Monday, September 27, 2004

Smile, you're on camera!

Yes, I went ahead and ordered that Mustek DV-5000 plus an extra 256 MB memory for it. Maybe time for a videoblog?

Oh, a few things about yesterday's poker performance: I warmed up by watching Rounders, of course. And I recall one mistake I made, I folded my unraised big blind (and it was remarked on by another player but by that time the cards were already in the muck). But it was rags anyway, and then I wasn't tempted to continue playing them.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


So I played in my first live poker tournament (No Limit Texas Hold'Em) today. It went quite well, but not well enough.

I can't give a clear recount of all (significant) plays, like Wil Wheaton, beacuse DANG! was I nervous, hands trembling and not wanting to screw up the deal when it was my turn or acting out of turn. But everyone was helpful out of the fifteen of us that showed up, playing at two tables in a basement at an undisclosed location. Just ask first if you're not sure. Beverage and snacks available, real clay chips.

I believe the very first hand I was in on, I won. Got pocket jacks and it became trips on the flop, sweet. And for a very long while, it was either fold since it was rags anyway or play and win. No fancy play or bluffing, just playing the cards. There were those who commented on their play or did all-ins or were boisterous, I just sat there quiet as a rock.

Lo' and behold, I make it to the final table! And that was without re-buys or an add-on, quite a few had to resort to that. Continued solid playing by me, I still remember to protect my cards every time, using the same lucky $5 chip I'd used all day for that.

My stack size is second to last but I'm still alive. In late position, I raise by one Big Blind (300) with K9 offsuit, but was reraised and I fold. All-in with KA Diamonds, no takers.

On the button, stack dwindling, I get A2 offsuit. One all-in from another player, then another one and I tag along with my all-in Ace of Spades, two of Hearts. Sort out the pots, turn the cards over and time for showdown. First all-in has pair of jacks. Second all-in has A2 Diamonds and me with A2 offsuit. Weak hand, but not a bad play. The board gives me and the other guy a pair of deuces but not more, the Jacks take it and I'm out at, based on what me and the other A2 guy (there were only guys there, which was not surprising) started the hand with, sixth place.

Sixth place out of fifteen in my first tournament, not bad. If I may say so myself. I don't feel like I wasted any hands or pots and the Ace I went out with wasn't rags. I will definitely play again. And they were all nice blokes.

Had I ended up "in the money", I had my sight set on getting one of these babies. A Mustek DV-5000 all-digital video camera. From the reviews I've read, it's an OK still camera and reasonable video camera. And it uses only memory (SD or MMC) for storage, not DV, Mini-DV or Hi-8. One strong point about it is also its price, which is about a fifth of other (albeit fancier) tape-less or micro-format digital video cameras like the Panasonic SV-AV100 or the Micro-MV Sony DCR-IP1. And those of you that have read earlier postings in my blog know I'm tight and looking for a good deal.

Heck, I'm this -><- close to clicking the order button. I'll post this, and let you know later what I did. I just got a mail that the pay raises are soon negotiated and they're retroactive.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Image is everything

In live poker, "they" talk about "table image", they overall style you show to the other players or how they perceive you. I wonder what my table image will be like next weekend when I'll play in a live tournament? If I'm wearing something like I'm wearing today, i.e. goatee, frayed jeans, rough brown patinated leather jacket and the scar on my neck. Or maybe I should wear a suit or suit jacket and white shirt? But should I take the green, black or brown one? The white? Tweed? Or like the majority on WPT and WSOP, go Slobby Casual?

Maybe something like this?

(from the Create your own South Park Character Flash thingy)

And spruce it up with sunglasses and do the hair with Spiky Gel.

Going home, I rent and watch the movie Signs. Purportedly a horror-ish movie, I found it to contain a lot of humor and comedy, in an understated deadpan way. Watch it, if you haven't, and you'll understand. The brilliant director M. Night Shyamalan should consider changing his name though. Checking the cover for his name, I can't recall its exact spelling a few seconds later. Shamayalan? Shalaman? Shalayman? Shayalaman? Yalla yalla, hey man? Mr. Smith?

Friday, September 17, 2004

I raise you one stitch

I was at the clinic today to remove the stitches that have been in for nearly two weeks now. Oh, sweet relief! I've got two words for you: IT CHY.

It turns out there were ten of them, not nine as I'd written earlier. That brings my total to 44.

Blatant attempt to attract attention to my blog:
Kerry and Bush Google Iraq Porn with Linux! Film at eleven.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Dead animals

More finds at the flea market today, I seem to have a knack for it. Maybe something I've inherited from my mother?

A small wooden chest that I just had to have even though it was kind of ugly, since it had the suits (♠ ♥ ♦ ♣) painted on the lid.

And a black (goatskin) leather jacket that was my size, goes down to the thighs, ain't that nice? Maybe it's been a police or guard jacket, because there's a reflecting stripe along the hemline and on the left upper arm there are stitchmarks from an emblem that's been removed.

I'll have to air it out, because it smells like it's been hanging in a murky damp cellar or attic for some years. I take it home and apply some leather cleaner and leather protection, and it looks rather nice.

Speaking of leather jackets, I picked up my other one this Friday that I'd left at a leatherworker to replace the collar that was starting to fall apart. Now I have two leather jackets that'll last me a lifetime. But, oh, I'd like a long leather coat too (the Matrix look). And a biker jacket.

Let's see, I could wear my lambskin gloves, the goatskin leather jacket plus belt and shoes probably made from cow. Must. Wear. Dead. Animals. Ug. Og. Eek. Ook.

But leather pants is a big no-no.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Ill shopping

Enjoying the time off, but not the itching in the stitches, I go shopping. I've got a hardshell wallet, looking like the ones at Smartcaze, matching my Boblbee backpack, and the bills don't fit in it, so I get a clip. And as Lefty tells you in Donnie Brasco, always put the highest denomination bill on the outside.

Oh, and I find a dirt cheap aluminum briefcase/toolbox. I already have a few (plastic) toolboxes, too many actually, but I've always wanted one of these in aluminum. I decide to use it as my poker box. I got my poker chips yesterday, so those and my playing cards go in it. Kinda like Stevens' case in Shade.

Also, I'm looking for a pinstripe suit or jacket, but don't find one within my price range. I'll be a Godfather in October and I want to look the part. But based on my previous shopping experiences I've described in this blog, all good things come to those who wait, so I'll make a great find later.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Drugs and nine stitches


In preparation for the surgery, it's time for muscle relaxant, mild diuretic and tranquilizer. Yes, I'm talking about going to the pub with a friend and ingesting Guinness and playing games (trivia, puzzles).


As I've written earlier, I was diagnosed with pleomorphic adenoma (a benign tumor in the neck, salivary gland) and today it was time for surgery to remove it. I rise early Monday morning and take the bus to the hospital, where I wait outside a while before they open. I register, get a room of my own, am told to change into a white smockish number and take these pills please (no red or blue ones to choose between). Painkillers and benzodiazepine.

I get into bed, am wheeled to the operating room and then told to get on the operating table and breathe in this mask please. Things happened so fast I didn't get a chance to deliver the joke I'd been planning all week.

-"Doctor, doctor, will I be able to sing after the surgery?"

-"Well, yes, I don't see why not."

-"Cool, I couldn't sing before."

At least managed to do a similar thing the time a few years ago when I was at the same hospital for minor surgery of the hand to remove some complications from a disagreement with heavy machinery at the factory I worked at.

-"Doctor, doctor, will I be able to play the piano after the surgery?"

-"Well, yes, I don't see why not."

-"Cool, I couldn't before."

Neither could I tell the surgeons to, since they're already there around the face with sharp knives, maybe get a Brad Pitt/George Clooney/Harrison Ford thing going.

Breathe in the mask, fzzzt, lights out. I wake up in the bed I started in, new room, very disoriented and with a tube snaking from my neck, ending in a Jackson-Pratt bulb. I think that's what they're called, based on my pre-surgery research. Not Pratt & Whitney or Briggs & Stratton, because they're engine makers. After some false starts I figure out which limbs are arms and which are legs and the difference between left and right and wave (pathetically?) to attract attention and tell the staff that I'm awake again.

Bed is wheeled back to my room and from the wall clock I can tell that I've probably been out about three hours.

You're told to come to surgery (if it's under full anesthesia) on an empty stomach because you can be nauseous from it, but/so I'm hungry. I joked with a friend the week before about a tumor being a mutation, and what my superpower would be. I suggested To Be Able To Eat As Much As I Like Of Anything Without Getting Fat. But I already have that ability, and the surgical removal of the mutation didn't affect it. Yum, sandwiches.

As an aside, the "What superpower(s) would you recieve after being hit with cosmic energy?" quiz at this link said: "An insatiable appetite and the ability to chew anything. So much for your diet (look for the low-carb concrete)".

Wow. Go figure. But it also said that my sidekick would be: "An elephant that is afraid of the dark".

I get a morphine shot, we'll see what the effects will be... Many years ago I was at another hospital for appendicitis (perforation and peritonitis to boot) and then I got many morphine shots. I could spend the better part of an afternoon trying to figure out what day it was. Yay barbiturates.

Now it's just a matter of waiting, if the amount of fluid draining (the tube in the neck, remember?) decreases, I can go home tomorrow. I have a TV in my room. Yay daytime sitcoms. Full House, That 70s Show, Malcolm in the middle, Nikki AND Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I stay away from talkshows like Dr. Phil and Oprah, because then I'd need heavier drugs. Much heavier drugs.

Bathroom visits and perambulation is a bit hampered by the glucose IV in my left arm but since I can drink and eat it's removed but the needle left in place in case they'd need to put more chemicals in me. Now, for a proper Borg look, the fluid in my neck tubing should be green and the IV thingy with valves should be black and chrome. Clothing should be a biker/Goth crossover.

Nope. Neck = Red pinkish. IV = Pink and baby blue. Clothing = White smock.


Everything is OK, and preparations are underway for going home. I think I scared the bejeebers out of a poor student nurse when I had the IV needle removed. I'm a blood donor, and not squeamish about needles or blood, and was helpful in holding back pieces of tape and putting the bandaid on. Well, she removed the needle under the supervision of another nurse, then they left and I continued packing. Suddenly I feel a wet sensation on my arm and oopsie, I'm bleeding a bit. Like a plug had been pulled. I used the arm too soon, and managed to drip blood on the floor, bed, my pants and elsewhere. I rush to the sink and get a paper towel which is soaked too, but I manage to stop it, then find the button thingy to call a nurse. They come back and I stand there over the sink looking sheepish. "Uhm, it bled through." The poor little student nurse looks scared but both I and the senior nurse are calm and tell her that these things happen, just go get a bigger bandaid and we'll clean this up.

I talk to the doctors that did the surgery. A tumor the size of a hazel nut had been removed, no problems, we'll just remove the neck drain thing and send you home.

I go home, and start spoiling myself. Candy, pizza, more TV, mild Paracetamol painkillers and calling everybody and telling them I'm OK.

Swallowing, yawning, coughing, sneezing and getting up are maneuvers that have to be carefully planned so my neck doesn't explode.


It's sometimes up, sometimes down. I normally don't sleep on my back, but that's the only possible position for a while. Sometimes I can move about freely, sometimes I have to lie down flat or when I move about (went shopping for "food and medicine" (but not guns)) I have to adopt this Fronkensteen monster/Zombie posture where I can't turn my neck but have to rotate my whole torso. Brrraaaaaaiins.

The Show "Las Vegas" was on, the one where Sam is all hyper after handling two craps players for 48 hours straight running on caffeine pills. I can relate to that.

I got two full weeks medical leave but if I feel OK I can probably go back to work next week. We'll se about that after the weekend.

I mainly write about poker in this blog, so why write about this experience? Well, it's my blog, a blog should be personal and I can write about whatever I like. And I can probably work a poker angle into it. I haven't changed the wound dressing yet, so I don't know how many stitches there are in addition to the total of thirtyfour I already have elsewhere, but there will maybe be a slight scar. That can be useful in live (or B & M) poker. "Oh, this? Got it in a fight in Reno with a guy who dealt from the bottom of the deck. Arrr!". I don't know why I sounded like a pirate there.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Poker Portal


Hey, I see that this humble (mostly poker) blog is included (with a blinking "New" next to it) in the monster portal/link collection at Poker Portal in the Poker Blogs/Journals/Diaries section. I have an audience! And because the title is Glued to the seat, i.e. beginning with a G (ain't nuthin' but a G thang, baby) my neighbor is Iggy's Guinness and poker which I mentioned in the previous posting (and he's also a fellow Blogspot user).

I'm honored.

So, please check Poker Portal out, and of course all the other links. Yes, all of them. There are many, but as they state there, "Links will also be checked for their quality. For us it is quality rather than quantity that counts :-)."

Hmm, I'm doubly honored then, because I don't remember asking to be put on that list, so that means someone found this blog and thought it was good enough to add among the others with such names as "Down to the felt", "Drowning at the river" and "Flopped the nuts".

I play (online) poker because I think it's fun. Win some, lose some. I don't do it to make or break a fortune, it's just a hobby. But should I win a lot of $$$ or a seat at a live tournament, I'm not going to complain.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

In the money, AAAA and Guinness

Finally, after many attempts, I finish "in the money" at an Expekt NL Hold'Em daily multitable freeroll after they changed back from 600 places paid to 130 places paid. Either I'm out early (around 2000th place or lower out of 3000 entrants) because you have to play wildly in the beginning to build up a buffer or I play for 1-2 hours and get eaten by the blinds and finish out of the money.

But today, 79th place of 2999 entrants! Not bad at all. Unfortunately it was a $1000 freeroll with 130 places paid and 79th gave $1.50, but it's free money and I haven't put one cent of my own money into Expekt's poker room. And one day I'll be in the top ten which at least pays in the double digits or in first place which gives around 25% of the prize pool.

And I saw a beautiful play by one player when we were in the money. The flop came AAQ and there were more than two players in the hand. Turn and river also gave good cards, so I and the other players probably thought that it was a matter of Full House winning, the question was whether it would be Aces full or Queens full and/or a split pot. Who's got an Ace? Who's got a Queen? It goes all the way to the showdown and the winning player shows his two pocket Aces... Four of a kind, Aces! On the flop! He played it beautifully, because he didn't just go all-in after the flop, neither did he slowplay or just bet the default amount. Milked 'em for almost all they were worth. Rakes in a $67000 pot, when each player started with $1000 in chips.

My good placement was celebrated with a Guinness Canned Draught, a (for poker players) permitted performance-enhancing substance, as shown by Iggy and his blog. It has a thick, creamy head and a deep black body. The beer, not Iggy or the blog.

It works in a strange way, because you have to ingest it after the fact for maximum effect, not before or during the event. Once again, I'm talking about the beer, not Iggy or his blog.