Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Three weeks later... The PartyPoker police came by and confiscated my $20 "just for living" bonus and left me with a whopping $20 in the account. Two losses in $5+1 SNGs whittled it down to $8 and change. My biggest problem with playing SNGs is that I don't often devote 100% of my attention to the play. I've gotten lax with my note-taking, and frankly, kinda bored with the whole online poker phenomenon. Or at least bored enough not to have the discipline I had weeks and months ago.

So on Monday, I took my last $8, entered a $5+1 NL Hold'Em SNG and immediately placed third, bumping me back up to $12. I said "Well, I'll just play two more $5+1's and see how it goes." You guessed it, I won the first one and bumped the account back over $30. I was lowstacked with 5 players left (400 chips) and was BB w/43o. Checked around with four callers, flop was 842 rainbow. I went all-in and was called by AJs. The pair of fours held and I was back to 900 chips. In SB the next hand, I had QTo, called with two limpers and BB. Flop was T94. Went all-in again with one caller, tripped the tens, and was in the chip lead for good.

So why am I not as involved or dedicated? Well, baseball season, hockey playoffs, my wife's continued efforts to deal with the death of her mother, school for the kids, little league, work, a plethora of reasons. I need to pick my times VERY carefully for playing when distractions and interruptions can be kept to an absolute minimum. This will likely be around 10pm after the kids are in bed, my wife is usually lounging watching TV, the baseball/hockey games are over, and I can give the games my full attention. Right now, I might restrict myself to that one SNG per night, max, and just see how that plays out.

Friday, April 02, 2004

OK, since it's been roughly seven weeks since my last blog, I'll consider this whole blogging affair a "sometimes thing". I've already cashed out from Empire with my $75 from my $50 investment and promptly lost the rest of the money. Oh well, easy come...

I hadn't been on PartyPoker for a few months and they decided to send me $20 just for living. Oh, and they're insisting that I play 150 raked hands or they threatened to take it back. I used the $20 plus $2 I still had in my account to pay for a quick $10+1 Omaha hi/lo SNG, which I promptly won to add $50 to my account. So, I'm still waffling on whether or not I'll play the 150 raked hands or just let them take their $20 stake back. I'll probably go into the Omaha .50/1 rooms again, but I really despise the Party/Empire interface which strikes me as being terribly infantile.

My stake in UltimateBet has been hovering around the $80 mark, which is what I deposited about six months ago. I just haven't really been motivated to play a lot of poker lately, what with Little League three times a week and various family issues... specifically, my mother-in-law's recent passing and my father's Alzheimers.

My mother-in-law died last week. My wife (Laurie) had been spending a lot of time flying back and forth from the Bay Area to SoCal to help take care of her increasingly sick mother, and now she is spending a lot of time in SoCal to help settle the estate. That means that I've been playing Mr. Mom to the kids, driving them to every baseball practice and game, every dance practice, every school function, every-frickin-thing you can imagine. It's rough, and I can't even imagine how truly single parents can do it.

My mother-in-law was a hoot, a bridge-playing fiend who was one of the most pushy broads you'd ever want to meet. She adored her grandkids (my kids) and treated her kids and in-laws as necessary evils. She would yell about towels being hung up improperly, cups without coasters, pictures out of order, almost anything... I chose not to speak up at her graveside funeral for fear of choking up, but I can put a lot of what I wanted to say right here.

"I had an evolving relationship with Audrey. I started out as "that Todd", progressed to "that jackass that took Laurie away", to "that guy who yells at my grandkids too much", and finally to "my favorite son-in-law". Of course, I'm her only son-in-law, but I took that as a compliment.

I told my son a long time ago that if he was looking at a pretty girl, he should really look at the mother, because that's what the girl is going to look like in thirty years. Well, I saw Laurie and was dazzled. I saw Audrey and thought "Damn, she looks pretty good for her age". If Laurie is like Audrey in forty years, well, then my theory holds true, and I made the right choice."

Peace and love to you, Audrey... I mean, Mom.