Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Deal, the Movie

31 July 07

So, there is a new poker movie coming out. It’s got Shannon Elizabeth. It’s got Burt Reynolds. It stars a hot shot named Alex Stillman.

Oh boy.

I always knew a good looking poker player named Stillman would end up with Shannon Elizabeth. I just thought it’d be me (just kidding, honey).

Check out the trailer and synopsis.

Deal, the Movie

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fantastic Weekend!

30 July 07

We went whale watching yesterday. It was declared the “worst day ever” by my son because we didn’t see any whales. Then he started talking about all the cool stuff we saw – the bald eagles, the harbor seals, the cool boats and all the different islands. I think he had a blast.

We have been living in the greater Seattle area for three years, but we only do the cool stuff when family and friends come to visit. My dad and his girlfriend (de facto wife?) Judy are here from Florida. Dad can’t see, but he still had a great time listening to us describe the scenery.

We ate dinner at Daniel’s Broiler on Lake Union. Spectacular views, amazing food and great conversation. Seeing the Ferrari parked directly across from our minivan was desert.

Oh yeah. Poker was played. Ace on the river beat me 3 damn times. Still, these home games are a blast. My favorite quote is from Judy, “Oh what the heck. I call. I have Ace high.”

It was good.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Turn up your speakers. Thank me later.

Perhaps I'm the only one who didn't know about this film. Who cares. It's incredible.

For my RSS readers, here is the link:


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ferrari’s on 12th

25 July 2007

Every year, the local Seattle Ferrari (and other exotic) owners gather at Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle on 12th Ave. to show off their cars and raise money for a local children’s charity. I got there with the kids just as they were pulling away. The sound was amazing and will surely be on my mind over the next few months while I’m playing in the sand. The video is only 39 seconds long, and even though I’m a diehard Ferrari fan, my son’s favorite was the orange Lamborghini at the 17 second mark.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


24 July 07

Perhaps I was too tired. That’s as good an excuse as any. It beats admitting the obvious – I got outplayed.

I waded back into the poker scene recently. A couple good finished in tournaments created a little spark in the tiny bankroll, so I jumped into a very loose 10/20 game at the Muckleshoot. I was bleeding away chips playing good solid poker and losing to suckouts. I was actually happy with that (as opposed to pretending to be happy) because it meant they were willing to play to the river with crap. As long as I could get my premium hands to hold up, the money would come.

Sitting on A7 in the big blind, I call a raise and 4 of us see a flop of As-10h-6d. I’m first to act so I bet. Good player #1 raises and good Player #2 flat calls. My A7 hits the muck as fast as I can fling it.

At the river, #1 had a just a pair of 10s and #2 had pocket 8s.

As I walked away, I knew I got outplayed. The question is, if I discount collusion (if they were colluding, the correct move from #2 would have been a flop re-raise), can I give credit to #2 for thinking:

a. He (meaning me) might lay down top pair here.

b. Realizing that Player #1s flop raise was a move against me (as opposed to a real hand).

I think the answer to #1 is no, but #2 is possible. I had folded a couple hands on the flop when I was the initial raiser. I was obviously stuck. I think I was playing (or at least perceived to be playing) extra tight, and therefore might be able to be outplayed.

I’m just pleased that I left with a good portion of my bankroll still intact. You can’t outplay me if I’m not there, dammit!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

There Will Always be Donkeys

22 July 07

I’ve occasionally thought that the poker boom could not sustain itself. My theory was that the bad players would lose their bankroll and there would be only good players left. There are times when I play where I think everyone must be well versed in poker theory and are as adept at calculating pot odds as they are at picking up on all my tells.

And then there’s yesterday.

Live 6/12 and it’s a typical lose game. There is an early position raise and 4 callers before it gets to me. I look down at 7h-8h and flat call from the button. 6 of us see a flop with two hearts giving me both a flush draw and a straight draw. Bet. Call. Raise. Call. I three bet, and everyone calls.

The turn gives me my flush. Sweet!

It’s a scare card, it checks around to me so of course I bet. I get three callers.

The river is a 4th diamond. Shit. There goes my baby flush. It checks around to me again. I can’t bet, so I dejectedly turn over my cards and wait to hear the bad news.

Muck. Muck. Muck.

What the hell where they calling the turn with?! Were they not scared that at least ONE of the 4 of us already had the flush? Did they not think that whatever outs they might have had were diminished (if not already drawing dead) if another diamond comes on the river?

Long live the donkeys!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Keith Olbermann for President!

20 July 07

‘Scuze me while I go vomit.

So, I just got this email from my buddy Stefan. Here I was thinking he was a like-minded Republican (who is often embarrassed to admit this publicly), and he sends me this email.

First, his note:

No, I am not becoming a stinking hippie, but Bush needs to go. Also, I am not a Hillary fan either. I want to see your reactions.

Olbermann: Go to Iraq and fight, Mr. President
Keith Olbermann says the administration's scapegoating of Sen. Hillary Clinton for the mess in Iraq is unfathomable, and the time has come for President Bush to take responsibility and go fight the war himself.

And now, my reply:

Regardless of your (or my) feelings about the current administration, if you fell for this load of crap, you are just as deluded as the majority of those that identify themselves as "Liberals."

First of all, politicians do not fight wars. They aren't supposed to fight wars. It would be a bad idea, in fact. We have a separation between soldiers and politicians for a reason. Politicians practice speeches and soldiers practice killing.

Secondly, blaming Hillary is a natural defensive response to being blamed themselves. She, along with the rest of the congress, voted to authorize the war based on the evidence available at the time. They'd do it again. The majority of Americans believed it was just.

Finally, the thrust of his column is a letter from Mr. Edelman (an undersecretary of defense) to Sen. Clinton. In the letter, he asks her to stop calling for a redeployment because it emboldens the enemy and endangers the Iraqis who have helped us. This just parrots what the administration has been saying all along, and it's based on advice from the military leaders on the ground. Olbermann agrees with a spokesperson for the senator who says the undersecretary's remarks are, "outrageous and dangerous." He then sites a bunch of non-relevant historical babble in an effort to further his position and make himself sound more like Charles Krauthammer (which he ain't).

Olbermann demanding that the President go fight in Iraq makes good theater, but it really just paints him as an idiot who doesn't understand the political system. Well, let me qualify that. From what I know about Olbermann, he's actually a bright guy. So why take this ridiculous position, you ask? He's doing it to pander to his liberal fan base and motivate the Democrats to "get the bum out of office" so Democrats, who clearly would be able to run the country and the war much better, can take over.

And that's exact what's going to happen.

Now you'll have to excuse me because I've got to pack. I'm headed to Iraq for six months. Then I'm getting out of the Army after 21 years. I'll be watching the Democrats run this country into the ground from the sidelines.

White Cloud

20 July 07

Do you believe that certain people just have good luck?

I am known as having a white cloud at my hospital. This means that when I’m on call, my residents expect that the workload will be light. They are usually right. Certainly, the fact I’m on call has no effect on how many car crashes happen or how many people choose to have a bout of appendicitis, right? Yet, I consistently have the fewest number of emergency cases when I’m on call. My residents love me. I’ve even suspect several residents have changed their call just to be on with me. This may have something to do with me being a little easier to get along with than some other staff physicians, but I’m pretty sure the cloud thing factors into the decision. It’s illogical, but it’s hard to argue with historical fact.

All I’m saying is, if you choose to drive recklessly or engage in an activity that might lead to a hospitalization, first check to see if I’m on call that night. I might be your guardian angel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jeez, Would You Look at That!

18 July 07

I did something this morning I don’t normally. I called 911.

Just before I got off at the exit to the hospital, there were two milk trucks right in front of me. These were the huge tractor-trailers, each with two of the large silver cylinders in tandem. Truck #1 in the middle lane drifted to the right and crashed into Truck #2 in the far right lane causing him to skid over onto the shoulder. This happened immediately in front of me, and I think I peed a little.

Amazingly, they both recovered and kept driving. In fact, Truck #1 actually sped up! I’m certain he was falling asleep at the wheel. I hope he was speeding up so that he could get off the next exit, but I doubt it. Hence the call to 911.

Let’s hope the Washington State 911 is as good as the one my sister worked with in Florida and they get this guy off the road before he kills someone. That’s an awfully big truck to be smashing into things.

Oh yeah. Congrats to Jerry Yang on winning the Main Event of the 2007 WSOP, and further congrats to the guys over at www.pokernews.com . Having Dr. Pauly’s comments interlaced with the hand histories was brilliant, and I really likely the “Show This Hand” feature. Cool stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Military Posturing

17 July 07

Thanks again to Judy for this one.

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again, to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” Londoners have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to a “Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Also the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Hide” to “Run & Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Surrender” and “Collaborate.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

It’s not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans also increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

The Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday but have said that the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish Navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish Navy.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yeah, but he’s My Boss

16 July 07

The Sunday morning tournament I usually play was on hold yesterday because it was the freeroll tournament for regulars. Unfortunately, hours spent during tournaments don’t count, so I didn’t qualify. Why don’t my tourney hours count, dammit? The house makes money off of my buy-in (15%)! Has anyone else experienced this?

So instead, I take the amount I would normally use to buy in and see if I can run it up in a live game. My buddy Andrew and I both bought in to a typical loose 4/8 game. Now, I should mention that I call Andrew my buddy, but I’m really his boss. He is a Major and I’m a Lieutenant Colonel. I rate him. We are both Army doctors so isn’t as big a deal as if we were, say, Infantry. But it’s still out there.

Bottom line – it was an 8/16 kill pot and I cracked his Aces with 8h-6h. I had much joy dragging a huge pot, and he was good natured about it. Well, he was on tilt and donked away the rest of his buy in quickly after that, but at least he was smiling. We talked about the hand afterward and both agreed that we played it correctly. Sometimes donkeys (i.e. ME) catch cards. In the long run, you WANT idiots holding 8h-6h to call your pocket aces. In the short term though, it doesn’t feel so good.

Should the fact that I’m his boss factor into any of this? I’ve already written his annual review (outstanding, BTW). I’m certain the dollar amount is inconsequential. It wasn’t a home game and he did not feel compelled to play with me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


14 July 07

For those of you who aren’t following the minute to minute updates at www.pokernews.com, you may have missed this gem from BJ Nemeth:

With 72 Players Left, A Chop Would be Worth 9th-Place Money
With 72 players left, there is still $37,866,039 left in the prizepool. If everyone agreed to chop the rest of the money, each player would receive $525,917. By comparison, ninth place is worth $525,934 -- just $17 more. The numbers just get more compelling.

Interesting idea. I doubt the suits at Harrah’s or ESPN would allow it, but could they stop it if all the players agreed?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bad Day

12 July 07

This one is for Iggy. Hopefully this will cheer him up after getting hacked.

I had a really bad day last week. I inadvertently rear ended a van.

When we pulled over and got out, imagine my surprise when I discovered that the other driver was a dwarf.

As he approached with a sour look on his face, he looked up at me and said, "I am not happy!"

God help me, I couldn't help myself. I asked him, "Well then, which one are you?"

That's when the fight started.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It’s Not Cheating if…

11 July 07

I played in the big racquetball tournament at LA Fitness yesterday and took 3rd place. My first game was a barnstormer. I won 15 to 14 and we both had multiple match point attempts before a miss-hit from my opponent set up an easy kill shot for me.

Here is my problem. When the match was 13 to 12, he won a point. It was one of our typical long rallies, and I’m pretty sure he was serving. It makes a difference, because if I was serving, I lose the serve. If he was serving, he gets the point. We discussed it briefly and he said he was pretty sure that it was just change of serve. I stopped arguing and went on to win the match.

But I don’t feel right about it.

I’m famous for calling penalties on myself (perhaps a throwback to my golfing days). If there is ever a question about a point, I’m always the first one to suggest we either play it over or I’ll concede the point without contest. I really feel like I didn’t fight this one hard enough, and the problem is that I think it’s because I wanted to win so badly.

Shouldn’t it be enough that it was a great game, win or lose?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mom Should Be More Like Jenna Jameson

9 July 07

The title of this post was a line spoken by my 9 year old son last night before bed. After a moment of stunned silence and another moment to compose myself, I calmly replied that, while I agreed with the comment, perhaps he could further elaborate.

Apparently, Ms. Jameson is now romantically involved with Ultimate Fighting Champ Tito Ortiz, who happens to be the coolest, most awesomest fighter ever, donchaknow.

And why should Mommy be more like Ms. Ortiz (AKA the most successful porn star ever)?

Because Jenna totally digs the UFC, of course.

Thanks, son. I’ll be sure to tell Mommy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bad Beats and Other Nonsense

8 July 07

I’m checking in regularly with the folks over at Pokernews to get my daily fix of World Series of Poker action. Last night saw a player go all in on the river with quad 8s only to get called by another player with a straight flush.

Say it with me… Live Poker is So Rigged.

On another note, we just purchased a 3rd car last night. The Wallup in Puyallup was having its annual mega used car sale. We’ve been talking about getting a car for our new Brazilian Au Pair (nanny). It turns out that she’s getting a 1997 Subaru Outback. They were asking $8000 and we got them down to $5025 – well below Kelley Blue Book of $7330. We put the whole thing on the credit card so we will get the free miles out of it. I’m pretty sure that gives us enough for a return trip to Hawaii. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Time Gets Short

6 July 07

Sorry for the lack of posting. Things here have been busy. We are down to 7 physicians (we are supposed to have 19), and all of us are basically in work-go home-go back to work mode. Poker, golf and life have pretty much taken a back seat. I still play racquetball once a week, and I qualified for the tournament again. Unfortunately, I’m playing the #1 seed in the first round, and I’ve never beaten her.

That’s right. I got beat by a girl. You have a problem with that?

Actually, she won the whole thing last time, too. She’s the only woman in the league, and she never hits the ball hard. She just doesn’t make mistakes. I’m glad she’s not a poker player.

Congrats to Michael Craig for making two final tables at this year’s World Series of Poker. If that doesn’t sell your new poker strategy book, I don’t know what will. I know I want a copy. I’ll read it in Iraq. Anthony Holden gave Michael a shout over at Bigger Deal:

With James McManus and Peter Alson already outa here, this year’s contest among poker writers is so far a one-man show, thanks to the major achievement of my pal Michael Craig (The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King) in making two final tables.

Day one of the Main Event starts today. Good luck to all of my friends who are playing. Make the best of that $10,000 investment!