Archive for February, 2006
The sheer success of this site is an impressive feat. It takes a lot of patience and good customer support (read: more patience) to deal with the vast majority of people looking for a free lunch. To Mike and all the rest of the staff at PSO, I salute you.
For those who are too lazy to look back in my blog to see what I’ve said about them in the past, here’s a quick synopsis of what they offer:
- Instant Bankroll: This program gives players who want to play online poker, but don’t want to risk their own money, a chance to play for real money. Players just have to meet some simple preconditions, and follow a set of easy to follow instructions, and they get $75 at Party poker (or $50 at Titan Poker) plus a $25 bonus if they play enough hands.
- Promotions: These are the meat of the PSO site (for me anyways). They offer several promotions with different poker rooms where you can get free stuff for completing the requirements. I have literally got hundreds of dollars of free stuff from this.
- Frequent Flopper Program: For players who play a lot of online poker, PSO offers rakeback at select sites. This gives you a percentage of your rake back in either cash or PSO points (which are as good as cash).
Add to this a very active poker forum, poker league, and the tendency to give away awesome free stuff all the time (sometimes almost randomly) … PSO is essential for the online poker player.
Oh, did I mention that I got a $500 buyin to one of the CPT events last January? Yeah, that’s right … PSO just gave that to me. I won’t claim everyone will get such great things, but … you never know!
Well yesterday was an interesting poker day.
I played some 2/4 limit at Ultimate Bet for a very short time, losing far more than I really liked (some $150). I just couldn’t have my good hands stand up or when I had a good hand someone had a better one. Bleh. So I quit and played xbox for awhile. I started playing Jade Empire this weekend, and I’m really enjoying it so far!
Then, at 7:00, PSO had their 2nd league event. Unfortunately, I had to miss the first one. Last night I got extremely lucky at some pretty key moments. Early in the tournament, I busted a guy when I flopped a set of Jacks to his pocket kings. I’m a little surprised he called my all-in bet on the flop, but I was happy! After that, I started to bleed chips for a long time. With about 70 people left out of the 130 that entered, I was in the bottom 20 people or so, and just trying to survive. Then I went on a tear – stealing the blinds with decent hands like AJ and KQ. These hands pushed me up to 3rd in chips at one point.
I collapsed later on – I can’t quite remember what the hands were, but I lost a bunch of chips and then I mistakenly called a guy’s bet when I meant to fold. Oops! That’s a lot of chips to lose on a misclick. I was once again near the bottom of the totem pole, this time with 30 people or so left. I pushed with 53s in the BB (since I had no chips left), and hit two pair on the river. *whew*. Another double up and almost double up from there and I was golden to make the final table.
Once there, the table was real tight. Understandably since the top 3 get much larger prizes (since PSO was topping up the prizes of the top 3 finishers with PSO points). I stole some blinds to stick around my 6th largest stack (out of 9). Then, a guy raises in early position with KQ and I hold tens. I thought about it, and pushed. The guy calls (I think this is a terrible call), and hits a king on the river. I’m out in 8th for an $18.08 payout. Yippee.
Still, its not a bad spot to be in. The idea for the league is to count your best 6 finishes in up to 10 tournaments. Your average place then becomes your score and the person with the best overall score (lowest) wins a $1500 prize package to play an event at the WSOP. That would be sweet.
So … 8th is a pretty good spot. If I can do similarly in 5 more league events, I’ll be golden to finish in the top 3 for sure (if not first). Wish me luck!
Honestly, I can’t stand the media.
First, what’s with the debacle of accusing Gretzky of being involved in the gambling scandal? This man does more for the game of hockey than anyone ever before. He has always been an amazing role model for the kids everywhere and what does he get as thanks? Seriously, if he says he wasn’t involved, why don’t you believe him unless some reason not to comes up? Jeepers.
And now, with the crazy expectations everyone seemed to have for the Canadian olympic hockey team. I don’t really quite understand how Canada is such an overwhelming favourite. If you take a closer look at all the teams, there are very few weak teams out there. In fact, teams like Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Czechs are all very strong teams with a lot of depth. Sure, I wanted to see Canada win. But just because they didn’t shouldn’t make us shameful. We have a lot of talented players, but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily win.
Its a very tough transition. These star players on our team are used to being the go-to guy on their team. At the olympics though, they play half as much as they would with their NHL team … and it can’t be easy to get out there and give it your all when you’re used to being warmer and getting more chances with your home team.
Bleh. So now we have the media asking questions like “What happened?”. I’ll tell you what happened. Team Canada lost to some very good teams. Those teams got prepared for the olympics as a team and not as a group of solo star players. Those teams played better than Canada, and so they deserved to move on.
There’s always 2010.
Well, I was supposed to be skiing this weekend. Supposed to be. The 24th Parkallen scouts have their annual ski trip on the family day long weekend every year. It was a blast last year and I was quite looking forward to going out this year.
Unfortunately for skiing, I had to stay in town this weekend because … I’m working on a research paper! Five of us from the poker group are preparing a paper for one of the top-notch AI conferences, AAAI. If it should be accepted, I’ll have my fourth publication with a likely fifth coming later in the year.
So while I’m upset that I can’t go skiing, I can’t really be too upset. This paper means a lot more to my resume and career than one skiing trip will. Still, I wish I was out in Jasper with my sweety! Instead, I get to slave away collecting results and writing parts of the results section. Fun!
Oh yeah, and I celebrated my 23rd birthday yesterday. w00t.
Got back last night from the big camp our rovers do – the Devon Winter Challenge Camp. For those who don’t know, the event consists of a number of challenge activities that the scout troops go through. They are marked on these events and at the end of the camp, they top score gets a prize. The DWC camp is one of two big challenge camps put on in the winter each year in our region (the other being Mad Trappers). These camps are a great time for all involved.
We ran an event called Landmines, which was basically like frisbee golf with orienteering. The idea was each scout troop got a list of bearings, and used them to find each hole. They then had to throw the frisbee through a bicycle tire tied to a tree. They then went on to the next hole taking the next bearing from the location of the tire they just found. I thought the event would work really well, but apparently scouts aren’t being taught how to use a compass anymore, and that’s a little worrying. There were a couple of notable exceptions, but a lot of troops had trouble finding all the holes.
We also ran campfire for the second year in a row. As usual, we had an array of fun run-on type skits to keep the kids entertained throughout. It went pretty well, I would have to say.
I got back last night and was pretty tired, so I managed to get to bed a whole lot earlier than normal. Trouble was, because I had slept outdoors for the past two nights, I found my condo waaaay tooo warm and had trouble sleeping. So today I’m really pretty tired. Oh well, I’ll have to recover my sleep before the upcoming ski trip!
Lets take a moment shall we and discuss politics?
Normally I wouldn’t do this, but the latest outbreak on the federal politics stage has *me* fuming … and I don’t even live in the riding in question!
I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about Mr Emerson crossing the floor from liberal to conservative to accept a cabinet position. He did this before the parliment even sat ONCE!
Frankly, I don’t agree with the idea of MPs changing parties. If you’re an elected official in the Canadian government, then you were elected because the constiuents in your riding decided that they like you and the party platform you were representing. When someone crosses the floor, they are dropping the platform they were voted in on and picking up a different platform that is likely very different!
Now, under extenuating circumstances, there may be a case where the MP thinks that his constituents no longer fall into the same platform as the party they belong to. But Emerson hadn’t even sat down in the house of commons yet to see anything like this! He was purely drawn for the cabinet position being offered.
He’s arguing that he gives his riding more of a voice by taking this position. The trouble is – what sort of voice is that? Is he going to push liberal platform choices on the cabinet? Or has he adopted the conservative platform? Because I’m sure his constituents are going to be really happy about that!
But what really gets me is not just that he had the audacity to make this move. He also claims that he’s surprised that people are outraged at it! Come on now, what did you really expect? Cheers from the masses? Riiiight.
It makes me shake my head.
Goodness me. Last night was the best night for poker I’ve ever had.
To set up the scenario, I had lost a lot of money on the weekend playing 2/4 limit. Apparently the cards just weren’t with me and I played a little too aggressive in spots which cost me more than I probably should have lost. All told, I lost about $160 or so on Sunday which is the single worst day of poker I’ve ever had. Ewww. I quit, examined my game for awhile and thought about it a bit. I had some terrible luck, but I knew that I lost more than I should have. Monday night I played for an hour or two and won back $40 which was kind of nice.
Then last night happened. After I finally stopped playing around midnight, I was up $207 that night – my best night of poker yet. It pushed me solidly into the profit column again!
The hilight hand of the night was a $79 pot I won when a guy decided he wanted my big blind.
The table folds around to the button holding AJo who raises (as I would do). The small blind calls and I reraise with QQ. Button caps and both the small blind and I call. Flop comes QJ5, 2 diamonds. Small blind checks, I bet, button re-raises and small blind calls. I re-raise and everyone calls. Turn is an A (no diamond). Once again the pot is three-bet. River is a blank. Small blind gets out of the way at this point (probably had a flush draw), and I win the hand with trip queens. Sweet.
So with last night’s winnings, I’m not up not only my $180 in bonus money I’ve cleared so far, but also up about another $100 on top of that. Yay!
Well last night was the Sonata Arctica concert that I’ve been looking forward to for quite awhile. For those who don’t know, Sonata Arctica is a Finnish melodic metal band that took the scene by storm when they released their first full length album. When I first heard some of their music, they almost immediately became part of my musical library.
This was the 2nd of two shows that I thought I’d never ever see in Edmonton. The first was Stratovarius in October of 2004. Both of these bands have huge followings over in Europe, but North America hasn’t seemed to have discovered how good this genre can be. Oh well, I suppose the radio would probably ruin it anyways. Damn radio.
Anyways. I was pretty pumped for the show. The opening band, going by the name of “Helden” got going around 9:30 or so. This was a band I had not heard of, and probably with reason. They were a pretty new band and while their guitarists showed a lot of promise, I was totally turned away from them because the vocalist did nothing more than scream into the mic. I’m sorry, that’s just not appealing to me.
Finally, SA took over the stage, and the wait was totally worth it. Tony, the band’s lead vocalist has an absolutely amazing voice … more so than I thought from the records. I was very impressed with how he was able to sing in a very clear high melodic voice and then switch over to a growly kind of tone that still kept the essence of the melody. Such talent!
The keyboardist was sensational. He had a keytar, which was a very cool way for him to show off how damn fast he could move his fingers! Its just not fair … some people can play way too darn well. The keyboardist was featured many times on the albums playing dueling solos with the guitarist, and the show was an incredible example of why this should be done way more often. If the keyboardist hands went blazingly fast, the guitarist’s fingers had to have gone at least as fast!
Incredible on many levels. The band played one encore of three songs. The first “song” being a medley of a whole lot of big songs that they didn’t play during the show. They then went on to play two more crazy fast songs including Don’t Say a Word, and then delayed the final chord of the last song as long as was possible.
The best part was how much the band looked like they were enjoying themselves. Particularly Tony who added little fun quirks into some portions of the music. I forgot to mention that Tony was dressed in some crazy plaid pants. Yeah, that’s right, plaid pants. Taken aback at first, I couldn’t help but think … cool!
All in all, I was very happy with the show. Tony promised the crowd that they’d be back to Edmonton sometime after their next album. I think I will have to be there!