Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Do They Do That?

The people at Google Docs no doubt have my best interests at heart; they work for a stellar company whose goal of making the internet a better place (which admittedly is just looking out for their own bottom line) has certainly improved my life drastically over the last 5 years. They have some of the smartest people on Earth (Danielle is always dropping thinly veiled brags about how many resumes they get or how hard it is to get the job or succeed...they basically have their pick of the creme of the creme of software developers), and yet I am going to boldly declare that, with some help from Microsoft, they have really screwed the pooch on this one.

My task was simple enough; I was going through my old poker sheets (say, Poker 2010) that live in the cloud, resorting them by game and location (instead of date played) and getting some aggregate stats on how many hours played and dollars won I had managed to rack up in each game. Easy enough, amirite? Just make a copy of the sheet, resort it, and add a few columns on the right and summations and you end up with entries like this every 2 to 50 rows (depending on how many sessions I had of a given game):

20 Commerce 14694 514.5

So I played 514.5 hours in the Commerce 20 in 2010 and win 14694 dollars. Easy game, that commerce 20....anyway, after I generated all those sums (turns out I played 32 different games in 2010) I wanted to copy them into another spreadsheet (Poker All Time Condensed Stats), where they'd be easy to manipulate.

This seemingly simplistic task marked the moment the dog became aroused.

First of all, using the Google docs copy and past menu options simply does not work. I select the entries I want to copy. I click the menu option. I goto my other spreadsheet, click the paste option. And nothing happens. That's just weird, to be honest, and it's not like I'm not using Google's very own Chrome browser to make this whole operation go. And it's not the "You can't copy more than 1000 cells" problem they originally complained about stopping me up; that only slowed me down for a minute, as I had less than 2000 cells to copy and just figured "huh I could do this twice" which is a retarded work around to have to perform but whatever. Even with that in place...nothing happens.

OK so we'll rely on the good old Microsoft control c control v copy and paste option. That shit basically just always works. I don't know why, Microsoft at this point is a vastly inferior software producer when compared to Google, but they did have basically a 20 year head start and maybe copy and paste is just that hard of a problem. I personally have never done anything for even close to 20 years, and if and when I do I hope it's more fun than copy and paste, but whatever. So I select my rows, control c that shit, goto the other sheet and control v and boom:

20 Commerce 0 0

The data for the actual cells is "=sum({})", which obviously does in fact add up to zero. So for some reason we're copying the summation, not the actual number. OK, I can understand that, and that's not really Google's fault. At this point I'm only mad at them because their menu functionality didn't work. It should have worked; it's fucking Google. It should always just work. OK, I've done this before, I can work around this shit. I'll use notepad as in interim, copy the rows there and then copy them out. Surely notepad will just have to have the number, and not the summation formula. So here I go, copy to note pad, it's all good with the correct numbers showing up, then I copy back, and...

20 Commerce 0 0

No money in Commerce 20, everyone solid.

Seriously, that just doesn't make any sense. Somehow notepad is actually storing the information that we're actually doing a summation from cells, doing nothing with it and displaying the numbers I want, then when I freshly copy the info out of notepad (I did have the sense to do that), keeping the information and using it to blow me up and report that I didn't in fact play the Commerce 20 last year. Retarded.

So I use the gmail text editor...same result. Then finally I use the gmail text editor, actually SEND MYSELF THE EMAIL, then copy the numbers off the page where they are being displayed and we have ignition:

20 Commerce 14694 514.5

Lots of money in Commerce 20, Jesse solid.

I'm not really sure if I'm upset with Google, Microsoft, or just intrigued by how on Earth that managed to happen, but will stop ranting about it now so that I can start another blog post involving betting the ponies, me coughing up a lung, and karma letting me win 60 bets in 60 minutes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Random Points

I went surfing today; and it was glorious. I felt only a little old, as I got pretty tired towards the end and called it quits before Danielle's dad (not bad for 38 there, Dan). After a break I went back out for 3 more rides, and in general had a splendid time.

My lifetime stats project has stalled, and I need to pick it back up. I'm not sure what I'm hoping to learn, but like pornography, I hope to know it when I see it.

My probation period at the Bike lasts just one more week. I don't get anything but a $5/hour raise automatically, but I do become eligible for full time status, which would be swell since I basically work 40 hour weeks already and obviously wouldn't mind getting paid for it. Combined the raise and jump in hours would increase my compensation by something like 65-70%, and would put me in the enviable spot of being completely fine with break-even quarters (one of which I'm basically closing out right now).

Full Tilt and the DOJ can kiss my ass. I really am starting to wonder if the $7k in my account, or the $2k check the DOJ stole from me, will ever be returned. It's just completely unacceptable.

One more week of august, so far I'm posting a small winner even with my 5 rack party last Thursday (the 20 hit the jackpot, the 40 got a game share, and the props were destroying some random 80 fishes for their own jackpot while I was home in the fetal position...I even had a chance to take a piece of sailboats but passed and then he obviously won 3 racks).

That is all.

Friday, August 26, 2011


This morning I played about 14 hands of T (triple draw, which got boring), NL 1-1 $100 cap O8 (which is a stupid game HU), Stud, and Razz. The limit games were played $10/$20, and I won $50. This would not be noteworthy except for the fact that I was playing MikeL heads up.

If I can just do that 102 more times I will recoup yesterday's losses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Day

Today was a good day I think. I may have played kind of bad for a while, but that happens after 4 days off from time to time. For a while my fold button was disabled, with me calling BJ down after a turn c/r on 975-6-K with....ace ten. Yeah that's a little much. And I got "cold decked" a few times but should have saved some bets and from time to time do when I'm playing super duper good. I called a river donk on 983hh-4c-Ah after the guy c/r the flop headsup and IMR like he doesn't have it there every single time (I had tens), and failed to fold KK on a T66-J-J board (that one is harder but still my cards are napkins when the jack hits). My boss also tortured me relentlessly, set v top pair, trips v topsies+fd, two pair on the turn, etc etc. But somehow at the end of the day I won some dollars, closing with this gem before my softball game (2/4 with 3 RBI, including driving in the last two runs in a 19-19 tie and error free second base):

I open K5dd in the CO young Internet looking kid I don't know defends. We flop T42dd and he c/r me and I consider my options and decide making a flush would be best and then just call. The turn is a ten and I obviously don't fold, and the river 6r doesn't look so bad so I sling 8 more chips out there and he rolls 87o. No pair, no draw, pure Captain R air ball style. I'm quite pleased, stack and rack up and drive south for softball.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hand Posts

I played 3 interesting hands recently:

I think I fouled up the second two (I cold called the AK and checked a river Ten, and the QJ was kinda funny but meh).

Life is OK. I think I'm close to getting the 40 hour week at the Bike, after which I'll be making like 67% more money and will be satisfied. I can't seem to put together a good week though and am on a 400 hour break even stretch which is boring and lame.

My knees and hips have recovered mostly, which is also good, and I beat MikeL in Carcassone.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Am Old

Ninety five percent of the people reading this are either going to immediately think "haha yeah he is old" or "man I wish I was 29 he's got another thing coming" but that's not really the point. I've had two experiences in the past week that have saddened me greatly by showing me that my body simply is not capable of what it once once. First, the worst softball game of my life.

I spent the entire 7 inning disaster at my natural position, second base, making a mess of basically everything. I fielded one high chopper cleanly, but that about sums up all the things I did well for the entire affair. A guy smashed a ball directly at me, and I chose to field it cleanly off my left wrist. The ball hit me so squarely that I was able to pick it up and actually make the play at first, with lace impressions already bulging out where those little veins are supposed to be. A little flair got hit behind the first baseman, a ball I should field easily if I can just get on my horse and get there. Oh I got there, but when I reached behind my head to snag it I had slightly over pursued and didn't get my glove open enough and well yeah that didn't work. Another high chopper came up the middle, one that when I was 14 I'd have fielded successfully 100 times in a row. I slid to the right and practically didn't even touch it with my glove. Another easy grounder that I fortunately knocked down, picked up and threw to first turning a routine play into a 3 act circus, was the final act, but occurred after the climax of our show.

Our opponent's lone lefty had smoked his previous two hits between myself and the first basemen, one on the ground, the other at face level. I decided in my infinite wisdom to put on the shift, moving 20 or so feet to my left and backing up 10 or so feet onto the grass. I'm so smart, I said to myself. This asshole is going to hit the ball right at me. Yup, he hit it right at me, right on the ground, right up until the point where it hit the lip of grass between the infield and outfield, at which point it made a beeline directly for my face. A younger, faster, better Jesse would have probably managed to get his glove up to protect himself. The older, slower, worse Jesse simply turned his head in terror, praying not to be knocked unconscious. I took the ball squarely on the right shoulder and basically couldn't lift my arm over my head for the rest of the night. This disaster probably contributed to at least two of the aforementioned errors, but that just shouldn't happen. I played baseball for 10 years, and now all of a sudden I'm Roger Fucking Dorn?

OK fine, so I suck at softball (for the record we lost the game something like 17-4, so it's not like the rest of my team played very well). That's fine, really not a big deal. Most people suck at softball. It hurts a bit because I used to be pretty decent at baseball and at a bare minimum was above average defensively at second base, but whatever. This second part, however, was way worse.

Danielle and I spent most of this weekend camping in the San Giorgino (sp?) mountains, and to make a long story short attempted an 8 mile round trip hike on Saturday morning/afternoon that almost killed me. Strength wise? Fine. Heart/lungs wise, even with the hike STARTING at 6500 feet and ending at 9200? Fine. Back/neck/shoulder wise, carrying something like 120 ounces of fluid, two lunches, and an extra pair of shoes in case we had to cross a creek? Fine.

Knees? Epic. Fucking. Fail. On the way up everything was just hunky dory, with Danielle actually getting a little fatigued and feeling the effects of being at over 9000 feet with a barely 18 hours to get acclimated, but me miraculously feeling fantastic. Then we turned around. Within a mile of starting the outside of my right knee started to burn. By the second mile I was agony with almost every step and was trying to use a walking stick as a sort of crutch to take some of the pounding off my enfeebled joint. By the 3rd mile my left knee was getting in on the act, and the final mile was perhaps the most painful prolonged experience of my entire life. It literally felt like someone was jabbing an ice pick at my knee from the outside edge of my leg every time I took a step down the hill. I cannot believe how much it hurt, and how awful it made me feel about the fact that at 29 walking like a duck (those of you who have met me have probably noticed that my toes point outward at an absurd angle...this trait was useful for the 200 breast stroke, but pretty much a disaster for every other facet of human existence) has finally caught up to me.

So I am old, weak, slow, and degrading. I cannot field ground balls, and I cannot walk downhill. Somebody get the fat lady and tell her to start warming up.

Monday, August 8, 2011

High Energy Rant Number 207

OK we're probably not that many in, but it's got to be close. My primary goal is to rant against Commerce, but I have a few other points to make first:

First of all, the calendar has once again rolled to an even month, which means I am allowed to once again drag pots with impunity. For the calendar month I'm up almost $10k, erasing almost all of last month's losses. Plus they do continue to pay me, albeit it at a nearly insulting pace.

Second of all, and this is only sort of a rant because god fucking damn it the Pirates just don't have enough in the bag. My friend Kevin was right, I should have listened to him. He was sure they sucked and that we shouldn't care, but damn it, deep down, I wanted to care. I really did. About three days ago he sent me the cryptic text "LTJR", for which I had to ask clarification. The response was quick and brutal...."lower the jolly roger". And he's right, LTJR indeed. As an aside they are currently beating up on the Giants 5-0. Pete pointed out that his guys had lost 8 out of 10, which isn't much better than the Buccos of late, to which I responded "Somebody has to win I guess." The response came back "Yup, just like the Garden City 15/30 game."

Moving right along, it's 9:45pm and Danielle is nowhere in sight. She must really love that job....

So now that our preliminary ranting is out of the way, it's on to the main course, the one and only, always rant inspiring...Commerce Casino. I got off shift today at around 3pm and the games were just not that good. The 20/40 had freaking La Peste, DosXX, and BJ in it (three rock stars for that level) and the 40 wasn't much better, with me, a pair of HG props who probably win, MikeL, a couple of regs who simply don't play that bad, and the dream about to expire up over two racks all sitting around wondering what was going to happen. Well I looked into my crystal ball and saw exactly what was going to happen; the dream was going to pick up, the regs were going to realize that was their cue to exit, and within an hour I was going to be in an TERRIBLE game and have to drop down to 20/40, which at least wouldn't have Dos and BJ in it anymore. Well fuck that, I said. Let's just go to Commerce.

Such a fucking fail. I drive my ass over there and list myself for basically everything (8/16, 20/40, 40/80, and 60/120) and then set about bullshitting with numbnuts while waiting for a game of some sort to start. He and I agree that if we just sit at an empty table people will probably come out of the woodwork to play with us, since we both just spray chips left and right every time we sit in the Commerce 40, and lo and behold our prayers are answered and a new 40 is called down. We walk over and practically have to fight to get seats, as the chip runner has somehow already sold off like half her bank and is about to goto the cage for more battalions. Once she's done there are no joke EIGHT of us sitting around the table ready to gamble AT THE SAME TIME (I have to stress this is a god-damned miracle) dealer. We wait. One guy wonders off. A seat opens and someone is must-moved. Someone else wonders off, and it's looking grim. So what's the best thing Commerce could do right now?

"Attention players, new game 60/120 limit hold 'em!"

I swear to fucking god they started a must move 60. The dealer is just arriving and they are calling the fucking thing down and I just look at numbnuts like "are you kidding me" and he is just kind of numb to the whole situation because he sits here every day watching this freak show. I try to get a seat in the 60 but am told no, I'll be second up. O really?! comes my reply? Second up? You fucking ass clown you really think all those people are going to show up? Meanwhile back at the 40 game there is some hope of the game starting as the dealer has managed to sit down and shuffle the cards, so I turn to her and say "Let's go dealer, do you want a game or not" to which she replies, and I cannot possible make this up..."I don't know." She doesn't know if she wants people to play poker or not. She's not sure. She could go either way, really.

Somehow some way the deck is spread and we draw cards and I draw the cutoff, at which point the aforementioned fucking ass clown calls me for 60/120 (guess what? three guys didn't show up wow what a surprise) and my table is immediately perturbed as I announce my intention to flagrantly angle shoot them by playing only until my big blind, which is exactly what I do, winning one small pot by tag-fishing numbnuts into a state of utter confusion by checking back three streets in a blind steal.

So I head to the 60 (and honestly I didn't even really angle them, to be least I told them I was leaving) and it of course sucks (why do you think those guys didn't show up) and I again draw reasonable well (the small blind) and play about 2 orbits before deciding should go back to the 40. The game is now 6 handed and looks like just maybe it will survive, so I take my big blind and we play a lap or two before, on my button, the game breaks from 7 handed. Literally we are 7 handed, one guy walks, another guy walks, the floor comes over and takes 2 players to main games and boom, game broken. I've now been at the casino for about an hour and have exactly broken game status, a order of chicken satay, and a relish tray to show for my efforts. I attempt to play 20/40, but they are seat changing and can't get dealt in for 5 minutes, by which point a seat opens in the 40. So I walk over, wait patiently for the guy leaving to play his button, which he does expertly by open raising 83s. flopping a full house, and slow playing til the river (at which point the guy with the case 3 gives him 4 bets good lord I wonder what it's like). So now he's got a million chips that he can't rack up so I can't get dealt in an 6 of the 8 people at the table want a seat change so it doesn't really matter anyway. Eventually against all odds I get dealt into what is actually still a must move game, play for another hour, and decide to go home up a little bit by way of a superb ace high call down.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If You're Very Quiet... can hear the hissing sound as his soul leaks out his left ear.

We have hired a new silent prop and his existence frustrates me. Fundamentally the deal is that since he is way worse at his job (playing poker) than I am, he gets special privileges like not giving up his seat. First of all, just think about that. Think about your job and how that would make you feel. So that's not great. Another problem is that while he's awful at poker (a point I will illustrate momentarily), he's awful in ways that fish can't really see. We have another guy who is pretty bad, and he's bad by just spewing relentlessly, so even fish think he's horrendous and everyone loves him. That's not this guy. This guy does this shit:

I buy the button and he opens the lojack. The dream calls the button and I defend the 76dd.


He bets the dream folds I raise he 3s I 4 he calls. Why do I four bet? Because he NEVER has it. Ever.


He calls and I cringe as he most likely now has the full 15 outs. But wait for it.


I check he snap bets I snap call and he declares, flummoxxed, "Jack High". I roll, and if you're very quiet....

Monday, August 1, 2011

3 Freaking Years

That's right, today is the three year anniversary of Jesse taking this shot. It's almost impossible for me to believe both how much and how little I've actually learned over the last 36 months. If I knew back then what I know now, there is no way I'd have ever started walking down this road. And to be honest, now that I'm here, I'm not so sure I still want to be. Every week I catch myself thinking about what it would be like to have a regular job and turn poker back into a lucrative hobby (OK realistically here in traffic land that wouldn't work out very well, but you get the idea). Still after all this time I am not committed (like you read about) to the task at hand. I told this to someone I trust today and was met with a response of "that's great, because otherwise I'd have to think you were insane". And the point is valid; if I was completely satisfied with what I was doing, well, just what would that say about me? All along I've been open, no, actually planning, to at some point return to society. But when will be the right moment? The history of my life has shown that I'm not particularly good at ending things, that I tend to have a lot of inertia. More and more I am wondering if it's just inertia keeping me going, inertia of living here, of driving to the casino every day, of not really knowing what I'd do next. Because let's be honest here, on the whole things have been going poorly about as much as they've been going well during the whole three years, and financially speaking I'm WAY behind where I would be if I'd just stayed in the software industry. Of course if I'd done that Danielle wouldn't have her dream house in Orange County and I wouldn't know all the wonderful people I've met and well it's silly to even try to comprehend how things would be different because it simply can't be known. And then there's the small matter of things actually going pretty well lately; despite the fact that I just booked my first 5 figure "at the tables" losing month, I have a realistic shot at making $100K this year when you add everything up (especially if I go full time at the Bike). So at least for now I'm going to keep right at it, at least until the situation at the Bike solidifies. Inertia or not, I don't really know what else to do.

Now that I'm done with my stream of consciousness rant, I'd like to say that I've been running poorly and I think it's started to affect my play. In my last 120 hours of limit hold 'em I've lost about 180 bets, which is just enough to get irritating, especially since I had just pulled myself out of a 250 bet downer that happened less than 6 weeks earlier. The whole thing is just getting so...old. I play a pot well, it's monstrous, there is over a rack of chips in in it and I....lose headsup to a two outter. I can't win that money back, it's gone forever. I have to play that spot over 20 more times, and win EVERY TIME, just to get back to expectation. I know I know, that's a horrible way to think about it, but it's just getting...old.

The situation at the bike is kind of silly at this point. We've hired a couple more props who basically come in whenever they want, which is when the game is good, during my shift, so they are effectively just stealing money from me, and I'm getting pretty sick of it. They aren't paying me enough to work the job, but I'm hanging on for a potential bump to 40 hours a week (which would also come with benefits, I hear, which are nice).

Anyway, no big ending, nothing special here. Just three years of grinding and still a lot of questions running through my head.