Monday, May 30, 2005

New York 3, Canada 1

Red and white flags hang at half-mast today.

Maple leaves wilt and beer sales screech to a halt.

Somewhere in the distance a moose cries. His sad, melancholy whimper reverberates over the frozen tundra, yet remains unrecognizable over the sound of screaming Phish fans everywhere.

Yes, it is with great shame that I report the fall of the Canuck.

In a thoroughly vicious onslaught, New York dominated the tables earlier today to take the lead in the official North American Poker Blogger Heads Up Competition. (a.k.a. The Moose Cup)

Et tu, Brute?

All this punishment delivered by the hand of her fellow blogger. Her oft-times editor. Her…her…sniff…friend.

So much shame. So much….

A Glimmer of Hope?

There is still a small ray of light glowing dimly upon her shrouded, battered soul. Perhaps she will not have to cloak herself in the veil of defeat after all, and can somehow…someway emerge victorious. Every move of her opponent, every nuance and every pause will have to be noted and acted upon in order for her to claim the title. Does she have it in her?

Mercy is a jagged little pill, yet she asks for a single dosage. One shot at redemption. One more chance to proudly hold a bottle of Moosehead up to the world and utter those three little words…


The Real Deal

Yeah, he sucked out on me huge.
I am going to let the pictures do the talking. We don't have a screen shot of the first game though, so you have to suffer through one short hand history.

My Bad Beat - Game 1:

Table '8457456 1' One on One Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: DrPauly (1840 in chips)
Seat 2: Joanne1111 (1160 in chips)
DrPauly: posts small blind 10
Joanne1111: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DrPauly [5s 4s]
Dealt to Joanne1111 []
DrPauly: raises 60 to 80
Joanne1111: raises 100 to 180
DrPauly: calls 100
*** FLOP *** [Ah 6d 3c]
Joanne1111: checks
DrPauly: bets 580
Joanne1111: raises 400 to 980 and is all-in
DrPauly: calls 400
DrPauly said, "2 or 7"
*** TURN *** [Ah 6d 3c] [5d]
*** RIVER *** [Ah 6d 3c 5d] [2s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Joanne1111: shows [Kc As] (a pair of Aces)
DrPauly: shows [5s 4s] (a straight, Deuce to Six)
Joanne1111 said, "nooooooooooooooooooo"
DrPauly collected 2320 from pot
***SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2320 Rake 0 Board [Ah 6d 3c 5d 2s]
Seat 1: DrPauly (button) (small blind) showed [5s 4s] and won (2320) with a straight, Deuce to Six
Seat 2: Joanne1111 (big blind) showed [Kc As] and lost with a pair of Aces

Other "highlights" (and I use the term loosely):

Figures, eh?:

AT_Chop Posted by Hello

headsup Posted by Hello

Jo_aa Posted by Hello

The battle is to continue later tonight. May the best woman blogger win.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Home Game Saturday

Catered By Moi Posted by Hello

It was my Dad's birthday this weekend, so that meant another family home game. Just six of us this time, and we played two tournaments of NLHE.

I have to give my Mom credit. She is the only one of us who isn't at least somewhat passionate about poker, yet she still pays her entry fee and ultimately lets one of us take her out of the game each and every time. She also provides an endless source of amusement to us all through her rants. I love teasing her when she goes on about how she doesn't enjoy gambling. "Go buy another lottery ticket while I play poker then" I tell her.

Even my daughter was in on the teasing. My Mom was calling yet another pot, complaining the whole time that she "might as well go broke" because she wasn't getting any cards. My daughter bluffed her out of the pot, looked her straight in the eye, and flipped over her bluff. "It's not rocket science, Grandma", she said with a stone cold expression. "It's poker".

Then her and I got into yet another "discussion". She started to say that poker was all luck. If you didn't get the cards, you couldn't win. Needless to say - every chance I was in a hand with her, I wouldn't look at my hole cards and bluffed her out of as many pots as I could just to prove my point. Yeah yeah, I am going to hell, I know.

This point of this post is not to pick on her - but rather to point out how much fun she actually makes the game with her rants and raves. I can't wait for the next one. She will inevitably buy her way in, and I will be there to call her on every one of her complaints.

Anyways - my Dad and Brother chopped 1st place in game #1, and my Dad and I battled it out for first place in game #2 where he emerged victorious. Oh well, it was his birthday; I don't mind letting him win one.

Just one though ;)

Since we started early, I was home in time to play some $25NL with some fellow bloggers. I had a lot of success on my second table. I managed to drop the hammer twice, and doubled up when a certain blogger raised me and then called my all-in as I held pocket jacks when the flop hit 23J. I am not one to mention names - but it was fun, nonetheless ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Canada Demystified, eh?

Since I am not going to Vegas, I can't ramble on about how excited I am, how I am looking so forward to the trip...blah blah blah.

So, I decided a totally irrelevant list was in order.


1. It is true. It is physically impossible for me to say a sentence without ending it in 'eh'
2. Yes, I do have cousins by the name of Bob and Doug. No, their last name is NOT McKenzie.
3. Koolookookoo koolookookoo is not in our dictionary, yet we do have fun saying it often
4. I actually do call people hosers from time to time.
5. We can't go to the local store or 7-11 and buy beer/alcohol. We have to go to an actual liquor store for that.
6. Can't start the alcoholism young enough here. Legal age in Alberta is 18.
7. Only people over the age of 50 watch Canadian television.
8. I do not have a sled dog as a pet.
9. I have never worn snowshoes.
10. I have never seen an igloo.
11. Yes, we do have indoor plumbing.
12. On my street right now, there are at least 10 pickup trucks.
13. Is Saskatchewan the greatest waste of space in the world? Yes.
14. Is it ridiculous to own a convertible in Canada? Yes. Do I own one anyways? Yes.
15. We have towns named Moosejaw, Tsawassan, and Skookumchuk. Apparently, you must be drunk to name towns.
16. My city is host to the annual Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, and there are rodeos running constantly in the spring and summer months. I have, however, never been on a horse.
17. Cow-tipping is not, but should be, our National Sport.
18. Our National Sport is Lacrosse. Who the hell plays Lacrosse?
19. Hockey, eh?
20. Americans have Paris Hilton shilling Carl's Jr. We get stuck with Don Cherry as our National Quiznos Sub spokesperson.
21. We do not have Carl's Jr. here anyways.
22. We finally got our first Krispy Kreme franchise in Calgary last year. Way to move into the 21st century, eh?
23. Not all Canadians watch Degrassi Jr. High. (Thanks, Pauly)
24. I do own a cowboy hat. No, I do not wear it.
25. I am amused by your amusement on how we pronounce words. What is that all abooot?
25. Bacon is bacon. Canadian bacon is ham. Actually, Canadian bacon is back bacon. Canadian bacon is also known as peameal bacon. Confused? Us too. That is why we drink beer.
26. The population of my city, Calgary, is 1,000,000. The population of the entire province of Saskatchewan is also 1,000,000. (See #13)
27. There is truly nothing more funny than someone who lives in Saskatchewan referring to someone else as a hick.
28. I don't drink soda, I drink pop.
29. Yes, we do plug in our cars in the winter. No, it is not because they are electric.
30. Roof is pronounced roooooof, not ruff.
31. My local pub does, in fact, serve moose burgers.
32. The plural of moose is not mice. Nor is it meese.
33. Our favorite local pastime is making fun of Saskatchewan.
34. Most Albertans want to seperate and become the 51st State.
35. Our former Prime Minister, Jean Cretien, did not speak either of the two official languages in Canada. Here is proof: "A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven" - Jean Cretien
36. Only people who live in, or are from, certain parts of Eastern Canada care to speak french.
37. Every single time I go to the States, I have to go to a grocery store. I thoroughly enjoy seeing all the product labels printed in only ONE language.
38. Watch Cool Runnings. When the Jamaican Bobsled Team comes out of the airport, that is a pretty accurate picture of our weather.
39. We dont understand how you know what denomination of money you have since all the bills are the same colour.
40. Don't trust a government that names their dollar coin a Loonie.
41. Some seriously drunk person named our two-dollar coin a Toonie. Pretty clever, eh?

Time for a beer.
42. It is always time for a beer

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tournaments, Freerolls, and Other Stuff

I took the weekend off from playing poker, but returned with a vengeance last night. I played in the $20+2 MTT for a guaranteed $30,000 again, and finished in 70th out of 1917. The highlight was being chip leader at the first break, with T8080. I might have finished a bit higher, but I was also micro-limiting the O8 on Stars with Al, plus dial-a-shotting him and Pauly. Too damn many things going on at once, but it was a fun night. Thanks also to April who sweated me :)

After that tournament, I decided to play in the $5.00 Speed Tourney. Wow – those are insane, the blinds go up every 3 minutes. I finished in 93d place out of approximately 1010 players after only 1 hour and 5 minutes of play.

If you haven’t already, go read Pauly for the details on his freeroll tonight over at Noble. Should be another good time.

So, Star Wars, eh? At the risk of completely geeking out - I am going to talk about the movie for a minute.

I was five years old when the original Star Wars came out. I realize a lot of the bloggers here weren't even born then. Crazy. Anyways, I don't think I saw "A New Hope" until I was 7 or 8, but I was hooked from then on. We had all the action figurines, the Millennium Falcon, X-Wing fighters, etc, etc. We even had an "Empire Strikes Back" record album, which was the entire movie on vinyl. I actually had to explain to my daughter that vinyl is a material that they used to make "records", and no, we didn't have CDs or DVDs then. I also had to explain that Blockbuster video didn't exist, and you couldn't just go to the store to buy a copy of the movie. (I didn't even bother getting into the whole Beta vs. VHS story.) Makes ya feel kind of old...

Anyways, all the kids on our street played "Star Wars" endlessly, and it really was a defining aspect of our childhood.

Now that I have seen all the movies though, I really wish I had just left it at the first three. Maybe I am too much of a girl, but I really didn't need to see Anakin turn into Vader. It did not give me the closure on the whole story like it apparently did for so many others.

Yes, it was a really good movie from a technical standpoint, and the story line itself was the best of the three most recent episodes. However, I can honestly say that knowing what I know now, I wish I didn’t see it at all. When I think of Star Wars, I would rather just think of the memories from my childhood.

Maybe I should go see it again though, just to be sure...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Star Wars

Yeah, yeah. I geeked out and went to see Revenge of the Sith opening weekend.
I definitely have some mixed opinions about it, but I am going to gather my thoughts a bit before I say more.

I will be back Monday night. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wednesday, eh?

I can't believe it is Wednesday, wow. This week is flying by.

So I made the cut over at Pauly's site on "Top 5 Canadian Chicks I'd Like to Drink Moosehead With". Quite an honor. Probably will be the only list in history that I actually place higher than Elisha Cuthbert, too. I still think Neve Campbell should have made the list though. Anyways, thanks dude. You still top my list of people I would most like to be stuck in the middle of Fargo, ND with ;)


Poker. Ah yes, poker. I knew there was a reason I started this blog.

I have been grinding away at the ring games again after a fairly successful run in tournaments over the past month. I played a total of 20 tourneys (not including the WPBT), and finished within the top 10 percent 15/20 times. My short-term goal is to place top 10% in 9/10 of the tourneys I play, so I am once again in the process of analyzing hand histories and finding leaks in my game. Thanks go out to Rod, who helps me considerably with this.

On a completely unrelated tangent....
I am not a huge reality TV fan and never watched American Idol until this year, but holy shit....did you see Bo last night? He is yummy amazing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

WBPT Results

No bad beat story.
No complaining.
No hand history.

I am simply happy with my result.
14th out of 86.
Enough said.

Now go read Pauly, and don't forget to thank him for all the hard work he puts into his report while everyone else is zzzzzz'ing.

Have a good day, eh? :)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sadness Ensues

It is official. I am not going to Vegas.
Heavy, heavy sigh.

I signed on here with the intention of not letting that affect my blogging today, but there is no way around it. Everyone hates a bad beat tale - but I am going to write mine anyways. The only difference is, it isn't about a poker hand.

The reality of this is weighing so heavily on me that I feel unmotivated and uninspired to even play a round of poker online. I want to act like a little kid, falling to the ground kicking and screaming, throwing the biggest tantrum of my life.

But I can't of course.

Strangely, a movie quote keeps entering my mind about this. In Men in Black, Wil Smith says to Tommy Lee Jones, "It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all". Tommy Lee Jones turns to him and replies "Try it".
That is precisely how I feel. I know I am going to get comments or emails from people consoling me about how "there will be other tournaments" and "this isn't really a big deal", etc. Try it. Try being the one who isn't going. It sucks.

However, as much as I could whine about it, my glass is half-full after all, and I can (somewhat unfortunately) see the bright side in all of this. These are the reasons I wanted to go in the first place:

- Meeting everyone in general and seeing who they are in real life, as opposed to just an image on a computer screen.

- Finding out the truth about Iggy - is he a suburban housewife? Is he a dwarf? Does he look like Partick Swayze? Does he repeatedly utter the words "Oh the humanity" in person too? Well - I know the answer to one of these for sure, but since no one is going to throw me a bone on his true identity, I am not going to help anyone else either ;)

- Partying with Pauly. I have a list of "Ten things I have to do before I die" and that is right up there near the top of the list. I can see the damage, the wreckage, the complete destruction of Vegas were he and I to tear up the town at the same time. For this reason alone it is probably good that I am not going while all the other bloggers are there. Too many witnesses.

- And then there is Al. Being inducted as a member of the ACHE is one thing, but even drinking a single shot of Soco with the Master of all things Alcohol is enough reason to make the trip.

- Though the thought of being tied to BG's shower rod is disturbing yet somewhat intriguing at the same time, I know that I would be the last one to leave the party, not the most likely to pass out at 9 - so it would never happen.

- I could go on and on about each individual person who will be attending, but I will leave it with a simple statement - I want to meet each and every one of you.

- I want to play in a live poker tournament, in Vegas, at the Aladdin, with all the bloggers

- I want to rail the WSOP event and cheer on our peers that are playing. I want to be swilling drinks and watch in person as the media has a heyday reporting about the group of bloggers sweating the event.

- I simply want to be in Vegas again. My home away from home. Absorbing the sights, the smells, the atmosphere that you can find nowhere else on Earth.

Before I listed all these things, I said that there was a bright side. That is simply - I have hundreds of reasons to want to go, and they are all due to the people I have 'met' over the past year. That is reason to be thankful, not sad. I am happy that this upsets me so much, because otherwise I would have to question my reasons for being a part of all of this in the first place.

You people have touched my life, each in your own way, and for that I am grateful. Just promise me that you don't take this event for granted. In thirty years you will be able to look back at this time in your life and be grateful that you were a part of it. Though I will have to live vicariously through you on this event, I WILL be at the next one, and I am certain that the write-ups, the pictures, and the reports on this will be so amazing that I will be able to remember this myself in thirty years as though I was there.

There. That is enough sentimental crap for one day. On to other things.

BG's most recent post asked the question - What is your secret shame?

Though I wouldn't go so far as to say these are necessarily "secret" or "shameful", I have more than a handful of weird quirks, and for lack of anything better to blog about, I thought I would share.

1.) I am a list junkie. It is impossible for me to start any task without first making a list. I don't necessarily feel the need to complete everything on the list, but I have to make one. Yes, I even made one for this.

2.) It is shameful indeed that I can't say anything without ending it in "eh"

3.) Secret crush Hollywood edition - Christopher Meloni, Timothy Hutton, Steven Tyler, Ewan McGregor and Bo Bice. Not a big fan of the pretty boys.

4.) I am a video game (Playstation) junkie. If I start a game, I have to play it until it is completed - this has taken up to a week before.

5.) All of my favorite teams are from Michigan. I will let you decide for yourself if that is shameful.

6.) I too love all the hair bands of the 80's.

7.) I am a 'Friends' addict. I own the DVD's and watch them repeatedly. I even own the board game and can kick anyone's ass playing it.

8.) I have played cornhole before. My best friend actually owns a "cornhole" set - though I didn't know that is what it was called until recently.

9.) I spend approximately 100 hours a week online.

10.) When I watch Jack Nicholson in 'As Good as it Gets' I am sadly reminded of myself. I avoid cracks in the pavement, I lock my door three times and check it at least 3 more times before I go to sleep, everything I arrange has to be symmetrical or it drives me nuts. Unfortunately, the only compulsion I don't have is to keep my house spotless. I hate cleaning.

That is enough for one Saturday. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Blog World Has Gone Crazy

Miss a few days, miss a lot apparently.

I have only just started to catch up on my blog-reading, but it seems there are all kinds of problems out there with content being stolen, etc. Shame on you all for writing such excellent posts that people actually want to plagiarize your hard work!

Just kidding of course. It is a terrible, terrible thing.

In a weird way - it kind of makes me glad that the majority of my posts lack any real substance and perhaps defines why I write a minimal amount of actual poker content. I daresay I know my fair share about poker theory and how to play the various games. (More than I let on or type on here, anyways.) I am predominantly a tournament player and could write article upon article about how to improve in the MTT's online, but I don't. The truly sad thing however is that I am, among other things, a writer, but you would never know it by the haphazard way I throw these posts together.

In the past, I chose to refrain from posting anything too serious about the game of poker on here for several reasons. First, because quite honestly I don't want a fan base or to feel I have to debate or defend my writing. I just want the people that are (or have become) my friends to be able to pop on and see what is going on in my game and in my life. I have developed several really good friendships through this blog, and if nothing else ever comes of it - that is enough reason for me to continue writing.

The other reason I have kept my posts fairly generic is this: When I first started blogging I received a pretty nasty comment from someone. Now this person was not anonymous, he was in fact an actual blogger in our community and left his name, url, etc. along with his comment. I was so disheartened by this that I just about gave up blogging before I really began. Now - don't bother diving into my archives to see who it was - when I switched to haloscan it deleted all my old comments. There is no need to divulge who it was either. Karma is a bitch and will one day burn him in the same way he burned me. (If it hasn't already.)

Obviously, since I am still here, I decided not to throw in the towel at that point, but instead decided to limit my content to casual observations and occurances, random thoughts, and the odd note about my actual play. I have enough confusion and controversy in my life, I didn't feel I needed it on here as well.

I stayed because - first and foremost - I wanted to remain being a part of the community that I have grown to love. This is an amazing and eclectic group of people, and it truly saddens me that I will probably not be in Vegas to meet everyone this June. I will however be counting the days until the next event.

The second reason I kept blogging is because I am too thick-skinned to let someone "run me out of town", so to speak. I would rather write pages and pages of drivel (and sometimes do) than give anyone that kind of satisfaction.

Looking back now though, I realize I made a mistake. I DID let this person alter the content of my posts. I have done some serious reflecting in the past couple of weeks because I have found it hard to write something on here on a daily basis without getting into game theory or discussing hands, plays, etc. I have approximately 25 entries that sit in "draft mode" because they were a bit too serious or involved for me to want to post them on here.

My point is this - it is my sincere hope that not one blogger alters the content of their blogs due to this (these) moron(s). For different reasons I did just that and I regret it now. I haven't used this blog to its full potential, whether it is to reach others or just serve as my own personal poker journal. Either way though, I have held back and it would truly be a shame to see anyone else do that with their bigger and better blogs for fear of their content being stolen.

On a bit of a side note - I have seen several people talk about moving their site from blogger to an actual domain. If anyone needs help with this - email me at joanne1111 at gmail dot com. For those of you who don't know, I own my own company designing and hosting websites. I will give any blogger a good discount, so contact me for more information. There are a lot of ways to better protect your content.

/shameless self-promotion

On to happier topics, I AM playing in the WPBT tournament tonight. I wasn't going to, since I am probably not going to be in Vegas, but I have since received all the encouragement I need to go ahead and play anyways. Gotta defend those WPBT leaderboard points :)

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I have been busy on several web projects, writing, and playing poker. Also, the ongoing quest of determining where I will be moving in the near future has once again thrust its way into the forefront of my everyday life. Well, the results are in, and it does appear that I will be moving to Toronto this summer. I am not sure how I feel about that yet, so I am going to refrain from saying more until it is a finalized decision. One bonus though - I might be able to play a home game with the East Coast boys if I do move there ;)

So - with the tournament starting in an hour and the possibility of more dial-a-shots looming, I had better get ready. Quick trip to the store, scarf down some dinner, and it is game-on!

Good luck everyone :)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day

I have to make this short because we are having a home game here tonight. Yes, Mother's Day weekend at my house means another poker tournament!

Hope everyone has a good weekend, I will be back Monday morning.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Promises, promises

I am such a slacker on blogging lately that I can't even stand the sight of myself in the mirror.

However - I experienced a life-altering event last night on Party Poker. (Ok, ok, not really life-altering, but cool nonetheless.)

I placed 27th in the $30,000 guaranteed tourney, which was actually $40,000 when all was said and done. You would think, with a prize pool of $40,000...

Wait....wait...sound check....


everyone get that? FORTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.

(27th place out of 2000 entrants)

...that 27th place would pay more than $212.00.

Alas, no.

I am not complaining though. Really. 27th out of 2000 is more than I would pray for in any tournament. I will update tomorrow - but right now I really need to crash! Thanks must go out to Pauly though, as he sweated me throughout the entire 4 1/2 hour event!!