Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday 'Bikini Hill'!!!

Good evening everyone.  Just like last week, this Friday edition of sports talk and football predictions is a little big early, but this blog's 1st birthday is less than five short hours away, and I am going to celebrate it by not doing a post tomorrow.  Actually, I'm awake right now and I'm just in the mood for making some awful football picks, so...  It's been a very eventful week as the one group who could guarantee that the NFL's regular officials would return did their job - thank you replacement officials!  Seeing that my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-2, I think that we should just count the first 3 weeks as practice and start everybody over at 0-0...  Another great reason for doing this is my brother, who will NEVER play fantasy football with me, decided to get in a league the ONE YEAR that I'm not playing because I thought that I would be betting games in Las Vegas.  His fantasy team is now 3-0, another GREAT reason to not count anything that has happened to this point...  Let me also wish Dillon and Nikole a Happy Birthday, a birthday I will never forget because it's tied into 'Bikini Hill's' birthday...  Okay, off we go...

Last week I went 4-6 with my little football bets, bringing my overall total for the season to 14-19-1.  Yes, we should start everything over...  14-19-1??  WHY do you people come here and read this stuff?!  I actually had a great shot at going 3-0 last Saturday, but I lost a Heisman candidate for Wisconsin in the 2nd quarter when Montee Ball went out (and lost that game), and then the football world just UNRAVELED for my picks on Sunday...  Okay, the ten bets that I like for this week are:

Texas (- 2) @ Oklahoma State - Longhorns look like they're on same page with new OC/DC now...
Baylor/West Virginia (Under 82 1/2) - SOMEONE has to make a tackle in this game, right?!
Stanford (-7) @ Washingon - Something I'm missing here maybe, since the Cardinal beat USC...
South Carolina (-21) @ Kentucky - Kentucky may be throwing in the towel...
Arkansas/Texas A&M (Under 66) - Aggies may have to score all 66...
Ohio State/Michigan State (Over 42) - I keep seeing 24-21 in my head (not much margin, but over)...
Alabama (- 29 1/2) over Mississippi - Almost too easy???

Dolphins/Cardinals (Over 39) - The number is just so low with Fitzgerald lurking, right?
Patriots/Bills (Over 51) - Remember when these two played last year?
Giants/Eagles (Over 47 1/2) - Seeing a lot of passing in my head...

Well, it seems that I found a lot of college games and a lot of overs/unders this week.  I hope that you enjoy your football this weekend and raise one in honor of 'Bikini Hill's' first birthday - see ya Monday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Checking Dark

Good morning everyone.  I'll tell you right out of the gate that today's post isn't something that I'm making after months and months of meticulous research and note-taking (not that any of my posts are), but that this is a topic that I've seen addressed in a few other poker blogs lately.  My point is that my feelings won't be hurt if the comments section brings in several other aspects/viewpoints/angles to address this strategy.

My personal view of "checking in the dark" (checking before the flop, or before the next card on the board is turned over) is that I don't like it because I feel that the checker is giving something away.  The best case that I can make for this 'off the cuff' would be in an instance where the player checks dark before the flop, and the flop puts a straight draw or flush draw on the board.  Even though the 'checker' might be in the lead, they are exposed to the possibility of letting the draw get there for free.  What makes this spot worse for me, in the respect that I'm not Daniel Negreanu (or insert a poker player who you think reads others REALLY WELL) is that your opponent(s) can bet ANY HAND here after you check, and that makes it tough for you to gauge where you're at.

I view checking in the dark like I view the straddle - I hate giving up anything for free at the poker table.  With that being said, this is gambling, and sometimes when you check dark or straddle, the board is going to hit your hand hard, and you're going to end up looking like a genius.  In my experience playing however, this is going to happen so rarely that it doesn't seem worth employing the strategy on a regular basis.  I guess for me, it's kind of like playing that "deuce-four" that we keep reading about and discussing throughout our blogs - the hand will win sometimes, but how often are you going to miss while chasing that magical moment when you nail somebody with it.  Between the two, I probably like the straddle better actually, because I think that you can get people playing more loosely and out of their comfort zone at a table of nits (rocks, etc...). 

For anyone who didn't give their input at the other blogs where checking dark was mentioned, I would be interested in knowing if there are certain hands (or a range of hands, etc...) that you like to employ this move with, or what your reason(s) is for using it. 

For anyone who didn't catch yesterday's blog entry, it's a "Top Ten" list of tweets that I read following the Packers/Seahawks game regarding the replacement officials.  I don't usually post on back-to-back days, so you might enjoy that if you came here on Monday and missed the post yesterday.  Have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top Ten Retweets On The NFL Replacement Officials

Good afternoon everyone.  This ramble is coming to you even later than I anticipated.  I went ahead and slept a full eight hours after my shift last night, but here I am.  I am going to open with this Top Ten List - after last night's Green Bay/Seattle debacle, which I am sure that you've seen or heard about by now, my twitter account was 'blowing up' with comments on the game.  I'll give you these (in no particular order), and then I'll continue my Tuesday (Monday, just one day late) ramble...

10)  Just to deal with fallout of Seahawksgate, ESPN just bought the Discovery Channel moments ago to give Skip Bayless a 24-hour forum Tuesday.  @NormanChad
 9)  Look at it this way:  Roger Goodell's troubles are making Gary Bettman's look minor.
 8)  Obama or Romney could win Wisconsin by stepping into the NFL ref lockout tomorrow (today).    @FO_ASchatz  
 7)  Replacement refs... check mate.  @LanceZierlein
 6)  I don't watch much football, but I love seeing every football fan I know on serious Twitter tilt.
 5)  Russell Wilson became the first quarterback in history to throw a game-winning interception.
 4)  Thank you, Roger Goodell, for that football re-enactment of the 1972 USA-USSR gold medal basketball game.  @TomKahlBDC
 3)  If you're holding your baby and I walk up and hug it, according to the NFL replacement refs, you have to give me your baby.  @robfee
 2)  Am I the only one who thinks these NFL replacement refs add a little pizzazz to the games?  Now if we can only get the goalposts to move around.  @badbanana
 1)  Footlocker just called and want(s) their referees back.  @Jason_Elrod

The one tweet that isn't included in that list above, but that is probably true (sadly) is:  "What's worse is the league will have the nerve to discipline the Packers for criticizing the refs after this..."

Again, if you're not on twitter yet, you should be, and if do open or already have an account, you can follow me @desertcoach.

So, it seems that someone wrote a little bit about the replacement officials in their blog last Monday.  It also seems that this same someone wrote about how the Denver Broncos signing Peyton Manning to a huge contract might also be taking a big gamble (1-2, should be 0-3 STEELERS.  It also seems that this same someone wrote about the possibility of the Buffalo Bills being a darkhorse team this season (2-1).  It also seems that this same someone wrote off the Baltimore Orioles and went 4-6 on their football picks this past week (yeah, let's change the topic)...  :)

So yeah, the end of that football game last night was pretty wild.  Seeing that the Packers were a 3 1/2 point favorite, you know that the "surprise ending" cost a lot of people money, and was a miraculous suckout for a lot of people.  No big deal...  What was on that sign I read last week?  "Free Ed Hochuli"...  Have a great day everyone and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Monday, September 24, 2012

No Ramble Today

I work today and am off tomorrow, so I will be having a Tuesday ramble this week - have a good one!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Friday (Almost)

Good afternoon everyone.  Due to various circumstances I've decided to post my "Friday" football predictions today and give myself a long (blog) weekend.  I have a meeting for work later today, but I don't work tonight, which is EXTREMELY RARE for me on a Thursday in San Marcos, America.  That being said, I will more than make up for that in the next few days (and in the coming weeks and months), so I've pretty much convinced myself to partake of the various sights and sounds of the whole 'Square' tonight since I so rarely get that opportunity on a Thursday.  As a friend of mine stated so well recently, "I'm going to pretend that I'm a young Bobcat again..." ;) 

I guess that brings us to our football predictions for this weekend.  SOMEHOW I had a winning record last weekend, and I am now in hot pursuit of going over the .500 mark for the season.  My record was 6-4 last weekend, and my overall record for this young season now stands at 10-13-1.  Let me take a quick moment to thank the University of Houston, UCLA, the Oakland Raiders, and the Miami Dolphins.  Usually I don't miss by a lot when I'm wrong (totally dismiss my 2012 regular season baseball predictions as I state this), but I had Houston/UCLA going over 75 1/2, and I had the Oakland Raiders (- 2 1/2) against the Dolphins - NOT... EVEN... CLOSE... in either case.

This weekend's games:

Florida (- 24) over Kentucky (Kentucky had fits with WESTERN KENTUCKY)
Wisconsin (- 17 1/2) over UTEP (Camp Randall will be a big stage for the Miners)
South Carolina (- 10) over Missouri (The Gamecocks are in the Top Ten for this home game)

Pittsburgh (- 4) over Oakland - (The DOLPHINS waxed the Raiders last week)
New York Jets (- 2 1/2) over Miami - (I think last week's Dolphins were a fluke)
Cincinnati/Washington (Under 49) - (Seems like a lot of points for two decent defenses)
New Orleans (-9) over Kansas City - (The BILLS crushed the Chiefs)
New England/Baltimore (Under 49) - (The loser will be 1-2...  Tight game I think)
Green Bay/Seattle (Under 47) - (I think the Seahawks will try to shorten this game)
San Francisco (- 6 1/2) over Minnesota (Doubting another nailbiter for the Vikings)

Hopefully that's a list of winners for all of you loyal followers.  As we approach "Bikini Hill's" first birthday next Friday, the total viewcount will be cruising by the 13,000 mark today.  One would think that you'd have better things to do, but at least you're staying off the streets...  :)  Have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Monday!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quadrillion Of Diamonds

Good afternoon everyone.  I slept A LOT last night and am STILL yawning, so after I get this post typed up, I will be heading back to bed since I don't work until late tonight...  Today's post will be a lot more in the direction of Las Vegas-related as opposed to poker-related as I still continue to mull over my disappointment at not being in the desert this football season, and formulate my plans to return for either a visit or another move.  The one indisputable, undeniable fact is that I am more comfortable living in San Marcos, America than anywhere else that I have ever lived.  It is now just over 26 years since I moved here for the first time (time FLIES is no one has ever told you that).  The enrollment of the local university has jumped from 20,000 to about 35,000 students (give or take), the capacity of Bobcat Stadium has doubled, from 15,000 to 30,000, the Outlet Malls have popped up along I-35 (don't get me started), but 'Bikini Hill' is still alive and well and there is no other place that I would rather live...  I'm not saying that a long stretch of casinos (say, a Strip) wouldn't be welcome on the outskirts of town, complete with poker tables and endless football parlay cards...  Anyway, it's still hard for me to watch the football games (to this point, I have not watched a complete day of football yet, which is VERY UNUSUAL for me)...  I'm almost dreading the possibility of going 10-0 during a week of my football picks here, because right-off-the-bat, that would be a $1,600.00 winner on a 10-team, 2 buck parlay card, IN ADDITION to what I would have made for all of the other combinations of parlays I would have made with those 10 teams.  On the other hand, I'm typing up my football picks here for the world to see, and I do not want to go 0-10 each week...  6-4 last week, more picks coming this Friday...  My apartment is getting close to being straightened up enough that I can live with it, so now I'm faced with the choice of how to make more money.  Do I want to get a second job, do I want to search for a job that would completely replace the job I have now, do I want to start finding ways to make money with my writing (or do I go with Door #4)???  These are the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head as I just stumbled upon this Yahoo! Headline RIGHT BEFORE starting this blog entry:  "Russian Asteroid Crater Has Over $1 Quadrillion Of Diamonds"...  Now, I won't pretend that I'm a diamond expert, but that sounds like a PRETTY VALUABLE CRATER!!!...  Quadrillion???  "Yes, you have the ace of diamonds, but I have the QUADRILLION of diamonds, which beats the ace..."  Now EVERYONE is going to be begging to be almost-hit by asteroids...  Of course the problem is, if the government finds out that you have it, they're going to find a way to claim it's theirs somehow, right??  This, by the way, is about as close to being a Wednesday ramble, without officially being CALLED a Wednesday ramble as I can probably produce...  I'm going to pack it in now and see if I can't get another six or seven hours of sleep.  Please use the links to the right to find grrouchie's and Josie's blogs if you want to find some of the searches that have led people to find their blogs or what's okay and not okay - pretty funny stuff.  Have a good one and I'll see you again on Friday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It Was Worth Losing

Good morning everyone.  I'm going to start the ramble off with sports today just because yesterday was such an interesting day in the NFL.  I'm participating (was) in this little "suicide" contest with 14 other blogger types where we each had to pick ONE team each week who was going to win their game - STRAIGHT UP, not against the spread.  Well, yesterday myself and ten other bloggers (and based on the information that I was getting at the bar yesterday, most of America) picked the Patriots over the Cardinals.  Many dreams of winning various suicide contests were CRUSHED when New England choked up their game to Arizona 20-18.  As badly as they played, they had a chance to win the game at the end with a field goal, which sailed wide left, ironically enough, much like the one that the Ravens missed at the end of last year's AFC Championship Game which sent the Patriots onto the Super Bowl.  Although I would have admittedly loved the free Steelers t-shirt or sweatshirt from Lucki Duck (DUH), I AM a Steelers fan, and seeing the Patriots and the Ravens lose yesterday while the Steelers won..., well, I must admit, I'm not THAT heartbroken...  ;)  It was worth losing...  :)  In related news, the loser of next Sunday's matchup between the Ravens and Patriots will be 1-2 to start the season...  :)  It seems that the Patriots and the USC Trojans were just a little overrated this year.  USC had trouble with Syracuse last week (who had trouble with STONY BROOK on Saturday - I never checked that final, so I don't even know if Syracuse beat Stony Brook), and then the Trojans lose to Stanford AGAIN (4th straight time) on Saturday, with Barkley quarterbacking USC, and Luck playing for the Colts, not the Cardinal (good weekend for 'Cardinal'-related teams, eh?)...  Also on a related-note, I went 6-4 on my picks this weekend, and 4-2 on the NFL ones, which seems like a minor miracle given this weekend - looks like the 'Coach' is back on track after that 4-9-1 start ...  ;)  If you happen to have a free moment today, check out the NFL standings and note how many teams are sitting at 1-1 right now - this will just ensure that the season stays interesting that much longer...  By the way, even though the renovated Bobcat Stadium "only" seats 30,000, our parking situation around town is very similar to that in Austin on gameday, where UT's Royal Memorial Stadium seats over 100,000 - you cannot park anywhere near the stadium on gameday unless you get very lucky...  As the week following the Texas Tech game proceeded, I kept hearing tales of where people parked and how far they hiked to Bobcat Stadium.  As I find myself touching on college football again, did anyone else notice that Alabama and LSU are numbers 1 and 2 in the polls again?  Wouldn't it be AWESOME if they met in the National Championship after playing each other in the regular season?  That hasn't happened since...  Oh, and back on the topic of the NFL, did anyone notice those two hits to the head on players in the fourth quarter of last night's Lions/49ers game that were not called?  I'm guessing that the NFL gets the regular officials back on the field before too long - I personally saw a lot more sketchy calls/non-calls yesterday than I did during Week 1.  Also yesterday, Yahoo! ran a story about a replacement official who was already warming-up to call the Saints/Panthers game when he was pulled from the lineup.  Someone found his facebook page, where this guy is totally outfitted in  Saints gear, a diehard New Orleans fan...  :)  On that note, I'll wish you a good day and I'll see you again on Wednesday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Unfriendly Confines

Good evening everyone.  I may still get this post entered on Friday CST...  I decided to utilize my very rare weekend night off (yes, I've been back at my current job for just over a week) to check out the newly renovated Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, America.  Since Bobcat Stadium has been expanded, Jim Wacker Field has seen two games, and they haven't been pretty for the home team.  Last Saturday, the Red Raiders of Texas Tech came in and put it on the alma mater, 58-10.  Tonight, the Eagles of Georgetown High School tried to match the Red Raiders, but only managed a 55-7 win (I'm being sarcastic, as the Eagles could have seemingly scored as much as they wanted to). 

On a just as discouraging note, my football picks have been 4-9-1 so far (against the spread, which is how I will be calling the games here).  Courtesy of USC winning by EXACTLY 39 points in their season opener vs. Hawaii, I'll be dragging that tie along for the whole football season...  I threw out a few more 'maybe' picks than these 14, but these were my offical picks (my statisticians were working overtime to check the accuracy of my stellar record to date, thank you very much).  I will be picking ten games per week from here on out, until we reach weekends where there aren't that many available (plus the bowl season, where I'll pick EVERYTHING like last year)... 

This week's games...  This week I am going to go with the following ten bets:

Washington State/UNLV (Over 56)
BYU (- 3) over Utah
Houston/UCLA (Over 75 1/2)
UCLA (- 17) over Houston

Oakland (- 2 1/2) over Miami
Detroit/San Francisco (Under 46 1/2)
Houston (- 7) over Jacksonville
Kansas City/Buffalo (Under 45)
Minnesota/Indianapolis (Under 45 1/2)
Arizona/New England (Under 48 1/2)

Have fun with those and have a great football weekend!  See ya again on Monday...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quads, Trips, & Amazement

Good morning everyone.  I'm sorry that this is coming to you a day late, but once my internet was finally hooked up yesterday, I received a good call from a friend of mine who needed some help moving.  After helping him for 3 1/2 hours (from 3:30 to 7:00 in the Texas sun) I strangely enough was unable to muster up enough energy to do my poker post, so here ya go.

'Quads' and 'Trips' are nicknames for a couple of the players who I sat with on my recent move (extended vacation) to Las Vegas.  I'm not going to go all-out Rob on you and start nicknaming everybody, but these two earned their nicknames for the hands they made, usually on the flop, in the 2/4 game at the Flamingo.

'Quads' is our friend from Buffalo.  I enjoyed playing two sessions with Quads and his wife.  As our first session together was ending (ending for them, because they had dinner plans with another couple), Quads said that he was playing his final hand.  This was at the end of an hour (like it was about to become 7:00 for example).  Well, the flop came with a pair (kings I believe, but this was awhile back).  On the turn, Quads turned to me mentioning something to the effect that it was too bad he wasn't going to get much action on this hand.  Due to his opponent making some sort of decent hand, Quads was actually raised on the river, which he in turn re-raised before tabling his quads (OF COURSE - I hope you figured that out) for the winning hand.  Well, as it turns out, the Flamingo gives out 100 bucks for quads in their high-hand promotion.  What was ALSO going on though was a high hand OF THE HOUR promotion.  Now these high hands of the hour were also receiving 100 smackaroos, but the hour had just started, so Quads was going to have to wait around and play 2/4 for another hour if he wanted to receive this 100 bucks.  His quads were not guaranteed to hold up (though highly likely), but if they did, he had to be present at the end of the hour to collect his prize.  Being the good-natured guy he is, this irritated Quads because his friends were on the rail, ready to go eat.  They did understand that it was 100 bucks though, and they went off to find some food themselves.

Despite the hand mentioned above, Quads didn't become Quads until I ran into him and his lovely wife the NEXT DAY, when I met up with 'Trips' at Bally's, and we decided to head over to the Flamingo.  Well, wouldn't you know it, Quads FLOPPED QUADS, AGAIN!...  :)  By the way, the night before, in the 4 hours of the high hand of the hour promotion, my table produced the winner 3 times, the last winner making a royal flush, and I won NONE of the 3 hands - go figure...  Back to the next day, and now I'm not only watching Quads flop quads again, for another 100, but now this guy Trips to my left, you guessed it, keeps making trips (3 of a kind, without holding a pocket pair).  For those of you who are regulars in the poker blog world, Trips is none other than Lucki Duck (you're telling me), and I enjoyed sitting and chatting with him for a few hours in the very non-stressful setting which is the 2/4 arena.  During our session, Lucki pointed out another common tell which I don't know if I've seen discussed much in our blogs, but it almost always holds true.  "Watch out for the speech" (or something to that effect) was the utterance from Lucki's mouth when someone at the other end of the table started chirping at the end of a hand...  I enjoyed sitting with P and J and Lucki during these two days at the Flamingo - this next paragraph comes to you from a recent home game I went to, and was closer to shocking than enjoyable.

In the very first hand of said home game, there is TONS of action on the flop (I laid down a flopped straight with K 9, because A K would be a higher straight).  The hand plays out, and a rivered full house (10's full of queens), beats out 2 straights (the flopped A K straight - good read Coach, and a turned straight where the player just needed to hold the queen).  We use the alternate deck (nothing eventful happens), and then play another hand with the first deck (which is again a big hand).  While playing the 4th hand, my friend to my left counts the deck used in the 1st and 3rd hands, and discovers that it has only 48 cards???  After proceeding to recount it twice, it still has 48 cards each time...  Turns out that the deck was a PINOCHLE deck (which is 9's through aces, 8 of each, for 48 cards).  The BAD PART is that the guy who rivered the boat on the first hand doesn't want to return the chips to the losers of the first two hands played with the pinochle deck (everyone was using the same deck was his reasoning).  The WORSE PART is that they didn't make him...  I was about to leave right there (although I wasn't heavily involved in the hand, but then I would have missed the next gem hand, which OF COURSE he dealt).  Let me say right here that this was pretty low-stakes for what most of us are used to, so no one lost hundreds of dollars on these hands, but STILL...

The next eye-opening hand happened when 3 players were acting after the flop.  I bet out, got raised 3 times my bet, which another player called, and then the dealer flips the turn card before I act.  Before acting on my hand, I ask, "that card is going to be burned (shuffled into the deck, whatever), right?"  The dealer responds, "no, it's part of the game, sorry, I wasn't paying attention..."  So now I'm left to act on the postflop raise, KNOWING what the turn card will be, and then we'll have a round of betting on the turn card...  That's one thing about learning to play poker in Las Vegas - I have almost no stomach for home games...  Anyway, I left shortly afterward, and as you can probably figure out, won't be back...

I apologize again for the day-delay on this post, and I'll be back again tomorrow with some football picks for you.  Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crack Security System

Good morning everyone.  I have a lot to ramble about today, so let's get started.  I usually save my "tease title" for the end, but I just came to the library (we'll get to that in a second) directly from the bank, so let's start there.  It seems that more stuff from my bank makes my ramble (and I don't know if any of it is interesting), but here ya go.  You know those pens that are attached to those little chains (presumably because the pens are so valuable)??  Well, as I made my bank deposit this morning, the teller who waited on me had a chain there without a pen (or anything else) attached to it.  I'm shocked that crack security system failed...  Yes, I am at the library again typing this blog entry, and as charming as the little countdown clock at the lower righthand corner of the monitor is, this is Day 7 that I don't have internet service at my apartment since walking into the Time Warner offices in San Marcos, America last Tuesday morning.  The only reason that I am mentioning this is that I am strongly leaning toward writing an open letter to Time Warner on this blog detailing the deplorable customer service that I have encountered over the past week.  This blog has now been viewed over 12,500 times, I have over 575 facebook friends, over 60 followers on twitter, and if I write this letter, I will strongly be urging everyone to share my story so that they can avoid dealing with a similar experience.  At this point I feel that this may be the only way to wake up someone at Time Warner, as I've recounted my experience with each person in succession that I've had to deal with...  Now I'm waiting until Wednesday morning before they send another technician to my apartment (seriously)...  This next little tidbit seems to be going over well on my facebook account so far, so let me share this with you.  I purchased a RIVAL two-slice toaster from Walmart a few days ago.  This toaster has settings numbered 1-6.  I put my first slices of bread in at the 3.5 mark on the dial, which would be average (do the math).  After seeing the results, I am fully convinced that if you toast your bread on the 6 setting, this machine will eject 2 slices of pure charcoal...  #themoreyouknow  So, the Bobcats game, and the Steelers game, and the football picks did not go so well this week...  I will write about this topic on Friday (my normal M.O.), but I am just mentioning it here to let you know that I am not running away from anything.  What did go well this weekend football pick-wise is that my Houston Texans pick came through in the prestigious Lucki Duck suicide contest (one of my co-workers used the term "suicide" yesterday at the bar when referring to this type of "one loss and done" contest and I think that it's catchy).  Participating in this type of contest before, I have managed to get to about Week 7, but in that format, you had to choose a different team only once for EVERY WEEK of the whole season, and since the Duck's blogging friends can use any team an unlimited number of times up until they get roadblocked after their first appearance following Week 8, 'Coach' may be in this contest for a little while...  'Coach' can always use more Steelers gear!  ;)  I will be writing about my poker session with Duck on Wednesday, and now that I am not living in Las Vegas, I may try to join in on some of this free internet tournament poker that the bloggers are all caught up in, if I EVER get internet service at my apartment...  Let me give a shoutout to my friends from Buffalo right now, a poker-playing couple I met at the Flamingo who have been together for over 35 years now, and married for 30 of those.  Sorry about your Bills yesterday - the Jets were hiding a lot in the preseason evidently...  This couple will get some more press in Wednesday's blog entry also, as I sat with them a couple of times, and they graced the Duck and myself with their presence.  Addressing the 'Bobcat Weekend' that I wrote about here on Friday, other than the 58-10 ***kicking that we received from Texas Tech (who OBVIOUSLY did not want to be embarassed like the Houston Cougars were a week ago - the Cougars offensive coordinator resigned after playing us), the weekend was a HUGE SUCCESS for the local businesses in San Marcos, America.  I am happy to say that my employer was one of the businesses who benefitted from the masses of people roaming around San Marcos, and that I will be able to eat this week (and not just because of the leftover barbecue sitting in my refrigerator that I was encouraged to bring home after the first round of Sunday NFL games).  I worked A LOT this weekend, thankfully...  :)  At this moment I am not scheduled to work again until Thursday, so somebody will be trying to organize their apartment when they leave the library (if somebody does not take a nap or get too involved getting ready for tonight's NFL doubleheader).  Have I also mentioned before that at the San Marcos library, they allow their patrons FOUR HOURS of computer use per day, if there is not a wait for the machines?  Just saying that somebody might be here for a while also, since somebody doesn't have internet access at their apartment.  Don't worry, I'm not at all bitter...  #lie  So yeah, there's not much on my plate these days...  #anotherlie  Well, that's plenty of drama and foreshadowing and mystery for one day, so I'm going to publish this mess now.  :)  I hope that all of you have a great day and I'll see you again on Wednesday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bobcat Weekend In San Marcos, America

Good afternoon everyone.  As I sit here typing today's blog entry, San Marcos, America is on precipice of one of its biggest weekends ever, especially for those of us who have any ties to Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University, don't get me started...).  Tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. the Bobcats will host their first football game as an FBS school (formerly NCAA Division I, don't get me started...).  My alma mater will be taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders just one week removed from pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA football history.  Entering last week's game at Houston against the Cougars, the Bobcats were about a 37-point underdog (depending on when you saw the line for the game).  The final score was Texas State 30  Houston 13.  From the sources that I have been reading, only Stanford's upset of USC (I believe in 2007), when Stanford was about a 39-point underdog, is the only upset that anyone can remember that trumps that of the Bobcats last Saturday.  You have to keep in mind that last Saturday's game was at Houston, that the Cougars went 11-1 last year, and that it was my alma mater's first football contest at the FBS level.

Fast forward to this weekend, and the famed 'Square' that I mention with regularity in my blog posts will be hosting a rally from 3:00 p.m. today until 2:00 a.m. to kick off the festivities for the weekend.  Along with membership as an FBS football member came a stadium expansion to 30,000 - tomorrow night's game has been sold out for quite some time, and I've been told that every hotel room in town is booked for the weekend.  Things ought to be very interesting around town for the next few days...  Last season in a matchup of these 2 teams in Lubbock, Texas Tech beat Texas State 50-10, but the Bobcats held a 10-9 lead at halftime...  Eat 'Em Up, Cats!!!

The Red Raiders are currently 18 1/2 to 19-point favorites depending on which line you look at (for those of you interested in sports betting).  Coincidentally, the one winning ticket that I have so far from Las Vegas is a five-team parlay in which the Bobcats were one of my choices...  ;)  Speaking of sports betting, let's get to my picks for this week.  Let me state right here that the lines that I am going to list for the NFL games below are lines that I got while I was in Las Vegas, and most of them have changed.  One that has changed dramatically (if you will) is the line on the Texans/Dolphins game.  When I arrived in the valley, Houston was a 7-point favorite, but now that line has moved to 12!  I got it when it was at 10, and I'll stick with it.  The Patriots line against the Titans has gotten worse for me, which I don't understand at all.  I got it at - 6 1/2, and now it's - 5 1/2.  Anyway, below are the 5 NFL bets that I had already made, and the 5 college games which I am choosing for this weekend.

Houston (- 10) over the Dolphins
New England (- 5 1/2) over the Titans
Buffalo/New York Jets (under 40 1/2)
Pittsburgh/Denver (under 44) - Go Steelers!!!
Baltimore (- 6) over the Bengals

Ohio State (- 18) over Central Florida
USC (- 26) over Syracuse
Nevada (- 1) over South Florida
Oklahoma State (- 10 1/2) over Arizona
Oklahoma State/Arizona (under 70)

I hope that is enough to whet your appetite before the first full slate of NFL games

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cowboys Ramble

Good afternoon everyone.  As you would expect during this wonderful week that I have been having (starting last Thursday), my 3 1/2 point favored Giants lost 24-17 last night to Dallas in the Big Apple.  This killed 2 of my parlay tickets, totaling a potential 130 dollars.  I know that Thursday isn't one of my normal posting days, but I have so much to write about that I could probably makes posts everyday for the next month without missing a beat.  I'll come back again tomorrow and give you my football picks for this weekend, and then we'll see if I can get back to my normal posting schedule next week, but right now let's get back to last night.

I "innocently" went to the Square in beautiful downtown San Marcos, America to watch the football game with my friends last night - my not having any cable hooked up or a t.v. at the moment also played into this decision, I won't lie...  As I was innocently watching the game at Harper's Public House, the fun to my right consisted of a new friend who had drafted Kevin Ogletree for his fantasy football team.  He took a big chance on Ogletree (and evidently received a lot of grief from the other team owners in his league), jumping up and drafting him in the fifth round.  He was rewarded for this move when Ogletree went off for 8 receptions, 114 yards, and 2 touchdowns.  One problem - he had Ogletree on his bench last night for the opener...  Anyway, my new friend took it in stride everytime that Ogletree made a reception and half of the group at Harper's gave him a hard time.  To my left, I was fortunate enough to chat with an interesting girl who seemingly has more jobs currently than I have worked in the last three years combined.  I had a great time watching the game with her (other than the fact that she was cheering for the Cowboys and unknowingly undermining my Giants parlay tickets - yes, unknowingly, because I'm not stupid enough to cheer against a Cowboys opponent like a raving lunatic in the midst of a room filled with Cowboys fans, many of which are my friends). 

So in the midst of all of the fun listed above, and my first chance to really sit back and relax in a while, I get a text from my sister.  Unknown to me, she had still kept the queen-size mattress and accompanying box springs that I had left in her garage over a year ago, and she was notifying me that if I didn't pick them up then she was going to be disposing of them.  Now it's early in the second quarter of the game and I'm trying to find someone with a truck so I can head down to the Alamo City to pick these up.  Here's where I give a big shoutout to my friend George for letting me use his truck, and a big shoutout to my sister for saving these things for me for over a year.  As soon as the Cowboys nailed the coffin shut on my two parlay tickets, I was driving south knowing that my inflatable air mattress days are done for the time being...  :)

As for the football game itself, I was really surprised that the Giants were unable to put more pressure on Tony Romo, which I believed was going to be a huge factor in the game.  The Giants intercepted him once after getting in his face, which resulted in an 'almost touchdown' interception return, but thanks to hustle (and a horse-collar tackle) on the part of the Cowboys, Dallas was able to hold New York to just a field-goal on a possession that started at the two-yard line.  As I mentioned above, Ogletree really had a standout game for the Cowboys, and the Giants were unable to run the ball with any consistency against the Dallas defense.

I may revisit this just for a second tomorrow, but other than the Giants, the Oregon Ducks were my huge disappointment in last week's wagers, probably even moreso because they had the ability to cover their line with ease.  I took Oregon - 35 1/2 on several parlay tickets, and on Saturday night they held a 50-3 halftime lead against Arkansas State.  At this point the Ducks evidently just stopped playing, because the final score in the game was 57-34.  This is a reminder for you youngsters out there that you shouldn't bet your house on sports - very disappointing outcome...

Thanks for all of the well-wishes upon my unplanned return to Texas.  The consensus greeting that I have received from my friends has been, "sorry to hear that, but I'm glad that you're back..."  I guess I have to take that with a smile, right?  :)  That's all I've got for you right now.  I should be back tomorrow with some football picks for you (when I'll probably manage to work in a word or two about the vaunted Texas State Bobcats).  ;)  Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parlay Cards, Poker, Disappointment...

Good afternoon everyone.  I made last night's brief post using my phone, and at the time I wasn't considering that I would be renewing my library card locally.  I also wasn't pondering the possibility that said library would have computers available for its cardholders to use.

Last Thursday I arrived at the LVH at about 5:30 p.m., awaiting the release of their football parlay cards.  I was told that they would be available at 6:00 p.m., so I settled in and watched the college football games that were being televised into the almost full sportsbook, these being the first real games of the season.  At about 6:30 p.m., when the cards became available, I grabbed a stack and sat down for about an hour and penciled in my picks.

I headed to the Riviera from the LVH, as I was hoping to accumulate some hours toward the Saturday freeroll tournament.  I was fortunate enough to find a game waiting for me, one that filled up not too long after I sat down.  I used the first of my food comps during this game to acquire some chicken low mein from the Banana Leaf.  Very friendly staff and a very tasty meal, which I enjoyed while playing poker and watching Washington State and BYU not cover the over - didn't even come close...  Anyway, I left the Riviera at about 1:00 a.m. and headed home.

When I arrived at my apartment, I noticed a piece of door-fitting on the ground - the little plate with the two screws that holds the protruding piece when the doorknob isn't being turned.  I picked it up and thought to myself, "no"...  I went ahead and tried the doorknob without putting my key in the lock, and sure enough, the door opened, the wood along the door frame splintered and leaning into the apartment at a 45-degree angle as a result of someone using their BOOT against the door THREE TIMES to gain entry.  I called the Las Vegas Police Department and then the onsite security phone number.  When the security guy arrived, he said that he had just been by my apartment about 15 minutes earlier and hadn't noticed anything (this will become a common theme)...  The police officer arrived shortly afterward and asked me if anything was missing.  At first glance, it didn't appear that anything had been taken.  My desktop computer was on a table right in the front of the apartment, the magnets on my refrigerator were still holding a potential 400 dollars worth of winning football tickets - very strange.  In the bedroom, it was obvious that the intruder(s) had been in my closet and my drawers, because they weren't closed like they had been.  As the police officer was in his car about to leave (talking to another officer who had showed up by this time), I went to plug my android into its charger and noticed that the charger wasn't there.  I went back outside and notified the officer of this, and this confirmed what we both suspected - it appears that the burglar(s) was scared off somehow.  The officer seemed sure of this once we discovered that the charger had been stolen, because if something was going to be taken, why not take more?

During the hour and a half that the police officer was there, I had a lot of time to think.  I did not have a large enough bankroll with me to move to a different neighborhood pricewise.  It's funny (though not "ha ha" funny) because when I got together with grrouchie at the Riv Sportsbook, we talked about how we had both lived in less than pristine neighborhoods in Las Vegas.  Although these may have been lower income neighborhoods, no one had ever messed with us before.  Well, I knew that if I returned to San Marcos (which was the backup plan all along should I not be able to find work or hit a homerun with my poker and sports betting), I was pretty confident that I would be able to find a job and a place to live.  What really irritates me about the break-in is that my unit was VERY VISIBLE, with a street running alongside it, a similar building located across from it, and another complex facing mine from across a fence, and NO ONE saw or heard anything...  OKAY...

Anyway, I packed everything BACK INTO my very trusty, dependable vehicle and drove back to San Marcos, America.  Yesterday was a very frustrating day for me trying to get my internet service connected...  After being told initially that I could take the modem and receive instant service, THREE visits BACK to Time Warner and TWO phone calls to technicians later, and now I am waiting for a service visit on Saturday, between 4:00 and 5:00 (this being on the day that Texas State has its FBS home-opener against Texas Tech at 6:00, but that's beside the point)... 

Anyway, I hope that all of you have a great day, and that you enjoy your football game tonight.  I will probably be posting to you again from here until I am hooked up at my apartment.  I'm still sticking with the Giants -3 1/2, which is what I got them at... 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


For those of you who may not know, my place in Las Vegas was broken into (thus no posts), and I won't have full internet access til at least Saturday (my frustration with Time Warner today may be a whole post in itself)...  This leaves me back in San Marcos, America, starting over again...