Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For those that say Poker has jumped the shark...

From Yahoo, the 12th most popular 'how-to' search:

Hot How-To's - Yahoo! Buzz Log

1. How to Tie a Tie
2. How to Write a Resume
3. How to Draw
4. How to Lose Weight
5. How to Get Pregnant
6. How to Kiss
7. How to Draw Anime
8. How to Gain Weight
9. How to Make Money
10. How to Play Guitar
11. How to Write a Bibliography
12. How to Play Poker
13. How to Write a Cover Letter
14. How to Dance
15. How to Start a Business
16. How to Levitate
17. How to Build a Deck
18. How to Make Coffee
19. How to Write a Book
20. How to Flirt

Let's see... more people are need to learn how to play poker than need to learn how to write cover letters, dance, or... levitate?

Makes me feel good that after all the books, TV shows, and BLOGS on the subject, there's still a demand for information.

Here fishy, fishy, fish...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I wasn't there...

... but once again, yours truly has obtained some remarkable security film showing what happened at the last blogger gathering in Vegas when the bartender told Al they ran out of Soco...

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476



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Yep, the first poker site to give marketing through bloggers a shot in a big way is ready to do it again, and they're upping the ante. The prizes are even better than last year! Which should tell everyone, including those sites considering ad placements with bloggers, that 'Stars obviously saw some great value in "going big" with the bloggers.

I haven't played in any of the freerolls given by other sites since 'Stars last blogger tournament, but I'm always going to support this one just because they were the first to take the leap in a big way. Plus, it doesn't hurt that they employ one of the best storytellers around.

Oh yeah, if you haven't played poker before, it's ok - we don't bite (hard), and it's free! If you're a poker blogger and play regularly, then I sincerely hope you have something else to do that day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This is it!

Well, I was a Taylor fan way back in the beginning. But, I’m over it. Watching a white guy with no rhythm try to dance his way past his shortcomings was funny in a William Hung kind of way.

Once I got the McPheever, there was no other for me!



Yeah, yeah, between her and Daughtry, Daughtry got shafted. If you’re judging based on her singing performance that week. But, if you’re judging based on how freaking hot she is, he got what he deserved.

Yeah, baby!

And that poor Elliot? Soulful, grooving sounds can only take you so far in this business, baby. At a certain point, you just can’t overcome the fact that you like a leprechaun. Maybe if you’d have sung “Danny Boy” for me and my blessed Irish mother, I’d feel different. I don’t know where it would have fit into the pre-set format of the show, but how cool would it have been if you got 15 seconds into some piece-o-crap song from 1969 that nobody ever of, and you made the band stop playing and launched into “Danny Boy” a capella?

I never mentioned it? Tough, you should have read my mind. Now, I’m all about Kat.

Ah, Katherine, sweet Katherine. As a wee lad growing up the 70’s (yes, I know you weren’t born yet, it doesn’t matter) and becoming aware of changes in my body, Charlie’s Angels was what we all made sure we watched. Everyone I knew loved Farrah; I loved Jaclyn Smith. Dear Katherine, you bear an uncanny resemblance to a young Jaclyn, the woman that inspired my ascendancy into adolescence.

[Sigh]


So yeah, Katherine could come out drunk and sing “There’s No Business Like Show Business” in her best Ethel Merman voice while wearing a sackcloth, and I’d still vote for her.

Just look at how she's looking at me in this picture...

Monday, May 22, 2006

As I spent the last

As I spent the last few days once again catching up on the blogosphere through bloglines, I was horrified to read about this. Fortunately, I haven’t had an issue with this mostly because I’m pretty careful about posting identifying stuff. Although, when I lived where I used to live there were a lot of people that might have been able to make an educated guess since it was such a small town. Now that I live with about a million other people, not so much.

Then, I sent BuccaneerMike an e-mail… from the bigslicknut yahoo account.

Ooops!

No indication he received it. Hoping he just saw the e-mail address and deleted it thinking it was porn or Viagra spam, without opening it.

Then, I wake up this morning and Mrs. Big tells me, “Your daughter has decided she wants a website.”

So, I spent the day thinking about it and figured, ok, I can set up a blog for her that doesn’t have e-mail links and I can have the comments sent to my e-mail for moderation before posting. Security is controllable. She knows not to post identifying information, like where she goes to school or where she lives.

So, we started setting it up. We got to the part of the profile that asked for a display name. I explained, “You don’t want to use your real name because the bad people will pretend to know you. For instance I use ‘BSN’ as my online name.”

“For BigSlickNuts?”

WTF???!!!????!!!!

“Well, you use it everywhere and I see it on the computer screen all the time!”

Grrr…. So much for anonymity. And, yeah, a little embarrassing for my daughter to know I call myself BigSlickNuts.

Anyway, like I said, she can’t get e-mail from the blog and I’m moderating comments, so if you’re a pervert then don’t even bother. Consider her website to be the cyber-equivalent of an airport security check-point: If you even joke about it, you will be cavity-searched with the shotgun residing 5 feet from my desk. Then, you’ll be reported to the police.

Everyone else, here’s Butterfly.

PS: If you have any suggestions to further secure communications without cutting her off completely from her friends being able to leave comments, please let me know.

I want...

... to find the person that wrote this and choke them with a snot-rag.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

WTF? II



Fan of yours?

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Funny: The company that said I was overqualified actually called and scheduled an interview for Friday evening. The interviewers were two people that had worked their way up in the company, no fancy degrees or pedigrees.

Best interviewers I've run into so far.

I'm finding a pattern in my job search - the higher up the interviewer is in an organization, the worse he/she is at interviewing. Usually because they like to hear themselves talk.

Anyway, it was nice to actually be asked real interview questions and have to think rather than just be asked to recite what's already on my resume. Being treated with respect helped, too.

Of course, I haven't lied that much since I was dating.

Shut up. Go without a paycheck for 9 months and tell me you won't tell them what they want to hear.

"You know, this is the type of job that's always made me happy..."

"Money isn't an issue now..."

Nope, didn't lie about qualifications, education, or experience. But, thoughts and feelings?

Oh hell yes. Just like dating.

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Poker goes in fits and starts. Still playing too many drawing hands like the donkey I am. Even though the bettor is giving you the right drawing odds, it's not always right to chase. Case in point, the Stars Turbos. Limping with suited connectors in late position with 4 others? Ok. Hit the flop with a 4-flush? The bettors are giving you 3 to 1 or 4 to 1? Yeah, mathematically, you need to call.

Missed the turn and have to call another 150-200? Shit.

Now, you're shortstacked.

"My name is BSN and I'm a donkey."

So, I actually ran my numbers today. My ROI is way down, but still "good", mostly because I've taken so much out and spent it on stuff that needed spending, that now I can't blow it and go into the red. I'll always show a black number because of this. My ITM and win rate hasn't changed much either. But, what cashes I get are at the low-limits, and I get creamed as soon as I step back up. Consequently, my hourly rate sucks right now.

Glub, glub, my good man, glub, glub.

--------------

That's a Good Thing: Well, looks like one of my bullets has fired. When we purchased our former home, we also purchased a lot behind it so we'd have a large backyard. Dropped a big wooden playset on it, and my kids were very popular in the neighborhood. I miss it.

Anyway, the buyers of our house couldn't afford it. This past week, Mrs. Big's brother-in-law offered to buy it to help us out. He's made his money investing in real estate, so it was just a small deal for him and he said he'd be willing to do it knowing he'd break even. A load off my mind.

I call my realtor and let her know. "Well, I've got a couple that's been looking at lots in the neighborhood and they liked yours."

'K? You're supposed to tell us these things...

I told her to just send the contract to the brother-in-law. She calls her buyers and lo and behold, here comes another full-price offer!

Now, brother-in-law is pissed. Turns out, he knew it was a good deal and he'd make the 20-25% I figured he'd make by the end of the year.

And these magic buyers that just appeared out of thin air? If I find out they're friends or family of the agent, y'all may be having a fundraiser for my bail money. I've been suspicious that she's been waiting us out to see how low we'd go on our asking price. Her share of the commission on the lot will be tiny so there's no incentive to move it. The timing and the way the second offer appeared just "feels" like someone was waiting us out. We started out very high, but are now 20% below the top price in our neighborhood. It SHOULD have sold about $5000 ago.

We've had more than our share of bad agents over the years. No offense to those of you in real estate, but your profession attracts a special breed of scumbag. Not you, of course. The lady at the next desk.

Regardless, getting that sold pays a huge chunk of our remaining bills and takes a load off my mind. Also, I just found out my final bullet is worth more than I realized so if I break down and fire it I'm pretty much debt-free with a tiny bit of money in the bank for the first time since I gave Mrs. Big an engagement ring.

Note to the single guys out there: Never buy an engagement ring and a pick-up truck in the same afternoon. Not only isn't it a smart financial move, your fiancee can't help but compare prices.

Oh, one last funny item: Mrs. Big was checking on some retirement accounts and found out I have a pension coming to me when I'm 65 from a job I had when I was college. The company is the same one I interviewed with last night.

Yep, when I'm 65, I'm gonna be living large on my $29.99 per month pension. Mrs. Big and I will be eating the senior special at the Waffle House on the first of every month! Suck it, bitches!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

WTF?

So, I show up for this interview a few hours ago and the security guard tells me, "She's out today, and the other person that could do it is sick."

F-u-u-u-u-u-u-ck me!

Then, the 'other person' walks in the door. Turns out, this is the person that actually called and scheduled the appointment. She can do the interview; after all, she's the secretary.

"Do you have a resume?"

Of course.

Reads for precisely 13 seconds. I know. I counted. Shut up.

"You're over-qualified."

When did you decide that? When you read my resume before sending me the e-mail directing me to the online assessment I took last week? When you read my resume before calling me to schedule the interview? Or was it when I showed up in a suit, carrying a resume, because nobody willing to do this job would own a suit or have a resume? Why am I here? You called me. YOU CALLED ME! Did you just want to see if I had huge junk? Did you just want to put me in the embarassing position of groveling for a job that can't support a family? Do you get off making people jump through your hoops before you crush them, you sadistic....

What I actually said was, "Yes, I am, but...[35 second sound bite explaining career changes, lifestyle changes, priorities, and job security].

"Well, they're just about to extend an offer to someone, but I'll try to get them to bring you in later today or tomorrow."

WTF? Three minutes? THREE MINUTES? I got dressed up for THAT? Now I know why the women I dated were always disappointed...

Yes, I worked for this company 15 years ago. Yes, it was this bad back then. No, I didn't treat job candidates this way when I was hiring, even for the lowest paid positions in the company.

Soon to come: "The Hiring Managers Guide to Real-World Recruiting: Take Your Behavioral Interview And Shove It". Chapter 1: Remember the Golden Rule.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Story of my effin life...

Enjoying a nice little $1 MTT with 612 of my buddies over at Pokerstars and tooling along fat, dumb, and happy when I go bust in back to back hands while holding AA and KK, respectively.

So, it's been about 6 weeks or so since this shit started, and I'm just about over it. You may have noticed that my posting frequency has gone down?

I got nothing else to post about, dammit.

This run also coincided with the start of taking some prescription diet pills. While they do elevate moods, I seriously doubt they have anything to do with this. However, I stopped taking them on Monday so if I suddenly return to my winning ways I'm throwing the rest of the fuckers down the toilet.

By the way, I'm down 41 lbs. ;-)

So, the smartest damn thing I did was pull most of my money out when this run started. Been living off it, basically, so there's only a couple hundred left to work with if I ever get things working again. But, there's gas in the car, the kids get to go to dance class this summer, and daddy's got a new pair of shoes!

Seriously - I bought a new pair of running shoes. Kinda hard to stay healthy walking in deck shoes.

Bragging-on-da-kid time: Ok, now that the non-breeders have moved on to the next blog on their bloglines account... the eldest biggette got her test results back for the gifted program, and they were... well... stunning. Profoundly stunning. I'm no dog in the IQ department, but I have to admit being a little intimidated and jealous when I saw that score. But, it's already translating into good things. Now that we've moved to a real city, she has opportunities that just didn't exist in our little town. It looks like we get to choose one of the nearby gifted magnet schools for next year rather than the school we're zoned for (which also allows us to purchase a home (when I get a job) anywhere in the county rather than being sure we stay in a 'good' school zone). She also just received a scholarship for a marine science camp this summer (of course, part of that scholarship is because we're officially POOR now. :-( )

Job crap-ola: Two first interviews for "professional-level" jobs that promised call-backs by this week. Still waiting, and yes, I followed up, and no, they are unresponsive. Same old, same old. Two very interested recruiters for bank jobs that I'm vastly overqualified for (read: not "professional-level"), one of which I did all through college 15 years ago and can do in my sleep, as I often did back in those days. Oh well, right now any job with benefits is a keeper. Don't have enough left to make COBRA payments much longer.

The definition of insanity: Despite it all, Mrs. Big and I have maintained perfect credit through all of this. A little help from the folks, a little savings of our own, some timely poker wins, and the sale of our house have got us this far. We have exactly two more bullets left to play. They are substantial bullets, but one will be tough to fire and the other is the last bullet you fire in this situation before considering a 'final solution'. Anyway, we've been working with our creditors through all of this to keep the payments manageable when one of them suddenly closes our account in the middle of the latest conversation.

Mind you, never been late, and we initiated the dialogue.

Now, I don't have too much of a problem with closing the account - we weren't charging anything, but it was nice to have a couple thousand available in case of a real emergency. But, they won't work with us on the payment.

"But, we don't have jobs."

"You've been making your payments, you'll find a way."

Ah, mistake #1: Paying your bills. Apparently, you're not worth working with until they figure you're so far behind you're going to default.

"I can't make any more payments at this level until I get a job, so please tell me what the hardship program options are."

"We can't put you into a hardship program until you have income."

"But, if I had an income, I wouldn't NEED a hardship program."

So, apparently I'm supposed to go 30-60-90 days late, get written off, and have a judgement against me so I have to declare bankruptcy.

Yeah, that's a better strategy. That's the way to get your money.

I can pay some now... you can still charge me a fair interest rate... and I'll move back up to a full payment when a job comes through... and then you'll be paid in full... because you know I've always paid and have no history as a deadbeat...

OR

You can get in line at bankruptcy court and wind up with bupkis.

Stupid Fuckers. No wonder people don't pay their bills.

"You can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin it only once."
-- Amarillo Slim

Monday, May 15, 2006

Funny

Hope this works...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Book Pimping

I've probably mentioned him before during other reviews of my favorite authors, but Jim Swain does a great job with his Tony Valentine series. The first five are:
Funny Money: A Mystery Featuring Tony Valentine
Funny Money: A Mystery Featuring Tony Valentine


Grift Sense: A Tony Valentine Novel
Grift Sense: A Tony Valentine Novel


Sucker Bet
Sucker Bet


Loaded Dice: A Tony Valentine Novel
Loaded Dice: A Tony Valentine Novel


Mr. Lucky: A Novel of High Stakes
Mr. Lucky: A Novel of High Stakes



He also has two novels coming out within a month of each other:

Deadman's Poker
Deadman's Poker


Deadman's Bluff
Deadman's Bluff

Swain is an expert on casino cheats, and the Valentine character is the hero that sees things other people can't see and hears things other people can't hear. Each mystery is built around some casino being ripped off and hiring Valentine to figure out how it happened and recover the money. Unlike a lot of series built around a central character, though, the relationships between Valentine and the people around him mature and change through time just as in real-life, making it much easier to relate to the characters.

It sounds like the next two novels are built around poker, but the previous novels involve most of the other pit games. Poker was worked into Mr. Lucky (2005) as one of many games that were cheated by the antagonist, and now it appears that Swain may be following the market with his latest releases.

Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Note: I have no relationship with Mr. Swain and the link above is affiliate-free. I just like the damn books!

6/6/06 Update: Who am I kidding? I just added affiliate links. Buy the books through me - if I'm lucky, I make a whopping $.30 per book.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday stuff

Played a little poker this weekend. Up and down. The ups came when I played low, the downs came when I played high.

Oh well...

I did spot on leak I make on the bubble, though, so it made for a satisfying weekend knowing I have something I can focus on for improvement. I've been too loose with my calls on the button. Probably because alot of the better players are very loose with their raises. But, just because I've got a coin-flip, there are times when I shouldn't be CALLING knowing I am, at best, a coin flip.

Think 5-5 or 6-6. Almost always a coin flip AT BEST, and many times completely dead to two outs. Many times, I don't want to CALL off all my chips where I am 50-50 at best. It's a donkey move.

Now, being the raiser, on the bubble, is another matter. If you're first-in and have a pair, you're almost always right to raise and take that folding equity to the bank. But calling... well, no, there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into consideration, table and chip position among them.

So, yeah, something to work on.

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I added a Gabbly Chat module to the sidebar, so now y'all can chat right on this page. Let me know what you think.

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Down 8 lbs last week, 38 total. Report over here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Still hanging around...

Took a couple more days off from poker this week. Dipped my toes back in last night, going 1 for 2 in SNGs. But, the motivation isn’t there right now.

Got a call Wednesday from the company I wrote about a few weeks ago. They wanted to do a phone interview, so we scheduled it for Thursday. I cranked up my research to re-familiarize myself with the details and realized they were still in deep ca-ca financially. Makes my desire to telecommute much clearer. No point moving 2000 miles if I’ll spend the next 3 years waiting for the shoe to drop on my head. I can only move there for a top offer, and even then I’d probably not move my family for a year. They’ve been through enough and need some stability right now. Anyway, I was just as clear with the hiring manager about my desires, without shutting out a move completely, and challenged his cost-of-living figures with my own data. So, we’ll see if I get invited back for the onsite interview. In the end, it will be the top managers in the company that will decide about work-life arrangements because a large part of the job is supporting them with data, charts, and other clerical crap that can be avoided with proper use of their networking and intranet tools. But, yeah, telling a C-level executive to go find his data at f:\funkyservername\marketing\research\thesamedatayouaskedforlastmonth.xls generally isn’t a career-enhancing move.

The weight loss (oh, who are we kidding, it’s FAT-LOSS) continues to go well. I passed the 10% milestone earlier this week. The next milestone will come in 2 or 3 weeks (hopefully), and it will give me about 299 reasons to celebrate.

Here’s hoping I get some poker-ific (gad, did I really write that?) motivation so I can get back to writing about what this blog was intended.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

McPheever

I don’t care how bad that first song was….

The next Mrs. Big Katherine spent the whole second song on her knees…. Like I’ve dreamt for so many weeks… and the song wasn’t too bad either!

[sigh]
Since starting back with my $200 BR, here's the results in the order they occurred:

3 -- ok, that was cool
1 -- now, that's what I'm talking about
2 -- good 'nuff
3 -- 4 in a row!
2 -- Man, these things are soft!
4 -- uh-oh
4 -- UH-oh
4 -- UH-OH!

Yep, three bubbles in a row. Sigh. Oh well, it was nice to feel like I might not have forgotten how to play this game for a little while, anyway. :-)