Monday, August 13, 2007

All This Bush Hate...

I seriously don't get all of the belated, hackneyed hate and cheap shots against George Bush that are still going on today. Pink's latest song, "Mr. President," makes my blood boil in how cliche, uncreative and speculative it is when it comes to criticizing the Bush Administration.

Yeah, Bush will probably go down as one of the worst presidents of all time. And yeah, he's one of the few people in the world who I would punch in the face if I had the chance.

But the fact is that he's just over-matched as a leader and an individual. He doesn't have the tools, the smarts or the foresight to be President of the United States, and he never did. It wasn't his fault that he was put in to office, it was the American people's fault for being such idiots and electing him in the first place, TWICE. To his credit, he's a good people person and has a certain charisma to him (particularly if you live south of the Mason-Dixon line and are somewhat illiterate), but he never should have been president. End of story.

Which is why all this belated and stupid Bush hate almost pisses me off more than Bush himself. Let's not hate him anymore; let's just celebrate that he's going to be out in a year's time. Sounds good to me.

In other news, I've been swingy swingy swingy in poker. Still up like 600 for the month but it's been a total roller coaster ride. I've been playing my B game most of the time, so I will look to get that back in shape.

I was also at the mall the other day in a mentally altered state and discovered this amazing foot massager at Brookstones. I know how completely retarded, lame and gay it sounds to have a foot massager, but it just feels so good/relaxing. It costs 500; if I make X number of dollars this year then I'm bringing it up to Stanford... LOL, so that'll be my motivation for the rest of summer: a foot massager. I'm pretty weird.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Today was interesting...

I missed work today. Well, kind of.

I showed up for an hour but still felt like shit after throwing up/headache yesterday so they told me to go home. I didn't have much to do anyway; tomorrow, for once, is an actually important day for work so it was probably best to rest up today.

I got home, took a niiice 2 hour nap...It was nice because I usually have a tough time napping. I had a crazy dream about playing basketball and being charged by cops for trespassing. I flipped out at the cop, not physically, but with a verbal tirade and let him know how hypocritical, idiotic and ignorant I thought he was. Then I threatened to sue, sure of my case. Then I woke up.


I guess in a Freudian sense you could analyze this as an upheaval against authority figures in my life, which is definitely a possibility. I am still an adolescent, after all.

It was a vivid dream though, which was cool. I'm still waiting for one of those elusive lucid dreams, but it'll come someday.

I got to hang out with a couple of old friends from high school back at my place in the afternoon, which was tight. Nothing like kickin' back over a joint and chilling at my pool...

As for poker, today was hellllla swingy but I'm still winning this month. I need to stop bluffing =)

Anyway, here's the graph for the month so far after about 9 hours of play:


Saturday, August 4, 2007

They Always Come Back...Robustoland or BUST

So after taking a general break from online poker for this whole year, and a complete break over the beginning of summer (didn't play, read hands or even visit the forums at, I got the itch a few weeks ago and checked my PokerStars account.

I had 80 dollars in it. I saw a $109 multi-table tournament starting up in five minutes, and knew that I had to play it. I went to 2/4, stole the blinds after going all in preflop several times and soon had 115.

Long story short, I final-tabled the tournament for $1k that night.

In the last few weeks, I've been playing here and there but I've decided to take poker seriously again for the month of August.

I'll be playing .5/1 ($100 buy-in) at PokerStars, ten and 12-tabling the games like no other. Ten and 12-tabling sounds ridiculously insane, but it's really not that hard as at the level of .5/1, the game is completely mechanical and so many of the people play totally transparent. Also, playing so many tables keeps me from tilting and playing off my A-game--which is the only real problem I have had as a poker player.

And as I've found in the last week or so, the games are still pretty soft and there's still a shit ton of money to be made in online poker--my hourly rate at .5/1 is easily over $100, and with my current sample size of 5,000 hands in the last week, it's at ~$130 an hour.

I'll be updating this blog regularly with how things are going. Hopefully it'll motivate me and keep me from tilting or whatever like I always have done in the past.

I'm working a 9-5 and have writing gigs on the side, but it shouldn't be impossible. I'm gonna try to play 60k hands this month. 12-tabling, that comes out to an average of 2 hours a day. My social life shouldn't be hurt either--I'm just going to manage my time better and stop wasting time on facebook/aim etc. Realistically, I won't reach 60k hands for the month, but it's still worth setting the goal.

Anyway, here's to my journey back to Robustoland...HOLLLAAAA

AUGUST so far:
5.5 hours, 5,100 hands, +725 profit.

I'm getting a new car...

As long as everything falls through, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to the dealership to get a 2007 Mazda 3 tomorrow. I can't even begin to express how excited I am. SHIP IT!!!!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

F U, Tim Donaghy

“This is rigged,” I said to my couch bum friends, disgusted but merely joking after witnessing questionable calls and dubious administrative decisions throughout this year’s NBA playoffs.
Tim Donaghy
Tim Donaghy
After a controversial call may have won the Miami Heat the title in ’06, I had the right to be skeptical. And this year’s playoffs didn’t do the league any more credit, either; the Suns were unnecessarily forced to play without Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw in a Game Five that would decide the series and other dubious calls abounded (a ridiculous amount of flop calls and LeBron James’ three-point shot to tie Game Three of the Finals when he was clearly fouled, just to name a few).

Although I joked, I never actually thought the League was rigged. It was just a joke. Tongue-in-cheek. Not meant to be serious.


With the recent development that NBA referee--now former NBA referee--Tim Donaghy was involved in an organized gambling ring, my worst nightmare had finally come true.

Although much is left to be discovered, it is suspected that Donaghy bet on games that he was officiating. It’s one thing to compromise a sport’s integrity in the first place; it’s a whole other thing to be betting on the very games that you’re officiating.

Now ubiquitous in the world of sports (let’s not let Michael Vick off of the hook just yet), the FBI is currently conducting its investigation into exactly what happened.

As NBA Commissioner David Stern suggested on Tuesday, Donaghy may just be a “rogue” who needed to cover his gambling debts and made a bad decision. But if it is revealed that there were other referees or even NBA officials involved in the scandal, then you better believe that the shit’s going to the fan. The possible ramifications are mind-blowing to the point that I don’t even want to think about it. And even if it is true that the Donaghy scandal was an isolated incident, the damage may already be done.

Because this isn’t the only incident. Donaghy might be the only one, or he might not be. Regardless, though, these kind of dysfunctional and concerning symptoms are not “rogue” to the League in recent years.

From the ugly brawl in Detroit to horrible calls in the playoffs to the controversy over the new dress code, Stern and the NBA have been tainting what I know to be the greatest game on earth.

I was outraged after Stoudemire and Diaw were suspended for Game Five, a horrible decision that ruined one of the best playoff series in decades. And it’s not exactly pleasing to hear that an NBA referee was betting on the very games he was officiating. As a fan of the game, I can only cringe. More than any sport, the NBA features world-class athletes yet a mediocre product. It’s frustrating to watch on so many levels, and the Donaghy debacle may be the last straw for a lot of avid basketball fans like myself.

Because you know why? We’ve got something better.

It starts on October 15th around college campuses every year, a feeding frenzy and roller coaster of emotion and excitement that doesn’t end until the beginning of April. It takes its way from a tiny gym in Maui for a preseason invitational tournament to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the Final Four.

College basketball is what I’m talking about, and for years it’s dwarfed the NBA in importance on my radar. Sure, the best athletes in the world might be in the League, but I’m sick and tired of watching a slow, unexciting and now corrupt game.

As a basketball guy, it’s depressing to see all this happening with my favorite sport. But at least I have my escape while David Stern and all the bureaucratic higher-ups can sift through this mess.

As for me? I‘m trying to fight off the sweltering July heat, but March feels like its right around the corner.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

He might be fat, but he still kicks ass

July 22, 2007

With the constant influx of crap that we are exposed to on the television, the radio and in the movies, it’s easy to be predisposed against almost anything that you hear or watch.

For example, if anything is played on 102.7 KIIS FM, I generally disregard any of its artistic and musical qualities and immediately label it as crap. It’s a pretty snobby and pretentious thing to do, but most of the time it’s warranted.

So naturally, after hearing Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” for the first few times, I thought nothing of it.

A sample of “Stand by me?” Give me a break.

“You’ll have me suicidal.” Bullshit. Man up and be true to your lyric.

After a while, though, something happened. Unlike most shitty pop and other junk that masquerades itself as music, his infectious Rastafarian voice started to grow on me. After his latest single, “Me Love,” I knew that I had found my newest guilty pleasure: Sean Kingston.

His music is just so full of energy, vibrance and--well, fun. There isn’t a single ounce of inhibition or reservation. For some reason, I get an almost transcendent vibe (I am not being sarcastic, I swear to God) from him in the pure energy and joy that he brings. I get the feeling that there’s something inherently good about him as a human being--that might sound ridiculous, but it's something that just know after hearing one of his songs (I later read that he refuses to cuss in his music, which is respectable). A testament to this, both of singles are written about supposedly sad things, yet you can’t help put a smile on your face when his nasal voice hits the airwaves. He’s just being himself, having a good time and doing what he truly loves: making music. And as crazy as it may sound, people like that are often hard to find in any form of entertainment today.

Sure, his lyrics aren’t on the level of The Beatles or Pink Floyd, but he’s 17 freakin’ years old. I think some of the sillier lyrics give even more credence to him, if anything: there’s almost a certain charm to them. And he'll obviously mature as a human being and an artist as time goes on.

His producer, J.R. Rotem deserves a huge amount of the credit, too. Kingston’s album is coming out on July 31st, and it’ll be the first album I’ve bought in almost a year. I haven’t been this pumped about a musical artist in a long time--I’m not quite sure why, but it’s kinda cool.

"As an artist, my whole goal is to make powerful and classic music," Sean divulges. "I want everyone to feel me and understand where I'm from and that's what this album will do. The music is all about the authentic Sean Kingston vibe."


Sunday, July 15, 2007

To all the Bonds haters out there

July 15, 2007

Open your eyes.

You, the Cincinatti Reds fan who openly encourages his son to boo one of the greatest athletes of our time.

You, the overly righteous sportswriter who criticizes and ostracizes the very man he was praising just years ago.

You, the major league player who knows very well just how juiced-up today’s game is, yet decides to place all of his misguided anger on an outcast of a player--a player who might be the best of all time.

You, the commissioner who turned a blind eye to the juiced era during the 90’s and into the first half of this decade.

But most of all, you. Yes, you. If you watch baseball, then there’s a good chance I’m talking to you. You, the fan who digs the long ball, the fan who cried tears of joy when McGwire and Sosa left Roger Maris in the dust and the fan who stood in awe at Barry’s 73 home runs during the 2001 campaign. You’re the very same hypocrite in the stands now, trying to demean one of the greatest players of all time by waving a silly homemade asterisk.

Open your eyes, all of you.

With Bonds just a few homers shy of breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record, mixed feelings and even those of anger have abounded around the country. Many think that Bonds’ does not “deserve” to break the record. He’s a cheater, they say.

Fans around the country, regardless of their location and team affiliation (unless that would be San Francisco) have rallied around in their disdain and hatred for Bonds. Yeah, he probably did cheat. The evidence in the Game of Shadows is convincing and leaves readers with many of their suspicions confirmed. And yes, it’s physically evident to the naked eye that Bonds gained a significant (and suspicious) amount of weight as his career progressed.

But what about the other guys?

What about guys like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Jason Giambi? They were all heroes to fans, and for some reason, they still are. Sosa has been proven to be an even bigger cheater than Bonds--who can forget the corked bat incident in 2003? Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were heroes to you, yet Barry Bonds is a menace and a cheater. Something’s missing here.

Some of these guys may have even lied during grand jury testimonial, yet they still are seen in relative favor. They’re just as big cheaters as Bonds--if not bigger--yet baseball has turned a blind eye to their situations.

Because after all, Bonds isn’t the real culprit in this whole ordeal.

It’s you, Bud Selig. You’ve promoted a juiced game and reveled in the profits of a juiced product. And now, caught up in the gusts of a media storm and feelings of self-righteousness, you threaten to not even show up to one of the games’ most historic moments.

It’s you, Curt Schilling. You’ve competed in a juiced game for years and know it. You may have not been using steroids yourself, but you’re definitely aware of how it affects the game. Yet you still have the immature and pathological urge to call attention to yourself by blasting Bonds over the radio.

It’s you, the media who did its best to portray Bonds as a darling during his run in 2001 and now ostracizes him at every possible turn.

It’s you, the fan who willingly turned a blind eye to steroids back when Sammy and Mark were making history. But now that Barry’s doing it, it’s a threat to your morals, your children and the sanctity of baseball.

It’s all of us. We all caused this mess, yet in nearly biblical fashion, all of the fame is going on to one man’s shoulders.

And if you ask me, I’m sick of it. I’m sick of hearing people irrationally demean Bonds’ career. I’m sick of hearing about steroids. I understand that they’re a part of the game--it’s not something that I don’t relish but I live with it. Nearly every sport is going to have issues with performance-enhancing drugs, but does baseball need to take it to McCarthy-like proportions?

Because that’s all this really is. A modern-day witch hunt directed at one of the games’ best players of all time--whether or not he cheated and whether or not he holds both home run records. The American mob mentality at its finest.

Many fans have already dismissed Bonds before he even breaks the record. Never has such apathy been seen for the breaking of a record so hallowed and sacred.

As for me? I’m going to watch Bonds break the record. And I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to appreciate his record for what it is--a remarkable accomplishment in a period of increased power and hitting. It may pale in comparison to the marks of Ruth and Aaron, but it is what it is.

As for the rest of you who don’t plan on watching: you might miss out on history, but just be aware that you‘re the ones who helped make it.