Monday, November 29, 2010

We Have a Winner (and a Loser)

Congratulations to StB for being the first ELIGIBLE person to correctly guess that TheMark's brother, Gucci Rick, will be joining our team for the LLL3 challenge at the WPBT Winter gathering in 12 short days. He'll be receiving his choice of either Lost Vegas or Cowboys Full.

I just recently completed a full week off from work thanks to my company's 2010 holiday schedule re-work that gave us 5 days off for Thanksgiving. It was at this time that I bumped up my online PLO stakes a notch and gave the $100 buy-in games another shot. I'd held off from playing those stakes since my late July debacle, where apparently not coincidentally, I was on vacation for a full week.

There must be something to time off and my ability to focus properly. Got my ass handed to me again. Some portion of the losses could be attributed to the standard PLO, holy shit really?, type of suckouts. But some is also due to my getting a bit frustrated at those losses. That frustration is more easily damped at $25 buy-in losses and that's where I need to improve.

And hey, just for the fun of it, here's a hand for you PLO folks if you care to disect it:

6-handed, $100 effective stacks, I'm in the cutoff. I open raise to $3.50 with 99TJ, button calls, big blind calls. Flop is 79J, 2 diamonds. Big blind checks, I c-bet to $8 and only the big blind calls. Diamond draw is my first assessment, I feel 8T has to raise with the flush draw out there. Turn is an off-suit 6, big blind checks once again. I believe I incorrectly check the turn here because there really is no other hand than a diamond draw that checks from the big blind. Even a hand like 5678 would bet I think. Key word, I think. The river pairs the 6 and the big blind leads for $25. My thought is to now raise. I beat 77, 67, T8 (badly played) and have a J-blocker to JJ. Besides the badly checked turn, am I so far off of my PLO game that raising the river bet is incorrect? Thoughts welcome.

When it comes down to WPBT time, I'll definitely be looking for a live PLO game. I haven't been to a casino since this past June, and even with the proliferation of some of the best online casinos, I still have the most fun at a live PLO table. I'll be heading to the Venetian in search of a game and hopefully Aria will have one as well.

See you all soon, this work week can't fly by quickly enough.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Position Filled

We, Team Procedure, have had the 3rd spot taken on the team. I'm not revealing the name just yet since I'd like to do the following:

In order to commemorate The Procedure in all its glory, the first person to guess the 3rd member of the team will win a copy of Dr. Pauly's Lost Vegas book. TheMark, Otis, and GRob are not eligible for this prize.

Have at it.

UPDATE: Nobody is correct thus far. Also, JimTheKnife guessed AlCantHang and he too is incorrect.
UPDATE 2: If for some reason you already have Pauly's book, I'll substitute Jim McManus' Cowboys Full book as the prize.
HINT: Said person has been mentioned in this blog several times.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Position Available

Position Available: 3rd Member of Team Procedure
Start Date: December 11th, 2010

Minimum Requirements: Team Procedure (TheMark and BadBlood) are looking for a 3rd member to fill out their team in the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge. The applicant must be willing to begin drinking very early that morning (Dirty Martinis and Sugar Free RBV's) and attend an "Afternoon Shift" at a local establishment to be determined later. Subsequently, the applicant must participate in a poker tournament and be competent enough to fold their way to a high enough finish such that the combined score of Team Procedure qualifies for prizes donated by Pokerstars.

Desired Qualifications: Should Team Procedure win the Luckbox Last Longer Challenge, the applicant will participate in a after-party during the "Evening Shift" at a local establishment to be determined later. As the newest member of Team Procedure, the applicant will assist with nominal fees and expenditures to ensure TheMark and BadBlood celebrate in proper fashion.

Disclaimer: Team Procedure is not responsible for any trouble you get into with your spouse/significant other while participating. Team Procedure has final say as to who participates; and should multiple applicants qualify for consideration, Team Procedure can and will conduct preliminary interviews Friday December 10th at local establishments to be determined later.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I Like It When Bands Get Better

...back me up here Speaker....

Half Marathon Race Report

Without much re-write, I'm just reposting an email I sent to Peaker about my half-marathon this past Saturday. Here's the GPS watch data in case you're interested:

And then here's yours truly at about mile 12.5, not looking as pained as I thought I'd be:

Alrighty then, here's my race recap, 2 days later.

Couple of thoughts that are specific to me:
1.) Taking an entire week off from running before a race really works for me. A ton. My legs feel fresh and ready to go, blisters are healed, and I just don't feel dinged up at all. I'll probably continue this tradition since I'm 2 for 2 in surpassing my goals using this, shall we say, "technique."
2.) Carb-loading also works for me. Had noodles for lunch on Friday and pasta for dinner. By Saturday morning, I felt bristling with energy. Kind of like blue-plasma lightning wrapping my body as though I were Kyle Reese having just been transported back to 1984...

I woke up Saturday and thanks to a spoonful of cilium fiber the night before, went to the bathroom immediately. Glad to get that out of the way. You know exactly what I mean. Lathered up my nipples and groin area with body glide, put on blister band-aids where I needed them and suited up.

I toasted up an English muffin, spread some peanut butter on it and had it along with a banana for my pre-race meal. Also had a cup of coffee. Drove the wife to the meetup location and walked about a half mile with Otis and his wife to the starting location at the Greenville Drive stadium.

Went and peed. Dropped my bag off and filled my water bottles with a G2 Gatorade, the post-recovery one with protein and some non-sugar carbs. Can't remember the exact name. Hung out for a bit, stared at several tight pants of my co-competitors. Jesus, some women runners are in fine shape. 15 minutes before start time, went to pee again. More than I did the first time, but not a surprise. Felt good. Gave my wife a kiss and made my way into the starting crowd behind the start line.

"Fast runners" concerned with gun time to the right and everyone else to the left. I went left, this race was for me and everyone else was just a distraction. Almost forgot to turn on my GPS watch, but remembered just in time. Got the ipod ready, turned to Broken, Beat and Scarred. That was the song that randomly started out my 10k and I saw no reason to change that for this race. The MC counted down from 10 and the gun went off. It took me 13 seconds to get to the starting line - I pressed start on the watch and went.

It was so crowded and everyone was jockeying for position. I felt a pang of worry and then logically came to the conclusion that I was 2 minutes into a 2 hour race and I should just relax. I focused my efforts on not tripping or colliding with anyone. I feel like I know what my pace/exertion level is and I tried to dial into that zone immediately. That's code for "take it slow" at the beginning.

I'll be honest - I was feeling great. And in the back of my mind was the following plan: If you look at the elevation plot of the course, the first 8.5 miles looked to be pretty easy. I was going to go at a slight notch above my training pace and see how I felt along the way, ever mindful of the potential need to slow it down.

That need never came. In fact on mile 8, I was feeling super-strong. I was high on adrenaline or endorphines or something. The songs on my ipod were hitting me perfectly and I was cruising. That 7:57 mile was the result.

Then I saw the hill. The one at mile 8.5 I knew was coming. My legs felt strong, so I just climbed and climbed with my head down refusing to drop my pace. Passing people on this hill felt great. Watching some folks walk the hill made me feel great too. Mile 10 was slightly up hill too, but I knew if I could keep it up, I could just gut out the final 3 miles.

At the 12.6 mile mark, I set my ipod to hit Himsa's "Hooks as Hands" song. It's 4 minutes long and I was going to finish before that song did. I got close to the stadium, the end of the race has us run inside the ball field around the warning track for .1 miles and cross the finish line near home plate. Pretty cool. There were a bunch of folks cheering the runners along outside the stadium.

Oddly, I didn't feed off their energy at all. I was in my BadBlood-zone, metal, exercise, focus, alone. Only when I rounded the 3rd base side of the inside of the stadium and saw my wife, Otis and MrsOtis cheering me along did I come out of it. I crossed the finish line and felt outstanding. I felt a ton of pride in doing as well as I did, but I tried to focus on the accomplishments of my wife and friends who competed in their first event ever. I don't really like to be the focus of accolades, however, I will admit to feeling pretty good at everyone congratulating me.