Mo' Poker

I visited Mr. Casino tonight, playing for over 4 hours, peaking at a little over $80 to the good before giving most of the winnings back and finishing up $14. The last hand took a good chunk of that away as my big ace got run over by two small pair in a kill pot. Running total: $49 to the bad.



One down, three to go

Ottawa has just finished off the Devils in game one of their playoff series. Ottawa got a fantastic jump in the game before New Jersey mounted a comeback to nearly tie the game. An early third period goal by Wade Redden wound up being the game winner and Ottawa has taken home ice advantage and a 1-0 series lead.




Weekend Update

This past weekend saw one of the twice-yearly Doctor Who gatherings take place for us Who nuts. The usual gang was there for the most part -- Jean-Paul, Gary, David and myself -- but we had a couple changes. Mike S. joined us for lunch but bailed on the viewing segment after he was unable to find Gary's place, and Mike A. had to work so he couldn't attend. We had a pseudo-celebrity guest in the form of I Am Steven, one of the cohosts of Radio Free Skaro, a weekly-ish Doctor Who Podcast. We sat around, we talked Who, we dissected the episodes, we basically geeked out all day, and it was fun.

The sole downside (and I did ask Jean-Paul to remind me to rant about this) was that Gary was looking for a new TV to celebrate a new job, and to splash out a bit for the Who shindig, but the one he wanted to buy could not be found in stock. One of the alternates I'd noted to him was available and in stock, but was on sale until a few days before he had time to shop, and when we swung by Best Buy to see if he could still get it at the sale price, the sales clerk said no dice. I've had horrible luck with Best Buy coming down in price for TVs and this time was no different. Obviously customer satisfaction is not high on their list of priorities. So, Gary and the rest of us left the store without a shiny new toy, and Gary's hunt for a new TV shall continue. (The worst part was the sale price wasn't really that much lower than the regular price - how chintzy!)

And the weirdest part of the day... Jean-Paul and I swung by Superstore to grab some wine for the afternoon and we came across the strangest combination either of us could imagine, a Shiraz-Viognier mix. We both dig the Shiraz. We both dig the Viognier (him more than me, but I still like it). The mixture of the two seemed so improbable, we were speechless. Literally speechless. Needless to say we bought it. I rather enjoyed it and might have to buy it again one day. I can't remember the vineyard from whence it came, but frankly I can't imagine many places doing this mixture, so if I do come across it again it's fairly likely it'd be the same product as I had yesterday.

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Round Two: FIGHT!

Ottawa versus New Jersey. That's the matchup the Sens face starting this Thursday. While I had hoped Tampa Bay would prevail over the Devils, especially after holding a 2-1 series lead, I'm far from surprised they lost. New Jersey tends to field a strong team year after year, and it's been 4 years since they've squared off against the Sens. The result from that series, the Eastern Conference Final, went 7 games before the Sens fell to the Cup-winning Devils.

This would be the perfect series for Ottawa to get the playoff monkey off the team's back, especially considering what happened the last time these teams met in the playoffs. Key players like Alfredsson and Spezza will need to step up; Alfie has had one of his best playoff rounds yet, and Spezza did well but still has some room for improvement. If some of the marginal players like Chris Kelly and Mike Comrie can keep up the momentum then the Sens will have an easier time vanquishing the Devils. Overall, the key is Brodeur and always will be for as long as he's around. Get to him and the rest of the pieces fall into place.




Sidney Crosby is overrated

The timer has just run out on game 5 of the Ottawa/Pittsburgh series, and Ottawa has clinched the series with a convincing 3-0 victory. Ottawa, during the regular season, was the best team at stifling Sidney Crosby's abilities, and that held true for most of the 5 games in this series as well. Pittsburgh got severely outplayed, and the Sens are now on their way to the second round; the second round opponent has yet to be decided.

Kudos to Crosby for invigorating the game, and best of luck to him in the future. I don't know if I envision him winning a Stanley Cup any time in the next few years (it took Mario Lemieux several years before he won a cup with the Pens) but I definitely see him helping Pittsburgh being more of a mainstay in the playoffs.




2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived, the start of the NHL playoffs. There were some surprise teams making the cut (most notably the New York Islanders) and we're no doubt in store for some fantastic games.

Already we've seen an overtime battle between San Jose and Nashville, with the Sharks prevailing after giving up a 2-goal lead late in the 3rd period and losing their highest scorer, Jonathan Cheechoo.

Ottawa won its game quite easily, dominating the Penguins in game one of their series, leading by as many as 5 goals before the game finished at 6-3 for the Senators. While I always fear for the Sens in the playoffs, they've got a good start under their belts to be sure.

As I type this, Dallas and Vancouver are still deadlocked, a little past the halfway mark in the 2nd overtime frame. I'm really pulling for the Canucks, if only because I want all the Canadian teams to advance as far as they can. So, while I generally wouldn't cheer for the Canucks or Flames, I'll be doing so for as long as they can stick around.

I can't wait to see how things unfold.




Went to casino. Got run over a few times. Won a few pots. Spent 5 hours and $100 there. Came home. Must sleep. Peak: $145 or so. Best hand: hitting runner-runner quads with pocket 9s. Running tally: $63 to the bad.




This year, for a change, I attended multiple Easter dinners. One was last night at my Dad's place, after we got back from curling, where we had lamb. It was fun as usual, and we all got a bit tipsy at dinner and had some rather silly conversations (much thanks to Janita for starting the thread on flipper babies). The other was earlier today at Rob's place where his girlfriend made a huge feast of turkey, ham, all the fixings, and more. Attendees were Gail's sister and her husband, Hayden (and their son), with whom I worked for a couple years at Safeway and who hosted a poker tourney I attended last fall; Gail's mother; Rob's friend Ed; Rob, Gail and myself. There can sometimes be strife when Gail's family gets together but things were mostly okay today, thankfully. So, I gorged myself more than once this holiday. That's probably a bad thing in the long run, but it is what it is.



This past weekend I attended the Ford World Men's Curling championships here in Edmonton. Overall it was a fun event full of wonderful curling and not-so-wonderful curling alike. I bought tickets for the event for my Dad for Christmas so he and I went to most of the draws I attended. One of them was Thursday afternoon and I went with my aunt as Dad was out of town during the day. When I bought the tickets I worried that the best games (read: the playoffs) may not feature Canada. While Canada is a curling powerhouse, there's never any guarantee the Canadian team will go the distance. Thankfully, the Glenn Howard rink not only dominated the round robin but also annihilated its playoff competition.

A shot of Howard delivering an open hit for 3 to seal the win:

A shot of the aftermath:

So, while the event was fun and I had a good time, the seating at Rexall Place is horrible. I don't recall having so much difficulty in those seats before, but let me tell ya they are NOT designed for people nearly seven feet tall. I could manage sitting for about 2 ends on average before needing to get up and walk around to get circulation going again in my legs. If I was lucky I could sit for 3 ends. Saturday, for the bronze medal game, the people who normally sat to our right were absent so I sat in their seats and could spread out a bit since I was on the aisle. I had hoped (against all odds) they'd also be absent Sunday but they were not.

So, would I go again? I think I would so long as I could call Ticketmaster or whoever is handling ticket sales and talk to someone to make sure I have sufficient leg room. It's far too painful otherwise. My knees were literally sore every night after attending draws. Advil for the win!



This is a stupid idea...

The title of this post are the first words I said to my friend Rob when I got in his car last night. After a long day out watching curling, I got home after a late supper with my dad only to have Rob say he was going to the casino and he wondered if I wanted to join him. Absolutely I did not, since I'd said I'm not going there any more.

So, of course I went.

What made me decide to actually go is that he said he was going to buy in with $50 (he didn't, he bought in with more) and play only that stack. If he won, he won. If he lost, he lost. Moreover, he said he wanted to go for no more than a couple hours. Given I was tired, it was late, and I didn't know how long I might be able to stay focused at the poker table, the short trip sounded appealing.

I lost a few bucks chasing on the first hand I was dealt, but not long afterward I had a powerful 5-2 offsuit in the small blind. I threw a couple more bucks in the pot when nobody raised preflop and the flop came 5 7 Q. A 2 on the turn made me bet out, and two of the other three people in the pot folded. Another 7 hit the river, counterfeiting my ducks, but my 5 was still good against the last player. So, I got back over my buyin there. A little later after someone made a joke about tilting and getting dealt aces, I picked up red aces. I was in 4th position, under the gun raised to 6, I reraise to 9, someone caps it at 12 (I forget who), and by the end of the hand the highest card on the board is a Jack and nobody can beat my aces. I took that pot, and one more later on with A J suited when it was heads up and both myself and the other player totally missed (we both had Ace high, my kicker played).

When all was said and done, and Rob lost his money and we decided to leave, I cashed out up $31. It wasn't much for winnings, but it was better than losing money. So that brings the winnings kitty to $37.

I still intend to not go back, but we'll see how things go.


Housekeeping note

It appears, and I never knew this until today (because I never thought to look), Facebook allows the importing of blogs to your profile. Specifically, it allows for RSS feeds to be displayed in a person's "Notes" section. As a result of learning this information from my sister today, I've set up an RSS feed on my Facebook profile of this blog. If anyone who isn't aware wants to be, the address for this blog (which isn't shown on the RSS feed) is http://dubbayoo.blogspot.com -- the address where you can see nice formatting and such instead of what Facebook (or other RSS readers, in my experience) displays. So far the only glitch is that it's imported only 25 items -- and it's done so twice. That means I've got 50 "notes" from my blog, which are the most recent 25 posts, repeated. How annoying. But, overall, I like the idea.