Unintelligible Stuff from 1:31 to 2:03: The February 2008 Poker Report

(Editor's Note: This bollocks is going live days after the last Poker Report. I tried to rush it because we’re about to hit the busy season down at the factory, and there’s no telling when I’ll again have the time or the energy to write and/or post on a regular basis.)

1 February 2008

(Editor’s Note, 3 August 2008: Yeah, as I stated in the prefacing Editor’s Note to last month's Poker Report, the factory “was a real goddamn drag” all the way to the end of 2007. I had hoped, like a moron, that 2008 would be better, but, shocker, it’s the same: soul-destroying. Disheartening, too.

So, again, during February, the post-game notes that I wrote, either immediately after the game or the next morning, weren’t very lengthy or detailed. Probably, if I had rough drafted shortly after the games, instead of just typing in my notes whenever I had had a chance, this month’s Poker Report would be lengthier.

But I don’t want these Poker Reports to shrink down to nothingness. How, then, to fix this problem?

Easy. I’m just going to try to bulk this bastard up with digressions and asides and an overabundance of semi-funny ramblings.

[Editor’s Note During the Editor’s Note, 3 August 2008: I just did a search on this here website, and overabundance hasn’t ever been included before now, so I’m pretty sure that my usage of overabundance in the above paragraph is the first time that I have ever committed that word to type. How’d it feel? Truthfully, it didn’t do a thing for me; it’s just not a great word to type or to say or to hear. Meh.]

[Editor’s Note on the Editor’s Note During the Editor’s Note, 3 August 2008: The above paragraph is what I mean by digressions.]

The Executive Council: Is made up of my big bro, Bert, and your truly. I also serve as communications director, historian (because at this point all that my website has become is a record of our weekly poker game; originally, it was going to be a place where I was going to pimp my book [of which I’m sure you have a copy], but I just didn’t have it in me ), and head official. It’s a lot on my plate, and I am nowhere near capable of handling it.

The reason that I mention this is that there has been a long-running dispute within our game that we have never taken work toward resolving.

(Editor’s Note, 4 August 2008: And that’s it. I have no idea where the above two paragraphs were going. I just can’t recall what that long-standing dispute was and/or is. I can’t even imagine what the hell I was talking about.

Perhaps it’s to do with pre-flop betting. There are those out there who say that the big blind counts as a bet and that that means that there can only be three raises afterward, which means that the most money that can get in per player is $16 [the $1 big blind plus three max raises of $5 each]. I hold that the big blind isn't a bet [because a bet implies that one has decided to put money into play that one didn’t have to, but the big blind is forced action; the person two to the left of the dealer has to put in that $1; that’s just how it works] and that there can thus be a bet plus three raises, meaning that the most money that a player can put into the pre-flop pot is $21 [the $1 big blind plus a max bet of $5 and then three max raises of $5 each].

And we’re still not sure.)

Sandwich Time: Some of the other players who occasionally host our game provide real food. I, myself, just provide unhealthy snacky stuff, and I’m proud of it. The closest that I get to actual food is the fact that I’ll sometimes purchase a few bags of frozen burritos, but nobody ever wants to partake. I think that those frozen bastards are a delight, but I’m in the minority on that one.

Healthier still, I’ll on occasion buy hot dog stuff. (I didn't say healthy, just healthier, so calm down.) The dogs always move. I've got a secret way of preparing the hot dogs, and they always come out great. I’d share it here, but I don’t want to blow the minds of all of the American home hot dog preparers out there. It’s too revolutionary, and I’m not sure that the republic could stand it.

Healthiest of all (because, let’s face it, a hot dog, despite its amazing flavor, is a mustard-coated heart attack in a bun.) is when I supply sandwich fixins.

(Editor’s Note, 4 August 2008: Did you notice how I went with fixins instead of fixings? It was a close call. I had initially thought that perhaps fixins was too casual a word. And I’m not a fan of dropping g’s in text. When speaking, sure, we all tend to drop g’s; otherwise, we’ll all tend to sound like stuck up phonies worthy of a beating with a milk crate or a Honda Civic. But I felt that the abbreviation worked well in the context of a section on hot dogs and sandwiches, as those are two of the foods of the common American experience [along with hamburgers, obviously], and there was no need to go the formal English route, I didn’t think.)

So, as soon as most people who were in for tonight’s game arrived, I informed them that there was stuff for sandwiches in the kitchen. Eventually, there was a break so that we could get down on some sandwiches.

Soon, the other players were asking if there were lettuce and tomatoes and such. Shine that. As everybody close to me knows, I long ago turned against vegetables.

Sure, I’ll buy bread and meat (a lovely double packet of Costco honey ham and a load of salami) and make sure that there’s mayo and mustard, but there’s no way in hell that I’ll buy lettuce and tomatoes. It would be a violation of everything for which I stand: immaturity and shortsightedness and a heroic lack of concern for one’s health.

Besides, a true man knows that the platonic ideal of a sandwich consists of bread, meat, and mayo. That’s it.

But my homies were not convinced. I could tell that some were skeptical as they sat down at the poker table to eat as we continued playing. The compliments, however, were soon flowing in my direction. A few spoke of their surprise at how good the sandwiches tasted.

They needn't have been. It is acknowledged that I make a killer hot dog, so why should my sandwich theories not be as good?

Also Tasty: Was the fact that I pulled a ton of green. Daddy made $206 for the night, the best that I had done since I earned $232.50 on 13 July 2007. I also got the YTD to +$344.00 and the overall record to 4-1, which is a rather decent winning percentage.

8 February 2008

Oops: It was bound to happen. All of the leaks on which I had worked so hard to plug sprung open all at once.

My biggest long-standing problem is that I tend to get to want to get involved in too many hands. It just seems so cheap to see a flop, so I might limp with cards that I usually wouldn’t play. Then it gets raised behind me, and I’m getting such a good price to call.

This is especially a problem in Omaha, where it’s hard not to flop cards that aren’t going to give you outs. If the price is right, you might have to call bets that you don’t really want to. Then you might pick up more outs along the way, and there you are: all the way after the river, invested for quite a bit of money, having to decide whether to call with a really mediocre hand that has only a very slight chance of winning.

Or, worst case, you bricked it entirely, and you're left holding nothing. All of those straight and/or flush possibilities went exactly nowhere, and you can’t call at all, even though you're getting a great price to see the other player turn over his cards. So you throw them into the muck after you already invested $12+ in a pot that may have grown to the $35-$60 range.

Here’s the weird part: I know that it’s happening, I know what I need to do to stop it (It’s so easy: fold nearly everything except for the most premium of hands), but I’m all of a sudden not taking the game seriously, almost like I’m on a lark and it’s all just a joke.

For a long time, I began nearly every game in that same strange mood, and I’d lose a bunch of money and then have to play from behind for the rest of the night. Nowadays, I’m usually playing from in front early into the game.

Some have said that poker reveals character, that there’s no hiding who you are or how you think. What does that mean? That there’s a good chance that I don’t take things as seriously as I should. Considering the fact that I think that life is essentially meaningless and just enough of a farce to reveal itself to be a joke but not farce enough to make you actually laugh, it’s hard to take much of anything seriously.

I’m sorry if that got heavy for you, if the truth of the world and of life just got revealed to you while you were hoping to be mildly amused (and if you're looking for amusement on my little website, damn, have you come to the wrong place; I mostly specialize in barely funny jokes and fairly obvious observations), but it’s probably time that you thought about stuff like that. I’m just saying.

The Meaning: And, in spite of the last paragraph, I’m not talking about the meaning of existence, or even its nature.

I’m talking about what the above observations about myself have to do with tonight’s poker game. Before tonight’s game, I had been the money leader all year, having been up exactly $344 before tonight’s disaster. But now I’m only up $157.25, lots of that on bad bluffs with not even very live cards, and I got the won-loss down to 4-2. Subtraction (344 – 157.75) tells you that I boned away $186.75 tonight. Breathtaking, but not in a good way.

Just not solid.

It was my worst night since 23 June 2006, a little over nineteen months ago, when I dropped $270.25. I thought that those types of spectacular flameouts were behind me, but apparently not.

It is sort of funny that I followed one of my best nights ever with one of my worst, but not funny enough to help me to forget that I took a really huge step backward tonight in my level of play. Pouring out $186.75 just isn't something that I should be doing anymore.

15 February 2008

Damn It: Well, it was another error-filled evening of poker. Some nights, I just take a way too slack an approach to my decision making at the table. All poker is about is making the right decision as often as is possible. That means taking all factors into careful consideration, and then acting accordingly. Be right more often than your opponents, and you should be fine.

Usually, I’m pretty good at this. Not great, but I’m working on that. Sometimes, though, I just throw my pre-flop chips in without too much thought, and that’s the decision in limit games that probably the most important. If you don’t throw in the first $5 on a dream, then you don’t have to invest another $10 or $15 or even more on the same or a worse dream.

This next part is going to be horribly ungrammatical, in that I’m going to use an adjective as an adverb, but poker players talk about getting their “money in good,” by which they mean in a way that has a long-term profit, even if it doesn’t exactly work out every time. Technically, it’s called “positive expected value,” and it’s what you always have to keep in mind as you act.

Putting in money on a dream has a negative expected value, which is why you don’t do it, but there I was, slowly leaking my money away.

The Particulars: On one particularly cold-blooded hand of Omaha High/Low, I had twenty outs going to the river: two different open-ended straight draws, and eight outs to a king-high flush. That’s twenty outs out of forty-four cards, which means that I was 45% to hit on the river for a hand that would most likely have been a winner.

And, because I’m pretty sure that the universe hates me (lets not get into why), I missed every single out. Hell, I didn’t even pair one of my down cards; I had completely air-balled that shit. If it hadn’t been so messed up, it would have been funny, what also kept if from being funny was all of the money that I had put into the pot.

And then my big bro hustled me like a hustler. I look down at pocket sixes, at that point, by best hand in a while. I take it up $5, to $6 total, there are two folds, and then my big bro takes it to $10. Ivan and Jesse fold, and then it’s back to me.

I’m getting three to one, and I may be in the lead, so I call. The flop is 8-7-2, with the eight and the seven being spades. It’s a good flop for me if my big bro is playing two high singles. I don’t put him on a hand that contains one of the two overcards to my sixes. He might call with a suited A-8 or A-7, but he wouldn’t raise, and there’s also no way that he’d ever raise here with suited connectors.

My suspicions are confirmed, I think, when he checks the flop. I bet the $5, and then my brother, in an unexpected turn, raises it up to $10.

Damn, now what? I push myself away from the table and stand up, trying to figure out just what the hell happened.

At this point, I think that he must have an overpair to the board. What else could he have raised with pre-flop and then check-raised on the flop? He’s got to have jacks or better, probably queens.

I have two outs, so I’m about 9% to catch by the river, which gives me 11-to-1 to call, but I’m only getting 7-to-1 on my money, and that’s if there is no action on the turn, which there would most certainly be.

There’s no way that I can call. I turn over my cards as I throw them into the muck so that everybody can see how much I’m getting boned tonight. My big bro then flips over his cards: pocket fours.

Pocket fours. He punked me, straight out. I’m not proud of myself but I started hopping about the room, issuing forth a string of graphic and unconscionable vulgarities. I couldn’t believe how badly he had hustled me.

I did what I could to compose myself, and then I sat down. One must give respect when respect is due. Also, real must recognize real, so I reached out and fist tapped my big bro while telling him that what he had done was badass.

The Defilement: I hadn’t had to go to the Second Hundred™ for a good long stretch during the last part of 2007, but I've twice had to go to it in February, go to it and actually put it in play. I need to figure it out quickly, while I’m still up for the year. Only eight days ago, I was up $344, but after the last two debacles (last week’s -$186.75 and tonight’s -$109.50), I’m only up $47.75 for the year. I’ve also managed to defile the won-loss to an embarrassing 4-3.

17 February 2008

Bonus Holiday Action: Today’s the day before a federal holiday, which means that many of the players at our game have a day off tomorrow. Down at the factory, I also get this day off.

It’s been a long-standing practice at our game that if we share a common three-day weekend, that we’ll try to put together an extra game.

Great. It beats the hell out of trying to get words to live comfortably together on the page.

Random Fiction Fragment: Speaking of words on the page, as I began work on this section of the Poker Report, I discovered in the rough draft a few paragraphs of what is obviously fiction that I must have stopped at some point in the Poker Report rough drafting process to write.

The stupid thing is that I can’t at all figure out for what story on which I’m working those paragraphs were intended. They may even have been intended as the beginning of a new story, but then I probably would have included a provisional title (which I usually do; the writing of the stories is a knife fight, but I’m great with titles, so I love making them up) or at least a rough idea for how the story is going to proceed.

It’s a mystery. And what if this could have been my masterpiece? What if this story was going to be the story?

Oops. Well, here are the paragraphs. Maybe you can make up your own story built around them?

Some mistakes just never stop happening. You fuck up and the fuck up seems to go on for forever. It’s not like dropping a goddamned plate. The mistake was in the dropping, clearly, but that dropping took a small part of a fraction of a second, and then it was over. Not too great a tragedy. Forgivable.

No. Not mine. Mine was like that, initially, a quick mistake, but the shards kept flying out and flying out. Endlessly.

There. That’s it. It’s a tad overheated, clearly, but that plate/shards simile is pretty goddamned hot.

I’m imagining all kinds of scenarios for the above paragraphs now. Like most of my main characters, this guy sounds like a real failure at life. Also like most of my characters, he’s probably no good at relationships, and by no good, I mean spectacularly no good. Astonishingly no good.

And he’ll be way too self-aware for his own good, and he will feel like his best years are far behind him, though he’s felt that way since he was about twelve. Also, he’ll be death-haunted, also since he was about twelve. The only thing of which he will be sure is that everything resolves in disappointment.

But, you know what? I’m tired of finding all kinds of different ways to write the same dumb story. Because, every time, it is the same dumb story. I just can’t help it. I’m not sure about what else I could possibly write.

Like I said, though, maybe you can construct your own story out of these paragraphs and what I’m imagining the main character to be like.

(Editor’s Note, 6 August 2008: Okay, the next section is going to consist of just the section title and then just one short intro paragraph. Just like the fiction stuff up above, I have no idea where I had intended it to go.)

The Dancing Cripple: First, I want to apologize to any and all who take offense to, one, the title of this section, and, two, to those who will be offended by this aforementioned section. It’s going to be unpleasant.

(Editor’s Note, 6 August 2008: And that’s it for that section. It’s really too bad that I can’t remember what it was that I was going to write about, because I can tell that it was going to be awesome. All that I can assume is that something really awful happened at our poker game, and that it was traumatic and funny as hell.

Just like with the mystery fiction paragraphs, feel free to make up your own Dancing Cripple section.)

Also a Mystery: Is the fact that, for a change, I actually didn’t lose a lot of money playing poker this week. Neither did I win a whole lot, only $9.50, but a win’s a win, and I got the YTD to +$57.25. And the overall record is a sad-looking 5-3, but at least it’s not 4-4.

22 February 2008

The Jams: For a long time, the music supplier to our game has been Jesse. He’s got some awesome mix CDs, F1 (Funk One), F2 (Funk Two), R1 (Rock One), and R2 (I’m pretty sure that you’ve figured out the pattern by now), and he brings them to all of the games when he remembers to put his CD case in his ride.

I love F1 so much that I've just about got the song order memorized. Perhaps Surge loves Jesse’s CDs a little less than I do because he eventually goes out to his ride to grab one of his own CDs. While Jesse goes for a utilitarian nomenclatural system, Surge chooses a more descriptive style: his mix CD is entitled Surge's Boner Jams.

As you’ve probably figured out, it’s the CD that he utilizes when it’s time to take care of his business, if you dig what I’m saying.

There was a lot of what you'd expect on there, as the canon for these types of CDs is quite well established. The song that did surprise me was Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine, but it all made sense when Dave Gilmour sang welcome to the machine. If you take Surge to be the machine (and which guy wouldn’t like to be known as The Machine?), and there’s a person who’s going to be receiving a welcome to it, it all makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is that the song is about as un-hot as you can get. It starts off with a buzzer going off and then with what sounds like a helicopter or something else that has a part that rotates mechanically. Throughout, there’re some outer spacey sound effects that sound like Star Wars outtakes. And, tragically, I’m pretty sure that I heard a gong in there, somewhere.

But there’s no telling what weirdness people are into (we're pretty great that way), and if Welcome to the Machine does it for you, them live your life and may all happiness be upon you.

Even if the song ends with what sounds like a dying engine and then laughter.

I Hate Poker More Than I Hate Life (Which Is Saying a Lot): It’s been a night with not much action for me. The last two weeks had been self-boneathons (that is, where the person boning you is, in fact, you; perhaps a more polite way to have phrased that would have been to have called those nights “self-destructathons,” but that isn’t as catchy, and I’ll go wherever the music is; I’m poetic that way) where I've been in way too many hands with not too many good reasons; the chips just fly out of your stacks and right into the pot, almost as if it’s somebody else throwing away your money, as the chips symbolically and literally represent.

But I've gotten back to a more disciplined style this week. I’m not being overly conservative, as I had slowly become over the preceding three years, but I’m trying to have a reason for every time that I get involved in hands.

In one hand, I had a great reason to get involved: In a game of hold 'em, I had been dealt pocket kings in the big blind. One love, one love.

How to play them? If I’m first into the pot with a raise of my big blind, how much should I raise so that I get enough, but not too much action? Those thoughts are rendered moot when Arizona, who had just lost a rivered pot to Jesse, made it 3 to go from under the gun. I thought that he may have been tilting, but Arizona loves to put on an act, and he’s not very good at it.

So if he looked like he was tilting, then I was 98% that he wasn’t. He’s got to have something, maybe a good pocket pair, in which case he’s way behind on a two-outer; or he’s got an ace with a really high kicker, in which case he’s on a three-outer and still pretty far behind.

Still, I don’t want him to draw cheaply against my kings. I raise it to $8 and will be happy with whatever action Arizona takes: fold, call, or raise. He raises it to $13, which doesn’t bother me at all. I make it $18 and we see the flop two-handed.

The flop is eight-high and ragged. I’m happy to see that it’s a flop that couldn’t have hit Arizona, so I bet the $5 into a $36.50 pot. He raises it right to $10. I know that, considering how much he’s already put into the pot, he’s got to at this point have a really good pair that’s above the board: jacks or queens.

Still, I don’t want to hang myself and put more money into the pot on bets or raises. I just call his bet. I airball the turn and the river, check both times and then call Arizona’s $5 bets.

I flip over my kings, no longer sure that they’re good, but still hopeful that they might be.

Nope. Arizona turns over his aces.

I express my displeasure in graphic and unforgivable terms, but laughing at the same time. Sure, I lost $38 in the hand, but only a coward or a rookie would have lost less. There really wasn’t any other way for me, or for Arizona, as a matter of fact, to have played this hand. As I said afterward, two retarded monkeys could have played our hands, all of the moves and countermoves having been so clear.

And it turns out, by the way, that we had put in one too many bets before the flop. We had decided a few months ago that the blind counts as a bet (a position with which I vigorously disagree, but I got outvoted; accursed democracy), which means that there can only be three raises. However, from the above paragraphs you can see that the pre-flop action went big blind to 3 to 8 to 13 to 18, which means that I lost an extra five dollars. It’s not that big a deal because, as I said at the game, if it had been no-limit, I would have lost everything, and not too unhappily. I mean, if the Lord sends you kings and somebody else gets aces, then you’re going to lose much cash. Such is life.

Solid: Is the ground under my feet. After two weeks of sub-par play, I dialed it in and played like a cold-hearted killer. There was work to be done, and I did it. I don’t think that I made one egregiously bad play, though there may have been one or two times when I could have played further into a hand, but I decided to hit the eject button a little early.

So I may have left a few chips on the table that could have flowed toward Daddy’s stacks, but I was willing to let them go if the discipline that led me to let them go would also protect me from making plays that would have cost me many more chips. It’s a tradeoff, is what I’m trying to say, and I made $86.25 for the evening, taking the YTD up to +$143.50 and the overall record to 6-3.

29 February 2008

Hoops: Back when I was young, I was pretty good at b-ball. Like so much that used to be true, it, alas, no longer is.

I know this because a co-worker and I got called out for basketball a while ago, and I was convinced that we were going to stomp the guy who called us out (one of those really annoying people who think that they are much smarter than they really are and who love themselves way too much; the ironic thing is that they are never all that smart [because those of us who are really smart can recognize each other] and, if anything, they should hold themselves in contempt for being so absurd) and his office buddy.

It took a while for the game to come together, but when it did, it didn’t take me too long to realize that my basketball skills are starting to go. The jumper was gone, and I used to be good out to three-point range. Back in high school, there wasn’t anybody whom I couldn’t get by, but I couldn’t get past the guy who was guarding me. True, he’s quite a bit younger, but I used to blow by whoever was guarding me.

And the vertical leap was gone. Not that it was ever that great, but I had had some hops around the rim. During this week’s game, however, I saw that those days of being able to jump pretty high were gone.

There’s something great about jumping. (A related pleasure to jumping is diving for some sort of catch.) You feel like a real athlete. You’re usually involved in a sport, so there’s the fun of competition. And, finally, you’ll feel young.

Seriously, think about the last time that you were jumping about. How long ago was it? Or the last time that you sprinted full-out, that you had a reason to. (And I’m not talking about jogging here, because the two are as related to each other as the ocean is to a piece of shit swimming pool.)

Probably all of those days of jumping and diving and sprinting are behind you. Far behind. Here comes the decline. Get ready.

Three-Handed: We’re three-handed to start, for the first hour and then for the last two after Ice leaves. It’s a different game three-handed. For one, the blinds come around much faster and you only get free cards 33% of the time.

Also, you have to play a broader range of hands pre-flop and then be aggressive with highly marginal made hands; if you wait for just great starter- or made hands, you’re going to be losing real money just on blinds and then not making money on hands that have a good chance of being winners.

But then those marginal hands can cost you some good money. On one hand I made middle pair with a seven kicker when the flop landed K-10-4. Arizona and I both put about $17 into the pot, and I lost when my 10-7 lost to his 10-8.

I know that it might seem a bit crazy to lose so much on a pair of tens with such a miserable kicker, but your hand will be good most of the time, and if you don’t stick with it to the end, you’re usually not maximizing value.

My Awesome Hot Dogs: I again bought stuff for hot dogs, and those bastards moved again. It’s nice when people like the food that you make for them. There’s so little in this world that we can do for each other, but cooking is one of them, and so is complimenting each other whenever we can.

I stated previously in this month’s Poker Report that I wouldn’t divulge my mind-blowing, republic-shaking method of preparing hot dogs, and I stand by that commitment.

However, I will say that one of the keys to my hot dog preparation technique is love.

But They Were Soul Stealers: Those hot dogs were tasty, no doubt, but they took away my powers.

I had been getting burned all night but had then worked hard to get back to even. And then I actually got a little ahead: +$24.00.

Then I prepared the hot dogs for my buddies and for Daddy. And that’s when my game imploded. Perhaps I was distracted by how lovely the hot dogs had been. As an aesthete and a person who studied cookery and actually spent a summer as a salad maker in a restaurant (where I also made most of the dressings and then a wonderful potato salad every Saturday), I can really get sidetracked by that which is beautiful, and that may have been the case here.

Nine Outs: Is how many you have on the river to make a flush. Percentage-wise, you’re at about 20% to hit on the river, which means that you’re a 5-1 favorite. I’ll take that. Who wouldn’t?

But life, man. Don’t even get me started. In three hands in a row, I lose to rivered flushes. A little basic math tells you that the odds of me losing all three hands are 75-1. Hell, the odds of me losing two in a row are 25-1. I lost about $65 on those three hands; if I win even one of those three hands, I can add about $40 to my overall game profits.

As it stands, I do make a little bit of green, +$13.50, taking the overall record to 7-3, but I could have made so much more.

The Final Numbers: We play six times (which is pretty incredible considering that February is the shortest month of the year) and I go 4-2 for those six games. I only make $19, which is such a small number either way. But considering that I had one of my best nights ever and also one of my worst, it’s easy to see why things went as they did.

There’s not much about which to be enthused about how I played in February, because there’s no way that I should be dropping money in the triple digits anymore (and certainly not in back-to-back games), but I did close out the month on a three-game winning streak, so that’s something.


(Editor’s Note: The title of this first Poker Report of 2008 is from Charalambides’s song, Spring. It’s a guitar and a female voice and nothing else.

The lyrics, it turns out, aren’t much to get excited about. I started transcribing them, but stopped when I started to get slightly embarrassed for everyone involved. The song is an ode to spring, so that should have been the clue that the lyrics wouldn’t stand up to much scrutiny. Then, for the sake of this Poker Report, I toughed it out and transcribed a complete set of lyrics. Well, almost complete, but we’ll get back to that.

At about 1:30 in, the singer goes unintelligible. In fact, in the lyrics that I transcribed, I wrote, unintelligible stuff from 1:31 to 2:03 and then also unintelligible stuff from 3:06 to 3:40. The funny thing is that those unintelligible sections are actually the best part of the song. (That’s why, in fact, the title of this Poker Report is Unintelligible Stuff from 1:31 to 2:03: The February 2008 Poker Report; usually I choose a lovely line from the lyrics, but this one didn’t have any.)

Oh, and I really liked the guitar noodling that went on for the last 1:27 of the song. The guitarist managed to play that long without it turning into a travesty and dishonoring music and himself, which is pretty hard to do.

Okay, rereading this, it sounds like I actually didn’t like the song. I really do. I mean, I have played this song 128 times since 21 March 2007, about seven times a month. It’s just that the lyrics are pretty lame. That’s not a deal breaker, though; do you really want to go song by song through the rock canon and see how many of them don’t survive?

I think that the fact that this song is so pretty just points out how much one can get away with when the sound is right.)


I know you're probably busy, but do you have an ETA on the newest poker report? Or have you stopped writing them for a while? - Arizona

Forty-Eight Hours, Perhaps

Arizona, my man, I acknowledge that I've not been posting on even a semi-regular basis, but I've just about gotten the March Poker Report rough-drafted. Here's a section in which you make an appearance:


The Commentary: I had started a riff about how obvious sports commentary is. You know, like when an announcer says of a team that is way behind that “they really need to score here.” Really? I thought that maybe they could score in the next game and those points could retroactively be added to their score for this game. Thanks for the info.

Poker commentary can be just as tiresome, if you’ve actually ever heard any, so I started stating the obvious in one of those announcer voices. “What those players are holding in their hands are called cards.”

And then Arizona jumped in on the riff, and then, extending the riff, we started working other stuff in the room. We focused on the heater that was resting on the wood-burning stove. We worked that heater hard, saying stuff like, “This heater takes electricity and converts it into heat, thus warming the room.” I closed the bit with “the orange light on top indicates that the heater is, in fact, currently plugged in.”

By that point, nobody was laughing, and the only people having a good time were Arizona and yours truly. Still, I thought that we had done some good work, so I fist tapped Arizona.


In about forty-eight hours, theoretically, the thing should be done, but don't be surprised if the forty-eight hours become, I don't know, three years.

Great read

As always, it's a pleasure to read the blog.

It's About Time

Hey, does this mean that you're finally caught up?