Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Party Time!

You know, back in the day – before the surreptitious passage of the UIGEA, Party Poker was THE site to play on. Party had more players, more fish, frequent deposit bonii, and were among the first to offer players the opportunity to play other casino type games online in the Party Casino. I played blackjack there for while until the despicable UIGEA caused Party to close its doors to US players. Well, the folks at Party Gaming never stopped innovating. I firmly believe they will, once again, be major players in the US market in the near future. They now offer bingo in addition to their other gaming opportunities. That’s right, bingo. Now this is not your grandmother’s bingo, this is Party Bingo. If you like bingo, Party Bingo is offering the best value for the bingo player’s money to be found anywhere. I am definitely envious of the non-US players that still have access to the vast array of offerings at Party Gaming sites. One day soon (I hope), we freedom loving US folks will once again be free to choose where to spend our money and our time. You can bet your bottom dollar that when that moment finally arrives, I will expeditiously be heading back to Party Gaming sites to play their online games.

BoDonkey II - The Donkey Hunt

There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. - Ernest Hemingway

I played the BoDonkey last night hoping to get a shot at the Sir Waffles bounty. However, even though I survived into the final 12 spots, I never even got to sit at the same table with the infamous (and elusive) Sir Waffles. I did get to play briefly with HighonPoker and $mokkee. I did not observe much bad play at all, in fact, I thought most of what I got to see was pretty good. There were some amazing suck outs and then even more amazing re-suck outs. The worst hand pre flop would out flop the better hand, then the best hand pre flop would re-suck out on the turn or river.
I never seemed to pick up any good hands. If I got a marginally playable hand, I was always out of position. If I was in position, all I ever got was complete garbage. On the rare occasion I got a pair or a big Ace, I did not get much action. The only exception was what would be my final hand of the tourney. I was short stacked and got A-7 soooooted so I shoved. Only NewinNov, the chip leader who was also in the big blind, called with his 5-8 offsuit. I flopped an Ace and figured I was good. But, of course, he picks up an inside straight draw on the turn and gets there on the river – knocking me out in 12th. That’s poker.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's a Lock!

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions. - Benjamin Franklin

I recently opened an account at Lock Poker and I have been pleasantly surprised. Their look and sound is great! They have re-sizable tables which is an absolute must for me. They also have a lot more traffic than I expected for a relatively new site. At approximately 9:45pm central time, there were 15 tables of 1-2 NLHE and 15 tables of .25-.50 NLHE. The action was good. There seemed to be plenty of sub-optimal play going on and I am confident that Lock Poker is going to be a profitable site for me. I loved the handy “bet pot” and “bet half pot” buttons. So, what are you waiting for?

Get over to Lock Poker and open an account today!

Paradigm Shift - Enter Bodog Poker

A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it. - Francis Bacon

I have long held a theory about online poker that a site with more players = a site with more bad players.
Party was the original site with a huge player base, lately is has been Stars. However, I recently heard a competing theory that is gaining traction in my mind. Under that model, the smaller sites attract more fish because the fishies go for the more favorable online poker deals offered by the smaller sites and they tend to think the bigger sites have more skilled players.
To gather more data, I am going fishing at Bodog. They have vastly improved their software and one can now multi-table. They have also renewed the Bodog Blogger Tournament series on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the BoDonkey II, which is a really great deal. The overlay is tasty and the players one gets to play with are one of a kind – Sir Waffles, etc. Blinders has written that their beginner sit and go’s are easy money and Smokkee has suggested the same about the cash tables. In short, there is no reason not to go play online poker at Bodog and that is what I intend to do. The blogger tourney is Tuesday evenings and I hope to see you there.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Serious Leverage

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. - Archimedes

Given the current state of the US stock market, buying opportunities abound.
However, many of us have recently incurred unanticipated expenses and may not be adequately prepared to take advantage of the low, low prices of certain attractively priced securities. A short term loan may be just the leverage one needs to capitalize on these bargains.
Additionally, for serious poker players with confidence and a proven ability to win consistently, a short term loan may be just the bankroll boost one needs during these troubling financial times.
You will be placing yourself in a leveraged position but, for some, it may be just the thing to get the proverbial ball rolling again.

I Am Betting on Buffett

A billion here and a billion there, and soon you're talking about real money. - Everett Dirksen

I may not be a financial genius but today, I feel like one. The current US stock market is offering some historic buying opportunities. Think of securities you have admired and wanted to own for a long time but for whatever reasons, you have not acquired. I have long admired Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, and his company, Berkshire Hathaway but I had never bought in. Last month when the market was exhibiting a lot of volatility, I placed an order to purchase this security at a price I thought was ridiculously low (way below the 52 week low). After flirting with the threshold I set for almost a month but not quite hitting it, I was lamenting setting my target so low and considering upping the price I was willing to pay so I did not miss buying it by some small margin (which would be negligible in the long term). Luckily, I held firm and yesterday, it dipped below the price I wanted and my order was executed. I am now a proud shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. I am confident Mr. Buffett and his company will prove to be a wise bet.

Liquid Assets

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. - Woody Allen

Lay offs are rampant in the Galveston area right now, as well as, nationwide. Obtaining credit and/or financing from a customary lender may not be possible right now. It is definitely more challenging than just a few months ago, before the liquidity crisis.
A short term loan might be helpful in meeting immediate obligations. One must be careful and plan thoroughly, but in some instances, this sort of financing may be just the answer one is looking for. If you think an arrangement such as this might work for you, there are people ready to assist you with a payday loan to meet your short term financial needs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Freedom = Better

We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. - Edward R. Murrow

Some folks never seem to learn from their mistakes. The voters have spoken clearly. However, despite the thunderous voice of the American people, some of our current congressmen (and women) appear hell bent on keeping the UIGEA alive. Perhaps they are not paying close attention to the recent election results or more likely, they don’t care what the American people want. They have their own agendas, separate from the agenda of their constituents, fueled by lobbyists. Reviewing the success of those on the Leach List, the recent elections appear to be a victory (of sorts) for online poker.
At least nine (9) US Representatives and three (3) US Senators that voted to oppose online poker have failed to win re-election and will be enjoying a nice long vacation. If those remaining in office persist in opposing online poker, hopefully, we will replace them in the next election cycle.
The majority of this wonderful freedom (and poker) loving country is finally beginning to find their voice and say clearly, abstain from whatever you wish, social conservatives, but do not impede my ability to enjoy an activity just because you don’t like it. We want to make our own choices.
That, my friends, is the love of liberty and the voice of freedom finally rising again.

Leveraging One's Position

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it. - Bob Hope

I cannot adequately describe what the destruction and disruption of our lives is like because it is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Local businesses are cutting staff and many never re-opened at all after the storm. These are desperate times in the Galveston area, indeed. Some may benefit from a short term loan to help regain their footing. Obtaining financing from traditional lenders is particularly challenging right now so other options might be something to consider. Like any loan, it is a serious matter and not to be undertaken lightly, however, it is one option that may be available when others are not.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Why Do B&M Casinos Oppose Online Poker?

Gambling with cards or dice or stocks is all one thing. It's getting money without giving an equivalent for it. - Henry Ward Beecher

Brick and mortar casinos being opposed to online poker does not make any sense to me.
Here’s why.

I began playing poker with friends in 2003 and had never player poker in a casino before. To improve my game, I began playing online in 2004 and you know what happened? I began to want to play more, not just on the internet though, I wanted to play more live. Although the internet is fun, there is no substitute for looking at one’s opponents and the social interaction involved in playing poker. Although I had been to casinos before, I went to play poker live at a casino for the first time in 2005. I loved it. Although, I still play often with my friends in a homegame and I still play online at night when I have the chance, nothing compares to the challenge, fun, and excitement of playing live in a real card room in a real casino. I have traveled to casinos to play live 8 times (in three different states) since then. Playing online, for me, will never be an equal substitute for playing live but it is fun for when you can’t play live. I bet most bloggers would never have gone to play live at a casino if not for getting a taste of the action online. I think all B&M casinos would benefit from an influx of more new players that could be introduced to the game via the convenience of the internet.

Therefore, why in the world do casinos oppose online poker? If more people were allowed the chance to try poker at stakes low enough for beginners to enjoy the game, there would be hordes of more entry level players interested in making their first trip to a casino to play in a real card room. After that, it is up to the casino to make the player want to return to their property, as opposed to some other. In any case, more access to internet poker would equal more new players in the casino card rooms, which would be good for the casinos, as well as, the more skilled players that frequent them.

Goodbye, Nikki.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. – Dylan Thomas.

Friends, Poker Players, Cat Lovers,

Lend me your ears.

I write to you today in remembrance of Nikki, our beautiful Manx cat and beloved pet of seventeen years.
Nikki had been my poker companion and confidante since I began playing online in 2004. She was there in silent support as I donked around, feebly attempting to grasp the rich tapestry of our engaging game. She would join me late at night in the spare room to encourage and entertain me while I played. Always there but never intrusive, she would often look at me with her big green eyes, after an ill-conceived play on my part, as if to say, “Wasn’t it obvious that he had the nuts?” Or she would come to me with a conciliatory purr after I suffered a bad beat or suck out to quietly remind me that it’s all part of the game and learning to make the proper decisions is more important than the immediate results.
Nikki was a gentle and dignified cat that always found a way to make us feel better when we needed a lift. She was there with me as I rode out two extended periods of involuntary unemployment. She brought me great comfort while I fended off the feelings of anger, self doubt, and angst that threatened to consume me during those long months. She was always there to remind me of things that really matter like the value and love of one’s family.
Nikki had many endearing little behaviors, such as basking in front of the little space heater as though she were sunbathing on a beach. She would also climb or leap up onto me as I slept and knead my neck or chest with her front paws as if making little biscuits. She always came to the front door to greet me with a “meow” when I returned home from work in the evenings. She could not resist the smell of fresh bread and if we did not put the bread safely away, she would nibble on it.
Nikki brought an incalculable amount of love, devotion, and happiness into our lives.
No words are sufficient to convey the deep sense of grief and sorrow we feel at this time.

Rest in Peace, Nikki.
January 3, 1992- October 20, 2008.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Post Ike, part 1

There are no extraordinary men... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with. - William Halsey

Galveston and its underlying economy has been irrevocably changed. Virtually all of the sole proprietor (i.e. mom and pop) places have closed and many are gone forever. Among those I miss most are, Bronco Burritos, the taqueria I have patronized for almost two decades, El Nopalito, and Gino’s Italian. The famous Strand is also in ruins along with my favorite Fuddrucker’s location. The beaches are eroded beyond recognition in many places. Approximately, one quarter of the pre-Ike population has relocated off of the island.
Even worse, the largest employer in the Galveston County has announced plans to lay off approximately one third of its workers. Unfortunately, my wife and I both work there.
As I walk across campus on the majestic new red-brick inlaid walkway, I cannot help but think it is being paved with the blood of those soon to be sacrificed.