Saturday, July 01, 2006

Moving Day

Well it's moving day here at chez ACA. For my new blog home please go to Aimlessly Chasing Amy. It's still a little rough around the edges and I'm still a Wordpress neophite. But I already am getting used to my new digs and hopefully you will too.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wonder Woman, the WSOP and JJ Liu

I'm still on vacation at the Outer Banks. A lot of the rain has missed me here. Maybe it's the powerful force associated with the house I'm staying at; it apparently belongs to Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman. I looked through all the closets, but there are no spare costumes lying around. Too bad, because I'm pretty sure we share the same cleavage.

I booked vacation during the start of the WSOP on purpose. I didn't want to be tempted to stay in Vegas for the whole thing again. I was totally wasted last year. But of course now I'm completely Jonesing about not being there. I have at least three people calling me every day to give me the skinny - and of course I'm pouring over Pauly's blog for updates. And I'm so totally jealous every time I hear how Pauly and Otis are pourin' 'em back at the Hooker Bar. Save a few for me boyz.

I heard it from a reliable source that JJ Liu, 4th place finisher at the Bellagio 5 Diamond WPT Event has not been contacted for the WPT's Ladies Night IV. I truly don't understand this invitational. JJ has a great track record, credibility, is totally cool, and always wears a great hat. They couldn't buy what she could give 'em. I took this picture of JJ at the Venetian poker room opening. I have never had a chance to talk with her, so I'm hoping the WSOP gives me that opportunity. Damn...I'm not there yet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Blondes and Brunettes

Clonie Gowen has thrown down the gauntlet. She has challenged that well-reputed poker ace, Paris Hilton, to a $100,000 match. Yawn. I'm guessing that's as cheap as you can buy Hilton publicity. The money will go to charity (if this stunt ever gets off the ground) which might be the only thing considered worthy in play. And yes, I realize you boyz might have high hopes here. But trust me, this won't end in a pj ripping girly pillow fight.

There is of course better news on the brunette front. First of all, Jen Leo has won a televised seat at the Poker Dome. Of course I'm still bristling about Jen taking my stack at the Blogger's Winter Classic; my QQ vs her K-Jo yada yada yada. So she better vindicate us by bringing home the big bucks on July 9th. [picture of Jen and Al Can't Hang]

Jen and I also have fantasized about doing our own wacky gossipy coverage of the WSOP. And well...we just went ahead and did it. Look for our "unusual" coverage (and I can't even predict what it might entail) at Breakfast Club Poker

Initially I thought I would like taking a week off of the WSOP. Last year I was so totally burned out by the end. But I'm really struggling here at the Outer Banks - even with this view from my house - about not being there.

I have a double edge sword issue for the radio show this week. Tom McEvoy has agreed to be our guest, provided he doesn't make it deep into the previous day's tournament. I really like Tom and I feel he has an unique perspective about the WSOP and the change and growth of poker over the past years. But surely I want him to make the money? I hate these ethical dilemmas.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I See Dead People and Big Stack Play

On Wednesday I went to the National Military Park in Vicksburg and meandered through the battlefield. Thursday was a driving day and Friday I spent on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. Like every poker junkie, I looked for poker lessons every where I went. This trip has had me thinking about big stack play.

Vicksburg sits high on a bluff, overlooking the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. The Confederates held the high ground. In Chattanooga, the Confederates held Lookout Mountain and later Missionary Ridge - again the high ground in the battles that would ensue. High ground is a huge advantage, much as having the big stack at your table. As a short stack, or holding the short stack, you know you're in for a protracted battle if you have a shot at winning. And both civil war battles were long sieges, where the Union eventually prevailed. Having a big stack is an advantage, but it's not a panacea. While Lookout Mountain was never taken by the Union army, the Confederate eventually abandoned it. There was little that they could do with the position. Because of the sheer cliff at the top, the conferred had to expose themselves any time they tried to pick off the Union below - just as a big stack exposes themselves every time they try to sheriff a small stack. Having a big stack and knowing how to play it are two different things.

Not that this has too much relevance for me, the consummate small stack player. One of the things I hope to work on in Vegas is getting and playing a big stack.

Today is another travel day as I continue to make my way eastward for the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dead Money and On the Road

Well I played my best dead money game for the PokerStars Blogger tournament on Sunday. I think I finished 396th and never was a contender. My NLHE game has been unimaginative and lackluster as of late. I'm hoping that hanging out with my poker road trip buddies (the 2 bills, mike, and tim) will get me back on track. With them calling me a wuss everyday, I should be able to kick it up a notch. Of course zippy will be the biggest wuss, because he's a no-show.

If you haven't checked out Maudie's new look, give her a peak. Maudie's like me. Before taking on a new direction or project, she cleans house - in this case her blog. Before I work on my dissertation, my bathrooms sparkle.

I'm actually on the road this week. Like BJ, sometimes I just need an ubber road trip. I drove from Austin to Vicksburg yesterday and I will leave for Chattanooga tomorrow. The plan is to hit the Outer Banks in North Carolina by Sunday where I will watch the ocean for a week. I figure if I'm going to spend over a month in the hot dry desert, I want a fresh memory of water to take with me. If all goes according to plan, I should be internet enabled the whole way. It's funny how my needs have changed over the last few years. I don't need running water, but internet is a must. Luckily at my b&b they have both. I guess that's why FEMA lived here for the duration.

Tomorrow I will be posting with my impressions of Vicksburg - another post river economy, current casino economy town.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's Day

My father has been dead for many years now, but I think of him often. He was second generation Armenian. His parents came to this country to escape the 1915 Armenian genocide. If I inherited my gambling genes, he was undoubtedly the source. I don't remember him playing poker, but he loved craps, gin, bridge and backgammon. He spent probably too many of his high school years shooting pool in East Cambridge where he grew up. He described himself as the typical high school kid of his day, more concerned with the jitterbug than world affairs. That changed with WW II.

My father was a co-pilot in the 450th Bombardment Group stationed in Manduria Italy. In the picture above, he is the one on the right. He flew the B-24, nicknamed the Liberator. So much of what he became and how he defined himself grew out of his involvement in WW II. Like many of the people who fought in WW II, he was very proud of his historical contribution. Also like many of his peers who spent their youth witnessing the realities of war, he harbored few illusions about its toll. Marvin Stock, the flight engineer for my father's plane, dedicated his website about the 450th with these words: "Dedicated to my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I hope you will understand the horrors of war from these few pages. May you never have to participate in any future war." In the last few years, I've listened to a lot crap about what makes people patriotic. These men were patriots. They fought the good fight. They were not pro war. They knew war.

My father taught me many things. He taught me to play cards. He taught me to swear. He taught me to dance. He taught me to golf. But most of all, he taught me the importance of defending civil rights and preserving human life, no matter how dangerous, unpopular to the majority, or politically inconvenient that stand might be. Of everything he taught me, that's the lesson I hope I got right...or left as it is often perceived.

To George Garoian, my father, who I loved very much.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bloggers, The WSOP, and the IRS

I'm finally spiritually ready for Vegas. My plans and logistics have changed daily over the last weeks, but I'm ready to lock and load. Today I will seal the deal on a nice sublet. It is apparently not frequented by crack whores, so I think we're all going to have to defer to Pauly's blog during the WSOP for coverage of that hallowed Vegas action.

I'm looking forward to kicking off my trip right with the WPBT Summer Classic. I had such a blast at the Winter Classic, although there were some things I missed out on. I never got the hammer during the tournament; not once. I never had my picture taken with Al Can't Hang. (I see my secret is out - I do have a crush on the big guy - who doesn't?) And I didn't make the money. I'm looking forward to addressing all those issues this year. In anticipation of the Classic, all my blog pictures today are from the Winter Classic, starting out with Whiskeytown. Whiskytown needs some help getting back his poker mojo. I think the Summer Classic is up to the job.

While I liked Whiskey's T-Shirt, this was another that I liked. If you have trouble reading it, it says, "If poker was easy, it would be called your mom." How sweet.

I noticed that the Gold Coast is having a supersat for the WSOP ladies event on the 7th; maybe jet lag will give me the edge. They are going to cap it at 200 players and I'm guessing it will be jammed. Last year I got almost no poker in at the WSOP. I think my bubble performance in the media event was the only time I touched cards in 47 days. It was painful. This year, I will be working the other side of the work/play equation.

Last night Lou Krieger and I had an interesting guest on Hold'em radio. Randi Levenbaum is a financial planner, a poker player, and a devout participant of the Wednesday Poker Discussion Group in Las Vegas. She had great financial planning advice for poker players. She is also a kindred spirit relative to living life on the cheap. I think I've met my match in comp whoring. I'm definitely going to pick Randi's brain in Vegas for scoring deals. She also talked about taxes and backing. So many people go into backing and sharing deals during the WSOP - and inevitably someone gets the short end of the IRS stick. Guys - if you're exchanging action or backing, you need this IRS form filled out when you get your payout.

Well I better get off my ass and start executing on my WSOP plans. I leave you with this picture of Pauly, showing blogger love.