Sunday, January 26, 2014

Choctaw: Main Event from Hell-But First....

I kind of meant to do this blog a little sooner. But in the last day at Choctaw I picked up 'The Crud' from whichever number of players brought their bag of bacteria to the poker tourney...and when I got home, spent two or three days in bed recovering. In addition to that, I had three or four solid days of 'accounting work' to do. My new 'pet project' this football season was a takeoff on something I started about 12 years ago. In addition to all the number of sports pools I run...hence my nickname of 20+ years, The Pool Monkey...I started doing Super Bowl Squares. That expanded to BCS Title game squares...then crossed over into the NCAA hoops title game...where we have a winner every five minutes. 

I've noticed just HOW popular squares boards are. So this season I tried something new...a board for every 'big game' of the season. After this past weekend's nine boards for the AFC and NFC Championship games....I have done a total of 71 boards since September. 

How do I make money on these? Well, in essence, I don't. I charge a commission for doing the the leg work, but I invest all of that into the boards, actually more. I go into each $25 board down $50 and each $50 board down $100....so if I never win a square...it's a pretty frustrating (and zero EV for those of you who like to put 'poker terms' into everything you talk about) project. However, when you have 10% of every board covered, you're going to win a fair amount...and I've had an exceptionally good 'board season.' Good thing, too...because I have sucked on all my pools...pools where I took a LOT of entries on each. $25 Survivor Pool, $100 Survivor Pool, $50 Mid Season Survivor Pool, $50 NCAA Survivor Pool....of which ALL had rebuys....I didn't cash in ANY of them. And in my $100 Confidence Pool? I was in first place (paying top four) going into the final week...and tanked, hard...and finished 5th. Yeah...one of my worst pool seasons ever. Bricked the Bowl Pool, bricked the NFL Playoff Pool. Rough. But the squares saved me. And the Super Bowl Squares....well, lets just say there will be a LOT of chances to win some more. Last year I filled up 14 total boards. Probably blow that away!

I'm not EVEN going to take this opportunity to gloat...but YEAH....finally!!! My Seahawks are BACK in the SUPER BOWL...and hopefully this year, they don't get absolutely JOBBED like they did in 2006 when Bill Leavy thought it would be nice to give Jerome Bettis a going-away gift...specifically a Super Bowl ring. Leavy later apologized to the Seattle organization for his 'several' officiating gaffes during that game; something that everyone with two eyes and without a heavy Pittsburgh Steeler bias already knew.

The Play...where Ben Rapelisberger was alleged to have crossed the goal line for a critical TD on fourth down...only replay made it obvious that the ball never came close to crossing the plane.

That's our boy Bill Leavy immediately signaling TOUCHDOWN!!! Oh...but wait...a red flag has emerged from the Seattle sideline...as it should have!

Yeah...go check it out Bill...and see what  everyone has already seen...then give Seattle the damn ball...1st and 10 from the 1.

Wait! What? You still called it a touchdown? WTF? And all your other 'never before seen in a Super Bowl'  calls that swayed  the outcome? And yes...we got to see the Stealers make off with our Lombardi Trophy! Who me? Bitter? Pffft....whatever gave you THAT idea!????

I did not expect the Seahawks to crush SF. In fact, I was more nervous about that game than I am about the upcoming Super Bowl against Denver. I sent my mother my weekly predicted score for the game (which I've been doing all season, she's won a ridiculous number of times based on my several near-perfect predicted finals) as 21-17...and told her I couldn't promise that Seattle would win...but that I thought that would be close to the score in a hard fought battle. And at 23-17...what can I say? The previous week against New Orleans, my prediction for her was 24-17...and it was 23-15. What can I say? I have a gift! And I suppose those of you who have been reading my blog for years now, know that my Super Bowl scores are almost always dead on, and are clamoring for my prediction on this year's game pitting the #1 offense vs. the #1 defense, huh? Here you go...and yeah, I've been thinking about this ALL WEEK:

                                      SEATTLE  27  DENVER  21

So, while laying in bed thinking about my horrible Main Event...and the news of the Borgata chip scandal, and the asshole cop in Texas who decided to give me a speeding ticket, along with a rash of shit, I was doing all the accounting work, and issuing about $42,000 worth of payouts, for all the squares and pools. 

So, first up, the Borgata chip scandal. One of my regrets that I didn't blog sooner was that I had a pretty good 'scoop' to share that by now is public knowledge. One of my good friends who lives in the NYC area...and who, like me, has settled down, had a child and kind of semi-retired from the full time poker tourney grind...had come off the shelf to go play that first big event at Borgata. He made it to the final 27. The final 27 who were left standing when the tourney was abruptly cancelled/postponed until the issue could be resolved. 

He called to talk about it...but made me promise not to share his name...because he'd had some pretty personal conversations with Tab Duchateau, the Borgata's Tournament director, and a guy we both really like a lot. Tab had told him some things that the State Gaming Commission didn't want out there for public consumption...(things that have now been reported by the media) like them finding all the counterfeit chips in the plumbing over at Harrah's casino, which is located about 100 yards from Borgata. 

Two days ago it was revealed who the scumbag, I mean...scumbag....was in the scandal that befell the Borgata event. Christian Lusardi, a 42-year old cheater from Fayetteville, North Carolina who had previously smelled the inside of a jail cell when his home game was busted by cops. He had checked out of his Harrah's hotel room and was holed up like Saddam Hussein in some shit hole in Atlantic City when they found his ass. He has been tossed in the can on a $300,000 bond. Guess he will need to go win a tourney to come up with that. Oh wait....never mind. 

So...what does this mean for the 27 players (including my friend) who were still standing? No official ruling has been made, last I heard. But doesn't it seem like the fair thing to do would be to give them all an equal 27 shares? I mean...winners who went out before them were already paid out. So they can't NOT pay them something. That would be criminal, to be certain. I'm sure they will work it out and do something that is fair.

THE COP:  I shared with you my little adventure on the WAY to Oklahoma...that wasn't as irritating as it was shocking. Frankly, as a father of a little girl, it made me feel a sense of comfort that the police were/are so on the ball as it pertains to Amber Alerts. Just happened to suck that my vehicle matched, to a 'T' the description of the car containing a kidnapped child last seen traveling west on I-10 in the Mobile area. I took a lot of good-natured ribbing from some players up at Choctaw last week, and all I  could do was laugh. No need to let something like that upset a person.

So Barth and I decided to hit the road almost as soon as the Seattle score went final and he returned from Sports City Bar where he watched the game with some poker friends while me and my 'remedy onion' laid in bed trying to get better and watching nervously as my favorite team since childhood fought for a berth in the Super Bowl. He was tired, so I agreed to take the first shift...driving his 'loaner' Mercedes that the dealership gave him while his SUV was in the shop getting serviced. If you've been to Choctaw, you know that the Texas border isn't too far down the highway...maybe 15 or 20 miles by my recollection.

In the past 6 years...I've had a grand total of four speeding tickets. All have occurred on poker trips. One, I got by a little shit head of a cop in New Mexico...who's trick was to sit in a ditch hiding...in this patch of the highway that went from 75 down to 60 to 'honor' the 'town' that laid in a 2-mile stretch of that highway...your standard N.M. town in the middle of the desert that features a gas station, a diner,  and a run down dirty magazine shop...that if you blink you completely miss. And when you are driving on the surface of the moon (or somewhere very similar) and have your cruise control set to 80...or 5 mph above the speed limit (it is widely known that cops won't stop you until you are at least 9 mph over the posted speed limit) its very difficult to suddenly shake yourself out of that speed coma when you come up upon one of these hiccups on the highway in order to slow all the way down to 60 for a fleeting minute or two before returning to normal driving conditions.

Well, this was how prickface in New Mexico nabbed me. And about the time he asked my for my Social Security number (???) was about the time I realized this guy and his department were nothing but a collections department. I'm up on the law enough to know that asking for SS# is the furthest thing from standard procedure when issuing a speeding ticket. So I was 89% certain that if I called this guy's bluff, refused to give him my SS# and never paid this ticket there would be no repercussions. So I did just that, refused to give him my SS#, and when I saw the defeated look on his face, it told me all I needed to know. 'Gotcha Sucka!' So I didn't pay the $325 they were attempting to extort from me. That was 5 or 6 years ago. I think I'm clear.

The other three tickets? Anyone want to guess which states they came from? I'll end the suspense. STATE. Not states. Fucking Texas. The State that brags about having a balanced budget. Gee I wonder why that is!?? Due in part, I'm guessing, to the ridiculous amount of over-policing they do on their highways. And it's always the same ticket in Texas. They get you moving from a normal speed zone into a suddenly marked-down speed zone (identical to the New Mexico song and dance)..and of course, they are right THERE to nail you. Radar is of little use. 

So I'm driving along...with my cruise set on 76...thinking the speed limit is 70....at just after midnight. On a Sunday. I literally SEE the cop on the side of the road...look down...see 76...and don't even react. I'm not one of these idiots who are doing the speed limit...see a cop, and freak out...slamming on their brakes (and endangering anyone behind them...OR...worse, getting THOSE people cited for 'following too closely' by that same asshole cop who is sitting there waiting to generate some revenue for his department) and slowing down to 20mph BELOW the speed limit. But then I see his blue lights...and since there were no cars around me, knew he was coming after me. Great. This sucks.

He informs me he is pulling me over for speeding. I ask him how much the ticket is for doing 76 in a 70? He tells me the speed limit was 60. Huh? Since when? I thought it was 70? Well, as Barth was quick to point out after we pulled away...the interstate signs (Interstate 75)...which they have posted multiple times...looked just like the speed limit signs usually look. Which led to Barth thinking the speed limit was 75.  Well, asshole cop tries to 'trap me' in a lie. 

"You thought the speed limit was 70? Why? The speed limit on most of this highway is 75! It's not 70 anywhere! So I don't know what sign you thought you saw!" (see, I was just using my experience of driving on ALL OTHER FUCKING interstates in AMERICA besides Texas, New Mexico and a few other states who have theirs set a bit higher since there is absolutely FUCKING NOTHING in their state that any fast-moving vehicle could ever possibly hit, besides the occasional possum or armadillo)

Oh...okay cop. You got me. I lied about going too slow. (a) how much of an asshole are you? (b) how fucking stupid are you?

Well, his intelligence was demonstrated on his next bit of questioning when he asked for my license and insurance card. I happen to know that my Geico card was fully updated because I just placed new cards in mine and Squirrel's wallet about a month ago. Well, dipshit hands me back my card and tells me "this insurance card is expired" and points to the 'effective date' of 9/10/13. I asked him why he thinks my insurance is expired. And he points to this date. I then point out to him that it says EFFECTIVE DATE. Effective and EXPIRED are like opposites.

"Well, I pull cars over all day long (yeah, none of us are disputing that shitbag) and I know what a current insurance card looks like, and that card is expired."

"My insurance is NOT expired, or cancelled. Is it possible that you might not be accustomed to seeing insurance cards from Mississippi? My policy has been active with them for years...and every time it renews, they send me a new card...with an effective date. There is no expiration date...it auto-renews. I don't know what else to tell you."

"I'm gonna need you to step out of the car...and stand back here until I get done issuing you the citation for speeding."  So...at midnight...with the temperature around 27 degrees, me in flip flops and a t-shirt...he makes me stand between our car and his car...with his ridiculously bright lights shining in my face. At one point, I tried to move to the back of the car to lean on the trunk...when he blew those screeching sounds from his car...and hollers at me to NOT MOVE! I guess he thought there was a chance I was going to get the RPG out of Barth's trunk.

Now...I know that cops are necessary to keep us safe. And I have had a number of friends (one, a good one, who I am certain will read this blog) and family in the past that are cops. But I'll be dead honest...when I see these stories on the news about cops getting gunned down during 'routine' traffic stops? I think about pricks like this guy...and wonder why it doesn't happen more often. Not that I'm advocating blowing cops away because they are dick heads, because I'm not. I'm just saying, that with the number of mentally unbalanced people running around out there...and the ones who happen to own handguns, either legally or otherwise being in the mix...that it's no wonder shit like that happens. Push the right buttons, and shit is going to go down.

So after about 17-20 minutes of freezing my balls off....in which I'm sure this asshole was loving every second of ....he emerges from his car to present me with my most recent gift from the State of Fucking Texas. I ask him "what was the reason for making me stand outside of my car, in the cold, while I'm sick...waiting on you to write me a ticket?"

"Because I felt like it, that's why. And I didn't know you were sick."

"Of course you didn't, I always have snot running down my face and have the voice of an 85 year old man laying on his death bed, and besides, had you known...would it have mattered?"

"No. It wouldn't have. And I don't think it's that cold out, either."

"Well, you happen to be wearing about 4 layers of clothing...so I'm sure you aren't very cold. You also weren't the one standing out here for 20 minutes. I'm just curious, is this standard operating procedure for your department? Making people exit their car for no apparent reason whatsoever and forcing them to stand in front of your car while you write their ticket? Because you can expect to have a formal complaint filed against you."

"You have a good night sir." Hands me my ticket...then tears out of there...and parks about 500 yards down the highway, with his lights off...and tried to catch me again! What a motherfucker!

This blog is getting way too long, I think. And I haven't even begun to discuss my last few days at Choctaw, in a poker sense. 

I would like to say this. Total sidebar, too. Nolan Dalla has made me feel inferior about blogging. His blogs are SO FUCKING GOOD...and he writes SO OFTEN...that I just think he has made me feel like a blogging also-ran. It's amazing...because for years he complimented me on my blog...telling me he would read them and laugh hysterically. Now I know why. 

I read his stuff daily...and him and I have so many of the same thoughts and views on things, and people. I can tell that while he was still working for Harrahs/WSOP that he had to temper his statements to conform with what his 'handlers' expected of him...and now that he has left them..its like the shackles, chains and all constraints have been freed from him. And to read his blog is like reading the words of a 'years-repressed' soul yearning to be heard. The shit is awesome. 

Squirrel and I started watching 'Sons of Anarchy' finally...after years of people ordering me to watch it. The show is great. However...we are now into Season 5...and if there is one thing that is turning me off about the show...its that they are CONSTANTLY mired in unbelievable shit. I mean...I guess if I watched once-a-week like most people, instead of cramming all 6 seasons in a month...it might not seem like that to such an extreme. But still...there is no down time for the MC. And the amount of killing, most of it senseless, just kind of turns my stomach. And some of the murders? I mean...in what world do they NOT get prosecuted? It's borderline ridiculous in a lot of cases.

And in Season 4...where Clay just turns into a murdering scumbag with no sense of loyalty at all...just killing to cover his bad deeds years ago...it's started to really turn me off. Now with the end of Season 4, and the 'plot twist' involving the Irish and Mexican Cartels doubling as CIA agents...well, I guess now I see how all these characters are going to remain intact and in the picture for at least another season or two. Squirrel and I were really wishing Clay would either die or be killed in that last episode...but fuck...now they need his dumb ass alive. Great. Wonder who the next innocent victim will be to die at his hands?

Carley is all set to start official pre-school tomorrow...after about a year of going to spend the day with her sitter, Miss Pam...for 2 days a week. The sitter was devastated. But she will still get to see Carley if we need a sitter on weekends, or nights, or when I go out of town for poker trips, so its not that tragic. Carley caught my 'crud' when I got home...and is fighting it off...so I guess if she's still sick tomorrow we will hold off on taking her. I'll be honest...I'm both happy we are taking her...but kind of sad too. She is growing up SO fast it's freaking me out. She makes being at home such a great thing. The time we spend together makes me so happy. But taking her to day care needs to happen. She needs to experience that social interaction with other kids her age. I think she will do great. And I'm guessing they probably pick things up, and learn faster when they are around other kids. I just want her, when its time to go to actual school, to be well-prepared for it. Having her in a good, organized, setting like that will make it a lot easier for me to go off and play poker tourneys if I choose to.

Next up on my poker calendar, I think...is that event down in Palm Beach. I guess. I went there last year and didn't run that well. As a matter of fact, I haven't really run too well anywhere in the past year...except Vegas last summer. That and a few min-cashes in Main Events to save trips...and that's been about it. I really am long overdue to make a 'nice' score somewhere. I played the Choctaw event on my own dime, 100%. Why? Kind of two reasons I think. (a) I don't feel qualified to sell a package right now until I start winning consistently again, and (b) I've had a good fall and winter and frankly, can afford to fund myself, and the upside of playing for 100% just makes it too attractive of an option. Oh sure...after I've left, and I'm $4500 lighter in the wallet, I question that decision, but it wasn't a loss I couldn't afford, and I didn't leave a trail of investors regretting their decision to buy in to the package.

One thing about poker that really, really annoys the fuck out of me, is how every two or three years, a rash of new poker 'terms' appear on the poker scene. And it would be fine...if only a handful of players used these terms. And used them sparingly. And I'm guessing, the ones who come up with them...probably DID use them sparingly, in certain appropriate 'spots.' But then when all the poker dorks caught (or catches) wind of these terms...they bastardized the shit out of them. You know what I'm taking about. Some past gems that have finally seemed to almost perish (for the most part) are 'spewey'...'nitty'....'felted'....and oh...there are numerous others. Well, I've learned a couple of new ones while I was in Choctaw...mostly by checking out (accidentally) players' Twitter feeds. They are.... 'rip' or 'ripped' which is another way of discussing how that player blasted either all of his chips into the center of the playing arena...either in an all-in play or a very large river bet. The other word is 'showered' or 'showering.' Huh? You might think this means 'showering an opponent with his/her chips in a show of appreciation or hostility.' Negatory. It is, instead, a way of expressing to one's followers that he/she has left the building, having busted. As in...'hitting the showers.' These two words alone had me ripping (ahhhh see what I did there?) my hair out after about two days in Choctaw. I caught Barth using these damn words and had to call him out on it. Whether this results in him curtailing his use of these annoying new 'poker terms' will remain to be seen.

I think Palm Beach happens at a good time. Carley will be in daycare....I will be wrapping up the accounting work for the Super Bowl Squares...and with a relatively long lull before anything major comes up in pools....the March Madness Pool (with over 500 entries last year!) being my next big one to deal with....I think it might be a good event to go to with a couple of friends and play. Hopefully Barth decides to go...as his car is very quiet (and nice!) and he makes for a great poker roommate. And we are just good friends that always have interesting conversations...which, if you're around a lot of poker players on a regular basis, you know that this is hard to find!

Why can't I snap my fingers and be Kate Upton for just a week? Or any number of hot super models or actresses? They have it so easy. One simple Twitter post...and I'd be on my way to Super Bowl Sunday, likely on someone's private jet. My one, and only,  Twitter post would read something like this:  "Gosh, I sure wish I was going to the Super Bowl this Sunday...I even have my snow bunny outfit all picked out!  :(  Wonder how long it would take? An hour? Maaaaayyybe two? But I'm not...I'm just me...and my dreams of going to the Super Bowl are probably dead in the water. Of course, if there are any tycoons out there who want to make this little boy's dream come true...I make for great company at a ball game...but there won't be any shenanigans!!!!

Squirrel and I start our Advocare 24-day Challenge tomorrow. So tonight, feeling like an inmate on Death Row who's appointment with Old Sparky comes tomorrow, I decided to make my last meal a douzy...taking us out to Half Shell here in Biloxi, where my plan was to gorge myself on all the things I crave the most. We've eaten at this place, I think, four times. It's huge...upstairs and downstairs...and about 20 tables on each floor. But every....literally EVERY time we've gone, we have been seated at a table right near the kitchen.

Here is a memo to any restaurant owner or manager of a place where the entrees are over $20 per, and who feature a wine list with bottles over $100: Tell your waiters...who instead of helping out their fellow waiters with stuff like clearing each others tables, refilling their water, running food to their table (while its still hot, or at least warm)....and other duties that would make for a better dining experience, that none of us have one inkling of a desire to hear them discuss their personal lives, or listen to them bicker over their schedules, or watch them bury their face in their phones, texting whoever they're texting while my sweet ice tea glass sits empty for the fourth time. I finally started reaching over to the bus station, grabbing the ice tea pitcher, and refilling my own damn glass. Can you tell me, how does a waitress get all the way out to your table with your entrees before realizing that she rung in the wrong thing? I mean...did she not load that food onto the tray in the kitchen and suddenly realize that what she put on there looks nothing like what I ordered?

It makes me miss the days when I was a restaurant manager. I had a great background from working in some of the nicest places in Seattle, New York and Atlanta...and so when I go out to eat, especially in a place like Biloxi, Mississippi, it really makes it hard...because I know I have to almost always lower my expectations. Some of these places have men and women in the kitchen who are putting out a fantastic product...a product that gets completely overlooked because the servers cause people to never want to return. And waiters often wonder why cooks are such assholes to them? That's why! So..management at Half Shell Biloxi? If you'd like help turning that place around? Look me up! Because it wasn't just  once...its been EVERY TIME we've eaten there. 

So tomorrow...unless the governor calls...my date with Old Sparky begins. I will let y'all know how my 'Challenge' goes. Hell who knows...if it goes incredibly, I might have to start a club of 'Challengers' and launch a new career as an Advocare rep! Sure.

I will post about my actual poker experience at Choctaw those last few days...but I will wrap this one up for the time being.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back On The Grid....

Another long hiatus from my blog is about to come to an end. I decided, after not being able to secure reasonably priced tickets for the NFC Championship in my home town this weekend, to instead travel to Oklahoma with my friend Barth Melius to play the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Choctaw Casino in Durant. 

We left late Tuesday night...arrived early Wednesday morning, and played poker ALL DAY! I had an unsuccessful day one here....losing a $65 sattelite into Wednesday's $580 noon tourney...208 started, 17 got paid, went out 47th. Barth went out 4 from the seat. Then played the $580. Very frustrating day. Started good. Then got kind of coolered twice to fall to 1800...before building it back to 12k...only to go card dead and miss every flop...I literally got down to ONE BIG BLIND at 1k/2k and 110 out of 380 left...got it in with K9....lost to Justin 'Choctaw' Kruger who held a much better AQ. That 6 hours was painful.

Then played the $250 at 5pm. Twice. On the first bullet...'that' punk showed up...you know the guy. Hat turned askew...with the straight bill...Beats headphones. Glasses turned around on the back of his head. Swagger. He decides he's gonna try to run over the table. Not gonna happen slappy. He raises my BB from cutoff...I have 9-10s and reraise him. He gets this stupid look  on his face and wrecklessly dumps his stack all in. I snap call. He, as I suspected, didn't have much. A8 off suit. But of course....I missed everything. Standard. I re-bought.

It went a lot better. Started hot...took a dip....got hot again....lost a few hands. Very up and down...then in Level 12...I got into the classic heads up all in hand...for a huge double up...or a trip to the rail. Me...AK...him QQ. Winner...QQ. Boo! Day one over.

Joined a bunch of people at Sports City...where they were having Karaoke night. I needed to eat...which I did. The service in that place was dreadfully slow...despite having a ton of staff. Guess they aren't used to being busy. Saw a lot of good 'poker friends' I hadn't seen in awhile. Stayed for about two hours...listened to some good singers...and some horrible singers. It was pretty entertaining. But I needed sleep...and went and got about 9 hours.

I'm late right now for the noon $70 Mega with $50 rebuys. But those things are so crazy...and the people up here, what I witnessed yesterday...was absolutely insanity...and I can only assume the first four levels of this thing will be utter chaos.  I want no part of that bullshit...I'll just end up getting in for like $500 or more...which is a joke when you're trying to win a seat valued at $1675. So me and Barth...who just returned to the room from shopping at some outlet mall....will both go down and sign up right before the break.

There are quite a few 'fun' stories to tell about this place. For sure. And there was a couple of fun stories about my trip coming up here...including being part of an Amber Alert investigation...where I was pulled over, handcuffed, placed in a cops car...and questioned, before being released about 20 minutes later after they discovered that the 'White Toyota 4-Runner with a black brush guard and Alabama plates last seen traveling west from Mobile' was not, in fact...me!!!

Our room in the Choctaw casino tower is great! The crowds are great. The dealers are great. The remodeled this place since my last visit...the casino that is...not  the hotel...and it too,  looks great. They really do a nice job with this casino. The drinks aren't free...but that's cool, I'm about to start the 24-day Advocare challenge with Cheryl when I get home from this trip...in my mission to lose about 20-30 lbs. I'm drinking as much water as possible to 'purge' before I get back. I drank a total of 12 bottles yesterday!!!!

As you know...I am a HUGE Seahawks fan. Last year....I was here in Choctaw...when Seattle came from behind...and took the lead against Atlanta, only to lose by a field goal in the last minute...and tear my heart out. This year....we have made it one step further..and Sunday is going to be insane for me. It would also be Day Two of the Main Event...so I really hope I'm not watching the game from my hotel room!!! Michael Sanders...a pretty good poker buddy of mine who is here...is also from Seattle and a huge fan of all-things Seattle-related like me...he was in my face at the Karaoke bar last night and all geeked up about the game this weekend. I'm so excited about this game...but I'm also SO nervous. 

Carley is doing great! We decided to take her from her 2-days a week sitter ritual and enter her in an actual day care...where she will be going between 3-5 days a week, depending on whatever we have going on that week. It broke her sitter's heart...but we have to do what is best for Carley...and she needs to be around other kids and developing her social qualities. I will miss her at home with me...but I can't hold her back. She is growing up so fast it's insane. I love that little girl so much its impossible to imagine. And when I'm away from her...it kills me. It sure has put things into perspective. Nothing that happens in poker...either good or bad....will ever have the same impact on me as it ever did before because of the effect she has had on my life.

All I wanted to do was come up here for a few days....and take a shot at some good money...to help my family. And I admit I do miss...a little bit, the competition of poker tourneys. I was ready, after 5-months to jump back in and get my feet wet. I'll have more later, promise...but I better get ready and get my butt down there. 

Hope you're all having a Happy New Year!!