Archive for May, 2008

On Variance

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Something every poker player has to learn is to cope with variance. At times, variance can be your best friend, but at other times it can be your villain that not only kicks you in the crotch, but then slams you with a baseball bat to the head while you’re down.

An example of the variance I had to deal with.Case in point, my latest downswing. I had thought I had made a successful leap to $200nl. After all, I was up a couple grand and was feeling pretty good about how I was doing. Some of that was undoubtedly positive variance, but I figured I could sustain some bad luck.

Little did I know that the fates had it in for me and my bankroll plummetted over the course of just a few days. That’s what provoked my previous post about taking an extended break.

I played a short session at 100nl today. I had some free time and thought I’d take a shot and see how I did. This session went a whole lot better, and despite running QQ into KK preflop for a stack, I won two stacks (the small blip at the right edge of the graph above). I don’t know how much time I’ll have to play over the next two weeks what with the wedding and all, but I’m gonna take it pretty easy still. There’s lots of other things to do. Still, it’s good to be able to get a nice winning session in after getting my ass handed to me the last time I played.

Heraldk

Pine Cones

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Pine Cones, originally uploaded by Heraldk.

Taken on our river valley hike.

Playoff Predictor, Stanley Cup Finals, 2008

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Well my predictor is sure doing better than I did in my playoff pools. Going into the conference finals, it was 11 for 12 for predictions, and it got both of the conference finals right as well!

Pittsburgh_Penguins 0.579 0.204
Philadelphia_Flyers 0.421 0.119

Detroit_Red_Wings   0.681 0.498
Dallas_Stars        0.319 0.178

So what’s left? The Stanley cup finals start tomorrow night and it should be a great series. So I gave my predictor one final spin to see what it says. It should come as no surprise that Detroit is heavily favoured by the program:

Pittsburgh_Penguins 0.295
Detroit_Red_Wings   0.705

While I’d be happy to say my program went 14/15, I’m still kinda rooting for the penguins. They are an exciting team to watch with a hell of a lot of talent at a very young age. Whoever wins though, the series should be one for the ages.

Heraldk

Pipe

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Pipe, originally uploaded by Heraldk.

David makes a really cool looking silhouette with his hat. Taken on a recent river valley hike on the May long weekend.

Nightwish Edmonton Show Review

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Nightwish - Sold OutWow this took awhile to get around to doing. This past weekend I had the chance to check off the third of my five favourite european metal bands off my “I must see these bands” list. I was truly surprised to find out that Nightwish was coming to Edmonton to play a sold out show at the Starlite room. I was surprised that they were coming, and I was also surprised that they sold out faster than the other two bands I saw: Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. Maybe it’s the female singer that makes them more attractive to more people. Not sure.

Anyways, Diane and I arrived a bit late to the Starlite room, and already an impressive looking line had formed all the way down the block. So there was nothing for us to do except go to the back of the line and wait for about 35-40 minutes to get in. Such is the state of going to the Starlite, since that has been the way of things in the past. On the plus side, the weather was beautiful so waiting in line wasn’t a big deal.

While in line the opening band started up. It didn’t really look like we were missing anything, and I didn’t even bother to find out who was playing. Then again, it’s really hard to tell since the volume was turned up so loud. *sigh*. The problem with live concerts.

Roadies Setting UpSo Diane and I found our spot on the right side of the venue on the stairs descending to the floor. It was packed in there though, so it took awhile to squirm into a good spot. It took a long time, as usual, for the main band to have all their gear setup and sound tested, but after the long wait Nightwish finally came on stage.

NightwishNightwish has undergone a bit of turmoil in the recent months. They fired their distinctive lead singer after the band decided that they were not on the same page concerning the direction of the band (or something, I’m not really familiar with the situation). This made for some troubling times as the band tried to find someone to replace her. I’m not sure they ever would’ve found someone with quite as deep and powerful a voice as Tarja, but they did find someone who does a pretty darn good job. The new vocalist didn’t sing too many classic Nightwish songs, but the ones that she did do she did pretty well I’d have to say.

Nightwish - Rock out Edmonton!
Here’s the setlist for the night:

  1. Intro + Bye Bye Beautiful
  2. Dark Chest of Wonders
  3. Who ever brings the night
  4. The Siren
  5. Amaranth
  6. Islander
  7. The Poet and the Pendulum
  8. Come Cover Me
  9. While Your Lips are Still Red
  10. Sahara
  11. Nemo
  12. 7 days
  13. Dead to the World
  14. Wish I had an Angel

Nightwish - Waiting for an EncoreAll in all the show was amazing. The various members of the band are quite good at their respective intruments. The keyboardist isn’t as flashy as the one in Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica, but that’s okay. One of the guitarist’s sported a rather epic beard/hair combination.

It’s been a few days since the event, so I don’t remember too many details. Also I wanted to get this post up before I forgot about it entirely. I took some video that I’d like to share, but I need to post process it so I can upload it somewhere useful (I was thinking flickr). That might take a little while.

Anyways, it was a pretty good show, and I was quite happy that I got the chance to go!
Nightwish - EncoreNightwish - Bowing

Heraldk

Edmonton Downtown Buildings Wide-angle

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Taken after a flickr meet.

Downswing

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Well it’s been awhile, but I haven’t played through a big downswing in a little while. That all changed over the last couple days.

I had been running super hot playing 200NL for a couple of weeks. That seems like the past now that I dropped 7 stacks at 200nl last night, and another 6 stacks at 100nl tonight. Ouch.

I think it’s time for an extended break. I should probably concentrate on other tasks anyways. Going through a downswing puts me in a foul mood. Which is why I don’t think I could ever play pro. I don’t mind losing a stack now or again, but extended and brutal beatings are a little hard to get used to.

Heraldk

Big Slippers, B&W

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Big Slippers, B&W, originally uploaded by Heraldk.

The Granddaughter of one of Diane’s coworkers.

Dinner and Edmonton Tweetup

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Last night after I finally had to give up on the UPS guy coming with the RAM for my Mac Pro, I went to go pick up Diane on our way to her coworker An’s place for dinner. An had spent the entire day cooking up a storm. When we got there, her entire kitchen was filled with lots of food! We started our dinner off with salad rolls — they’re kind of like not deep fried spring rolls. Next were some freshly deep fried spring rolls, and then a bowl of wonton soup. After that the other two guests arrived and we continued to eat. There was grilled pork ribs, shrimp and chicken skewers, shrimp and squid stirfry (I’ve never had squid so tender and non-rubbery before!), and a bunch of other great foods as well. I ate so much that I didn’t eat anything all day until dinner.

Today was the Edmonton Tweetup. A while ago, I joined twitter and blogged a bit about the experience. To put it quickly – I was a bit bummed out that I was the first of my group of friends to join the twitter experience. Well that’s changed a bit, thanks to @mastermaq who found me using twitter local. After just a couple of weeks, I had several twitter friends and the service became useful for me. Not long after that, Mack started organizing a twitter meet, which apparently is affectionately called a tweetup. The planning and organizing ended up with today being the day for the tweetup.

I showed up with Diane and we had a great turnout. We had at least 14 or 15 people there, and it was great to meet everyone. There was quite a large range of people who showed up — young people, older people, and a fair range of fields (although most were tech related in some way). It was quite a fun time actually. I spent a lot of time chatting with @bruceclark since we shared an interest in photography, but I also chatted with quite a few other people. It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

After the party seemed to have waned a little, I returned home for a short time before heading out to the airport to pick up my parents who were in Europe on holidays for a month. I took them out for supper as a mother’s day thing since the actual Mother’s day involved driving my sister to a couple of gigs. I got to hear a little about their trip, and it was good to have them back in town :)

This evening I played a bit of poker, having my first real downswing at 200NL since an early downswing when I first moved up. Downswining 7 buyins is not my idea of a fun time. All sorts of crap happened to me that I had somehow avoided for the most part over the last little while of playing. Oh well, it can’t all go my way. I’m still up playing those limits, it’s just unfortunate that I couldn’t continue the trend that’s been lasting for the past little while. I guess it brings my winrate down to a much more sustainable level. It just sucks for it to happen all at once like this.

So I’m off to bed. I’m taking Megan to her first of two gigs tomorrow at the Radisson Hotel (formerly the Coast Terrace Inn) tomorrow morning. If you’re in the mood for some fancy brunch with some harp music for entertainment, feel free to stop in between 10:15 and 2:15.

Heraldk

Mac Pro

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Mac Pro, originally uploaded by Heraldk.

My brand new Mac Pro gets unwrapped.

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