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Archive for December, 2006

Charity…again…

I made a post on 12/5 about charitable giving.  To follow up, I just received a call from the Cancer Fund of America.  Sounds like a reputable organization.  They of course wanted me to donate $30.00 to cancer patients.  What noble American can turn that down.  The problem that I have is that when I asked that little question “what % of my donation goes to the actual benefit”, I was surprisingly told 100%.  Wow.  So that means this woman works for free.  How nice, especially at the holiday season.  When asked what their web site was, I simply typed in what she told me….www.cfoa.com – The Central Florida Officials Association – certainly they were not administering this charity were they?  I gathered not and inquired to the woman, could it possibly be .org….. www.cfoa.org.  She agreed and presto – up came the correct site.   But I did have a hard time believing the 100% amount.  I mean even some of the best organizations have overhead right?  So when I agreed to donate $30.00 she said there was someone listening in confirming my donation and that I’d need to talk with her to finalize the deal.  So I asked her….what % of my donation goes directly to the cancer patients….she said she did not know – that she only worked there.  Huh?  Are you serious?  She then looked down on a sheet and saw 28% somewhere.  I said thank you.  I asked her why only 28%?  Where does my other $21.60 go?  She handed me to another person, this being a Supervisor that stated she wasn’t sure of the % in my State and that I’d need to call my Secretary of State?  Secretary of State?  Heck, I’m not even registered to vote in this state yet, and I’m supposed to call the Secretary of State?  Wouldn’t that be these folks’ job to know this? Surely I could not be the only one to ask this question to.

She figured I wasn’t going to donate without knowing the right number or at least get a justification and wished me a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  “But I don’t celebrate X-mas…now, if you can simply just let me know where my money’s going……”….. “Sir, then Happy New Year”…..”…Ok, Ok…I do celebrate that……”  Happy New Year.

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You ever wonder…

…what happened to all those people you grew up with?  I had a dream last night, which I’m sure I do every night but it was odd to remember any details of any other dream.  It started out as a dream about business where I joined another Firm (odd, because I never would), but then it progressed or regressed back in time and I started wondering whatever happened to all those folks in highschool, college.  They have their own lives now and am sure they’re all getting ready for the holidays with their families.  But maybe some are serving in Iraq, maybe some are deceased, some famous, some not-so-much, many probably living in NY, most probably with families.  I wonder about friends in the past like Laura Ramage, Gina Kim and Julie Reines – old college neighbors of mine (I know at least one has since married so likely different last names) Mike Rapuano, Jack Chen, Carl Reichenbach, Amy Fountain, Connie Foster, Carolyn Perry, Chris Materaso, Adam and Daniel Sage – again, just names from the past.  Am seeing Mr. Tom Stewart and Scott Drabick this weekend so that’ll be cool.  Anyway, a Happy Holidays to all of them.

One thing that’s been interesting is that I’ve been getting googled and I’m now having some of my clients ask me if I’m a professional poker player.  I think that’s pretty funny.  Sure, place in just one tournament and wham, you’re on Bluff, Cardplayer, Poker Pages, etc.  Kind of funny.  Have already had one person from my past contact me this way.  Kind of cool.

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Ok – quickly, start sighting of the week – Tim Allen – about 30 seconds ago at the Starbucks I’m in right now.

It didn’t take as long this year as it has in past years.  The holiday season struck me yesterday.  I’ve checked out.  I’ve checked out – or I’ve burned out.  One or the other.  I can no longer work effectively, my mind is on our NY trip, I no longer have the urge to work, I’m into holiday shopping running around trying to find the right ‘Gameboy Advanced’ for my 5-year old nephew.  And at $34.99 for a game, which is seemingly ridiculous, they’re sold out and I’m running all around trying to find these things…even more ridiculous.  But fun, nonetheless.

Am for the first time in a while looking forward to the holiday probably because I’m taking the whole week off and won’t be checking email, voice messages that often (I will a little) and will be going to AC and Foxwoods and seeing my bud from grad school and Drabick from college and my neice and nephews and Shane will get to see his cousins.  Yes, it’ll be fun.  Dare I say home-sick?

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You know when things are going bad whenever your good decisions turn out to be bad ones.  The only thing you can continue to do in these situations is to make, what you know to be, the right decisions continuously.  Like those folks that go rabbit-hunting into the deck to see if they would have made their straight or flushes.  Who cares.  You either made the right decision based on pot-odds are you did not.

That being said, it seems that all my ‘good decisions’ are turning out to be bad ones.  Playing at Hollywood Park the other afternoon after dropping someone off at the airport, I’m playing at a fairly soft table.  I pick up AK and raise UTG to $25.  Two callers including the player to my right (BB).  Flop comes a nice A,K,rag, two diamonds.  I think about slow playing but opt not to figuring I could drive the diamonds out of there and that anyone with an ace will pay me off.  If someone flopped a set, so be it, but I lead out with a bet of $25 – which in hind-sight is a weak bet, however I don’t mind some action.  First guy folds, reluctantly.  Woman on my right makes it $75.  I’m check raised.  Hm….well if she has a set, good for her, anything else and I have her dominated.  I go all-in for my remaining $140 (it’s only another $65 for her to call).  She does and I announce two pair.  But of course the diamond spikes on the river and she joyfully turns over her 8,5 diamonds!  Gar!!!  Nothing I suppose I could have done here except bet out my top two a little harder.  I don’t mind losing this actually as I was an overwhelming favorite here.  Just stinks losing those.

Next few hands I play 4,3 spades on the button.  Six to the flop of JJA.  Two spades.  Check, check, check, check, all in for $36, call, then me?  what do I do here.  I wind up folding with four players after me to act.  Q spades on the turn, blank on the river.  Chopped between two players holding A,8.  Ugh.  I can’t make that call can I?  Players behind me?  So, yes, I would have made my baby flush, but susceptible to trip jacks which easily could have turned into a boat, and I’m not drawing to a flush with the board paired.

Last hand of the day, I pick up AK in the BB and UTG raised to $25.  He’d been fairly loose.  One other caller and I opt to reraise (all in – about $100 more) with my AK.  He insta-calls with his JJ and the other dude calls too with a hand that wound up not hitting apparantly b/c he mucked after a nothing board.  No ace or king, bu-bye.

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Back in LA after a few days in Atlanta.  Great weather for the few days I was in town, so that was a nice bonus.  Of course limited sleep but a productive couple of days.  Nice holiday party.

Played Wednesday night at a new game in Roswell, well established game, but new to me because the regular Wednesday night game I go to is having a hiatus.  The game was an active 2/5 NL game where most people had $500-$1000 in front of them.  Normal buy-in $300-400 so I bought in for 3 and worked it up to 8.  But just quite simply had no hands, and didn’t play poorly at all.  Just no cards.  Happens.  Worked it down to $275 late when I picked up KK after a small raise by someone else to $18.  Most pre-flop raises have been $25-35.  I make in just $35 because there was a very aggressive player to my left who just called.  Original raiser makes it $200!  If he has aces, of course I’m screwed but I just put him on AQ, AK, or a pocket pair less than mine, perhaps JJ or QQ.  I go all in for another $40 more and the guy on my left finally folds after 2 minutes!  His cards were revealed later, 6,6.  The original raiser calls and turns over 10,10.  You know when you just know????  Sure enough, 10 spikes on the flop.  Just not my night and my bad run continues at four sessions although I guess not too bad I only dropped $300 after an eight hour session being as card dead as I was.

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First – celebrity sightings in the last week – Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives fame and for the pathetic souls like me who watched Melrose Place, you know who she is 🙂 and Andy Richter of the Conan O’Brien Show. 

 …headed back to Atlanta for a few days (Tuesday through Thursday) to take care of some business – exciting stuff.  Have my company’s holiday party and am sure that’ll be fun.  Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be back in Smyrna.

Went to the infamous La Brea Tar Pits in Hollywood this past weekend w/ Mindy and Shane and who would’ve thunk that tar would be so cool, well until you get that crap on your shoes.

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So, I tried out Hawaiian Gardens Casino Friday.  They have a 4pm $155 buy-in tourney (no rebuys) and thought I’d try my hand.  I dumped $300 away in the cash game before the tourney started so things didn’t start that well on the day.  For the tourney, you start with 2,000 chips and 25-25 blinds and 25 minute rounds.  Round five (100-200), I have about 1,600 in chips and pick up 6,5 in the SB.  Three to the flop, 7,8,9.  I check my straight, check, the button bets 300.  I go all in and he reluctantly calls the extra 1,300.  I’m feeling good til his QJ, hits his three-outer “10” on the river.  Ugh!

So on to the cash game.  No earth shattering hands to discuss, other than my 3,5 suited hitting a nice A,2,4 rainbow flop and doubling up versus A,4.  Guy said he knew I had 3,5 but he opted to call the extra $350.  Anyway, earned back my $455, actually went up $600, but made some not so good bluffs trying to make some moves.  Oh well.  All told….13 hours of play, plus $1.00!

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