Friday, July 27, 2012

It's That Time

Good afternoon everyone.  If this was a normal Friday, the title of this post was going to be 'DAMN YOU ESPN' (I reserve the right to use that as the title for a post in the future)...  Revisiting my 'Denver took a big gamble in signing Peyton Manning' prediction once again, ESPN has taken it upon themself to show special coverage of the Broncos training camp just to mess with me...  :)  At least for four days this week (maybe longer???), ESPN is showing coverage of the new-look Broncos in camp with Manning at the helm.  For those of you who may be stumbling upon my blog for the first time, I believe that the Broncos took a huge risk in signing Manning for a ton of money (a lot more than they were paying Tim Tebow) because I don't believe that he will be able to help them improve upon last year's finish for Denver (winning the AFC West and winning a playoff game).  Additionally, the quarterback that they sent to New York was incredibly popular and young, while Manning is older and no one knows for sure how healthy he is.  I have a small laundry list of additional reasons for being skeptical of this signing in previous posts if you want to look them up.  Anyway, thank you ESPN...  :)

If you are a regular follower of my little blog, then you are aware that today is not a normal Friday.  I spent this morning running errands like shutting down my utility service, visiting the bank, visiting my apartment office, etc, etc, etc...  in FINAL preparation for my move.  The next time that you see a post here, 'Bikini Hill' will be live on location from Las Vegas, America...  I've already booked a room for my first two nights in the desert, and I am hopeful that on Tuesday I will be able to find a room to rent starting August 1st.  The way that the Craigslist page BLEW UP yesterday, I would actually be pretty shocked if I am unable to find a room.  The gameplan from there is to find a job, and play poker, and sportsbet...  I am most likely not going to make another full post here until I do find a place to rent.  However, I already know for a fact that I can follow the comments to this blog from my phone, and I am also able to reply to them.  If any of you are interested, you can follow my move in progress from my twitter account @desertcoach.  I will be able to update my progress much easier from my twitter account until I am settled into a new habitat with internet access for my desktop.  I will still be in San Marcos, America for the majority of this weekend, and the trip west will take place at some point on Sunday.  For those of you who are not going through the process of moving this week, I just want to state for the record that I am extremely jealous (i.e., You Suck!)...  :P
I sincerely hope that you have an outstanding weekend, and I'll see you in the comments section, on twitter, or in my next post (to be determined).  ;)        

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who's Laughing Now???

Good evening everyone.  I'm sorry for the late post tonight, but I got A LOT accomplished yesterday and into this morning, so I honestly don't feel very guilty.  Going back a few months, I stole a line from a commercial for one of these posts.  I created a scenario at the poker tables where I thought that it would be great to use that line when raking in a very meaningless pot.  >>>  I scoop the blinds, rake them in dramatically, and then very loudly gloat, "WHO'S LAUGHING NOW???  GAZELLE!!!  AH HA HA HA" from the Mio Energy Drink commercial...  <<<  Anyway, fast forward to last night when I'm watching 'Avatar', and now I have the perfect insult for the poker table, and I'm sure that using this would result in 1) a fight starting, 2) completely stifling the conversation, or 3) receiving a request for clarification (probably from the less sharp player, or from the one who can't believe what you just said to them)...  I know that right now you're thinking, "Avatar - REALLY???"  Here's the scenario...  >>>  You're at the poker table, and this usually happens after you've been playing a while, although one hand can trigger this situation.  This can happen at a limit or no-limit table...  You're playing against that player who is just CONSTANTLY CHIRPING - 'tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet...'  They just WON'T SHUT THEIR MOUTH!  And then it happens, where you outplay them, AGAIN, or you make the call and catch the card that you need against them...  Or let's be honest, basically ANYTHING HAPPENS where they lose the pot, and they chirp and cry about why they didn't win it and blah, blah, blah, blah...  I was thinking that it would be a fun little experiment to be at a poker table soon in this scenario, where someone is just chirping NONSTOP, and bust out, "you are like a BABY... making noise... don't know what to do..."  <<<  You know that you've reached the pinnacle of the poker world when you get your smack talk from the movie 'Avatar' (or from my blog), right???  I am honestly very interested in seeing what reaction that would get from a chirper though, and am pretty much convinced that it would result in confrontation or totally shutting them up...  AND at the 2-4 limit table, in a "HUH"???  :)  I pick on 2-4 limit a lot, but it's a very hard game to beat because of the rake and the fact that no one ever folds...  Anyway, if you're relatively new to the blog, that's where my mind is at a lot - watching commercials and movies and my brain goes to, 'that would be an interesting thing to say at the poker table...'

For those of you who have been following this saga for any length of time now, I am very close to having most of my stuff packed, or spoken for, or thrown away in preparation for my upcoming journey on I-10 West.  It's taken me much longer than I had anticipated, but when trying to whittle everything down to one load of stuff, it tends to take some time.  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hard To Watch

Good morning everyone.  I'm still trying to bounce back personally from this weekend.  I think that I'm at about my limit for watching coverage and reading about the senseless tragedy that took place in Aurora, Colorado for the time-being.  It just seems that it is way too easy to express opinions publicly these days, and not only in print, but also in the televised media.  Among the stupid, irrelevant things that I've digested this weekend:  1)  Some moron in a comment section to an online article putting the thought out there that this whole event might have been "staged"...  2)  Another genius, who wondered if the movie itself was RESPONSIBLE for what happened...  3)  On television this morning, there was an interview/discussion about whether this tragedy would affect the new Batman movie at the box office...  "Well, a lot of the tickets that were sold were bought in advance, so it's going to take a few days to tell how this truly affects ticket sales..." Totally incomprehensible......  To all of the victims of this senseless act, my heart goes out to you...  When they showed the 'suspect' (don't get me started) in the courtroom a few moments ago, I was thinking that if I was the public defender assigned to this case, I'm looking for a new job...  Defend him??  No thanks...  Today was a day with far-reaching effects as the result of another tragedy.  For all of the innocent victims of Jerry Sandusky, and as a result of the non-action to end the situation by those close to it, Pennsylvania State University was penalized by the NCAA earlier.  I am not going to restate the punishment that was doled out here (it will be all over the news today), but I will tell you that the Penn State football program will not be relevant for a very long time when it comes to winning.  The Nittany Lions were dealt a crushing blow today, and I feel badly for the vast majority of people who are closely associated with Penn State and will be suffering these consequences through no fault of their own - the impact will extend well beyond the confines of the football stadium... I have pretty much decided that whatever time frame I am given to make a move, it will take me EXACTLY that much time to prepare for the move.  The end of the month is approaching FAST, and I still have packing and details to take care of (for those of you who have been following along here regularly, I KNOW that this comes as a HUGE SHOCK to you)...  Also in the 'huge shock' department, the fantasy baseball team is still in 10th place, and is still creeping up the deficit ladder, now just less than 8 points from being in 5th place (we're really packed together tightly at the bottom of the barrel)...  I am now 8-9 in the imaginary money baseball betting, and I am taking the Red Sox and Rangers to score over 10 1/2 points tonight to get me to the .500 mark...  Oh, and if anyone has a job lead or a housing lead in Las Vegas, please let me know...  I have been so busy sorting and packing that I haven't concentrated my efforts in these semi-important directions yet...  :)  I do have a lot to do, so I'll see you again on Wednesday, when I'll probably let you know that I have a lot left to do...  Have a good one!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rest In Peace Rebecca

Good morning everyone.  I just wanted to take a moment this morning to pay my respects to Rebecca Wingo.  Rebecca was a 1997 graduate of Ford High School in Quinlan, Texas.  Quinlan is a small town which is about a half-hour east from the outskirts of Dallas, and Ford High School was my second employer in public education.  I moved on to take a head-coaching job shortly after Rebecca's class graduated.  Rebecca was 32 years old and leaves behind 2 young daughters. While combing through news articles online, I came across an eloquent quote from one of Rebecca's friends in the Denver Post that speaks volumes about this tragedy:  "Everybody is hurting right now.  She was a gentle, sweet, beautiful soul..."  -Gail Riffle-  Rest In Peace Rebecca.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Heart Is With You Aurora

I fell asleep with the t.v. on last night, watching today's very early morning coverage of the British Open after returning home from 'The Square' and finishing my breakfast.  When I woke up almost an hour ago, I heard the commentator say that the network's thoughts and prayers were with those in Colorado.  That's when I went online and discovered that a heavily-armed gunman entered a theater in Aurora, Colorado during the midnight showing of the newest Batman movie and opened fire on a unarmed theater full of viewers.  At this time it is being reported that 12 patrons were killed and that another 50 were injured in the attack.  I'm at a loss for words Aurora...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Can Almost Smell The Felt

Good afternoon everyone.  This post here will be my last bit of procrastination before I continue with the sorting out and packing today.  I actually just woke up from another monster sleep session, and I think that I might have finally succeeded in flipping my sleep schedule back to normal.  I have been yielding to naps from about 2:00 - 6:00 every afternoon, but I just woke up within the last hour, so I should be good.

I just came here after playing in one of the free games at MSN.  I am SO THANKFUL that I will be able to sit at actual poker tables within two weeks.  At MSN I'm strictly working on my game, so I raise almost every hand.  I'm not saying that I raise almost every hand that I play - I mean that I raise almost every hand that anyone plays...  :)  This is about as popular with the fake money crowd as a loose-aggressive player is at a real money table.  I got the standard "you haven't met a hand that you don't like, have you?" inquiry right before coming here.  :P  I'm you haven't played much fake money poker, it's similar to playing 2-4 limit in that once you account for the few LAG jammers, most everyone else is limping into the pots that they do play, and then just calling the bets that are put out there...  Anyway, to have a stack of clay chips in front of me, a cocktail waitress cruising by, and a football game on the t.v. when I raise my head - that will be just FINE with me...  ;)

The women came SO CLOSE to making the final table of the Main Event at the WSOP this year!  I couldn't believe it when I checked the WSOP website to find that the two remaining ladies were eliminated in 10th and 11th place.  It has been 17 years since a woman last made the final table, and I believe that is the only time that it has ever happened.  I think the buzz that would have been created by it would have been so great for growing the game.  Maybe the ESPN coverage of the event, with the ladies just reaching the precipice will be enough to generate more interest among potential female players.  I view it the same as I as view the increasing number of female fantasy football players - if they're interested in what we're interested in, the less grief we take for it...  ;)  I honestly don't know how much time I could spend with a girl who isn't interested in sports or poker at this point - interested in at least 1 of the 2, because I would drive her crazy, and then she in turn would drive me crazy...  :)

My brother came up with the theory that the Main Event wasn't being streamed live this year because ESPN might have been losing viewers for its WSOP coverage.  I chimed in with my thought that someone might not have liked that the remaining tourney players had the ability to find out what their opponents held fifteen minutes after hands were being played when the big payouts were being approached.  Whatever the reason for the Main Event blackout of the live streaming, I am looking forward to seeing how we arrived at this year's 'October Nine'.  The last 3 days of the Main Event are supposed to take place from October 28th-30th this year if I remember correctly, and first place will pay in the neighborhood of 8.5 million dollars.

I am now 5-7 in the fake money baseball betting, and today I will take the over 6 runs in the Phillies/Dodgers game.  The number is so low because it's Cliff Lee vs. Clayton Kershaw, but the number is SO LOW...  :)

I hate to keep this so short, but I still have a lot left to do.  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nature's Natural Energy Bar

Good morning everyone.  If everything goes according to plan, I'll be out of the state of Texas at this time two weeks from now, driving west on I-10.  I haven't been sleeping well lately, still trying to shift my sleep pattern over to some sort of normalcy after working from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. for most of my shifts at work during the past 11 months.  At this moment right now, I have slept about 10 of the last 16 hours, sleeping for 5 hours twice, while being awake for 5 hours in-between that...  Of course all of this gets wrecked anyway if I can make the twenty-hour drive to Las Vegas straight through as I plan to, again...  The fantasy baseball team is still in 10th place, and is still creeping up on other teams.  Yesterday my pitchers somehow managed to combine for 18 2/3 innings without giving up a single run...  Only one victory came out of that, but that helped lead my team to a 2.17 ERA for the 3-day week.  My mock baseball betting record is now 4-6.  I have just discovered that none of the betting lines have been posted for today's contests, so I won't be able to give you today's "lock"...  :P  There are 27 players still remaining in this year's Main Event at the World Series of Poker, and it appears that 2 of those players are women.  I would love to see a female player reach the final nine - I think that it would be great for the game.  We are going to have a completely different final nine once again as none of the remaining names seem familiar to me from the past.  Tonight is the night when they play down from 27 to 9 players, and then we wait until the 28th of October for them to start up again.  I just smiled as I realized that I will be able to do a brand new, fresh, personal poker post in just over two weeks...  ;)  I know that must disappoint my regular readers since the games at MSN are SO RIVETING...  I took a load of stuff that won't be going to the desert with me to my sister's family down in San Antonio over the weekend.  My nephew received a set of golf clubs that was my father's, then my younger brother's, then mine (believe me when I say that I am easily, and I mean EASILY the worst golfer in that group of players)...  Anyway, my soon-to-be 12 year-old nephew ended up thanking me for the set of clubs like 3 times in 5 minutes...  :)  So I'm at the grocery store a few days ago, and I don't want to say which store it was, but it rhymes with HEB...  Anyway, this girl is behind me in the checkout line, and the reason that I know this is because she's on her phone, talking loud enough so that I can EASILY hear her conversation...  "Yeah...  I just saw him...  He's here at the store...  Should I say hi to him?"  :)  Just smiling because I don't think that I've ever asked anyone for advice on whether or not I should say 'hi' to someone...  It's time for another round of 'who gets paid to do this marketing, and why am I not getting some of that money?'...  I bought a bunch of bananas at the store this week.  As I sat down for breakfast before typing up this post, I noticed the banana in the bunch that had the sticker on it.  The sticker notified me that bananas are "Nature's Natural Energy Bar..."  I don't know about you, but I ALWAYS feel energized after eating a banana???  I wanted to say thanks again for stopping by to read my drivel - it looks like 'Bikini Hill' is going to surpass the 10,000 pageview mark sometime during the week.  I hope that you have a great day and I'll see you again on Wednesday!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Think We Could Lose

Good afternoon everyone.  Before I get into my little group of not necessarily predictions, but a mix of predictions and things that wouldn't surprise me, I want to say hello to my visitors from Yahoo! Answers.  I wanted to let you know that I still plan on doing my football predictions and sports-related posts here on Fridays, even after I move to Las Vegas.  However, when I'm in the desert, I already know that I won't spend as much time going to Yahoo! Answers to let you know that I've posted something.  If you do enjoy reading my blog, I just wanted to encourage you to become a follower, or to bookmark this page in your favorites, or to just remember to stop by on Fridays (or on Mondays for my rambles and Wednesdays for my poker/Las Vegas posts).

I am going to preface this first prediction by flat-out stating that I am a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan...

1)  The Boston Red Sox WILL make the playoffs this season.   ---  The Red Sox have had a HORRIBLE season if you listen to their detractors in the media.  Remember that Boston lost closer Andrew Bailey right out of the gate, they have played without Carl Crawford, that have played a lot of games without Jacoby Ellsbury, they are now missing Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis has been traded.  The lion's share of that group I just mentioned is a group of American League All-Stars, and most of them should be back (except for Youkilis of course).  Despite leading Major League Baseball in players who have spent time on the disabled list, the Red Sox are only 2 1/2 games out of a wildcard spot (and there are 2 this season).  DO NOT sleep on the Red Sox...

2)  The Baltimore Orioles WILL NOT make the playoffs this season.  The Orioles currently hold 1 of the 2 wildcard spots in the American League, and they have played great in the first half of the season.  I do not believe that Baltimore has the depth or the experience to get to the playoff finish line this season, period.

3)  The Philadelphia Phillies MIGHT make the playoffs this season.  Like the Red Sox, I predicted that the Phillies would win their division this season, and like Boston, Philadelphia has had to deal with injuries.  The Phillies just recently got Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back in the lineup, and Roy Halladay is supposed to be back with the team shortly.  Cliff Lee has underperformed this year, winning only one game to date.  If I did my math correctly, Philly is about 10 games back in the wildcard race right now, but this team is experienced and talented, and if they can get healthy, they MIGHT get back into it...

Switching gears to football now, and #4 and #5 are restatements of predictions made here previously...

4) I still think that the Peyton Manning signing by the Denver Broncos, coupled with the release of Tim Tebow, was a HUGE gamble that won't pay off. The Broncos had an inexpensive quarterback who was EXTREMELY POPULAR with the Denver fanbase in Tebow. No one knows how Manning's neck is going to hold up with contact, he hasn't played football for a year, he is getting older, he will have to play in a rapidly improving AFC West, and he will have to play home games in bad weather late in the season now. Under Tebow, the Broncos won the AFC West and won a playoff game last season. I think that they will be hard-pressed to improve on that under Manning, who was signed to a lucrative contract.

5) I still think that Tim Tebow will start for the New York Jets at quarterback before the upcoming season ends. I have seen Mark Sanchez play before, and if Tebow is successful with his package of plays, or when Sanchez is unsuccessful, I think that the pressure from the Jets fans will be too much to not start Tebow. I will add to this that having to choose between the two, I would start Tebow over Sanchez without hesitation.

6) I think that the Philadelphia Eagles will win the NFC East this season, by at least two games... Having LeSean McCoy on my fantasy team last season, I would testify in court that he was underutilized, and he can be a beast, especially when teams have to respect Michael Vick at quarterback. As badly as the Eagles started last season, they still managed to get back into the division race. The Giants were only 9-7 last season, forced to beat the Cowboys in the final game of the season for a playoff spot, and now they don't have Brandon Jacobs or Mario Manningham. I still don't think that the Cowboys have a decent enough offensive line to run the ball consistently or to protect Tony Romo, who I think is highly underrated and overly criticized. The Redskins got richer by picking up Robert Griffin III, but I don't believe he can with the division by himself.

7) The Buffalo Bills MIGHT make the playoffs this season. I think that the Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, and the winner of the AFC West will get 5 of the 6 playoff spots this season. With incredibly tough schedules, and/or injuries, the Ravens or Steelers could miss out. This leaves either 1 or 2 playoff slots left in the conference, and if the Bills can survive their first 9 games and stay healthy, they finish with: Miami; @ Indy; Jacksonville; St. Louis; Seattle; @ Miami; N.Y. Jets. The Bills will be a playoff darkhorse I believe...

And a USA Basketball prediction, possibility, scenario for you to ponder...

8) The USA Men's Olympic Basketball team MIGHT NOT win the gold medal - I think we could lose... This thought is a product of the crazy, condensed NBA season that just recently ended, and I was going to write this into my blog even before Blake Griffin left the team with a torn meniscus. As I shouted from the rooftops after the NBA released their crazy, condensed schedule this past season, our Olympians have not rested much after a brutal NBA season, and many of our players were on teams that went deep into the playoffs. The 2008 squad only beat Spain by 11 points for the gold medal, and we just have to hope that this squad plays healthy (in addition to learning to play together, obviously). If we do lose in London, I would not be surprised...

Okay, enough of that. In tonight's monopoly money baseball betting, I will take the Rangers and Mariners to go over 7 1/2 runs scored. I am currently 3-4 in the mock baseball betting. I hope that you have a great weekend and I will see you again on Monday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'll Just Take The Money

Good morning everyone.  Ah, what luck...  As the clock hits 6:00 a.m. after another rainy day here in San Marcos, America, and as I settle in to type my blog entry, the movie 'Bedazzled' is on 'FX' for the second day in a row...  :)  For what is pretty much a "B movie" to me, Elizabeth Hurley is an A+ to me in this one (I can't name anything else that she's been in off the top of my head either)...  The movie also ends with a sappy, feel good sort of song (that I'm on board with) by Sister Hazel:  "If you want to be somebody else, if you're tired of fighting battles, with yourself, if you want to be somebody else, change your mind..."  -Change Your Mind- (Sister Hazel)  I also think that this is easily Brendan Fraser's best role in a movie, but make no mistake, I'm watching it for Elizabeth...  ;)

ANYWAY..., a little poker tournament is going on in Las Vegas at the moment. The 'Main Event' of the World Series of Poker started with 6,598 entrants this year, and 666 players are going to cash this time. Daniel Negreanu posted on his twitter account that he "would have made it 667 just to avoid the heebie jeebies..." @RealKidPoker As I've finally summoned up the strength to follow a WSOP event, knowing that I'll be in the desert soon enough, I am LOVING TWITTER for my ability to follow lots of players. What I have discovered is that I'm getting quicker, more accurate updates on chip counts from player tweets than from the WSOP website. Another thing that I love about this Main Event is that I am familiar with A LOT of players who are still playing. A couple of these are players that I have found through the blogs and/or twitter itself. Corey Souther, whose twitter handle is @ThePokerMonkey (Corey on the WSOP chip count, Will Souther by his twitter handle) is a blogger from the southeastern part of the country who has done VERY WELL in WSOP Circuit Events. Thanks to Rob, another blogger who is also on twitter (@Robvegaspoker), I became familiar with Alicia Spencer yesterday (@SunshineAli23). Alicia has played 2 days of the event and is now sitting on over 200,000 in chips, while Souther has just over 67,000 in his stack heading into his second day. Rob met Alicia as she was in the process of winning back-to-back tournies at Aria (for a one-hundred dollar buy-in I believe). The links to both Rob's and The Poker Monkey's blogs are in my reading list to the right. In addition to these two, there are SEVERAL other professionals and celebrities I support who are doing well in the tournament. If you go to my twitter account (@desertcoach), you will find Negreanu, Jason Alexander, Barry Greenstein, Chad Brown, Erick Lindgren, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett, and many other players who I am tracking easily on a daily basis. Brendan Fraser realizing that he can speak Spanish - too funny...

I am now 3-4 on my mock baseball betting, with last night's game being the 3rd time in 7 games that I have either won or lost an over/under by a 1/2 run. After being 5-0 in the top of the 1st inning, the All-Star Game stayed under 8 1/2 total runs - HA HA... (8-0 final, National League). I'll post my Friday 'bet' on Friday since there is no MLB action until then.

Speaking of betting, I have a semi poker-related story here from when I was a dealer and was treating sports betting as more of a hobby. My favorite cocktail waitress that I worked with on the graveyard shift at the Riviera was a new football fan (surely influenced by the talk about football betting among myself and my close dealer friends). As it happens, she was on a multi-week run of winning parlays and I wasn't doing as well as her when this story took place... I was just THE KING of filling out two-dollar parlay tickets, and I made a comment to her that instead of tossing her chips for her excellent table service in the poker room, I might just start giving her parlay tickets that I had purchased. She paused, raised her eyebrow, smiled, and responded, "I'll just take the money..." ;) Have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Good For Me, Bad For You

Good morning everyone.  The good news is that my computer has evidently escaped the virus that is going to deny thousands of users online access (if the rumors are correct).  The bad news is that you're once again stuck with another Monday ramble...  The fantasy baseball team is still in 10th place, although it is just 12 1/2 points out of 5th place...  The week wouldn't have been complete without seeing Adrian Gonzalez (my 1st overall pick) leaving last night's game against the Yankees.  Just as my fantasy team has been suffering, my Red Sox have suffered ALL KINDS of setbacks this season (A. Bailey, C. Crawford, J. Ellsbury, D. Pedroia, a traded K. Youkilis - just to name a few).  Actually, Boston has sent the most players to the disabled list this season, and is STILL inside three games of a wildcard spot in the American League...  I think that it is going to be very satisfying to see the Red Sox make the playoffs this year.  ;)  My faux baseball betting now sees me with a 2-4 record.  In picking just 6 games so far, I have lost a game by half a run and won a game by half a run.  Evidently those guys in Vegas know what they're doing when they set the lines...  My attempted weight-loss is not going well to this point as I've only lost two pounds.  I have exercised less than I had planned due to spending more time sifting through the things that I am not going to take out to Las Vegas.  I have done 700 sit-ups so far, and I see another couple thousand in my future before the end of the month.  I was temporarily uplifted yesterday when I read Linda Lou's blog and learned that some women find guys who have a belly sexy (okay, just her and that brunette from 'Pulp Fiction').  Then Linda Lou came back and commented on one of my older posts last night, saying that 215 sounded perfect - STRIKE!  :)  A major dose of good news when I checked the Weather Channel earlier this morning - 93 degrees is the highest forecast high for the next 8 days in San Marcos, America...  Coupled with a good chance of seeing some rain, this is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than last summer for this part of Texas.  It is actually sprinkling outside right now as I just peered out the window into our repaired swimming pool...  :)  It seems that a Monday ramble would almost be incomplete without a bank story.  When I visited the bank last week I made a deposit, and when I was asked for my account balance, the teller asked to see my driver's license.  I don't remember if I have told you the driver's license story already, but due to not receiving my license in the mail, I returned to have my photo retaken and my license mailed again.  WELL, I took off my ballcap for the photo, and patted my hair down to an acceptable level (I assumed).  Long story short, my hair looks horrific in the picture, so I instructed the bank teller not to mock my license as I handed it to her.  The teller responded that she doesn't normally look at the photo on the license unless someone says something to her.  You know me well enough to know that as I was leaving her window, I was thinking, "if you're not looking at the photo, then WHY am I giving you my license???..."  It's becoming evident to me that I should just spend a whole week at the bank and write a series of books...  With my new twitter account and with the World Series of Poker continuing, I have obviously been reading about the results of a lot of poker hands.  One thing is clear:  bad beats happen all the time...  Unfortunately for the group of twitterers that I follow, no one is having a red-hot run this summer in Vegas, either at the WSOP or in the cash games, including the bloggers that I semi-know and the pros that I don't know.  I did see earlier this morning on Daniel Negreanu's tweet that he is going to be one of the "Day 1" chipleaders at the Main Event.  For those of you who may not be aware, Day 1 of the Main Event is actually broken into several different groups of players starting on several different days so that all of the entrants can be accommodated.  Right here let me say that although I'm already under a self-imposed rush to figure out what to cram into my vehicle, I wish that I was in Las Vegas right now...  #grrrrrrr  Anyway, Negreanu tweeted that he has close to 150,000 in chips (the starting stack for the Main Event was 30,000).  Oh, let me look up a baseball bet for today, hold on... (imagine annoying music playing in the background while you wait)...  Okay, I will take the under (8 1/2 points) in tomorrow night's All-Star game.  The Home Run Derby is tonight for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing...  :)  I hope that you have a great Monday and I will see you again on Wednesday!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday Bonus Post - Free Poker

Good evening everyone.  The main reason that I'm posting this now is that it's so stupid that I don't want to forget all of it.  In between cleaning my apartment to decide what I will and won't bring to Las Vegas, sleeping, and watching t.v., I've also been 'sharpening my game' (???) by playing free poker at MSN.  MSN has a setup where 8 players start with 100 in chips, with 1/2 blinds and 6 minute rounds, and you play a tournament each time.  Players are rated depending on where they finish each time, and you can see how many games another player has played in addition to their rating.  This hand occurs against the highest rated player at my table....  LOL

I raised preflop (like I do here with many hands, just trying to put pressure on people and to get more experience playing a wide variety of hands) with K 9. The high-rated villain calls. The flop comes A A 2. I bet and he calls (the amounts aren't really very important, and you'll see why as the hand plays out). The turn is a 2. The board is now A A 2 2 - he hasn't raised or re-raised me at any point, so I don't put him on the A or the 2. I have the K for my fifth card (the only reason that I'm explaining this to you, someone who knows enough about poker that they're reading my blog, through whatever channels, is about to come up). I bet the second deuce and he calls, now all-in. I find out that he has 10 3 when he flips, and the river is a 3, so he wins... Of course I can't resist laughing at home and typing in a comment as to the... shrewdness... of his call. His response to my comment was that I should "keep betting with nothing"... I laughed again and replied that I was way ahead, with the King. He types in, "yeah, 825 games (the number I've played at MSN under this account name)... you're WAY AHEAD..." Of course I'm thinking that the guy CAN'T BE THIS DENSE... He had 10 outs, 6 to win (10 or 3) and 4 to chop (A or 2). At this point I tell him that he only had 6 outs to win and that he should read a poker book. He responds by typing, "I've won more games than you've played (he's played like 7,000 games on MSN)..." I'm not sure what relevance that has to him playing his hand like he did, but I tell him that I won't match his number of MSN games because I'm returning to Las Vegas soon and that I hope to find players like him at the poker tables.....

In all honesty, I don't mind (and actually expect) to see all kinds of goofy plays at the free MSN tables, but when someone tries to justify their ridiculous play with an explanation other than 'this is free', that's when I have fun with it... :)

For those of you keeping track, I'm now 1-4 on my fake baseball bets, and should probably stick to real football betting when I get to the desert... At the very least, I should bet teams and not the overs/unders (something that I tend to gravitate toward in football also)... Okay, as I said, this was a bonus post, and I'll now return you to your regularly scheduled programming... I'll see you again on Monday (really). ;)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Imaginary Baseball Betting

Good morning everyone.  A sports post on a Friday - imagine that...  :)  I am now 1-2 on my daily trial baseball bets, with my first win coming a few hours ago on Thursday night.  I have been betting (nothing on) the overs/unders on all of these games (just the overs actually), and the Angels beat the Orioles 9-7 last night.  The over/under number was set at 8 1/2, and I had won this bet by the fourth inning.  Go back 2 days when I first did this, and I took the Rockies/Cardinals game to go over 9 1/2 runs.  The score in this game was 3-2 in the third inning, and the final score was..., 3-2... ha ha.  The second game I lost was on Wednesday, when I picked the Orioles and Mariners to go over 6 1/2 runs, and the final was 4-2 Baltimore.  For tomorrow I will take the Orioles and Angels over again, this time over 8 runs (the Angles have been in a lot of high-scoring games lately)...

If you are a baseball fan and haven't been paying close attention to the standings, took a look and note how many teams have records that are a few games above or below the .500 mark.  There is a lot of parity in Major League Baseball this season up to this juncture.  If you are reader of this blog who goes by 'Lightning', notice how many games Youkilis has won for the White Sox already...  #unrealtrade

So the working out has started on a small scale, although I was disappointed a few days ago to find out that I had barely lost any weight at all since going "breadless"...  Since Tuesday I have done 290 sit-ups, walked for 3 hours, and floated (on the 4th) the San Marcos river twice from Bikini Hill down to the River Pub and Grill.  Just being in the sun for one of the few times that I have done so made me take a nap upon returning home...  :)  I expect that I will have probably done over 3,000 sit-ups this month by the time that I move to the desert (and will somehow have managed to gain 5 pounds)...  :)

As each day goes by, I am so glad that I decided to give myself this whole month to get ready to move, because each day is clicking off the calendar at a brisk pace while I still have a lot left to do. Tuesday night did not do a lot to help this as I watched almost all of the coverage of the 'One Drop' WSOP tournament final table. I was watching it with a purpose, paying close attention and trying to call hands, and I was very pleased with myself for nailing two specific ones. I had Rast on the ace-high flush from his call on the flop when Trickett bet out with his set of 3's (I really had a hard time figuring out where Trickett was in the hand). Olivier Busquet, a poker player who was commentating and who I lost any respect for because he didn't give Phil Hellmuth any credit for his accomplishments (Hellmuth may chirp a lot, but he can play no-limit hold 'em), well, Busquet was all over the place on Rast's holding during the hand. The second hand that I was proud to call came not much later when Esfandiari called a preflop raise with A K, and then kept calling bets with it on a K-high flop... I was more sure of Rast's ace-high flush trap, but I was pretty sure about Antonio's A K. I like the coverage of poker MUCH BETTER like this, when I don't know the hole cards as a viewer, because it helps me to improve my game a lot more... Fortunately for me, in less than a month I will start seeing many, many hands where I don't know the hole cards of any player but one... ;)

I am going to sign off for now, but I will see you again on Monday with another ramble. Have a great weekend!           

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 WSOP On ESPN/2 Today

Good afternoon everyone.  As you can see, I decided to do my poker/Las Vegas post a day early as opposed to waiting until tomorrow or early Thursday.  The main reason for this is that I decided to do a public service announcement for you.  I just checked the local t.v. guide online, and World Series of Poker coverage is going to shown on ESPN2 at 4:00 EST/3:00 CST.  This coverage is supposed to last for 3 hours, before it jumps to ESPN at 8:00 EST/7:00 CST for another 2 hours...  If you are a poker fan and you read this post in the next 1 1/2 hours, it may be my most worthwhile post ever...  ;)

As my goal when I move out to the desert this time is to focus more seriously on sports handicapping and treat the poker with secondary focus (which will still be QUITE A BIT of focus), I decided that today will be the day that I begin "mock-betting" baseball games.  I am going to pick one game a day where I will either take a team to win or forecast whether the teams will cover the over/under.  Today I am going with the Colorado Rockies and the St. Louis Cardinals scoring over 9 1/2 runs combined.  This won't be something that I will post everyday, but I may include my picks in my MWF posts if I have chosen my game before I post.  Oh, and if you are a baseball fan in general, my fantasy team has Zimmerman (WAS), Haren (LAA), Lester (BOS), and Capuano (LAD) throwing tonight...

Today is my 3rd day of "rest" (I did manage to get out of the house and walk for an hour each of the past two nights) before enjoying the 4th of July and then getting serious about my workout and weight-loss goals. The swimming pool at my apartment complex has now been repaired and is filled with water, much to the delight of my neighbors who plan on celebrating the day there tomorrow.  I will probably participate in some of that, as well as making a trip to Bikini Hill.  The Bikini Hill trip won't be an option much longer, so I better start taking advantage of it.  Two days ago I saw that the forecast high for San Marcos, America was supposed to be 93 degrees tomorrow, and now they're saying that it's going to be 97...  Seeing the nationwide weather last night, most of the U.S. is battling a severe heat-wave, so I'm not going to complain here (especially since I have the pool and Bikini Hill at my disposal)...

Pokerwise it's funny that I have all of these blogging friends who have played enough poker to regularly participate in no-limit games (of which I have seen many myself), because my lack of activity and bankroll will dictate that I sit in some limit games when I return to the desert.  I'm just laughing to myself right now because you don't find many posts about 2/4 limit hands online...  :)  From what I have found online, the comp situation seems to be okay out in the desert right now, with 1 dollar per hour played seeming to be the minimum that a player can expect to receive at the poker tables, with many places actually paying 2 or 3 dollars per hour.  My friends in the desert would know more about this.  Again, if you are in the desert right now or plan on going in the next couple of weeks, do yourself a favor and visit the Rio and the WSOP setup while in town - it's a unique experience that you should take advantage of checking out.

I am going to leave you now so that I can get some things accomplished before settling in to watch some WSOP coverage, 2012 style...  I hope that you have an outstanding Independence Day and I will see you again on Friday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Will Fly By

Good morning everyone.  Have you ever counted down toward something that you looked forward to, thinking that it would never get there, and then it finally did?  Rhetorical question of course...  I now have less than one month to do a laundry list of things (including laundry) before heading west.  I apologize for missing my post on Friday - I was finishing out my shifts at my now most recent job and my sleep got a little out of whack...  I decided that it would be better to be alert at work and get some extra sleep than worry about the post (in a surprisingly prudent move)...  Anyway, I now have the luxury of sleeping anytime that I get tired, so I will make up for the flipped sleep schedule.  Let this ramble continue with the notification that my fantasy baseball team is still 10th in its 10-team league, but with a very real chance of rising by next Monday's ramble.  I gained ground this past week and my pitching staff has eleven starts this coming week.  In not-so-surprising news, I lost ANOTHER starting pitcher, this one for the season.  Daniel Hudson, my 13th overall pick in the draft, needs Tommy John surgery.  I really can't wait to handicap games on a day-to-day basis and not be stuck with making an unlucky fantasy pick that will haunt me for a whole season (haunt might be a little strong choice of wording - really strong since I'm not that concerned about it actually)...  :)  Things that I wanted to include in the Friday sports post that never appeared make up the next part of today's ramble.  I am sure that you have heard by now that the top level of college football will implement a 4-team playoff system that will begin in the 2014 season.  I have written here before that I favor a system with more teams (preferably eight), but even this small format is WORLDS BETTER than voting teams into the final game.  I also watched some soccer during the past week.  Although I am not a big fan (for one main reason that I am about to hit upon again), the Euro Cup was the most relevant thing happening in the sports world.  So I'm watching the Spain vs. Portugal semifinal game, and making a play for the ball, a player goes airborne and gets his foot into the shoulder of an opponent.  OF COURSE this opponent clutches his FACE and goes to the ground.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how a sport where acting like you are hurt is so prevalent has the popularity that it does worldwide...  I caught a little bit of the final yesterday, and on the sidelines right before halftime I saw an advertisement that said, "We Care About Football" - my thought was, "so do I, and I can't wait until September when it starts..."  ;)  I am happy to say that I did survive the week of poker bloggers being in Las Vegas that I did not move in time to attend.  I have not had as much trouble with jealousy reading their posts as I thought that I would because I really do believe that the month of July will fly by.  I have so much to do and so many people to see before I leave San Marcos, America that I can probably even start looking at the World Series of Poker website again without feeling envy.  On a related note, I can still say that I am enjoying my twitter account after one full week of tweeting...  I am following about 225 people (ballpark) at this point, and a lot of those people are poker players.  With the WSOP going on, of course they are busy 'tweeting' about events that they are involved in.  Added to the accounts of the celebrities and friends that I am able to follow, I have no doubt that I will enjoy this even more in the future.  I am just a little bit of a 'people person' if you haven't figured that out by now.  I will often report here on the inexplicable things that people are capable of doing, but having this internet access to countless people, I am bound to find a few hundred more that I really like, right?  :)  Again, I'm @desertcoach on twitter if you want to 'follow me'.  I like the color of the tagline at the top of my blog where I included this information because it's really similar to the color of sand (DESERTcoach), but it is kind of hard to read...  I will have a 'Wednesday' poker/Las Vegas post for you this week, even if it is entered late Tuesday night or early Thursday morning.  I am sifting through my options for the 4th of July and haven't made any definitive plans for that day yet, other than knowing that I will fully enjoy it because the 5th of July will signal the start of my own personal 3-week bootcamp.  We'll see how close I get to weighing 215 pounds before I depart for the desert...  Have a great day!