Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stupid New Year's Resolution Time!

Well, it was hit and miss with my resolutions last year. The hit was pretty big. Not only did I swear off Diet Coke for the month of January, I went without for the entire year (other than that one accidental slip-up at Mastodon when SOMEONE (*ahem* HEATHER) gave me a sip of her drink and only afterward told me it had Diet Coke in it. I'm not counting this.

I didn't do so good in the gym, however. I never quite got 30 workouts in 31 days. Didn't even come close, in fact. The best I could muster was losing 13 pounds in September for a weight loss challenge at work. In my defense (there's always an excuse, right?), I changed jobs, moved to California, and took a new job that requires a 90 mile commute. There isn't a lot of time to work out.

But a new year is coming. I've settled into a routine of sorts, and I'm ready to try again. This time I think I can achieve the workout goal. Here's my plan - I'm going to run 365 miles in 2011. It should be attainable, right? Who can't go an average of 1 mile a day? My friend Laurie just cleared 1000 running miles in 2010 (awesome, BTW). Mine should be a piece of cake (mmm, cake). I have some additional motivators, not the least of which is the Mud Run at the end of April with the G-Vegas crew (seriously, are you building Mastodon around this?). I'd also like to run a couple other races, too. I did the Angel Island 12K last January and it was a blast. I'd like to do it again. I also wouldn't mind running at least a 5K every other month - I think I can get my time below 25 minutes. I'm also seriously planning on bringing my running shoes to the next #WPBT.

You'll be able to follow along on Facebook since I'm still using my CardioTracker. I'm motivated, psyched and ready to kick some ass. Who's with me?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Open Letter to the Green Bay Packers

Dear Packers,

I owe you an apology. But first, a little background.

I grew up in upstate New York and was born into a Giants family. I have fond memories of sitting between my dad and uncle while they screamed at the Giants on TV. LT (the real one, not that fake dude pretending to go by the same name) was my hero. I first became aware of the team around 1976 when they went 3 and 11. I didn't care. I even had a Larry Csonka helmet, despite him playing only three seasons with the team.

Then I was off to the Army. I floundered around, briefly trying to be a Bucs and Broncos fan. Despite living in Texas, I NEVER became a Cowboys fan (although I'm not ashamed to admit fantasizing about the cheerleaders a time or seven). I had a flash back to the Giants once again when, in 1991, they practiced at my alma mater in Tampa prior to dominating the Superbowl. Watching LT practice was a special privilege.

But when the Superbowl was over, I didn't have the same passion I once had. 1991 was the same year I graduated college and started med school. It's also the same year I met the future Mrs. Chako. She was a farm girl from your great state and, unlike me, kept her passion for the hapless Packers despite their pathetic record (they were 4 and 12, but I'm sure you knew that). Her passion became my passion and we spent many Sundays curled up on the couch watching a young Brett Favre fling that ball like a robot. I was hooked.

But then it happened. Brett left. Mrs. Chako was steadfast in her commitment to the Pack. I was not so sure. Do I follow the green or, like so many others, do I follow my hero? I am almost ashamed to admit that I followed Brett - first to the Jets and then to They Who Will Not Be Named. Conflict arose in the Chako household. Cuddling was no longer an option.

But now the iron man is done. Do I stay with the purple? Do I go back to the Giants? Or, if you'll have me, do I come back, hat in hand, to Green Bay?

So, my dear old Packers, will you have me back? I'm terribly sorry, and I really miss cuddling.

-Dr. Chako

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WPBT 2010 - Trip Report - Part Deux

The memories are fading fast, so you get some random thoughts before they're all gone:

I neglected to mention the actual best hand I played, but it was kindly pointed out to me by my victim, the lovely CKBWoP. Set vs. crub frush draw and I GOT THERE! Against CK. With crubs. Well, she did let me borrow the whistle several months ago and I don't recall giving it back.

One oversight - my foursome discussed reconvening in Colorado because we were stuck together all day and still managed to have fun. All like-minded fun seekers would be welcome on any future golf outing (which I suppose includes just about every member of the wpbt), but especially the intrepid souls who joined us on the golf excursion (yes, that includes you Katkin).

Here is what you've been waiting for - the hot girl-on-girl action. There was a lot of it. I often wonder, as people look forward to the wpbt, if they anticipate the possibility of seeing hot chicks making out as much as I do. It's like, "I love going to Vegas for wpbt. There's drinking and poker and good friends and we might get to see hot chicks making out!"* The fact that a lot of the making out usually happens in close proximity to me makes it even better. At one point, with two lovelies in my arms going at it right in front of me, I turned over my shoulder to the crowd and said, "This is for me!" I don't care if it wasn't true. In fact, I most certainly wasn't. The two couldn't care less that I was standing right there. I'm totally OK with that. For the details, you are just going to have to imagine it, or by me a few drinks and I'll do my best to describe it.**

I always enjoy meeting new faces and this time didn't disappoint. I wish I had more time to talk with Shelly, who is new to me but not new to wpbt. Next time we both bring our running shoes and actually use them! Wolfie and son were generous and kind. Lightening was hysterical with his advice seeking ("I have an issue with accounting and Ferrari's. Can you two (meaning The Wife and I) help me?").***

Grange is a special case (in more ways than one). I hope to see more of the big guy, and I know The Wife has a total crush. I'm trying not to be disappointed that of the two Chakos, The Wife is the one he finds more attractive. I take solace in the fact that since he has no fashion sense, he's probably not really gay. Doesn't anyone find me attractive, dammit?****

A few quick mentions and then I'll wrap this us. The amazing Peacecorn has been saying she had a gift for our boys for quite some time. I don't know how long she's been carrying this around but we finally got it - actual moon rocks! I cannot tell you how jazzed I am about this. You'll be pleased to know that when I showed my boys, they were more excited than you would believe. Totally cool.

Before the tournament started, Dr. Pauly gave me my trophy for winning the Turkey Cup 4.0. It was a bottle of The Glenlivit 15, Red Oak Reserve. I still haven't cracked it open, so if anyone finds themselves in the Bay Area, let me know. This is better enjoyed with company.

My tournament play was poor. Grubette had my number and picked on me constantly for the 1st 5 levels. She eventually crushered me when her AJ flopped trips and I turned a King with my AK. I hung on for a little while longer, but totally killed our last longer when Drizz took me out with his KQ vs my Presto. He got my bustout prize which was my Ferrari keychain. I'm serious dude. Bring it to California, and I'll toss you the keys. You'll have to give them back of course, but not before we enjoy some of the great twisty roads over here.

Lagasse Stadium was off the hook. The food was grand even if the service was a bit slow. The company was better. Cuddling on the couch with The Wife and CK, shooting the shit with Brad, Curtis, Falstaff, Katkin, etc. was the perfect denouement to the wpbt experience. And then it was time to go.

I have one final post about one of the best nights I ever spent in Vegas. Brad, Jeff, half of Gordon, Drizz, Al and I skipped Steel Panther for a trip to the Hard Rock and an amazing concert by the Black Crows. I'm not sure how to write it, but it deserves it's own page. Maybe one of the better scribes will do it first.

*Or, if you're like me, it's like, "I love going to Vegas for wpbt. There's hot chicks making out, and... some other stuff."

**I tried to write it, but as you've already figured out, I'm no scribe. After typing, "Their tongues intertwined like two snakes fighting for a bird egg," I simply gave up.

***I'm calling a penalty on myself for inappropriate and excessive use of parentheses and quotations in one sentence. See Asterisk #2.

****I know Kat finds me hot. I have no idea why, and believe me I'm not complaining. Still, when a gay guy finds you attractive, it's like a badge of honor. I'll just have to try harder.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WPBT 2010 - Trip Report

I just got back from my 2 hour commute from work and finished a lovely dinner cooked by The Wife, complete with a glass (or 4) of wine. I'm not up for an uber-post, but I wanted to get some Vegas highlights off my chest while they're still fresh.

Day 1:
  • Got a good laugh watching The Wife get felt up by the TSA agent. Her reaction when I asked if I could take pictures was priceless.
  • Dacia allowed me to get close to her ankles at MacCarran airport. She has no idea how dangerous that is (but I'll pull down your pants anytime you ask. Especially if you are wearing those killer heels).
  • Bungalow Suites at MGM are quite nice, even if your view is the airport.
  • Off to the IP. Saw a few bloggers, but only had eyes for Kat, who bypassed me to lock lips with The Wife. I got a great show before I got my turn. I must admit I was really looking forward to her classic greeting (all Canadians say hello like this, right?), and she didn't disappoint.
  • Then I got a tongue stuck in my ear. Unfortunately it belonged to Falstaff, but I gave the big lug a hug anyway. And I bought his books!
  • Poker was played. I finally got to the blogger table and really enjoyed beating up on civilians. I just missed the CaityCaity explosion. Don't know why she blew up, but it was epic.
  • My poker highlight happened right before I moved to the blogger table. I turn 2 pair and the river counterfits me, but I sense weakness so I move all in. The civilian snap calls and announces, "Straight!" But, he flips over queen-high and I drag the pot.
  • I tap Caity (who is right behind me) so I can have a witness to this nonsense, and the dealer quips, "Figures you know Caity."
  • I drank. A lot.
Day 2:
  • Slept late but got up in time for a wonderful breakfast with The Wife, Drizz and Kat. MGM buffet is adequate, but the company was perfect.
  • Golf was played. Golf was won. It helped that my partner Dr. Jeff is an 8 handicap and far more competitive than I, which is saying something. Seriously, who let the doctors play together without demanding strokes?
  • A secret weapon was deployed on the course, in the form of the cute beer cart wench delivering tequila and a six pack to Drizz in the foursome behind us. I noticed there were no more 300 yard bombs into us after that.
  • Our foursome was completed by Iggy and the newly wed Speaker. What great company. We made plans for a golf outing in Colorado with just the four of us. I hope it materializes, because it would be a helluva lotta fun.
  • Got to and from the MGM thanks to the overly generous F-Train who shuttled us both ways. Thanks, man. Sorry we didn't get to hang more, but the #Reidbill interpretation waits for no man.
  • Poker was played. The Wife and I were winners.
  • I drank. A lot.
More to come...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Ghost of WPBTs Past

I was reliving some fond memories of my first WPBT in 2005. My write up included this hand:

I pick up A23Q on the button and call $3 into a five way pot. The flop is K53 giving me the nut low draw. I call a $15 bet and three of us see the turn. It’s a 10 and it checks to me. I check and the river brings an 8. I have the nut low. The Mark bets $50. Drizz folds, and without knowing what I’m doing, I say, “pot.” The dealer (very sharp, BTW) says, “that’s $262.” Did anyone see my balls jump up into my throat? Geez, I hope not.

The Mark goes into the tank. I’m praying he has the high when he says, “I’ve got the nut low, I think I need to call.” Shit. All I have at this point is A-high. Even a pair of 2’s and I get ¼ of the pot. I just keep smiling. Finally, he calls and turns over…


I also found this great pic - still one of my favorites:

I can't wait for the stories and memories that will be created in a few days.

Oh, can go check out The Wife. I think she's also excited.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Hammer

In honor of our upcoming World Poker Blogger Tour event (my 5th!), and also because I just changed my Blogspot template and wanted to see what it looks like, I decided to chronicle a hand where I threw The Hammer. I can't stop thinking about it.

In the beginning of these WPBT events, the hammer was a bigger deal than it is now (although I suspect that will change with the new "hammer-throw bonus") but there was always one rule - play them like they're aces. I forgot that rule at the worst time.

It's Bay 101 and I'm playing 8/16 with a half-kill. I'm half way through my 3rd $200 buy-in when the rush kicked in. I'm pretty sure I've never had a rush like this before or since. I had to ask the lovely Asian chip runner to help me stack chips. I was in the zone. Before the carnage ended, I broke three players at the table and eventually cashed out over 12 racks.

Ah, but the one that got away haunts me.

It's a 12/24 kill pot. In late position with 3 limpers in front, I raise with 7-2 off suit. Since everyone was gunning for me, I was sure to get a bunch of callers, but instead I was re-raised by a fairly bad player to my left (we'll call him Moron #1). I hadn't seen this before from him, but he was on mega-tilt. The big blind caps and 5 or 6 of us see a flop of 9-8-2 rainbow. It checks to me and I bet. Moron #1 raises (and secretly I was applauding this because isolation is rarely done in this game), but of course it's capped before it gets to me and I come along. The turn is a 4 and it checks to me again. I have no idea what I'm up against, so I check again. Moron #1 checks (!) - the bastard. Button now bets and gets one fold, but I smell a rat, so I raise. Moron #1 tanks, but eventually calls. So does the button. The river is a queen. Button bets.

Here is where I failed. I flat called. (FLAT? Are you f-ing serious?!) Moron #1 tanks but calls as well.

I have a pair of 2s
Button has pocket 6s (and a massive pot)
Moron #1 has Ace-high

I am certain that if I raised the river, Moron #1 would have called and the button, a fairly good player, could not have over-called with his pocket 6s. After firing 8 small bets and 3 big bets at this pot, I couldn't bring myself to fire again when it mattered most. And I lost an almost $800 pot because of it.

Beware of hammer-throwing doctors in Vegas.

7 days.


Many of you also waste your time with Fail Blog. Occasionally they have WINS. This is just such an example. Maybe this means more to me because I fancy myself a musician (perhaps entertainer would be a better moniker - I have only a modicum of talent). This combines real musical talent with invention.

And when I saw it, it only had 302 views. Get in early. You'll be able to say you saw it early after it's been seen millions of times.