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Happy New Year!

To all my readers and fellow poker players, let me wish you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year. Though we've all had our ups and downs, our good fortune and our bad luck, we keep coming back for more no matter the odds! It's those things that set poker players and poker bloggers apart from the rest...for better or worse.

And speaking of poker, it looks like I'm back in business!

After a near three-month hiatus from the tables, I returned to poker last Friday evening.

Where? Party Poker.

Why? They gave me a free $75 to piss away as I saw fit.

What? $100 NL because I was sick of playing in the minors.

All in all, my game felt rusty but passably good. I ended up picking up a few bucks on Friday night after getting lucky a few times and pulling in a little profit on top of the impossible-to-clear $75 bonus.

I was playing short-stack poker for the most part. My strategy was to buy-in for $35 at a 6-max $100 NL table. If I dropped below $30, I'd re-buy back up to $35 if possible. And each time that I managed to build my stack up past the $50 mark, I quickly "went south" with my chips by leaving the table and buying in for $35 at a fresh table.

This strategy worked quite well. I got a lot of action because the big stacks simply wanted to pick me off. I just had to sit back, pick a hand, and commit all my chips pre-flop or on the flop. Although I got a little unlucky twice and found myself sitting with only $20 left in my Party account, I managed to turn things around pretty quickly.

I finished my first night back with $110 in my Party account.

Since then, I've returned to my Titan Poker and started frequenting the $100 6-max tables there. Although I've shown a small loss thus far, things are going as well as can be expected. I'm still trying to redefine my style of play and things are coming along nicely.

I'm currently reading and re-reading Professional No-Limit Hold'em like a madman, desperately trying to re-integrate the REM Process, Commitment Thresholds, and Stack-to-Pot Ratios back into my natural thought process at the poker table. Once things start to click again, it should be smooth sailing for me.

My immediate plan is to stick with the $100 NL at Titan Poker. I'll continue to buy-in for $50 until my bankroll clears the $2000 mark. Once I've hit the magic 20 buy-in threshold, I'll start buying in for the maximum and making the appropriate changes to my game to take full advantage of the larger stack size (see Fuel55's posts to see how creative you can be when playing with all barrels locked and loaded).

As for the amount of poker that I plan on playing, I'll try to aim for at least 6 table hours or 500 poker hands a week, whichever comes last. I'm sure there will be weeks when I play more and I'm fine with that. I'm not immune to the addictive qualities of playing winning poker and I'll ride any hot streaks into the ground whenever given the chance. Likewise, bad streaks will help me get some more time in with the many video games that I've got lined up.

Before I leave, I just want to thank my readers for helping Klopzi's Mediocre Poker continue to grow over the course of 2007. Although I left the poker tables for a while, I was pleased to see that my regulars readers stayed on to read anything and everything that I could post. Your loyalty and encouragement has not gone unnoticed and I truly appreciate the show of support. I hope to keep things more poker-related in the New Year even though I'll continue to balance poker and video games for the foreseeable future.

For those of you celebrating tonight, be safe and have fun!

Happy New Year everyone!

Keep reading "Happy New Year!"

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Greedy Gamer Updated

No time for a real post today but I did have a couple quick things to say.

First, I've updated the look and feel of The Greedy Gamer to more closely match that of Klopzi's Mediocre Poker. I'm really happy with what I've created here and I felt that The Greedy Gamer deserved similar treatment. So if you're into video games, please take a look at my other site and subscribe to that site's feed.

Secondly, I'll probably be heading over to a friend's tonight for a little Xbox 360 and probably some poker too. I've got that $75 worth of free money burning a hole in my pocket and I want to get back into the action. I still plan on taking my money to a $100 NL table and trying my best to double up and cash out.

And if things don't go as planned, I can always take the money over to Party Casino and put it all on black!

Have a great weekend!

Keep reading "Greedy Gamer Updated"

Presents and Poker

I hope everyone out there had a safe and happy Christmas. I had a couple good days off, though I find the holidays to be pretty hectic with two kids at home.

I did manage to squeeze in a little "me" time on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day but still no poker. One of the gifts my wife got me - Mass Effect - is a pretty addictive and engrossing role-playing game for the Xbox 360. Since trying it for the first time on Saturday, I've found myself thinking about playing Mass Effect more and more.

Regardless, the balancing act between poker and video games will begin in earnest quite soon. I might even play poker tomorrow night! After finding out that the Party Poker $75 bonus won't expire from my account until August 2008, I don't need to put off poker any longer. I was a little hesitant to claim my bonus for fear that the money would expire before I'd had the chance to put in any real time at the tables. But with an eight-month playing window, it's time to get crazy!

Although I was planning on starting off at the $25 NL tables at Party, I may just go ahead and play at the $100 NL tables. The $75 is free money and I'd rather not spend too much time playing at Party. Even if I spend only three hours a week playing at couple of $50 NL tables, my rake back at Titan Poker comes in at just over $50 a month. So, you see, the $75 bonus isn't all that much in the grand scheme of things. But free money is free money so I'll do my best to make good with it!

For those of you still on holiday, enjoy the time off! And for those of you working: pace yourselves! No point exerting yourselves while everyone else is happy and warm at home!

Keep reading "Presents and Poker"

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: Billionaires Club Casino"

Santa Came Early

Party Poker must have heard that I was planning on returning to poker. On Saturday, they sent me an e-mail telling me that they were awarding me $75 worth of bonus money to do with as I would. So I guess I'll be playing at Party!

I love it when Party Poker gives you the bonus money before you meet the clearing requirements. Since there's no way that I'll clear the 6000 hands required to keep the $75 they've given me, I'll basically just play poker and hope to make a little money using their staked funds. I figure $75 is enough for me to play a couple tables of short-stacked $25 NL. I'll be looking for good opportunities to get my money in and double up.

If I can turn the $75 into $150, I'll move up to the $50 tables until Party removes the $75 worth of bonus money from my account. If I'm really lucky, I'll have enough extra scratch to use over at Titan!

I'll keep it short today since it is Christmas Eve and I've got places to go and people to see.

Merry Christmas everyone!

PS: Santa came a little early for me this year and brought me my very own copy of Mass Effect! I'm also looking forward to playing that over the holidays whenever I get the chance!

Keep reading "Santa Came Early"

New Year, New Goals, New Outlook

Last night, I did a quick review of all the different poker rooms out there and realized that nothing much has changed since I stopped playing regular poker. Actually, that's not quite true. It now appears that Titan Poker (and the iPoker network) is now tied for third in traffic with Party Poker. So I guess I'll be playing at Titan Poker when I make my return due to the solid rakeback deal that I've got with them.

Now that I've decided to return to poker - not that I really left - I've been thinking about what goals I'd like to accomplish in 2008. I failed to meet most of the goals I set in 2007 but I'm hoping that next year proves different.

If I think about the amount of poker that I'll play in 2008, I need to be realistic. I've got two kids, a wife, a number of great Xbox 360 games that I'd like to play, and not a whole lot of free time. With all that in mind, I'm going to do my best to put in at least 3 hours a week of poker. As for actual "table hours" of poker, I'll have to see how many tables I can profitably play. Let's say that I can manage to play a couple tables at a time which is the most likely scenario if the past is any indicator. So we're looking at about 300 table hours of poker for the year.

I think that if I can manage to play at least 300 hours of poker, I'll be able to regain anything I might have lost over the past few months and, hopefully, build on my solid foundation of poker knowledge and experience. I would like to be a regular at the $100 NL hold'em tables by the end of 2008. If possible, I think it'd be fun to also try my hand at the $200 NL tables as well when I feel ready.

As for sit-n-gos and other forms of poker, I'll probably steer well clear unless I'm having a few drinks with friends over. Mr. V. is good for helping me pull out a few SNG wins and I doubt things have changed much since we last played together. Then again, playing some tipsy poker at the $10 NL tables might be good for a laugh as well.

I would also like to win a pot exceeding $300 at one point in the New Year as well. The largest pot I've won so far was around $220, but I think I could beat this at the $100 NL tables given a little time and a little luck. Ultimately, I'd like to be regularly winning pots exceeding $500 but that won't happen until I've really stepped up the stakes.

Normally, I'd also set some sort of financial goal as well. I won't do this for 2008. I'll just let my bankroll grow or shrink as much or as little as it likes. Currently, I'm sitting on about $1800 which is just about enough to play $100 NL. I'll be buying in short for the next little while so I'd be happy playing with far less than 18 buy-ins in my bankroll in any case. If I can hit the $3000 mark and if I feel good about my game, I may take a seat at the $200 NL tables and play some short-stacked poker. If I can acclimatize myself to the harder games bit by bit, I hope to speed up the learning process and really prepare myself both mentally and financially before it comes time to make the jump permanently.

2008 will be the year where I will take a few more chances with my bankroll and couple that with a more realistic outlook of what I can expect to get back from the game. Poker and I may have an on-again-off-again relationship but I believe we're both willing to work on things until a happy balance of family, life, video games, and poker can be achieved.

I look forward to sharing the knowledge I gain, the thrills of victory, and the agonies of defeat with all my readers. For better or worse, I'm here to stay. I just hope that I can make the ride a little interesting for all of us.

Keep reading "New Year, New Goals, New Outlook"

Maybe just a few hands?


The poker bug is starting to creep its way back into my conscious mind yet again. Thanks to the writings of Fuel55, Waffles, and others, I'm starting to remember why poker can be fun.

Right now, I'm spending my time reading Professional No-Limit Hold'em and trying to remember how to play poker again. I'll also brush up on my skills by reading the Miller's "7 Easy Steps to No-Limit Success" and "Building a No-Limit Starting Hand" articles. I'll also throw in some of Wes's videos and some IStrong videos when I'm ready to start hitting the tables again.

I've also considered looking back at some of my own posts to help regain the confidence and skills that I know I had at one point in time. I'm planning on making my comeback at the NL cash game tables as opposed to trying out SNGs again. Honestly, each time I've tried to stick with sit-n-gos, I've gotten frustrated by the games' variance and given up on poker. I'm just not built to play tournament poker, I guess.

Last night, I pulled my entire bankroll back into Moneybookers. In the next month or two, I'll need to decide when and where I'd like to make my mark again. I'll start off at the $10 NL tables again and move up to the $50 NL tables in the space of a week or two. Depending on my bankroll, I'll either stay at the $50 NL tables or start playing some short-stacked $100 NL. I'm interested to see how well I'd do against some of the better competition.

All things aside, my return to poker will depend greatly on my ability to squeeze both poker and video games into my free-time schedule. With Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, and The Orange Box on my video-game plate, there may not be much poker getting played in the near future. However, it only takes a good couple nights at the table to shift my focus squarely onto poker. It's funny how winning money does that, eh?

Keep reading "Maybe just a few hands?"

With Their Eyes All Aglow...

There's one thing that I dislike about the Christmas season: greed. Everywhere I go, I should see children laughing whilst greeting smile after smile from my fellow shoppers and merry-makers. Instead, I get a sixty-five year old grandmother clutching a Nintendo Wii in one hand, a embroidered sweater in the other, with a tin of Quality Streets chocolates held firmly by the rolls of her belly. Her belly did shake like a bowl full of jelly as she pushed her way in front of me at the cashier's line though the "Santa" imagery was lost on me at the time due to the heat and claustrophobic conditions in the department store.

What's wrong with people today? When I was a kid, my parents and Santa got my brother and I gifts. We didn't know what we were getting for Christmas since we never wrote letters to Santa. We never pawed through the Sears catalog looking for the various toys and knick-knacks that all the kids wanted at Christmas time. My brother and I simply got what we got and we were happy. In fact, we were ecstatic come Christmas because of the surprises that lay in each of the brightly coloured and finely wrapped gifts beneath the tree.

Nowadays, kids can be little shits about Christmas. When I hear an eight-year old kid yelling at his mom in Wal-mart that he wants the 80 GB Video iPod and not the "shitty" 4 GB iPod Nano, I can clearly see how our "buy it now" attitude as a society is corrupting our children.

And then you have the kids asking their parents for an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3! Are you fucking serious?! No offense to little kids but they must be out of their minds if they think that parents have that kind of money to spend on Christmas presents. Little brats that whine about "needing" a gaming console for Christmas don't deserve one! And if they have the audacity to ask for the premium consoles instead of settling for the gimmicky and usually much cheaper Nintendo Wii, parents should not cave and buy the kids what they want! Lumps of coal all 'round, I say!

When my kids undoubtedly tell me what they want for Christmas, my response will be the same as my father's: "I guess we'll have to see what Santa brings you on Christmas Day."

And if my boys ever asks me for a cell phone, laptop, or iPod, I'll just pull out the "remember-that-Christmas-is-about-celebrating-the-birth-of-Jesus-our-Saviour" card.

Keep reading "With Their Eyes All Aglow..."

Another Golden Ticket

Guess what I did this weekend? Ok, you got me - I did end up spending quite a bit of time playing video games. But hey, I'm a nerd and that's to be expected. But the surprising thing is that I actually did a little poker-related reading.

I ended up replacing some of my usual bathroom reading with Ed Miller's series of articles entitled "7 Easy Steps to No-Limit Hold'em Success". This series of articles was written to help players new to no-limit hold'em gain quick proficiency in an otherwise tricky game. I've read these 7 steps to success a number of times now and have shown some good results. If your no-limit game was ever in need of a quick refresher course, might I suggest reading and adhering to the following seven steps:


  1. Step 1: Play Tight

  2. Step 2: Don't Play Out of Position

  3. Step 3: Don't Overcommit in Small Pots

  4. Step 4: Big Pots for Big Hands

  5. Step 5: Pull the Trigger

  6. Step 6: Adjust To Your Opponents

  7. Step 7: Keep Your Head in the Game
In a way, I hate the fact that I'm reminding so many poker players out there of Miller's good advice. These steps are so easy to follow that they can make anyone a winning no-limit hold'em player in no time. Use this advice wisely at the tables and feel free to buy me as many "thank you" gifts as you like!

Anyway, after a weekend filled with video games and poker-related reading, I fell ill yesterday and spent the day resting. Actually, resting may be too strong a word to use when you've got 15-month old son and a 3-month old son. I remember laying down in a pile of pillows as my 15 month old boy climbed over top of me in his quest to pull on the cords plugged into the wall socket. I managed to thwart his attempts, though he did succeed in spitting in my mouth and kneeing me in the groin. That's my boy!

Keep reading "Another Golden Ticket"

Beat No-Limit Hold'em Cash Games

Just because I'm not playing poker doesn't mean that I'm not keeping up on my required reading. For this post, I thought I'd give anyone interested in playing NL hold'em cash games a huge edge over his or her competition. Thanks to Ed Miller, anyone with a little patience and a little drive can make money playing NL hold'em.

Ed Miller has provided a couple of outstanding resources for current and future NL hold'em players.

First, go out and buy Professional No-Limit Hold'em. Why? It is the greatest book ever written on the subject of NL hold'em. Agree with me or not, this book is the real deal.

Professional No-Limit Hold'em will teach you the basics of pot odds, implied odds, stack-to-pot ratio (SPR), and commitment thresholds. What's that? You've never heard of SPR or commitment thresholds. Trust me, neither have most of your opponents. The more of an edge you have over your opponents in the ways of experience and knowledge, the more money you will make playing no-limit hold'em.



Ok, so now you've bought Miller's book and read it a few times over, and are still looking to kick your game up a notch. Miller's got you covered with his excellent Building a No-Limit Hold’em Starting Hand Chart series of posts over at Noted Poker Authority. This series of articles tackles the seemingly impossible task of describing which hands you should be playing based on your position, the action to you, and the table's dynamics.

Before you scoff and think that Miller's gone off the deep end, remember that this is the same guy who revolutionized limit poker with Small Stakes Hold 'em. Read each of the posts listed below, apply them to your NL game, and make money! Why am I sharing this information if it's so invaluable? That's what I do! I did it for sit-n-gos with SAGE and now I'm doing it with NL hold'em.

In any case, here is a list of the Miller's must-read articles:
When I finally make my return to the tables, I promise you that I will be reading Miller's book and the articles above ad nauseum. And for what it's worth, I've already read Professional No-Limit Hold'em a few times with terrific results! I don't think there's any better feeling in poker than putting your entire stack on the line and feeling 100% confident that you've made the right decision! Of course, the next best feeling is when you get to rake in all your chips and your opponents' after taking down a monster pot.

Good luck out there! Now go make some money!

Keep reading "Beat No-Limit Hold'em Cash Games"

No Poker, No Vegas

I have to admit that I'm still not missing poker all that much. It's been what...about two months since I last took a seat at the virtual felt? When will I return to the tables again? I'm not quite sure.

I'm having fun now and maybe that's preventing me from playing poker. I create all the content for this site and The Greedy Gamer. Both sites are doing much better than I could have expected, but I'm most surprised with how well The Greedy Gamer's taken off.

It's a little surprising how much I enjoy providing content for my game site. I've always loved video games and I think that really helps me pump out the posts. It also helps that the game industry is thriving right now and there's a lot to write about. Even if I haven't managed to play anything recently, there's always new games coming out that I can discuss or older games that I can review.

Poker, on the other hand, is much harder to write about when you're not putting in the time at the tables. I can't discuss poker strategy because my skills (regrettably downgraded from skillz) have grown rusty. I could report on poker industry news but I find that extremely dull. Reporting tournament results would kill me just as surely as it has others except for the chosen few.

Until I start playing again, this site will remain a place where I can discuss more personal matters in my life and post any number of funny things I come across on the Internet. I'll always try to keep things interesting for those of you who are still regularly visiting the site (which I appreciate immensely).

So what will it take to get me back into poker? How about...


  1. UIGEA is reversed and Americans are allowed to gamble anywhere they want.
  2. Neteller comes back to the online gambling market and re-assumes its place atop the payment processor pyramid - after making amends to all of its customers in the form of free money.
  3. The poker scene is flooded by new, inexperienced players willing to give me their money.
  4. Poker rooms and online casinos start offering real bonuses and incentives to play. For what it's worth, giving me a $50 bonus for playing 5000 raked hands isn't incentive - it's a minimum wage job at best.
That's all I have to say for today. By the way, I'm enjoying the Vegas trip reports. I may not ever visit Vegas myself so I'll just have to live vicariously through the other bloggers out there.

Keep reading "No Poker, No Vegas"

Slow Day, Slow Jerkin'


I'm right back to getting very little downtime again. Kids keep you on your toes. Still no poker, but I've got a couple interesting things for you to read and watch.

First off, if you're into video games and you've been wondering whether or not you should purchase Assassin's Creed, I've written up my first impressions of the game. You can find the mini-review over at The Greedy Gamer.

In other news, I found this hilarious video called Slow Jerkin'. It's laugh out loud funny!



Good stuff! Ok, later...

Keep reading "Slow Day, Slow Jerkin'"

Brutal Vegas-Related Video Game Trailer

Why is it that main stream media has such a hard time using poker lingo in ads? It's been about four years since the poker boom hit, so you'd think they'd have it down pat now. Well, you'd be wrong...

Here's a recent ad for Ubisoft's upcoming Rainbow Six Vegas 2. The game is about an anti-terrorist unit in Vegas or something, though you can't really tell from the ad below. I'm not sure what they're trying to sell here: my guess is either gambling addiction or hookers.

As a poker player, I find the following ad ridiculous. As a video game player, I find the following ad embarrassing. And as someone who's been watching television ads and video game trailers for years, I can only stop and wonder how this ad made it out to the public.



So, what did you think of the tag-line to that whole sloppy mess? In case you missed it, the entire ad is summed up in the following eight words:
"If you go all-in, stand on six."

Awful, awful, awful...

Keep reading "Brutal Vegas-Related Video Game Trailer"

Cover Me!

I've always been a fan of music; admittedly, I tend to lean more towards the fluffy pop stuff that gets played on the radio every hour for three or four weeks straight. However, I've always been a big fan of covers - especially if they add something to song in the way of unique presentation or a clever/catchy musical arrangement. It can be great when an artist moves in and steal another artist's song. In some cases, the covers end up sounding as good or better than the original.

Here's a list of some recent covers that I like..

Song: My Humps
Original Recording By: Black Eyed Peas
Cover By: Alanis Morissette

The Black Eyed Peas write some catchy songs. But sometimes I feel like something a little more soothing. Take, for example, the song My Humps. The original version is catchy but Fergie creeps me out. Call me crazy but former meth addicts are a hard sell.




My Humps was recently re-recorded by Alanis. I'm pretty sure this was just a joke but I actually prefer this version of the song. Sure, the lyrics are the same but the new musical arrangement and Alanis' voice add add a certain "je ne sais quoi" to the whole affair.



--

Song: Crazy
Original Recording By: Seal
Cover By: Alanis Morissette

I was a huge fan of Seal's hit song Crazy when it first came out in the nineties. Looking at the video below, I'm not sure if he looks scarier now or scarier back then...kinda looks like a reggae/biker/pirate version of Prince...



Once again, Alanis steps in to remake a "classic". I'm not sure if Alanis' version is better than Seal's but it's up there. Then again, maybe I'm just biased towards Canadian singers?



--

Song: Umbrella
Original Recording By: Rihanna
Cover by: Marié Digby

Although I'd usually find myself humming Rihanna's Umbrella hours after hearing it in the car, I wasn't a huge fan of the song. The whole song seems really reworked and manufactured and I really hated the way Rihanna sang the word "umbrella" as "um-ber-ella". It contains all the elements of a hit song but Rihanna's delivery is pretty standard fare for any of the radio station "divas" you hear nowadays.



Enter Internet-phenom Marié Digby who used Rihanna's hit song to propel her own musical career. Although Marié made an early career doing covers of others' songs on YouTube, things really took off when she sang her own version of Umbrella. When I first heard this version on the radio, I figured it was Rihanna singing an acoustic version of her own song. Also notice that Ms. Digby sings the word "umbrella" properly - although in her original version she pronounced it "um-bella". Jebus, how hard is it to say umbrella? I just said it five times fast and I still got it right...



--

Song: Baby Got Back
Original Recording By: Sir Mix-A-Lot
Cover By: Jonathan Coulton

One last cover for today. No one can beat the sheer appeal and nostalgic value of Sir Mix-A-Lot's masterpiece.



However, Jonathan Coulton's version is so well done that you can't help but smile. If you'll recall, Mr. Coulton is the same singer/song writer who created "Still Alive" for the video game Portal.



--

Have a great weekend everyone!

And to all the bloggers hitting Vegas this weekend, have fun but be safe. The world needs poker bloggers more than ever nowadays and it'd be a shame to have anything un-towards happen to any of you. And though I can't join you, I leave you with this:


Keep reading "Cover Me!"

Christmas TV

With the Christmas (or "Holiday") season starting to pick up, our televisions are once again flooded with all number of Christmas (or "Holiday") shows. Each and every year, we get the oldies but goodies: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and, my favourite, How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Along with these proven winning television shows comes a whole slew of new "crap". These shows are the brain child of advertising firms and toy-makers desperately vying for every last penny of your Christmas budget. I mean - it's only a matter of time before we see a "A Very Bratz Christmas" where a number of young, preteen girls are forced to dress up like whores to save Christmas.

Or how about a "A Pokemon Chanukah: Eight Days in the Battle Arena"? Nothing better than sitting down with the family and watching Pikachu dish out the pain to Frumpasaur, Dollashitzu, or Titty-Litty Crapkan.

Oh hey! What about a "A Batman Festivus" where the Joker steals the Festivus pole, forcing Batman to duke it out with Harley Quinn and The Riddler in order to save the holidays? Actually, that would be pretty cool...

In any case, a new Christmas show has popped up this year and it's great: Shrek The Halls! My wife and I watched it and it's cute, funny, and totally safe for kids. Hold on, you say - just how funny could a kids Christmas show actually be?

Let me set up the clip below. In the show, many of Shrek's more famous characters are taking turns giving their own interpretations of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". Although they're all pretty funny, the one by Puss n' Boots is laugh out loud, pee-your-pants funny! Don't believe me? Watch for yourself:



Well, I've got my Christmas spirit now - how about you?

Keep reading "Christmas TV"

How does that one go again?

You ever get a song stuck in your head? Sure you have! I still remember waking up in Grade 7 with U2's "Angel of Harlem" playing on my clock-radio. I must have hummed that damned song over and over for a good twelve hours straight. In any case, I thought I'd fill you in on three songs that have been popping up in my head for the past few weeks. And no worries: Scatman is not on the list...though now that I think about it...

This first song is Fidelity by Regina Spektor. The chorus is the part that gets me and will most likely stick with you well after the song's over. I've listed to some of Regina's other works and they don't really do it for me. I first heard this song while driving home from my wife's parents' place on a Sunday afternoon last summer. My wife hated the song, I liked it, and it's been banging around my head ever since.



A couple months ago, I heard a song on the radio. It was a catchy little number and I found myself humming the tune from time to time. What made this song an obsession for me was the fact that I had no idea what the song was called, nor did I know the artist who performed the song. I knew only one thing: the artist was female and the song featured little kids chanting/singing/rhyming in the background when the song moved from chorus to the next verse.

And then one night, while returning from the grocery store, the song played on the radio! Although the station failed to mention the artist's name after the song had finished, I managed to pick up one line in the song:
I'm sorry, so sorry, I'm sorry, it's like this...
The song is called "They" and it was written/performed by Welsh singer Jem. Some of Jem's other songs are catchy as well, though I haven't really looked into her discography in any detail.


And lastly, a little known song that appears at the end of a little video game called Portal has taken over my every waking thought. I won't give you the details surrounding how, when or why this song is played in the game Portal: just play the game! I will say that the song was written by Jonathan Coulton and it is called "Still Alive". The vocals in this version are by GLaDOS, a "female" computer AI with a quirky sense of humour and a bit of a temper...



Well, that's it. Enjoy your descent into insanity as these songs bounce around your head. If anything, I can guarantee that Still Alive will stay with you quite a while - especially if you've played Portal.

And if none of these songs do it for you, there's always...Scatman!



Have a good one!

Keep reading "How does that one go again?"

Tis The Season

So - how was your weekend? I spent the bulk of mine hanging out with my wife and kids and playing a little Half-Life 2 and Portal. Overall, quite a nice weekend but not as relaxing as I'd hoped - though probably as relaxing as I'll get given my current familial circumstances. And then, last night, we got nailed by a snow storm. Don't you just love winter?

In the past week or so, I can only think of one day where we haven't had any snow. We had a green Christmas last year but I suspect it'll be a white one this time around. I believe they're forecasting this year's Winter to be the harshest that we'll see in our lifetimes. I'm not sure if that applies only to Canadians only or if the rest of the northern hemisphere is in for a brutal winter too...?

In any case, in honour of the sleet and snow falling outside as I write, I thought I'd put up a few videos that really capture the season...







And finally, it wouldn't be winter without a little ice skating, right?


Ahhh winter! Nice to have you back...

Keep reading "Tis The Season"

Good Cop, Bad Cop...

Well, Half-Life 2 and The Orange Box have got me completely hooked right now. As tempting as it is to come back and grind out the bucks playing poker, I've just learned how to hit Combine soldiers in the head with a crowbar. Blood and exploding skulls aside, it's great family fun!

Speaking of family and kids, I have another video for you. And as much as Waffles wishes to see something about "2 Girls, 1 Cup", the thought of anyone watching or showing others anything that offensive most likely makes Baby Jebus cry.

So let's keep things clean and get back to a little Will Ferrell vs. Pearl in this video called "Good Cop, Baby Cop":



"Hi Hell. I've got someone coming to you..."

Classic!

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your families, booze, and gambling...and stay away from the pudding...trust me...

Keep reading "Good Cop, Bad Cop..."

Portal is Awesome!

If you've ever considered picking up your very own Xbox 360, now's the time to do it! See - they have this game called Portal that comes bundled with Half-Life 2: The Orange Box. And you know what? It's awesome!

The following is an excerpt from The Greedy Gamer:


I don't have much to say today except: I'm lovin' the Portal!
  • 5:45 PM: Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is sitting in my mailbox when I arrive home.

  • 6:15 PM: We have dinner plans with family. I'm forced to leave my house, my Xbox 360, and Portal...

  • 9:00 PM: Back from dinner! Wait, I'm off to the store to pick up baby-related stuff...

  • 9:30 PM: My wife and I need to take care of some domestic chores, such as cleaning and making a fresh batch of baby bottles.

  • 10:00 PM: My youngest is due to eat shortly: there's very little point in loading up The Orange Box right now. I have a bowl of ice cream with my wife and we watch 'Til Death.

  • 10:30 PM: My son is screaming and all outward appearances tell me that a hitherto unknown self-destruct button has been inadvertently pushed and my son is preparing to level a city block in great fiery explosion.

  • 10:35 PM: I was a little hasty in my "self-destruct-sequence" theory. It appears that my son was only mildly hungry and slightly wet - quite surprising given the ferocity of his earlier screams. I will have my son's doctor attempt to adjust either the sensitivity or volume of my son's screaming module. I'd do it myself but have no idea to its whereabouts.

  • 11:15 PM: Miracle of miracles: my son finished eating and is now fast asleep in his crib! Do I dare play a little Portal?

  • 11:20 PM: After double-dog-daring myself to play Portal, I set about jumping and teleporting about the Aperture Science Lab! My Xbox 360 is humming along happily. I'm quite sure that I'm doing a little dance as I play the game perched precariously on the edge of my seat!
  • 11:35 PM: A friend, Senators Rule, sends me a message when he sees that I'm playing Portal. I send a friendly yet dismissive reply and get back to my portal-ing frenzy.
  • 12:00 AM: I've just finished off level 12 and toy with the idea of staying up to finish off the last seven levels of Portal.
  • 12:01 AM: I decide against pressing my luck: my son will no doubt be up soon and I'm exhausted.
  • 12:55 AM: Still lying awake in bed listening to the sporadic sounds coming from my youngest son's room, all the while thinking of Portal. Unbeknownst to me at the the time, I would continue to think and dream about Portal until I got up early this morning. What a great game!

So...any guesses as to what I'll be doing tonight?

Keep reading "Portal is Awesome!"

A Sleepless Integration

Guess what time I got up this morning? 3:15 AM. Surprisingly enough, the sun wasn't up yet. Luckily, my youngest son was up so he kept me company for the next little while. I talked, he screamed...good times!

As I was going through my daily blog read, I happened upon Matt Maroon's latest article "Why I Quit Playing Poker For A Living, Pt. 1".

Matt really touches on many of the feelings that I'm experiencing right now in regards to poker. It's a very hard game to play unless you're 100% committed to playing your very best - or 100% committed to losing your entire bankroll.

Over the past couple years, I've had to learn to integrate the new aspects of my life into the poker-fold. A wife, kids, a new house, and a new job all require that learned poker playing and study habits be re-learned prior to hitting the tables again.

I'm currently having a difficult time finding my equilibrium again. I'm so tired all the time that I don't have much of a desire to play poker. Throw in the fact that I'm afraid of losing my bankroll at the tables and we have ourselves a pretty deadly combination.

I know I'm simply recapping what I've said here many times in the past couple months, but I feel that I should try to discuss poker from time to time on this blog. I've actually considered changing my blog title to "Klopzi's Mediocre Life", though I feel that this is an inadvertent smack in the face to my wife and kids. They make my life anything but mediocre!

Anyway, go check out Matt's article today.

And in case you were wondering, I finished The Darkness (click here if you'd like to buy my copy via eBay) for the Xbox 360 and am now looking forward to Half-Life 2: The Orange Box. It should be arriving in the mail any day now...hopefully tonight! If that happens to be the case, I may get drunk tonight while playing Portal like a crazy bastard!

Of course, I may also spend the night taking care of my kids instead. I leave it in their hands...

Keep reading "A Sleepless Integration"

The Landlord


I'm a big Will Ferrell fan and I ran across a video featuring Ferrell and his landlord (landlady?) Pearl. You may or may not find this funny. I'd guess it depends on your views surrounding child exploitation, landlords, Will Ferrell, and getting your drink on...

And so, I present to you The Landlord...



Hey - I thought that was funny! Check out these outtakes if you feel like laughing a little more:


Hope everyone had a great long weekend! Now get back to work!

Keep reading "The Landlord"

Braving the Storm

Last night was a real exercise in frustration as I threw myself an impromptu Black Thursday evening of shopping. I'd somehow managed to work myself up into a buying frenzy yesterday (read it firsthand in this post over at The Greedy Gamer). It was an itch that needed scratching...

My goals for the evening were pretty simple:


  1. Drive to my local Blockbuster despite the snow storm pounding Ottawa.

  2. Buy a brand-spanking new copy of Half-Life 2: The Orange Box using Blockbuster store credit.

  3. Stop at Tim Horton's on the way home to buy a donut.

  4. Get home and eat my delicious donut while trying out Portal (game-play video at the end of this post, if you're interested).

Easy right? Easy. Right?!

At 9:00 PM, I jump into my little Hyundai Accent (car shopping on a budget leaves very few options) and skid my way out of the driveway. As I start to make my way to Blockbuster, my car starts to twist and turn and I find myself skidding like a bastard all over the road. I check my speed - 30 km/h - and can only wonder why Koreans would want to build a car that weighs just shy of 100 lbs. and then market this car to Canadians. Although I could have easily given up and returned to the warmth and safety of my house, I decided to press on through the blizzard.

I skidded into Blockbuster's parking lot twenty minutes later. For a man pushing a deuce and a half, I jumped out of the car like a fat ninja and slunk into the store. I quickly and quietly made my way to the back of the store, so as to avoid the pointless and awkward chit-chat with bored store employees, and started browsing the shelf of new Xbox 360 games. A couple minutes later, I realized that not a single copy of The Orange Box was on display.

Off to the used games shelf. Orange Box? Nothing. They had fifteen copies of some Sonic the Hedgehog game (awful!) and countless copies of The Outfit (crap!), yet the game I wanted was nowhere to be found.

With no other alternatives, I was forced to ask the only Blockbuster employee in sight about my game.

"Do you have any copies of Half-Life 2: The Orange Box?"

"No.", he replied.

"Could you call another store and ask them if they have any copies?"

I could tell by the look on his face that I was pushing my luck. How dare I force him to work on such a snowy evening!

One phone call and five minutes later, the clerk hung up the phone and gave me the bad news. "Sorry dude - they're sold out too."

Now I was desperate. If I couldn't have The Orange Box, perhaps I could walk away with Mass Effect? "I notice that you're selling Mass Effect for $69.99. Every other store in Ottawa sells the game for $59.99. Any chance of getting a price match?"

He quickly typed some information into his computer terminal, nodded his head ever so slightly and then answered - "No. The computer says it's $69.99. Do you want to buy a copy of The Outfit instead? They're on sale for, like, ten bucks."

I stumbled out of the store, hopes crushed, dreams gone. There would be no Half-Life 2 for me this evening. The only comfort I would have on this cold evening would be the love of my wife, the screams of my youngest son, and the delicious custard filling of a Boston Cream donut.

After fifteen more minutes of driving perpendicular to the flow of traffic, I slid into the drive-thru of the local Tim Horton's. I opened my window and leaned towards the speaker just as a voice came over the speaker.

"Good evening, welcome to Tim Horton's. How may I help you?"

"Hi. I'll take a Boston Cream donut please."

"Will that be all?", the speaker asked.

"Yep.", I answered.

"Your total comes to 73 cents - please drive through."

I pulled up to the window where a Japanese woman in her mid-forties waited for me. "We're all out of Boston Cream tonight. Can I get you something else?"

"Sure, I'll take a cheese tea biscuit."

The drive-thru lady rushed off to grab my biscuit but returned scant seconds later. "We're all ouf of tea biscuits tonight. Can I get you something else?"

"Hmmm. I guess I'll take a cheese croissant."

First no Half-Life 2. And now, no Boston Cream donut or tea biscuit! What a great night I was having! Imagine my lack of surprise when the Tim Horton's cashier returned empty-handed yet again: "We're all out of cheese croissants tonight. Can I get you something else?"

"What do you have?". I was getting a little frustrated but I've got a pretty long fuse when it comes to getting annoyed by incompetents.

"Have you tried our new Lemon Crinkle Raspberry-Filled donut?", she asked.

"No, I haven't.", I replied. "I'll take one."

Cashier leaves and returns. "I'm sorry sir. We just sold the last one. Can I get you something else?"

Fucking hilarious...

"An sesame seed bagel with light cream cheese?".

"I'm sorry sir, we're out of sesame seed bagels."

I drove off, my spirit crushed from disapointment after disapointment, skidding my crappy little car all the way home.

When I finally walked through the front door, game-less and donut-less, I made my way up to the bedroom where my wife was sitting on the bed with my son in her lap. He'd just been fed and was fast asleep. I took my place beside them on the bed and my wife and I watched TV for next couple hours in absolute peace and quiet as the snow continued to fall outside.

I guess it wasn't such a bad night after all...

--

Here's the Portal trailer and game-play footage I mentioned earlier.



Buy Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, which includes the ground-breaking and highly-acclaimed game Portal, right here.

Keep reading "Braving the Storm"

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, Thanksgiving Day, eh? You Americans really know how to do things: you celebrate Thanksgiving on a Thursday and take the day off on Friday to go shopping. Well, while you were all snug in your beds this morning and dreaming of turkey and stuffing, I was wide awake and feeding formula to a screaming baby! And tomorrow morning, while you're all snug in your beds dreaming of some Black Friday shopping, I'll be up early feeding formula to a screaming baby!

You'll have to excuse my mood today: I'm exhausted. Also, today was the second straight day of taking a crowded bus to work as it snowed like a mother fucker outside. And both days, the bus driver told everyone to keep moving to the back of the bus and I always seemed to end up crammed in between three guys, forcing me to spend the next 40 minutes getting horribly "balled". It was like a club sandwich thing and I was the meat.

When I saw the old sandwich routine getting set up again this morning, I frantically barrelled my way to the back of the bus in a desperate attempt to execute a commuters' cock-block. I'm happy to say that my mad bus dash worked and I was happily wedged between a post and some old guy's briefcase for the rest of this morning's commute. I do feel a little bad for the two guys, three girls, that one old woman, and the laptop that I knocked aside on my way to the back of the bus. I guess the threat of the old 360 degrees of cock 'n balls is enough to turn anyone from a mild-mannered consultant into a wrecking ball of fury.

Anywya, sleep well my American readers! Enjoy your time off! Enjoy the turkey! Enjoy the poker if you're still into that! Enjoy your video games if that's how you roll! Most of all, enjoy a great holiday weekend with family, football, and cocktails.

And if you happen to come across a cheap copy of Mass Effect and are feeling generous, feel free to ship it my way!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep reading "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Testing...

I'm going to steal another page out of Fuel55's and Waffles' book yet again...





Growing up, my family had an Easy Rider wall-sized poster in the basement. It was there when we moved in...it was still there when we moved out 17 years later...

Keep reading "Testing..."

A Better Life

As my wife and I sat in the kitchen, drinking coffee while speaking to my dad and step-mother on Saturday, my mind started wandering to poker. You see, we were discussing some of the work that has to be done around the house in the next couple years. My dad explained that it would be a lot of work but easily do-able, my wife claimed that I wouldn't do the labour myself (and she's right), and I just tried to put a dollar figure to the fixes, touch-ups, and major landscaping that needs to be finished.

It's at times like these that I start to think about poker. How can I afford to pay $5000 for new roof, $5000 for landscaping in the backyard, and $2000 to have all our window frames sanded and repainted? Poker, of course.

Later that night, as I sat in the washroom looking for something to read, I picked up my well-worn copy of Professional No-Limit Hold'em. Perhaps I'd been away from the tables long enough: maybe my time for rebirth at the tables was at hand?

I read a couple pages, hoping that a little light reading might start to awaken the poker beast. Nothing...

I started to wonder why I didn't want to continue reading the book. I like poker: I've proven it time and time again in the past. I remember wanting to play so badly that I could taste it. I remember the exultation of seeing the perfect flop connect with my cards and all but guarantee me a solid payday. So why can't I get back into poker now when me and my family could most use the extra cash?

It all comes down to the money. If I feel that I have to play poker in order to earn some money, I start down a bad path. I look at the amount of money I could expect to earn hourly while playing $50 NL or $100 NL. I then look at the number of hours that I have at my disposal. And that's when my grandiose plans for gambling for a better life fall apart.

The reality is that making $10K at $4/hr (or $8/hr if multi-tabling) is not feasible given my time constraints. Putting in 2500 table hours, or even 1250 table hours of $100 NL, over the next year is not feasible. With two kids, I see my free time per week averaging perhaps 6 hours a week over the next 12 months.

Of course, the fact that the US dollar is crap right now really doesn't help matters. For every US dollar that I make, my take home is probably about 80 cents on the dollar when you thrown in the various fees that banks charge when converting currency.

Until I start seeing the "fun" in poker again, I'm not sure when I'll next play. I guess the first step is getting more than 30 minutes of peace from screaming babies. From there, it's a matter of reviewing what's really important to me. It's funny how I'm managing to play video games right now, but can't seem to log a single minute of poker.

Then again, all my current feelings toward poker might change if I could just win a single sit-n-go. Losing has a way of making my poker game feel absolutely worthless and pointless...

Keep reading "A Better Life"

Another Waffles Time Waster...

Thanks to Waffles, I have something to write about yet again without having to resort to playing poker or gambling in my "free time".



And hey, while I'm at it, why not pimp my other blog? Here are the readability "stats" for The Greedy Gamer:


Now I wonder: do these results mean that I write well? Or is it just a ploy for Cash Advance Loans to get free advertising?

Whatever...have a great weekend!

Keep reading "Another Waffles Time Waster..."

I've been Tagged!

Iamhoff tagged me and I guess I should follow the rules.

  1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...
  2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...
  4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog...

And so, without further ado...

Seven random things about me:

  1. When I sit down to eat dinner, I'll always eat all the vegetables first. I'll then eat all the meat next and I'll finish up by eating all the potatoes, rice, or any other "filler" type substance. I never ever deviate from this course of action unless I'm at a restaurant.
  2. I get very upset if food is juicy, messy, or touches my chin.
  3. I'm afraid of the dark, especially basements...
  4. I hate going to bed and would rather keep playing until I collapse on the spot from exhaustion.
  5. I only brushed my teeth once a day for the first 28 years of my life. It wasn't until I started living with my wife that I started brushing in the morning AND at night. I also started flossing.
  6. I think sandwiches are for suckers. That's why I'm not a big fan of Subway. Don't try and sell me a $10 sub and tell me that I should be full after eating it! A foot-long sub is just a glorified sandwich and I need more than god damned sandwich at dinner time. And who the hell pays $10 for a sandwich anyway! What a rip-off...
  7. I think cell phones are useless and gay. I also think that people who shun new technology are useless and gay.

There are not many unknowns when it comes to me. Honestly, everything that I've written on this blog for the past couple years is all there is. I'm married to my beautiful wife, have two awesome and screamy kids, and we live in an expensive house in the suburbs. I play poker. I play video games. I like the occasional drink. I'm pretty boring, I guess.

Ok, so now I'm supposed to tag 7 people. Whatever...let's go with:

Amatay
Michael
L'Artiste
Venom_G
Ed
Doubleuwhy
sag

This is gonna be the first and last time I tag anyone else. I not a big fan of chain letters and that type of stuff but I'll go along with it this time. If I inadvertently pissed anyone off by tagging them, I apologize...

Keep reading "I've been Tagged!"

Most impressive...

Watching Daniel Negreanu or Gus Hansen run over a final table is pretty damn impressive.

And there was that one time that I ran $550 up to $950 in the space of 30 minutes at the blackjack tables at AceClub Casino.

But nothing beats what you're about to witness after the jump...

Sure, video games are for kids. I make a hell of a lot more money playing poker than I do video games and I'm sure that this applies to 99.9% of all gamers out there. But there's got be some way to make money when you've got the video game chops on display in the video below.

If you've ever played Guitar Hero (1, 2 , or 3), you'll appreciate the sheer difficulty of what you are about to watch.




Damn...that was impressive! Almost as impressive as the Guitar Hero session in this next video:


Keep reading "Most impressive..."