Saturday, September 30, 2006


So far we've cover my first hobby: bowling.

Let's move on to my other hobby: poker.

I've been playing online poker for about a year and a half now. I've been lucky/good enough to actually make money at it even though I don't play for very high stakes.

I found an online pokerforum, that has become a home away from home for me. It a place filled with all kinds of people and personalities that love to play poker. I have learned so much about poker from playing with them. I got started with them during one of their Tunrys. Tunry is a team poker tournament series. Teams are drafted by captains and every form of poker is played not just Texas Holdem. Talk about a steep learning curve!! I actually read the Stud 8 section of Super System II WHILE I WAS PLAYING THE TOURNAMENT.

Part of learning to be a better poker player involves researching poker in every format. A forum friend told me about some poker podcasts that are available through iTunes for free. One of them, Ante Up!, is produced by two guys at the Tamba Bay Times. They are avid poker players and very entertaining. They have hosted a few private tournaments for their listeners and recently announced a series of tournaments not unlike my forum's Tunry.

The first in the AIPS was NLHE and very popular - over 100 people signed up to play. I went out in the 60s somewhere. The next event was Stud - considerably less popular than NLHE but 70+ people played that event. I finished 35th after having a very challenging first table.

Today's event was Omaha with 45 players. This is a version of poker where you are dealt 4 cards and must use 2 and only 2 of the cards in your hand in combination with 3 of the 5 board cards. I have not played much Omaha and haven't fared too well when I did. I did play a Sit N Go (a one table tournament that starts as soon as 9 players are registered) with a forumer who is very good a that game and managed to finish 3rd (in the money!). I was very excited about that. Last night I decided to play another one as practice for today's tournament. Again I managed to finish 3rd but only barely.

I had to juggle my schedule today in order to make the start of the tournament but I knew I really wanted to play it. My first goal was to make the final table. I managed to sneak in somewhere in the middle to bottom of the pack. Once there I really want to make the money, only the top 5 got paid. Somehow, with some aggressive play and some good hands, I managed to win this tournament!

I finally made the leaderboard for the Ante Up Intercontinental Poker Series!!!

Between bowling and poker I've had a great week!


Ok, those of you that know me know that I'm an avid bowler.

I started bowling again about 5 years ago. I had about a 150 average back then but I was determined to improve. I started to watch the better bowlers and tried to emulate them. I read a couple of books... yeah, they have how-to bowling books! I really worked on my bowling.

So here I am 5 years later. My averages at the end of last season were 183 and 186. My best game was a 268. I was a pretty happy camper.

At the end of last season I joined a team of "ringers" - 4 men with 200+ averages. We were hoping we could take on the reigning league champions and kick their butts. Well, turns out that team wimped out and decided not to return to that league (pussies). There are still 1 or 2 tough teams in this league and we managed to take all 4 games from one of them already. We face the other team next week.

However, I'm going to talk about this last week right now.

All bowlers dream of someday bowling a perfect 300 game. Twelve strikes in a row. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Just get up there, frame after frame, and calmly throw a strike. Piece o cake. Never mind that by the time you have thrown the 7th or 8th everybody is watching you. Never mind that by the time you have thrown the 7th or 8th your knees have turned to jelly and you are just hoping to not look like an idiot, not to through a gutter ball or [gasp] a split.

For whatever reason, the bowling gods were smiling on my the other night. My first game was a very nice 232. The second game was something else....

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Yes, I'm now a member of the somewhat less than dazzling -but still quite remarkable - 299 club. As I turned around after that last ball I didn't know whether I should be hugely embarrassed at having left a %#$$#%@^$ ten pin or thrilled that I actually threw the best game of my life. I went with thrilled with a side order of slightly disappointed.

The second best thing about having bowled a 299 was that I was now within sight of a 700 series which was something else I had never done. So I sit myself down and quickly do the math. I'll need at least about a 170 to make a 700.

Now, you must understand that most athletes [let's not argue about bowler's being athletes shall we?] of any flavor are superstitious people. For me that means: don't calculate your score ahead of time. I usually have no idea what my final score will be until I walk off the approach after the final ball is thrown and look at the scoreboard. I just don't want to know. I don't need that added pressure.

The mere fact that I bothered to figure out what score I needed to hit my 700 series bothered me somewhat. I thought for sure I was doomed to failure having done that math in my head. Then, about the 6th frame I mention to one of my teammates that I was hoping to hit my first 700 tonight. He looks at my scores, at that point I had a turkey [three strikes in a row] and he said, "Oh, you got it already." I proceeded to get that deer in the headlight look and he went on to say, "Unless you gutter from here on out, you'll get it." WTF, UNLESS YOU GUTTER FROM HERE ON OUT! Who in their right might says that to a person who is already doing a major freak out????

I managed to hold it together well enough to bowl a..... 221 for my last game giving me a 752 for series! Wooooooooooooot! Not only did I get my first 700 series I made it all the way to 752.

Now the bad thing about bowling outta your everyloving mind one night early in the season is this: YOU NOW HOW THE HIGHEST AVERAGE YOU HAVE EVER HAD IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. There is no way I can maintain a 200 average. No way.

It looks like our team will have NO handicap next week... when we play the next toughest team in the league. GG me.

Maiden Voyage

I succumbed.

Yeah, I admit it. I'm a loser.

I wanted to post a comment on a blog that wouldn't allow nonbloggers to post comments.

Ergo, I have a brand spanking new blog. (he he he, I said spanking.)

I seriously doubt this will be updated with any regualarity so check it at your own risk.

More about me later. For now I gotta figure out how to run this beast they call blogger. Wish me luck as I foray into the seemy (or is that steamy) underbelly of the Internet.