Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Random Musings

Here are some pictures from the Idaho wedding:

Davis, Christy and Me Posted by Picasa

Jager for everyone Posted by Picasa

Christy and Dave Posted by Picasa

This weekend I'm leaving town again, flying to San Jose to celebrate the 89th birthday of my Grandma's sister. Ever since the passing of my grandpa earlier this year, the family is trying to get together more often and not take each other for granted. I like the new attitude and I hope it doesn't fade but it inevitably will.

The Monday Night game was incredible. I can't imagine being an Arizona Cardinals fan and having to endure something like that. The Seahawks really need the Bears to lose so that we won't have to go back to Chicago in January. It's nice to be able to look forward to whether or not you're going to host the NFC Championship game instead of just worrying about making the playoffs. I really believe that if the Bears have to come here, there's no way they're leaving with a win. Unfortunately, they have what amounts to a 2-game lead at the moment since it's no good if we end the season with the same record. I think head-to-head is the first tiebreaker but I could be wrong. Anyway, please root against the Bears from now on. I hope Arizona has given other teams the blueprint to stopping Rex: BLITZ HIS PANSY ASS!!!

The M-E-T-S METS METS METS! won tonight forcing game 7 tomorrow. It's been said a million times but game 7s are one of the coolest things in all of sports. Watch this if you can. I will be in CLASS until 7:30 but I'll be checking for updates on my Treo. The Mets have Oliver Perez on the hill, sporting a 3-13 record and an almost 7-run ERA. Gross. Jeff Suppan, pitching for the Cardinals, shut the Mets down in game 3 and has a number of clutch postseason starts under his belt. On paper, it looks like the Cardinals have the edge. BUT THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAME! Shea is a magical place and I think this year's Mets team is something special. I really think that tomorrow's game will be great. Good luck to your Cardinals, Allen. They're going to need it.

The Seahawks should win on Sunday. They don't lose at Qwest. I'm a little worried about a letdown after the big win over the Rams but I think we'll be fine. The Huskies are in bigger trouble than I thought. Losing Stanback is a big blow, he was just starting to play like a winning quarterback. Stanford is still a gimme win but we may end the year with only 5. I'd really like to go to a bowl game this year so let's try to beat ASU next week!

That's all I have. Random musings about sports. San Jose, here I come.

Monday, October 16, 2006

You Da Ho

I spent the weekend in the beautiful state of Idaho for my friend Christy's wedding. It was a lot of fun and I'm really glad that I went. Sun Valley was beautiful with the autumn colors and the weather was fantastic. Christy was a beautiful bride and I'm really happy for her. I don't have any pictures because I'm an idiot and always forget to pull out my camera but I'll try to get Davis to send me some of his. We definitely painted the town red and became very popular at the local watering hole. I'm definitely done drinking for the rest of my life. I just can't take the pain. Well, maybe not the rest of my life but maybe until December. I'm going to make a compromise: no getting drunk. A beer or two with friends is ok. 10 shots of Jager followed by 3 double shots of Maker's followed by 3 shots of Tequila is not ok. OK?

On Sunday morning we checked out of our condo and headed to our famous watering hole for the Seahawks game. It was a thrilling affair and the Hawks came through with a huuuuuuuge victory over the Rams. They rallied from down 21-7 at the half to win 30-28 on a 54-yard field goal as time expired. The defense really stepped up in the second half and shut down the Rams vaunted offense with the exception being an incredible touchdown reception by Torry Holt that demonstrated why he's one of the top WRs in the league, if not number one all by himself. Anyway, Tatupu seemed non-existent in the first half but made a number of great plays in the second. The Hawks stopped the run and got a good rush on Mr. Bulger and he isn't great under pressure. I think the game defensive MVPs were Julian Peterson and Bryce Fisher for their terrific pass rush in the second half. The offensive MVP has to be Deion Branch. I was a little on the fence when I first heard about the trade, wondering why in the world we needed a 4th receiver when we already had 3 very good ones. Now, Burleson can't seem to figure things out, Engram is hurt and Branch stepped up HUGE in his first game as a starter. We don't get to see it much but Hasselbeck throws a pretty darn good deep ball.

The main problem with the team is the interior line. Our guards both got beat pretty badly all day and we aren't going to be able to do anything against good/great nosetackles if that doesn't change. I'm not sure what to do here...I think Spencer will be good one day but he seems overmatched out there right now. Can he mature and gel with the unit by January? I sure hope so. I think Chris Gray will be fine but he didn't look very good last night. Finally, I like Mo Morris but it's so obvious that he's no Shaun. There were a number of plays where he had to break one tackle and he'd have 10 more yards or take it to the house but he kept going down. Shaun is good at stepping out of ankle tackles and making teams pay. I can't wait to get him back, I'm pretty sure that he would have had at least 50 more yards than MoMo did yesterday and we wouldn't have had to worry about making a clutch 54-yarder at the end of the game.

The Huskies lost and are now 4-3. This was a big game because the schedule isn't that easy from here on out. We have 3 road games, at Oregon, Cal and WSU. Only the WSU game is winnable, IMO. Then we have 2 home games against ASU and Stanford. I think the Stanford game is a lock, making the ASU game a must-win if we want to go to a bowl game. I don't know about you, but I'd love to go to a bowl game. This OSU loss really hurts and now we have no margin for error. Bah.

UPS delivered my new laptop a few hours ago and it's pretty fantastic. It's a 17" Dell 9400, the standard poker player's laptop. It has better resolution than my old laptop and it's much more powerful. I've spent most of the day installing different programs like Firefox and PokerStars. It's always fun to get a new toy. P.S., Firefox rules. If you use Internet Explorer, you aren't my friend.

I spent part of today thinking about my travel plans for this winter. I'm very excited for the trip but it got me thinking about listing the countries that I've been to already. Here's the list, in alphabetical order:

Czech Republic
Hong Kong
Puerto Rico
United States

I think that's it. I thought there would be more than 25 and I'm kinda disappointed, especially because some of these countries shouldn't really count since I've only spent a day or so in some of them. Anyway, after this winter trip I'll be able to add India, Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and I'll be much happier.

I've been talking with Kenny's dad, Allen, about politics and how much I dislike torture and whatnot. Anyway, he sent me this in an email and it made me smile. I hope he doesn't mind my pasting it here:

"One thing I strongly believe is that rights and freedoms, while sometimes restricted during troubles, always make a comeback in this country. Can you imagine sending large groups of American Muslims off to camp as was done with American Japanese during WWII? I can’t. We try things and we learn. I believe one reason these freedoms always come back is because each generation keeps a careful eye on restrictions and doesn’t allow them to go unchallenged. So I’m glad you’re concerned."

I definitely agree with what he says and I like his optimistic viewpoint. I'm one of the most optimistic people that I know and I can't stand the pessimism that I've developed with regards to our country and its politicians. So hey, dear reader, please stay informed and object when you see wrong.

Tonight: Kangaroo and Kiwi. Wings, darts and Monday Night Football. Be there or be Davis(actually, he might show up this time. But he's still a pansy.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two In a Row!

I'm blogging on consecutive days! Holla! If you posted a comment, I replied with a comment.

The ALCS starts tomorrow with Nate Robertson facing Barry Zito. I can't say that I agree with Jim Leyland's rotation but he probably has a better idea of how his pitchers match up than I do. Here's how he has them lined up: Robertson - Verlander - Rogers - Bonderman - Robertson - Verlander - Rogers. IMO, Bonderman is the ace of the staff but he's only pitching once, in game four. If he skipped over Robertson and started Verlander in game 1 he could have Bonderman start games 3 and 7. As is, Verlander is pitching games 2 and 6, both on the road in hostile Oakland. If my rotation was in effect, Verlander would pitch game 1 on the road, but get to pitch game 5 at home. Kenny Rogers is 23-1 in the Oakland Coliseum since 1995 and under my plan he would pitch games 2 and 6, both in the stadium where he has dominated. Leyland has stated that he wants to give Rogers the extra rest after his emotional start in the Yankee series and it's clear that he likes having the veteran there to pitch game 7. Whatever, I think it's clear that Robertson is the worst starter out of the four and I'd like to have my best players in line to start 6 out of the 7 games. I'm definitely over-analyzing here but don't come crying to me when Barry Zito owns Robertson.

I've been watching Season 2 of Grey's Anatomy and must admit that it's a very good show. I can't watch shows on TV because I don't have the discipline to schedule my life around being in fron tof the TV at 8 PM every Thursday. However, I'm very good at watching a DVD for hours on end. After Grey's, I'll probably move on to Arrested Devlopment Season 2 and start watching Six Feet Under.

Well, that's all for now. For some reason I really wanted to post two days in a row. Let's go Mets!(sorry, Allen)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Stuff, stuff and more stuff

It’s been 2 weeks. Sorry. Get ready for a bunch of rambling.

What in the world is wrong with our government? Most of my friends are worried about new legislation against online gambling but who knows if that’ll do anything. PartyPoker has announced plans to close all US-based accounts but other sites are going to remain open. Even if online poker dries up completely, it may not be a bad thing. Sure, it’s been fun to make money sitting on my ass, working less than 20 hours per week but eventually I want to do something better with my life. The shut-down of online poker might be the kick in the pants that I need.

Anyway, the bill that really pisses me off is the new Torture Bill. Basically, the bill gives the President the sick ability to order torture of prisoners and keep “enemy combatants” locked up without allowing them to challenge their imprisonment or see the evidence that is being used against them. The bill eliminates the idea of habeas corpus, a basic human right that has been used since the 12th motherfucking century. The bill makes me physically ill and I can’t believe that my country is doing this. Here’s a quote from President Bush in 2003: “The United States is committed to worldwide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example. Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes, whose cruel methods match their determination to crush the human spirit.” What. The. Fuck.

I don’t like swearing when I write and I just swore twice in the same paragraph. I really don’t want to think about real life anymore. Let’s move on to…football!

The Huskies played a great game this weekend, falling just short of upsetting USC, the #3 team in the nation. Down 26-20 and driving, the Huskies were kinda screwed by the home field timekeeper and incompetent refereeing and ended up running out of time with the ball on the USC 15 yard line. With that said, if the boys make one or two more plays in the course of the game, it doesn’t matter who’s keeping time. I’m excited with the direction that the program is headed and I think we’ll be a national force in the not-so-distant future. I’m surprised that we’re playing so well but I’m definitely enjoying the ride. USC is also blatantly overrated. Gamblers beware: Don’t bet on USC unless you hate money.

The Seahawks have a huge game next week, at the NFC West leading St. Louis Rams. This game is faaaaar bigger than the Bears game so let’s hope for a different result. The Rams are finding ways to win and it’s always tough to play division games on the road. It’s nice that the Seahawks have had two weeks to prepare and get healthy. I also like the fact that this is the first game after the debacle in Chicago. I think the Hawks are eager to erase those memories and are going to burst out of the gate next Sunday. The Rams will probably come back from the early deficit but here’s hoping that the Hawks can hold on for a 27-23 victory.

In other NFL news, the Bears scare the crap out of me. I don’t like rooting for injuries but I wouldn’t be too sad if Grossman’s arm fell off. Also, Jamal Williams is a beastmaster deluxe. Man, it’d be nice to have a dominant Defensive Tackle. They’re so amazing at disrupting offensive rhythm and make every other defensive player better. Too bad Tommie Harrises and Shaun Rogerses don’t grow on trees. I feel bad for Chargers fans. They’re getting their hopes up when deep down they know that Marty Schottenheimer will never win a Super Bowl. I also feel bad for Texans fans. Can you imagine if your favorite team passed on Reggie Bush? Instead of watching him with excitement and marveling at his speed and athleticism you are filled with rage every time he touches the ball. God forbid he breaks a game-winning punt return. How does that make you feel? How great would it be to have the trio of David Carr, Andre Johnson and Reggie Bush as the offensive playmakers on your team for the next 8-10 years? The worst part of all is that it was such an obvious pick. It’s one thing if you draft Ryan Leaf and he sucks. Everyone projected him to go #2 and those are the breaks. It’s different when you have such a ridiculously clear-cut number one pick and you pass on him. Unreal.

I bought a new laptop this weekend. My current laptop is decent and less than two years old but it’s just not as reliable as I need it to be. It overheats and blue-screens on me sporadically and that’s just unacceptable. I ended up getting a 17” Dell that most of my poker friends have. It’s pretty nice and didn’t end up costing me too much coin. I’m pretty excited for the upgrade.

Ding dong, the Yankees are dead! I love love love great playoff pitching performances but they’re even better when against the Yankees. Kenny Rogers is a prick but I really enjoyed watching his gem in game 3. If he can pitch reasonably well, the Tigers will be tough to beat. Verlander and Bonderman are as good as anyone in the game right now and I wouldn’t want to face them. It’s proven, year after year, that great pitching is what wins in October. Before the playoffs started I figured the Yankees would slug their way to the World Series but I forgot the golden rule: pitching wins championships. I’d love to see a Mets-Tigers World Series and I wouldn’t bet against it happening. I think the Mets starters are just good enough to get the job done and their lights-out bullpen makes up for the lack of depth in the starting rotation. The Mets are definitely my adopted team for the postseason for a number of reasons. I went to 4 Mets games this year, all against the Braves, and watched the Mets win all four games, unofficially dethroning the perennial NL East champs in early May. I saw an epic 14-inning victory in which the Mets were down 6-2 in the 7th inning and still found a way to defeat Chipper. I also have anumber of good friends that are die-hard Mets fans and I’d love to see them happy. One such friend is Mike Gonzalez, who owes me $100 because the Huskies hit the over on 3.5 games won. Muahahahahaha. Anyway, it souds like I’m discounting the A’s and Cardinals but I’m just rooting for the best case. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the A’s won the American League with their great pitching staff. Zito, Harden and Haren can match up with any 3 starters in the league and their bullpen is also very good. I would be surprised if the Cardinals won the NL pennant. They just don’t impress me at all and will probably lose in 5 games. Let’s go Mets!

I’ve decided that I want to get in to hockey. Seattle doesn’t have a NHL team and I’ve always used that as an excuse but what’s wrong with claiming the Canucks as my home team? I’m sure that people in Vancouver claim the Seahawks and Mariners. Anyway, I’m going to follow the Canucks and hopefully head up north for a few games this year. I’ve been to a number of minor-league hockey games in Seattle and Vegas and I’ve had a great time. I can only imagine what a NHL game would be like. As of this moment, all I know about the Canucks is that they paid big bucks in the off-season for one of the top goalies in the league, Roberto Luongo. I’d never heard of him until last weekend but I guess he’s supposed to be good. The Canucks lost tonight but are 2-1 on the season. I can’t wait to buy a Luongo jersey.

I decided to get into hockey last weekend, while in Canada visiting my friend Chris. I went up specifically for the $2500 WCOOP Main Event and ended up coming in 26th out of 2510 players for almost $21K. It’s unbelievably crushing to go that deep in a tournament but at least this one paid pretty well. 1st place was over 1.1 million dollars and it just sucks to get through so many players and fall short of the big bucks. I can’t believe Stars got such an amazing turnout. 2500 people in a $2500 tournament. Sick. The players were pretty bad, too. Here’s a hand that happened with around 200 people left with blinds at 7500/15K:

SB (t779130)
BB (t694480)
UTG (t179878)
UTG+1 (t453715)
MP1 (t1140291)
Hero (t718342)
CO (t130061)
Button (t143884)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with Ks, Ad.
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to t60000, 1 fold, Hero raises to t180000, 4 folds, UTG+1 calls t120000.

Flop: (t369000) Js, 3d, Qs (2 players)
UTG+1 bets t120000, Hero raises to t480000, UTG+1 calls t152215 (All-In).

Turn: (t1121215) 8c (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t1121215) 3c (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t1121215

My opponent had 8h9h and scooped a huge pot. It was one of the strangest plays that I’ve ever seen and it’s incredible so see something so bad so deep in a huge tourney. Once he flat called the raise, I turned to Chris and said, “I’m calling a stop-and-go for sure”. Then made his weak lead and confused the crap out of me. Such a sick hand.

Here’s a hand that I played against him a few orbits later, with blinds at 10K/20K:
UTG (t481066)
UTG+1 (t717130)
MP1 (t539480)
MP2 (t349256)
MP3 (t613491)
CO (t1259791)
Hero (t555511)
SB (t205122)
BB (t1119108)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Ad, Jd.
4 folds, MP3 raises to t80000, 1 fold, Hero raises to t553511, 2 folds, MP3 calls t473511.

Flop: (t1121022) Ts, 2s, Jc (2 players)

Turn: (t1121022) Qs (2 players)

River: (t1121022) 4h (2 players)

Final Pot: t1121022

I mean, that’s a lot of chips to put in the pot with AJ but he’s loco and I didn’t want to have to deal with reraising and having him flat call again or giving him the opportunity to 4-bet me all-in, thinking he has some fold equity. I don’t know if it’s right but it felt good at the time. I ran pretty good with my coinflips and got some big hands at important times. Toward the end, I got knocked down to around 15 blinds when my AQ lost a 550K pot to AT and ultimately shoved 55 with 12 blinds UTG+2. I’m not sure if that’s too light but I hate dipping too far below 12 blinds because re-steals lose a lot of effectiveness. I felt like crap for a few days but I’ve gotten over it. Tourneys are so painful. One thing that I noticed while looking over my hand histories was the incredible cheering section that I had. I was focusing on the table and really didn’t realize there were so many people rooting for my cards to hit and whatnot. Thanks a lot if you were on the rail and I’m sorry if I ignored you. It’s always nice to have support. There was a hand, with about 100 left, where I got raised and folded, commented “nh” to the guy, and he responded with, “ty, I like your blog”. I laughed pretty hard.

Guess what I haven’t talked about yet…TRAVEL! I have a lot of big plans on the horizon but here are the trips in the near future:

October 13-15: Sun Valley, Idaho for my friend Christy’s wedding.
October 20-23: San Jose, CA for my great-aunt’s 89th birthday.
October 28-30: Kansas City, MO for Seahawks-Chiefs with Kenny and Allen Barron.
November 23-27: Richmond, BC for the BC Poker Championships
December 1-4: Denver, CO for Seahawks-Broncos
December 7-11: Honolulu, HI for the hell of it.

Right now, tickets to Hawaii are $327 after tax. I mean, I can’t really afford NOT to go. Right now it’s just me, Dave and Tasha but we’re looking for others who want to come and party. Come on, fun and sun in the middle of December! It’s necessary to stay sane. And isn’t your sanity worth $327?

I’m currently taking two classes at North Seattle Community College: International Business and business Law. I like both classes and I’m really enjoying being in school, even if it’s slumming at CC. School is the reason why I’m only taking weekend trips but I was smart enough to make sure I had Tuesday/Thursday classes so that I could enjoy 4-day weekends. After this quarter ends, I’m going to take off for a few months. Here’s the loose schedule:

December 26-January 7: India
January 7-February 10: Australia
February 10-March 3: SE Asia(Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand)

The India leg has been organized by my friend, Scott, who is flying in from Japan. Here’s what it looks like:

December 27: arrive in Delhi
December 28: Delhi
December 29: morning train to Agra and overnight train to Varanasi
December 30: Varanasi
December 31: fly to Mumbai and party like it’s 2007
January 1: Mumbai
January 2: Mumbai
January 3: fly to Goa
January 4: Goa
January 5: Goa
January 6: fly to Delhi
January 7: fly to Melbourne

The Australia leg starts with the Aussie Millions poker tournament which ends on January 19th. That gives me about 3 weeks to see things outside of Melbourne. I’d like to see Sydney and see the countryside. I’m thinking about getting certified for scuba-diving and doing that along with a number of other outdoor activities. I’d like to do river rafting and whatnot but it would be much more fun as a group activity so I’m going to try to recruit some of my poker friends to enjoy Australia with me post-tournament. I’ll update as this leg gets clearer.

The SE Asia trip will be with 3 good friends, Davis, CJ and H-T. H-T has planned everything here:

2/9/2006 Day 1 Travel
2/10/2006 Day 2 Travel
2/11/2006 Day 3 Hanoi
2/12/2006 Day 4 Hanoi
2/13/2006 Day 5 Hue
2/14/2006 Day 6 Hue, Hoi An
2/15/2006 Day 7 Hoi An, HCM
2/16/2006 Day 8 HCM
2/17/2006 Day 9 Phnom Penh / Siem Riep
2/18/2006 Day 10 Siep Riep / Angkor
2/19/2006 Day 11 Siem Riep / Phuket
2/20/2006 Day 12 Bangkok
2/21/2006 Day 13 Bangkok
2/22/2006 Day 14 Phuket
2/23/2006 Day 15 Phuket / BKK / Travel

This is what she sent me originally but I think we’re going to stay for an extra week. She speaks fluent Vietnamese and it’s always nice to travel internationally with a native speaker. I’ve heard that there’s great scuba in SE Asia as well so it really would pay to get certified.

OK, I’m good and tired and passing out must occur. Tomorrow you can find me at the Kangaroo and Kiwi for Monday Night Football and 25-cent wings. Be there or be Davis(pansy). Let’s go Mets!