Monday, December 6, 2010

Some random musings:

I like snow. I really do. I don't mind cold temperatures, either. Honestly, I enjoy the bundling up, and the different activities that winter brings.

All bets are off, however, on or about February 20th. That's when I get sick of it.

Finally have gotten in to Mad Men. Yeah, it's that good. Julia is ahead of me now, and can't stop watching it to let me catch up. Jerk.

Illinois is going to a Bowl Game. It is the Texas Bowl. I think if you had told me that this team was going to go to a bowl at the beginning of the year, I would have said yes, no question. If you had told me when they were 5-3 that it was going to be the Texas Bowl, I'd have said, noooooooo!
But let's go to consecutive bowls, maybe even 4 or 5, and then we can start being picky about which bowl it is. K?

Re: The Walking Dead. I hate zombie or most horror films/shows. But Glenn told me that this was a 6 episode dealie, so I figured I could invest six hours in what was supposed to be a really well made show.
Well, it is a well made show. So much so that it officially gave me my first zombie nightmare last night. Dammit Glenn. I hate you more than anything. So, instead of being up since 3:30 like normal, today I've been up since 2:30. I HATE YOU GLENN WESTFIELD.

Julia's 30th was this past week. Thanks to all of the wonderful peeps who sent cards, or came out on Saturday for a bit. It was nice.

County Market has added gluten free oatmeal to their selection. Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quick poker stats for November

Up $1.78. Overall bankroll after November at 200.51.

I did not get to play as much as I'd hoped.
57 sessions, 3818 hands, 11 days, 15.5 hours. That's down significantly.

.05/100 hands.
.46BB/100 (need this to get higher)

At 5nl, up 1.79 for the month to 23.53 for the year.
At 2nl, down 0.01 for the month to 63.49 for the year.

I hit my bonus, and got 10 bucks from pokerstars. Happy about that.

Still treading water too much. I know that this month, I felt I got my money all in good a LOT. For example, yesterday, twice, I was all in and a heavy favorite, only to lose. I found that happening more than me sucking out.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm overthinking myself in 2NL, and just need to be extremely simple. It might be that basic. If so, expect big things in December.

I want to hit 225 this month. I can do this.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New York summary

Wonderful time had in New York City. I keep waiting for the pictures from J, as I only have a few from Madison Square Garden.

So, I'll try to recap as best I can, a solid week out:

Wednesday: Arrive late, meet Ted and Nada (I'm sorry, T, I have no idea how to spell her name) for dinner. Great thai food, continue with drinks with Ted for a few hours. Very thankful that I was able to meet up with Ted before he left for New Orleans.

Thursday: NBC Studio tour. Fun little tour, getting to see the today show studio, the NBC News studio (Yes, I did want to play around a bit), and then just some of the other areas behind the scenes. There was a part of the tour where they asked for two volunteers to do some anchoring to show how things work. Yes, I did volunteer. And for $35, I could have had a DVD of it!
Next was a long walk up to Central Park, and then a stop in the WCBS Radio studios, where we hung out for a half an hour with Steve Scott, former WLS News Director and Bulls PA Announcer. Great studio, and he and his partner were gracious to let us sit in the corner and watch them do their thing. It made me think I could certainly be an anchor in a major market, but I don't know if I have the newswriting chops, or new sensibility to do it.
Next, drinks at the Australian, the Illini bar in NYC. Met up with poker superstar Taylor Caby, who was incredibly down to earth and fun to talk with. Got recognized by a couple of people who really, really like the stuff on Loved the ego boost. During the game, I actually sat with Taylor, which was a nice opportunity for me to watch the game with some rabid fans, and yell and cheer.

Friday: LONG walk to the Guggenheim. Really fascinating piece of architecture. Highly recommend it just for that, if nothing else. The artwork...well, yeah, I mean, I'm not a huge art person. But some of the work was from immediately after WW1, and for some reason, I like more morbid works.
Walk back, go to the game, sit with Julia, which was also fun. Afterward, drinks with Popeye, and then later, we were joined by Lucia, and her husband Mike. I haven't seen Popeye in about 6 years, so that was incredibly fun. We still could do a spectacular morning show, for sure. He's very gifted. It's too bad Champaign-Urbana wasn't able to handle us.

Saturday: Ellis Island. Probably our least favorite of the 3 "tourist" things we did. IT was nice to see the Statue of Liberty up close, but I think they could do a lot more with Ellis Island, for sure.
Got to go see the legendary 4th street basketball court (major disappointment, no streetball legends, only 40 year old overweight white dudes), and Washington Square Park, two of my favorites. Julia was attacked by a overweight squirrel.
We had a wonderful dinner at Kean's Steakhouse, home of the pipe club, and then, on to Promises, Promises, starring Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenowyth, and Molly Shannon. Really good show, and yes, even I enjoyed it. We then took a bike taxi back, which was thrilling and terrifying, and overpriced.

One cancelled flight, and two delays later, we were home.

That is the best summation I can put together without taking up 2 hours.

But it was fun.

This week, Julia's 30th birthday. Yikes!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Trying to catch up...

It's been a really busy few weeks. I can always tell based on the amount of days I'm able to spend playing poker. So far, it is 13 days in to the month of November, and I've played 5 sessions. That's not great. SO yeah, busy.

The biggest news is that Julia's grandmother passed away earlier this week. Thanks to my mom, Julia was able to get out there in time to say goodbye, and I'm very thankful that she was. Julia has handled it like a trooper, but I just feel bad, as I've had a ridiculously busy week, and was not able to travel, nor have I really had a chance to be as supportive as I probably should be.

We're scheduled to go to New York on Wednesday, and I'm so incredibly excited. I can't wait to get to go through Madison Square Garden, and just go nuts. To me, that will be just about as good as it gets.

I may also be announcing a baseball game at Busch Stadium in March. That is developing, but man, that would be awesome.

Basketball has gone well so far...things might be different once we get to Yale, though.

OK, that's all for now. I've been at the football game for 2 hours today, and have pounded out about 10 emails, and 10 thank you notes, for my birthday. In September.

I did want to just post this video. obviously, with Julia's loss this week, my mood has been a little bit more reserved as well, and I've been listening to the Garden State soundtrack. I really think that this song might be in my top 5 of all time, just because anyone who has experienced loss of someone very close can empathize and feel this song.It's about a breakup, but I think the feelings fit for many different situations.
I do, however, apologize that it is set to a video of Jack and Juliet (Jacket) from Lost.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jill: don't read. This is a poker edition>

Summary for the month: PAIN.

Pretty bad month. Lots of swings, which means I've definitely opened up my range a bit, and am trying more things, more hands, more plays. Which, long term, is going to be good, I hope.

Overall: Down $3.16 for the month, to 190.93, although I did hit 200 during that time.
Stats: 113 sessions over 20 days, 5292 hands, 24 hours.
Down $.06/100 hands, -1.74BB/100, -$.13/hr, -3.85BB/hr.
5NL: up .87, to 21.74 for the year. That's 4.47BB/hr
2NL: down 4.03, to 63.49 for the year. That's 5.96BB/hr.

4 entered, 1 cash. 1 horrific beat in a blogging freeroll today.
Down -$.65 for the month.
The blogging free roll tournament today just hurt like hell. I had a full house, 10s over aces after the turn, and he hit an 8 on the river to give him aces over 8s. Win the hand, and I'm in the top 10, and looking at a freeroll for a cash. That would have been awesome. Top prize was 1K. Hell.

Also, I earned 127.20 VPPs, to give me 684 for the year. I will obviously hit 750 next month, to give me ten free dollars. Which is nice.

That's my poker blog.

I guess I should list my goals for the next month:
GET ABOVE 200 and stay there.
Make a commitment to try a couple of Quartermillion satellites. But I kind of want to be in the 210 range before I do that once a week.

That's all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things I would do if I made, let's say for the sake of this blog, 150K a year.

I do not make that much.

For some reason, people believe that because I announce for the Illinois basketball team, that I do.

I make far, far, far from that much.

OK, that being said, if I made 150K, here are the things that I would incorporate in to my life:

1) I would go to the doctor and have two things done. First, I would figure out this damned throat shelf thing. For those of you who don't know, the second year I was announcing bball, I had to go to the doctor for throat issues. It's really been a strange increasing production of phlegm, and now has developed in to a weird throat shelf where, every 2-3 weeks, a chunk of phlegm builds up. Disgusting, I know. It generally then shoots out when I clear my throat, or sneeze. Again, disgusting. Julia loves it. I would get this fixed. I do not have another thousand dollars plus to spend on it right now, however. Secondly, I would get an orthopedic surgeon to go in and work on both knees. I'm guessing that they both have enough scar tissue to line my throat, thus preventing my throat shelf thing

2) Trips to Vegas twice a year.

3) I would like to own a house some day. At the current rate of speed, that will happen when I turn 65. This is a fun goal. To retire in a house.
Not like a retirement house/home. Although that may be more likely...

4) I would like to actually put together a really fancy "man cave" type of a room (again, this would involve owning a home, or at least renting one that is big enough to allow for this type of construction). This would involve the following:
a) Two flat screen televisions
b) A poker table
c) At least one video game. Not a system, a video game. Or a pinball machine. I would prefer, however, Big Buck Hunter.
d) A couch that wraps around
e) A recliner
f) A huge desk with a computer with two screens. That way, I can play poker, and have access to other things.
g) A gigantic trophy case/book shelf type thing.

I think that would be a good start on that particular project.

5) Regular maintenance on my car. I slack on this wayyyyy too much, but you know what? Fuck, that's expensive.

6) I would like to attend more charity auctions, and bid on stuff. That seems like fun to talk trash to others who are bidding on wildly exorbinant things that you don't really need. Some day, I'll try it.

7) Before I turn 40, I would like to play in a WSOP event. I can't do that until I'm closer to earning 150K.

I think that's enough for today. I'm sure I could think of other things.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Allow me to complain for one moment...

I know, I know, I said I'd post yesterday. I was ultra productive yesterday, and also took time to relax, and just didn't take a picture of the dresser that I had conquered. Therefore, I forgot to blog. I will try to get that done tonight.

OK, so here is my complaint.

I informed our IT person early last week that my computer was on the verge of a painful death. She came in, and said she'd done some repairs. On Wednesday, I could tell it wasn't doing well. On Thursday, I was able to get one newscast written, and then it officially died. As in, no function. Bummer. I informed the IT people.

It is now Monday. I still have no computer at work, and have brought in my laptop in order for me to have something to do in my office.

I suppose I should be happy that I am just sitting here, but I know that Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be long days,


Lots of positives outside of that, though. Super duper excited that the football team won on Saturday. ESPN has their latest bowl projections out, and Illinois has a chance of playing in two different bowls in Texas. Considering that I'll be in Tulsa at the time,

Basketball season starts Friday.

Soccer team got a tie in Wisconsin. Would have liked a W, but at least I don't have to listen to my family get all uppity about the Badgers.

Other than that, a nice relaxing weekend. Pretty happy about that!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Even more sorry Jill....quick poker update....

Hit $200 today. Very, very pleased, after having worked very hard.

Also, Jill, your husband owes me one beverage.

That is all. I will have another update tomorrow, including a photo of the dresser that I conquered today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sorry Jill...

Jill, from my favorite blog that 95% of you can't read because she won't let you, has told me that my last update was boring. I will attempt to be better.

Again, I am in a quest to think about next summer's vacation plans. We have a tentative thought process (I hesitate to use the word plan, because that implies formality, and we're way too far away to think about that) of doing Vegas to Dallas. As in, fly to Vegas, do a weekend with my brothers to celebrate their 21st, and then drive through Arizona to see some peeps, hit Albequerqe to see some of J's peeps, and then on to Dallas to see her fam. That would be a hell of a week, but I think a pretty fun one. If there is anything else that I'm missing, I'll be happy to listen to other ideas.

I'm doing Vegas in 2011 in some way, regardless. With all my talk of poker (Sorry, Jill), I have to get in a few tournaments, and some cash games. I feel I'm ready to at least give it a shot. Right?

Julia and I will also be attending the Illini games in New York City in November. This is extremely exciting for me, as I'll get to run through the bowels of Madison Square Garden. This is going to be spectacular. The only other thing I'll need to do before quitting is hit Wrigley Field once. That means I'll have the following major arenas under my belt:
Rose Bowl
Soldier Field
United Center
Kohl in Madison
RCA Dome
Edward Jones Dome

Well...that's a really short list, because I don't want to put a ton of time in to it right now. But that's pretty good.

Last weekend was extraordinarily busy for me. Two soccer games, a very long football experience, two birthday gatherings with family, work...I think from Thursday at 3 until Sunday at 4, I only was at home to sleep or eat. That was it. But it was a great experience all around. Had a great dinner with mom and J at Milo's, watched an Illini freshman score 4 goals on Friday, got up close and personal with Terrell Pryor's jock on Saturday, followed by watching Kool and at least 3 members of his OG gang put on a show with my Dad and co., and then another soccer game, which was witnessed by J, and the Cappas as well. Not bad. Lots of stuff!

Birthdays are definitely different nowadays. Just more appropriately a chance to celebrate the wonderful friends and family you have in your life.

Another way to tell you're old: Couples dinners. Weird, but fun.

Things that I have coming up in the next couple of weeks: A weekend (mostly) off. Midnight Madness. My Aunt Sue's wedding. A Crackmonkey party (to remember). Micki and Stacey's annual Halloween extravaganza. Yikes.

Also, I am regretting that I'm not going to be able to attend the wedding of my friends Amber and Matt in Chicago. The night before is Midnight Madness, and I have a game on the 16th as well. I guess that's the nature of my business, but it still sucks.

Had a nice conversation with the Postmaster General of Champaign today. Some of the local postmasters were upset with something that we reported last Thursday. Obviously, since it was a national story about the raising of postal rates, I had just copied and pasted something from the Associated Press. Unfortunately, it wasn't 100% accurate. So he wanted to come and explain what it actually was. It was probably the nicest complaint I've ever received, so I was happy about that. You'd be shocked at the number of people who call and are extremely nasty, because they didn't like the way something was reported, whether they're correct or not.

I think that is all for today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick poker stats for the month...

Shockingly, I did poorly at 2NL, and well at 5NL. Maybe that means I'm better against better players, or just not paying enough to my 2NL tables. I have to get better at multi-tabling, #1.

For the month....up $14.87 total. At a rate of 1.96BB/100 (AWFUL), 4.36BB/hour (NOT GOOD), and $0.59/hr. (OK).

I earned $14.87 over 122 sessions spread over 20 days. 5,621 hands, and 25 hours. That includes 3 days of over 2.5 hours. So...most days when I play, it is for about 45 minutes or so.

This is where I was shocked:
At the 5NL level, I was up $17.42 for the month. That's pretty good. Running at 6.34BB/100 since the beginning of the year. That's solid.
At the 2NL level, I was DOWN $2.55. I would have been up a buck or so, but my aces got cracked by 4s earlier today, which I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, DUMMY.
That's pretty bad.

I'm tracing my bad month to a couple of things. As I said previously, I need to get better at multitabling. I'm paying too much attention just to the 5NL, when I need to keep closer tabs on my 2NLs, and probably get a little more conservative. I'm playing about 20% of my hands there, and can probably reign it in to 15-16% and be fine.

Tournament wise, I didn't play too much. Played in 4, won an 18 person tournament, for and as a result, had a net profit of $3.45. I promised myself I'd play in more satellites, but didn't have much of a chance. I hope for that to change in October.

Goals for October.
Hit $200. Yes, I know...I'm at $194.92 (which I should have said earlier), but I want to clear that. 220 would be a nice goal to shoot for.
Clear another 100 VIP points. This month, I hit 113, to make it to 556. 750 gets me 10 free dollars.
Stay above 4BB/100.
Qualify for one Sunday 1/4 million tournament. I want to play in that. I think I can make a run at some point.

That's all. Getting picked up shortly. Would love any poker feedback!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It is September 29th.

One thing I haven't really mention is that I think I broke a rib a couple of weeks ago. I'm not 100% sure, mostly because of the fact that it costs a goodly amount of money to go to the hospital, and I really don't want to go and do that any time soon. Especially if it's something where they'll tell me "rest it, and don't reaggravate it." Oh, OK. I can do that.

Except I played softball on Monday night. I only played catcher, and hit 3 times, but I swung very, very lightly. Grouding towards the gap between short and 3rd. Also, I like playing catcher. If I did that for life, I'd be OK. I certainly like talking to people.

Tomorrow brings the end of the month. Pokerwise, I think that if I play one more day (tonight or tomorrow), it will be 20 days for the month. Not bad.

Busy weekend ahead as well. 2 soccer games to announce, and 1 football game to really be busy with. I'll be helping a Columbus radio station get the postgame feed, and you'll be hearing me live on Sporting News Radio, nationwide.

Randomly, this morning, I started thinking about where I'd like to go on my summer vacation next year. I'll be happy to accept any destination suggestions.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I need a haircut.

I also forgot to mention earlier this week that I have cleaned my spare bedroom. I think that it looks very nice, with the exception of the fact that I still have excess electronics that I need to get to a recycling place, but refuse to do until they have a free event.

Also, I'm notifying Glenn through this internet posting that I need you to help me get my old photos off of my malfunctioning Dell laptop that hasn't been touched for a year.

Thank you for your time.

Also, I'll agree with Glenn that this O'Donnell person in Delaware scares me a little. Mixed breeding of animals and humans? Really?

Monday, September 13, 2010

I like announcing...

I've been very happy that soccer is back in session, and getting to do a few games already has certainly peaked my excitement level. And to think that basketball is about a month away...actually a month and two days...well, that's exciting too.

I can't really explain it. For whatever reason, I'm much more "in the zone" or just focused when I'm announcing, rather than on the radio. Maybe it's the hours. Yes? Yes. That would be why I'm rambling right now.

OK, so, I haven't run for 3 weeks now. The hamstring is feeling much better, and the knees are starting to come around now. But my stomach? Yeah, it's fat. So I'm having to start doing some different exercises. For example, the elliptical. What the hell is that thing. Really. Does anybody actually enjoy that? It's all sorts of weird, like you're suspended in some sort of torture device. I actually think it's the human equivalent of the hamster wheel. Even more so than the treadmill.

Poker is slow this month. Just kind of cool. Not hitting things when I need them. That's poker.

Grandma Cation is in the hospital...struggling after a couple of falls last week. She's going to be fine, as she is a trooper.

This week brings some more soccer announcing, and a Corner Kicks episode, and...let's see, probably some other stuff too.

This update is sucky, but I'm trying to be better about updating. So give me a break.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life update:

I've talked about this before, and will likely talk about it again. I suppose if I went back and looked at my posts from last August it would say something similar.

C-U is a transitory town. August was a particularly tough month for me, as 5 good friends moved on. So I'm going to mention them all briefly here, if you'll indulge me, in the order they left town.

1) Cassie Arner. Cassie was the sports information (media relations) director for football at the U of I. She and Craig Tiley are the two people I credit with getting me involved with Illinois athletics in the way that I am now. She was a constant advocate for me within the department, and also was amazingly accomodating for me in that I always had weird questions that she allowed me to ask of her players. She was also a close, close friend, and we shared some long talks as I was struggling to find my way and a direction with my career. She always told me I could announce at this level. I am greatly appreciative of that. Cassie is now a big wig at the University of Houston, overseeing their media relations department, and is either an Assistant or an Associate Athletic Director. I'm proud of her.

2&3) Scot Campbell and Michelle Bavester. Single t and the Bav. Scot was the first person we just blatantly stole from the Astronutz to play for the Crackmonkeys. He was, and continues to be, somewhat mysterious, and an amazing friend. I say mysterious because of crap like this: At a grilling of the meats a couple of years ago, he told us he was going to miss a portion of the festivities. We asked why, and he told us he was going to go home for a while for his sister's graduation. Glenn and I looked at each other, and both remarked, "your sister?" We had no idea that he'd had a sister, and by then, we'd known him for two or three years.
Despite the weird things like that, Scot was constantly a part of every Crackmonkey outing, a periodic tennis partner, griller, and much, much, more. He was also Glenn's nemesis when it came to drinking. When Scot was out, Glenn was automatically in trouble.
Bav- Bav came along late in the game, but I'm happy that she did. After Scot broke up with his previous girlfriend, I had multiple people who wanted me to set them up with him. But by the time we felt comfortable asking him about it, he'd already gone out with the Bav, and that was that. Pretty cool. Bav is a complete goofball, always willing to try just about anything, and laughed at my jokes more than she needed to. I'm glad she's joining Scot in boston. Oh yeah, he's at MIT because he's smart, and the rest of us aren't. No big deal.

4&5) Christian and Sarah Michner (and C-Money). I really thought that these three would have another year at Illinois before I just assumed that they'd be gone, but Christian got the call to become the head soccer coach at the College of Charleston, which is where he'd played in college. Spectacular opportunity for him, although it was at a pretty weird time, days before the season was to begin. This one kind of hit me hard, mostly because it was so immediate. Christian took the job, and was gone. I was very thankful that when he stopped back in C-U, he took some time to say goodbye to me, and that meant a lot.
Christian got me back involved with soccer, through Corner Kicks. He loved the sport so much, and loved getting kids and adults involved as well. It was infectious. As a result, I have a renewed love for the game, and have gotten to know a lot more about what the Illini program does, and have gotten to know the soccer players much better. That's been a wonderful thing for me, as I don't have that as much with the tennis program anymore. And Corner Kicks got the ball rolling for webcasts for all of the sports. So kudos.
Julia and I had some wonderful double dates with Christian and Sarah over the couple years we got to know them. Sarah is awesome. An effervescent personality, never took Christian's shit, and always involved. Despite the fact that Christian had so many obligations as a coach, she found ways to make sure Caelen saw Christian, and was involved with the program. On top of that, she coached for the Little Illini Soccer Program, and the two of them had just run their first camp in town. Really an amazing couple that I admired and enjoyed.

So much more that I could say about all of these people. But each one made a major impact on me.
Cassie, thank you for believing in me and continuing to push me and push for me. I know you helped further me along in my career, and I'm so thankful. What you're doing with Cleve is amazing, and I have the utmost admiration for the way you're combining your career with your personal goals.
Scot and Bav, your friendships have meant the world to me. You two, along with most of the rest of the team, have really personified what it's meant to be a Crackmonkey...competitive, compassionate, and cameraderie. (I just made that up, but it does kind of work) Interestingly, I never think we hung out enough, but I have tons of truly special memories from the times we did. Thank goodness we have gchat, and get to talk every day now.
Christian and Sarah, I don't know how to sum up my feelings for you guys. So I'll just say this. When I feel bogged down, and think about the fact that I've got to go do this, or go do that, and just overwhelmed, I will think about the passion and zeal for life that both of you showed. Never did I hear a peep about the fact that travel and hours would keep you guys apart more than you'd probably like. You guys always made it work, and ALWAYS had smiles on your faces about it. That's what you've given me, an appreciation for making the best and enjoying every situation you're presented with.

While having close friends move away is/has been emotionally taxing, being able to talk and write like this about my friends makes me again realize I'm surrounding myself with some wonderful, wonderful people. I think about the people I continue to have as my friends, teammates, text buddies, whatever...and I know that they're all people I could write these types of paragraphs about. If you're reading this, you're likely one of them, so don't think I'm not appreciating you since I've not written about you. :)

So, again, while these friends have all moved on for wonderful opportunities, I thank them all for their special impacts on my life, and refocus to include them in new ways, and find new people, and new situations to help fill small voids within what I think remains a very full and enjoyable life. It's not a loss, it's just a shift. And a move forward.

Poker update, before the life update:

Okie dokie.....I'll try to sum up as best I can from the stats I scribbled down for myself.

Profit for August: $11.37.
Sessions played: 133. The majority were positive, but I didn't go through and check. I'd guess probably about 75ish.
Hands: 5650, at a ratio, roughly of 3/1 of 2NL and 5NL.
Hours played: 24.83
Earning: 2.40BB/100 hands played, 5.47BB/hr, $.20/100 hands played, $.46/hr.

Overall, since beginning to keep track at the beginning of the year, I'm up $3.45 at the 5NL tables ($.13/hr), and $70.07 at the 2NL tables ($.50/hr). (I should point out that those rates are actually comparable, because I tend to play 3 tables at 2NL while playing 1 table at 5NL. So, it's about 15cents/table/hr at the 2NL table. I'm doing this current 3/1 ratio to help maintain my bankroll management. At any one moment, I've got $14 spread over 4 tables. That's actually more than recommended in terms of a ratio to your bankroll, but not awful.)

I played 3 tournaments in August, and won 1, and broke even for the month there. Took one horrible, horrible beat preventing me from getting a satellite entry in to a much bigger tournament. As a result, that cost me a couple bucks, but I'm still pissed off about it.

So, my bankroll after August is at:

Like I had said, I wanted to get to $200. I did not do that. I had what I would call a rough month in terms of some bad stretches, but managed to stay on the positive side of things overall.

So my goals for September: Play about 30-40 hours, and hit $200.

I've also gotten closer to my goal of clearing my first bonus. Basically, you get bonus points based on how many hands you play in, and the size of the pots, that kind of stuff. Once you get to 750 points, you get a free $10.

This month, I cleared 140 points, to run my total for the year to 443. So, I have to average about 95 points per month to clear it before the end of the year. I definitely think that's possible. It could help me hit $300.

My other goal is to qualify for one Sunday Quarter Million tournament. Essentially, you can buy in to a $2 satellite tournament, and if you finish high enough, you get an entry in to a tournament that guarantees a prize pool of 250K, with an entry fee of $12. So...yeah, I want to do that once in September.

That's all.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Poker stats for the month for anyone who cares...

which is probably limited to Tony and Big D.

Cash games...mostly 2NL, with a tad bit of 5NL mixed in:
118 sessions, 64 positive, 54 negative
5,101 hands over 33.7 hours.
Profit: $22.20. That comes out to 19.34BB/hr, and .66/hr.

18 tournaments played: 9 cashes.
2 1st
1 2nd
5 3rd, including 2 in 90 persons.

Exactly $31 in winnings.

Bonuses: Thanks to Pokerstars' micromania month of July, I was able to use 375FPP to get an extra $6 cash.

Total profit for the month of July: 59.20. Current Pokerstars bankroll: $165.04

Can't really complain. Sure, I took some bad beats, but overall, I played well, maximized the hands that I was given, and only went on tilt once. Granted, that meant a day where I lost $9 in the span of about 25 minutes...but yeah.

My goal for August: $200, and try to play some more 5NL.

I don't know what I'm supposed to think about this wikileaks thing.

On one hand, I'm all for trying to avoid government cover ups.

On the other hand, I don't like the idea of exposing information that may endanger our soldiers.

I realize that is an extreme oversimplification. But I'm not Glenn, and I'm not going to go in to depth on it, but the whole thing is....well, it's something.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Songs I'm listening to right now:

Kings of Leon- Holy Roller Novocaine:

Kesha. WTF is going on in this video, holy crap:

Jane by BFF

Gravel Pit, Wu Tang Clan

I'm musically bipolar, I think. But all of these are hitting me right now. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Here's the thing...

I haven't really talked about this with too many people, but every once in a while, I like to just type out my thoughts as a therapeutic thing. So I'm going to do that.

I'm struggling a bit right now. It's not been the easiest month for me, just kind of trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be, what I'm supposed to do, and what is making me happy. Those types of major issues. There are obviously deeper ones that I won't get in to here, but it's manifesting itself in to aggravating what has been a nice dormant depressive state. As weird as it sounds, a lot of things are going very well in my life, and I'm really not used to that. I think I expected something to go wrong over the past year or so, something major, and nothing has. As a result, I don't know what to do, and it scared the hell out of me.

Ultimately, I know how lucky I am to have that as a problem. But when what you've been used to through most of your life is dealing with states of depression or just difficulty, whatever you want to call it, these types of things can become much more major than maybe they should be.

Julia has been very supportive, which I'm appreciative of. I don't imagine it is easy for her, especially considering she's dealing with many of the same things. I'm pretty used to dealing with this, but it's always been on my own. Dealing with it while also trying to be a good supportive boyfriend is a challenge.

I know that this will pass. That doesn't mean that it won't be difficult in the mean time. I'm struggling with sleep right now, which is of course typical, and not helpful.

My friends Scot and Michelle will be leaving for Boston tomorrow. That won't be easy. They're such great people, that no matter how happy I am for them, it still is just one of those very difficult things. I've known Scot for 7-8 years now. He's been a very good friend. And no matter how many times you have this happen, with the Walls, Satkuses,'s still pretty hard.

I'll try not to have many more posts like this. Like I said, sometimes I just feel a need to type these things out and put it out there. It's a good space for me to do it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Random Updates

Well, sure, I suck at updating of late. You would think that because it's the slow time of my year that I'd have more time. Which is probably true, I just haven't had a ton of updates to give. So here goes:

We went to Charleston, Raleigh, Savannah, Atlanta, and Nashville a couple weeks ago. It was a good experience on the whole. Here are my quick reviews:
1) Raleigh. Not overly impressed. Seems nice, but also not the most organized city. We hung out with Julia's friend Lindsay, which was a lot of fun, and that was where I picked up my Admiral Ackbar action figure for just $2. Well worth it.
2) Charleston. I did enjoy the city. We went and checked out Fort Sumter, which was a lot of fun. We got to go out on a boat to the little island Fort, and walk around there, with lots of history. We could see across the harbor to the point where the troops featured in "Glory" faced their final battle. I don't know why, but I am a bit fascinated by Civil War stuff. So seeing where the Civil War began was quite interesting. They have a very nice historic district in the city, and Julia said it reminded her of New Orleans. (She's in New Orleans this week, by the way). Also saw an old slave mart, which had the potential to be an enlightening moment, but really wasn't, unfortunately. Just a poorly put together museum in that there was little interaction, just lots of reading signs.
3) Savannah. Big thumbs up for Savannah. Surprisingly, the city only has a population of around 150K. I just expectd more. The architecture was beautiful. The spanish moss was gorgeous. The city parks every two block made it a fun city to walk. They have a very lively river walk as well. Most art galleries per capita of any city in the US. All in all, definitely my favorite city on the tour. On the trip down, we had listened to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was set in Savannah, so we had a little bit of history going in. Unfortunately, the house that was the setting for the book/movie was a bit expensive, so we didn't go in. And we also forgot to get to the cemetery mentioned in the book as well, so that's something to do the next time we're there. And I would like to go back. Great food there too.
4) Atlanta. Monstrosity. Went to the MLK Center again, and it's just an amazing and powerful few buildings to get a grasp of the Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, it looks like they haven't had a lot of money going in, and it's in a slight bit of disrepair. So, I donated some money, in the hopes that they'll get it together. We also went to the zoo and saw the pandas, which means I've now seen pandas 3 times. Not bad. Also, their Botanical Garden is beautiful. Great walking course through it, and even though we got caught in a thunderstorm, it was worth it. But good lord is that city huge and difficult to navigate.
5) Nashville. I really enjoy Nashville. It was made a little better this time as we got to see my best friend from my childhood, Steve, and his quite pregnant wife, Robin. They took us for a nice Southern family style meal (which was difficult for me as I couldn't eat much of the delicious barbeque and fried chicken), and then to a couple of honky tonks downtown. Sadly, the Grand Ole Opry was closed, but that didn't stop me from going to Cooters. That's right, Cooter's. As in Cooter, from the Dukes of Hazzard. I'll get some pictures up sometime soon, probably on facebook. But yeah, they have all the vehicles from the show, and jut a ton of memorabilia. Good stuff.

That wraps up that week.

I've been reading a lot of poker books, and this past week, reached $100 in my poker stars account. Today, I slipped back under to $99, but the $100 mark was a big one for me. I've been working hard and grinding to a point where I could start playing a few more bigger tournaments, and now that I've gotten to that point, I can do that. So good for me.

I was thoroughly disappointed in the lack of a victory from the US World Cup team on Saturday. The biggest players didn't play big in their biggest opportunity, and that was sincerely disappointing. I continue to hope for the US to get one or two more difference makers.

Julia is in New Orleans this week, and then goes to LA the weekend after. Yikes.

I'm off to play some softball, weather permitting. If I've forgotten anything, please let me know.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sure, I haven't posted in a month, but...

Here's something to get you ready for the U.S. and Ghana tomorrow.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My interview with Faraz Jaka

On Wednesday, I got a chance to talk with Faraz Jaka. Faraz was recently ranked by ESPN as one of the top 10 poker players in the world, and is a 24 year old graduate of the U of I. Since 2007, he has over 3.4 million in poker tournament earnings, including 7 cashes at the World Series of Poker. I thought it would be fun to chat with him as the WSOP gets underway on Friday. I'll be airing the interview in an edited version next week on the air, but this is the full thing. Hopefully, he'll be able to make it down for a couple of Illini games this fall, showing off a new bracelet.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quick update:

Today is Monday, the day after Lost wrapped up. I'm going on 2 1/2 hours sleep. Managed to not screw up on air. Which in itself is quite astounding.

Things have been nice and quiet for me over the past week, which is nice. And Julia ended up going out of town for the entire weekend, so I really didn't have a ton of obligations or things to do, so I got two night of good, solid sleep, and allowed myself some time to just relax. It was spectacular.

Unfortunately, the heat has kicked in, and so has my obscene reaction to it. I tried running on Saturday evening, with the temperature still at 80. After 30 minutes, of a 52 minute run, I felt like my body was going to shut down. Not good, considering I was 2 1/2 miles from home. But I busted through it. Good lord I hate hot weather. Well, I shouldn't say that. I hate how my body reacts to it.

Got in a solid softball game last night, with the Crackmonkeys defeating the Astronutz, 24-1. 3 of the Monkeys had previously played on the Nutz, and 2 of the Nutz have played on the Monkeys, so lots of drama there. Just glad it is over with, and we got extremely lucky to have scored 24 runs. In 3 innings. Most of them in a 17 run stretch with 2 outs in the 3rd. Yikes.

Going on vacation in a couple of weeks. Can't remember if I posted the official destination list in my last post, but here it is:

Raleigh for 2 nights
Charleston for 1
Savannah for 1
Atlanta for 2
Nashville for 1
Then back.
Should be fun. Looking forward to getting on the road. I love driving around more than flying to and from. Love the freedom involved in it. If I had a month, and a ton of cash, I'd just hop in a car and just go and figure out where I'm going later. So, apparently, I need to work on gaining some cash. So that I can quit my job, and then just drive around. That would be alright. Ultimately, I'd love to do a tour of every baseball stadium during a summer. We all have our weird dreams.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Marathon results, poker results, and Julia prepares to graduate!

I realize I haven't had a ton of substance of late, so i apologize for that.

Let's see. The Illinois marathon was on May 1st. The Cation Crazies team did very well, in that we all finished within our goal times. I'm proud of my Dad and mary, who both lost weight, and completed a difficult goal while going through classes/work/searching for a job. It's a matter of scheduling and making time for yourself. They both did it, and we finished our relay.
For me, I did 13.8ish miles in 2:02:30. It's not the greatest time I've ever had in a marathon. But considering my knees have given me hell over the past 2 months, I'm thrilled to have finished it. I also want to give out a shout to two members of the Illinois soccer team, Danielle Kot and Christina Sahly. They were running with Coach Janet Rayfield, and I passed them with about a mile left in my relay. And they were nice enough to come run with me for that last mile, and really pushed me, to the point that I felt like I was going to puke. While that part wasn't fun, I did enjoy the opportunity to hang out with some good people while running. I owe both of them a drink once they complete their eligibility.
I recovered pretty well, actually, and the next morning, I felt pretty good. It wasn't until I tried to play softball that my left knee completely locked up. That was fun. I tried to convince my personal trainer, rebma, that I had burst my bursa sac in my knee, but of course she didn't buy it. Mostly because it wasn't true. That's beside the point.
I've finally gotten back to running this week, and feel alright about it. I think I'm going to do Mahomet, but I've got to figure out what more race that I can get in over the summer. Any suggestions, I'm listening.

Poker: I did not cash in either of the free tournaments for which I received entries. The first one I played was on Sunday afternoon, and I stayed in for about 2 1/2 hours or so, and just didn't play well. I felt like people were able to toy with me a little bit, because I actually felt like I was out of my element, and played like it. I put way too much pressure on myself, and was overthinking everything, and trying to do way too much. Basic tournament play, which players without a TON of experience can understand and complete, can get you rather far in large tournaments. I veered from where I was comfortable, trying to do much, and trying to do things that I don't have the experience to do yet. And I felt like it. Made some bad decisions, and had to live with it.

Tuesday night, I played in the $109 tournament, with a bunch of people that are well above my "poker income" level. But I have to say, I played a lot better. I played more solid, basic, tournament poker. I was able to make a couple of moves when I had position, and played a couple of hands/cards that were out of my normal comfort range. Unfortunately, I put myself in a coin flip position when I knew a guy didn't have the better hand (my 8s, versus his Ace King offsuit), where I'm a 55% favorite, and he hit two pair on the flop, and a full house on the turn. For me to have any chance in a tournament like that, I have to get lucky a couple of times, and win those coin flip situations. Had I won that hand, I would have been in very good position after two hours of play, and who knows what happens. But I didn't, and I played good enough to play for another hour, but that was it. It was a terrific experience, and I played pretty well when I got decent cards. So I can't complain.

What I've learned, pokerwise, is that I need to get a little bit more multi-table tournament experience. So I'm going to try and do that once I hit my $100 bankroll (I'm at 84, was as high as 86, so its slow, but getting there), and also move up in my cash games as well. I also think I play a little bit better against better players. It forces me to use my critical thinking skills, and I think I did well on that.

OK, Julia graduates on Saturday. That's good. She's worked very hard over the past few years, and ever since we started dating. It will be a new chapter for the two of us, as she won't have classes on Monday and Wednesday (and sometimes Thursday) night, and for at least the next three months, I don't have much announcing to do. This weekend, she'll walk on Saturday, and she's got a lot of family and friends in town. Should be fun, and overwhelming at the same time.

Outside of that, it's been a busy few weeks. My last announcing gig will be on Tuesday. And then...who knows?

Oh, final trip details on destinations: Raleigh, Savannah (with a quick stop in Charleston), Atlanta, Nashville, possibly a quick stop in Lexington. I really like Civil War history, and so we'll do some of that.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Restaurant to remember in Chicago

For all my friends in Chicago, and also for me, so that I go back there the next time I'm there.

Las Mananitas
3523 N. Halsted St. (Boys Town near Wrigley)

Poker tournament on Sunday and Tuesday. Excited and nervous. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yesterday was Star Wars Day...

May the Fourth be with you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Current poker update

On pokerstars, I continue to make slow and steady progress toward my goal of having $100 in my account by June. I got to 85 at one point last week, only to lose $4 in one day, most of it on one hand where I had pocket Aces, which, for those of you that don't know, is the best hand you can have pre-flop. That was a bummer.

I'm also really enjoying playing live with Tony and his vet friends. Mostly because of the fact that Tony has a couple of drinks, and so does everyone else, and I sit there stone sober, and watch them do some crazy things. For example, Tony took it upon himself this past weekend to fall out of his chair. Yet I couldn't quite take any of his money. Card dead.

Speaking of which, if anybody out there is thinking ahead for a nice birthday present for Mike Cation, Card Player magazine would be swell.

I'm also finding I really enjoy discussing hands as they come up. I wish I had a few more people to discuss them with.

After I move up upon reaching $100 in my account, I'd also love to try some other games on poker stars. I've already found some good videos about how to play pot-limit omaha and how to play 7 card stud, but I think it'll take some more time to really "get" those games. Especially when I won't get a lot of experience playing it live.
I also have to start thinking about when I can go up and play in Chicago sometime soon.

That's all on that front for now. My thoughts on the Illinois Marathon are upcoming tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jill doesn't think that was the best video ever.

and maybe I should not have used that superlative, but I thought it was fun.

Updates on life:

Contrary to what most people think, my life does not slow down because basketball announcing is done. In fact, late March to early May is the busiest time of the year for me, as I announce some basketball, baseball, tennis, and a soccer game. Some weeks, I have 5 or 6 events. That's tough to keep up with if you also have a real job. But it's good for my finances, which is important, I suppose. It's also tough to keep up with your girlfriend, who has 3 night classes.

Had an interesting experience after announcing the Ultimate Basketball Challenge, the fundraiser for the Wheelchair Basketball Programs at the U of I. During that event, I'm allowed to joke around a bit, make fun of some of the players, and the things that happen during the game. A nice woman came up to me afterwards and said, "I think you did such a great job! You made this event just wonderful and fun, and I was really laughing at some times! You should do the basketball games at the Assembly Hall!" I was stunned. I replied, "Actually, I do announce the basketball games at the Hall!"
Her reply: "But they're so boring!"

I explained that there are a lot of rules that the Big Ten enforces, and so I can't exactly make fun of players on the court. But it made me wonder what people expect me to do as the announcer.

Went up to Madison for the annual "On Wiscation" trip on Friday and Saturday. And while I had a spectacular time at the concert and Ella's for dinner, I have to admit...the highlight of Madison for me, every single time, is the farmer's market. Good night Irene. I bought 3 blocks of cheese. I'm pretty much done with one of them already. I got some beef sticks, some bison burger patties, and southwestern fiesta brats. And most importantly, I got a piece of GF chocolate chip cheesecake that I'm saving for May 1st at approximately 1PM.

Which leads me to my running update. Thanks to my personal trainer Amber Beef Nagele, I've managed to continue running through what she guesses is bursitis and patellar tendonitis. My knee continues to stay strong, and I ran 13 miles on Saturday night, even if it was slower than I'd like. I'm excited to be able to finish what will be my longest race ever, at 13.8 miles. (note: we're doing a marathon relay, and the 2 legs I'm running happen to be the longer 2 legs, 7 and 6.8)

I got to go to a Cubs game last week with Voss, Scot, and the Bav, and we sat and had a blast in the bleachers. I also got hit on by a nice 20-something who decided the appropriate pickup lines involved her asking me if I liked Tea Party rallies like the one she went to the week before. Now, obviously for those people who know me, that's not my cup of tea. But I went along with it for the comedy. When she told me that people only insult Sarah Palin because "they're intimidated by her", I was quite proud of myself for keeping it together, and just nodding, before turning to Alex and giggling.

Crackmonkey softball is back for what could be a final season. We won game number one on Sunday in very cold conditions, and true to form, I decided to try and dive, and bruised the hell out of me knee. SMRT. SMRT.

I think that's all for now. Announcing some baseball tonight, and then tennis over the weekend, including a visit from everyone's favorite coach at Michigan, Bruce Berque.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Run I'm doing today....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blogging for the fun of it....

Thanks to those of you that I know that have joined the Mix Racing team for the Illinois Marathon. We're still in need of some people to sign up, so if you, or anyone you know, is running on May 1st, please ask them to sign up. It costs $20, with the money going to the American Cancer Society. That's it. Really simple. And you get a wonderful Mix racing shirt. Thanks for your support! :)

Had a couple of NIT games to announce this week. I certainly understand the issues of motivation for games like that. It isn't the end all be all, as the next day, you're watching the NCAA tournament. But I guess if you're there, you give it your all. So I know I did, and I was happy with how I performed. I was also approached by someone with the Indiana Sports Commission about potentially doing events in Indianapolis. That's a big yes.

Also, I was asked to give a clinic about football PA announcing by the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers. Now, I'm honored, but I don't do football. So I had to turn it down, sadly. But I've now got a professional organization for freaks like me! Yippee!

This weekend brings a Crackmonkey get together at the Cappa house hold, which means one of two things: A High Stakes Poker Tournament, where, inevitably, I will lose my money to someone who tries to collect diamonds because they're pretty, or a wonderful game of catchphrase. Likely, the latter, as the $10 we'd need for poker is out of most people's price range. Tony and Jill, our wonderful hosts, have offered to do this despite Jill being 6 months pregnant. And having to deal with Tony.

Speaking of poker, I've been playing relatively well of late, although I realized a couple of weeks ago that playing sick is a horrendous idea. I couldn't make proper decisions, made horrible reads, and only won money from Tony when I got lucky and my Queens beat his Aces. So that won't be happening again if I can avoid it.

OK, so Julia and I are planning a trip through the south this summer. We're going to go to Raleigh to visit her friend Lindsay, but after that, we'll be rambling through the south on our way back. We could really use some thoughts on where we should go! No idea will be rejected. If you want to leave anonymous ideas, that is fine too.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all. My mom really likes this holiday, and always prepares corned beef and cabbage and all. I'm so so on it. I do loves me some corned beef, though.

Endulge me for a second to get this plug in. Here at the radio stations (I say here because, yes, I'm writing while working), we've organized running "teams" for the Illinois Marathon coming up on May 1st. It's an idea that I came up with last year, but Liz Murray, aka Riley/Drew/Liz, has really pushed this year, and done a great job with. I'm the captain of "Team Mix" and we could use some support if you're planning on running, or attending the Marathon (or any of its associated races). For only $20, you get a dri-fit "Team Mix" running shirt, and the money goes to the American Cancer Society. Unlike Team in Training, which is a wonderful program, you don't need to ask others for donations. Just $20, and you get a dri-fit shirt. Hey, even if you're not going to be there, say you live in Brazil and can't make it...sign up, you'll get a shirt, and it goes to a great cause. Here is the link so you can sign up.

I love running outdoors so much more than running on a treadmill. I hate the treadmill. So I've been going out and running the last 2-3 weeks around my "block", which is four miles. I'm still not getting as much of a long run as I'd like, because of a) bad weather, and b) an illness that Sarah gave me. Nothing like trying to run while you're spitting up phlegm every tenth of a mile. THANKS!

Julia and I have gone to Mas Amigos a lot lately. If you're not familiar, and you live in Champaign, make it a priority to go there.

I don't have a lot to say about the Illini in the NIT. It is going to be hard for me to watch that game tonight, although if I want to watch it, I'll have to do that on the internets. Yuck.

Julia has a lot of classwork going on right now, as well as doing some travel around the area for a project involving 4-H. That has resulted in a positive for me, however, as she brought back some Amish cheese this past weekend. Delicious!

I have purchased tickets for a Cubs game on April 15th. We'll be sitting in the bleachers. Love it. Great way to start the spring, really.

Anything else?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some interviews....

Included in this update are my interview with Poker superstar Taylor Caby, as well as the actor that portrays Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation, Nick Offerman.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back from Vegas.....

One of these two people was seen at a poker table this weekend. The other was my roommate for the weekend. You choose.

Back from Vegas after a terrific weekend. Very happy to have been able to share some quality time with Julia, Leigh, Louis, Kalleen and Boom Boom. We had some great experiences, including a night at Moon in the Palms, great gambling, and yes, our first real celebrity sightings in all of our trips. Thanks to a celebrity poker tournament being held at the Venetian, we saw Tito Ortiz, Joanna Krupa, Jason Alexander, Christian Slater, and yes, Donnie Wahlberg from New Kids. And yes, Leigh did indeed get a kiss from him. It was a magical moment for her.

For me, I got to watch the Poker Stars North American Poker Tour event at the Venetian from the rail. For me, it was amazing to be able to stand a foot behind guys like Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, and Daniel Negreanu, and figure out what they're doing, and what the others at the table. They're consistently making correct decisions, which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill.

This was evidenced in the poker tournament that Louis and I played in on Friday morning. I played pretty well, I thought, but just got unlucky. I had a guy dead to rights after reading him well, and he got lucky and hit a card. Later on, he essentially crippled me, and then Louis knocked me out of the tournament, mercifully. But I was most happy about the fact that I made good calls, and good reads, and I think I'm getting better overall.

We also ate some spectacular buffet meals, and if I can, I'd like to make a recommendation for anyone planning a trip out there to stay at the Rio. It will be well worth your time. The rooms are huge, the buffet is great, and there is a shuttle to and from the strip. Well worth it.

Now, I'm back at work, and the grind is back on. 2 tennis matches and a basketball game this weekend. Baseball is around the corner. It's all good.

Monday, February 15, 2010


in 3 days.

Very, very excited.

With this post, I'm asking for any tips that peeps might have about things we have to do that aren't the "norm." I've been there 5 times or so, so anything kind of different might be great.

Also, responding to different comments:
Tyler- I read from time to time as well.
Tony- You were supposed to bring the Bear. You dropped the ball. All you. Your wife, your child, and your unborn boy all came. He got his first taste of the GotM.
Holly- I still haven't figured it out. Have you?
Kris- It should say "follow" up in the top left for you. Does it not?
And on a side note, I'd be happy to have you as a follower. But not that Toddgy guy. He freaks me out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Social Networking.....and other random stuff.

If anyone would like to teach me how to alter my new facebook news feed so that all I see are
a) status updates
b) photos,
that would be swell. I do not want to know the rest of the stuff. I can tell I'm getting old, because all I think about when I see facebook "redesigns" is "GET OFF MY LAWN YOU PUNK KIDS."

I've tried hard not to be an annoying facebook and twitter person. Maybe a new status every 2-3 days. That's not too much to ask. I, unfortunately, have not gotten in to a good habit of doing it that often. I need to work on that.

My friend Sandy Stipp, whose blog can be found at, has 17 followers, and 4 posts. I have probably 100 posts, and 7 followers. DAMMIT.

I'm thrilled at the Illinois victory last night. For a selfish reason. This year, when I have to go to the Wisconsin band concert, I will not be forced to watch highlights of Illinois getting beat by the Badgers in basketball at the Kohl Center. THANK YOU JEEBUS. Instead, I will wear a nice Illinois jersey. In combination with my "On Wiscation" shirt.

My running is going very slow. My left knee is blowing up a lot. My personal trainer, Amber Nagele, has been slow on the uptake with a cure.

In 8 days, I will be in Las Vegas. I am desperately in need of the break, as I've hit that point in the sports schedule where I will be working sports 3 days a week from here until May. I obviously need the money, but is difficult.

Today, we start filming some "Teammate Game" features for I'll try to get those up here when they become available.

Also of note, the Grilling of the Meats was held this past Sunday at the Voss household. We had 13 meats, technically, with prosciutto and bacon on top of other meats...I'll get pictures up here or on facebook sometime shortly. It was a great success, as always.

Also fun was the Gameday experience on Saturday morning. I got my photo taken with the Gameday crew, but they were all looking elsewhere.

Any questions? Please ask. Thanks.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hey look at me!

So, last Thursday, Kent Brown, Director of Media Relations for the Athletic Department, asked me as a favor to fill in for him in a sports trivia contest that was held yesterday, Sunday, afternoon. I agreed, although I have to admit I was reluctant as Sunday was my one day off this week. Regardless, I was on a team with Dave Laurence (longtime director of the Boys and Girls Club), former DIA Marketing Director Dave Johnson, and football PA announcer Ken Johnson.
I had low hopes going in to the thing, as I looked over to one table and saw some radio competitors, Steve Kelly, Patrick Pfingsten, Brian Moline, and Dave Shaul. At another table, the News Gazette sportswriters, including Bob Asmussen and the legendary Loren Tate.
We plugged away, were in first after the first five rounds, and got in to a tie for first after regulation, resulting in a 10 question playoff. We managed to get all 10 correct, to 9 for the radio team, and our team won a thousand dollars for being the sports trivia champions of Champaign-Urbana. Not bad for a contest I was really reluctant to even enter.
Dave Johnson was a superstar, getting all sorts of stuff correct. Ken Johnson has a brilliant sports mind. I was happy to ride their coattails. And I'll be happy to take that money to Las Vegas for a little extra spending cash.

In other news, I put together a nice six mile run yesterday at the Armory, in 51 minutes. A nice 8:30 pace. Knees are so so, which I think is the medical definition.
I strained the ole vocal cords at the basketball game on Saturday when Demetri hit the last second shot. That sucks. I'm really going to have to help it out a bit this week, as I've got 5 events to announce this weekend, along with the 11th annual Grilling of the Meats.

Delicious, delicious meats.
I'm on call for the beef, and bison.

Gotta figure out what to do with the bison.
Enjoy your days, everyone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

And I'm out, in less than an hour.

I can't say that I played poorly, because I didn't. I followed goal #1, which was to make smart decisions. And was about the average chip stack after just under one hour. Unfortunately, this happened.

I got pocked queens

And I ran in to a guy who had been extremely aggressive, and overly so throughout the tournament, and he had made a couple of egregiously large bets at me and showed down middle strength hands...with pocket aces.

In that situation, the cards "play themselves." Maybe I could have folded pocket queens there, but with his aggression being as it was, I thought he'd try to bully me with any Ace. Unfortunately, he had two of them.

Such is poker, such is life.

Oh well. Try again Wednesday.

Immediate, pre-tournament goals:

1) Make smart decisions
2) Open up my range a little bit with what hands I'll play, and when.
3) Finish in the top 500 of the 1700 entered. Once I get to 500, anything can happen. I need to finish in the top 153 for anything important to happen. That's probably unlikely, but is weird sometimes.

Also, while taking my afternoon nap, I dreamed about poker. Two unfortunate notes about that. First, I dreamed that it was a heads up tournament (meaning you only play against one other person at a time), and that the top 127 got paid. Luckily, there were only 132 playing, so I was in good shape. And secondly, in my first round, I was dealt four nines! Of course, normally in no-limit hold-em, you're only dealt two cards. So, I think that statistically, that may be an impossibility. But I'm keeping my hopes up.

You may notice the Pokerstars ad to the right of this post....

Well, this week, I'm going to compete in two tournaments as part of the World Blogger Championship of Online Poker. Maybe 3.

It's completely free to enter if you are a blogger (as I am), even if my blogs don't currently have much poker content (which they don't.)

As many of you know, I've been trying to play more and more poker over the last few months. I really enjoy the competition and the mental games that go along with it. The problems that I am having with poker, currently, are twofold:
1) Time. Most days, I may have an hour to really get engaged, and spend time with it. For me, right now, to be successful, I have to get in to the zone (HELLO BRITNEY SPEARS!) I have to stay focused, and be constantly mindful of myself and my opponents. When you're needing to set aside 5-6 hours to play in a huge tournament, that's not good. So I've been trying to play one table tournaments when I can, which last about an hour.
2) Money. I don't have much of it. As a result, when I actually do get to play, I tend to be playing against people to whom a dollar entry fee is nothing. To me, with the rules I set up for myself that mean I can't risk more than 1/20th of my bankroll in any given week, that's a lot. I'm trying to do things the right way, so that I learn, while also keeping my money above board. I made a promise that I wouldn't add any money to my account after my initial 30 dollar entry that I did on a whim 4 years ago. Of course, now it's illegal to deposit anything. And I've only really been playing for about 9 months or so.

So we'll see what happens. I'm going to play in one tournament today at 4PM, and another on Wednesday at 4PM. And then *maybe* in the Final World Championship event on Sunday. The prizes are entries in to some very big tournaments, not cash. But we'll see what happens. I think playing against some good to great players will be a good experience for me, and make me think in a different way about the way I play. I'll keep you updated on my progress this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lots to catch up on!

SO much to catch up on, what with Christmas now 2 plus weeks ago, and we're two weeks in to the New Year. Happy New Year, btw. Hope everyone celebrated in good form. I was folding laundry at midnight. That's just how I roll nowadays.

People who know me know that I don't set resolutions. I always say that if I'm going to "change" something about myself, why not change today. That being said, I do have goals that I set for myself in the calendar year. For example, one of mine this year is to run for 600 miles. I did 524 last year. So I think it's possible, provided I stay healthy. Many of you know I've also been playing poker more lately. I have a goal with that too, to basically triple the money I have invested. That's going to mean I've got to win a couple of tournaments. I think I have the ability, it's just a matter of making the right decisions at the right times.
Outside of those two, I've got some others that I'm going to keep private. But they are there. And they have ways of being "measured." So don't think I've gone soft and started making resolutions.

Basketball season has been going well from my perspective so far. I've made one massive mistake (for me), in that I announced a guy having made a basket, when it rimmed out. A person alongside me at the scorers table said, "it didn't go in, Mike," to which I replied, "Yes, it did." It was the Western Michigan game, and Grandma and Grandpa Cation were in house for their first game. David Kool was the guy's name. I'll probably remember that until the day that I die. I still feel pretty awful about it. Oh well!

My neighborly drama has increased. The couple that have been living next door had a night in December where there was loud moving of furniture (which I interpret as throwing of furniture), and screaming. Since then, it appears that someone else has been living there, as they've been gone while the U of I was on a break. The replacement neighbor has been a miserable schmuck, thumping his bass at all hours of the day, and with any type of music. On Sunday morning, it was flipping Coldplay. Why in the hell do you need loud bass to listen to Coldplay. I had to send them another letter pleading them to at least turn down the bass. And then there's MORE drama. The male in the couple has not been spotted for weeks, and according to his facebook page (yes, I stalk occasionally), he's been out of the country. But now his relationship status has changed from "In a relationship with XXXXXXX XXXX" to "In a relationship." Now, I do know that this COULD mean that she no longer acknowledges the relationship on facebook. Last night, her car was back in its normal spot for the first time since that fight three weeks ago. Part of me is hoping that this means that the guy is no longer in the picture because he's the one who cranks the music and the bass (aside from the mystery stranger that's been staying there for the last 3 weeks). But I also don't wish that upon anyone, because it is horrible karma. So stay tuned.

Mark McGwire: You cheated. You get no sympathy from me when you say "you wish that you'd played in a different era" or "you wish there had been testing." None of that made you insert drugs in to your body. For 8 years. Just admit you cheated and that's it. End of story.

Porn co-worker is back at it. It's mostly college humor stuff, girls flashing and what not, but still. Keep it on the down low, you fat jerk.

I wish I liked the taste of tea.

For those of you in Champaign-Urbana, may I please take the time to recommend Sammy's for a wonderful breakfast. Try the Mexican skillet...ask them to add avacado. You'll thank me later.

So, my busy season begins here in the next couple of weeks. This spring, I'm announcing the following sports: basketball, baseball, both tennis(es), and wrestling. I'm happy to take the paychecks, but I have a feeling my throat will be tired by May (TWSS).

Vegas is just one month away from me. If any of you have any suggestions on things I might not have experienced yet, please let me know.

I promise to have updated this blog twice before then.