Friday, September 30, 2005

The Poker Camp blog

Dylan, has started a blog on his progress in Atlantic City at the US Poker Championship.
Check it out.

Poker Analyst

I have decided to start tracking my live poker play using's Poker Analyst. I sort of stopped tracking my progress using the spreadsheet I had, mainly because I couldn't access it from work. With PokerAnalyst I'm able to log in all the action from anywhere, and it'll let me see pretty charts and graphs easily.

This morning I logged a win from last night's spread limit action at Jeff Nielson's place. $.25-3 spread limit, hold 'em cash-game (not tournament style). I played very slow, mostly due to shitty hands. One hand I held Q-To, Jeff calls my pre-flop raise, Andy calls. Flop gives me a Q. I raise, he calls again, Andy folds. Then an ace hits the board, he raises, I call, a bit scared that he has an ace, but the pots so large, I couldn't my queens go. The next card is a blank, we both check. He flips over pocket 9s.... I win with my queens. Weird, weird, weird. All I can say is, "Live fish heuh!"

I'm pretty sure I left there as the big winner. But the action has only made me hungrier. What sucks is that my attempts at getting a game started at my house is like pulling fucking teeth. ScottO is "taking a break from poker," because he's been losing his ass at every fucking game. I think he's been playing too tight. The Bootie actually has a life, so he's never able to play. Chestnut is totally whipped and his schedule is controlled by his woman. Luke is working many many hours and is also as pussy whipped as can be. The Marinuccis have whippersnappers running around. Rauser sucks and knows it. Pate works evenings and hasn't won in a while. I hate to say it, but I think my friends are scared to play against me. At this rate I'll get no action from my friends at all.

I am going to make an effort to play at other people's home games more often. I don't lose money on a rake, the opponents are softer than the casinos and internet, and I feel I can take advantage of my ability to read people. With Dylan winning a seat into the $10,000 buy-in US Poker Championship in Atlantic City, and with Paul Esfandiari doing so well in the WPT Aruba, I feel like I might be able to compete on a higher level. All I need is a bigger bankroll.
But, before I get too far ahead of myself, I suppose paying the rent on time will have to be the first challenge I will need to meet.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Butz Karai

Butz Karai
Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I went to watch a beach volleyball tournament at Santa Cruz this past weekend. My GF and Butz teamed up to compete in the beginner level all-day tournament.
It was a very,... sober event. Meaning, I was sober. Sort of. I guess I wasn't totally sober. More a residual inebriation. But, mostly sober.
After many many hours of volleyball. They finally finished in third or fourth place. Pretty damn good considering they've never played together before.

For they're valiant play under the coastal sun, they won a whopping $0, many lactic acid engourged muscles and a possible separated shoulder.
Butz called me this morning to ask if a clicking sound in his shoulder is normal.

It looked fun, but I think I'll stick to poker for now. At least until I get into some resemblance of "shape." At least a shape other than "fat." Even though poker tends to lead to the "fat" look.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Second place in a Pokerroom tourney $20 multi-table tourney SHORTHANDED. That means no more than 6 to a table. There were a total of nearly 200 players. After being almost eliminated early-on, I wrangled my way to the middle of the pack after 2 hours. Trying to steal as much as possible and getting decent cards got me deep into hour 3. I only needed to draw-out twice. Finally I made it to to heads up just barely trailing the chip leader. The first hand heads-up I have K-ten and immediatley go all in thinking of a steal. He instantly calls with A-ten. His hand holds up winning him $990 and me $633.

Second best, and $633. For now, I'll take it. But I'm really looking for a win.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Broke in the new poker table last night. A full 10 players. I got knocked out somewhere middle of the pack. BAH! Pissed away my chips with second pair after the flop. Chad had to call holding top pair. In the end it was Eric N. heads-up against Mel. The cards were not going Mel's way and soon after they started playing, she was knocked out taking $90. Eric took home $150 for his efforts. Chad was the third place guy winning $50.
Poor play on my part last night.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Speaking of Anthony Bourdain, I caught the show Kitchen Confidential last night on Fox. It's basically based on his life and his book. Pretty interesting that I happened to have just read his book. So far the pilot episode was interesting if not that funny. Many of the characters basically come directly from the book including the protagonist whose name is Jack Bourdain.
And on the topic of Mr. Bourdain, I also just watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel. It's essentially been Bourdain-O-Rama, or a Bourdain-o-lanche. No Reservations is a dream job. Travel the world to exotic locales, eating exotic food with weird people, all on the company's dollar. Sounds fantastic.
Imagine Globe Trekker with a cigarette, five shots of homemade Vietnamese moonshine, a tablet of immodium and a bowl of saute├ęd porcupine, and you've got No Reservations.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Kitchen Confidential

I just finished reading Kitchen Confidential while waiting for the GF to get home so we can leave for my buddy Paul's wedding tomorrow in Santa Monica. Anthony Bourdain's autobiographical account of the inner workings of the restaurant industry as he's seen it, was an interesting, funny trip into a universe which I admire immensely. His unique voice rich with vulgarity is a candid, honest revelation about what goes on behind the kitchen. Those people who prepare our overpriced meal at a fancy schmancy restaurant actually do work hard to make our food as presentable and edible as possible. Those unseen sous-chefs, patisseries, grill-men, sauciers actually have faces, lives and stories. Kitchen Confidential is a tell-all of how an ex-junkie, coke-head, pothead, alcoholic, food-snob made his bones in the fast world of good food, bad restaurants and off-hour debauchery.
Kitchen Confidential made me want to be a chef. To drop everything, learn spanish and enter the universe of oven-burned, blistered fingers, callused palms, truffle oil, fancy italian words, stainless steel blades, fresh fish, incredibly beautiful, delicious unaffordable food.
I've thought better of it though because I love to cook. Why ruin a good thing?

Fall: Football time!

Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
That's right, that time of year is here. I get to get out of the damn office for several hours at a time leisurely shooting my favorite sport to photograph; while my co-workers slave away in front of their computer screens.
My favorite time of year.


Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
A "contractor" of hispanic descent went on a rampage with a machete Wednesday injuring another "contractor" and an old lady. When the police arrived, they cahsed him down the street where he apparently attacked an officer. The officer sprayed him with pepper spray which had no effect. Subsequently, the "contractor" was shot several times. He remains in serious condition at a local hospital.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My new poker table

I received my poker table I ordered from an seller.
It's exceeded my expectations. The table features metal supports to keep the table from sagging in the middle, giving it a really solid feel. It uses a high quality felt which won't pill-up later. Plus it's the perfect size for my room. I'm stoked and can't wait to break it in.

All for $179.48 shipped.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Movies of the Week

Here are some of the flicks I saw over the weekend.

The first time I watched this film, I had no idea what to expect. I literally grabbed it off the Blockbuster shelf having only read the quotes on the box. I was immensely entertained.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it is roughly about luck. Some people have a gift that allows them to steal other people's luck. The more luck they steal, the luckier they become. Stylized, slick, beautifully photographed the director paints his unique vision of the world of gambling taken to extremes.

Watch this when you get the chance.

From the mind of Paul Haggis the writer of Million Dollar Baby, Crash is set in L.A., focussing on the relations and perceptions between ethnicities. Stereotypes and prejudices are explored, reinforced and destroyed in this less-than-uplifting story of individuals dealing with different individuals. It illustrates how everyone can be racist depending on who you ask. And how everyone can be right and wrong about each other.
Haggis coerces exceptional performances from the many big named stars who appear. Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Larenze Tate, Matt Dillon, Brendon Fraser and even rapper Ludacris put forth successful, interesting appearances.

Assault on Precinct 13
I actually didn't make it through this movie. It sucked that bad. I made it about 20 minutes into it before I turned on Simpsons reruns.
It reminded me of Training Day, but a lot cheesier.
I advise you to skip this crap.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Last week I paid $52.25 for 17.658 gallons of gas. Tack on a $.35 ATM fee.

Aces no-good, Biloxi

Pate threw a poker night at his pad. $40 buy-in.
It was a short one for me. Two early flush suckouts led me to be short stacked when this happened (warning: bad beat story): I am in late position with Pocket Rockets (AA). An early player raises all-in. Air Force Eric in middle position raises all-in. Everyone else folds to me. "All-in" I call as I flip over my dominating hand. Early bettor flips over a pair of Jacks, Air FOrce Eric flips over pocket Kings.
Well, flop comes with a King and I get knocked out to the oooos and ahhhs of my fellow players. Oh well. A bad beat is better than a bad play.

Air Force Eric just got back from Qatar. Normally he should be in Biloxi, Mississippi. But since it was destroyed in the hurricane, he won't be able to go back for at least a couple months. So in the meantime, it's poker and malt whiskey for that kid. So as bad as it is in New Orleans, let's try and remember the unfortunate people in the neighboring areas which are also affected by the terror of Bin Laden's weather manipulation machine which he's had running in overdrive from his Pakistani underground complex.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A weekend with Paul

We started the weekend off with a round of golf at the Gilroy Golf Course. With our carts warmed up and loaded with plastic bag coolers of beer we tee'd off Paul's bachelorhood-is-over-weekend.
Immediately I shanked, hacked, sliced, hooked and whacked through, consuming an average of 1.5 beers per hole on the front 9. I also notably averaged 1 pee per every two holes. So that would mean I have a one-pee-per-every-three-beer (after a broken seal) capacity. Which is really below par for an ex-frat guy. At the end of our round of 18, our game had gradually disintegrated into a free-for all hack and putt; which is perfectly fine by me. By hole 17, I was thoroughly shithoused.
As we drove south toward Monterey I drifted into oblivion. By the time we arrived at the hotel, I was actually hungover. The rest of the night involved pitchers of beer and what the restaurant Knuckles calls "Sliders." I'm not sure what these things are, but they look like hamburgers only smaller and nastier. I cut out early from "dinner" to go heave in our bathroom, and nap off the residual beer funk. An hour later, I was up and at'm. Beer in hand.
Yup, the evening continued to devolve and despite having a 5am wake up call to go deep sea fishing, I didn't hit the sack until well after 3am.
So when 5am rolled around I was my chipper self. I happily dragged myself out of bed and crawled into my fishing clothes.

We loaded onto the Star of Monterey fishing boat. This crusty old boat took us south. Really south. 2.5 hours south. Past Pebble Bech, Carmel, Big Sur. After what seemed like an eternity, I woke up still sitting upright. It was time to cast our lines. The minute my sinker hit the water, we were getting bites. We pulled up Rock fish at an incredible rate. My burlap sack was filled in less than an hour.
Paul, who'd been anxiously awaiting the signal to drop our lines pulled up his third fish when the first wave of nausea hit him. Insta-vomit. His fishing trip was over and he spent the rest of the trip in the cabin, passed-out with his new best friend, "Mr. Blue Bucket."

Fishing is a brutal activity. Sure we throw back the little ones. But only after we hook them through their mouth into their skull, or through their eyeball. Then trying to remove the hook we rip off their jaw, or tear the lens off their eye, or pull the barbed hook through their face holes. Then toss their struggling bodies into a burlap sack to suffocate to death; only to be tossed back out onto the deck and spiked through their torso, head or gills and tossed back into a bloody bucket. THEN, they are layed out, still grasping for air, onto a cutting board to have their muscles filet'd off their bones and then tossed out into the ocean only to be torn apart and eaten by the awaiting gang of rabid seagulls tailing the boat.
Ah, the cycle of life. It's good to be at the top of the food chain.

That evening, after a long nap, we went over to Hefe's house where we had some really fresh fish tacos. Somehow food that we murdered to death with our bare hands is so much more enjoyable to eat than store-bought. These tacos were deeeelicious.

We did NOT go to a strip club that night, because there are NO strip clubs in Monterey. But we did manage to procure some entertainment despite that. Unfortunately for you, the details of that are to stay in the cramped quarters of my memory.
Let's just say this. None of us did anything that we weren't supposed to do.

Paul gets married on Sept. 17th. to Janice. May they live happily ever after.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Pablo's bachelor weekend pic

Originally uploaded by !Habit Forming.
Deep Sea Fishing.
South of Carmel.

After cruising the Pacific Ocean for 2 hours along the Monterey Coast, past Pebble Beach golf course, Carmel, Big Sur, we dropped our lines to pull up a seemingly endless supply of fish. Here I hold an Olive Rockfish.
Rob keeps a photoblog on Flickr. You can see SOME of our Labor Day weekend events.

Friday, September 02, 2005

my weekend coming up

It's Paul's bachelor party weekend!
Golf Saturday somewhere in Gilroy. Hoteling it in Monterey. Then waking up early for deep sea fishing...
Wait, bachelor party weekend AND waking up early? WTF?!
And when do the strippers come into the picture? Strip clubs even? Hmf.

My intentions are to golf,... then drink a ridiculous amount of alcohol. Then try to NOT FAIL to go fishing. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
I snapped this photo just as this kid was trying to catch the bouncy ball... Right in his face.


Originally uploaded by Joe_13.
Back in high school we used to cruise around town in Pete's old VW bus. We was affectionately named Herb T. Russell. After high school, the bus was sold and never seen again... Until now.

I caught a glimpse of ole Herb while driving around downtown. It was indeed Herb.

Wow. It brings back memories. Hazy, blurry, foggy memories.