Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taking a Break From This Blog

Welp, I'm kinda feeling bad about not updating this blog as much as I think I should. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook putting up my short takes, etc. But I've always tried to run my blog under the "Jim Rome" rule. "Have a take and don't suck." So I always try to put something thought-out and meaningful on here. Most of it has been poker, but I've gotten into other areas like fitness, healthy eating, and smartphones.

I could set my blog up to scrape news sites and post relevant stories, but there's a ton of blogs that do that and most of them kinda suck. I've even tried to run some banner ads that might make me a little money if clicked. But after 3 years, I was informed by one banner service that I had to remove them since I talk about gambling on here. Oh well.

So considering my blog neglect issues, my expanding subject matter, and my waining interest in posting, I think I'll take a break for a little while and take some time to decide what I want to do with my blog. Not saying I will definitely shut down, but that is one of many options I will consider.

In the meantime, please feel free to follow me on Twitter. I'm on there almost every day and I like it: http://twitter.com/Stick66 Cheers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 14

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
07/20/10 = 215 lbs.(-28) 27.3 BMI, 18.8% Body Fat
08/21/10 = 217 lbs. (+2) 27.5 BMI, 19% BF
09/20/10 = 217 lbs. (-0) 27.5 BMI, 19% BF

Welp, at least I didn't backslide. Stats exactly the same as last month. Considering I attended a brewfest, a family B-day, and Mary's graduation dinner, I guess I should feel lucky that I didn't gain. The culprit this month is alcohol and desserts. I'm seriously thinking about going on a beer-less stretch for a month and see how it goes. My willpower sucks pretty badly right now. I'm not very confident that I could go very long without alcohol, but I'm willing to try. I'm going to a food show with Chef-C tomorrow where they'll have free food and drink for 2 days, so maybe I'll start after that. Hmmmm.

I think I'm doing well on the fitness side of things. Jogging on the treadmill longer. Lifting more weight and seeing my arms get bigger. Now I just have to get rid of my gut. I've changed my routine again to focus more on my abs and I think cutting the alcohol will help too.

Goal is still 199 and I was recently doing some calculating. At 217 and 19% BF, I am carrying 41 lbs of fat. If I lose just 20 lbs of that (about 1/2), then I'll be at 197 and 11% BF. Increasing my muscle will help those stats even more. From what I understand, over 200 with 10% body fat is pretty ripped. Would be nice. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stick's Random Update 9/14/10, Plus Justin.tv

Been laggin' on the blog updates. Between fiddling with my Captivate smartphone, working out, playing poker, Twitter, Facebook, and a brewfest last weekend, it hasn't dawned on me much. I was gonna say "haven't had the time", but I actually have. I've just been distracted, I guess.

Gained 6 pounds recently, but I think it's part water weight and part muscle gain. Been working hard, sweating a lot, and drinking a lot of fluids. The brewfest indulgence didn't help, but I'm still not discouraged. 1 more week until monthly weigh-in. I've checked my body fat % a few times recently and it looks good.

Poker has been going well. I was running bad the first week of the month in SNG's, so I decided to switch to 10NL cash games for a little while. Did well for a while and just had my first down day today. Still good for the month, though.

I decided to start a Justin.tv channel after reading some good reviews of their new android app. I'll be able to broadcast live from my phone soon. Not sure what I'm going to show yet, but it won't suck. I hope. Stay tuned: http://www.justin.tv/stick66/

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stick's August 2010 Poker Results

Sucked. Again. 4 negative months in a row. This month it was -$393. That includes the Reno trip for live poker. Total for the 8 months of this year: -$875, about $500 of that is live. Slight silver lining. For as many hours as I've played, I feel like that's not too bad.

Here's the online damage for this month:





(No online cash games at all.)

I feel a solid commitment to STT/MTT's. I guess I need to study more. Hit the books. Watch some videos. Obviously, just playing and practicing isn't working at the moment. I feel like my basics are good and my reads are good, but it's my situational play that is lacking. I'll either fold too much or make a bad shove. Seems like I rarely make bad calldowns, but maybe I'm missing the opportunities where I should call down. Back to the books, I guess.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 13

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
07/20/10 = 215 lbs.(-28) 27.3 BMI, 18.8% Body Fat
08/21/10 = 217 lbs. (+2) 27.6 BMI, 19% BF

Gained 2 pounds overall for the month. I was down to 213 at on point, but I blame some major eating & drinking in Reno for 4 days and a big Mexican lunch on 8/19 for the gain. So I'm not too disappointed considering the enjoyment trade off I had. It would be worse if I was surprised by the gain. I guess it really helps the positivity and motivation when you are prepared for setbacks. I should have no problem losing more than 2 lbs this month.

I don't have any trips coming up, but I do have a brewfest on 9/18 that I want to go to. That's only 2 days prior to my reporting day (20th of every month). I guess I could tack on a day like I did this month. We'll see.

I've changed my gym workout routine again to be more intense and I really think I'm seeing good results. I start with 5-7 minutes of cardio to get the heart rate up. Then some taxing of the abs and lats. Then about 20 minutes of weight training on arms, chest, lats, and abs. Then about 10 minutes of leg work. Then another 5 minutes of cardio to finish. I try to do it all in a circuit to keep the heart rate somewhat high the whole time. It takes about 40-45 minutes and I'm up to 6 days a week. I'm also tanning 5-6 days a week, so the overall look is pretty good. I can really see definition in my legs, arms, and chest. My trouble spot is my gut, but I think I'm still staying positive about it.

I just have to watch the diet a bit more and stay the course with the gym work. No problem.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back from Reno, Sad

Not only did I not have any poker profit in Reno, I also realized how far downhill it's gone in the last few years. Hookers, transients, and druggies downtown more than ever. I had the pleasure of being propositioned by a skank and the pleasure of wiping a druggie's blood off a toilet seat I desperately need to use. Yes, scary.

Not as many good deals to be had, either. The place that had a hot dog and a Heineken for $2 just 2 years ago now has it for $4.75. The $1.99 breakfast is now $2.99. So the cheapest places to eat are McD's & Arby's with their dollar menus.

Downtown Reno seems to cater more to locals now. Seems like a fun place to dance, party, and get your drink on. But as a relaxing, casino-based vacation spot, I think it has completely lost it. I haven't tried the outer places like Peppermill, Atlantis, and Grand Sierra and I'm not sure I will after this last trip downtown. I went for mostly poker and it was pretty hard to find a good game. Mostly regulars who only played at certain times. No late night drunken tourist donkeys like in Las Vegas. I'm better off playing the local Sac rooms here. Oh and the automated "PokerPro" poker tables at the Silver Legacy were a joke. Mostly greenhorn players who knew no etiquette and played extremely slow would brave the pretty little tables. And to top it off, it took an hour to get a tourney together there. Plus, it was empty most of the day so I don't think those tables will last very long. They didn't in Vegas or Folsom, either.

Oh well. I think the wife and I will go again to party. But sadly, never again for a "vacation".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Heading to Reno on a Poker Binge

Almost forgot. I'll be in Reno 8/8 - 8/12 on another solo poker trip. Gonna grind some 1/2NL and maybe play some tourneys. I think I'll also step away from the buffets & casino bars and try to find some cheap eats and good local brews. Brews Brothers microbrewery is a gimme, but I think there's more around. I shall report soon on what I find.

But with my new Android phone, I'll be updating regularly on Twitter. Check my updates in the right side margin of the blog or you can follow me at http://twitter.com/Stick66 .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stick's Offbeat Las Vegas Travel Tips

It's been a month since I got back from my first extended trip to Las Vegas. I went with the intention of enjoying the spectacle of staying on the the Strip while also playing lots of poker and meeting some online friends from our poker forum. I stayed for a week (which was almost like living there to me) and I learned a few nifty things that I think could help other folks when they go to "Sin City" also. These things dawned on me both during travel and during my stay. It is my impression that these tips I will give aren't widely known. That's why I call them "offbeat". But if you are already aware of something I post here, you are that much more keen IMO. So here we go:

1) Many bags/luggage looks similar and could maybe even be the same model. To make sure someone in a rush at the airport luggage carousel doesn't mistake your bag for theirs and takes it home before noticing it's NOT theirs (happened to me years ago), put something brightly colored and noticeably different on your bags. An odd bag tag, bright yarn tied on the handle, sewn-on patches, or fabric paint all should work. Do it even on your carry-on in case you set it down before boarding.

2) One thing I learned the hard way is to leave enough room in your bags to fit all the crap you wanna bring back with you. I found some good T-shirt deals and was even given a couple for free by associates. With those and the ones I bought as souvenirs for the family, the total was 10 extra t-shirts I had to cram in my bags. It was tough and I learned my lesson.

3) If your ears don't handle pressure fluctuations very well (like mine; bottom of the pool, mountain travel, airplanes), then chew gum during take off. Worked for me.

4) There are a ton of shuttles at McCarran airport in Las Vegas. If you aren't renting a car or have other arrangements, don't waste your money on a cab. You can book a round trip shuttle online or just go to the shuttle window at the airport. Easy stuff and saves money. Remember to tip your driver when you get to your hotel.

5) When you check into your hotel, always ask the clerk if they have any complementary coupon books. They usually give a sheet with just a few on them to everybody, but they may also have a thicker booklet with many, many more coupons (my hotel did). Always worth asking.

6) To anyone who doesn't live in a city with similar water treatment, Las Vegas tap water sucks ass. But the water used to make the ice in the hotel ice machines is usually filtered. So every morning, I took my ice bucket and filled it with ice. Back in my room, I could put a bottle beverage in the ice. But I also learned that by afternoon, I had some nice drinkable ice water in my bucket. Then at night and the next morning, I still had nice filtered water for taking pills or choking down a protein bar before the journey to the buffet.

7) That leads to the next tip: Protein bars. Unless you are a non-drinker and/or are perfectly chipper every morning no matter the strange sleeping conditions, you'll appreciate something on your stomach before you make it downstairs to finally eat. I take enough protein bars to have one per day of my stay. And by "protein bars", I don't mean those gooey, fatty granola or grain bars. Find something with low fat, mid-to-low sugar, and at least 10 grams of protein per bar. They'll digest quicker and give you the correct kind of fuel when you need it.

8) You'll eventually meet "the flickers", as I call them. They are the lowlifes who try to cram the nudie bar flyers in your face while you walk the Strip. Unless you like that kind of thing, the best way to handle them is to ignore them. They won't bite or be offended. I say this because I was amazed at how many people actually tried to be so nice to them while trying to let them down easy while refusing to take a flyer. There's so many of them that you'd waste so much time doing that. Trust me. They won't cry or want to kill you if you just walk by.

9) The latest "fad" I saw in Vegas was oxygen bars. I tried one and I do recommend trying them. They are out in the open in some casinos, malls, and even outside on Fremont Street. The cost is something like $22-$25 as of this posting. Their pitch for the oxygen treatment is that it is supposed give you energy, make you more alert, and even fight the effects of a hangover. You sit down and are given an unused breather tube for your nose (like the hospital ones). The attendant hooks it up to a tube in front of your stool and you breathe in the oxygen for about 15-20 minutes. There are usually little switches in front of you to pick your favorite scent, but I left them all on since you get more oxygen that way. While you are taking it in, the attendant might show you some massage gadgets, scented oils, etc. available for purchase. I bought something. But again, I'm sure they'll be OK if you say "no". So after I was done, the best way to describe the way I felt was that it was like I just woke up from the best night of sleep in my life. No jitters. No side effects. The feeling lasted at least an hour, but probably could have been more if I wasn't drinking later. ;)

10) I recommend that everyone who stays on the Strip and hasn't ever been downtown to Fremont Street go see it once for at least a couple hours. But getting there in a cab can be expensive. Las Vegas has a decent bus system and 2 lines that run from the Strip to downtown. One is called the "Deuce". It's a double decker and stops at nearly every strip hotel. It can get crowded around meal times and on weekends. But if you ride at times like 2 in the afternoon or 11 at night, it's great. Clean and safe. The other line is the "Gold". It is regular size and makes less stops, but is actually quicker to get downtown on. You can get tickets for either bus at machines right on the street (Strip and DT) and they take credit cards too. $3 per ride or $7 daily pass as of this posting.

11) Make sure you check out both of the Strip's main malls, the Fashion Show Mall and the Miracle Mile Shops. It seemed like every clothing store had some really good clearance deals. 50-75% off some really good stuff. I like DC, AlpineStars, and Fox and I didn't pay anywhere near full price for any of that stuff. Look for certain brand's factory stores they have in those malls, too. They might have stuff there that you can't get back home. (And FYI: Most of the malls attached to casinos are more expensive than these 2.)

12) At some intersections on the Strip, they have escalators leading to walking overpasses. But beware later at night when some of the escalators shut down for various reasons. Some are pretty high and long to have to walk up & down. So if you are handicapped, drunk, sick, tired, old, etc., you could be in for a tough time.

13) Best beer pong: O'Shea's Irish Pub & Casino.

14) Best local microbrew deal: Ellis Island Casino & Brewery (1 block behind Bally's), $1.50 for a 22 oz. glass of some really good brew.

15) Best HUGE buffet: The Rio (take the free shuttle from Harrah's or Bally's), it's massive.


That's all I can think of right now. I think I'll be posting some reviews of a few of the specific venues I patronized. Restaurants, poker rooms, my hotel, etc. So watch for those.

I was there for a week and still didn't get to go everywhere and do everything I wanted. So there'll probably be another one of these posts next year. Cheers.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stick's July 2010 Poker Results

Welp. It's official. I'm an online STT/MTT player, NOT online cash. I do okay at live cash, but I gotta stick to tourneys online. I got the "cash game bug" when I got back from Vegas on the 1st. So I tried to grind cash and I guess my style doesn't work online. Comfort, style, bankroll, you name it. It all points to tourneys for me. But I LOVE live cash games. So I think I got it figured out.

So I ended up this month for a total loss of -$154. That includes a live tourney loss and online cash, tourneys, and bonuses. Check the damage:





Had a decent SNG run at the end to get back positive:





Time for me to specialize. Get really good at online tourneys and build a bigger bankroll. Then possibly take a crack at online cash again. Meanwhile, I've made a pledge to myself to play more live games. I'll be going to Reno to grind for 4 days and then I'll try to hit some Sac area rooms.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 12

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF
03/20/10 = 223 lbs. (+1) 28.3 BMI, 21.0% BF
04/21/10 = 223 lbs. (-0) 28.3 BMI, 20.2% BF
05/20/10 = 220 lbs. (-3) 27.8 BMI, 20.2% BF
06/19/10 = 214 lbs. (-6) 27.2 BMI, 19.7% BF
07/20/10 = 215 lbs. (+1) 27.3 BMI, 18.8% BF

1 stubborn pound from my Vegas trip is still hangin' around. No biggie. I can lose that easily. But I do have another trip planned, this time to Reno, on August 8th for 4 nights. So it looks like more curve balls coming this month. Luckily for my weigh-in this month, we postponed my birthday dinner from 7/17 to this Thursday because my daughter was sick. I could have been a bit heavier if we went on the original day. I also noticed that my body fat dropped almost 1% (yes, I took numerous readings to check for errors). So I guess that means my muscle gain is catching up to my fat loss. Ummm, wow? Makes me blush. ;)

As for the year in reflection: I've learned a ton. I've worked a ton. I've done things I never thought I'd do. And even though I've only lost 28 lbs., I feel a ton healthier. The biggest thing is that I think I can keep this up. Many people "diet" and "work out" for a while, lose the weight they want, and then go back to being junk food eating sloths. But I think I like the way I do things and I like looking at my body. I like cooking healthy foods. I like going to the gym and reaching for higher fitness goals. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it all gives me more confidence in other parts of my life (like poker and even social situations). So I guess you could say keeping fit helps my brain as much as my body.

Now if I could just get my family to climb on board. Every time I walk past those 12-packs of soda in the garage, I shake my head. :p

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stick's Las Vegas Trip Report 6/24 - 7/1/10

Hmmm. It's been 15 days since I've been back, so let's see how much of this trip I can remember (or how much has come back to me).

6/24: Stayed at the Imperial Palace on the Strip (separate review post to come) and got to my room at about 2pm. Unpacked and set up my room for my 7-night stay. Left my room around 4pm and decided to scout the block of the strip I was on. Found the Caesar's Forum Shops mall right across the street. Way cool place, even though it just oozed "expensive". Spiral escalators, fountains & statues, and the ceiling in the main mall walk is painted like the evening sky. Way cool effect. Found an ATM from my bank there so I could avoid extra fees.

Walked around and found O'Shea's Irish Pub & Casino next to I.P. It is where my buds & I spent most of our time on the trip. Also found Sin City Brewing Company inside the Flamingo in their rear promenade. Excellent IPA! It's an offshoot of Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. from No. Cal. They have a G.B. in Vegas that brews for the 3 Sin Citys. I came back a few times and also stopped by the SCBC in the Miracle mall a few days later. Then I found a couple of cheap grub places that I'll reveal in an upcoming "Cheap Vegas Tips" post.

6/25: Woke up and hit the I.P. buffet for the 1st time. Not bad and a good price. Placed some sports bets at the IP sportsbook. Neat little place. Then did a bunch more walking around and remembered my camera this time. Took a bunch of pictures, but I'm not sure which ones I'll post here (if any). Found another mall called the Fashion Show mall. More like a regular mall but the have a huge space in the middle where they have fashion shows every few hours. I picked up a couple more cool t-shirt deals at a place called Hot Cats. Later, I met up with my first wave of buds (Damon & Snow) and had a quick bite together. Watched them play some poker, but I wasn't in the mood yet. Walked around some more and discovered the Miracle Mile Shops mall behind Planet Hollywood Resort. You actually walk in the door and have a choice of entering the Casino or the Mall. I took the Mall and saw its cool architecture and painted sky ceiling, like the Forum shops but a notch or 2 lower on the expense scale. Found a bitchin' DC Shoes Factory Store and scored a killer t-shirt for $6 (more scores later). Came back to O'Shea's and lost a small cash game buy-in.

6/26: Woke up and tried the Flamingo buffet. Nothing special and the IP buffet was just as good at half the price. Met some more cool peeps from Cardschat.com (Sean & Toby). I got a pretty neat 20-min. oxygen treatment at the oxygen bar at O'Shea's. You breathe in oxygen while being massaged a little. It's meant to give energy and even help hangovers. The best way for me to describe it is that I felt like I woke up from the best night of sleep I ever had. Then had dinner at the Venetian and played the 7pm $120 tourney. I placed something like 166th out of 220. Basically card dead. Then I walked down to M&M's World across from New York, New York and picked up some souvenirs for the family. The mile and a half walk back to the IP at midnight on a Saturday night was pretty interesting. Many, many drunk people. Funny drunk people. Rookies & pros. People helping each other walk. Quite a unique event to witness.

6/27: Woke up and hit my IP buffet again. Free this time since I got my 24-hr Harrah's buffet pass that was included with my room deal. Played some 1/2NL at the IP. Card dead again. Took the free Harrah's shuttle over to the Rio with Sean to see the WS*OP main tourney room, etc. Nothing special since we found out all the hotel hoopla doesn't start until the main event starts, but we did officially meet poker player/coach/author Dusty Schmidt. Cool guy. Hit the Rio buffet for free on my pass. It was really good and pretty huge. Food from 5 or 6 different countries to choose from. Then took the free shuttle over to Bally's and walked to Planet Hollywood to play some 1/2NL again. Bit the biggie. Had some aggro Euros who would call down my C-bets with 3rd pair, etc. No luck there. So I regrouped back at my room, had dinner, and walked over to Ellis Island Casino & Brewery to try their beer. Nice little locals joint. Their own brews in a 22-ounce glass are only $1.50!! A dollar fifty!! Holy cow! I had 3 Ambers and they were great ...and only a dollar fifty!!!! Then headed over to O'Shea's to play 1/2NL again. Found a good table at like 1:30am, but it broke up before I could make more than $12 profit. Oh well.

6/28: Got up & ate at my IP buffet for free for the last time since it was just within 24 hours of my pass. Then rode the bus with Sean & Toby to Fremont Street to catch the OFC warm-up tourney at teh Golden Nugget. I didn't play, but I met a bunch more cool Cardschat people (too numerous to mention). Walked around Fremont St. for a while. I noticed how different things are downtown than they are on the Strip. Many more "gimmicks". "Cheap" atmosphere, which is not necessarily a bad thing. There was a pretty cool AC/DC cover band playing on an open stage. I bought some souvenirs from Binion's and checked out their poker rooms, etc. Eventually took the bus back to IP with Sean and called at a semi-early night.

6/29: Main OFC day. I was hyped up for it. Can't remember much prior to the tourney except that I sweat more on the bus ride down to the Golden Nugget than I have in years since it was so hot that day. Luckily, Debi gave me a new Cardchat.com shirt during the tourney. Met even more cool Cardschat peeps. Played and busted out something like 43rd out of 125. Paid down to 13th and forum points to 30th, so I did just OK. I actually busted 2 other players and built a decent stack, then I lost a couple all-ins. I walked around Fremont again and had an nice IPA at Chicago Brewing Company to drown my sorrows in. We hung out until the bubble hit at 12:30 am. One of our CC ladies, Beth/RoundCat, took 2nd place for a big cash. She finished at 3:30 am. Congrats to her. But we left when they were down to 13th and the bus ride back to the IP was very interesting indeed.

6/30: My last full day of the trip. I decided I was gonna sample some more local alcohol and live it up some. Walked down to the Miracle Mile shops behind PH to have lunch with Toby & Sean. Then they went to play 1/2NL at the PH and I stayed in the mall. I hit the DC Shoes factory store again and found some more killer deals. $10 backpack, $5 kids shirt, and a cool Flexfit cap for me for $10. Amazing deals in my bag. Then I hit the Sin City there and had a couple IPA's. Barman has cousins who live in my area. LOL. Then I went back to PH and cashed in a 2-for-1 drink coupon I had. Still was $10. INTERESTING STORY ALERT: Then I played some craps and won a little. Then I played some 1/2NL and was winning. Then I realized my DC bag full of deals was gone. So I kinda went nuts. (I had my hat on my head, so I only paid $15 for the stuff in the bag. But a drunk doesn't think about that.) I looked under the craps table. Nope. I looked at the $10 drink bar. Nope. So I drunkenly filled out a missing item report at the PH security station. Then on a whim, I decided to go back to the bar and ask a bartender. Yep they had the bag AND a ticket for what was still in the video poker machine I was playing at the bar. I actually made money on it! So I cashed that ticket and gave the bartenders a $10 tip to share. Whew. END ALERT.

Then we cruised back into the mall and had some expensive drinks at a place called the "Stripper Bar". It really isn't a real stripper bar since it's in a mall. But it has a 2-story statue of a stripper in front and a couple of poles that clothed girls dance on. Tourist trap all the way. So then we walked around in the new Aria building in City Center. Very new and very nice. Has a mall, too. And of course, the casino, hotel, and convention rooms. I was drunk and decided to ask for directions from employees there in some weird accent. Just because drunks do that. LOL. Anyway. Then I saw a pub there and wanted a brew, so the guys left me there to go play more poker. The place was pretty awesome. It was the first time I paid $16 for a beer, but it was Chimay special and served in a goblet. It was pretty funny watching dressed up rich people try to play beer pong, too. lmao. I had another beer that I don't remember and topped it off with a $7 PBR. It was worth the experience, though. Then I got back to my room and called Sean. He was low on funds, so I told him I'd by him a few pops at Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet's bar at the Flamingo. We had some drinks and watched the middle age folks get hammered while dancing to a cover band, but we were too cool to dance. Then I stumbled back to O'Shea's and blew $100 at 1/2NL with a dumb drunken all-in move. Then I stumbled to bed.

7/1: Woke up nursing a hangover, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I think it should have been. Lucky me. Then I ate, packed, caught my shuttle to the airport, flew home, hugged my kid and waited for my wife to get home from work. THE END.

I think that's about all I can remember. Up next will be some unusual tips I learned while staying in Las Vegas for a week. Here's a teaser: The tap water sucks and the busses are nice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stick's June 2010 Poker Results

LOL! Online, I had a profit of +$21. But live, I lost -$499 in Vegas. Had fun and learned a ton, but hurt the bottom line quite a bit. So my combined total works out to be -$478 for June. And same as other months, I realize my mistakes and will definitely learn from them. One live mistake was playing tournament buy-ins above my roll. I actually came to Las Vegas to play the OFC for $120. So that one doesn't count. But I also played the nightly Venetian $120, which was over 10% of my roll. Beforehand, I really stewed over playing and I kinda wanted to go across the street to play the Treasure Island $50. But all my friends were playing the Venetian and I played just to say I did. So I did, but won't next time. I learned. Then I lost a quick $100 in a cash game my last night there because I was hammered. I won't next time. I learned.

I only played a little online cash:





Played a few tourneys and had a semi-good run towards the end to get my ROI above zero:





I didn't play my normal amount of games due to a camping trip around June 9th and then the Vegas trip at the end of the month. So it's tough to say I learned much online, but my live learning is still fresh. I think I finally have the desire and confidence to play the live card rooms around here. At least I'll give 'em a try.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stick's Teaser Post - Vegas & Poker

Been back from Vegas for 2 days and I'm still exhausted. Sleep was definitely abnormal. Caffeine, alcohol, poker excitement, and a different bed all prevented any sound rest from occurring. I guess that's how it should be.

Met some cool online friends in the flesh. Had some good meals, good beer, and good poker play. Though I didn't profit in poker this trip, I learned quite a bit about what makes a good live poker session. Since I play primarily online, I still have much to learn in the live arena. I believe I now am getting the urge to play the rooms here in the Sacramento area.

But like I said, I'm still exhausted. I'll go into more depth in these different subjects very soon. Tentative post subjects include:

- My regular monthly poker results, including Vegas.
- Trip report for Vegas.
- Reviews of some of the Las Vegas venues I sampled.
- Offbeat tips I learned while actually living in a Vegas hotel for a week.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Off to Vegas Today

I'll be heading to Las Vegas today for a week to rail some WS*OP and to play the Live OFC & some other tourneys.

- 1st time ever away from home by myself for more than 3 days time.
- 1st time ever away from my wife for more than 3 days time.
- 1st "mainly poker" trip.
- 1st time ever staying on the Las Vegas strip.

I'll be posting updates on Twitter from my phone, hopefully including pictures. But my laptop crashed, so I don't know if I can find a way to post on this blog or on Cardschat.com until I get back.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 11

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF
03/20/10 = 223 lbs. (+1) 28.3 BMI, 21.0% BF
04/21/10 = 223 lbs. (-0) 28.3 BMI, 20.2% BF
05/20/10 = 220 lbs. (-3) 27.8 BMI, 20.2% BF
06/19/10 = 214 lbs. (-6) 27.2 BMI, 19.7% BF

A day early due to upcoming Father's Day festivities and prepping for Vegas.

Yay! Another 6 pounds!! It wasn't easy either. I went camping last weekend and gained some weight. On 6/14, I weighed 220. So somehow I lost 6 lbs. in 5 days. (Yes, I triple-check all my stats every time.) I was even fighting a painful back. I kept going to the gym and drinking my killer smoothies while staying away from eating too much or too late.

I conquered my back problems by getting a cheap inversion table that lets me hang upside down by my ankles and decompresses my spine. It really works and works instantly. I recommend it to anyone who has chronic back pain. I'll make a dedicated post to the subject soon.

Now the only thing I have to worry about is gaining weight in Vegas. I'll be there for 7 days and I'm damned sure I'm not gonna be eating salads and smoothies. It's gonna be all buffets and bars. No gym either, as far as I know. We'll see if I'll have the time or energy to jog stairs. LOL. So right now, I'll predict I'll gain 6 pounds on the Las Vegas trip. But I'm pretty confident that I can lose it before next month's fitness post.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stick's Random Update 6/15/10

Went camping last weekend. Gained 3 lbs. Hurt my back somehow. Finally figured out that I'm a hardcore city boy.

Worked out today. Hurt my back even more. Constant pain. 1st Vicodin didn't help much. Going for #2 when I'm done with this.

Neither my new glasses nor my new prescription sunglasses will be done before my Las Vegas trip. Have to stick with contacts and risk infection.

Facebook games are addicting and taking away from my poker time.

Poker is going OK. Up and down. Not much profit, but decent experience and self-analysis.

Lawn needs to be mowed and is infested with lawn moths. Back hurts too much to mow it or spray chemicals on it.

Still trying to top off my tan and get my weight down more before the Vegas trip. So stoked! 9 days to go!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wonderful Local Beer In Stores Today (6/8/10)

Odonata Beer Company's Saison Ale is now available in stores!

I tried this heavenly local beer on tap in Folsom recently and now it is available in bottles here in the Greater Sacramento area (and even at a few spots in the Bay Area). My friend loved this brew so much, he commented that he wanted to "marry this beer and have its children". Yes, it's that good! This Belgian-style ale has more body than the few other Belgians I've tried. More beer bite and less citrus tang. They use the word "rustic" in the description on their website and I think that fits perfectly.

These 2 Odonata boys seem to know what they are doing. Rick has been in the beer biz a while and Peter was the head brewer at Sac Brewing Co. And if you follow them on Twitter, you can see they also seem to have fun doing what they do.

This blog post may look like an ad, but that's not how I intended it. I just want to spread the word about what I think is a great local brew and the loyal Sacramento company behind it. I've been following these guys on Twitter since before SBC closed and I've been seeing little bits of info about their new company trickle across my screen as time has gone by. I think it's really cool to see it all finally come together like this.

So here's where you can get this fine beer (bars & stores):

Corti Bros - Sacramento
Taylor's Market - Sacramento
Manderes - Folsom
Samuel Horne's Tavern - Folsom
Total Wine - Roseville
Chef's Table - Rocklin
BevMo - Auburn, Sacramento, Roseville, Citrus Heights
World Pub - Auburn
Davis Co Op - Davis

Plaza Foods - Rancho Murieta
Monument Liquor - Concord
Arcata Co Op - Arcata
Healthy Spirits - SF
City Beer - SF
Beer Revolution - Oakland
Mondo - Sonoma
Andrae's Bakery - Amador
Perry's Liquor - Livermore

More info:
http://twitter.com/OdonataBeer
http://www.odonatabeer.com/
http://www.facebook.com/OdonataBeer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stick's May 2010 Poker Results

Huge roller coaster month. Up & down and ended up -$12. I still feel satisfied because I think I recognized my mistakes (some tilt and bad bubble play) and I'm confident that I won't continue making them.








Oh yeah. And another mistake I made was trying cash games again. I did OK at 10NL, but screwed the pooch at 25NL. See below.





Due to a transfer trade with a friend, my bankroll has grown enough so I have been able to move up to $10 SNG's. I've actually been having decent results at $11 6-player turbo SNG's on FTP. I think I'll stick with those for a while.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 10

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF
03/20/10 = 223 lbs. (+1) 28.3 BMI, 21.0% BF
04/21/10 = 223 lbs. (-0) 28.3 BMI, 20.2% BF
05/20/10 = 220 lbs. (-3) 27.8 BMI, 20.2% BF

YAY! After 6 months of hovering between 222 & 223 pounds, I finally lost some noticeable weight. I did get down to 218, but we went barhopping (and food eating) in Folsom the next day. So I know what I'm capable of. The only thing I can think of that I've changed this month is eating less in the evening. Have a big lunch and cool it around dinner time. Although I think I may have been retaining more water than usual and this month I seemed to sweat more while working out immediately after tanning sessions. But I think that is OK since I'm pretty sure belly fat is mostly water. I think. :)

Knowing what I know now, I think I can lose another 3-5 pounds this month. It would be nice to hit Vegas at 215 & tanned up. I've been hitting the treadmill and it should help when I walk the strip. The good stuff can be spread out and it's also pretty hot in Las Vegas in late June. Still can't wait!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stick's Random Update 5/13/10

Been wrapped up in Facebook, Twitter, playing poker, working out, tanning, and planning for the Las Vegas trip. Getting the wardrobe and the bod in shape. Even getting new sunglasses.

The 1st 2 weeks of this month have been up and down for me. Had some steady SNG cashes at first, but then hit a bad 0-20 run that kinda even things out. Still have plenty of time to improve the month, though.

Had a few tilt-related losses for the first time in a while. Not sure the cause, but the conditions seems to be temporary (so far). Otherwise, I feel like I've been playing well and riding some variance.

In non-poker areas, I started indoor tanning sessions and I'm lovin' it. Kinda does something for the ego like my new workout muscles do. When I was young, I was a skinny bike racer built like a wire coat hanger. Easy to bend but hard to break. Then I got older and gained the weight I wished I could when I was younger, but lost my fitness due to laziness. Now I'm just beginning to feel like I'm approaching the best shape of my life. Got a ways to go, but it's just now starting to show.

Prior to Vegas in late June, I'm trying to lose as much weight and gain as much fitness as I can because I know I won't always be able to eat right and exercise in Vegas. The hotel I'm staying in wants $10 a day to use their gym and I only pay $15 a month for the one I go to now. I'm damned sure I'm not going to pay the equivalent of $300 a month, so it looks like I'll be getting very acquainted with their stairwell. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stick's April 2010 Poker Results

Nice month profit-wise at +$189. Had just a small bonus and played just 108 hands of 25NLHE cash, so the majority of my profit was from STT/MTT winnings. Pretty proud of that. I could eventually become a cash gamer someday, but tourneys are suiting me just fine right now. Confidence is up and results are too.







Had a really nice day on 4/30 by taking down a $5 45-player SNG for $85.50 on Full Tilt. I think I'll start playing more of those and more 27-player ones.

I think I'm gaining better sense on my player reads and situational play. Like knowing when to fold AK PF and when to call raises with 98s in relation to stack sizes, blinds, and post-flop position. My patience is fitting right in, also. Always thinking ahead. Sure, I still make some mistakes. But it's much better for me to realize what they are right away and feel satisfied in that. I haven't had that feeling much in cash games.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 9

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF
03/20/10 = 223 lbs. (+1) 28.3 BMI, 21.0% BF
04/21/10 = 223 lbs. (-0) 28.3 BMI, 20.2% BF

No weight loss, but I see decent sized body fat percentage loss. I took 3 consecutive readings and 20.2% looks correct. I have noticed my arms are looking more defined and I my old 36" waist pants fit again. Woo hoo!! I'm booked for Vegas in June, so I should be in good shape for the walking in the heat that will be needed.

Still not as disciplined as I would like to be in regards to my eating, but I don't think I'm that far off. Just a few tweaks needed. 199 lbs. is still the goal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stick's April 2010 Mid-Month Poker Status

Grinding $5 STTs, 2TTs, & 3TTs. Hanging around even at mid-month. Made some mistakes and took some bad beats, but I think I'm playing well overall. Still learning every day. Every donk I come across seems to pose new challenges. Gotta remember that they don't fold underpairs. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vote for Robby for the NASCAR All-Star Race on May 22

The cool Robby GIF keeps expiring, so just click this link I guess.

http://www.nascar.com/promos/allstar/2010/vote/

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stick's March 2010 Poker Results

The month started bad, ended good, and my tourney results ended near even. But some bad cash game results while chasing some bonuses caused me to end down -$58 overall.





Right now, I can see exactly what is wrong with my cash stats (too passive preflop, too aggro post), but I really didn't get into analyzing that during the month. I really concentrated on my SNG's and I think it really paid off in the fact that I made a comeback from some early-month losses.





I'm still feeling good about my SNG game and have fixed some leaks along the way. I hope to step up to $10 STT's this month on Stars and stay with $5 2TT's on Full Tilt.

I also won the MVP Award in the 2010 Cardschat.com Winter Team Poker League. Our team didn't go too far, but I am proud of my individual achievement since I haven't won much like this before in Poker. I played 9 out of the 40 league games while representing my team and averaged nearly a 2nd place finish in them. Sure, some luck helped. But having the best average score while playing the most games of any player in the league on any team (meaning more chances to screw up) takes at least a bit of skill also IMO. So I'm satisfied.

The prize for MVP was a $40 poker book, so I'll looking forward to adding that to my collection.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Faves 'n Flips Today

Wow! Look at all the faves & flips I lost today so far (in red highlights):

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dang it! The Disease is Back!

I'm back to being a "name-caller-aholic". I can't help it lately. It feels so good to type "idiot" or "dumbass" in the chatbox at an online poker table when I get beat by a stupid play. It relieves my tilt.

I know it's not good to let the donkeys know they suck and I know it's kinda mean & wrong also. So I guess I'll have to try harder to stop. I had the disease conquered for years, but now it's back. I'll have to go back and remember how I handled it before. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 8

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF
03/20/10 = 223 lbs. (+1) 28.3 BMI, 21.0% BF

Not surprised by the slight gains. Just got back from Reno where I ate like a pig and drank like a fish for 3 days. The coming month should be better. I'd like to start mixing up my workouts more. Maybe get out on the bike and also go for some jogs. Still lovin' the gym, though. I can still feel my fitness progressing.

Gotta buckle down on the eating. I think I've been slipping up at home just enough to keep from losing. Hello salads! Kinda tough when the family keeps the cookies and crap around. Maybe I'll try to lay some lumber in that department.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stick's Mid-March 2010 Poker Update

Wow. Just realized I haven't posted since the 1st. But I'm on Twitter almost every day: http://twitter.com/Stick66 or see the right side margin of my blog for my tweets.

As I neared the completion of my FTP bonus by playing 25NLHE cash tables, it seems the doomswitch turned on. Lost 4 buy-ins 1 day just as I finished the bonus. Then I switched back to SNG's and didn't do much better. Went on a 3-for-26 ITM streak. So I switched over to Stars SNG's and did just a little better, but still losing. More aggro Euros there. Tons of wasteful shoves. You can only fold for so long until the blinds become a factor. Down $140 so far this month, but have lots of it left to catch up.

Going to Downtown Reno soon for the wife's B-day & St. Patty's Day. Pleasure trip. Poker unlikely. Really. ;)

Still have taxes to do. Cheers.

RIP Corey Haim

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stick's February 2010 Poker Summary

The bad streak has ended! February is my 1st positive month in the last 5. Ended +$264. YAY! Got a couple bonuses that helped, but my play has improved also.

Getting good results in SnG's. 4-tabling and doing well. My spot-picking, patient style seems to work most of the time. Suckouts happen and I still catch myself making some mistakes, but they are much fewer and hurt less than when I was grinding cash games.





Still played a little bit of cash this month. Mostly for an FTP bonus I'm still working on.





For next month, I'll try for 150 games (tourneys). Still have to finish up my FTP bonus and it's quicker to clear if I play cash games, but that shouldn't take long. Gotta find time to do our taxes, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 7

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat
02/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.6% BF

Umm. I guess I should be happy I didn't gain, but the 4-month hold is pretty perplexing. I'm working my ass off in the gym 5-6 days a week and nothing. Have I been eating perfectly all the time? No. Do I have a few beers a month? Yes. But am I still eating much, much better foods overall than I did before July? YES!! If I'm not gonna lose any more weight, I might as well start drinking sodas and eating cookies again. {sarcasm} FFS!

I'm gonna chalk up the tiny rise in body fat to normal gauge fluctuation since these monitors aren't 100% accurate. Also, I've been working more on my abs over the last month and haven't seen much change. I've even tried a gastro-cleanse and a 24-hour fast (just for a fresh start for my system, not for weight loss) and still nothing.

My only other consolation is that I can still feel my fitness improving. I'm progressively lifting more weight and keeping up my stamina. I read that resistance training drops more fat than cardio, so my workout time ratio for weights-to-cardio is now about 80%-20%. The gym is still fun, but it would be even more fun if I could see more progress towards my goal of 199 lbs. and less than 18% body fat.

But I bet I could beat most of my friends arm wrestling now. ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SnG's FTW, Finally!

Hopefully not jinxing my good run and progress, I shall describe my latest success in SnG's.

Looks like my patient, but selectively aggressive playing style is suited for something after all. I should have known. I've been doing well this month and well for a while at Full Tilt, as evidenced by these TopShark graphs:



The graphs are from mostly $5/$6 games, but there are a few higher and lower in there also. I wasn't aware how well I was doing over my last 1005 games at FTP, but I had a feeling I was doing alright this month. I'm not really sure how I'm doing it, though. Just playing my game, reading my opponents, and trying to get my money in ahead. While reviewing hands since the 1st, I've found very few mistakes and it seems most of my losses are due to suckouts. If I lose when I get it in at a 75% fave, I'm fine with that.

I'm playing 4 $5 games at a time at FTP and trying to stay away from turbos. If I decide to bump it up to 6, I'll have to combine with Stars to get enough running concurrently. But it's not as bad as UB.

Anyway, I hope my good run continues. After 4 bad months, I finally have some good news to share on the poker front.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January 2010 Poker Summary

Ended January -$232. Had a bad run to start the month, then had plenty of good days. It's just that the bad days were worse. Small winners, bigger losers. Here's the damage for cash games:





I switched to SnG's in the last week of the month and felt good. I've done this before, but now I think that tournies might suit my playing style better. I have felt more comfortable the last few days. I won't give up cash games, but I think I'll start my main focus on SnG's for a while. Here's how I did in those last month:





I guess I'll start to monitor my ROI% and Finish Distribution more and post that stuff now.

I think my patient, spot-picking style could pay off if I can tune it in. I've been looking at my hand results after each game and I haven't seen as many mistakes as I did in cash. Most of my bad losses seem to have come from suckouts. This is promising.

For more diverse wit, follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Stick66

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 6

07/20/09 = 243 lbs(start) 30.8 BMI
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8) 29.8 BMI
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4) 29.3
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8) 28.2
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1) 28.1
12/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1
01/20/10 = 222 lbs. (-0) 28.1 BMI, 20.3% Body Fat

No weight lost, but none gained either. So I guess you could say I survived the holidays without any damage. Though it would have been nice to have lost a little weight, I'm fine with this result. I felt like I plowed pretty hard during the holiday feasts, but I guess I managed better than I thought. Yay.

You'll notice 2 new stats in the tallies at top. BMI (Body Mass Index) and % Body Fat. After seeing a commenter's recommendation, I found a cool Body Fat Monitor on Amazon for $25 and it shows BMI, also. BMI is just a way to gauge weight in relation to what is considered "normal" by the World Health Org. and others, based on age, gender, and height. The WHO actually says that my "normal" BMI should be under 25, which is about 194 pounds and less. But if I just hit 199, I'd be ecstatic. I still have a ways to go, no matter how it's measured.

Now my Body Fat Percentage is another way to gauge how I'm doing. If my weight doesn't change much but my BF% does, then I know I'm still doing something correctly. Since muscle weighs more than fat, this other measurement helps. My "normal" recommended body fat % range is 15-18 and "lean" is 10-15. The "20.3%" reading above is with my monitor set to "athlete" since I'm up to working out 5-6 days a week (1 hr per day). It would be nice to get down to about 15. That would mean I'd be getting some more muscle in there.

I also discovered my pre- and post-workout meals have been backward. As I've been picking up the pace, I've been feeling worn out after my workouts. I did some research and discovered I may have been having low blood sugar issues. Found out I should pack more carbs before and a few more after. We'll see how it goes.

But I feel like I'm still progressing well with my strength and fitness. I'm pushing more weights and lengthening my cardio. Hard to precisely document that stuff, but I can definitely feel it. Still fun to workout.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Stick's 2009 Year End Poker Results

I'll just get to the point like usual: My year sucked poker-wise. I ended up -$489.28. If it weren't for some bonuses I obtained, it would have been a lot worse. It was the last 3 months that did me in. I was -$816 during that stretch.

Here's my 2009 cash games graph & stats. You can see where I would have been without tourneys and bonuses.





"So Stick, what do you think was the problem?" Well, I think I'm still searching for a playing style that works for me. When I tried being aggressive, I overdid the stealing & two/three barreling and would get committed to the river too often. But when I backed off and tried being a bit more passive, I'd see too many flops and get caught drawing, etc. In 2010, I really need to find the balance between the 2 and lock into a comfortable playing style that I can win with. I guess that can be my New Year's resolution since I've been losing weight since July. :)

Here are my tourney stats. It looks like I played more SNG's than I thought.



That ROI is pitiful, but I still came out ahead. I think I should be playing less SNG's in 2010, but still a few to keep the rust off.

So to summarize: Still searching for a comfortable style. Still learning. Need to play more hands, specifically cash games. Need to win more... duh.

Friday, January 8, 2010

December 2009 Results

Again, putting more time on Twitter and Facebook than the blog. But I think that'll change. I was briefly considering ditching the blog, but then I saw poker coaches who are on FB, Twitter, a blog, plus make videos, coach, and play personal sessions nearly every day. I think it just boils down to time management, at which I am terrible. I'll work on it. There's always somethin', huh?

As for December, it sucked. Started off OK, but then had a week-long downswing in the middle that I never recovered from. Ended -$206 overall. Here's the damage:







Same story. Bad showdowns. Struggling to find a balance between aggression and passivity. Pots lost are bigger than pots won. I did get stacked off to a few evil suckouts, but not enough to blame for the entire month. $25NLHE is no longer for "tuning up" for me. It is now my home until I feel I can consistently beat it, regardless of my bankroll. I don't mind, though. Been playing for 4 years and I feel I still have lots to learn.

Up Next: 2009 Year End Results/Summary.