twisted, are you ready baby? You're about to get fisted!

Still not 100% sure where I went wrong with that - I heard chicks dig a sensitive man that writes poetry?

So, I'll be working on my new method of picking chicks up.  I heard chicks dig a craps dealer that makes lewd, but funny, remarks at the table.
"They're coming out"
"Winner winner oral dinner"
"Lets hit that point ma'am, it's obvious baby needs a new pair of boobs"

May all your sevens bounce off the table

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

King Queen - It's So Obscene

April just got a whole hell of a lot more interesting for me.

GWAR - a band that I have worshiped for many many moons is coming to Las Vegas on Monday April 9th.  I, for reasons beyond my comprehension, have never attended a GWAR show and I am about to correct that horrible injustice. 

I just purchased two tickets for myself and a buddy and I'll be looking around for extra money to buy some sort of memory from the show.

I am also about to begin my campaign to be fed to the World Maggot live on stage, I've got minor hopes but I really don't expect to get that lucky.

This vile and disgusting beast has been eating GWAR fans for years and years and years.  I hope that I'm lucky enough to be next.

It would also tickle me pink if I were able to feed crack, or a crack-baby to Gor-Gor but you can't have everything in life that you desire.

For those of you who don't know GWAR - here is an article about the band that was recently published.

It's going to be an awesome blood and semen soaked time - I can't F'n wait!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The good news is that I didn't have to wait too terribly long.
I got the call for my audition today and after asking about my availability it has been determined that the only shift I can work is swing, which I already knew.
So, after I nail my audition and get hired into the illustrious world of the Casino's I'm going to have to figure out a way to get the proper amount of sleep on the days that I'm stuck working both jobs.
Maybe I should have taken up Roulette instead?

For those of you unfamiliar with casino shifts, swing is either 7pm - 3am or 8pm - 4am.  This is going to make life interesting.  I'm hoping that I can pick up 3 shifts per week and if I get really lucky one of those shifts will be on a day that I don't work at my retail job.
The other two days are going to be complicated with power naps.
I have been told that Poker is sexier than Craps

Of course this is slaughtering my chickens before they even hatch.  I actually have to go through with the audition and conquer my nerves and the table before I can actually plan working multiple jobs.
The other thing is that once a casino hires you, you have to go out and spend money on a sheriff's card and everything else that goes with that which is pretty much a $150 right to work tax if you ask me.
However, them's the rules as laid out in Las Vegas and I'm just a guy looking for a job.

In other news, I am now the proud owner of a Black Jack felt to go with my Craps and Roulette.  One day I'll just own a whole casino!

Lego Craps, Poker and BJ - Get the kids hooked early

Monday, March 26, 2012

Good - Bad - Ugly

Lets start with the good because I like the feeling that there is no where to go but down.

On one of my favorite blog's it's Ask Tom Tuesday with special guest referee - ME!
I'll admit that it's not pretty but dammit I laugh every time I read over my response.
I don't laugh because it's funny (well, it is to me at least) but I laugh because it's true.
Guys are mostly disgusting pigs and you women are all saints for allowing us to be ourselves most of the time.
You all deserve to be put up on a pedestal (high enough for us to look up your dresses)!

If anyone is interested you can rent me out for your blog as well - I'll even let you choose the topic that I talk about.  Like a litter of unwanted puppies I'm "free to good home - or Chinese Restaurant."

Hmm, I think I covered the good and the ugly all in that one.
Now, the bad.

93.4% more precisely.

At one point over the course of the past year I got the feeling that there is a minor deity who is looking over my shoulder and shitting on me.  However, over the course of the past 4 poker sessions I have come to believe that the minor deity is really a major deity whom I have managed to piss of in some unbelievable way.

Maybe I pulled the finger trick on him, or maybe it was on his wife.
Maybe I accidentally did something really mean to one of his daughters (note, I love a good succubus).
Maybe I did nothing wrong at all but look pretty at the wrong moment and now someone who woke up on the wrong side of the torture chamber is taking it out on me.

In a recent blog post I mentioned the hand where I flopped a set of 3's and another guy went runner runner 6's in order to hit quads and take a large sized pot from me.
In that hand I was approx 97.8% to win - so that makes today 93.4% not really that impressive.

However, less impressive or not here is what went down.
I'm fairly new to the table and in late position and raise it to $15 with Ad Ac
I get 4 callers to make it a $75 pot.
Flop comes Kh Jh Js
Checks to me and I bet out $50 and get 2 callers.
Turn is a 2x
checks to me and I push, I get the same two callers.
The river is the last King in the Deck.
Player 1 has KT
Player 2 had KT
Player grrouchie wonders what he has to sacrifice in order to win a pot.

Not cool Satan, not cool.

However, it was cool to hang out with Rob for a bit again - but that's the last time during this trip of his.
I'm back to the savings board as that was my stash - burned up with a 93.4% chance to win the pot!

The Dark Side

In craps, the Dark Side is often used to refer to someone who is betting the don'ts.
Don't Pass and Don't Come.
Talking to a friend at work the other day he indicated to me that there are only two ways he ever plays when he is at the craps table and most of the time he is playing the Dark Side.
He will have his Don't Pass bet with odds and he will play one or two Don't Come bets with odds as well.
Basically, he is the jerk at the other side of the table who is happy when everyone else is losing.  His theory is that the house always makes their money so he should be on their side as well.

The other way that he occasionally plays is to place the 5, 6 and 8 and play the field as well.
This way you win money with every roll of the dice (except the 7).  Granted, you win less with the 5, 6 and 8 because you are getting paid for those bets but you are also losing your field bet at the same time.   This is a strategy that people have employed a lot in craps and it is probably best to play this way if you are going to take all your action down after 2 or 3 hits.  It's boring and it's slow, but it's consistent.

Speaking of The Dark Side - Rob is back in town and he owes me some grub.  I will most likely be meeting up with him tonight for food and then some No Limit action at BSC.  Food will be tasty and I will be satiated and hopefully when I hit the tables I can go on a hot run and triple up in a matter of 3 hours.  That would be nice and it would put me back in business to play once or twice a week again.  

Other than that I believe that every single one of you should check out Splitter's website again on Tuesday (if you aren't already in the habit of checking it out at least once a week that is) for a very special Ask Tom Tuesday with a Very Special Guest (wink wink nudge nudge).  I've been informed that somewhere around 12:45 am on the east coast side of the States (9:45 pm ish here in Vegas) the post will be up for your viewing pleasure.

seven out - Pay the Dark

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lazy Dealers

Because of my interview and hopefully audition I took a jaunt down to Casino BS (this is my new name for it, Casino X was too boring) to check out the game, the limits and the action.  Sure, showing up in the morning is only going to paint half the picture but it left some impressions none-the-less.

1st impression is that the dealers are mostly lazy.  Now, lazy might not be the correct word.  Comfortable might be closer to the real truth.  However, it doesn't change the fact that of all the stuff I have been shown on how to properly do things I am surprised at how much "proper" does not get done.
I'm not going to go into details because it would require too much explanation and would also be long and boring, but there were a whole bunch of "technical" errors that were made and I chalk it all up to just being too comfortable with their jobs, lazy.

The game was also comfortable and slow paced, there were not a whole lot of bets and it all seemed pretty easy, but as I said this was the morning shift.  Maybe the locals go crazy when the sun goes down.

Either way, I hope that I luck out and there is a semi-full table running when I head in tomorrow so that I might be able to get an audition while I'm already there.  If not I'll have to come back some other time which I'm sure will prolong the nerves a bit.  Either way, I feel like I'll ace the test and hopefully be offered a nice part time job.
I just wish that there were some sort of way to figure out how much the dealers make at which casinos so that I know what I'd be getting into and what to expect beforehand - without having to wait until I'm actually working to be surprised or disappointed.

There's no need to fear - Underdog is here!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Here is a picture found on an old email address from a 2002 gathering to play Strat-O-Matic Football.

Nostalgia purposes only!

Matt, Serge, Tricia, Joe
The year was 2002 and the cause was Football baby.  A Fantasy Football game based on last years stats played with cards and dice.  Pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world, at least when playing the game face to face.

The back story.  My good buddy Matt was playing his Rival Joe whom he could never seem to beat.  So, with a playoff birth on the line Matt proudly proclaimed that if he didn't beat Joe he was going to just set his cards on fire.  The reason for this declaration is because Joe was not really the best of players.  He relied on the strength of his cards to bail out is sub par coaching abilities.  Matt made the proclamation because he knew he could out-coach Joe and was not going to accept defeat.

Well, some things are not meant to be and Matt ended up losing.  As soon as the game was over we got to follow Matt outside with his cards in hand and watched him light them all on fire.  It was a lot of fun.

10 minutes later was even more fun as Matt realizes he forgot to pull out his prized Barry Sanders 2000 yard card from his current team as that was the one card he wanted to save.

It's amusing to look back on old pictures like this as the saying is true, a picture really is worth a thousand words (or more).  I'm sure I didn't use my full thousand above but there is a lot more that I could write about this picture, this gathering, this one day frozen in time that luckily was captured to remind me of good times and old friends.

I love looking at this picture and noticing the differences between then and now.  I was still a fat bastard, but you can tell from the hair that Genetics had not yet caught up with me.  A decade later I am forced to keep my hair short because it's way too thin on top to ever grow long again (maybe I should join the Hair Club for  Men or get Implants - but nah, I'll accept the losing hand I have been dealt).
I can't remember the last time I wore a pair of actual Jeans, it's been all Khaki's for years now.  Gone are the Combat Books (back then I only owned Combat Boots, I didn't own a single dress shoe or sneaker) but the flannel still remains.  Well, not that exact flannel but I still have one from that time period and a few others that I now occasionally wear when the weather gets a bit more brisk.

Two of these three people are still in my life.  Matt is one of the best friends that I have ever had and forces himself to vacation to this god-forsaken-hell-hole of Las Vegas that I call home once or twice a year just to see me.  I'll be heading back east this year for a visit and a trip down to the DC metro area with him to visit another old friend and catch a Washington Redskins game.  I am sure I will end up being either the best man or one of the best men at his wedding and I will prepare a speech that will make a whore blush.  I am looking forward to meeting the good woman in his life this year as well.  I miss his ugly ass more than I'll admit even though we chat and text regularly.  Unfortunately for him he was born with a very serious disorder that makes my heart ache every day he lives.  He is a Miami Dolphin fan, that poor son-of-a-bitch.

Tricia is still in my life and we have started communicating more often again.  She is on the verge of shedding the shackles of a "real" job and a boss and starting her own business and I am proud as shit of her for that! Every day that she slaves away, under paid and over worked, is another day she is closer to that dream coming true.  She lives back on the east coast still with a husband who has an awful mustache, a large nose and a horrible white boy dance.  Together they have an awesome daughter who, even at her young age, realizes that her daddy's nose is not proportional to the rest of his face :)  They have recently also introduced a dog with a bad name into their house!

Joe is no longer with us and even though we were never really great friends it saddened me the day I learned of his passing.  He was a nice guy with a big heart and I enjoyed meeting up with him during our twice a year gatherings to play the greatest board game ever made.  I am glad that I have found a few old pictures that he was in to keep his memory alive and remember the fun times we had as a group.

I was originally going to share multiple pictures, but after waxing nostalgic about just that one I realized that there was no need to share more at this moment in time.

Keep on Trucking friends!

A Rant in D minor

This has been bugging me for a little while now and I have instead decided to focus on other things and keep an eye on the positive side of things.
However, I can't sleep and I have nothing better to do than to type for a while (and yes, I know this is my second post of the evening and the 1st will probably get overlooked).

I'm going to start with this.  Normally I hate to be complimented. I don't know why but I have always felt this way. I don't want you to say nice things about me, I don't want you to point out my successes.  I don't want you to congratulate me on a job well done.  I don't particularly want any of this and I really don't f'n want it done in public with other people around who are going to over hear it.

However, at my Craps class I'm just eating that shit up.  Seriously, I have never liked it before but now I'm reveling in it.  Not just from the teacher but from the students who call me a "rock star" because I've caught on so quick and advanced faster than they have.  It's a huge ego boost and I'm eating it like a fat kid eats fucking chocolate.

Now here is where my issue lies.  There are people have have been in this class for 2-3 months straight. Showing up 4-5 times per week and putting in 4-6 hours per day.   Some of these people are starting to feel discouraged and put off because they have been at it so long and they are still struggling daily with certain concepts.

I want to take these people and point out the differences between them and me.  I want to tell them what they are doing wrong and I want to help them to become better so that they can achieve what they want, to get a job dealing craps and enjoy the shit out of life, rolling in fat stacks and sleeping with hot tourists who are attracted to a guy who carries a bent stick and yells "Yo Eleven. Good field, Good Cum."

So I'm going to set up my little tale of two worlds.
When I'm dealing or on stick I focus heavily on my task at hand.  I'm trying to remember everything that everyone is doing and I'm trying to pay attention to the whole table while focusing on what I'm supposed to focus on.  When I'm dealing I'm scanning my board constantly before every die roll and seeing what bets exist. Thinking about my next set of actions depending on what number is hit.  Do I have any don't bets to be cleaned up on any of the numbers?  Is anyone betting the don't come?  How many come bets are out there? How many field bets?  Who is betting on the middle so that I can remember to pay them if one of those numbers is hit.

When I step away from dealing and become a "player" I watch everything the dealer is doing and I watch every bet being made by the other students.  I'm calling every payout silently in my head and double checking if I'm correct or not.  I'm analyzing every move the dealer makes and correcting him if he does anything wrong, pays anything wrong, does something out of order.  I'm doing this for myself more so than I'm doing it for them but I'm sure it helps them as well.
I'm analyzing every payout that the stick is calling out and trying to have them in my head before he calls them out.  If my number is different than theirs I need to figure out why.
I'm also thinking about every losing bet and what they would have paid had they actually won instead.
Another thing that I do is when I am trying to work on a new concept, or I'm trying to memorize how to quickly come up with a payout for a certain bet then I am constantly throwing that bet out every single roll.
I'm throwing it out in different denominations and when it hits I'm trying to calculate the payout before the stick man can.  
I also throw out bets to help the other players.  One guy is auditioning at a place that has dollar tables and so I throw out a ton of bets in small denominations that he's going to have to learn to calculate constantly.  

Now, the other side of the pillow.
The other students, when they are "players" are not working on their game like they should be.
It really pisses me off some days.
We have some who are constantly on her phone. Texting, playing games, talking, whatever.  Constantly not paying a bit of attention to anything that is going on around them. Not improving their game and not helping anyone else to improve theirs.
A couple others are in constant conversation with other "players" and sometimes with the "dealers" as well.  So all they are is distractions to themselves and others.  No learning is going on in their heads when they are not dealing.

You want to know why the fuck you still can't get certain concepts after being in school for 3 months? It's because you're not fucking trying.
Shut up and pay attention to the game.  Stop bitching that it's too hard.
Stop bitching that you just can't get it. 
How much time to you spend studying when you are away from school?  Not a damn bit. You've admitted it to me and to the others at class. It's nobody's fault but your own that you don't understand.  You are not making the effort.

If you can't figure out what a $5 Hi/Low pays then try to figure out a way to fucking learn it.  I heard you bitch about it and then I sat there and threw the bet out every damned roll for 2 hours and you didn't pay one bit of attention to any of it because you were too busy talking to someone else.
I just made the effort to try and help you and you show up to class just as stupid as the day before.

Also, when you are a "player" stop playing the game like you were at the casino.  This is NOT the purpose of the class.  We are not here to pretend to play craps, we are here to learn how to deal craps.
The fact that when you "play" at class and you make the exact same bets every single time and never vary it up at all just means that you aren't even working on improving.
You always bet the horn, you always make sure your hard-ways are out there, whooptie-fucking-doo.
I have yet to see you throw out a Hi/Low bet, or a world bet, or anything else remotely different than you throw out every single time.
Now, you just put a few bets out there and then turn back to your phone or conversation and stop paying attention.
You don't know if you weren't paid properly.  You don't know if you were even paid.  Shit, you look surprised when you see extra chips on the table that you have to pick up.  You are not helping the other people in the dealer position learn anything because you don't even care enough to pay attention to what is going on.
Why waste your money and show up if you are going to be so self absorbed that you won't pay any attention unless you are dealing.
Wake up and smell the failure. This is just like everything else in life.  Garbage in - Garbage out.
Do you want to be a Craps dealer or do you want to be someone who bitches because it was just too hard to master?

There is a reason that I am auditioning after 3 weeks of class and you were stuck on the kiddie table for 3 weeks or longer and it's not because I'm some super talented naturally blessed guy. It's because I have the hunger to succeed and get a job while you look confused when something is explained to you for the 50th time like you never heard the concept before.

Friday, March 23, 2012

25 More Things about the grrouch

I realized after writing my list that most of what I listed was pretty generic.
So, I've decided to come up with another list of 25 items that might be more random and out there.
Everything on this list is factual, verifiable and probably has at least one witness.

  1. I sleep with a Fan on year round.  I once had a fan that broke and had to go to Walmart at 3 in the morning to get another
  2. My belly button has a very foul and mysterious odor
  3. I Have always had a Serial Killer fascination (I have a calender, trading cards and at one point owned multiple books on most of the big names and some lesser know ones).
  4. Showed up at my Senior Prom wearing a dress (and promptly got kicked out). (my mother stuffed my bra)
  5. My best friend at the time was my date (we received death threats from the football team).
  6. I wore a mistletoe belt to a school dance once (I was unsuccessful)
  7. I'm almost always stuck in the "friend-zone"
  8. I develop my crushes on people I know I have no shot at so that I don't have to deal with an emotional let down
  9. For about 3 weeks I did not know the name of the first girl I dated. Every time I called her house I prayed her dad didn't answer the phone because "Is your daughter home" is no way to begin an introduction.
  10. I have only slept with one person whom I was not in a relationship with.
  11. I have never been in a fight
  12. I lost my virginity at 15
  13. The next time I had sex with someone other than the girl in #12, I was 22
  14. I absolutely detest talking on the phone - it bugs me in ways that I can't begin to describe.
  15. As a child I once Belched Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I have recently belched Barack Obama.
  16. I was once involved in a 3 guys on one girl scene that I swore I'd never talk about
  17. I hate my job but I'm comfortable and needed. Changing careers scares me.
  18. I got suspended for wearing a tampon in my ear and claiming to be a dyke for Halloween in High-School
  19. I brought ex-lax brownies to my H.S. Psychology class and passed them out.
  20. Until a teacher got sick of it, for one week during my senior year in H.S. I drank water out of a baby bottle.
  21. I showed up to my college finals wearing Beavis and Butt-Head PJ's and slippers
  22. I like dogs more than I like people
  23. I have always believed I'll die old and alone, except for my two dogs
  24. I am not racist or sexist, but I f'n love the jokes.
  25. To me, my own farts smell like french fries (most of the time) 

This was easier than coming up with any new material or telling you all about my craps class (which really I kind of avoided the craps portion of class all together today).

25 facts about the grrouch

I was doing my morning reading (and not on the toilet) when I came across Gary's post and thought that this would be a wonderful thing to do as well.

Some of this information is known by a lot of you and some of it is known by very very few of you, and with that I bring you.

25 grrouchie facts

  1. I am a pack-rat
  2. I have a small video game collection that spans back to the first NES and I have at least 15 games for each system I own 
  3. I have a B.S. in Accounting
  4. I do not "man-scape"
  5. My first real tattoo is of Groucho Marx
  6. If it has peanut butter in it, I probably f'n love it
  7. I have a can of Surge from when it was popular in the late 90's. It is still full and has a "beer nipple" on top of it
  8. I have moved 20+ times
  9. I have three lasting friendships from my past
  10. This whole blogging thing has helped me to escape my last depression
  11. I find that going to a live football game to be pretty boring. I miss the color commentary, the close-ups, the commercials and being able to see what is actually going on
  12. I have had a back-burner dream of becoming a comedian since high-school
  13. I'm a recovering technology junkie
  14. I've lived in Vegas for 6 years and have never bothered going to California
  15. I am almost free of all of the common debt that drowns most Americans (credit cards)
  16. I have a Ford Focus and ADD
  17. I hate being late so much that I always arrive 15+ minutes early
  18. I drink 36-72 ounces of Mtn Dew per day and that IS cutting back from when I was younger
  19. The liquor cooler that I had in my college dorm still runs and is now in my bedroom
  20. I almost became an alcoholic after my first engagement ended
  21. Once I realized fact #20 I completely stopped drinking for about 5 years
  22. I have an addictive personality
  23. Beavis and Butt-Head is my favorite cartoon
  24. Guns-N-Roses, Marilyn Manson and Gwar are my 3 favorite music groups
  25. My first car was bought solely with proceeds from selling Magic: The Gathering cards around the year 2002.  The car is dead but the cards have increased in value a min of 10-fold.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Maybe a little BJ

I'm fairly certain I have gone over my allotted quotient of posts talking about my boring ass craps class (not boring to me because I'm going through it, but boring to all y'all because it doesn't really add up to a whole lot of interesting to read) but here we go again.

Today I got stuck being the dealer (second time for the day) when a "hot roll" occurred.  I'm fairly certain that the moment I went to the back to be the dealer Mariko set me up to test me.
Here is why.  We have one older Asian guy who has showed up randomly and he obviously knows what he is doing.  I have never seen him get on stick or even deal, he usually places bets and helps instruct people on what they are doing wrong or what they should be doing.  Today when I went to deal he mysteriously ended up on stick and ushered the game along at a pace we have not dealt with during class yet.
He was quick to make his calls, he was quick to get the dice back out again.  He went efficiently and briskly and he kept me working like a son-of-a-bitch.

I started with 3 players on my side of the table who all were playing place bets and come bets and field bets - the usual.  Not too hard to keep up with.  Then Mariko ended up on my side of the table and threw out some more bets and another student came up beside me and threw out some bets that we had never "practiced" before but I was able to catch on.  So, now I was up to 5 bets, people were pressing, throwing me odds, throwing other bets out there.  Playing the don't come just to f'me up, etc.
For the most part I kept up pretty well.  Once or twice I accidentally paid money to a wrong player. Once (maybe twice) I put odds on the wrong persons come bet and I did not pay one player for one bet though I acknowledged it at the time I missed and I know 100% why it happened and how to avoid it in the future.

During this "hot roll" with the quick stick man I think I was dealing for about 35-40 minutes before a 7-out which let me clean up the rest of the bets, pay the don'ts and the last comes and then clean up to be tapped out.
I was tired, I was sweating a bit from being worked so hard and I needed a small break to get a drink.

As I walked away to get my water Mariko followed me and pulled me over to a Black Jack table and had me practice shuffling cards for my last 15 or so minutes.  She gave me pointers on how to do it properly and sent me on my way with two decks so that I could practice and get used to shuffling up to two decks.
I believe over the next couple of classes she will probably be giving me a crash course on how to deal Black Jack so that when I do go for an audition (next week or the week after) I'll have another game up my sleeve and won't be limited to just Craps.   That is all 100% speculation right now but I don't see any other reason why she would now, randomly, show me how to shuffle cards when I have never signed up to learn to deal any other game than craps.  Either way I appreciate it and getting lessons on anything else is a huge bonus.

As far as my job situation I'm approaching a snafu and I'm not entirely sure if it's going to work itself out properly or not.
My co-worker is going to be going for surgery on the 30th (yes, Next Friday - but not staring Ice Cube) and she will be out for probably 2-3 weeks.
It is impossible for the office to run itself during the day without someone being there.  Me coming in at night will not allow things to get done properly and timely - Somebody has to be there during the day.
Installers call during the day, customers call during the day.  All the issues are generally reported during the day.  All of the installs leave the building between 7 am and 2pm most of the time and I don't show up until 3pm right now.  This is a problem without a currently solution and I don't get the sense that management is taking it seriously.
Yesterday my Store Manager asked me how much longer I need to keep this availability because of the situation approaching and I reminded her that she signed of for two months and I haven't even completed 3 weeks of it yet.  Though I did say that if things work out well I might be able to go back to mornings quicker - but no promises.
I just have a feeling that sometime next week they will be asking me to change my schedule and work the mornings again with the other person going on a temporary leave of absence to take care of her issues.  Not really looking forward to that conversation!

I still don't own proper "audition" clothing.  I really need to go out this weekend to buy the white button up shirt.  I should have black dress pants and dress shoes, but I might also need to pick up some black dress socks.   Also, I'm probably going to have to shave which I hate.  Hoping that after I get hired they at least allow me to keep a nice trim beard because I sure do hates-a-shavin'!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The next step

I suppose I knew that it was coming. Without trying to sound cocky or pompous or anything I have a much better grasp on dealing craps than the others I have been attending class with.  It has been noticed by the teacher and also has been noticed by the classmates.

While I haven't even completed my 3rd week of class I've had multiple students this week ask me when I'm going to be auditioning and I always smile and tell them that I still need to work on a few things before that occurs.  I get a lot of funny looks because everyone seems to think I've got this great grasp of everything that's going on and most of my time at the class has been trying to help them through the routine and trying to get them doing their (future) job better.

When I notice that someone is struggling with a particular concept then I force the to hammer it out over and over and over and over when they are either dealing or they are on stick.  If you have issues figuring out a certain bet you are damn right that every chance I get I am going to throw that bet at you until you have it stuck in your head for the rest of your life.  In all honesty that's how I teach myself and I feel it's a good way to teach others.
Most of the time when I'm throwing out certain bets over and over again it's because these are the bets I am trying to get myself to work on for the day as well.  So, I throw them out there a lot hoping that they will hit and calculating the payouts every time that they hit and most of the time even when they don't.  Repetition is the mother of all learning.

While at the table today Mariko was talking to one of the other students about setting up an audition.  This particular student (we will call Frank) is struggling with the Horn bets and is trying to talk himself into just going back into surveillance instead of continuing with craps. He has been at the class for nearly 3 months and still struggles.  However, his struggles are his own fault.  He has admitted to me (when I've asked) that he really puts no time into learning when he is not at class.  That is his problem.  He needs to make some extra time at home or on lunch breaks or whatever to study.
So, she was talking to him about setting up an audition somewhere and telling him that she really wants him to give it a try instead of just quitting at this point and trying for surveillance instead and she looked at me and told me she wants me to do the same - which I ignored and focused on the game instead.

However, when I was checking out for the day she followed me and told me that she wants me to apply (online) to casino X this weekend or Monday/Tuesday at the latest so that I could set up my interview/audition.  I really can't tell you how thrilled I am to know that she thinks I'm ready to be tossed into the wild for an audition after only 3 weeks of class (and in reality, today was only day 12 so it's less than 3 weeks).

Here is the kicker - she told me that Casino X does not take break-ins.  They have contacted her looking for good dealers because they are running short and she thinks highly enough of me to send me there for the audition anyway.  I know I should be happy as horse shit (how happy is horse shit?) and take this as a huge compliment.  Having me apply and getting me an audition as a Break-in at a casino that doesn't take Break-in's is pretty f'n awesome if I sat back and thought about it some more.   But, as the sometimes perfectionist that I am I know I still have some stuff to work on.
I know I have stuff to get better on, area's to improve.
I'm not 100% sure how I feel about going out on an audition when I feel that I should still be working on improvement (though, in all reality we should all be looking to improve every day anyways).

Either way, I put my faith in her that she will not lead me astray and is obviously not setting me up to fail.  So, this weekend I've got some things I need to take care of.
1 - Online application.
2 - Trip to Casino X so that I can scope out their games, their table limits and their typical players and the bets that they commonly like to make.
3 - watch the table for a couple hours (maybe not all at once) and keep track of things. Watch the dealers and the payouts and make sure that I know the payouts for the bets that these folken like to make inside and out.  After all, if I were to get the job these would become my peoples.

Being that I'm currently looking to do this as a 2nd job and not as my primary job at the moment, it's a big step but not THE big step. I can't make any drastic changes like getting out of retail completely or even going part time until some other situations have worked themselves out.  However, I am looking forward to the adventure of something new and exciting.

We shall see what tomorrow brings.

A River Runs Through It

I've got a lot of random things to share from my past but the problem is that I forget most of it. Usually it's a friend who reminds me of something that happened to bring back the memories.  This story is one such story that has a tragic ending and I want to thank Carmel for bringing it to my attention.

The day didn't even start very normal because I had visitors in town.  This was during my college years, living on campus and my good friend Spank was visiting and brought his cousin along for the trip.
You see, there was a bi-annual tradition that I forced all my friends to partake in and that's why I had the visitors. Every show that came along I made a habit of bringing at least one new person along who had not seen the show before, Vinny was the man this time.

The biggest abnormality to the day was that Spank's cousin was a professional alcoholic which I had not interacted with in quite a few years.  We started the day with a trip to the Beer Distributor so that he could start his daily routine; we bought a 40 pack.
Before lunch hit he had already downed about 6.
So, lets meet our players shall we.
grrouchie: protagonist and all around swell guy
Spank: best friend from high school, in town visiting and showing off his new 'Stang to my chick.
Trish: My chick at the time- though nothing offensive is in this story she opened her self up for future references :)
Vinnie: Spanks cousin (some temptations cannot be resisted).

During the course of the day there was much begging by Trish to take the spank-mobile out for a ride.  This was the first time he had brought into town his brand spanking new (pun or no pun, you decide?) Ford Mustang which was a thing of beauty compared to what we were used to riding around in - Trish's favorite car of all time - the Chevy Cavalier!  In fact, to this day she tells me she's a big fan of Cleveland Basketball 100% because of this car (there may not be a whole lot of truth in that last statement).
I don't recall if it ever happened or not but I do remember that she was teased with the possibility for the entire weekend.  The thought of driving a car with such power was definitely a high point for her after having to deal with such manliness as belching and farting competitions all weekend long and the impending "I'm going to try to out drink you" that would occur later in the evening as the show approached.

Evening approaches and the 40 pack dwindles to nothing and in a rare display of manliness I decide that I'm going to get 100% wasted during the show.  I am going to attempt to out drink the out drinkable.  Even though he had a head start and should be feeling it, he was acting completely sober and could pack down more alcohol than any man I have ever seen before (or since for that matter).

Taking our seats at the show in a room where everyone is packed in tight and the waitresses are doing their best to try and keep everyone happy.  The first time a waitress approaches us Spank shoots her a $20 and tells her to keep them coming back plentiful and often - I look back now and realize he was a smart man.
Over the course of the evening she hit our table up more than any other table and if she couldn't figure out where a drink went we got all of her extras.
It's impossible to recall how many we drank and of what varieties, I just know that every time I had an empty glass I had at least two more waiting for me on the table.  Booze Heaven.

Top of the hour approaches and the room is getting into a fevered impatience.   People are taking sides, Literally.
One side of the packed room starts a chant "The other side sucks, the other side sucks, the other side sucks."
It's met with "The other side swallows..." as if it were pre-planned.
A few minutes to show time the audience stops razzing itself and turns its attention to the main attraction. Most of the chatter dies down but in an uprising the entire room is shouting "Sing fucker sing, Sing fucker sing."
Glasses are raised and beer is spilled, and the place breaks out in a huge ovation and cheer as the curtain is drawn back and none other than the amazing, the filthy, Dr Dirty makes his presence on stage and walks up to the Piano center stage.

The white suit, hat and bow-tie are all part of the routine. He comes out looking like a million dollars and sings dirty songs to a crowd of all denominations.  His routine is brash and offensive, there is no sexual preference, race, creed or anything else that he leaves out - he makes fun of everything under the sun including himself.
He has been performing for somewhere around 30 years at this point and his audience is the most eclectic mix I have ever seen.  From college students to grandmothers, everyone is packed in and having a 100% over the top fucking good time.  And NO ONE is safe from the ribbing.  If you stand out to him in any way you'll probably end up as an extra in one of his songs for the evening.  During "half time" you can even do a meet and greet and request to get your friends made fun of. It's the ultimate in family entertainment.

There is too much to share that I absolutely love so I'm just going to throw out a few of my favorites.

A short summary is that the show went on and I packed an amount of alcohol into me that I never have before. I started (and probably ended) with at least two round of liquid cocaine and a mixture of drinks in between that I can't even begin to describe.  By the time we left after the 2 and a half hour show I could barely even walk.   And now I get to the important part of this story.

I'm f'd up, wobbling and almost in need of assistance to walk, talk or think.
Before heading into the outside, the cold harsh Erie Pennsylvania outside I make my last trip to the rest room. In fact we pretty much all do.  No only are the restrooms in the Kings Rook club a great place to relieve one's self but they also have some awesome eye candy.
You see, the men's rooms in the Rook are wall papered with pictures of hot chicks out of Playboy's and Penthouses - wall to wall titties and ass.  It's great.  Focus on a great pair of tits and relieve yourself (urinate sir, don't get the wrong idea).

I stumble down the steps and pretend I'm doing a dance number that I just made up and wasn't actually trying to figure out how walk again and our group meets up to head to our ride.
We get to the car that will usher us back home and Vinnie decides that now is the proper time to relieve himself - you see the lines were too long inside and he really didn't have to go until that cold air hit him.  Now he must go or there will be a flood inside the car on the ride home and nobody wanted that.
He went and went and went.  Maybe he had been holding it in all day long for this one moment or maybe it's that it was probably 13 degrees outside but it felt like he took a day and a half and by the time he was finished there was a large stream of piss running in front of the car.

We were parked on a bit of a slope and in order for me to get to the car I had to navigate over the river of urine.  This is the part where alcohol takes over my brain.  All normal lines of logic are gone - I'm enthralled by the size of the stream that had been created and my brain absolutely cannot figure out what to do.  So stop a foot in front of the stream and try to wrap my head around how I am possible going to take a large enough step without losing my balance and falling. After all, small steps are giving me issues right now and I've got that drunk boy swagger going on.  I'm a fucking weeble - I'm just not falling down.

So this is when Trish says something that to this day I'm sure she regrets (not realizing that my mind is working in 100% literal translations).  "Babe, just jump over it"

grrouch: "brain, did she just say jump"
brain :"yes grrouch, she sure as shit did, you remember how to jump right?"
grrouch: "fuck yes I do, bend at the knees and propel with force"
brain (looking away): "rut roh shaggy"

Jump - it's a simple act that I found out we take for granted.
How many times can we perform this act without thinking about it and not mess up a simple jump landing 3-5 inches in front of where we started?
With more alcohol than blood in my system I attempted to do what I have done a million times over the course of my life.
I started with bending at my knees.
However, instead of a slight bend I had a full bend - putting my ass near the pavement as if I had been crouching on the floor.
I exerted as much energy as drunkenly possible by propelling myself up from this now-crouched position to throw myself over this epic river of piss that stood between me and my destination, shifting all of my excess weight as I went.
In the air, practically flying, I'm a fucking Gymnast, I'm Kerri Strug or whatever that skinny bitches name was.
I stick it.
I'm amazing.
I am a God among men.  I landed past my target, both feet touching the ground.
However, when I landed my legs were straight and my knees were locked.
When I hit, my knee buckles and my balances loses it's fight - Gravity takes over.
I twirl my arms in the air and start to fall backwards and end with a crash landing, my ass sitting square in the middle of the epic obstacle that I just tried to avoid.

To this day I still blame the whole instance on Trish telling me to jump.  If she changes her word "Jump" to "step" the day is saved and we don't have to figure out how to take a 250 pound, ass soaked in piss, drunk guy home - but alas the (now) Trish, the editor,  choose her words poorly and suffered because of it.

Looking back on the story now, I'm going to take credit for her future business of being an editor (not the writer portion) because of all the mental scaring that this one incident gave her.  She vowed to never let one poorly chosen word ruin a perfectly good evening again.

And I end with one of Dr. Dirty's Poems.

Twinkle Twinkle
Steam of Piss
All My Beers
Have come to This

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick and Easy

So, this is going to be just like I like my women, Quick and Easy!

Tomorrow after Craps Class I will be hitting the bank and destroying my dental bill - meaning it will be going away and will be no longer.  That's going to make the day all nice and full of puppies and rainbows for me.

The negative is that this means I won't have any money in my poker bankroll any longer and It will probably be another month or so before I get to play again.  But hey, the "no debt" thing is more important to me than playing some silly game anyways (I'll pout later when everyone is tweeting about it and I'm stuck at home reading Batman Comics).

The other thing is that over on CS Splitter's blog it's Ask Tom Tuesday again and I just really love Tuesdays because of that.  This week is extra special because none other than myself came up with the question!

I hope you enjoy the question, and the lead up, and of course the answer as well.
Go take a looksie!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

WTF Dolphins and 9ers, WTF

Times like this I'm glad that I'm a life long fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There are two teams in the NFL who could be completely screwing themselves over and while I'm happy to see any non-Steelers team screw themselves (would prefer in division, you hear me Baltimore?) I can't help but wonder if the people in charge really know what they are doing sometimes.

Lets look at the San Francisco 49ers to start.  Last year though a huge dominating defense and good play by Alex Smith they went to the NFC Championship game and barely lost.  A young player made some young-player-in-big-game-mistakes that ultimately cost them the chance to face New England to determine the NFL's best team.
So, this off season Coach Harbaugh said that he believes in Smith and that Smith is his man even though Alex Smith is a free agent.  The '9ers never locked him up and now he is out and about whoring himself to other teams trying to find someone interested so that he can look forward to his future.
Meanwhile the '9ers were secretly courting and working out Peyton Manning who has narrowed his search down to 3 teams that he will play for next year; Titans, Bronco's and 49ers.

Here's the tricky part, the 49ers could be shooting themselves in the foot because they never locked up Alex Smith.  Smith is out visiting with the Dolphins and sleeping with their Cheerleaders to see if he'd be comfortable in the humidity in Miami playing for retired folks, the 3 remaining Dolphins from '72 and assorted swamp gators (meanwhile the Florida Gators seem to manage to draw in 200x the amount of fans as they have the young hipster crowds).
So, If Alex Smith and the Dolphins wrap things up and reach an agreement come Monday and sometime by the end of the week (hopefully Peyton doesn't drag this out like that f'n Lebron saga sports fans had to endure) Peyton decides he's going to continue to play in the AFC and not join the 49ers then they are left holding their crotches and praying for divine intervention because Kaepernick is NOT going to be the guy who gets them over the hump into the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile over in the other fish pond (oh aren't I so clever?) the Dolphins were working their arses off to try and secure Peyton Manning, going as far as to dumping their best WR who is a trouble maker and would probably struggle in the Peyton Offense.
Peyton tells them to pound salt and the Phins are left going after Matt Flynn who everyone thought would be a shoe-in because of recent coaching changes (guy defected from Green Bay to Miami).  However Flynn gave the Phins a by FU by signing with the Seahawks in a move that saw the 3 surviving members of the '72 Phins (and all their fans everywhere) opening bottles of booze and drinking heavily enough that they can hibernate till the season starts when they'll wake up and feel like they are watching re-runs when Matt Moore takes the snaps.
However, after being left at the alter for the 3rd time in two seasons (remember they got ditched by Harbaugh who choose San Fran over Miami) they turned their focus to Alex Smith.  Whether or not Smith ends up playing for the Phins or elsewhere is another matter, but they are running out of options to go after this off season.
Lets say that Smith does sign elsewhere (we'll say Tennessee for simplicity sake) that leave the Dolphins turning to Matt Moore again.
If you are Matt Moore, how good to you feel about life?  You took over after Henne stunk the joint up and gave the team a spark and let them to multiple victories.  In fact, at one point, some of the finer folk on that ESPN network were saying you were playing as one of the best QB's in the league (but need to get better consistency to stay there instead of just peaking there and dropping back down ala the other Manning, Eli).
You just watched the spot you thought you earned, starter, Be offered to 3 other players who were not even on the roster last year before they finally turned to you and say "well, no one else will fuck us, looks like we're stuck with you."

Confidence? I think not.
And that's the other side of the pigskin!

What Makes a Good Poker Player?

I keep forgetting that there is a subset of my readers who are not active in the poker community and I get subtle (and not so subtle) reminders now and then based on a comment that they leave or something that they say in conversation.  So, to my point I need to focus on explaining certain things better instead of just putting it out there and pretending that everyone understands what the hell it is that I'm saying.
If there is something above and you get stuck on a section or even a word, feel free to ask and once I see it I'll give a more detailed answer or I'm sure one of my other poker playing readers might jump in with a brief description/answer as well.  I'm lost in my own little world where everyone understands me and women think I'm handsome and want to raise puppies with me!

Now, just recently one of my readers who runs Splittersblog asked me a simple question with a not so simple answer:  "What makes a good poker player?"

Honestly, I don't feel that I am really qualified to give this question the full answer that it deserves because I still consider myself just a constant tourist, a little fish in a big pond so to speak.  I play well enough to show a profit almost every year (Oh, that word almost pains me to type - a year where you do not show profit really kills the ego... shit it kills the Id (not the Wizard of), the ego and the superego for that matter!). I win more sessions than I lose and my biggest win over the course of the year is much bigger than my biggest loss.   So, I'm going to attempt to draw up a response that requires thought on my part (I hate thinking in advance) and hopefully encompasses a lot of what it really takes.

The first thing to note about poker is it is the only game in the casino where you are not playing against the house, but instead you are playing against the other players at the table. Sure the house is still going to get their money in the form of the rake which gets dropped nearly every hand but your main purpose is to take money off of the other players.
This does not happen in Black Jack, Craps, Routlette or any other game so of course it creates it's own unusual dynamics.

I feel that I can skip some of the really obvious stuff.  I mean, you are not going to read over my list and then tell me "well, you didn't write that it was important to know the hand rankings" because that would be stupid and I would probably have to track you down and issue some public humiliation (except to you Fboy!  I'm not traveling overseas just to make fun of you, that would be expensive).

So, I'm glad we cleared that up.

Axl Rose best summed up the most important part of a good poker player, Patience, yeah yeah yeah , just a little patience...
Without patience you probably are not going to make it far playing poker and you will continually watch your money be shipped to another player.  Why is patience such a big factor?  I'm glad I pretened you asked.
The simple fact is that you are dealt more crappy hands over the course of your poker life than you are dealt good hands.  There will be some nights where you will be dealt nothing but crappy hands and you will be forced to continually fold while waiting for what might end up being just your one and only opportunity to strike during the evening.  This is one (of the many) reason that it's impossible to win all the time.  Poker would sure be easy if we were constantly dealt Aces or Kings and flopped sets, straights and flushes.   If you don't like the thought of sitting at a poker table for hours on end and watching other players win pot after pot while you get dealt King-Seven offsuit then this game might not be for you.  Sure, you will have times where you'll be on a hot run of cards and the chips will be piling up like flap-jacks at the Waffle House, but most of the time you are going to find yourself folding and waiting for the next hand.

This leads us to another good one, the power of observation.  What are you going to be doing after your cards are folded and other people are still playing the game?  Observing.  Learning.  Watching other players.  Yeah, I guess if you look at your standard low stakes poker games today not a whole lot of this is going on.  People are reading magazines or books between hands. People are texting and making phone calls.  Hell, people are even bringing Nintendo DS's or PSP's to the poker table because they can't deal with the boredom of waiting for a hand and they don't care enough to improve their game by getting reads on their opponents.  However, if you have a desire to be good and succeed then you should be studying the other players at the table to see what they are doing, when they are doing it and trying to figure out why they are doing it.
If two people go to showdown (all bets called on the river and their cards are turned face up while the dealer sorts out who won) then you should be looking at their cards and paying attention to what they have.
You should be trying to reconstruct the hand, and thinking about how they got to where they are.  It is true that some hands play themselves and no thought is necessary.  But, if you see two people going to showdown with weird hands then you need to figure out how they got there and how to take advantage of that in the future.
Does the opponent like to call down with 2nd pair because he doesn't believe you hit anything?
Does the opponent raise his draws or does he call down until he hits?
Is the opponent capable of raising with air or does he only raise when he has a monster?
How does your opponent play when he has a good hand and there are lots of draws on the flop?
Will he raise? Will he check raise?  Will he call an all in on a draw or will he push all in on a draw (important difference).
Does he think about what other people might be holding or does he only know his two cards and their realative strength?
Other than patience, knowing your opponents and being able to figure out what they have is the most important part of succeeding in this game long term.
You can get by with just sitting around and waiting for monsters and trying to get your money in, but when you know your opponents you can figure out situations to milk them for a few extra dollars here and there which will add up to a lot in the long run.
If you know that your opponent will call down with Top Pair and weak kicker (and not raise) then you can make some smaller bets to string him along.

Self-Control - do not play when you don't feel like you can give 100%. Don't play just to put in the hours.  Don't play when you are angry, sad, etc.  Play when you feel great and want to play and have mental clarity
This may or may not seem obvious to people, but when you are not in the right frame of mind you can find yourself doing things you shouldn't.  For instance, if you find yourself playing at the table when you are a bit on the angry side, you will most likely become more aggressive at the table and usually it's not a controlled and well thought out aggression.  You will just become a spewtard and lose money quickly.  Making huge bets, raises, re-raises just for the sake of making them and trying to bully the table around.  Taking your aggression out on the rest of the players so to speak. However, at poker this rarely works the way you want it to and someone is going to "look you up" and take your money because you are playing like an idiot.
Mental focus is very important in poker - this is why you should get up every hour or so and take a small walk, even if only for a few minutes.  Stretch the legs and rest the mind for a few.
This also goes for during your session.  If you ever take a bad beat and feel yourself loosing your cool - you either need to leave the game or find a way to regain your focus.  A good walk will help there, maybe putting your headphones on and cranking out some Pantera will set your mind at ease, etc.  Whatever it is that will work for you, find out what it is and do it.  Maybe you are the type that just needs to quit for the evening and be done with it - if that's what it takes then so be it.  Just learn that you reached your breaking point and have enough sense to actually do something about it.
It's surprising how many people will continue to play when their mood has been altered for whatever reason and then piss away all of their money.  I've seen people go from 4 buy-ins at the table ($800+) to nothing because they took one bad beat and then went crazy trying to get the money back, making stupid plays, stupid raises, pushes, etc and within 30 minutes then lost it all.   A lot of the time these people put more money on the table and blow through that as well.   Mental Focus.  Learn it grasshopper.  Keep in control of your emotions or do not sit at the felt.

I will end here as this is long enough and maybe I will revisit later to add more to it.  But, this is a good start to answer the question "what makes a good poker player?"
Feel free to make fun of me if you disagree with anything above - these are just my own thoughts on the subject hastily written.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Special Guest Post by Splitter

Ladies and germs, Today I bring to you something I have not done before and that is allow someone else's thoughts to be the post instead of my own.

I have posted about this individual before as since being introduced to him I feel we have forged a fun little friendship built around Pro Football (The Pittsburgh Steelers), books, and a very strong common sense of humor and table manners.

I am referring to Splitter from

He has written two books that I highly enjoyed in The Reluctant and The Willing which I recommend to anyone who enjoys action/adventure books with a good sense of humor.  He is currently working on his third book in the series which focuses on everyone's favorite lesbian protagonist Lorena (going to be called The Lesbian?)

He just finished up with a "blog-tour" to promote his last book where he had "guest posts" on 20+ blogs over the course of the last month.
During that period he approached me with the idea of posting on my blog to let his hair down and blow off some steam.  I feel pretty damned honored that when he decided he wanted to be a bit less politically correct he thought of me first!   I raise my beer to that comrade.

So, without further wait - I bring you Splitter (and I recommend you all check his blog and his work out at some point).

ps - he sent me the blog, I added some pictures for enhancement as he gave me permission lol.

The blogtour is OVER! I can breathe again. I can go back to writing again. I can be myself again.

Well, sort of. You see, as a writer trying to sell books, you really cannot be yourself. You are an
image, a brand. You have to tiptoe around everyone so as not to give insult. You have to present
yourself as “likeable” to the largest number of people possible.

It sucks. Look at my friends list on Facebook. There are people there from all political persuasions so
I get inundated DAILY with those bullshit posts. Then they ask, “Why do you never 'like' or comment
on my posts?” Well, it could be that I don't agree with them. It could also be that if I actually take a
stand on an issue, anyone who doesn't agree with me might decide to never buy my books again or,
worse, go leave bad reviews just because I prefer blue to red.

Hey, when I am outside of my author persona, I have made political posts and debated many things
over the internet with people I don't even know. I admit it. But not ONCE has ANYONE ever
changed their mind about their own views because of those debates. People just like to hear themselves
talk. And they LOVE to show that because they feel a certain way about a certain issue they are “good

I don't wish to be mean, but NO ONE CARES WHAT WE THINK!. You might think they do because
they “like” your post. You might think that your opinion matters because they choose to argue with
you. But, let's face it, in the end your opinion is only important to you and your real friends who
PROBABLY agree with you on everything anyway. If you did not share similar values with your
friends, they probably would not be your friends in the first place, would they?

Side note: I love LOLCats and such. Post the shit out of that stuff because it makes me laugh.

To all the authors out there, and this includes me, enough of the “buy my book” stuff. Yeah, I do it too
because...well, I guess it is sort of mandatory. I understand, and you should too, that we usually aren't
going to go around buying each other's books. Sometimes we will, but when most of your Facebook
and Tweet “friends” are also authors, you are barking up the wrong tree.

I would like you all to note, however, that while my posts might usually be about my books, my
comments on your posts are not and I do try to be funny, interesting, or supportive. I do apologize for
all of my “blogtour stop” posts lately, but I had to do them. That's over now. Maybe I'll find some cute
pet photos with funny captions to lighten the mood.

About those kids of yours...they are cute but ENOUGH ALREADY! I like keeping up with you and
yours, but I don't need to know every time Little Billy finds a new booger. Really.

Farmville and Words are not games I am going to be playing so please stop sending me requests. Do
you need fake Farmville money? Fine, take whatever is in my fake Farmville account if I have one.

Enough with pulling me into groups without asking me. Don't ask, either, unless it is something you
really think I would benefit from. I already had to crap out on a writing group that I REALLY wanted
to participate in because I got too busy. I am not interested in the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout any more
than I am Thinking of Cake. I like to eat cake, not think about it...

While we are at it, if I “like” your shit, fucking “like” my shit, ok? I don't care whether or not you
really like it, but a reach around is just courtesy. I am not saying that you have to like all my shit, just
enough to keep me from noticing that this is a one way relationship.

I'm not gay. It's all right if you are though. Seriously. We can chat and all that but no coming on
to the “artist writer” after you know that I am married. I know, I put gay characters into my stories
sometimes and that might make you think that I, too, am gay (fine, that reach around comment above
did not help my case...), but my wife's profile is right there! I don't put gay characters into my stories
because they are gay and I don't glorify or humiliate them any more than I do other characters. They
just happen to be gay.

For the other side, stop hating on me for putting gay characters into my stories. Really, they won't
jump off the page and sodomize you, I promise. I am not pro or anti gay...I just don't care. People are

If you are a lesbian who bought my book because you thought it was about lesbians: sorry. I don't
know where you got that information. There is a lesbian in it but it's probably not what you were
looking for. By the way, I went back and looked at the other books in your list, that's how I know you
are a lesbian. Thanks for the 1-star rating with no explanation to help other readers. Hey, my main
character is a guy that can be sexist at times and if you had bothered to leave a review that gave that as
the reason for the single star rating, I would not have mentioned you here.

I will not share a photo if I agree and I do not believe that doing so will bring me an angel. I am not
saying that I do or do not believe in angels, I just don't think they follow Facebook.

Yes, people die in my books. I killed three people just yesterday and am now trying to figure out how
to dispose of the bodies. It's sort of my thing. But “I” really do not kill people, I just write about it.
My characters kill people and, if you looked at the cover, you SHOULD HAVE FIGURED THAT
OUT by the guns that the chicks are ALWAYS holding. If good guys that kill bad guys are not your
type of hero, then read something else because you will NOT like my good guys because they are NOT

I am not Tom Crayder. I let you slide on the first two emails that address me as Tom, but that third one
creeped me out a bit. I am very glad you liked the books, however.

I know you think that guns are evil things that jump off of tables and kill people all by themselves,
but I disagree. Guns don't kill people, husbands that come home early do. I put a gun on the cover. I
had my protagonists shooting someone in the first chapter. If you hate guns, why are you reading my
books? For that matter, how do you find movies or TV shows to watch?

To the gun lovers: I know that I could have portrayed gun owners in a better light and that not
everything I write promotes “the cause.” Hey! I am a fiction writer! Who cares what I say on the
matter? Besides, sometimes people DO use guns to hurt other people. That sort of what they are built

“Did you see what I wrote on Twitter?” Nope. 90% of my Twitter followers are also authors and 90%
of what they write is “buy my book!” I don't read Twitter unless you mention my name. So why do I
have Twitter? I am told it is just something I should have.

And what's with all the tweets the DO mention my name, but it is just one of a list of other names?
What IS that?

Lastly, here is a big, double MIDDLE FINGER to PayPal for not only letting a guy in China mess up
my PayPal account, but ALSO my bank account. You'll investigate? Good, because I don't know Duy
Vu Huong (unless he is related to Won Huong Lo). I wish you would have taken my word for it.

Thanks for letting me vent here, Grrouchie!


And thank you Splitter for deciding to liven up my blog with a bit of a rant.
Anytime you feel the need to blow off steam you have a 2nd home here that you can set up shop in.

To everyone else, I hope you enjoyed this break from my ramblings but have no fear - I'm got other shit coming down the pipeline!

Stripper Confessions

Before I get into anything I'm just going to point out that I really enjoy this group of bloggers that I have been interacting with over the course of the last few months (and the list is growing).
It's enjoyable to read stories from other people who share similar interests as myself even if those stories are not about Poker but regular every day stories about life events.

So when I ran with Hooker Week after reading one of Rob's posts and a whole bunch of other people followed suit I just thought that was the bee's knees.

Now after reading a blog by jt88keys which is a call to arms for stripper stories I don't feel that I can resist.

Sadly, unlike my hooker stories, I think I have more to share here.

I'm going to start with the fact that I never went to a strip club until I was somewhere in my mid 20's and even then it really wasn't by choice.  We had a friend in town visiting, Mudd, who's 21st was happening and he really really really wanted to hit up a strip joint and so a bunch of us ended up going.  This was in Erie Pa where the hottest stripper might be one of the ugliest in a Vegas Joint, an off strip and out of the way Vegas Joint.

I received no dances that evening and I avoided sitting near the stage too much but I had a good time making fun of the girls.  One of them almost fell right on her face while trying to take her panties off over her shoes and other than my roommate at the time getting his first lap-dance and telling me it was the next best thing to sex that is pretty much all I remember about my first trip.

It wasn't until many years later, after moving to Vegas, that I made my second trip which I only went to because I was invited by my, then, girlfriend who was going to one with her boss and some co-workers.
I showed up and my drinks, Jaeger Bombs, were being paid for by the boss and good times were had.

I remember watching one girl dance who was doing some pretty amazing tricks on the pole and my girl telling me that I absolutely had to go up there and shove some ones in her G-string because she was "working hard for her money."  After that things were a bit alcohol induced blurry and not very memorable.

So, all of that boredom aside here is the story I started typing to tell you about.
Oh Maria, you crazy stalker stripper you.

I met Maria shortly after a break up with an ex who shall remain unnamed for vagueness.
I was at one of the low class off strip places, drinking way more than I should have and enjoying shows and getting talked into the occasional bad lap-dance.
Mind you, I was more interested in the one beer-wench who was much hotter than most of the dancers, but I was drunk, depressed and lonely and any type of female attention was good for me at the time.
This is when I met Maria.

I was sitting off to the corner of the 2nd stage just watching the show and drinking when she got done with her routine and walked by me.  After taking a few steps she turned around and just casually asked if I wanted a dance and my reply was along the lines of "Sure, why the hell not."
Maria was not stunning, she was not young and perky and the kind of stripper you go home and tell stories to your buddies about.  She wasn't even good on stage, she was awkward and the phrase "I felt embarrassed for her" comes to mind.
However, she had a skill that has been unmatched over any of my trips to the random strip clubs that I have been do.  She knew how to properly tease during a lap-dance.

So now I'm drunk, less depressed but horny and chatting up a stripper who I'll never see outside this club because she sure as shit knows how to make small talk and make it seem like she's interested in me when next thing I know she has my phone in her hands and is making a phone call to herself so that she can have my number.  I don't remember ever pulling my own phone out and i don't remember her putting her hands into my pocket to get it either, but she did.
I didn't think too much of it until a couple of weeks later I got a call from Maria asking me to come down and see her some time.

Maria was a salesman, and she evidently had a good routine going that I was now a part of.
In the ways of the stripper, I was very green.  I knew nothing and it struck me that this girl was calling me and saying "hey, I'll be working on such and such a day how about you come down and see me again."
Our conversations were more than just that, she made a lot of small talk and asked me questions about my job and whatever else.  She talked a lot about her family and her son and other things that she probably was making up, but maybe not.
I still picture her sitting at a desk somewhere with a script "call 1, call 2, call 13, etc" with this script of a made up life involving her house, her son and occasional trips to mexico to visit family.

However, the personal attention worked (and I think that it was mainly because most of her phone calls she wouldn't even mention the strip club, she would just talk for a while and sometimes nearing the end she would ask when she was going to see me again).
Women can easily get in my head and manipulate me - it's the way I am.  It has happened time and time again in the past and I'm sure it will happen in the future no matter how many times I tell myself that it won't.
They have Vagina's and I am easy to take advantage of!

So every once in a while I would head down to pay a visit, usually after a successful poker session where I had money to burn and beers that wanted drinking.
I'd run into Maria and chat her up a bit, have a few drinks and sometimes enjoy a dance before my evening festivities have ended.
Maria was good at the lap dance, she was a working professional who knew how to press all the right buttons to keep me interested and maybe get an extra couple of dollars out of me.  She was impressive in a room full of average and I'm ok admitting that I greatly enjoyed them.
There were a few times where I had to stop her before I needed to head out and get a change of clothes and there were times where she reached down and told me that "nope, this is happening and you can't stop me."
Drunk and sticky - how I love to end my evenings.

Even though most of you didn't want to read that last part, you can't unread it.
I'm a dirty filthy perverted male who has paid for an enjoyed dances from average looking strippers who were good at their jobs.

But Maria was Different.  She kept calling and calling and calling.  Chatting me up even after I stopped visiting the club.  Month after month I would talk to her on the phone about various things and it seems the longer the time lapsed between the last time I "paid her a visit" the more she would call.
In fact, after about a 6 month period I think she started calling me at least once a week.
When she called, if I took the time to look at my phone before answering (something I usually don't do and thus I end up in conversations I don't want to be in) I started changing the name that popped up.
Crazy Maria
Stalker Maria
Don't Fucking Answer Maria.

At one point I told her that my job had transferred me to Pahrump (which was not a lie) and that I had moved up there so I didn't have to drive the 170 miles every day (which was the lie) and that I wouldn't be getting into town very often at all.
That seemed to have slowed down the phone calls, but they were still coming.  I think it might have been about a year or a bit more after my last "visit" to that strip club that I received the last few phone calls from her asking me not to forget about her and to come and see her whenever I visited Vegas.
The phone calls started to get a bit more sad and depressing, talking about an illness in the family and needing money, etc.  Being broke and maybe having to move out of the house and get a smaller place, etc.
If I didn't answer, leaving voice mails to the same effect.
However, finally the calls stopped coming and I have been Maria free for a few years.

Funny shit!

Since Maria, I have gone to one strip club (twice I think) when trying to cheer a friend up as she was having girl issues.  I got to enjoy my favorite game, "make fun of other people at the strip club."
During this time I received 2 private dances, both bought by the other person.
One sucked and one was good, nothing exciting, nothing to see here, move along.
Though I was disappointed because I was nice enough to buy her a dance from a hot Asian chick and she bought me a dance from an extremely tall french girl who I didn't find attractive.
Oh well - them's the breaks.
It's been well over 3 years since I have been to any of the strip clubs but there is one that I want to visit.
Las Vegas's worst strip club.
I've linked it before and here it is again.
Foxy Girls
That article alone makes me want to go.