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Poker, Beer, and a Technical Question

I played a little poker on the weekend. It felt a little strange at first but I was back into the swing of it in no time. And I was actually up 20 BBs in a little less than 15 minutes. I'll admit that I was playing at the $10 NLHE tables but that's all PokerTime had available at the time given my paltry bankroll at that site. Still, it was fun being able to outplay my opponents on many of the hands that I played. I started to remember why I liked poker!

It's with that attitude that I'll be hitting the tables tonight. Cash games, a few sit-n-gos, and some Omaha will all be on the menu as I celebrate on the eve of Canada Day.

I also have a question for those of you into poker training videos (Stoxpoker, etc.). Do any of these sites allow videos to be downloaded and played on the Microsoft Zune? I only ask because the Zune has all that DRM crap that can help to protect the intellectual property of these poker training sites. If I could get to the point where I could watch a couple poker videos on the way to and from work, I might just be able to make another solid run at poker.

If I do happen to get back into poker in a serious way, I'll have just one goal in mind: make enough money to pay for repairs around the house. Why is it that everything always breaks at the same time? Currently, we need a new roof, a new garage door, a new garage door opener, and all of our windows need to be stripped and painted. I don't know how much all that will cost but I'm guessing it's a lot more than I'll make playing 15 minutes of $10 NLHE every week.

This post is a little disorganized but I was just stopping in to let everyone know that I've started to think about poker again. The bad beats have been forgotten. My horrible play is now a distant memory and will only serve to further improve my poker game. And the allure of easy money and fish at the tables has got me wondering if I've got what it takes to make a little extra coin again.

In other news, my current weight loss stands at 12 lbs. My BMI is still at a relatively unhealthy 31.4. I'll get there though...

Ok, that's it for now. I'm pretty excited about tonight. Poker and beer: it should be fun!

And if anyone out there does know anything about the training videos and a portable means of watching those videos (excluding using a laptop), please let me know via comment or e-mail. I'd really appreciate any techical advice on this matter.

Keep reading "Poker, Beer, and a Technical Question"

Still Nerding It Up

Tonight I pick up the beer that I'll be drinking next Monday. What's happening next Monday? Poker! I may not be able to stomach the game sober right now so I'll partake of some liquid courage prior to hitting the tables. Will this hurt my results? Probably not. I'm playing terribly right now anyway; I doubt a few drinks will be my downfall.

In the meantime, I've been busy playing and writing about role-playing games on my other site - The Greedy Gamer. I've been playing Eternal Sonata every night for the past two weeks. I've also been writing a guide to next-gen RPGs. If you're interested, check out the guide using the links below:

In other news, you may notice a few advertisement posts pop up later today or tonight. I've got some more games to buy and, frankly, I need the money since my poker winnings are not all that terrific.

One last thing: check out RakeTheRake and their new PokerStars deal! Pretty sweet! Finally we get some rakeback on the most popular online poker site!

I won't be able to write tomorrow but I'll be back on Monday as I prepare to take on the online gaming world once again.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Keep reading "Still Nerding It Up"

My Game

I'll be playing poker next Monday. There will be cocktails. There will be some NLHE. There will be some PLO. And as always, a good session (and some lucky breaks) may be all it takes to get me excited about poker again. I'm kind of easy that way.

But I will need to brush up on my game over the next few days. Why? I think the video after the jump best describes the current state of my poker game after a couple months of neglect.

Keep reading "My Game"

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: www.onlinegambling7.com"

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: Online Gambling Database"

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: Play Real Poker Online"

A Smashing Weekend

Another week and still no poker played by me. A friend of mine told me today that he finally hit up the $50 NLHE 6-max tables over the weekend and had a great time. He then told me that he decided to play a quick SNG at Party Poker to earn the single Party Point that he needed for some random reward; he took the SNG down for quick $40 profit. It's nice to hear of other people continuing to encounter great deals of success with online gambling as I continue to flounder.

Then again, I guess I need to actually play poker if I ever hope to start winning again. I guess I'm still on tilt. I'm just not ready to accept that there is a lot of variance in poker. There's variance in sit-n-gos; there's variance in NLHE; there's variance in PLO. I hate variance! Variance makes me doubt my poker ability. Variance makes me wonder if I'll ever play a winning session of poker again. Variance makes me wonder if I should even bother with poker when I'll rarely manage more than 1000 hands of poker in a single month.

Unfortunately, I can't play 6 tables of poker at once. A 50,000 hand break-even or losing stretch could last 3-4 years given the number of hands I play in a typical session. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to apply myself to a game that will undoubtedly break me before I break it. And I worry that I'll never be able to compete with the younger, single males and females out there willing and able to devote every spare second of their lives to poker.

That's probably just my recent poker-funk talking. I love the challenge of poker. I like matching wits with the witless and matching smarts with the clueless. But I don't like the true nature of poker: poker is about the grind. Want to get good at poker? Put in the hours. Want to win money at poker? Put in the hours. Want to get rich playing poker? Put in many more hours than the next guy and pray that you have that natural spark and indifference to short-term results that marks you as one of the elite.

Besides my lack of poker on the weekend, I had a little adventure at around 3 AM on Saturday morning. My wife and I were startled awake by a large crashing, banging, and roaring noise filling the house. My youngest son instantly starting crying in his room. My wife went to check on him while I took a quick look out of the front and back windows of our bedroom to see if I could spot anything or anyone.

With our youngest asleep again, my wife and I made our way downstairs. Is there anything more terrifying than walking through the darkness in your house and not knowing what's waiting for you in the dark? With my heartbeat racing, we hit the main floor of the house and started our investigation. My wife boldly walked around in the dark while I scrambled to turn on every single damned light in the fucking place. There's no way I walk around in the dark after getting jerked awake by what sounded like a car smashing into the house (or Freddy Krueger and Jason smashing their way into the house via the first-story windows).

After looking about for a bit, neither my wife nor I found anything. As we started to wander back upstairs, we spotted the source of the heart-stopping noise that we'd heard just minutes ago: our over-sized 6' x 4' mirror had fallen off the wall in our dining room. The amount of broken glass and general devastation was mind boggling!

As we returned to bed, my wife eventually fell asleep. I found myself unable to drift off quite so easily and turned on the TV to help calm my nerves. I kept wondering what I would have done had it not been something as simple as a mirror falling off the wall. And then I started wondering what I would do if something or someone started opening the door to our bedroom as I lay there. Would the adrenaline coursing through my body help or hinder my desperate fight to save my wife and kids?

Let me tell you: thinking of that stuff just as you're trying to sleep is not a good idea. We have some good home security right now with fast police and security team responses and a large wailing siren that would awaken and alert most of our neighbours in the case of any unauthorized access to our house. We also live in a nice, quiet suburb filled with friendly neighbours and young kids everywhere you look. However, I think I may invest in some booby-traps, a baseball bat, and some Matrix-style kung-fu lessons just in case.

Keep reading "A Smashing Weekend"

How 'bout some poker already?!

It looks like I'm not the only one out here thinking that Omaha is the next big thing. I knew I wasn't the only person hoping to find some more easy money online! If I can just muster up enough effort to read a couple books and log a few weeks of Omaha poker online, I'll be set to rebuild my bankroll four cards at a time.

The only thing standing in the way of me and untold riches is my blasted video game hobby/addiction. It really doesn't help that I've put so much work into building up my video game blog to the point that it receives more hits than my poker site. There seem to be many more readers interested in video games than poker at the moment; however, that can all change at any point in time.

As I mentioned a few posts back, I've really gotten back into role-playing video games. I'm a sucker for epic stories and pretty graphics. If you're at all interested, check out some of these posts from my other site, The Greedy Gamer:

I won't have much time to do anything this weekend. I'll see if I can pull myself away from video games long enough to beef up on my PLO strategy.


By the way, I just noticed that I've had a crazy amount of hits in the past two days! It looks like people are going crazy for my SAGE strategy post. I'm glad to see that people are making good use of the resources available to them on the Internet. It's good to know that I've done my part in making poker all that much harder for me to beat.


Have a great weekend!

Keep reading "How 'bout some poker already?!"


After having read Dr. Pauly's PLO-related post, I'm starting to wonder if there's going to be a noticeable shift towards PLO and Omaha in general over the next little while.

I think there are a whole lot of poker players out there who've played as high as they're gonna play in Texas Hold'em and might be looking for a change of pace.

Just wondering if there might be a chance to make some money at PLO by getting in at the ground floor before a possible explosion in popularity à la Texas Hold'em.

I guess I'm just hoping for the prospect of easy money and tons of fish in the online poker world again.

Keep reading "PLO?"

I'm Still Full...

I had a great Father's Day weekend. I got a lot of sleep, a lot of food, watched some TV and a movie, and even spent some time with my Xbox 360. Unfortunately, I didn't spend any time gambling or playing poker. It's not my fault though...

I was all set to gamble it up on InterCasino this weekend. But after installing the necessary software, I tried to login to my account. I was promptly told that my player account was locked. Crap! I immediately contacted support to see if anything could be done to get me on the tables and gambling ASAP. Alas, I have heard nothing yet.

I really wish there was a way that I could make money playing video games. I always feel that I'm wasting my time with games when I know that I could be making money with poker. That feeling of waste got me back on the tables in December of last year. And I'm sure that I'd still be playing poker now had I not hit a long stretch of bad play and bad luck. If I can manage to put together a decent win at InterCasino, I'm sure I could regain some of that fire in my belly that I had earlier this year.

Speaking of my belly, this weekend was not a good one for the old diet. It seems that stuffing myself full of snack mix, cheese, and bacon is not the key to weight-loss success. I'm not sure how accurate my scale was this morning but...


That's right: I somehow gained 8 pounds over the weekend. Pretty crazy, huh? Hopefully my weight will come down a little in the next few days...I hope. I was also forced to cancel out the $10 bonus from InterCasino until I've heard back from customer support.

Father's Day weekend was a ton of fun even though I clearly took two steps backwards in terms of weight loss and bankroll gain.

Have a good one! I'm off to drink some more water and down another handful of All-Bran (a.k.a. the colon-blow special).

Keep reading "I'm Still Full..."

Games and Gambling: Father's Day Weekend

You undoubtedly noticed the three separate advertisement posts that I put up earlier today. It seems that all the talk of gambling has got me in the "mood", so to speak. I should also thank InterCasino for my current condition. Why? I received yet another piece of Air Mail in my mailbox last night.

I love air mail! I especially love it when any new air mail contains letters that tell me that I've been awarded a random cash bonus at some online poker room or online casino. This time around, InterCasino has given me $10 to blow on their newest "Street Fighter"-themed slot machine. I have no illusions about turning my $10 into untold riches. But if I can win enough to allow me play blackjack, I may be able to clear the bonus requirements and cash out enough money to buy myself more video games and beer. Actually, I guess I'd need to buy some sort of diet beer now that I'm trying to lose the beer gut.

I'll definitely spend a little time gambling this weekend. You know, I sometimes wish that there was another online game that was beatable and allowed me to win money besides poker (not that I'm "beating" the game now). I'd try backgammon except for the fact that:

  1. I don't know how to play backgammon.
  2. It's way too easy for a backgammon site to create unbeatable bots.
Anyone out there know of any other possibilities of profit for a down-on-his-luck poker enthusiast?

Ok, that's all for me today! It's getting pretty close to the time when I'll be able to kick back with a drink or two, hit the slots at InterCasino, and maybe get a little J-RPG action too! Just in case I happen to hit the booze and/or food a little too hard this weekend, let's post my current weight loss for posterity's sake:

Have a great weekend - especially all you fathers out there!

Keep reading "Games and Gambling: Father's Day Weekend"

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I think the desire to win money is practically universal. Is there anything quite as thrilling as laying down a big bet and having the numbers, dice, or cards come up in your favour? I still remember playing blackjack at my bachelor party. On my very last hand of the night, I had $80 in chips remaining. With all my friends egging me on, I placed a bet of $40. I was dealt a K-3 with the dealer showing a 7. Fueled by the cheers of friends and some liquid courage, I doubled-down and hit the miracle 8 to win $160!

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: GamingDirectory.co.uk"

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There are many times that I find myself in a poker funk. It's nice to depend on skill to win me a few bucks here and there. But let's be honest: poker can be an annoying hobby or a low-paying second job. Sometimes I like to just sit back, take a gamble, and hope to make a big score. In my mind, Slots is undoubtedly the most mindless activity one can play at a casino, online or otherwise. Zero skill, all luck, and blessedly mindless.

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: OnlineCasinosDir.com"

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I remember getting into online blackjack a couple years ago. I took some money and deposited at one of the bigger Casinos Online. I then took my money to a blackjack table and started playing. Using a cheat sheet to guide my hand in deciding upon the best action to take, I started winning. I started betting $2 a hand. Then it was $5. Soon, I found myself putting down $20 a hand. And you know what? I kept winning. I turned a $300 deposit into $1000 in the space of an hour. Now that was a good time!

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Keep reading "Sponsored By: AllWinners Online Casino Guide"

Father's Day!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Why? Father's Day! Last year, I didn't quite appreciate how blessed an occasion it is for fathers around the world. It's been a long year. I love my kids to death and my wife definitely does the bulk of the work around house. Still, it'll be nice to enjoy a day that celebrates me and my role as a dad.

I'd like to say that my weekend involves plans to play poker. I'm just not sure how willing I'll be to spend hours hunched over a laptop and lose money. Instead, I'll be focusing on some of my other vices: drinks, food, and video games. And if the kids cooperate, I may get to sleep-in on Saturday morning; this, in and of itself, is cause for much excitement on my part.

On the "gift" front, my wife asked me if I wanted a big screen TV (42" Sony 1080p LCD). Although a new TV sounds good in theory, it's really not practical to spend that much money on something that we wouldn't use very often. I never thought I'd see the day when I didn't want an HDTV-enabled television in the house. The honest truth is that we don't watch much TV. And the TV we do watch doesn't need to be in high-def.

My wife was also considering buying me Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. A great gift, to be sure; however, it's not something that I'd want her buying for full price. I guess I've just gotten extremely cheap now that I'm not playing quite as much poker. Unless I manage to pull together some big wins, I've only got $2K in my bankroll to cover any and all hobby-related expenses for the rest of my life. Although gifts technically fall outside the scope of bankrolled hobbies, I've gotten used to being pretty selective.

Besides not playing poker, I've been playing Eternal Sonata for the Xbox 360. It's a Japanese-flavoured RPG about Frederic Chopin (the pianist) journeying through a vivid dream world filled with loyal friends, beautiful vistas, and dangerous enemies. Here's Eternal Sonata's entry from Wikipedia:

The game is centered around the classical pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 39. The story envisions a fictional world dreamed by Chopin during his last hours that is influenced by Chopin's life and music, and in which he himself is a playable character, among others. The game features a selection of Chopin's compositions played by pianist Stanislav Bunin, though most of the in-game music was composed by Motoi Sakuraba. The game's battle system centers around musical elements and character-unique special attacks. Light and darkness plays a part in the appearance and abilities of enemies on the battlefield, as well as the types of magic that can be cast.
The game is pretty damned strange. But I've always liked that about J-RPGs. In fact, I spent a good ten minutes last night watching a cutscene that used picture slides and text to describe Chopin's friendship with the romance novelist George Sand (nom de plume of female writer Aurore Dupin) in early 19th France. I've never seen anything so bizarre in a video game in my entire life. It was pretty gay but also pretty cool to see the game's developers put their matzah balls on the line with such a bizarre interlude in the game.

If I do end up hitting the exercise bike this weekend, I will play a little $50 NLHE or $100 NLHE to pass the time. Who knows - maybe a hot streak is right around the corner? Other than that, it'll be a weekend of food and fun with my wife and kids. I'll be putting up a couple advertising posts tomorrow; I'm looking to pick up a copy of Lost Odyssey for myself and I no longer play enough poker to count on my rakeback income to pay for it. I'll be back on Monday to talk about my weekend and some of the poker that I may or may not have played.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! For everyone else, have a great weekend!



Keep reading "Father's Day!"

It's Getting Worse

It seems that my video game addiction has gotten worse in light of my recent crap-assery at the poker tables.

I'm now making the jump from "gateway" first-person shooter games to the much more hardcore (and nerdy) J-RPGs.

Who knows what's coming up next...? Let's just hope it's not World of Warcraft...

Keep reading "It's Getting Worse"

Pocket Eights at Party Poker

Friday night. 11:35 PM. I got the chance to play some poker. My goal? To do whatever I could before my $100 Party bonus expires at midnight.

I decided to sit at a $400 NLHE 6-max table.

Raised my AQ first hand from the BB when both the button and SB limped. I took it down.

Second hand, I raised my KQs from the SB when the button limped. I took it down.

My third hand, I made it 4BB to go on the button with my 88. SB insta-jammed on me for another $50. I called and lost to his 99.

I then lost the rest of my money in a three-way pot with my 98s all-in pre-flop. I only had $20 left at that point and had to make a move. I figured 98s would play well in a multi-way pot. I hit two-pair on the flop (yay!) but lost to a rivered straight from one of the other guys in the pot (yuck!).

Luckily the money I lost was never technically mine. It was fun to play for higher stakes again but not so much so that I'd do it with my actual bankroll.

I'm in poker-limbo right now. Not quite sure what I want to play or what I want to do. I've been here many times before. I get afraid to lose money. I get bored of poker. More specifically, I get bored of playing losing poker. It'll change though - it always does.

I'd opt to jump down in stakes and work on my game. But I'd get too bored and wouldn't have the motivation to really work on my game. I just don't have the time or desire to rework my game from scratch again. I've done it so many times that the thought of playing $25 NLHE makes me want to give up poker.

Before I go, a quick look at my ongoing weight loss/bankroll project:


I'm not sure how much poker I'll playing this week. It's stinkin' hot outside and I'm just too exhausted to contemplate gambling for sums of money large enough to hold my attention.

Keep reading "Pocket Eights at Party Poker"

Time to Gamble

My wife wanted me to hit the exercise bike last night. But I was too tired. The only thing worse than exercising while tired is exercising and gambling while tired. But I can assure you, my readers, that I will be gambling tomorrow night. My $100 bonus at Party expires on Saturday and I've barely put a dent in it. I think I'll go with a PLO, PLO8, and NLHE cocktail and see what damage I can do to my bonus money.

If I can't seem to get anything going with the poker, I may choose to follow the blackjack route. If I could double my $100 bonus to $200, I'd have a sufficient bankroll to troll around the low stakes PLO8 tables as I continue to work on my "game". Along that line of thought, I now realize that AQT4 is not a great PLO8 hand to play from middle position by a fish like me. If the Ace had been suited then the hand looks a little better. I'm sure someone like Shamus would have known how to play the hand properly.

In other news, I'm almost finished playing Bully: Scholarship Edition. Great game if you like Grand Theft Auto but don't feel the need to shoot prostitutes or visit strip clubs. Works for me. It's actually a nice little game. It's still pretty violent and I wouldn't want to see any young teens play the game but it's fine for adults and older teens who have shown themselves to be kind and respectful to friends, family, and everyone else out there.

I think I'll give Half-Life 2 a shot after finishing Bully. It's one of those games that I never played on the PC. I've got it for my Xbox 360 and it's been collecting dust since last Fall.

Before I go, time for a weight/bankroll update:


I'm happy with the weight loss so far. The first week of a diet is always a good one in terms of weight loss. I'm hoping to see the bankroll start growing about the same time that the weight loss slows to a crawl.

So to recap today's post: I'm losing weight, I'm playing video games, and I'm planning on gambling it up like a mo-fo tomorrow night to avoid wasting my Party bonus.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Time to Gamble"

Omaha, Air Mail, and an Exercise Bike

So I gave PLO8 (pot-limit Omaha 8 or better) a try yesterday while sweating my ass off on my exercise bike. The verdict? I'm glad I was playing with bonus money.


When I got home from work yesterday, I checked the mail. I found a letter delivered via air mail and addressed to me. As I've mentioned before, online poker rooms seem to be one of the few companies that will send spam to its customers using air mail. When I opened the letter up at home, I was pleased to find that Mansion Poker had gone and given me a free $15 bonus with no strings attached.

Later that evening, I jumped on my exercise bike, started pedaling, and fired up Mansion Poker. I quickly found a seat at a full-ring $25 PLO8 game. Although I'd never played PL08, I was mercifully spared from doing too much due to the poor quality of my starting hands. Being an uber-fish, I was primarily looking for hands containing A-2 or a suited A-3 hand. Everything else got mucked.

Over the next 45 minutes, I managed to split three pots by taking the high in each case. I was playing out of the blinds in those three hands and managed to pick up some timely full houses. I was just a little pissed that I wasn't being dealt any hands with good low possibilities. I guess scooping a pot just wasn't in the cards for me.

In any case, just as I was getting ready to leave the table, I got stuck overplaying a hand. I raised a couple limpers with my Ad-4c-Qc-Ts (trash hand?) and saw the flop heads-up in position. The flop came down Ac-Tc-6d. I bet pot and got called. The turn came the Qs and I ended up getting all in with my top-two with redraws to the second-nut flush and a couple boats. The river was a blank and my opponent scooped with his broadway straight.

I'm sure I misplayed the hand. I'm not sure how but I'll figure it out after I've read more about O/8 strategy.

I think the most important things to keep in mind are:
  • I had fun.
  • Although I lost money, it was bonus money. Maybe I should feel bad but I don't.
  • I got some good exercise in and lost weight.
I should hit the exercise bike tonight...but I won't. I didn't sleep very much last night so I'm going to relax and play video games instead. I'm also well ahead of my weight loss goal for the week as well. I'm down 5 lbs. since my weigh-in on Sunday night and I'm only scheduled to lose 1.7 lbs/week.

Now - where did I put my copy of Winning Omaha/8 Poker?

Keep reading "Omaha, Air Mail, and an Exercise Bike"

A Time to Lose

I normally avoid putting up any personal details about my life. Although my real-life self is not much different than my online persona, I prefer to keep my family and my home life as private as possible. Today, however, I'm going to deviate a little from my standard operating procedure because a quasi-new life goal will impact my life as a poker player as well.

A couple years ago, I announced that I was intending on dropping some weight. Like many poker bloggers, I suffer from a healthy appetite and a sedentary lifestyle. I wish I could use the "big boned" defense but we all know that there is no such thing. Instead, poutine and ice cream combined forces in a quick and brutal fight against my bathroom scale.

Luckily, all is not lost. Back in January 2006, I had 55 pounds to lose to get myself down to a 25 BMI. Unfortunately, my wife's pregnancy, the stress of house shopping, and the birth of my first son all occurred in 2006 and put any hopes of weight loss on hold. It's hard to worry about eating healthy when you've got a lot on your plate...especially when that plate is filled with delicious fries, cheese curds, and gravy.

In January 2007, I resolved to lose not only the original 55 lbs. but also the extra 10 lbs. that had managed to tag along for the ride. 2007 was going to be different! And then my wife got pregnant, my second son was born, and I quietly got fatter.

A couple months ago, I'd managed to balloon up to a BMI of 35. That's a pretty big number and 245 lbs. is pretty heavy for a guy who's barely 5'10". Since then, I've actually managed to drop 18 lbs. without really trying. I stopped eating regular potato chips and focused on the "baked" varieties of potato chips, corn chips, and rice chips. I also swapped out my typical ice cream with frozen yogurt and low-fat ice cream bars. For the record, the ice cream bars were simply a means of controlling my portion size and not because I believe that "low-fat" ice cream is all that great for me. For what it's worth, my usual portion size for ice cream lies anywhere in the one to three cup size depending on the flavour.

Today I find myself riding a 33.1 BMI at a weight of 228 lbs. If my doctor is to believed (and she is), I should try to get below 175 lbs. in order to be healthy. I'll aim for 174 lbs. and see how things look then.

So what does all this have to do with poker? My doctor told me that exercising 5 days a week is what's needed to get my lazy butt healthy and back in shape. I'll be hitting my exercise bike as much as possible in an attempt to re-sexify myself in my wife's eyes. And every minute spent on the bike will be a minute spent playing online poker. SNGs, Hold'em, Omaha, or whatever: gambling and sweating will become a nightly event at my place.

And though I hope that my bankroll's growth will be inversely proportional to my weight, my main concern is the weight. It's time to take ownership of my body and do my best to stick around for my family's sake.

But if I can get rich doing it, I'd be cool with that too!

Keep reading "A Time to Lose"