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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

April 27, 2009

Party Like It's 1994

by G-Rob

When I met the woman who would later become my wife, I was just 19 years old. I had a long, long ponytail. I delivered pizza.

In 1994 I was thin, carefree, and spent more time planning my next road trip than with silly "conventional" distractions like rent, gas, and cable TV.

I saw the Grateful Dead at Soldier Field that year. I saw Phish in Cincinnati and Louisville. I crashed a Phish show on my 20th birthday way up in Bethlehem, PA.

I ended that year with the same wife-to-be and two of my closest friends, by spending New Year's Eve in Amsterdam.

Those were heady days my friends and, now, if it's possible to have a mid-life crisis at 34, welcome to it's heart.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 20, 2009

Since We're Talking About Frolf...

by G-Rob

I have a scabbed over gash that runs from the top of my left triceps down past the elbow. The left hand has a few nasty scratches that make it look like I lost a catnip fight with a panther. My special "frolf shoes", actually Teva trail shoes, are so badly torn I haven't even tried to wear them in a week.

Plus, I had to buy a new skeeter.

Still the worst part of my past week was the following admonition from my wife :

"I don't think you should play alone anymore. If (Otis) can't play, you should just go to the gym instead. It's too dangerous."

She actually said that!

I'm so ashamed.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 14, 2009

Dead Again

by G-Rob

(Posters Warning : CJ told me this blog now has a more diverse focus. I still plan to stick to gambling in some sense. Because I am a problem gambler, this still leaves an immense range of topics about which I can, and will, post. I just felt like writing again.)

I saw a wookie bounce off the hoods of three cars. He streaked past me, with clumped hair flapping and woozy knees wobbling, presumably running FROM something that only he could see. With wookies there's an equal probability that he's running from :

A) The Law.
B) His Past.
C) His Imagination
D) Soap.

He'd just run down our aisle when he darted between cars, bouncing off one, into another fender, then off a hood. I thought he got away. I later heard he was slammed down by three cops.

For those of you playing at home, that's "A".

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 23, 2008

Poker Bust: Anxious Cops, Bored Prosecutors, A Lifetime In Limbo

by G-Rob

A good friend of mine was part of a poker bust near G-Vegas several years ago. He and about a dozen other really hardened gambing types, accountants and the like, were playing a freeze out tourney in the clubhouse of a suburban subdivision. The cops had an "informant" and raided the place, charging everyone with a violation of the state's 200 year old anti-gambing law.

The same law makes it illegal to play chess on Sunday.

So after the bust, my friend hired a local attorney named Jeff Phillips for his defense. Nothting of signifigance ever happened again.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 6, 2008

Casino Cheating: Shockingly Stupid Edition

by G-Rob

The closest casino to G-Vegas is up in Cherokee, North Carolina. They don't have poker because they don't actually use cards. I've never bothered to go since the appeal of digital blackjack machines is pretty limited.

Still, it is possible to steal from the casino... not in the counting cards, brilliant MIT, Ocean's Eleven sense... but to just plain STEAL.

To wit: Please enjoy this wonderful story of moron-ity from the Asheville Citizen-Times:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 5, 2008

Orwell And The Internet

by G-Rob

I'm not much of a conspiracy theory guy. As a rule, most conspiracies involve far too much cooperation and silence to ever be real. I find it hard to believe that the same folks who couldn't get a bottle of water to the Superdome are able to plan 9/11 and keep it quiet. Did the same bozos who planned the Bay of Pigs kill Kennedy?

Doubtful.

I'm a conspiracy theory disbeliever. Not because I think the governement is too honest. I think the government is far too witless to pull it all off.

But I will admit to crafting a tinfoil bodysuit this summer. Three months of bizarre and unexplainable behavior on the internet that have left me scratching my head enough to produce a blizzard warning in three counties.

There were three phases of my conspiratorial fear. Two of them were the real schlemiel:

1. Giant internet monopoly declares war on me.
2. Giant internet weblog service delcares war on my friends.
3. Still larger computer monpoly seems to declare war on everyone.
4. We wonder if anyone still reads the best poker blog on the web.

I have war fatigue.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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August 1, 2008

Live Blogging The BadBlood Homegame

by G-Rob

Game is about to start.

Here are the groundrules :

1. We're ether playing ol' fashioned NLHE with a $300 buyin and $1/$2 blinds OR we're mixing in alternate rounds of PLO8. We'll vote when the rest of the folks arrive.

2. We've got props! Badblood's tuned the 400 sq. ft. TV to Charter Cable's "Classic Rock" channel. We'll try to predict the songs. Each player picks a band and song. Band pays $5 from each player, song pays $10. If a song hits all players have the option to change up and ride another horse.

3. We're playing with full table. Frank the Tank is here to deal. Badblood, Otis, Brian the Pro and I are ready to go. We're waiting for some out of towners. Shep just rode in on a Harley..."Just to watch"

Game starts very soon.

Updates here all night.

God bless.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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Online Poker Is Rigged

by G-Rob

How does a forever punchline become a pervasive fear? I'm sure the new punchline involved Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker.

Not long after the most recent online cheating scandal, I resolved to keep playing on the sites I still trust. Right now, there are only two: PokerStars and FullTilt.

For what it's worth, Tilt has softer cash games and Stars runs a better tournament.

I told Otis that just one scandal at either of those sites and I'm done with online poker forever. That just makes sense I think.

Still, despite my professed confidence at those last two sites, I haven't fired up the gamblin' machine in more than a month. I just don't feel confortable with the thing.

Right now, I only gamble in the flesh and I'm really jonesing for THAT.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 24, 2008

Golf, Poker And A Novelty Flying Disk

by G-Rob

Pardon me for flying so low beneath the virtual radar. Only my fabulous flying disks have left a G-Vegas signature this week. I played frolf for the first time in 5 years this weekend. I shot fairly well and my daughter had fun.

Then, on Monday, Otis and I "Frolfed" together in searing 9000 degree heat. We played again Tuesday. Then, again, on Wednesday. Those were Otis' first three rounds of the game since the Luckbox left town. Suddenly a game we were totaly sick of became a great diversion again.

I do hate when the premise of my post is more transparent than my "Cobra" driver.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 14, 2008

Tuff Fish Appreciation Society Welcomes New Members

by G-Rob

A big hearty shout out to all the returning members of "The Society."

Don't know if you're a member? Take a look at the charter post from back in April:

Tuff Fish Appreciation Society


This month a big welcome to the following:

To Otis: He's had just about enough of Fabulous Las Vegas.
To anyone who's been anywhere near Phil Hellmuth in the last week: Phil is a douche.
To You, Dear Reader: We all need some Fish.

Again, welcome new members. And for the already inducted, enjoy!


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July 8, 2008

Poker Perspectives

by G-Rob

I know right now one of my closest friends is down in the dumps, nearly buried by bad beat stories and the human waste of wealthy diseased minds. I actually didn't feel much sympathy for this friend's situation until very recently. Now I think I understand just how much his situation sucks.

I shared one type of perspective with him last night and wanted to share it here as well. We all have our poker and life tilt to handle.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 3, 2008

Poker and Craps; Luckbox and G-Rob

by G-Rob

A new article in TIME magazine is a really great read. It's called "Candidates' Vices : Craps and Poker".

In short, the writer wonders what it means that John McCain loves a loud and social game of craps and Barack Obama prefers a backroom game of cards.

Among other things, I think it indicates that on top of being a secret muslim antichrist, Barack Obama makes more rational decisions. That's a full plate.

As for the title of this post, Luckbox prefers craps. I prefer a quiet game of poker. Luckboz supports McCain, I think McCain is one nuke short of winter.

This november, dear reader, don't vote your party. Vote your game!

This post brought to you by...UP FOR POKER!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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July 1, 2008

Vegas: Remainders

by G-Rob

When playing Pai Gow, there's an extra bet on each hand for the "bonus." Play that bonus for at least $5 and you're playing the special "envy" bonus, which means you get paid on everyone else's bonus hand too.

I didn't hit many bonuses at Pai Gow. I didn't hit much of anything at the table games. I did feel a great deal of envy.

Here's what else happened during my 3.5 days in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 30, 2008

Las Vegas

by G-Rob

Las Vegas may be the most fictional of any real place on the map. It's either a glamourous city of glitz or a romanticized mecca of depravity.

Even calling Las Vegas a black hole gives it too much credit. A black hole has, at its center, a singularity of such incredible mass and gravity that nothing can escape. At the heart of the dark Las Vegas hole, there is only another hole.

Las Vegas is not exotic. It is not mysterious. Las Vegas is a busy airport and a place our unconscious mind already knows.

I spent just 3 days there and knew it all well.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 24, 2008

Bad-Blood-Bath

by G-Rob

I started really looking foreward to last Friday's game a full week in advance. Of course, that guarantees a bad night. As a rule, the more excited I am about sitting at a game the worse I'm likely to play.

Add to that the following problems and I've got almost no chance:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 15, 2008

Gambling On The Internet

by G-Rob

Good god! Gambling leads to depression! It's true! There was a scientific study.

In the world of obvious investigation, this study "Gambling Linked To Depression" stands out.

Right now, I'm depressed about the fact that I got down to four handed in a sit-n-go and then went broke with a flopped set of Queens. He turned a set of Kings. Such is a depressing life.

That said, look at this awesome information:

GAMBLING is often a symptom of mental health problems, according to Melbourne research that could change the way problem gambling is treated.

The study of more than 2000 Victorians, conducted for the national depression initiative beyondblue, found that problem gamblers were more than 18 times more likely to experience severe psychological distress, more than four times more likely to abuse alcohol, and more than twice as likely to be depressed as people without a gambling problem.

The report, prepared by the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre -- a joint venture between Melbourne and Monash universities and the Victorian Government -- found that more than 70% of problem gamblers were at risk of depression, half used alcohol at hazardous levels and more than a third had a "severe mental disorder."

DUH! I SAY DUH! Have you met the FWALGMAN?

Now, dear reader, a sampling of the OTHER gambling news on the web:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 11, 2008

Moonshine Your Light On Me... Break The Law Like An Honest Man

by G-Rob

I once wrote a couple of posts here about a famous mountain moonshiner named Popcorn Sutton. Popcorn's had some legal trouble lately, in part because he didn't seem to object to allowing TV folks a look into the way he makes illegal likker.

So I took particular interest a story we aired a few days ago about a moonshiner in Spartanburg County who was arrested for the second time. He's an old retiree who sells decent booze to pay for his wife's cancer treatment. When we asked his lifelong friend about the poor bastard he said something that seemed funny at first, "He's just like... a human being -- an honest human being. Well, he's not honest in the eyes of the law, but as far as we know it, Charlie Martin's No. 1."

If you play poker a stilly statement like that actually makes a lot of sense.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 8, 2008

How To Win At The Track

by G-Rob

Some people are just unlucky. Some folks don't have the skills.

Some people handicap races like our friend Luckbox.

At first blush it may seem like the 'Box is lousy at this kind of thing. If that's your feeling now, you've not thought about it from a distance.

Step back from those busted picks and wasted dollars. Look at the immense beauty of the whole body of Luckbox disaster.

Check this out:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 5, 2008

Misreads And The Profits They Entail

by G-Rob

I should feel more guilty about those times I play badly and win. I should. I don't. I've played well and lost too. These things happen.

The key is not letting those mixed results distort our perceptions.

Here's an example from GucciRick's on Monday night:

I'm on the button with Kh9h and Otis is the small blind. I've button straddled and Otis limps in from my left. DammitBobby and Frank the Tank both muck before Dr. John raises from $5 to $20.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 1, 2008

Still The Worst, Still, Ultimate Bet

by G-Rob

I've written about it twice before and, frankly, if you were still playing at Ultimate Bet, you are a damned fool. The site is lousy and the software sucks. There is poor, or non-existent, customer service.

Oh, and it IS actaully rigged.

Before I get all cranked up, check out the posts I wrote 3 full years ago!

Ultimate Bet Cheats On A Tournament
Ultimate Bet Has Bad Tournament Software

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 23, 2008

Going Broke, Taking Markers, Getting Help

by G-Rob

So what's the best part of the NBA Game 7 showdown between the Spurs and Hornets?

A) A close back and forth game in which the defending champs escape elimination against an exciting upstart opponent.
B) The pregame show in which Charles Barkley admits skipping out on $400K Vegas marker, admits having a gambling problem, claims he's quit gambling for good, but emphasizes that "for good" doesn't mean "for-ever"!
C) The fact that we laughed at Mr. Barkley while playing poker at GucciRick's.
D) The fact that I stayed up all night to play at GucciRick's and went to work the next day without sleep.

Pathetic, no?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 19, 2008

Poker Is Interesting. Poker Pros Are Not.

by G-Rob

It's worth noting that I wasn't invited to BadBlood's house because the NBA game was especially signifigant. He's a Boston native and has a lazy bandwagon interest in the Celtics. I liked the Celtics too, back in the Larry Bird days.

In fact, I had a giant life-size cutout of Larry legend all the way through college. As a youngster I shopped for the same converse shoes Larry Bird wore. I only wached games in which he played. Larry Bird was the reason I cared, to the extent that I did actually care, about pro basketball at all.

So when I went to see Badblood's new 500-inch plasma TV, I spent the game rooting, not for the Celtics, but the Cavaliers. I was rooting for their big superstar LeBron James.

I'm that guy. I root for the big stars. If Tiger Woods isn't playing, I won't watch golf. I watch my favorite baseball team (Cincinnati) but I'll also watch Johan Santana or Albert Pujols.

I like to watch Payton Manning.

I'm that guy. I didn't mean to be. But I am.

Except with poker. I don't give a crap about professional poker players.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 13, 2008

Do Drugs Make You Gamble? An Update

by G-Rob

You know, I wrote about this before. Something about a TV commercial for "Restless Leg Syndrome" caught my eye... or ear. I'm not sure which.

Anyway, the short story is that the popular drug for a new "disorder" is linked to an increased tendency to gamble. I mean REALLY GAMBLE. Like calling an all-in with a gutshot draw.

Now, the judicial system is taking up our cause...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 9, 2008

Scenes From My Gym: People In Poker

by G-Rob

This isn't the post I was planning to write this morning but sometimes we play the hand we're dealt.

I have this neighbor, we've become friends, who joins me at the gym about 5 days a week. I've learned to enjoy a good workout and I've found having a friend there with me pushes both of us to do more.

Wednesday, I heard something at the bench press that made me excited about poker.

Later, I heard something in his pickup truck on the way home that made me remember what I don't like about a ring game with strangers.

Last night I remembered what I hate about playing online and in person.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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May 1, 2008

Play Poker Like An Expert

by G-Rob

"It seems rather elitist to me for people who maybe have degrees in this field to feel that, because they've studied it, somehow they know better than the parents what is best for [their children]."

Rep. John Duncan (R)
Tennessee


Not to totally steal someone else's blogging style (Sorry Iggy) but sometimes politics, silly quotes, and poker go together like peanut butter, chocolate and, um, ketchup.

Now let's all agree that our good friend John Duncan of Tennessee is an idiot. But even idiots can inspire a little reflective thought. Sure, Mr. Duncan would be furious to know he's inspired reflection, but this isn't his blog.

I wondered after hearing this silly quote, in this case questioning the nerve of Doctors weighing in on reproductive health, if I'd ever be enough of an expert at anything to make John Duncan angry.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 23, 2008

My Poker Addiction As A Marital Defense: An Open Letter To My Wife

by G-Rob

Dearest Beloved Wife,

By now you've finished plugging our family finances into that quicken software that came shrink-wrapped with our desktop tower. I know you worked hard on that. I think it's fascinating that we spend that much on ice cream. That's a legitimate family expense.

I'd further make the case that you could classify my beer-related expenditures as "Healthcare" since I'd almost certainly lose my mind without a few cold 'uns now and then.

Really?

Our beer fund could've put a kid through college?

Well, our kids will spend that college money on beer anyway. Let's be honest about that.

And what about those "travel" expenses to New Orleans, Las Vegas and Tunica? Honey, I've got an answer for that too.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 18, 2008

The Black Hole Of Discipline And The Dim Star Of Hope (or... why I am waffles)

by G-Rob

It's like that one link to softcore porn on an otherwise boring afternoon. It's a bowl of those tasty M&Ms at a boring party that are sitting on a perfect table in the corner of the room such that eating the candies is both a bad nervous tic and a good way to avoid people you don't want to see.

It's like a metaphor that sucks its writer past the point of good sense but the urge to pull it off takes said writer to, well, exatly this point... (here).

I like to play online poker. I'm pretty good at it in small bursts. There are some things I'm actually very good at (I think) but I do lose money.

Here's the reason why...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 4, 2008

Too Scared To Play Poker: How I Learned To Play Through Fear And Why It Came Back.

by G-Rob

I'm in a big pot with Rick. I play a lot of big pots, of course, but this one is especially large for the stakes and this one hand will make or break the session for one of us.

I have pocket kings in late position in a straddled pot and there are a half dozen callers ahead of me when Rick calls to my right. I pop it to $30. Naturally, everyone at the table calls. Including Rick.

The flop comes 4d 8c 10c. There are checks around to me and I make it $100. Everyone folds except Rick who smooth calls. I'm just hoping the turn isn't a club.

It isn't. It's a 5d. And here's something that makes no sense: Rick leads out for $200. Why?

I suppose he may have a nervous set with 2 flush draws there, but is he putting ME on the draw? Probably not. Did he hit a gutshot? Again, probably not. He has to think I'm holding air.

He wants me to fold... so I push.

Rick calls.

We have a pot of more than $1800.

And Rick shows Ac4c. And he wants to make a deal. Only a coward would take it.

Here's why I said "Yes."

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 2, 2008

The BadBlood "Procedure" In Jeopardy

by G-Rob

We all have our own way of getting mentally tuned in to a game. Mine is usually to get super-excited, dump off an early stack, get angry and abusive, and then try to recover with pointless agression. It doesn't always work.

My good, and always invited, friend BadBlood has a "Procedure" of his own.

But, as if to personally tilt the poor bastard, our state my make his pre-game warmup... ILLEGAL.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 13, 2008

Up For G-Rob

by G-Rob

Bad news for all you good people who come here for good writing (Otis) or "I love my fiance/wife" paragraphs (Luckbox), everyone else is drifting away. I don't blame the Luckbox as he's just gotten married and he's now moving to a new job in a new state.

Also, I don't think he plays much poker.

Otis, on the other hand, is crippled again by self-loathing and alcoholism. He still posts over at his other blog. The good news is that many of his recent posts are on my new favorite activity: Watching Barack Obama give a speech.

That guy is really, really, good.

Plus, Otis and I are both very busy exchanging IMs like nervous 13 year old girls 2 weeks before the big school dance. Langeradois 3 weeks away! Besides, I feel a little dirty when he uses this space to give Absinthe another bi-coastal hand-job.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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February 3, 2008

Now that I've had some sleep

by G-Rob

Imagine my surprise when my mother called to mock my singing in the Billy Joel singalong posted below. I tried to post a suitably embarrasing clip of Otis dancing with his wife and it got all switcherooed into my mother noting that "you seemed pretty hammered there."

Fantastic!

I got back from CJ's wedding on Sunday afternoon but didn't feel better until Thursday. I had that moment at the reception, about 4 martinis in, when I looked at the random grey hairs on my already buzzing head and thought "I'm getting to old to act like this".

That said, here's what happened...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 25, 2008

Hello From LA

by G-Rob

A quick post from Lafayette, Louisiana.

Uncle Ted and I are watching "Hardball" on MSNBC. In about an hour we're headed to the rehersal for CJ's wedding. I'm working on about an hour's sleep after last night's good times in New Orleans.

I flew in through Atlanta with Ted and Badblood and, because Ted is a mega frequent flyer we had the whole red carpet service to a rental car and a quick drive to the Harrah's downtown.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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January 12, 2008

Ain't Nothing But A Party

by G-Rob

Just home from the GOP debate in Myrtle Beach. The only thing I trust at these redicuous shows is the "Spin Room". At least the name is honest. I think it's funny that I now know more people at these events than at any local poker game.

I was in a meeting at work the other day with a pair of young producers. We were reviewing a note sent by a co-worker who added in his typical way, "It's great live......or memorex". Both producers then asked, "What is Memorex?"
When my boss explained that "memorex" is a kind of audio cassete, one of the two twenty something girls noted, "I've never had a cassete player".

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 27, 2007

God needs a Devil

by G-Rob

Nobody ever became a better poker player during a winning streak. I'm trying to remind myself of wisdom like that while I watch another of my favorite sports teams get crushed again. I'm sure there's some glory to gain from all this misery.

Note : The Bengals would be much better if they could actually tackle. When I was growing up we called this full-contact football "Tackle football" to distinguish it from two hand touch. I don't think the Bengals play "Tackle Football".

Anyway, nobody ever became a better poker player during a winning streak.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 18, 2007

Too Cool to Party

by G-Rob

Pardon the interruption dear reader of trip reports and gambling godness. I didn't go to the big blogger Vegas shindig. I haven't played much live poker. I am, in effect, semi-retired.

But because I love you and because Otis finally gave me grief about my absence here, I wanted to bring y'all up to speed.

Here's what G-Rob did while YOU were in Vegas :

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 20, 2007

What's new Peekachu?

by G-Rob

My work friend Jarz turned me on to "Cowboy Junkies". The music is decent, the lyrics above average, something about it is pretty damn good though. I reccomend "Murder, tonight, in the trailer park".

I had knee surgery 2 weeks ago. It's still swollen. I feel like a 97 year old man. The pain pills aren't so bad.

I just won a rebuy tournament on Full Tilt. It cost $15. That includes a rebuy and the add-on. I roll it cheap like that.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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October 24, 2007

In the Tank

by G-Rob

Like any bubble, poker was bound to pop. We still play but not as often. There are still games but they're far smaller. The online action is slower and in danger of overfishing. I haven't played a single hand in weeks save the blogger freeroll over on Stars.

I considered calling this post "Folding" but I'm not sure we've fallen that far. Still, I'm less excited by the action than I've been in a very long time and much as Otis has blogged about the sorry state of the game, I'd like to take a stab.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 26, 2007

Deal

by G-Rob

Since it costs a lot to win, and even more to lose,
You and me bound to spend some time wondrin what to choose.
Goes to show, you dont ever know,
Watch each card you play and play it slow,
Wait until that deal come round,
Dont you let that deal go down, no, no.

I been gamblin hereabouts for ten good solid years,
If I told you all that went down it would burn off both of your ears.
Goes to show you dont ever know
Watch each card you play and play it slow,
Wait until that deal come round,
Dont you let that deal go down, no, no.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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September 7, 2007

The Silly Contradictions

by G-Rob

I've been wondering about the big bust fear and just how silly it is. Last week, on the news, I read a dozen stories about the giant size of the state's lottery jackpot. That's just fine because it's "for the kids".

Anything sold to you as "for the kids" is probably not good for democracy.

In this case, we banned video poker in the state one year before introducing the lottery.

Poker is illegal as all get out.

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August 30, 2007

Are you gambling on drugs?

by G-Rob

Because the only people who watch the evening news are either very very old or very very geeky (like me) most of the ads are for drugs.

For the record, that's one of many reasons why the American healthcare system is a complete failure.

Anyway, one of the ads was for a drug called "REQUIP" which treats the recently invented disorder "restless leg syndrome".

The fast talk side effects got my attention. It said, "If you have gambling....or other compulsive urges...see a doctor".

WHHAAAAAT?

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August 29, 2007

Some thoughts on mortal danger

by G-Rob

I'm late to this discussion and it's no longer news. As Otis posted below, one of our underground G-Vegas games was robbed at gunpoint this week. BadBlood has already posted his reaction and Eddie the dealer, who was there at the time, has a full account of what actually happened.

Now I'd like to weigh in.

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August 14, 2007

The Rising Tide

by G-Rob

At just the moment we arrived, parked the car beneath the condo tower, and loaded our luggage onto a cart, our state set an all-time temperature record.

106 degrees in Columbia, 105 back in G-Vegas, hot enough to make my golf shirt stick to my back like 20 pounds of duct tape in Charleston.

The family went on ahead while I loaded all the gear into the elevator. A man, about my age, was there with his son. "I heard there isn't much beach left," he small talked, "because of all the erosion."

"Plus, with all this heat, it's a pretty bad idea to go outside," he continued.

"And here were are," I said when the elevator reached my floor.

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August 7, 2007

Dear Comment Spammer,

by G-Rob

I'm in dire need of Viagra because I have trouble with my penis. Sometimes I wonder, "Hey, self, is there any way to get a supply of viagra for my penis from a mexican phamacy?"

God I hope so.

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August 6, 2007

Dream a little Dream

by G-Rob

I've been playing enough online poker lately to actually dream about it last night. It was odd. First, odd because BadBlood was in the dream and, while I LIKE the guy, he's substantially different from what my internal dream casting agency would normally recruit. Second, it was odd because we were playing poker on laptops in a brick and mortar casino.

Just sitting 'round a full table of players that were in no way playing the same game.

For the record, I was KILLING the game.

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July 27, 2007

Do I play to Lose?

by G-Rob

Perhaps the reason "you can't always get what you want" is that few, if any, of us have any idea what it is we're after. I had this Latin teacher back in high school who, so exasperated by my distractions, later chose to ignore me completely. But I'll always remember what she said to a student who responded to a question about what he wanted in life by saying, "I want to be happy".

"Happiness is not a goal," she said, "you HAVE goals and happiness does or does not happen along the way".

As much as I quarreled with that woman, I've never forgotten that.

So, do I play poker to win?

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July 19, 2007

Alien Nation

by G-Rob

Remember that movie, they turned it into a TV Series, about the alien guys who had bald spotted heads? I don't remember if the movie had the same central conceit, but the series was about an alien cop and his human partner. Essentially it was just another Hill Street Blues but with bald spotted heads.

Anyway, I apologize if my posts here become less useful and more introspective but as the Larry tells Owen, "Write what you know".

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July 10, 2007

How to overcome STUPID

by G-Rob

Confidence is king. I've got a defecit at the moment. It's strange that confidence matters in a game like poker which, ostensibly, is a combination of mathematics and luck. I suppose the value of self-confidence best illustrates the more complex nature of the game itself.

Without confidence I can't trust my reads. That makes me too lazy to make solid reads at all.

Without confidence I become passive. With my rather lackluster math skills a lack of aggression makes me shitty at poker.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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June 4, 2007

Goodbye to Some Forever

by G-Rob

On Thursday night I said goodbye to the "Black Stallion" game. I'll never play there again. No more nights at the "Spring Hotel" and no more Gaelic game. If I stop at the Depot, it will be once a week. That's all the time I'll have.

My schedule at work has changed again and I suppose I'm happy about it.

Here's what I'm working on right now:

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May 5, 2007

So this hooker walks into a bar...

by G-Rob

Hello degenerate readers and a special shout out to the whole horde of new local yokels. Good to have you here. You know, I've been busy for years telling the whole world how terrible I am at poker and now some of the people who truly believe that have blogs of their own.

Some stories:

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April 22, 2007

Crumb

by G-Rob

[Note: I considered telling a few stories about my last few games. That's really what this blog does well. You don't need much strategy advice. Still, sometimes just typing this stuff helps ME play better. And... this IS a blog.]

Ain't it funny how fast you can go from genius to moron and back again? Two months ago I thought I was on top of this game. I made this arrogant observation to Mr. Blood after Tunica, "I feel comfortable at any table. There's no game where I can't hold my own."

To be fair, I'm actually pretty arrogant.

Then I went on a month-long slide. Some pretty awful beats were part of the carnage, of course, but I was playing like crap. Here's what I learned:

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April 19, 2007

Where I've been (as always this is only vaguely poker related)

by G-Rob

My photographer, Kebin, and I were sitting on a bench beside the new RiverPlace building downtown. Our last interview of the day was set for 1:15 outside the Starbucks and our previous shoot ended early. It was warm for the first time in days so we just reclined there and soaked up the sun, watching the business folks speed walk to whatever important meeting they had.

I told Kebin they always looked depressed. He said, "They're decision makers. Decisions are never fun, man."

Just before our guy was scheduled to arrive, this older guy leans in to ask a question.

"Did you hear what happened at Virginia Tech?"

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March 15, 2007

Know Success

by G-Rob

On Tuesday I drove an hour to Walhalla. There are, normally, very few reasons to visit Walhalla. It's far from the interstate and not on the way to anywhere. Or Anything.

The PE teacher was going places once. He was almost a big deal. Almost a coaching legend. Almost a lot wealthier that he was now. Now he's in Walhalla.

He had his shot at the big time, a 3-pointer, and it missed.

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March 5, 2007

Hello from here

by G-Rob

It's been a very long time, dear reader, and I'm sorry for that. I've half-written and then discarded a dozen or so posts in the past few weeks. I've tried to craft something smart or pithy or, at least, legible. Frankly, it's been a chore. I'm in a pretty nasty funk these days. I'm not stuck in the poker sense but I'm stuck nonetheless.

C'est la vie.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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December 30, 2006

Day 6 Update

by G-Rob

There is a glimmer of hope now, a chance the wall is coming down. I think Mr. Blood will crack and my inner strength will overcome his bench-pressed creation. It's day 6 of "The Wager" and I'm cruising along like a champ.

The flaw in Mr. Blood's bet, which I'm surprised he only realized today, is the conflicting intentions and motivations of each participant. He's able to take a break from something he loves and intends to resume as a simple exercise in willpower....I plan to stop doing something that I do NOT enjoy and hope to quit forever.

It's a losing proposition for him and a double win for me.

Strategy and skill are meaningless if we don't properly consider motivation.

Yes, Virgina, this is another post where I write something that has nothing to do with poker and then try to use some non-linear logic to yap about the felt.

Sue me.

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December 27, 2006

Yank

by G-Rob

Dread.

I dread what happens at noon tomorrow. I mean, the dentist is a necessary evil. Hell, I think the word evil is really a bit much. I picked my dentist by the picture in the phone book.

She's hot.

Unfortunately, it's her husband, the oral surgeon, who will extract my tooth at lunchtime tomorrow.

Yay!

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December 18, 2006

Limping under the gun

by G-Rob

My right ankle is killing me. It looks like I'm smuggling an orange in my sock which, along with the banana in my pants, is halfway to cure for scurvy. The worst part of the injury, of course, is the way it happened.

As I pulled myself up from the mud in Uncle Ted's front yard, I looked up at Otis who kept muttering to himself, "My God, I'm happy right now!"

Sigh.

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December 2, 2006

Farewell to a Mauling

by G-Rob

About 5 years ago, back before every dentist in the world played Texas hold-em by bluffing at a thousand pots, we used to talk about poker while playing frisbee golf in the park. Otis and Luckbox played for very small stakes, I hadn't met BadBlood yet, and I wasn't willing to risk more than about $5 at any game of chance.

My how times change.

These days Otis, Blood, the Mark and I cruise the G-Vegas poker tour looking for just the right stakes and the perfect group of fools. Monday used to be a good game at Gucci Rick's, but it broke up. Now, Monday is a $5/$10NL game at the Spring Hotel. We prefer the Wednesday or Friday $1/$2NL game, because the action is just as fast and the rake is less cruel.

We used to play a dealer's choice game on odd Thursday's, with me or Blood hosting $100NL in between. Sadly, most of the players there went broke too, or we so afraid of the buyin that they stopped playing. We spend Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Mauling instead.

Now the Mauling, which Blood calls the Gaelic game, is shutting down too.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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November 26, 2006

Thank You (Warning : Not a damn thing to do with poker)

by G-Rob

I haven't played poker, in any form, in more than a week. It's strange and sad. I haven't gone more than a week without a game in more than a year. Short breaks are good for the game and better for the mind. But, usually, I'm so addicted to the action and the companionship of my fellow players, I can't stay off the felt.

Last week, I came to appreciate those friends a little more. I'm far more thankful for the company of my wife. I'm pretty goddamn lucky to have 2 kids.

To be fair, my beloved blog readers, this post isn't really for you as much as it's just for me. At the same time, it is an attempt to thank you all, so if you don't make it to the end....

Thanks.

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November 13, 2006

Heavy Things

by G-Rob

My wife used to say of the silly problems her suburban houswives friends would bear, "Everyone has problems, and everyone's problems are big."

I always thought that was silly.

I mean, there are people who have REAL problems. I grew so agitaited with the presumption that everyone's problems have the same import that she withdrew the argument. We rarely discuss the little problems anymore.

That said, problems are universal. It's funny that, as a relatively young man, I'm already concerned with the brevity of life. Like all men, my greatest fantasy is a life free of problems big and small. A life of true freedom.

But it's the problems that keep us alive.

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November 10, 2006

The Awesome Power of Idiots

by G-Rob

If you've never been to South Carolina, here's a quick tip: Don't be a democrat.

I covered the statewide elections on Tuesday, live at the Democrat's campaign headquarters, across the street from the Capitol. Unlike the elephants, who spread all over town, the democrats all meet under a single roof at the Clarion hotel. The building used to be the headquarters of General Sherman, right after he burned the old Capitol to the ground.

It hasn't hosted a winner since.

The AP called the Governor's race for the incumbant Republican at about 9:30. Minutes later I went into the men's room and found a grown man sobbing, wailing, in one of the stalls. I went back to the ballroom where the DJ had stopped the music and no one was talking except for the hushed mumbles of people who felt they really SHOULDN'T be talking.

The thing is, their candidate was trailing by 25 points in every poll for months before the ballots were cast. Turnout was huge. And their guy lost by only 10. Were they really that surprised? Did they really think they'd win?

State of Denial indeed.

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September 27, 2006

Reflections

by G-Rob

Thursday morning, my day off now that I work the weekend shift, I was up at 7:00 for the drive to my older daughter's school. I got to bed at 2:00 the night before and lay awake until 6. I'm not sleeping well lately. Some nights I try to lie down early but get caught up in mental conspiracy. Most nights I spend the last few hours before the alarm sounds stealing glances at the clock and counting backwards the hours 'till work. Wednesday night I counted the hours until "Doughnuts for Dads."

We chased Krispy Kreme with OJ in the school library, sitting with a girl from my daughter's class and her father. I introduced myself to the other exhausted, and ponytailed, dad. He pointed to the letters written in black ink, probably drawn from a ballpoint pen, and said, "Call me Taz."

It seems his daughter is the girl who matches mine in both good grades and poor discipline. Actually, my daughter is incredibly kind, honest, considerate and loyal. She's just a little too energetic. One night, as we got her ready for bed, she started crying about her own bad behavior. "I want to be good," she whined, "I don't know why I'm squirmy."

That kept me up late too.

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September 12, 2006

Dead October

by G-Rob

I've had a good year with the cards. I need a break. So, here goes.

I will not play poker, at all, live or online, in the month of October. Not at all.

I'll post much more on this in a bit, probably tomorrow, but it feels good to get it up in writing.

I'm taking a poker holiday. Honestly, I'll probably post MORE often ABOUT poker once I take some time to step away.

For now, there's just this.

Of course, I'm still playing Wednesday. I have a few weeks before the curtain falls.

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September 5, 2006

Moron Me

by G-Rob

There are consequences for every rule, and not just the ones we break. In the news biz we are paralyzed by the search for the elusive "other side" on stories that have just one or as many as a dozen sides. The sky is blue. Democrats and Republicans are BOTH wrong. Sometimes the coin lands on its side.

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July 23, 2006

For WIL

by G-Rob

Not long ago, when I was on quite a roll in those WWdN tourneys, I was SO confident in my play (at least as compared to Wil's) that I made him a wager. If he outlasted me, I said (or typed), I'd write a piece of "Star Trek" fan fiction.

I won.

But, because it's a slow news day, here's the story nonetheless.

LONG LIVE WESLEY CRUSHER!


He always heard hum. Even in the vacuum of space, there was always a hum. Wesley Crusher was smart enough to know there was no sound in space, but so goddamn bored with his life in it, that every moment sounded like a mechanical yawn.

For 18 hours, sitting on the bridge last night, Wesley took the helm. It's almost unthinkable for Starfleet, for the ENTERPRISE, to allow someone so young to take such an awesome job, but Wesley was unimpressed. It 18 hours, with his spine cracking in chairs that hadn't been improved with 4 centuries of science, Wesley turned the ship 18 degrees to port.

Once.

Space is fucking dull, and Wesley needed a buzz.

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July 15, 2006

Normal Human Beings

by G-Rob

I'm not one to mock a man's weight. I've struggled with mine for years. Still, I've always wondered why an otherwise average young man would attract attention to his most unflattering traits. "Buddha1" does that and, in a different way, so does his buddy "Coop1."

Both of them, Buddha1 and Coop1, are regulars in our underground games. Both fancy themselves to be amazing card kings. Both of them are losing players.

Last time I saw them, Buddha1 was modeling his new ballcap with his nickname written in giant white script across the back of the black fabric. His buddy already had a personalized cap, but "Coop1" was written in smaller type along the side of his white hat. The front said "True Grinder."

They are "Buddha1 and Coop1".

I am G-Rob.

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May 22, 2006

Everything and Nothing (to do with poker)

by G-Rob

Up for Poker lost a dear friend this weekend. He was 34 years old.

The last time I talked to Gulfman was Tuesday in one of the cramped edit bays here at work. He was dressed as always with khaki shorts, a clean company logo shirt and filthy leather boots, just staring at the computer screen on which he'd typed a dozen words. His perfectly round face sagged with concern. His left hand gripping his almost hairless crown.

He'd been a photographer here for 9 years this month but was trying something new. He was ready to grow. He wanted to be a writer.

I promisted to help.

I owed him that much.

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May 6, 2006

Title

by G-Rob

I've played a little better lately. At least, I assume that's the case. As I've posted before, it's hard to objectively measure the level of one's play. So let's say this, I've won more money lately and that's always a good thing.

However, in lieu of an actual post, I offer you this...random crap I've been thinking about.

You know, stuff like this:

Did you ever realize that the movie "Rocky IV" has the highest montage/real time ratio of any film in modern cinema. The last 45 minutes of the film are three great montages in the following sequence:

1) Rocky runs through snow carrying a log. Ivan (Look at the size of that RUSSIAN!) Drago runs on a treadmill. Rocky chops down a tree with an axe and, as it falls, we cut to a scene of Ivan knocking a sparring opponent down.

2) The lovely Mrs. Rocky is waiting for our hero on the porch of the Siberian chateau. She kisses him hello. We immediately begin montage #2 which features the great lyrics "HEARTS ON FIRE... STRONG DESIRE!" while Rocky lifts an ox cart and does upside-down situps.

3) The fight begins, the boxers fight for 2 rounds, and a 12 round montage begins. The fighters go back and forth. Rocky falls behind. Rocky gives "If I can change... you can change! We can all change!" speech, which singlehandedly ends the cold war.

It's all montage. Screenwriters can't do better. It's the cinematic equivilant of "yada... yada... yada."

That's where I'm headed with this post....

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April 23, 2006

Weak and Happy

by G-Rob

Poker is like baseball. I've always wanted to be good at baseball. I'm just fast, strong, and talented enough to compete... at poker. The good news is either sport is accesible to the fat and lazy. I've given up my dream of being Steve Guttenberg. Now I'm the John Kruk of poker and dammit I'm looking for food.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
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April 9, 2006

Flush

by G-Rob

In some ways, all hospitals are the same. The hallways lit by flourescent bulbs that are just dim enough to take the edge off of the cute Garfield scrubs on the overweight nurse behind the counter. I had to drive fast to get to Intensive Care in time for visiting hours which ended at 2:00. By the time I got there, Garfield the jolly nurse was ready to walk me to another wing. My dad was transfered to a standard room.

The good news starts there.

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April 5, 2006

Work Day

by G-Rob

Hello kids, I'm back at work and ready to blog. Here's a quick peek at what keeps us busy these days.

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April 4, 2006

I

by G-Rob

I appreciate the efforts of my co-bloggers her to try and save me from my secret shame.

It's time I come clean.


I AM POKER CHAMP.

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April 1, 2006

The Blog Virus

by G-Rob

So this evening I've settled in to watch one of two SEC teams play in the final four. It's my lunch break after the 6. The wife says, "Your mom called, she's really worried about the rift among poker bloggers. She says you seemed like you were in a bad mood last time she called and she wonders if that's the reason. Is everything OK?"

Now, I hate drama. I liked "Million Dollar Baby" because it had girls punching one another which is GREAT TV, but I could do without all the weepy crap. That said, I'm amazed by this April Fools.

You see, Blood and I had a beer at Beef O'Bradys. That's the name of a bar. It's not a gay bar as far as we know, but the name makes you wonder. Anyway, we hatched that silly scam to fool our internet brothers. I was worried when I set the story at Mark's game because I know many of those players read our blogs and I figgered they'd ruin the joke.

To my surprise, none of the internet brothers (and sisters) were fooled. THE PEOPLE AT THE GAME, HOWEVER, BOUGHT THE WHOLE THING. This makes me wonder if I've wasted a lot of time trying to disguise my tells against them, when they were all able to easily believe that they misssed a fist fight between me and Otis.

But, I digress, I can't believe concern over "a rift among poker bloggers" has cropped up in my MOTHER'S calls.

Jesus.

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March 15, 2006

SEC

by G-Rob

Nashville is an amzing town. We've watched our beloved 'Cats in 3 tournament cities and this place is at the top. Actually, it ties with New Orleans, but is a damn sight better than Atlanta.

One of the remarkable things about the SEC Tournament is that it's really a roving homegame for Kentucky. In an arena that holds 25,000 you can be sure 24K are rooting for the Blue and White. It feels good to fit in.

This year we sat behind a twenty-something girl with a rolled up sign that said something about reserve guard Ramel Bradley. In front of her was a gown man with a blue and white pom-pom pushed through the back of his hat like a ponytail. He sat next to his son who didn't appear embarrased.

In Atlanta, a few years back, we sat behind a fortyish man, bald on top, with a ring of what would have been brown hair around the sides. He'd dyed it blue for the game and shaved the letters "UK" into the back. He painted the letters white.

His family was totally embarrased.

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March 8, 2006

Luck

by G-Rob

Wish me luck on Monday. It's a very big day for me.

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March 4, 2006

Do Over

by G-Rob

My absolute favorite part of any Douglas Adams novel is the "Total Perspective Vortex". It's the most fearsome device inthe galaxy. In short, a victim steps inside and is shown his or her own value in relation to the universe as a whole. It shows everything, every planet, every form of life, spread out over a vast expanse with the smallest of dots marked... "You are here."

I love it.

Perspective makes us better people. It's also sucks a fair amount of ass.

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February 21, 2006

Cursed.

by G-Rob

Two years ago Johnny and I drove 9 hours to Daytona. We stopped halfway and charged the company for dinner and a dingy Comfort Inn. I've never been a NASCAR fan, never watched a race, never understood the attraction at all.

Still, we'd been sent there, a token news crew, to do a series of "feature" profiles. The empty suits down the hall figure a week of stories about people who like NASCAR will draw viewers who like NASCAR for all of "Race Week". I cut the ribbon on an unlucky streak that week. It was born again last week.

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February 14, 2006

Old Habits and the New Me

by G-Rob

I'm doing better these days. It's universally true, I think, that the people who appear to have great ego are often in desparate need. I like to boast. Like most, there is usually an inverse correlation between boasting and self-esteem.

Yes, I'm sounding like Dr. Phil today.

No, I don't intend to write a whole damn blog about it.

Instead, I've made some changes to my poker regimen that have made me happy...not winning streak happy.

Just happy.

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February 4, 2006

Steve

by G-Rob

There's a long story behind my latest google search and it taught me a bit about myself and my poker problem. It goes something like this:

I've spent the past 10 minutes trying to find out what the hell happened to Steve Guttenberg.

He was big cheese back in the day, like a sort of Owen Wilson guy with a specific 80's spin. I'd say his career was derailed, as much as anything, by his inability to steer clear of bad sequels.

To wit:

1984 - Police Academy (Cadet Mahoney)
Steve is a total badass with a long record. His punishment: Join the police force. This was a brilliant explaination of the LA Police Department pre-Rodeny King. Plus, there were hot girls at the academy.

1985 - Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (Officer Mahoney)
At this point the guy who does sound effects was still funny. The rest of the movie was not.

1986 - Police Academy 3: Back in Training (Sgt. Mahoney)
Still not funny, but working closer to the unfunny/funny split.

1987 - Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (Sgt. Mahoney)
I saw this movie AT an actual honest-to God movie theater. I kid you not.

Steve had the good sense to steer clear of Police Academy 5, 6, and 7. The damage was already done. By the time he did "Three Men and a Little Lady" his sequel problems had killed his career.

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January 29, 2006

Dog

by G-Rob

I think most questions are rhetorical, telling as much in the asking as we could hope from an answer. It's with that in mind that I hated the question my wife asked Friday night.

"Are you happy?", she said, as if she were asking the time.

"I think so," I replied, "I have everything a man could want."

Sometimes I wonder if that's missing the point.

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January 14, 2006

On the Slowroll

by G-Rob

It was fairly late and I'd already started to tilt. The Thursday homegame is just a $50NL ring with some freindly G-Vegas types, all of whom I happen to like. At one point I'd built my stack up to more than $200 but I'd lost about half when my 10s met Jacks. I lost another half on a hand that made me angry.

I got in heads up against the player to my right with 89c. The flop was K-8-K and he led out for half the pot. Given this player's style and my read on him, I thought a king was possible but so were another 487 possible holdings. I smooth called to represent the king and test the water further. The turn is a 5, the board is now rainbow, and the guy to my right checks. That set off alarms. I knew he was now ahead so I checked behind. The river was pure garbage and now he bet 1/4 the pot. Because of my experience with this player, I knew there was no reason to raise and I wanted to see his hand so I called.

He said, "I've got a 5," and flipped it over.

I showed my hand. A superior hand. Kings and eights.

Then he waited another second, and turned over his king. Full house. Slow roll.

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January 7, 2006

The End

by G-Rob

I had to google "Amy Sedaris" after her high-speed appearance on the show. She twisted and spun in the plain grey chair while she and the host filled heavy air with garbage that floats. I thought she was the girl from Comedy Central's "Stranger's with Candy" and, it turns out, she was. My wife hadn't heard of that show. She was more impressed with Amy's role in "Maid in Manhatten."

Letterman, meanwhile, was somber and direct, like a funeral home director who's already been paid. Amy wasn't working on new movies, selling books, or doing shows. She came on Letterman to chat. It left Dave without a crutch.

"Does it bother you that I have nothing to push?" asked Amy in a rare unspastic moment.

"Sometimes I feel like a movie industry whore," answered Dave. "You know how much I care about the movie King Kong? Zero. Zip. Nada."

Dave's show won't be on much longer. Frankly, nobody cares about that either.

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January 3, 2006

Swing Away!

by G-Rob

So the Elite Soccer Club is back in town after a busy Holiday season. The G-Vegas team, all 11 to 13 year old girls, went to a Disney-sponsored tournament in Orlando and played fairly well. I spoke to some of their parents about it today.

Why is this news?

Because the airport hotel the girls used on this fateful New Year's Eve... was ALSO hosting a nationwide SWINGER'S CONVENTION. Hundreds of happy swappers mingled in the lobby while our naive hometown girls wore party hats and stared.

One mom said, "You could tell none of them had any undergarments of any kind on. Some of the dresses were see through"

Another parent, a father of two players, said, "They were starting to walk around and hardly clothed at all or showing themselves to other members of the group."

"Showing themselves?" I asked.

"Exposing themselves to other members of the group," he answered, "to see whether they would be interested in forming a union."

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December 31, 2005

Selfish from the Start

by G-Rob

As a kid, I think it's safe to say, few people knew less about the pop culture world. By the fifth grade I could name the person who held every cabiniet post in the Reagan administration, but I couldn't name 3 songs on the "American Top 40." I remember, at the YMCA day camp, with a group of kids whose stay-at-home moms really needed a break, they'd play name that tune with current pop songs. The first kid to guess from my team guessed "Private Eyes" by Hall and Oates and, because I now knew the name of THAT song, I guessed it for every song thereafter. Evidently our counselors didn't have that album.

Also in the fifth grade I started wearing parachute pants, and hanging out with kids who would carry strips of linoleum around from house to house. Back then the single greatest songs in my world were, "Din Da Da (Din Do Do)" from the BREAKIN' 2 : ELECTRIC BOOGALOO soundtrack, and oddly enough "1999" by Prince. My neighbor Michael had both albums, and even then I resolved to make New Year's Eve 2000, the greatest party of my life.

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December 2, 2005

The Beginner

by G-Rob

I saw "DN0024" push his chips to the middle on at least two dozen hands and I called him 3 times. Aggression wins tournaments and this guy was Hitler on meth. In a way, everyone loves a player like him, I'd seen him get all-in preflop with hands like T3o, K5o, and every single naked ace. The strange things is, he actually won most of them, like some strange all-knowing poker savant. Still, he doubled me up... 3 times in a single tournament.

But ol' DN got me thinking about just who these morons are, what brings them to the table and what they're thinking when they GET there. Today, my friends, I publish the results of several minutes of thought... distracted only by the TV and a new tournament I just entered.

I know... Indulge me.

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November 23, 2005

In the "Zone"

by G-Rob

Many of our most passionate obsessions are, in truth, devoid of greater meaning. There's this hobby store in town with an entire section devoted to model trains. There are pint sized dopplegangers for every rural fence post and water tower. Once a week grown men, with presumably normal "real" lives, meet there to discuss the developments in the mid-American utopias they've made of paper mache on a banquet table in the basement. They exchange grains of universal wisdom that only apply in a world where an ant becomes Godzilla.

For me, an Eastern Kentucky boy with a Big Blue diploma, the obsession is Wildcat basketball. I love it so much, I hardly ENJOY it at all.

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November 20, 2005

Sweet Stroke

by G-Rob

I'm working on another really fun story. In the world of TV news we have 4 months out of the year when our work actually counts. Real journalists actually believe in the importance of thier work all year long, but the type of people who run TV stations only care about those four months, a quarterly dance of overpromotion and hype that we call "ratings." My next big story is a special for the November ratings sweep.

The star of the story is one of the best golfers in the country, the two-time defending state champion with one of the sweetest strokes you'll ever see. I interviewed him on his home course, his home is across the street from the 10th green, while he played a few rounds with his dad.

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November 5, 2005

How Much Do I Suck?

by G-Rob

It's obvious I hold some amount of disdain for my own poker skills. I try to make that as clear as possible. I suck at poker. It's been my mantra from the first day I started my hack postings here. At first, I said it because it was demonstrably true. Sure I've shown SOME improvement since then, it would be hard not to just by sheer repitition, but I still haven't cleared the SUCK hurdle. Not against tough competition.

Probably the best comparison is with golf, a game millions play but none master. Still, some players are very very good and the rest of us just keep hacking away. Like my poker game, I've improved somewhat at golf, but against someone who actually PLAYS the sport, I totally suck.

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October 29, 2005

For the new reader....

by G-Rob

There are many stories about the beginning, from the mythical "Big Bang" of male physicist fantasy, to the light switch creation of Genesis. Different cultures each have their own tale, often passed down to wide-eyed children, some, like the "Day of the Vacuum Fart" are told only to children with giant hoops around the neck. I'm not sure which story, if any, is true. I DO know from whence poker came.

This is the story of O-TIS.

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October 26, 2005

OPEN THE SOUL

by G-Rob

There's a very kind woman, a weathergirl, at a local TV station, who has a problem with e-mail. Let's call her the "brick." She moved to the South from a small midwestern town, and had no premonition of the impending culture shock. Her interview with the station, where she's on the air right now, went well. She's incredibly qualified for the job, has all the seals and certifications, and the other employees, her co-workers and new friends, thought she was a joy to be around.

So why isn't she happy?

E-mail is a bitch.

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October 1, 2005

Tire Swing

by G-Rob

It's always been true on this chosen profession, there are long periods of nothing at all, followed by a few hours of crushing insanity. I'm bored now, which should be obvious, because the show is a few hours away and the producers shoulder the burden now. Usually, it's in times like these where everthing goes berzerk.

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September 5, 2005

IS POKER A SPORT? I KNOW

by G-Rob

Last night, it happened again.

We sat, under a billion watts of blinding light, and waited for a race to end. Saturday night we lost just 6 minutes to a Busch series race, which is really NASCAR's minor leagues. Then Sunday, as was expected, the big race in California kept us off the air until 12:17.

There are usually just 4 of us in the studio when we're in a delay, usually the same 4 souls. The weathergirl is from Kansas and her husband's a big sports guy, while both members of our floor crew love those speeding cars. Same people, same situation, invariably the same debate.

Is NASCAR a sport?

You almost certainly have an opinion.

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September 1, 2005

Me, We, and Us

by G-Rob

In Ashland, everyone has the same Friday night plans. The high school plays football under the lights at Putnam stadium and, in Ashland, even the most tired old ladies grab maroon seat cushions. The student section is in the north end zone, right next to the Tomcat pep band. I went to every game there for at least 10 years, and at the very last one, I took a punch in the face.

That year was a good one for me. I'd always had a good group of friends, and my life was too busy with baseball (usually pickup games in the park) and such to worry about the social ladder. But, I assume this is usually true, the senior year is something special. My confidence was swollen to the point that, at that fooball game, I actually used this line on a very pretty girl, "So, you want to come over to my house, and see my stereo? Its pretty big."

I didn't have a follow up, when the girl said, "Sure!"

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August 31, 2005

New Orleans and Us

by G-Rob

Tonight I took a long stroll down what is an ever shortening memory lane. There have always been good reasons to keep New Orleans in our thoughts. I've had some incredibly good times there. So I've scanned the archives for some "Poker Blogger" connections to the Crescent City. Later tonight, I'll add my own facorite New Orleans Story. I encourage you to do the same.

Here's one connection for starters, from a site called "Legends of America"

Poker in the United States was first widely played in New Orleans by French settlers playing a card game that involved bluffing and betting called Poque in the early 1800's. This old poker game was similar to the “draw poker” game we play today. New Orleans evolved as America’s first gambling city as riverboat men, plantation owners and farmers avidly pursued the betting sport.

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August 29, 2005

Limpy Gimpy

by G-Rob

I had to stop at the S&K on the way to work. We have this giant rear screen projector as part of the new fake-TV set, and I have to wear a sportcoat that fits. For a good year or two I had my weight totally under control, but as is usually the case, I lost focus and gained pounds. In my job things like weight and hairstyle, the dimple in my tie and the fuzzballs on my coat, are under constant scrutiny. My General Manager is the undisputed KING of dapper dressers and last week he called me into his office for a momumental chat.

Just moments before my last workday of the week, before a short vacation and knee surgery, he stopped me in the hall and said, "Make sure you come to my office before you leave today, we need to talk about something important."

Later that same day he asked again, in the way that any boss actually ASKS for anything, "Don't forget, you can't leave today without talking to me first."

So after my story was written, and all preparations were made, I visited the plush corner office ready for, at best, a dressing down. I couldn't think of anything I'd done wrong, but the first words out his mouth were these, "I hope you know I DO like you," he said, before turning to actually face me, "but you may take this the wrong way."

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August 16, 2005

A Source familiar with UFP

by G-Rob

I was working on a campaign story many years ago when a press agent called. My tiny station covered the buckle of the corn belt, though everyone there was in suspenders. The Democrat hailed from the west end of the state where people were as sparse as real breasts in Vegas. The Republican served as mayor in the city that housed the capital and the state university. The agent was from one of those campaigns.

By mid-October I hadn't endeared myself to either side. I'd only arrived in the state in August, and in just two months I'd embarrased one guy with comments he'd made about state employees, while the other threatened to kick me out of a press conference. Still, I knew the guys they'd hired to schmooze the media and even us rural mid-state stations got a hand job sometimes.

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August 12, 2005

Coaching

by G-Rob

Just overheard from my younger child's room:

AD : Waaaaaaaaah! Mommy!

MD : That's not good enough. You have to sound like you're hurt.

AD : Wahhhhhhaaahhh! Houwwwww! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

MD : That's good. But you wouldn't actually say "Ouch". It has to sound real.

AD : Oh. Oooooooooohhhhhh! Wahhhhh!

MD : See. Now daddy will give you dessert.


I'm putty. Pathetic Putty.

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August 1, 2005

"A total rambling mess for which I apologize" OR "A Novice"

by G-Rob

In each of the last few years I'd mark off the days with an "X", a full cross from corner to corner. It made my At-A-Glance calendar look like a cheap hillbilly quilt. For awhile I'd make the slash right at punchout time, just after I logged out of the system. After a year or so that time moved up, and I'd cast the day aside before heading out to lunch. Now, I don't make a mark at all.

Of course, even the NAMES of days help mark the passage of life. I promise to kill the next co-worker who laments "another Monday". Its not as if Tuesday will be any different. Really, you're just waiting for the weekend, which means you're willing to fast-foreward nearly 5/7 of your entire life.

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July 23, 2005

Scotty, we hardly knew ye!

by G-Rob

James Doohan, the actor who played "Scotty", passed away this week. He starred in every movie and episode, and was a regular on the national dork tour. You can't have "Star Trek" without Scotty. But what do we know about our chief engineer? He's remembered for RECEIVING a command from someone else. I mean, is he anything more than "Sam the Butcher"? Sam's a BUTCHER, and he bangs ALICE. Not a compelling character, unless you're Alice. They're critical to the advancing plot, but as thin as the new post-heroin Otis. I know more about TIGER the DOG.

I never wanted to be Sam, and I'm only half-Scottish. Yet, its safe to say good books and terrible TV have ruined my life. A better man tries to focus his life around that which is morally good. I've tried to be the center of the action. I'd prefer to be the good guy, wearing the white hat, but DAMMIT I'm getting a hat, and black'll do in a pinch.

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July 16, 2005

Multi-Post! In which the author makes 3 posts at once.

by G-Rob

We were in Johnson City when we stopped for gas. Gulfman bought a half-tank and I fueled my tumor. Our TV Explorer was 2 hours north of the TV station and we still had 4 hours left. That's when I took the wheel for the rest of the drive, through the remnants of a hurricane and into my childhood home.

Ashland is Eastern Kentucky. It's one of a half-million cities that's described in chamber of commerce shorthand as either "Tri-Cities" or "Tri-State". Ashland has the honor of both fake names. In our overnight stay, Gulfman and I would find ourselves lost in Huntington, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio.

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May 28, 2005

Value Bets

by G-Rob

G-Vegas is a crossroads. There are the tourist beaches 3 hours to the East, Atlanta 2 hours west, and 90 minutes north is pure heaven, it makes sense to look "up" at heaven.

Last night I spent a good 12 hours immeresed in the angels. They're the kind of people you'd picture if you closed your eyes and pictured the Appalachian Mountains.

Yes..that kind.

Exactly.

And, odd as it seems, they prepared me for Vegas.

Play Online Poker
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May 24, 2005

A clarification

by G-Rob

BUT FIRST READ CJ'S POST BELOW!

Now, I appreciate the great BG providing a sensible over/under on the OTIS fall.
But before we gamble on one of the oldest prop bets known to man, its important to understand the ground rules.

To WIT :

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May 14, 2005

Worth Mentioning

by G-Rob

I am...

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May 10, 2005

The Stripper Story

by G-Rob

I believe in unity. I belive in the great coming together of minds and bodies. So let's tell the one story that brought my humble community together, the one time everyone I know was of like mind and spirit. The one time we almost fell apart over a stripper who almost died.

DISCLAIMER

I was having a Diet Coke at a pleasant sidwalk bistro when this typewritten story blew past. All of the names herein are pure fiction. Otis is ignorant. He also doesn't know anything about this story. Neither do I. It is, however, reproduced with permission.

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May 8, 2005

Bad Poker

by G-Rob

So you've climbed the mountain, scraped and bruised, in search of the ultimate answer. You've searched 10,000 blogs in search of the ONE. Where is the mighty mind of poker Utopia? Where is the Oracle of the Blessed Flop? Where is the one person who has a clear unbiased mind?

Here it is baybee....and Otis can't give you what you want. In fact, I believe he's on the next mountain over, screaming something about a deposit bonus on another site.

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April 6, 2005

Help WANTED!

by G-Rob

Peter Jennings got to me. Poor guy quit smoking for 20 years, then started again after 9/11. Now he'll need a 2 outer on the river to keep hope alive. I hope he pulls through, lung cancer's a royal bitch.

With Peter in mind, I've been chewing Orange flavored "Nicorette" since first contact with the floor. It doesn't taste orange. It doesn't compare with a nice smoke break outside. It doesn't provide the satisfaction of a delicious hot-blazin' cancer stick. But it won't kill me...and so far I haven't tried to murder anyone...which is nice.

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March 30, 2005

Relativity

by G-Rob

Back in the day, they stole a cookbook from God. His secret ingredients were all spelled out like a husband's list at a metaphysical grocery. His secret formula laid bare. The mystery of the Universe unraveled like a 5000 year Matlock drama.

I'm not sure I believe the whole apple to gravity thing. I do know Newton was a very smart dude.

I don't get how a patent clerk with little formal education could come up with theories that explain the entire known universe. But sure as shit, Einstein had the answers.

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March 28, 2005

Fo....

by G-Rob

Hello again dear readers. I've been deep in the tank, sifting through the mud, combing the gravel for nuggets of wisdom. Its easier to see when the light is dim.

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March 1, 2005

Bad Beats and You

by G-Rob

I think its Dostoevsy who said, "Every happy family is the same. Unhappy families are each unhappy in a different way". That's not an exact quote, but I don't expect most people will notice. Most people don't read Dostoevsky, that Fyodor's a downer.

Writers love losers but your average fella doesn't. "Jose Canseco the MVP" is a man about town. "Jose the Doper" is under house arrest. We all have our moments of defeat and loss, but no matter how much your friends love you, they really don't want anything more than a gossipy thrill, and a shadenfruede buzz. Everyone has a bad beat story. We want to hear your big suckout win.

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February 14, 2005

Poker in Life

by G-Rob

Please note the propstion here. This is not "Poker AS Life" or "Poker IS Life", I think that topic's been beat to death. Instead let's consider just some of the ways in which our poker prowess, or in some cases lack thereof, can influence our everyday lives. For the positive this time.

Prime example : Last Friday.

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February 1, 2005

Hiatus

by G-Rob

I have the two best children in the world. Lots of kids are smart. Some, a rare few, are both smart and good-looking. Mine are all that and a bag of chips. Its a miracle of random genetics, like if Chris Kattan fathered a supermodel, but its true. They are God's ( or nature's for you agnostics ) greatest blessing. They make me insane.

Aw Hell! You know where I'm going. Its those times when I'm at home all weekend, when I've played my 32nd game of CHUTES AND LADDERS, when I've explained for the 100th tome that Martin Luther King was not dreaming of "PEAS", that I want to be swingin' single. I'm a celebrity, you know. Chicks dig famous guys.

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January 19, 2005

Addiction..

by G-Rob

I like to say I have an "addictive personality". That explains a lot, or at least, it serves as an explaination for a lot of behaviors, but I'm not sure how effective that acknowledgement is. It may be normal human behavior to gravitate to those things we enjoy, and without the presence of a chemical component, an addiction to something like...oh...poker!...seems a misuse of language. People DO become addicte to gambling, but this is different somehow.

Already I have the following "problems":

An addiction to junk food.
An addiction to booze.
An addiction to cigarettes.
An addiction to gossipy chit-chat.
and now
An addiction to poker.

I'm really a pretty sorry individual.

Play Online Poker
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January 11, 2005

What had happened was..

by G-Rob

The whole Bahamas thing is fuzzy. I remember slamming Al to the floor at one point, just before I wrestled with his wife at the bar. That was just before I passed out.....in the poker room....on the floor. Which led to 4 hours of near puking on the beach Saturday...which led to Al massaging his netherparts with silverware under the watchful eyes of the casino. Friday night was ugly and Saturday barely better. Let just say this, G-Rob can't hang.

For a recap of our getting shut down by the Bahamian gaming commission see Gambling Blues. BG took notes and remembers much more than I do. So we'll let him re-cap most of the not poker crap. Al took plenty of pictures but hopefully many of those will be censored...I have a secret identity to protect. I only remember the cards and because this is, sort of, a poker blog...we'll just stick with that.

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December 31, 2004

Hooray for #2 or...3!

by G-Rob

Stop it!
That's not what I mean OK, so don't be dirty.

It's just that I, and I assume most other poker players, have a fierce competitive streak and for some reason I'm always good enough to get in the game. I just never seem to win.

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December 27, 2004

Can Your Blog get you FIRED?

by G-Rob

A newspaper reporter fired after his editors discover his blog.

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December 10, 2004

False Confidence and Pain

by G-Rob

Bad news, dear readers, the big wigs are gone. Otis left for Vegas first thing this morning and CJ leaves soon after. Only the grounds are left and the pot is getting cold. I'm killing time at work.

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December 7, 2004

Wondering

by G-Rob

Otis has again raised the bar with his props. A wiser man would fold, but I have an image to maintain. Following his post on a poker blog is like a magician who lets his assistant strip for an opening act. He's good at poker...and I'm...tall. Very tall.

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November 30, 2004

On the Road.....again

by G-Rob

It's about time for a G-Rob posting. I feel like Dean Moriarty in an Otis travelogue, and aren't we a merry bunch?

The first time I played no limit hold-em was barely a year ago and, of course, it was Otis who brought me along. He has a tendency to yammer forever about the things he loves (Just ask him about YAHOO Launch Cast sometime) and for the moment he really loved poker.

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