Monday, June 26, 2006

Non Poker Content...

So I am really glad to not be in the dating pool. I just saw what goes on these days (did I really just say that? 40 is starting to look waaaay too close), and I am fearful.

Dear and Patient GF and I went into downtown La Jolla to get some ice cream and enjoy the phenomenally wonderful San Diego weather. As we're parking, a late model Honda Accord parks across the street and these two scaldingly hot beach biscuits get out of the car. They're dressed in these skimpy ass bikinis (presence of GF prevented me from snapping a camera phone pic, but jebus were they hot!) and proceeded to pull on little short shorts and halter tops and walk ahead of us into the ice cream joint. GF is on the phone with one of her employees, filling her in on some drama that happened while the employee was out, and leaves me to order the ice cream...under the sympathetic gaze of one of the hotties who turned out to be somewhere between 18 and 20.

We get our ice cream and go out on the patio to eat. The hotties are eating their ice cream one table away, when these two guys in their mid 20s or so walk down the sidewalk. The hottie that made eye contact with me said Hello to the guys. They stopped, looked them up and down, and said Hello back. The hottie then asked if they wanted any ice cream. The guys responded that they would, and then kept walking. That sort of surprised me. GF is still on the phone, so I catch hottie's eye and tell her good effort. She said "don't worry, they'll be back." Two minutes later, they walked up and sat down with the hotties. Names and digits were exchanged and the guys went on their way. Hottie turned to me and said that it was very cool...one of the guys was a bouncer at some LA club. She then said that she knew most of the bouncers at the San Diego clubs, and that she could get into any of them (the clubs, although she could probably get into the bouncers, too), even though she was under 21. At this point, GF motioned to me that she was done with her ice cream, and stood up to leave. I threw the containers away and stood up to leave. I stopped by hottie and thanked her for the entertainment. She said that she worked at the Washington Mutual bank just down the block, and that I should stop in there, because they were a fun bunch in that bank! Huh? I said something to the effect of "I might just have to do that" and turned to leave. When GF hung up the phone, she asked if hottie was trying to pick me up. I said that I didn't think so, but that if she was, she was off to a good start.

Now, hotties themselves don't scare me. I grew up in San Diego, went to college at UC Santa Barbara when they won the top party school contest (I'm proud to have done my part), I lived in Newport Beach for a while, and now I'm back in San Diego. I've seen more than my share of scaldingly hot beach nuggets, and had more of them than I care to admit turn out to be jailbait (before I did anything naughty, relax everybody). These two were hot, but they at least seemed to be legal. What really caught me off guard, though, was their forwardness and confidence. Yelling out to the guys first, and then telling me not to worry, that the guys were coming back...damn. Obviously, part of me looks at those two and thinks "yeah! we gotta get with that!". The slightly more rational and conservative part of me is perfectly happy to not have to try and live up to the standards that these hotties were obviously setting.

Friday, June 23, 2006

And the beat goes on...

So I've been kinda card dead at Stars, but who hasn't? Actually, I haven't been completely card dead. I've been alive long enough to make it to either the bubble or one off the bubble in the last 3 or 4 SNGs I've been in. As such, I transfered money from Stars to Tilt, hoping the luck might be different. End result, I entered one peep-sex tournament and won my token. It's a small start, but I'll take it. Figuring that one cash might be the start of something, I took the meager balance I had left at Stars and jumped into a .10/.25 NL table. End result, $4 becomes $12 in less than 20 minutes. Again, small but as I've said before, positive money is positive money.

Had an interview today with an environmental consulting firm here in San Diego. Different from what I did for the home builders, but I've done the work before. It seemed to go really well, and Section Manager I interviewed with told me that he'd be bringing me back to meet some of the VPs next time. Two things that kind of concerned me, tho. First, the guy is getting ready to go on vacation for a week and a half, around the 4th of July. So if he doesn't interview these last few people and set up the next round before he leaves, it's going to be mid-July at the earliest before I can get a 2nd interview. The other thing was something he said as we were returning from lunch. For urban and environmental planning, there are three basic classifications. Public sector where you work for a city or county government. Private sector consulting, where you are a consultant, typically to city and county governments when they've got something more complex than their staff typically handles. Then you've got the private sector direct employees, and these are typically land development companies, homebuilders, property management companies, and any other type of business that involves a lot of development of facilities (college campuses, medical companies, etc.). We were talking about the differences between the three, and he noted that the public sector employees weren't going to get rich, but the work was steady and stable. The consultants did better financially than the public sector employees, but were a little less isolated from economic slow downs. The homebuilding industry had been on fire all over the country, but here in San Diego in particular, and they paid top dollar to anybody who could get their subdivisions approved and under construction. He's totally correct, and that's why I wound up working in this industry. But his comment makes me wonder that if they made me an offer, how far below what I had been making would it be? I'm not trying to be greedy, but I am being realistic. As much as I'd like to go up in pay, I'd be happy staying where I was. I'll accept a pay cut for the right job, but I've got my absolute lowest level that I can make work, and I can't go below that. I like this job, and I hope it doesn't turn out to be an unworkable situation.

Sorry for the whiney-ness, but that's what's going on right now. May your bankrolls be fat, may the deck hit you in the face, and may you avoid the dreaded river suckout. See ya on the felt.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yes, I am still here

So. I see by the comments that 1) people are concerned about my job hunt. So nice. It makes me feel all warm and squishy inside. Either that or I sat in something. And 2) people are telling me to post. On that, I have been lame. I have been spending my time either surfing the job boards or playing poker. I really should spend some of the poker time on the blogs. I am so far behind in both my blogging and my reading that it's embarrassing. So where to begin...

The job hunt is going slowly. I've applied to a bunch of jobs, had the one interview that didn't pan out, and I just got another one scheduled for Friday. One of my girlfriend's friends works for a recruitment firm, so I've got her pimping me out also. Basically, it's slow going. Hopefully something will hit soon, because unemployment isn't even going to cover one quarter of what I had been making.

Blogging. I decided yesterday that I'm rededicating myself to getting back into a routine. This not having to get up super early for work and staying home all day really has me in a rut. I should go to the gym, but the $3 rebuy madness is starting in an hour on Stars. Better not. I'll look at some job listings. Maybe I'll grab something to munch on while I surf the job boards. Next thing I know it's 2:00 in the afternoon and I haven't done shit with the day. If I can get back into some sort of routine, I think that will help me stabilize things. Hit the gym regularly, to try and get back on the weight loss track. Set time for poker, so I don't blow what remains from my dwindling bankroll. Finally, a set time for blogging so that I can keep in touch with all of you degerates. I definitely need to update and clean up the blogroll (yes I know I mentioned that before, but I'm "rededicating" here...work with me), and I really want to catch up on who's been winning what. As a side note, Vegas is on this summer!! Dear and patient GF and I figured it out, and even though it's not the uber-experience I was planning on, it is happening. We'll show up Saturday morning just in time for the tourney, stay Saturday night in the Excal (all of my contact info is on April's list), and then head back to San Diego on Sunday. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to this.

Poker. I've been playing in a lot more of the larger MTTs...a side benefit of being home all day. I've actually made small cashes in a couple of the $4 180s and a couple of $3 rebuy madnesses. I've been trying to get back to ABC poker, and for the most part it's been working. Currently, I'm having no luck at Tilt, and Stars runs really hot and cold (today was extremely chilly, btw), but I'm cashing just enough to stay alive. I did fall victim to the ever popular suck-resuck recently, in a 15+1 SNG on Stars. Hand 2!!! And I was the favorite when all the money went in, so as soon as I start earning some more dollars, I'll pay you for the bad beat story.

*********** # 2 **************
PokerStars Game #5266519802: Tournament #26526121, $15+$1 Hold'em No
Limit - Level I (10/20) - 2006/06/15 - 23:26:28 (ET)
Table '26526121 1' 9-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: iamhoff (1500 in chips)
Seat 2: poopmonkey (1490 in chips)
Seat 3: DaRoyalNizzl (1180 in chips)
Seat 4: hawkm55 (1500 in chips)
Seat 5: FlyingSumo (1500 in chips)
Seat 6: JabberJaw74 (1500 in chips)
Seat 7: HTownKid23 (1830 in chips)
Seat 8: Fids48 (1500 in chips)
Seat 9: concavepro (1500 in chips)
DaRoyalNizzl: posts small blind 10
hawkm55: posts big blind 20
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to iamhoff [4s 4d]
FlyingSumo: folds
JabberJaw74: folds
HTownKid23: folds
Fids48: calls 20
concavepro: folds
iamhoff: calls 20
poopmonkey: raises 100 to 120
DaRoyalNizzl: folds
hawkm55: folds
Fids48: calls 100
iamhoff: calls 100
*** FLOP *** [5s 5c 4h]
Fids48: checks
iamhoff: checks
poopmonkey: bets 240
Fids48: raises 240 to 480
iamhoff: raises 320 to 800
poopmonkey: raises 570 to 1370 and is all-in
Fids48: calls 890
iamhoff: calls 570
*** TURN *** [5s 5c 4h] [5d]
Fids48: bets 10 and is all-in
iamhoff: calls 10 and is all-in
*** RIVER *** [5s 5c 4h 5d] [6s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Fids48: shows [8s 8c] (a full house, Fives full of Eights)
iamhoff: shows [4s 4d] (a full house, Fives full of Fours)
Fids48 collected 20 from side pot
poopmonkey: shows [Kh Kc] (a full house, Fives full of Kings)
poopmonkey collected 4500 from main pot
HTownKid23 said, "damn tht sux"

Ya gotta love having your boat counterfitted. Anyway, that's the update for now. Barring something unusual, I will (no, really, I will!) get back into a regular reading and posting routine. Thanks to all of you not only for your concern and good thoughts, but being demented enough to hang around here. You must be demented and sick in the head if you're actually wondering when I'm going to post again. Seek help. Just save me a seat when you do!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So...

Well, it is official. For the first time in my life, I have filed for unemployment. Fortunately, I have poker and other things like this to keep me amused in between scouring Monster, HotJobs, Craigslist, etc. I have gotten my resume out there to several different jobs, and even made it to a final interview for one of them. Unfortunately, I just got called by the recruiter and was told they went with somebody who had a stronger tech background. I figured that would happen, but it still sucks. Oh well. Time to keep grinding.

Poker is fun, but results have been decidedly mixed. I'm not relying on it as a source of income, but it is a nice thought. Had fun at the Hoy last night. That is fast becoming quite the popular brogger event, with such demented souls as Smokkee, FishyMcDonk, Drewspop, Jules, Kat, GCox, Sox,Waffles, our host, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and...oops, wrong show. But you get the idea. I made the final table, but couldn't quite make the money. Congrats to Jules for taking down the whole bloody thing. A couple of bad beats and poor judgements today notwithstanding, I'm getting deeper into the MTTs, which is a good thing. I actually made small money in a 180 yesterday, which was a first. I can do it, now I just need to improve enough to do it consistently. 17th out of 180, 38th out of 300+ in the FT $6500 guarantee, and around 40th out of 238 in the FT $5000 guarantee. I'm making progress, and (un)fortunately I seem to have plenty of time to work on my game.

Oh well. Nothing else to do but keep grinding, both at the job hunt and at poker. I haven't written it off yet, but this whole job thing may kill Vegas for me this summer. I really want to go, but I have to be realistic. Now, if I can make one good cash in one of the guarantees or a 180, that's another story. Think good thoughts.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Still getting caught up on things

As you have no doubt figured out, I haven't spent too much time lately blogging or poker-ing. That has unfortunately included reading the blogs of others, whom I really do enjoy reading. I am attempting to visit everybody on the roll plus others who need to be added, just to do a little catching up.

One that I just got a look at was Ryan at Absinthetics. He is part of the Murderer's Row gang of evil, and a damn fine poker player. He is the infamous blogger who took down the LA Poker Classic in January. The. Whole. Damn. Thing. He is a great student of the game, and is more than willing to offer up his observations on how to better play this game we all call hell, I mean poker. Play good cards and fold bad cards. Deep. But his post from 6/5 really struck a chord with me, for one little sentence. It's other players' mistakes that will kill you. It's when some donkfish tourist decides that 56 s00ted is worth calling a 3x preflop raise and catches two pair to suck out your TPTK. That is a very insightful observation, and one I felt compelled to share. Now get out there and take 'em down.

A Little of This, A Little of That

So. Quick post to catch up on things.

It's looking more and more like I'm going to be laid off. Fortunately, I had a 2nd interview with a slightly different type of company. Instead of working directly for a homebuilder who actually sells the homes they build, I interviewed with a land development company. This is a company who buys up large... tracts of land (points to anybody who can name the reference) that range from several hundred acres to several thousand acres, and they get all the master approvals and entitlements to build. For those in the So Cal area, think Tustin Ranch or Ladera Ranch. Those near Austin, try Falcon Pointe, north of Austin. They then sell smaller tracts to the individual homebuilders (like KB Home, DR Horton, etc.) who construct 100-200 lot subdivisions within the master community. Because of the timing of getting the master approvals, it is easier and less costly to be able to stockpile raw land than it is to have a cluster of 150 homes that you are trying to sell. Anyway, the interview went fairly well. It is a much more tech-oriented position than anything I've ever done. I'm not afraid of technology (blogger notwithstanding), but I don't have a lot of applications experience, so that will probably hurt me. Either way, I did handle things fairly well and I think I made a good impression. There were probably two others to be interviewed (at least one was done before me today), so I should know something by the end of next week. By whatever method you send good thoughts (prayers, meditation, whatever) I'll take whatever you want to throw my way. I'm sure the poker gods at least will reward you by letting you win at least one hand that you absolutely should win. You'll have to check with them (sorry, don't have the link) to find out when you are scheduled for your karmic returns. Many thanx and return good vibes to all who've offered up comments since the dark period has befallen me. As others have noted, it's good to know there's a sympathetic voice out there.

I've managed to win a few marshmallow peep sex tokens on Tilt over this past week, and I put one to good use Thursday evening in the $6500 guarantee. 329 players entered, top 36 spots paid, and the top prize was something north of $2000. Midway through the first hour, they rebalanced the tables and TripJax wound up at the table. We both held our own for a while, and then he got moved again. He wound up doing fairly well, and busted out around 60th or so. Somewhere around the first break, Weak Player popped into the chatbox as an observer. Turns out he was in it too, fortunately at a different table. We were both doing fairly well, position-wise well within the bubble. And then disaster. This is not a bad beat, so I don't owe anybody anything. I was dominated from start to finish, but it was one of those hands that makes you just hate everything. Big stack bully was two seats to my right, in this case in the SB. This push tard has been bullying the whole table all night, reraising everybody, so I was just waiting for an opportunity to double through him. And then it happens. I get dealt AKo UTG. Blinds are 400/800 or 600/1200, I forget which, and I pop it up to 7 or 8x the BB, which is about a quarter of my stack. It folds around to assmunch, who shoves. He's got me covered at least 3 to 1 at this point, so I'm going all in. Figuring him for a steal, I call, flipping over my AK. At best, I put him on Ax or a medium pair. And he flips over rockets. I bust out in 38th, two off the money! Yes I was dominated start to finish, but why did this asshole have to pick that time to have one of the few hands that could beat me? After that I hung out and railed Weak, and Sox Lover and President Dave Lee showed up to rail also. Such fun giving a group smackdown to somebody who got pissed when Weak stacked him. The man was en fuego. Catching cards, stealing blinds, and getting lucky when he needed it. He finally got busted out in 3rd, clearing a very fat payout. Way to work it buddy! I gotta do that one again.

And now that the bad is over, here's the good. The scene is another marshmallow peep sex token SNG. I forget who originally coined that phrase. The first person I read it from was Change 100 or Gracie (two beautiful ladies...how can I be expected to remember anything?!?), but it is a very accurate description. $8.70 18 player turbo. 6th place gets $14, and the top 5 get the $26 token. Stupid huge payout structure and the play is as soft as anything this side of Party. So it is hand 4. I've been in a few pots and lost a few races. As such, my stack is hovering around 1100. And I wake up to find rockets in LP. It folds to MP, who pops a 5x raise. With my rockets, I pop it up another 6x. The BB shoves. He's got both of us covered, and MP has me covered as well. When we all flipped them over, here's what it was.


I was very happy to see those cards flipped over, but I was still worried about getting my aces cracked. Amazingly enough they held, more than tripling me up. Not a bad way to start the tournament, and it helped me wind up the big stack once we eliminated 6th place and started shoving. Nice little bit of satisfaction. I've actually been playing fairly well, the few times I've played. I picked up an 11+1 45 on Stars and won it last week, and this week I've won a couple of tokens on Tilt and took 3rd in a 15+1 18 player on Stars. And I'm not disappointed in my play in the $6500. I'm actually pleased with it. I've found that I've gotten too aggressive and loose, especially in the later stages when I've gotten a decent stack together. A stupid call here and a stupid chase (damn Hiltons with an ace on the board), and my stack is decimated. In the 6500, though, I played somewhat tighter, but defintely more controlled. If I can string together a few solid victories and money finishes, I might be on to something. I hope so, because I may not have an income soon. I'll try to get into a more regular posting and playing schedule, but until such time, I'll simply post and play when I can steal a few moments. See ya out there.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm Still Here, Dammit!

Reports of my demise have been quite premature.

I have experienced kind of a perfect storm of events recently. A long holiday weekend, an absolute bloodbath at the tables, and some really uncertain times at work, and there hasn't been much poker or blogging for Hoff. After making a bit of progress back from my previous mauling, I hit such a downturn at both PokerStars and Party that I really needed a break. Now I know the dealers at Stars hate me. Why else would they make sure that I would bubble with the best hand 4 tournaments in a row? To top that off, I was playing two tables at Party, .10/.25 NLHE, $25 buy-in at each. I'd cleared my bonus and had been enjoying a serious windfall from the Limit tables. Oops. Shoulda stayed at the LHE tables. Make a note. First table, I river the nut flush and shove, only to get stacked by some luckbox playing a 7Td and rivering a straight flush (I had A2d, board was 8d 9d As 2c 6d - unfucking believable). Very next hand on the other table (as I'd left the first), and I flopped a boat. Villain shoves and puts me all in. He rivers quads to stack me and sink me. After that, I decided that I needed the rest of the holiday weekend off from poker. Come back to work and we've got a Katrina-level shit storm brewing. Not exactly like Bobby B's situation, but sketchy. I work in the real estate development industry in San Diego, and the whole housing bubble thing really has the market and the developers on edge and running scared. I'm not exactly sure how things are going to shake out, but things at work have definitely taken priority (as they unfortunately should) over more enjoyable things like blogging and poker.

Suffice to say, I'm still here and still grinding. Hopefully I can find a small patch of stability out there and get back to some sense of normalcy. Until such time, I'll blog and play as things permit. See ya out there and hopefully I'll be able to see ya all in Vegas in July.