Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Random Bits

Welcome to another random installment of The Randomness of Hoff. I'm your host, Hoff, and I'm leading this tour.

First stop, you may have noticed the new widget feeds in the sidebar. As you few readers who still remain most likely know, I'm a car nut of the highest order. I read about 'em, I test drive 'em, I look at 'em, I piss off car salesmen because I know more about 'em, that's just how I roll. Countless family and friends seek me out for advice on buying a car, selling a car, fixing a car (my one weakness, I'm not super mechanically inclined, but I'm not completely incompetent, either), whatever. In fact, over the weekend when I stopped to pick up Gato and Troll for our poker tournament (see somewhere below), Mrs. Gato wanted to know what kind of family sedan she should buy. For the record, mid-size in the $20-$30k range, you can't go wrong with a Camry or Accord. The Accord will be all-new in 2008, so if you want a deal, wait until late summer and pick up a remaining 2007. If you want American, the Ford Fusion is your best shot. My top two choices, though, are the Mazda6 (especially the 5 door version…way useful) and the Hyundai Sonata. There yoostabe a time when I wouldn't have recommended a Korean car to my worst enemy…they were ugly, cheap, and horribly unreliable. That has all been changing…they look great, the quality is passing some of the Americans and heading directly towards Toyota and Honda, and while they're not selling for $4995 anymore, the pricing tends to undercut the competition (particularly the Japanese). But back to the widgets. One of my favorite websites is Autoblog, and they have a sister site devoted to green automotive topics, AutoblogGreen. Recently they created a scroll feed widget, and I decided that I'd share the info with all (1 or 2) of you fine readers. Hell, you may even learn something useful.
***Update. These widgets are brand new, and the widget site went down right after I added the feeds. Hopefully they should be back up soon.***

Best five song cluster on Sirius Hair Nation: Motley Crue - Wild Side, KISS - Lick It Up, Dokken - In My Dreams, Ratt - Back For More, Whitesnake - Slide It In. Heard one evening while driving to the house where DAPGF and I were dog sitting. Volume up, windows and sunroof open, ears bleeding, life is fucking good!

Poker Tournament. As I noted last week, Troll, Gato and myself were going to play in a "welcome" tournament at The Santa Ysabel Indian Resort and Casino, a new Indian casino east of San Diego. $15 buy-in, 1 $15 rebuy, and 1 $10 add on at the 1st break. All with a $1000 guarantee and a cap of 50 players. Because it was their first ever tournament, there were a few wrinkles. Chip racing got a little complicated, and there were a few minor logistical quibbles. But otherwise it was a fine time. I was actually the first of the three of us to bust out, actually in around 27th or so. I have no problem with the way I played, actually I'm pretty pleased with my play. I ran into two fugly hands. Fairly early, I got dealt KK at ep, and raised up one limper to about 4x to go (100/200 if I remember correctly), and the button (who had been very aggressive but solid) smooth-called me. The flop was something like 862 rainbow, so I bet out and villain smooth-called. The turn was a 10, so I bet and was called again. The river came out with a Q, and that was the first card that scared me. I made a small c-bet and got min-reraised. I hesitated and finally called. Villain had been slowplaying aces behind me! I learned that when he would reraise preflop or reraise on the later streets, he had a weaker hand. At least I learned his tell, and 5 hands later I got aces and got about half of my chips back against his A9s. But the damage was done, and I never managed to get my stack back to workable levels. The fatal hand came shortly after the first break. I got dealt AQs in the c/o. 3 limpers plus me saw a Qxx rainbow flop. UTG bet out half the pot, fold, I call, fold, fold. Turn is a bullet. I am now officially stoked. UTG bets out about half the pot, and I shove. He calls and flips over his beeyotches, and sends me to the rail. Still, it was a great time (kinda long drive, tho), and the casino and poker room were very nice. It had a mountain lodge feel, nice big bar in the middle, and for a smaller casino the poker room was very nice (if a little plain). 10 or 12 tables, TVs at either end, and food/cocktail service. The things that could stand some improvement (and will likely be improved in short order): a digital display instead of a white dry erase board for the games being spread and the wait list, additional restrooms (they had one unisex restroom in the poker room, but the main restrooms were just a quick walk outside into the main casino, and the tables had this crappy polyester/nylon surface instead of felt. The cards slid great on the surface, but you couldn't flip cards over worth a damn. Minor quibbles that really didn't diminish the good time that we had. And the biggest plus is the casino's proximity to Julian , home of some of the best apple pies in the world, and Dudley's Bakery, that makes some of the best breads in the world. So if you find yourself in the northeast part of San Diego County and want to get your poker on, check them out.

Online Poker. Now that DAPGF is only teaching one class per week, I don't have as much time to get my poker on. I've only played in a couple of games recently, and bubbled or bubble+1 in both. Generally, I'm still feeling good about my play and my recent rereading of The Little Blue Book and Harrington. The one I played in last night was my first hand where I knew I made a colossal mistake, and it bounced me out of the SNG. I had managed to get back to the chip lead, and then dropped down to 3 rd when I had to fold my AKc to a bet and reraise on 4th street with diamond and straight draws that didn't come close to my hand. So I get dealt QTs UTG. I decide to lead out with a 3x bet, in the hopes that I can take it down. It gets around to the BB, who had been pretty loose-aggressive, who shoves. I figure him for a steal, so I call. Oops. He actually has AA, and IGH. Beyond that hand, I've been pretty pleased with my online play as of late. Maybe I can actually build some mo and build the roll. Stay tuned for updates.


Raveen said...

remind me to ask your advice when i buy a car in a year or two from now

BrainMc said...

I'm with you on the car thing Hoff. I get test drive certificates about once a quarter for at least $25 each. I also really like Autoblog. As for car advice to your friend, I think the Altima should be a good contender and I totally agree with the Sonata. I think Hyundai has their shit together as much as any other Asian maker now.

iamhoff said...

Brain, I don't know how I forgot the Altima. Right there with the best of them, and not only do they have one of the most bitchin' V6 motors offered, but now they've got a hybrid version. Can't go wrong.