Monday, February 24, 2014

Was That A Serious Question?

"No need to explain myself.  I don't need you to understand..."
-@b_jai2012- (via Twitter)

"I wonder what animals truly think when you sit there and talk to them...  I talk to mine A LOT!"
-Heather Gortney-

"Haters will see you walk on water and say it's because you can't swim..."
-via Training Truths:  The Good, The Bad, The Ugly- (via facebook)

"I think my brain just melted and came out of my ears..." -Alyssa Lesa-

"You're not supposed to apologize.  You're supposed to know better..."
-@b_jai2012- (via Twitter)

Good morning everyone.  Tuesday night post, Tuesday morning post..., whatever...  ;)  Here's a photo of one of my favorite places in Las Vegas, since you asked...

This is the aquarium behind the registration desk at the Mirage Hotel & Casino.  During my early poker "career" (I know..., it's a stretch), I visited this aquarium on breaks during several cash game sessions (3/6 limit hold 'em).  The Mirage is where I learned how to "play" (another stretch, I know) poker.

Speaking of the ocean (well, not really), my friend Melanie posted this photo on facebook recently...

Melanie's family recently took a cruise, and when I saw this picture, I was like, "WOW, THAT'S A BIG BOAT!"  If you've ever seen Tommy Lee Jones in 'The Fugitive,' imagine that I'm saying this in the same tone that he exclaimed, "WOW, THAT'S A BIG FISH!"  ;)  I've probably told you before that although I love water (the ocean), I've never lived near it.  Well, I've never been on a cruise either.  And as for this ship..., GOODNESS GRACIOUS!  Hope you had fun Melanie...  :)

Since we're playing compare and contrast (were we?), my friend Amanda posted this photo on facebook a few days ago...

The ship is big, the pig is small (compare and contrast - try to keep up people)...  ;)  ANYWAY, Amanda tagged her little sister Jessica (who I always addressed as 'Lil Villalpando' while she was growing up - yeah..., well anyway...) to this status, with the line, "Here's our pig.  Let's go half on one.  You can have him on weekends..."  Jessica (obviously excited) replied, "I would kidnap him from you and give him to grandma to make tamales..."  :O  I think that the teacup pig dream officially came to an end when Amanda responded, "WOW!  He is not going near you!"  :D

So we were talking about horrific sandwiches (we were last week, really)...  Our friend Francesca shared her photo of the infamous tuna and sauerkraut sandwich with mustard (on wheat bread I believe) with us, and I proceeded to FOOLISHLY invite others to share their creations with us... Well, fellow blogger Lightning happened to have some leftover sauerkraut in his fridge, and he expanded on Francesca's recipe...

Due to Francesca's "inspiration" (his word), Lightning made this sandwich on toasted honey wheat bread, with tuna, sauerkraut, jalapeno peppers, melted pepper jack cheese, and spicy brown mustard...  WOW...  I don't even know where to start...  :P

What, you want more animals?  This is a story that I forgot to share with you a week ago...  When I visited San Antonio for my nephew's birthday, I forgot to tell you about Diamond and Big Red. Now Diamond has been a member of my brother's household for quite a while, while Big Red was recently (very recently) adopted by my sister-in-law Carmen.  It was only after spending a little time with them that I learned that Big Red was a victim of neglect as a kitten, and was evidently still lucky to be alive.  Not only that, but Diamond wasn't very fond of her adopted brother when he joined their household only a week before I stayed with them, and was rumored to have been hissing and taking swats at Big Red.  However, whenever you pick up Big Red, he INSTANTLY purrs, and I mean PURRS...  I told Pete's family that this must be the happiest cat on the planet, the way he reacts to receiving attention.  Well..., this is a photo of the cats that my brother posted this weekend...

AWWWWWWW...  :D  And it's obvious that Big Red is going to fit into this sports household, as he's CLEARLY dreaming about football...  #touchdown  ;)

Now about that fight...  I have never watched a female UFC fight, but I knew that Ronda Rousey was going to be taking on Sara McMann in a bout on Saturday night.  Although I didn't bet on the match between this pair of Olympians, I had seen that Rousey was the favorite, according to Las Vegas (Rousey -300/McMann +400).  Well, out of the blue on Saturday, I decided to ask the UFC expert that I know what her opinion was on this bout.  I simply messaged Leanne with "Rousey or McMann," to which I got the INSTANT RESPONSE, "Was that a serious question?..."  (imagine a few seconds of dead silence, with tumbleweeds tumbling across the horizon, followed by...)  BAHAHAHA!  ;)  Leanne evidently knows what she's talking about, as Rousey disposed of McMann in 66 seconds...  I should have bet...  :(

Speaking of betting, I have now made 94 bets since February 5th in my little Bovada experiment, and my balance has gone from $39.18 to $53.43 (why did I waste all of this time on poker?)...  ;)  And yeah, I know what you're thinking...  "Coach, why did you waste all of your time on football for that matter?..."  It seems that my wheelhouse is basketball and Olympic hockey...  :P  Speaking of hoops, I have made the executive decision for the blog that Joey and myself WILL NOT be making score predictions for every single NCAA Men's Tourney contest.  We will probably be giving you our 3-5 favorite personal picks for each day of the Round of 64, and then we'll play it by ear.  It's just too much work with no payback, I was already dreading it, and I know that Joey will be too busy working at the Palace Station Sportsbook during that time to get into that much detail.

Well, on that note of disappointment, I hope that you're still able to sleep tonight...  :)  Have a great week and I'll see you again on Saturday!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Are People Alive This Early?

"Stop making stupid people famous..." -Jessica Johnson-

"I'm a secondhand vegetarian - cows eat grass, I eat cows..." -via Francesca Welsh-

"Every time my Jai see a motorcycle, he says, "look Momma, Sons of Anarchy..."  Oops!  #badparenting" -Belyne Gonzalez-

"Yoga this morning, a great CrossFit workout this afternoon, and now softball practice on this gorgeous day!!  -Domonique Gilbert-

"I know one day I'll be great because I won't let myself stop until I am successful..."
-Jessica Johnson-

Good morning everyone, and WHY am I up so early on a Saturday?!  Oh yeah, the U.S./Finland Olympic ice hockey game for the bronze medal started about an hour ago (0-0 at the end of the 1st period, and there's more on this game in my bets below).  I actually woke up at 6:00 a.m. today (about the time that I wake up for work), and I couldn't go back to sleep, so I got a headstart on this anyway.

Let's start with Domonique, and then we'll go on to food.  To give you an indication of where I currently see myself as far as being in shape, when I read Dominique's facebook status (above) earlier in the week, I thought to myself, "WOW, that's a pretty busy month..."  ;)  You see people, I consider myself to be a secondhand vegetarian (see Francesca's facebook status above).  SPEAKING OF FRANCESCA, the following facebook status also made its way across my computer monitor earlier in the week...

"Tuna fish and sauerkraut sandwiches for dinner!  Yum!"

So yeah, of course you know what I'm thinking:  "Oh my God, is someone TORTURING Francesca?!  Are they really making her EAT THESE, and say this?!  ;)  You know me, this is like somebody put one up on a tee for me, so I teased (I mean asked) Francesca about this, at which point, she messaged me this...

YUUUCK...  :P  I showed this to a friend of mine at work, and he's like, "I don't like sauerkraut, I don't like tuna fish, I don't like mustard..., I don't like ANY OF THAT!"  :D  I actually like all of those things (except if that's wheat bread), but together Francesca???  Now I could go on all day, but this is Francesca...

I'm not saying that I'm afraid of Francesca (in reality, there's very little that I fear), but this girl and our mutual friend Leanne are in training to be the next Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann, so as far as that sandwich goes, all I have to say is..., "looks GREAT Francesca!"  ;)  OH, and if any of you out there have any horrible creations of your own, feel free to send them here to my food blog...  :P

Okay, who else can I pick on this morning???  Ahhhh, first I have more of a shoutout to make here.  My friend Ana, who manages a Supercuts and is a 'master stylist' (I don't know what that means exactly, except that I bet she'd do a REALLY GOOD JOB of doing your hair) was tagged in the following facebook status a few days ago...

"Who gets their hair done at 11:38 p.m.?  This girl right here.  Thanks Ana Marie..."

Goodness Gracious!  11:38 p.m..., AT NIGHT Ana?!  :)  Now I wonder if she makes house calls - I mean, you only live like a HALF HOUR AWAY Ana...  :P  My friends never cease to amaze me...  Very nice Ana!  ;)

Alright, who else made me laugh this week?  Who else can I pick on???  Oh yeah...  :)  Now my friend Jennifer is a lot like myself.  Picks on herself CONSTANTLY...  I'm not saying that I pick on JENNIFER constantly, but I've been known to take a shot or two at myself (read my last 400-plus blog entries if you need any proof).  A few night ago, Jenn and I got into a conversation where I mentioned that she should be a comedian (comedienne, whatever)...  Anyway, when I mentioned this possibility, Jenn had this to say...

"I would step up on stage and immediately flash back to when I was four...  Thrown up on stage after weeks of practicing the folklorico dance, all excited, and then get stage fright, start crying, and leave my partner with the little drawn on mustache just standing there...  Never gonna get over that.  Lol"

You see how Jenn did that part with the little drawn on mustache Linda Lou?  She has potential, doesn't she?  ;)  Linda Lou is a professional comedienne (among other things) for those of you who don't know...

As for little old me, I just have a full weekend of sports watching and life planning in store for myself.  As I told a friend of mine last night regarding my pending move to Las Vegas, during the week I'm like, "I can't believe I have to work 115 more days before I move," while on the weekends I'm all, "I only have 23 more weekends to prepare before I move..."

Okay, now on to sports.  Stop for a minute and imagine how early it must be in Las Vegas right now...  But still, coming to you live from the Palace Station Sportsbook, here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 5-4/Overall record of 41-35-1 on the 13-14 season)

I've been on vacation this last week and I just got home, so I'm just gonna give you scores...

Louisville 83  Cincinnati 70
Iowa 80  Wisconsin 74
Syracuse 71  Duke 70
Michigan State 71  Michigan 62
San Diego State 76  New Mexico 72

Good luck and may all your parlay cards cash!

Louisville (-3 1/2) @ Cincinnati - (Over 129 1/2)
Iowa (-5 1/2) vs. Wisconsin - (Over 144 1/2)
Syracuse (+5 1/2) @ Duke - (Over 134)
Michigan State (+1 1/2) @ Michigan - (Under 137 1/2)
San Diego State (+3 1/2) @ New Mexico - (Over 132)

Okay, okay, stop begging...  I'll give you five best bets of my own this week...  ;)

Coach's Five Best Bets (0-0 in 2014)

USA/Finland - Olympic Men's Hockey (Under 4 1/2)
Duke (-5 1/2) vs. Syracuse
Florida (-6 1/2) @ Mississippi
North Carolina (-13 1/2) vs. Wake Forest
Cincinnati (+3 1/2) vs. Louisville

An added bet that I made (and actually for 2 bucks, due to its value), was Finland (-1 1/2) vs. U.S. for (+550).  That means that I'd win $11.00 is Finland wins by at least 2 goals.  If you'll recall, I'll win $1.70 if Finland medals (wins by at least 1).  This is from a prop bet that I made before the Olympics started.  So either the U.S. medals, or I win my prop bet for $1.70, or I win $12.70 in prop bets...  ;)  For those of you who are shocked that I'm betting against my team, I won three bets in a row in this little Bovada sports betting experiment of mine by wagering against the Spurs (who had SEVERAL players sitting out, yet the odds didn't accurately reflect this)...

Okay boys and girls, that's all that I've got for you this time.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Tuesday!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Was That A Vacation? (w/Wed. 2-19 Betting Update)

"I don't go crazy.  I am crazy.  I just go normal from time to time..."
-via Leanne Calderon-

"I don't think you have to brag about how good you are if you actually are..."
-Belyne Gonzalez-

"I need someone who sees the fire in my eyes and wants to play with it..."
-via Francesca Welsh-

"It's amazing how much winning a big hand can improve one's disposition..."
-Rob Solomon-

Good morning everyone.  I have to be honest with you, it seems like I've been on vacation, having made zero posts since Thursday...  The break came at a great time for me, as I spent the weekend down in San Antonio with my brother's family (we'll get to that in a minute).  First, here's your obligatory Las Vegas photo...

This is the Plaza, a relatively inexpensive option for tourists who would like to stay in downtown Las Vegas during their visit to the desert.  I just read a short article in the online version of the Las Vegas Review-Journal about plans for putting a 45,000-square-foot structure on the roof of this hotel.  This would house a hockey rink, and would include seating for 3,500 people.  Evidently, the Orleans Arena isn't renewing their lease with the local hockey team, the Las Vegas Wranglers, and this would be their new home.  I don't know if this is a good idea, but it's very interesting...

Okay..., now going back to the very top of this post, I would like to thank the three young ladies who have become my "go to" people for stealing material from.  While spending this past weekend in San Antonio with my brother's family (we'll get to that in a minute), I spent almost zero time on social media (Why would I?  I hadn't seen my brother's family in quite some time - we'll get to that in a minute).  With that being said, I had not reposted any facebook statuses or retweeted any tweets over the weekend (which equates to I had NOTHING for that very top section of this entry). HOWEVER, I knew that I could go directly to Leanne's and Francesca's facebook pages, and to Belyne's twitter account, and that I'd be all set...  :)  And since I steal from these ladies REGULARLY, I also included links to their respective facebook and twitter pages, so that you can give them some well-deserved traffic.  OH, and that Rob guy up there..., well, I decided to include a link to his blog also, rather than giving him the 1% of the nonexistent money that I've made from writing this blog...  ;)

Like I said the last time that I visited with you, I had Joey rush his basketball picks so that I could do my blog entry on Thursday, leaving my whole weekend open to visit with my brother's family.  I have a nephew who became a teenager today, and we were celebrating his birthday over the weekend.  This party started on Friday night, when my brother, niece, and nephew picked me up at my place in Austin.  Somewhere during the drive to San Antonio, and my splitting a 40-piece pack of McDonald's Chicken McNuggets with the kids, the bright idea (mine, surely) was born to see who could stay up later, myself or my nephew.  I missed my customary afternoon nap to pack for the weekend, and Elijah is (well..., WAS 12 years old at the time).  This ended badly for me, as I finally conceded defeat at 12:45 a.m., Saturday morning.  OH, guess what...  The U.S. was playing Russia in Olympic ice hockey, at SIX THIRTY A.M., Saturday morning.  Well, when I opened my eyes, it was about 7:00 a.m., and my nephew was still in bed, but was already awake. Down the stairs we went, and watched a thrilling, 8-shot shootout, 3-2 U.S. overtime victory.  It's important to note here that I later took a two-hour nap, and that my nephew stayed awake in the hours leading up to his birthday party.  We proceeded to have a nice birthday party for Elijah (burgers, dogs, bratwurst, mac salad, beans, cake) - great by my standards...  ;)  #yum  Thanks Carmen!  THEN someone had the bright idea to go bowling...  Unfortunately my sister and my other niece and nephew didn't join us, because they missed it...  Elijah, the 12 year-old who woke up at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, went to bed at almost 1:00 a.m., slept for 6 hours, and whose previous high game in bowling was a 154, led off with a strike.  He followed that up with a strike, then another, and then ANOTHER...  When all the dust had settled, Elijah bowled a 213, and ended up with a 490 series!  Not only did my nephew kick my butt in bowling, but both my niece Sarah and Elijah SLAUGHTERED ME in Flappy Bird.  Oh, and my brother Pete bowled a 594 series, just to add insult to injury...  ;)

So yeah, I did have a very enjoyable weekend, and after going to bed at EIGHT P.M. last night to catch up, I got back to a little sports betting today.  I can see that when I return to Las Vegas, prop bets will get a lot more attention (they received almost none) than they did when I lived in the desert.  Tonight (among other things) I bet on the over for Duncan's and Griffin's rebound totals (10 1/2 and 10, respectively) in the Spurs/Clippers game, in addition to whether Deandre Jordan could surpass 26 points, rebounds, and blocks combined).  I also made some bets on tomorrow's Olympic ice hockey action.  These bets are essentially hedges (2 of the 3 anyway).  If the U.S. loses (men's or women's, I could win).  Okay, the women play on THURSDAY, and not tomorrow - stop correcting me...  I have almost settled on the idea that if and when I do return to Las Vegas (yes, I'm still shooting for this summer), this blog may become mainly a diary of my daily sports betting and poker results, you know..., for the week that my bankroll survives...  ;)

Okay, that's enough for now.  I have to work tomorrow, and most likely, that will include overtime (I need the money, right?)...  Have a great week, and I'll see you again on Saturday!

Wednesday 2-19 Betting Update:  I failed to include this reminder yesterday, but I'll keep posting my little "baby bets" on twitter with the hashtag #babybets.  Since I started keeping track of them on 2-5, my account has risen ASTRONOMICALLY, from $39.18 to $41.88...  Have a good one!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lovable Rather Than Popular

"I don't care much for football when I'm home.  I'd rather watch it like at Hooters or Pluckers...or live not a true fan.  Whoops.  Mainly cause I love wings..." -Belyne Gonzalez-

"I hate when it's dark and my brain is like, "Hey, you know what we haven't thought about in a while..., Monsters"..."     ..."or clowns that get put in your sight by your 'friends'..."
-via Francesca Welsh-

"Whenever there's a problem, you change it.  You can't go on studying these things forever..."
-Bill Walton-

"My seeester just said, "You look drunk, or did you just get done working out?"  Uuuh, neither activity occurred today....  FAIL..." -via Brittany Flores- (Observation by Raquel Maldonado)  ;)

"She has faith in God's greater plan..."  -via Gabby Contreras-

Good evening everyone.  Okay, I lied...  You don't have to check your calendars - it isn't Saturday yet (unless of course you're reading this on Saturday)...  I planned on doing this entry Saturday morning, but I got a better offer for this weekend, so you're getting this post right now (late, LATE Thursday night)...

Before we get to basketball, I have some great news to share with you...

This girl...  :)  Gabby has found her way into my little blog a lot in the past year.  I met Gabby through our mutual friend Alyssa (yes, our favorite Texans fan Alyssa).  Gabby (like Alyssa before her, and several other young ladies that I have the pleasure of knowing) has done an outstanding job of representing the Chi Omega Chapter at Texas State University.  Gabby has also contributed to this blog several times, in the form of quotes..., and photos..., and Bitstrips..., and the list goes on...  I've done more than my fair share of teasing Gabby, but as I've said many times before, I only pick on people I like.  This girl..., whose Twitter account displays the quote shown above, "She has faith in God's greater plan," this girl..., who was a 2013 nominee for Homecoming Queen at Texas State..., well, this girl received the following letter a few days ago...

Yeah...  :)  Congratulations Gabby!  EXTREMELY PROUD of you...  ;)  By the way, the title of tonight's post was borrowed (stolen) from one of Gabby's facebook albums, which I was POURING THROUGH IN VAIN earlier, trying to find a photo of her where she's by herself.  I finally had to borrow (steal) Gabby's profile photo from facebook.  She's NEVER ALONE in a photo, and she's got 1,100 facebook friends!  How about 'Lovable and Popular' Gabby?  ;)  Congratulations again Gabby - you deserve it!  :D

And now for the person who deserves the blame for reigniting my fire to return to Las Vegas (okay, he helped) by posting a facebook photo of his poker winnings one night near the start of the new year, live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in Las Vegas, here's Joey (and am I the king of the segue or what?)...  ;)

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 3-6/Overall record of 36-31-1 on the 13-14 season)

Since football season ended, most of my time is spent in Vegas card rooms working on the bad beat jackpots.  With that said, there is not much analysis of each game, but I do have scores...

North Carolina 70  Pittsburgh 62
Oklahoma 65  Oklahoma State 60
Syracuse 65  North Carolina State 55
Utah State 67  UNLV 59
Florida 73  Kentucky 56

Back to the poker grind.  Remember, when you come by Palace Station, say hi, and may all your parlay cards cash!

North Carolina (-4 1/2) vs. Pittsburgh - (Under 136 1/2)
Oklahoma (+2) @ Oklahoma State - (Under 155 1/2)
North Carolina State (+14) @ Syracuse -
Utah State (-4) vs. UNLV - (Under 133)
Florida (+2 1/2) @ Kentucky - (Under 130 1/2)

And gang, in all fairness to Joey, he thought that he was going to be giving me his submission for Saturday morning, but LATE last night I asked him if he could give me his scores today due to my impending weekend plans.  If you've become accustomed to reading his thoughts on each of his selections, that's the reason that he just gave you scores today.  As for myself, I'm going to start with my 'Five Best Bets' next weekend.  However, I will let you know that I'm currently 8-3 since Monday on my "baby bets" that I've been making on Bovada.  Again, these are $1.00 bets, and I'm now tweeting most of them on my Twitter account nightly.  I still have a pair of live ones for the Thunder/Lakers game:  Lakers (+12) - L.A. is currently up 8 with 10:35 left to go; and Durant (Over 34 1/2) - Durant currently has 29 points.  Let me be honest with you - this success isn't discouraging me from wanting to move to Las Vegas.  Sometimes I wonder where I'd be right now if I had put all of the time that I put into poker into learning how to bet sports, and then I cry FOR HOURS...  ;)  Remember that you can go to my Twitter account (top of the page) for my daily "baby bets."  Have a great weekend and I'll see you again on Tuesday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pacing Myself

"Vegas Baby!" -Mario Jimenez (with Bryn Major)-

"When people think the world revolves around them...  Grow up.  I'm not in high school and have much more important things to worry about than your petty drama..." -Megan Stremmel-

"Just landed in Vegas!  Yes, I was here last month..." -Jason Moreno-

"Some people just like pushing other people's buttons..., to the point of no return..."
-Belyne Gonzalez-

"Thank you confusing Texas weather and American Airlines for canceling our 0600 flight back to Austin!  Now we won't be back to Austin till after 1930 tomorrow..." -Michaela Hahn-

Good evening everyone.  Yeah, all of those Las Vegas quotes above are from friends of mine who are visiting the Mojave Desert right now...  #punks  Tonight's obligatory photo (can I really keep this up for six more months?) comes to you from my friend Bryn, who found someone that you just might recognize...

That's right!  Bryn is posing with none other than a Jack Nicholson impersonator...  ;)  So yeah, my friends are continuing to torture me, and as you saw in Michaela's stolen facebook status above, the weather is supposed to be nasty again here in Austin tomorrow (which has been a recurring weekly theme)...  Thankfully for us, it's supposed to start looking like Texas again down here after Wednesday.  That brings us to our next photo, which my friend Leslie posted recently.  It occurs to me that in all of the time that I've been writing this blog, I've rarely (if ever) put up a picture of the famous Bikini Hill here...

Yes, you can officially be jealous of my alma mater now...  ;)  I think that Leslie took this photo over the weekend, when the weather was actually nice.  The good news for us after Wednesday is that we're supposed to see highs in the 70's with lows in the 50's throughout the remainder of the current 10-day forecast...

Okay..., about this pacing myself stuff...  We're at that point of the year after the football season has ended, and before the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has commenced.  I'm going to scale back to two posts per week, at least for the time being.  When the NCAA Tourney does begin, I will be posting as often as necessary to give you predictions on every tournament game from Joey and myself.  I did this last year, and Joey is joining me this year.  In the meantime, I PLAN to make my entries on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings.  On Saturdays, Joey is going to continue to give you his five weekly college hoops picks, and I am going to start giving you my five best bets for the weekend, which will include a combination of NCAA & NBA games, as well as NHL picks (when they return to action).  Additionally, I plan to start tweeting the daily bets that I'm making (on Bovada) on my Twitter account, with the hashtag "#babybets."  Keep in mind that these are only $1.00 wagers, and that they haven't been researched EVEN CLOSE to the extent that I plan on diving into this stuff once I return to Las Vegas (which will also guarantee absolutely nothing, of course)...  Continuing to completely ignore the advice of my book on sports betting, I'm only betting games that I can watch on t.v.  I'm down $5.18 since I started tracking these baby bets last Wednesday, but I'm going to get $1.95 of that back if Kansas State holds on to beat Kansas (they are currently in overtime, the Wildcats up 2 with 23.4 seconds remaining).  You'll be interested to know that I've bet against the Spurs three times in a row (and won).  I've taken the points twice, and I bet the Pistons on the moneyline tonight.  San Antonio is on their "rodeo road trip" right now, and the team is just so beat up...  My other bet tonight (a loss) was the Seminoles at home on the moneyline hosting the Hurricanes.  I was embarrassed that I bet Florida State after seeing how passive their home crowd was for the game - completely baffling...  And Miletus, I PROMISE that I'll try to limit the sports content here on Tuesdays, and/or add more non-sports content on Saturdays...  :D

WOW, look at them celebrating the fact that I actually won a bet there in Manhattan, Kansas!!!  ;)  Have a great week and I'll see y'all on Saturday!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Last Worthless Weekend

"All I want for my birthday is to beat level 20 in flappy bird!" -@b_jai2012- (via Twitter)

"Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean..." -Sarah Jo-

"When it comes down to it, it's all about who loves and respects you..." -@b_jai2012-

Good morning everyone (it's very late on Friday night right now, but by the time I hit the 'publish' button - you get the idea)...  The title of tonight's post plays into me sitting at home on a Friday night (yet again), but we'll get to that shortly.  For now, here's the first of THREE obligatory Las Vegas photos for you tonight!

'Handsome Guy, Some Lucky Girl' would be the caption of this picture...  ;)  I believe that this shot was taken on Fremont Street during my very first visit to Las Vegas (yes, 100 years ago).

We're going to lead off with Joey tonight (since we usually keep you in suspense - don't want to become too predictable here)...  Live from the Palace Station Sportsbook in the Mojave Desert, here's Joey...

Joey's College Hoops Parlay Card (Last weekend 6-2/Overall record 33-25-1 on the 13-14 season)

No more football on the parlay card, and I'm still being razzed for the poor Denver showing, but they are my pick to make it back next year against the 49ers.  Both are 4/1 to win the championship.

In basketball, finishing strong in conference play is key to getting a top seed.  Boise State has started to fade the last two weeks.  In games against San Diego State and UNLV, Boise had the lead but could not close the game.  Saturday they travel to Utah State.  I think the Aggies win in a close one.  Utah State 67  Boise State 64

North Carolina hasn't played very consistent basketball this year, but with a young team, sometimes that's expected.  They have more depth than Notre Dame, and win easily, 72-57.

BYU is playing in the West Coast Conference where they like to run the court.  San Francisco is just having a bad year, and traveling to Utah will not help.  BYU wins and covers.  BYU 86  San Francisco 57

UNLV gets to play at home after being embarrassed by Colorado State.  I think the Rebels wake up and know they have to win against Wyoming, plus UNLV has faster guards and will push the action.  UNLV 72  Wyoming 64

Finally, it's a big rivalry in the Pac-12, UCLA vs. USC.  Doesn't matter the sport, they don't like each other, so throw out the records and take the dog.  UCLA 65  USC 63

That's all for this edition of the parlay card.  Come say hi at Palace Station and may all your tickets cash.

Utah State (-2 1/2) vs. Boise State - (Under 139 1/2)
North Carolina (-2) @ Notre Dame - (Under 145 1/2)
BYU (-11 1/2) vs. San Francisco -
UNLV (-6) vs. Wyoming - (Over 122)
USC (+9) vs. UCLA - (Under 148 1/2)

My friend Joey went 6-2 last weekend.  You can make some money at a 75% clip (I've heard)...  ;) Back to the title of tonight's post, I've stayed in the apartment during the weekend for over a month now, predominantly due to the fact that the weather has been pretty nasty here.  At the University of Texas at Austin, we had a two-hour delay to start our workday on Thursday, and we stayed home on Friday.  Don't cry for me or anything, because I have made significant progress in sorting through my belongings.  It's not 100% that I'll return to Las Vegas in August (although I'm doing everything possible to make that happen), but I sure am preparing like it (which I just said in parentheses, but anyway)...  ;)  We all know that I'll more than likely return to San Marcos, America to reside before my adventurous life comes to an end, but I'm sick of dragging unnecessary possessions back and forth across the country...

In addition to sorting through my stuff, I've also become an avid basketball fan over the past few days.  I've bet 11 games on Bovada over those 3 days, and I'm up 40 cents.  I TOLD YOU that I'll make it as a professional sports handicapper in Vegas!  :D  It's a shame that during this time of the season, basketball lines come out on the day of the game.  I have already investigated my digital cable guide for tomorrow, and have found a total of (at least) 17 games that I'll be able to watch from 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. CST.  Somebody is going to be doing some learning tomorrow morning...  Hey, it gives me something to root for in the background while I plan the rest of my life, so don't judge me...  ;)  The funny thing is, I take these small bets pretty seriously.  If I lose, I'm quick to brush the results off, because the money is so minimal, but just like with the free/cheap poker that I play online, trying to win and caring about it helps me immensely in the long run. When I returned to Las Vegas for that month just over a year and a half ago, I held my own (virtually broke even) at the poker tables, and I hadn't played any significant live poker for over five years.  I had played online in the interim however (microstakes at Pokerstars, Spadeclub, Club WPT, free MSN), and my game is significantly better than it was when I lived in Las Vegas (yes, 100 years ago).  I was virtually desperate to learn the game and improve when I started, and when I asked my brother Pete what I needed to do to get better, he simply said, "you have to see hands..."

Okay, let's stop right here to insert another promotional Las Vegas photo.  This is the new cover photo that you'll find on my facebook and Twitter accounts...


She's a temptress, isn't she?...  :P  Below is a shot that the 'M' Resort shared on facebook tonight...

Yep, she's still a temptress...  Speaking of the 'M' and a former employee who has moved on to Hawaii, I've only intended to make this plug for about a month now.  It's appropriate that I do this tonight however, in this specific post, because my little blog will pass the 65,000-view milestone this weekend (with this entry).  This person is responsible for me having a blog at all (and yes, you can place the blame squarely on this person's shoulders)...  ;)  When I dealt poker at the Riviera (yes, 100 years ago), my friend Scott (then a dealer at the Flamingo) would come visit our fledgling room, and would over tip myself and my friends when he won pots at our 2-4 tables (I'm SO THANKFUL that he won pots)...  :D  Scott wrote the first blog that I ever read (I never really knew what a blog was until he told me about it), and now he writes this blog...  Okay, he doesn't write very often, but that's because his blog is called 'My Maui Life' (meaning, he lives in HAWAII - would YOU write that often if you lived in Hawaii?)... :P  Seriously, you should check out Scott's blog (which includes the link to his Twitter account, where he does "write" more frequently).  With all of that being said, my "plug" is actually for his new business, which you can find here...  Trust me - click on the link and check out his site.  The clothes look awesome, part of the profits are being donated to worthwhile organizations - just click on the link, please...  :D  After I moved back to Las Vegas for that month just over a year and a half ago, leaving San Marcos with my STUFFED vehicle and making the nonstop twenty-plus hour drive to the desert, I crashed in my little suite at the El Cortez.  When I woke up after a brief 4-6 hour nap, I already had a text message from Scott, offering to buy me a meal just south of the city (with his wife Julie, whose name you'll also notice on that mission statement) after his shift ended that night at the 'M' Resort.  Good people, I"m telling ya - check out the website for their new business...  ;)

This is a late Saturday afternoon edit for those of you who decided to stop by casually late...  ;)  Going against the advice of my trusty book on sports betting (once again), I found twelve basketball games that are being televised today to make bets on.  These are all $1.00 Bovada bets (as always, for entertainment purposes only)...  Texas (+3 1/2) @ K. State (Longhorns currently down 21 late in the first half - very promising), Michigan (+185 ML) @ Iowa, Florida State (+170 ML) @ Maryland, South Carolina (+14) @ Tennessee, Kansas (-13) vs. West Virginia, Iowa State (-19 1/2) vs. TCU, Saint Louis (-4 1/2) @ La Salle, Duke (-10 1/2) @ Boston College, Oklahoma (-4 1/2) vs. Baylor, Cincinnati (+3 1/2) @ SMU, Gonzaga (+4) @ Memphis, and Charlotte (+5) vs. San Antonio.  Have fun with that...  ;)

I mentioned the 65,000 views (almost) a minute ago.  I don't know what I expected when I started this, but thank you for stopping by, and have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Changing Seasons

"If you don't fight for what you love, don't cry for what you lose..." -via Francesca Welsh-

"Sometimes I forget to consider how badly people can play poker..."

"Things are definitely farther than they seem on the map as far as the Strip goes..."
-Swager2- (via Twitter)

"It's about looking for good spots and being smart..." -Brent Hanks-

"Work until your idols become your rivals..."

Good evening everyone.  You should know me well enough by now to know that the title of this post is not referencing the changing of the seasons from winter to spring, which isn't going to happen anytime soon here in the ATX, based on the fact that the wind chill factor is supposed to be NINETEEN DEGREES tomorrow morning when I walk a mile to work...  #brrrrrr  Don't be shocked by the mile walk - I have to be at work before the West Campus bus can get me there, but NINETEEN?!

So yeah, I'm already losing money in other sports.  Basketball and hockey would be the new seasons that I am referencing, since the football season has ended (moment of silence)...  I have a book on the bookshelf beside me called 'Secrets of Professional Sports Betting' - it includes a section titled, 'Don't Gamble For The Action Alone.'  This section basically says that you shouldn't bet a game just because it's on t.v.  Long story short, I found three games on t.v. to bet tonight...  Cal recently tagged Arizona with its first loss of the season in the college hoops world, and the Bears beat Stanford at Palo Alto by seven earlier in the season.  Cal was a three-point favorite at home tonight against the Cardinal, so I bet them (these are $1.00 Bovada bets, unless specified otherwise, as I work my way toward becoming a professional gambler)...  ;)  Final score tonight:  Stanford 80  California 69, naturally...  I'm off to a good start...  Cal was down by as much as eighteen points in the first half.  I have studied so much that I didn't even know that Johnny Dawkins is now the head coach at Stanford.  Being a North Carolina fan growing up (even before they had Michael Jeffrey Jordan in uniform),  I detested Duke.  I'm still not a big Duke fan.  I mean, how can you like a program that's run within the rules and graduates players?  ;)  Anyway, Dawkins is one Blue Devil that I came to respect over time, and I actually wanted my Spurs to draft him with the 10th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.  I couldn't believe that he lasted until number ten, and I was shocked when the Spurs selected him.  However, injuries cut his NBA career short, but I probably wouldn't have bet against Stanford tonight if I had known that he was at the helm.  Bye bye dollar...  Speaking of the Spurs, I said at the end of last season that I had a hard time believing that we'll win the NBA Championship for quite a while.  Although I'll be rooting for the Spurs in the playoffs like I have for a long time, things are getting tough for San Antonio already, and it's only early February.  I was concerned about my team's age when I posted my belief here at the end of last season, and the Spurs stumbled to a double-overtime win tonight at Washington.  Manu Ginobili didn't even make the "rodeo road trip," and Tony Parker left tonight's game in the second quarter (reported stiffness in his back).  Oh, speaking of the NBA, I have the Clippers (-1) against the Heat right now (the Heat are up by 12 - I can sense that you are shocked).  Speaking of sports betting, I also have the San Jose Sharks (-1 1/2) against the Stars on the ice tonight.  That game is scoreless at the end of the first period.  Oh, one more thing about sports betting in the barely cohesive paragraph:  I found out from my friend 'Palace Station Joey' that the odds set by Las Vegas for a safety being the first score in the Super Bowl were 200 to 1.  For example, a $5.00 bet won $1,000.00...  If we only knew...

Speaking of Las Vegas, here's a photo for you (because I haven't posted one in a while)...

My friend Courtney told me that she's going to be visiting the desert next month, and when I asked where she'll be staying, she replied, "The Aria?"  DIDN'T EVEN KNOW how lucky she is...  :)  Yeah, that's the Aria pictured above, and for those of you who are going to be visiting Las Vegas before I move back, keep letting me know, and I'll keep calling y'all punks...  ;)

I wanted to tell you a short story regarding one of the quotes at the top of this entry...  The one about things seeming closer on the map than they are, in reference to the Strip.  I once heard about a tourist at the airport who was going to be staying at the MGM saying that they would just walk (because you can see it plain as day from the airport, so it must be close)...  :D  Note to Courtney:  DO NOT WALK to the Aria from the airport...  ;)

We'll close tonight with a photo that my friend Marissa shared on facebook.  Now Marissa is a beautiful girl (like all of my female friends) :D, so don't believe the hype when you see this shot, but this one did make me smile...

Have a great day and I'll see you again on Friday...  ;)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not So Super Bowl

"The Broncos would have saved America a lot of time if they would have just told us they weren't coming to play today!" -Brittany Flores-

Good evening everyone.  I hope that you have recovered from that thrilling game yesterday. YAWN...  I also hope that you had an outstanding birthday Maureen!  :D  About twenty minutes ago, the Austin Police Department knocked HARD on my door, and when I answered, the officers told me that they were answering a call for a reported disturbance in my apartment.  Evidently a man and a woman were arguing loudly in my apartment.  I told the gentlemen that I had just woken up from a nap less than an hour earlier.  They asked if they could check my apartment.  This took about two seconds since I'm living in a studio apartment.  When I lived in Las Vegas, I also had a pair of officers show up at my door once.  On that visit, one of the patrolmen already has his GUN DRAWN.  That visit from LVPD was more exciting than yesterday's game.  My visit a short while ago from APD was more exciting than yesterday's game.  My NAP was more exciting than yesterday's game!  Okay, let's backtrack a little...  Here's my obligatory Las Vegas photo for the day...

That would be me when I dealt poker at the Riviera, a hundred years ago...  Speaking of Las Vegas (what are the odds?), I'm guessing that the sportsbooks in the desert made a little bit of money on yesterday's game, considering that the public bet the Broncos from a 2-point underdog to a 3-point favorite...  Seattle Seahawks 43  Denver Broncos 8...  Somewhere on my facebook yesterday, I read a comment about the Super Bowl being a blowout (okay, okay, you got me - I MIGHT have read that more than once).  Due to the fact that I have so many former students and athletes who are on my facebook account, in addition to a significant number of friends who are college students or recent college graduates, I have noticed a couple of things:  One, the people in both of these groups are roughly the same age (within the same decade - i.e., not 100 years old); Two, these are the people who post most frequently among my facebook friends (by and large).  What occurred to me is that this "generation" hasn't experienced blowouts in the Super Bowl with the same frequency that I did when I was "growing up," and that in fact, most of the title games that they have seen have been really close.  For those of us who are older (most of the bloggers - sorry bloggers), we went through a stretch when the NFC was just KILLING the AFC in the Super Bowl! Rewind to yesterday, when the Broncos were behind after the first play from scrimmage, when that snap flew by Peyton Manning's head.  Denver looked flat (as a TEAM) all day yesterday.  I think that Joey will correct me if I'm wrong here, but I doubt that Bronco supporters will argue this point with me:  "No Coach, that was our best effort, and the Seahawks just beat us 43-8..." What's interesting to me is that there was talk that Coach Fox was due to receive a one-million dollar bonus if the Broncos won yesterday.  There was also talk that he was about to enter negotiations for a contract extension following the Super Bowl.  After that showing?  Hmmm... Good luck...

I also need to take a moment to thank the Fox Network (no relation) for sucking up to the NFL yesterday.  They kept showing the current weather in Denver and Seattle, in comparison to that in East Rutherford, to demonstrate how the Super Bowl was being played in paradise.  First of all, the game wouldn't have been held in Denver or Seattle (you would think - ha ha) if New Jersey wasn't chosen as the host.  Normally these games are held in locales like California and Florida and New Orleans (Superdome).  Why wasn't Fox showing the temperatures in these places yesterday? Also, that shot of Roger Goodell sitting in the stands:  PLEASE don't try to tell me that he sat in that seat for the WHOLE GAME.  What, the COMMISSIONER of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE couldn't get a better seat than that, for the SUPER BOWL?!  The NFL was extremely fortunate that the weather on the east coast wasn't worse yesterday...

As for myself, I decided to stay home for the game yesterday (which was a wise choice in hindsight, considering the excitement level of that clash)...  My car still isn't running, and since I only NEED it to buy groceries (and I can use the city metro system to do that), I haven't looked into getting it fixed yet, and thus didn't make a trip down to San Marcos, America.  Enjoying the leisurely afternoon at home (while researching Super Bowl prop bets on Bovada), these are some of the things that crossed my computer monitor yesterday...

This is from my friend Katelynn, who happens to be a Steelers fan (shameless plug).  Seeing this again also reminds me of a number of friends who posted statuses about grocery stores being busy in the hours preceding the Super Bowl - REALLY, ya think?...  ;)

This Bitstrip is from my friend Gabby (Texas State Homecoming Queen Nominee Gabby, Beer Purse Gabby, etc... - you know her).  And seeing this cartoon had me asking the question, "Who are you Gabby?!"  :D

This shot is from my friend Belyne (who I have quoted and will quote here in the blog often). Belyne has the BEST Twitter account, especially for never saying ANYTHING on facebook...  ;) This is a photo of her son (and one of his friends I presume), and although I won't say who is who, I hope that your son is doing okay today Belyne...  ;)  And I'm sure that y'all remember this picture from a couple of weeks back...

These are the football sisters, Valerie and Veronica, back when most of America (including myself) assumed that the Broncos were going to win the Super Bowl yesterday.  Well..., I came across the photo below after yesterday's game, and it was titled 'Karma.'

Yeah..., that pretty much sums it up America...  And then we have...

WHAT?!  KATELYNN???!!!  :)  This is a FAMILY blog...  :P  I have to admit that this Bitstrip caught me by surprise yesterday, for a couple of reasons...  First, this is the same sweet and innocent girl who created the "snack fort" Bitstrip that I kicked off this section with.  Second, I don't get all of the excitement over Bruno Mars...  Ha ha (but seriously)...  After yesterday's halftime show, I saw several facebook statuses referencing Mr. Mars, and my initial thought was, "All eight of Bruno Mars' fans are my facebook friends..."  I apologize to those of you who love Bruno, but he's just like Justin Bieber to me - I just don't get it...  :)  As for this Bitstrip, I decided to include it tonight after reading the comments to Katelynn's status...  After a friend of Katelynn's family remarked, "I want to do that too!!!," Katelynn replied, "Hahahaha I laughed so hard when I saw this!!" (That's when I concluded that there is still hope for Katelynn)...  ;)  THEN, this same family friend responded, "Your mom laughed so hard she is choking. .  Still is!!"  :)

Thanks again to Katelynn and to all of my friends who allow me to REPEATEDLY steal moments from their lives for my blog.  I really do appreciate it!  I hope that you have a great day, and I'll see you again on Wednesday!