Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CT road trip

So, I think it may be time to revisit my trip to Upstate NY and Foxwoods Casino. I had ended the last post about this with me leaving my cousin's house, in Charlotte, after having a great time golfing and hanging with friends and family. I like it there, and I started to feel that way that Monday morning as I drove north on I-77.

It is a beautiful drive as you leave the city and drive through Statesboro, where the speed limit decreases to like 55, by the way. After avoiding that speed trap, that does not accomplish anything because people fly through there anyway, you begin the climb into the the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love the high country! I've gone off on the rant before, so I'll skip it now...

Anyway, the drive to I-81, through Virginia, into West Va for a short time (like 8 miles or something), then into Maryland (for another 15 miles or something), and finally across the Pa border was uneventful, thankfully. No bad weather, few drivers that made me say "Huh? What is WRONG with you?", so, it was all nice. Once I got closer to NY state I called my buddy, Mike. I had to get the final directions to his home near Albany.

Mike is one of my closest friends. We have known each other since he came from that "church school" that he attended until the 6th grade. He and I became fast friends because we both loved sports. We played soccer, basketball and golf together in high school. Mike and I, along with other friends, had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Spain during our junior year in high school. We went to separate colleges but have stayed in close touch. Mike was in my wedding, but only the first one. The distinction of attending both of my weddings goes to a couple of other very good friends who are actually a brother-sister combo. Thanks you John and Robin.

Ok, so Mike and I are close, and he told me over the summer that if I got my butt to NY he would take me to the Jets-Jags game in Giants Stadium. I wonder if the Jets get psyched to play once they think about playing in a stadium named after their cross town rivals? Well, I could not pass this up, especially because I already knew he had great seats on the lower level. I was only hoping the Jags could give me bragging rights at the end of the week.

I was able to reach Mike and get directions. Actually, let me re-phrase that last sentence. I was unable to directly reach Mike by phone, so I left him a message. I then stopped for a bathroom break at a roadside rest area. Once I got back into my car, where I had left my phone, I saw that I had three messages. Amazing how that happens, isn't it? I drive all day long, getting the rare call from the wife, but more or less hearing from no one, and then I am away from my phone for 15 minutes and I get three messages. Is that ironic?

Not really. Mike had left me three messages. The first one was directions to his home in Saratoga Springs. The second message was something about whether his home in Albany was closer to Foxwoods, Ct. or his second place in Liberty, NY. Mike is a Superintendent of a public school district in Liberty, NY. His message was going on about I could go either to Saratoga or Liberty and he was giving my some lock box number for his place in Saratoga. I don't know really, cause the message went on for a while. The third message was a list of three or four phone numbers with the name of his assistant and which number was best to text him, call him, or send him Facebook messages. The third message was directions to his place in Liberty, I think.

See, I'm not sure EXACTLY what any of the messages were because I was driving down the road at that point. Mike is one of the most organized and particular people I know. He could make a Nazi look frumpy. I think that is part of why he is so damn successful. At least I had the info, which was necessary. Eventually, I was able to reach Mike and we decided I would come to Liberty, NY and we would get something to eat that night and watch MNF.

I met Mike at his office behind the high school. He has done a lot of good things for that school. They have new fields, a new gym, a new cafeteria (maybe), and they remodeled the auditorium. All of this is because his apparent ability to prove to the state of NY that his district deserves the money more than other districts. The school, and I saw the old parts as well, definitely needed a face lift. As Mike and I toured the school we would run into teachers and even students who all seemed genuinely happy to see him. One of the male teachers even made a comment about all Mike has done for them since he began as their Super.

I told the young gentleman that I was sure they would have Mike organizing the file cabinets in the teachers lounge by now, but if he says, I'm proud of my buddy. He's doing good things.

Ok, enough blubbering about Mike. He still hits a wicked slice on he golf course, and he used to tackle like Dieone Sanders when we played football in the backyard of Dave Mcavoys house. I'll finish this up next time. I got to run to the poker room in a few minutes.

Codsey out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Hot and Dry Day

The greens had mowed easily this morning. It had been rather hot and dry the last few days and this meant slow growing grass in Northern New York. Slow growing grass meant that, as the operator of the machine, I did not have to constantly get on and off the greens mower in order to empty its' grass catching baskets. This meant it was more like a leisurely drive in the country rather than a day at work. I was happy with things as I pulled the mower down past the club house of the golf course, and towards the garage where we washed off the machinery.

As I sprayed the mowers off, patiently spinning the middle reel of three on the delicate machine, I heard another tractor coming towards the garage. It was my cousin Andy on the large, eight cylinder fairway mower. It was nearing noon and he was coming in for lunch. Our other two cousins, Raymond and Merrill, would soon follow.

As Andy turned off the roaring engine of the massive fairway mower I looked up at him, nodded, and gave him a nonchalant "What's up?"

Andy and I are a few years apart, and therefore not all that close. I mean, he is certainly my family, and we worked together, and we grew up playing football and baseball in our grandmother's back yard, but we were not very close on a personal level. Andy is five years my younger, and we run in different crowds. I'm twenty six and recently divorced, and Andy had turned twenty one six months before. He was out with his friends every night and it led to some late arrivals for him at work in the morning. We had argued about that fact in the past.

"Nuthin." Andy replied. He looked up at me and asked nicely "You goin' to wing night at the Corner?"

The Corner was a local bar and grill that my cousins and I frequented. The owner, Hairbag, was a burly, hard drinker who liked to play golf. His buffalo style wings were some of the best around and the dollar drafts too easily hit the spot.

"Maybe, but if I do I'm going to kick your ass in darts cause, you suck..." I Pause and wait for him to look over. When he looks at me I add " shafts and balls." with a smirk on my face that turned to laughter.

"Fuck that!!" He quickly shot back. "You know you can't throw straight after about three beers!" Andy had that thick Northern New York accent that sounds like it wants to be Canandien, but it's too much like Wisconsin for the Canadiens to allow it.

I looked up from the mower I was continuing to spray water on and chuckled at Andy's remark. It was true, I was not a big drinker. He could certainly drink me directly under any table. Of course, it wasn't ever a fair competition because Andy practiced at it a lot harder than I did. I would need a drinking handicap adjustment, like one drink less per hour or something.

"Hey, jackass, how come your car ain't parked in gram's garage anymore?" I asked.

"I made a payment on it. Repo guys won't be lookin'f for it now." Andy answered while digging his fingers deep into a Skoal can to gather a huge pinch of the minty, nicotine princess. We all chewed skoal, or snuff as gram called it, and it was a nasty addiction.

"Bout fuckin time". I growled and went back to my spraying the mower to get it clean of any grass clippings.

Andy, for whatever reason, had decided that making payments on a new car was completely optional. He had purchased a new Dodge Stealth and as far as I knew had not made a payment, apparently until now. He had been parking the car in my grandmother's garage during the day in an effort to hide it from supposed repo men who had been perusing the area. I had seen none. At least he finally made a payment. What a dip-shit he was becoming.

Of course, I had no room to talk, and I knew it, which is probably the reason that I never said anything to Andy. How could I judge? I certainly wasn't doing a very good job of running my own life. My wife and I had divorced the summer before and I felt miserable, all of the time. I had no idea what direction I wanted my life to take and I was sort of hiding out at my grandparents golf course. I was making enough to live on, and making enough to have fun at night with, but I was going no where. Something was missing. There had to be a calling that I could grab onto and make my own.

I finished washing the greens mower and parked it inside the garage. It would most likely not be used for another few days, unless we got some rain. I wiped off my hands and looked out, over the golf course. From the garage I could see the ninth green, slightly elevated from the ground around it. It had four cedar trees behind it and two mounds on either side of the front of it. These were the bunkers, or sand traps, and they would be my afternoon job. Each one on the golf course had to be raked, by hand.

I could see my other cousins, off on the distance, all driving their mowers towards the garage. It was lunch time and no one missed gram's lunch. She is one of the best cooks I know, and her food never failed to satisfy the pallate and at the same time fill the stomach. I walked quickly towards the clubhouse.

After washing up I sat down to the table as the food was being brought from the kitchen. Gram had made a bowl full of hamburgers covered in a sort of an Hungarian-Italian, sloppy joe mixture. The key to the dish is the hamburgers soaking all day in the sauce. All I can say is they are the best tasting burgers you will ever have.

Gram was placing the bowl on the table as she asked "What are you guys working on this afternoon?"

We all started to list off the jobs we intended on doing but she stopped us and said..

"I want that lane cleared, today, you've been putting it off for a week."

Gram was right. We had started clearing the brush from a lane of trees that ran the length of the ninth hole. It was full of bushes and small saplings, and we meant to get rid of them all. Of course, other things had popped up and we had only finished half of it to that point.

"Got it. We'll all work on that." I replied quickly. No need discussing it, let's eat.

A customer walked in at that moment. Gram turned to go take care of him and I and my cousins began to dig in on the burgers.

"Ric, you going to the Corner for wing night?" My cousin Merrill had asked.

"I think so. You gonna pound 6 shots of Yukon again? And then stumble around the place and babble about how you can shoot pool better than everyone else? And then piss someone off and get punched out? Cause if you are, then I will most definitely be there."

I was laughing at myself pretty hard. Merrill had done just that earlier in the summer and had come to work the next day with a black eye and swollen left side of his face. Apparently his attacker had had a good punch.

"Hairbag needs to keep those assholes out of there". Merrill replied, slowly allowing the words leave his mouth as though it were an effort to get them out. He still did not believe he did anything to instigate the punch-out.

"I heard YOU were being the asshole and that you had hit on that dude's chick, and that was why he tried to cave in yer face. You looked good the next day though, seriously, it was an improvement. I mean, two days later was the best! Ya know, when yer face started to turn from purple to like a greenish-yellow mass. You were a pretty one!"

I was laughing pretty hard now, and Merrill was chuckling a little bit too. Andy was looking out of the clubhouse window and said out loud "Oh Shit!"

I looked out and there was a tow truck coming down the driveway and it was headed for Andy's new Stealth.

"I paid!! I paid!!" was what he was yelling as he flew out of the door, running towards the parking lot.

"Come on!" I told Merrill.

Merrill followed out of the other door of the clubhouse, out to where the golf carts were parked.

"Jump on one! Block them in!!" I yelled.

The truck was already in front of Andy's car and would be loading it on the flat bed in a matter of minutes. Our only chance was to block the truck in, not allowing it to leave, and hopefully giving Andy a chance to prove he had paid something on this stupid-assed car of his.

Why on earth I had a sudden urge to stop this man from taking Andy's car I will never know. Maybe it was some sort of primal urge to protect family members from danger. Or, maybe it was because I was itching to start something, with someone. I was pissed at the world and here was something to take action on. This was something to do!

Merrill and I each hopped on a different cart and tore ass for the parking lot. I parked behind the tow truck, and Merrill parked in front it. The car was loaded by this time, but the truck could not move. At least not without driving over one of the golf carts. We had him boxed in.

I momentarily thought that is just what the repo man was going to do as he began to move his truck towards Merrill's cart. Merrill hopped out and waited for the truck driver to hit the cart. The truck stopped. The man climbed back out of his truck.

The truck was running, and the man and Andy were on the other side of it so I could not hear what was being said. Apparently, Andy was getting the ok to climb into his car to get the papers that would reveal he had paid something on the car.

I sat there on my golf cart, behind the tow truck, and wondered to myself if this looked utterly ridiculous to an outsider. I was wondering if this would make for a good COPS episode on FOX. I was also wondering if we were like the people who make it on the show, COPS. God, what was my life becoming?

Andy was getting back out of his car, showing the man a tri-folded piece of paper. The tow truck driver shook his head side to side. Andy told Merrill to move the cart and let the man take the car.

I just sat there, dumbfounded and pissed off. My adrenaline was pumping and I was angry we had lost. I wanted so badly to grab the tow truck guy and just beat him down, telling him this is what happens when you mess with our family.

Instead, he just gave me a wink and a wave as he drove out of the driveway. The nice, clean, new, hunter green Stealth rolled away on the back of a flatbed truck.

I looked at Andy, and walked over to him. he was just standing there watching his car go over the hill and down the road. I grabbed the paper in his hand and opened it. It was a coupon page for a Jreck Sub shop located in our hometown.

"Are you kidding me?!?! What is this?" I asked him loudly and directly. I was angry, and wanted to take it out on someone. How could he let us risk whatever poor future any of us held by pretending to have paid the back payments on the car?

"I lied, I never made a single payment on that car." Andy said

"What?!?!? You haven't made any payments?" Merrill sort of yelled to him.

"Nope." Andy replied and started walking away.

Merrill and I were just standing there watching Andy stroll away.

"Can you believe this shit?" Merrill asked me.

"Yes." I paused for a moment. "Man, he's a piece of work."

I jumped back on the golf cart nearest to me and slammed the accelerator, simultaneously pulling the steering wheel hard to the left. I was doing a donut on the gravely parking lot, flinging stones behind me and to the right.

I slammed on the break, and in a cloud of dust said "You goin' to wing night?"

"Hell yes!!! Hairbag will never believe this one!!" Merrill yelled as he jumped on his cart and accelerated away. The dust was flying, Andy was moping, and all in all, I felt pretty damn good.

Now, back to those burgers......

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Have I Found? part deaux

The entire Robert Allenby approaching me in a dream is not quite accurate. You see, I was watching Robert Allenby play golf during the recent Race to Dubai Golf Tournament on the Golf Channel. He appears, during his golf swing, to simply turn away from the ball, pause at the top of the swing, and then turn back through. It looks as though he is not manipulating the club with his hands AT ALL. It's like his hands, and therefore the golf club, is just following his body turn, with rigid elbows making the connection from body to hands.

Does that make any sense? The set up still has to be square to your target, and the ball position still needs to be correct, but otherwise it is a very simple move. Rigid elbows, and loose, supple wrists. The looseness of the wrists allows the club to lag behind on the downswing. The club catches up, similar to the tip of a whip, right at impact. Think Roots where the guy is whipping Kunta Kintay because he will not take his slave name. The whip cracking is the tip actually passing the speed of sound. That is fast.

Albert Pujols is a power hitter in Major League baseball. He plays for the St. Louis Cardinals and can hit a baseball a country mile. Why a country mile is longer than a city mile I have no clue, but there you go. He hits the ball a long way. If you watch his technique closely you can see that he has rigid elbows, with his back elbow (his right arm) away from his body. This is so the bat does not drop to the inside of his desired swing path. If the bat did drop to the inside he would swing under the ball, or at least have to manipulate the bat with his hands and arms to just make contact. Any such manipulation would rob him of power, and the ability to hit the ball SQUARE.

Hitting the ball square is the key to both a straight and long golf shot. If the face is not square at impact then the ball will not go straight, and it will lack maximum power. So, this was my hypothesis, and I took it to the course on Sunday.

Tee to green I hit the ball straighter and more crisply than ever before. I can think of only one shot, and it was an easy wedge, that I hit poorly. Off the tee I was a God. Long and straight all day long. The only time I got into trouble was when I let the club head travel inside the target line on the takeaway. If I consciously kept the clubhead OUTSIDE of the target line on the takeaway, and kept my elbows rigid, with my wrists supple, then I cranked a long and STRAIGHT tee shot. It was wonderful.

As usually happens though the golf golds would not allow me to be very happy. If I did miss a green I was sure to dub my chip, or possibly three putt from 15 feet. I have never had a worse short game than that day. I lost one golf ball and shot a smooth 88. It could not have been worse if I had tried.

My friend, Dean, who may be the worst chipper ever, actually had a better short game than I because he used a designated chipping club. It's basically a putter with a loft of an 8 iron. It helped him immensely, and as he gains confidence it is hoped, by all who play with him, that he will be able to begin using his regular clubs around the greens once again. Meanwhile... I have contracted his obviously catchy syndrome.

I think the scientific name for this mental problem is wedgeaphobia. The fear of wedges. Many people mistake this for a fear of being crammed, or wedged, into a small space. But, no, it is a fear of the pitching wedge. Damn, I'm infected. Now what?

The putter, the old new putter that was supposed to revitalize my game? Suck it. I had countless three putts. In fact I had two three putts for pars! Unbelievable and disconcerting at the same time.

I am at a loss. One the one hand I feel like I have had a breakthrough with my long game, which is nice. On the other I feel like I have lost the ability to score. I don't know where this will lead but at least I have become mature enough to not throw any clubs in ponds, or break them over my knee, or take a divot out of the green (I did that only once, and it was an accident), or spaz out in any fashion. So, that is encouraging. It's just a technique issue, and a practice issue, which can be fixed.

I'm off to the practice green. Out.

What Have I Found?

This morning I awoke to the sun shining through the window, and the sounds of my family preparing to take on the day. I rubbed my eyes and heard my wife yell to our son, who is all of 11 years old, to get up it's time for school. He answered back in his usual "I'm dead to this world" tone letting M know he was awake. At that point my 14 year old daughter strolled through on her way to the master bath for I was assuming one more look at her face and hair before she ate breakfast. She asked me if I would take her to the movies this evening, and I said maybe I would like to go to a movie. She told me, with a sort of scowl on her face, that I could see a different movie than the one she and her friends wanted to see.

She may not understand that i do not wish to see a movie about teenage vampires. So, there was no problem. Myah wandered off and M brought me a cup of coffee. Man, life feels good today. My son caught me at the perfect time because I agreed to deal Deangelo Williams to him in our fantasy football league. He almost came to tears when I at first said no. I have a soft heart, what can I say?

M took the kids to school, and then ran off to work herself. I perused facebook and felt the sudden urge to try this putter I recently borrowed from my buddy, Mike. Now, I have to explain that I have used this putter in my distant past. I originally putted with it while I was in high school and college. I don't really remember why, it could be that I needed $30, or it could be I had three putted one too many times during my previous round, but for whtever reason i sold mike this putter. He and I had been talking about it since this past summer, and he mentioned I could give it another try since my putting was clearly awful. He was right too. I have not putted well in many, many years. Like twenty years...seriously.

So, now I have this putter, and the sun is shining, and life is grand cause i won a pretty good amount at the poker tables yesterday, and there is surely more of that to come today. The weekend is here, Myah has soccer tomorrow, Sam is doing better in school, M looks really great, and well, I am in a damn good mood. What else to do but head to the golf course?

Unfortunately, I'm unable to play golf at this moment. I am playing Sunday, and quite frankly that is enough. I have been hacking at it like a rank amateur, and generally unhappy with my play on the course. I have been dealing with it by staying inebriated during these enjoyable rounds with friends. But, I do have the time to go to the practice green. This is perfect.

I arrive at the course, and get permission to use the practice green. This is done as a courtesy to the guys on the pro shop. I play there quite often, and they recognize me, so there isn't ever a problem. I walk towards the practice green and I have with me my old new putter, a pitching wedge, and two Titleist Pro V 1's.

Normally I would carry my sand wedge with me instead of the pitching wedge. But, I always used to chip and pitch with my pitching wedge. In fact I didn't even own a sand wedge until I was about 18. We had little sand on out home course, and I learned to use the pitching wedge for a variety of shots both low and high. I could lay that club wide open and hit a flop shot of a tight lie. I shit you not. Now? Please. I can barely get up and down to save my life. The only thing that aids in my mental health is that the people I play golf with have worse short games than I. I think that MAY be the key to golf, always find worse golfers to hang with.

So, today I was going to learn to hit all the shots with my pitching wedge, just like way back when. I was also going to see if this old new putter could help in any way. I knew it couldn't hurt, that much was definite.

I looked at the greens and realized they were quite slow. That's ok though, it'll help with my chipping. Slower greens aren't as penal and therefore actually help build confidence. Confidence is a good thing.

I throw down the two balls and set my pitching wedge aside. There is another guy chipping on the other side of the green. I watch him hit one shot. Ugh, don't look like that guy I tell myself. His arms were all stiff and his sort of swayed backwards when he took the club away. he then had to sway back towards the ball while sweeping the club along the grass. Needless to say he hit a lot of fat and thin shots. It was not pretty.

So, I started putting, just getting the feel of the putter. It's ok, but I'm missing the sweetspot every time. I make some adjustments and start to hit the putts solid at least. It feels ok, but not really any better than usual. I start to get the speed right and roll some closer. But, I keep missing my mark, and the line is off on most putts. The putter looks like it is lining up right of my target line as I stand over it. I don't understand and decide to shelve it for a minute while I go hit some chip shots. Maybe I'm too impatient, but I just wasn't feeling it. Something's not right, maybe the grip is off center a bit, I don't know. I picked up my pitching wedge.

I start to hit some chips shots. The ball is rolling nicely. I'm chiiping well, and the ball is going close to the hole once in a while. Suddenly, I start hitting some fat, meaning I'm hitting the ground behind the ball. Gross, the ball hoes half the distance to the hole. The next one is thin, dear lord, it goes screming by the hole making the guy on the other side of the green look up at me. His eyes are saying "WTF", I smile and yell "head's up!". Screw him anyway. Now what?

I mix in some good chips, but every once in a while I hit one fat or thin. This is no good as it is clear something is definitely wrong with my technique. I can't figure it out. For some reason my bottom hand on the club is taking over at the impact time of the swing. It is the bane of all bad chippers. But, there is a cause, and therefore can be fixed. I just had to find it.

I'm tired for now so I'm going to finish this later. I do find the key, and it has to do with right angles, lines on the putter, and Robert Allenby approaching me in a dream telling me to be more like Albert Pujols. I know....but it's true, and it works. I think.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Road Trip 11.09

It's been so long since I have last jotted anything down on these pages that I feel almost foreign sitting here in front of the screen. I had an interesting trip out of town last week and I'd like to share some of my experiences and observations.

The trip began with a quick 6 hour jaunt to Charlotte, NC. to visit my cousin, once again. He had invited me for three days of golf and I was not going to pass it up. He has recently been promoted to Head Superintendent at Myer's Park Golf Club. I'm proud of him. He's worked hard, put in the hours, and obviously learned the deft art of the handjob. Nice job, cousin. Incidentally, the golf course is in great condition. The greens are full, firm, and fast, and the rest of the course is tip-top as well.

We also played a course named Tobacco Road. All I can say is "wow". This golf course is the ultimate in target golf. Precision is a must, and the greens are nightmarish. Optically it is one of the most challenging I have experienced as there are numerous blind shots and hidden dangers. It saves itself from becoming too difficult by requiring only short irons in your approach to most greens. It has a rating in the top 50 according to Golf Digest. I hate to be negative, but it's my blog, so here it comes. The entire course seems overly contrived. Which is to say it is not natural. It appears they had to move a lot of dirt in order to bring it all together. This is but a minor hiccup in an otherwise great course, and it is only a personal issue.

We played a third course, of which the name escapes me. It was also immaculate. It was also free as the man in charge of remodeling the course was our host. The greens were extremely slick, easily the fastest I have ever played. Needless to say I did not adjust well and played poorly. It was still a great time as our foursome partook in some mind altering liquids while our leader, Mick, told us all he was going to kick all of our asses the rest of the round. We were on the 13th hole, and Mick was completely plowed. I can't be exact, but I think he did not get out of the golf cart, following his tee shot, on the 14th, 15th, and 16th holes. He was, in effect, the perfect host. He provided great golf, reckless gambling, entertaining golf shots, and the whole while had us in stitches with his many stories from his colorful past. A more entertaining day I could not have had.

At night, at my cousins place, we ventured out to Club 133. It's a pretty trendy nightspot outside Charlotte in a little town called Mooresville. Davidson College is in Morresville. I didn't see many college kids at Club 133 as the clientele was made up mostly of middle aged men and women. The club itself is right out of the Twilight Zone. The entire place is made to look like a garage. In fact, the nickname for the place is "The Garage". The walls are covered with rakes and shovels. There are rolls of toilet paper and plenty of dried goods on shelves. There are even two bikes hanging from the ceiling of this place. The music was ok, they played predominantly hip-hop and top 40 stuff, but it was pretty cool. I mean, it felt like a garage! Right down to the frigid weather and people hanging out with blankets wrapped around them. It was a lot of fun and I'd certainly do it again.

After Charlotte I got back on the road and began my journey North, on I-81. I needed to get to New York state where I would meet a high school friend of mine and venture Foxwoods Casino to play some poker. There was also a football game on the docket, as well as a promised night out. Hopefully I will have the time to continue writing of this tomorrow or the next day. Right now I need to check Facebook and get a passport. Yes, a planned out of country experience is on the horizon.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Just getting to the river had been a painful and arduous journey. The trip had taken well over two hours. The roads had been hazardous as the rainy season is in full swing. The pitfalls along the way were many as the slippery, muddy road had been washed out a couple of times and our Jeep, our lifeline to a return trip home, had very nearly crashed more than once.

At one point I was sure we were going broke as I pressed the accelerator in an attempt to roar across a small ravine. But, it was really only a ditch with some fast moving water, and not the trip ending torrent I believed. Another occasion, about a half an hour ago, a tree fell across the road in front of us. It was no problem though thanks to some thinking ahead by yours truly. I had brought a saw for just such a quandary.

Finally we had arrived at the river. The water was flooding the banks, and the bridge we had to use looked less than desirable. It was nothing but two large ropes tied between two very large trees as it stretched from bank to bank. Wooden planks held the two ropes together and were designed to be our roadway. The task appeared daunting and I was unsure of our success. The water was the color of light brown dirt and it appeared as though the river would swallow the bridge in very short manner. A decision needed to be made.

To fold now and try to turn back appeared to be senseless. We had already spent way too much time and effort in the trip just getting to this point. We must cross here, and we must cross now. I rated our chances at about 50-50. This was going to be risky.

As we started across it became rather obvious that 50-50 was rather optimistic. We were barely a third of the way over the bridge when the left hand rope snapped and the bridge tipped violently to the driver side of the Jeep. Our truck rolled off one side and started to float along with the current. We were moving rather quickly downstream, and as we came around the bend I could see the water just disappear in front of us. There was a waterfall, and our truck was going over it.

Our only hope was to jump into the river and swim for the trees lining the banks. It did not look good as the water rushed around me. I was the last one out of the truck and I watched as my entire party, one by one, went over the falls in front of me. I swam for the edge harder and harder as I listened to the screams of my friends as they went over the edge. Their screams began as they crested the falls and the sound slowly died away as they fell father and farther.

I swam harder.

It was no use. I was going over the edge. As I reached the top of the falls I could see to the bottom. It was at least 100 feet tall, this mighty falls created by nature millions of years ago. I quickly realized why my friends were screaming as they went. I could see the rocks below, and I could even make out a couple of the crumpled bodies of my party motionless on the jagged rocks below.

As I fell, as the end approached, there was peace. It would be over, the struggle complete. It was not the end I had envisioned, bu it was an end still the same. After that, blackness....

Codsey out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I wanted to give a quick update of my trip to Daytona Beach, Fl. to partake in their poker room. The last time I had been at this poker room was a number of years ago before poker was legal in Florida. Well, it wasn't completely illegal otherwise it would have been difficult to operate a public card room for very long. The legal betting limits in Florida at that time, circa 1998, was 50 cents max bet. Yes, you heard me. We played 25 cent-50 cent Texas Holdem. Talk about hard to beat the rake!!! But, that is another story for another time. My recent trip to Daytona was interesting if not all that profitable.

They do things a little bit differently, but it's the same game. The ownership in Daytona is a bit more player friendly. They have a comp system in place, although at this time it is really ineffectual because it pays like 20 cents per hour. However, it will not be ineffectual forever.

This group is planning ahead because the slow down in Florida Poker has already begun. I'm not sure if the recession is the main cause, or just the normal phenomenon of poker players believing they are better players than they actually are, but there are definitely fewer people in the rooms of late.

Having a comp system already in place in rooms like Daytona is a jumping off point for the card rooms. The competition between rooms will only heat up from here. The regular player, aka yours truly, is going to begin to have some options on his services.

Make no bones about it. Someone like myself certainly provides a service to the rooms. I am there on a near daily basis. I am polite and congenial, for the most part, to all other players.

Wait a minute you may say. Isn't that to be expected? I would say yes, but unfortunately when the human, um, "spirit" let's call it, is involved when cold, hard, cash is taken from right in front of it, then emotions tend to run hot.

It has taken me literally YEARS, and THOUSANDS of hours of play, to finally learn to control my emotions. Sometime last year it hit me that people take varying actions during the play of a hand or session for a variety of reasons. ALL of those reasons are perfectly logical to each individual. It doesn't matter if it is flawed logic. To be so angered or upset by the outcome of another's "logical" actions is absurd. I'm glad it finally "clicked" for me. It has not clicked with all of the regulars, but most get it. Most got it before me. It's so clear now.

Anyway, I DIGRESS.

As poker rooms battle for a diminishing player base the most coveted players will be the regulars. I have often said I would go anywhere to play if I received gas money and comped food and drink throughout my play. At some point I hope I am offered the opportunity to "shill" at a poker establishment. I'll talk about that later as well.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, Daytona. So they have a comp system, sort of. And they have "Senior" dealers. These dealers have been around and are very competent. They are professional. They make few mistakes. These dealers deal the higher limit games. The newer dealers deal in the lower limit games. Makes sense to me. Daytona's waitresses were over worked. It was crowded due to the Bad Beat promotion that everyone was trying to hit, and they could have used some help.

Daytona's poker room also allows you to "chop" the blinds. Chopping the blinds is when everyone else has folded and the only players left are the small and big blind. To "chop" refers to the two of them taking their money back and moving directly to the next hand. It saves time, and keeps the game fun and light. Jax poker rooms do not allow chopping of the blinds and when I originally asked about it many months ago they told me it was against state law. You can imagine my surprise when I saw it being done in Daytona. I'm pretty sure Daytona is still part of Florida, at least during the 51 weeks that are not "Bike Week".

Th Daytona poker room is on the leading edge of what all poker rooms, or at least the one's who wish to remain in business, will eventually be doing. They are making their room, and the games they spread, more player friendly. The room in Daytona does not make you post when you first enter a game. You can just sit down, with your chips, and take a free hand. It's PLAYER FRIENDLY.

As the player pool continues to decrease the regular player will begin to receive comps and opportunity to save a little bit of money. This is all well and good and it is capitalism at its' finest. Unfortunately, these benefits can only mean one thing. The games are going to toughen up.

As the player pool decreases in number, so do the number of fish, or poor poker players. What will happen? Well, like in anything, the strong will survive and the weak will go broke and find another form of entertainment.

I cannot wait to find out which group I'm going to fall. Seriously, it's rather exciting. Of course, I've been hanging on the precipice for while now. The fall won't be that far. Maybe finding a low paying hourly job at first. Eventually moving back into the corporate world. Maybe even sitting in a cubicle all day answering phones and trying to sell people something. Just a sec while I very gently tap on the tip of my penis with this hammer. Cause I'd rather do that than sit in another cubicle.

It is exciting though. And you, the lonely reader, will have a front-row seat to witness either magnificent triumph or a return to the mundane. A return to the mundane. Jesus H Christ.

Please, no return to the mundane.

I'm out. I need to go read a poker book, or something.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I finally have the urge to think about and actually put to paper what has been going on in my little corner of the world. It's been a number of days since I have "checked in" and I can't stand the isolationism.

I was originally going to play golf this morning. My friend, who is a dealer at the local card room, could not make it for some reason that he tried to convey to me last night. He was rambling on and I felt like his reason for not golfing was made up. He actually said he had to open at the poker room and he hasn't worked a day shift in I don't know how long, but a long time. It's cool though. I'm sure whatever he was doing was more important than our golf game. That is sick.

I've heard the bad-beat jackpot is capped out at 175k at the Daytona poker room. I am taking a trip there today with another poker dealer from the poker room. I should have played golf with this guy. The golf again... have you ever looked forward to something and then just not been able to make it happen? I thought so. Back to the bad-beat jackpot.

The bad-beat jackpot is derived from a dollar, which is taken from the pot, of every hand played in any cash game at the poker room. I'm going to explain how they do it in the rooms I am accustomed to, but I know rules vary from place to place. This dollar is split into four pieces of a pie.

One piece of the pie, consisting of 50 cents, goes to the main bad-beat. 25% goes to the back-up bad beat pool, 15% to the second backup bad-beat pool, and 10% to the "promotions" pool. Now keep in mind, and a lot of people DO NOT understand this, this is OUR money.

The bad-beat jackpot is not something the poker room GIVES us. They only run the game for US. Our agreement with them is that they can use the 10% promotional part of the dollar taken to run other, daily or hourly, luck games in an attempt to attract more customers.

How do I feel about this? I'm not sure. I mean, I am just fine with attracting more people to play poker in the poker rooms. That should go without saying. But personally, I wish there was no bad beat jackpot, and I wish any promotions were paid for by the room itself. It's their business, and I'm not sure why we, the players, need to pay for it.

But, I am in a small minority when it comes to the bad-beat jackpot. The reason being that the prize for winning the bad beat jackpot can sometimes be over 100k. That is one heck of a payday, no matter how unlikely it is to happen. It does happen though, and everyone at the table, who was dealt into the hand, get's a piece of the bad-beat jackpot.

The jackpot is hit when Aces full of jacks get beaten by at least quads, or better. Both hole cards in both hands must play. The loser of the hand (the one getting the bad beat) wins 50% of the bad-beat jackpot. The winner of the hand gets 25%, and the other people at the table split the remaining 25%. It is a pure gamble, requiring no skill, except for maybe the ability to never lay down a hand. But, when it hits, similarly to when Yo-eleven! hits in craps, the place erupts in joy.

I have been in the room more than once when the bad-beat has been hit, but I have yet to be AT the table. I'm certain I probably will eventually, but not necessarily. Maybe I'll win it... maybe. We are driving to Daytona because the bad-beat is getting up there, and also it will be a change of scenery. Plus, the dealers at the room in Jax are not allowed to play in the games where they work.

I hate this rule. I have never been in better poker games than games which are full of poker dealers. These guys gamble. They do it because to sit tight and be nitty with their chips would be very bad for business. They work for tips. I always tip more after I have spanked the dealer in a few hands.

Of course, I'm sure some people would not be able to handle getting beaten by a dealer in a poker hand. People take poker seriously sometimes. I used to become very emotional. These days though I just snap my rubber band, put on my sunglasses, and try very hard to remember To Prevail Takes Apathy. It is a definite struggle, certainly. Some cannot handle it.

Just yesterday an older man, who is normally very quiet, went a bit nutso. We were playing in a tournament, and he was seated next to me, on the right. He is normally quiet and thoughtful, and usually makes good poker decisions. He called the pre-flop raise, and called the bet on the flop. When the turn card hit he check-raised a big amount. His opponent called the big raise. The river card paired the board and both players opted to check. The older man turned over 9-3, and there was a nine and a three on the board. His opponent turned over Q-10. There was a ten and two sevens on the board. The tens and sevens beat the older man's hand.

The older man threw down his cards and said "You've got to be fuckin kidding me". But, not really loud. I laughed out loud. Literally. I was laughing because that hand is not uncommon. It's called a counterfeit. The older man had two pair, and was ahead when he made the big raise, but the other guy played poorly and got lucky. The dealer looked up at him, sort of shrugged, and raised his hands as if to say "what am I supposed to do"?

The older man said "Do what you need to do, just do it!"

The dealer yelled "Floor, I'm sorry, sir. F-bomb on table nine!"

The dealer actually apologized, which I thought was nice. The one standing rule is No F-Bombs. It is ridiculous because I could say FOCK you and would not get a penalty. I could also say pussy, cunt, asshole, cock, dipshit, cum licker, and gosh darnit and I would NOT get a penalty.

The old man got up, said nothing, and left for his one round (about 15 minute) penalty. It's not a big deal, and no one was offended. We were all men at the table, including the dealer, and we've all heard it before. I guess the old man was off his game, and maybe knew it.

He never came back.

He lasted longer in the tournament than I did because his chips just sat there. The dealer took out for his blinds and antes, but he never played another hand. I played like a donkey cum licker and made zero dollars. I guess he'd had enough of poker for that day. He should wear a rubber band.

I got a bit upset at the table yesterday during a cash game. There was a woman who had just sat down. I have played with her in the past and she liked to play a lot of hands. She is not a good player, and it was a guarantee, barring her getting very lucky, that she was going to lose a few hundred. I may not get any of it, but at least one can hope.

She started right off by calling off all of her chips with a K-4 offsuit on a board that read A-Q-Q-10-5. Not good for her, I'd say. But, and here is why I was angry, no one should have EVER known what she had played and lost with.

The winner of the hand had shown his hand, and the woman had tried to muck her hand without showing. No big deal, I do it all of the time. This Clown next to her, who had been in the hand on the earlier streets, but had folded BEFORE the river, asked to see her cards. The woman says no because he was not in the hand at the end. The Clown says he was in the hand at the beginning so he has a RIGHT. The dealer agrees and shows the woman's K-4 offsuit. The woman gets NOTICEABLY embarrassed and stands up and leaves the table.

Did that just happen? That was all I could ask myself for a couple of minutes. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and I let the Clown have it. What he did was not cool, and it was not classy. He wants to be known as a good poker player and one way, in his mind, of how to do that is to embarrass another player. He knew she had crap, and he wanted to make her show just how bad of a player she is. Nice job, jackass.

I left the game shortly after that hand. It wasn't because her money had gone elsewhere. There was still plenty of chips on the table and the clown had some too. It was just time to go, and it was better to leave after spouting my views on his dumb ass move. Maybe it sunk in.

Anyway, I'll let you know what my share was of the bad-beat was that I'm going to hit today in Daytona. Is it considered incorrect Englsih, in writing circles, to have past, present, and future tense all in the same sentence?

I don't care.

Codsey out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

9.29.09 My Roots are Dead

I awoke before 6 again this morning. It has become regular now. I rarely sleep in. I guess this is a normal development. I mean, I am getting older. Older people seem to wake up with the sun all of the time. Add this to the list. It is becoming official. The anxiety began shortly after I brushed my teeth.

My tooth is hurting badly. My dentist appointment is for 10 AM. I know, by the pain I am experiencing, that a root canal is going to be required. My dentist is going to basically climb inside my mouth and needle, and drill, and poke, and pinch, and grind, and stick, and drill, and drill, and drill, always the drill. The anxiety level just went up another notch.

Be a man! Yes, that is what I would tell my son if he was whining about the dentist. Be a man, accept your fate, take the pain, toughen up, stop your whimpering, be a man. I'm pretty sure my dentist hates me. He is going to hurt me. Anxiety continues to rise.

I try to drink my gourmet coffee. Life is good, until I take the first steam laden sip. The pain sends me reeling from the cup in horror. The left side of my face feels as though, well, it feels as though there is an open nerve inside my jaw that has a huge infection all around it.

I rush to the kitchen and swallow two tylenol. I also grab the ice pack from the freezer and pin it to my face. That's nice. I feel the coolness roll across my entire face and the pain deadens a little. It is going to be fine. 10 AM will be here soon.

I walk into the office at 9:55 AM and announce my presence. The lady behind the counter says hello and smiles a warm smile at me. That is comforting, but my tooth hurts enough to not want her comfort. I want a dentist, now. Of course, I say nothing except hello and turn to go sit down in the waiting room.

There is an older woman, maybe 55 or 60 years of age. She has blond hair and is wearing a sweater and a pair of dress sandals. Her feet are well manicured, but they are old. I'm guessing she used to work on her feet, or she is older than I think. Her feet looked old compared to her face. She is reading a Women's World magazine. I smile at her and sit down, she smiles back.

There are a couple of Sports Illustrated's sitting next to me and I actually get to almost complete one of them when the lady behind the counter calls me back. It is now 10:40 AM. The pain in my mouth, for whatever reason, has subsided. For this I am thankful. Maybe the Tylenol was working. I'm taken to "the first room on the right" and the assistant puts a lead vest over my chest for the x-rays.

The dentist comes in and says "He's back!" in a jovial voice like he is surprised to see me. He knows me better than I know myself, I guess. I answer "I had to come back, my tooth is killing me."

He explains he thought that may happen and it looks like a root canal will be required. He asks if I would like to know first how much it will cost me and what my insurance will cover. I ask "Do you have a payment plan?" He laughs. I do not.

It turns out it will cost me almost $500 for a root canal and new crown. They do take my request for a payment plan seriously and offer to have me pay half today and half when I have the permanent crown put on, in three weeks. For some reason this makes me feel better, and my anxiety actually drops a little bit at that very moment.

I am very happy when he moves towards me with that long, sharp, skinny needle. The numbness is felt almost immediately. I feel it first at the point where the needle enters and slowly, but surely, spreading over the entire left side of my face.

His assistant moves in and has me open my mouth wide. She puts a rubber dental dam around the tooth they will be working on. I suddenly realize this will keep things from falling into my throat. Wait a minute, this is a good idea. How has this never been used on me before? I hate all of my past dentists now. How could they not have thought of a dental dam?

What came next was the least disturbing episode of any tooth work I have ever had done. There was no pain, there was no gagging, there was no swearing, and there were no promises to find him late at night and and gouge his eyes out for what he had just put me through.

We finished up an hour and a half later. My tooth no longer hurts, and I get a new tooth in three weeks time. Life is good.

Codsey out.

PS. Five things:

1. Painless Dentistry
2. Dental Dams
3. Flexibility
4. Good Friends
5. Pot Roast in the Slow Cooker.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

9.24.09 Hump it!

This is sort of a work in progress...So far I like it.

Hump it! Call
Two cards, green felt
Clay chips, short stacks, deep stacks, no stacks
Dealer's hands, French manicures
Raise, call, check, bet

Hats, sunglasses
Music in your head
Tips, checks
Should have stayed in bed

Button raise, limp re-raise
Trapped real good
Gutshots, open ended
Tugs at his hood

Scared money, weakness
What is he trying to sell
Big bets, over the top
That might be a tell

Check-blind, bet
Someone will raise!
Look back now
It's all just a haze

Airball, again
Some things never change

Two cards, life renewed
Loudspeaker drivel
Bet, call, fold
My head's on a swivel

5/7 done
Bet, raise, reraise
I'd rather have a gun

Top pair, two pair,
Top and bottom, wait
Flopped it, turned it
Made the nut straight

One more to go

Sets, trips, full houses galore
Straight, Flush
Min raise, why no more?

Burn a card
Expose one too
Shuffle it back
Roll it over...

Come on nine
Come on nine
Come on nine...


Suck outs, dominated
No need to whine
Next hand, life renewed
This time, NO NINE


Ps. Five things I am thankful for:

1. Good weather
2. Tiger sweat
3. Rich people
4. Higher math
5. Free will

PPS. For those who read this poem, or whatever it might be called, and thought to themselves "Hey, what in the hell is he talking about?" well, we sort of speak out own language at the poker room. This is just a sampling of some of the verbiage you may hear on any given day.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

9.19.09 I'm Me on Friday

This week has been quite good, and certainly very profitable. I even had an opportunity to play some more golf this week, and that experience was one to remember as well. Before I begin , however, here are five things I am thankful for (I'd better get it in now, before I forget, you see):

1. My friend, Dean, for having such a bad greenside game, in golf, that he had to try some weird, whacky tip in order to improve his chipping. Because of this tip I am currently enjoying my greatest good putting streak in about 20 odd years. That is a heckuva long time.
2. The grass continuing to grow. It's the only exercise I get each week. I am looking forward to winter and only needing to cut it once every other week.
3. My daughter beginning her first "official" job. She is a fully accredited, soccer referee, and I am proud of her.
4. The in-laws watching the boy last night so that M and I could attend a concert. Yes, a concert, and it was a spectacle.
5. The new movie "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell". Yes, Tucker Max has a movie. The Apocalypse is nigh.

It is difficult for me to understand the popularity of this Tucker Max character, or person. If you have never heard of him before, and I find that hard to believe, please Google his name and learn of him, and his kind.

Tucker Max is probably the most despicable, deceitful, overbearing, judgmental, and incredibly humorous writers which I have read in many a year. His humor is not for everyone, as even I must admit he is crass beyond belief at times. Tucker Max chooses to do or say anything in an attempt to see how low women will go to be with a pseudo-celebrity of his apparent social status.

To me, his book is a scathing eye opener to people's, particularly women's, ability to overlook obvious shortcomings in a person if the mere possibility of future wealth and social acceptance exists. There are many lonely people in the world, and it worries me that there may be far too many heartless others eager to exploit them. I say watch the film, or read the book, and decide for yourself. I warn you though, you will laugh and then you will have to think about yourself.

Maybe you ought not to watch the movie at all. It could be too much for you.

Let's move on...

M and I went to a free concert at the Jacksonville Landing last night. It was a country music concert being put on by a local country music radio station, and therefore the entire night was M's idea. I'm more of a Alternative Rock kind of guy, or possibly Classic Rock, or maybe even Pop music, and Country music is far down my list. Of course, she definitely was looking forward to the music and the night out, and I aim to please.

The Jacksonville Landing is downtown. It sits right on the bank of the St. John's River and there are four or five restaurants that ring a semi circle that is large enough to hold a stage and probably 3,000 people. I'm not sure on the number, but it was packed.

We don't usually venture to downtown Jax except for football and baseball games. There are a couple of museums that we have been to, but we mostly just stay in the suburbs with the rest of the middle class.

I was surprised to find available parking on the street and only a couple of blocks from the Landing. But, I should not have been surprised. All of the garages and pay lots were being filled, and the street parking was being ignored, because of the clientele not being from the city either! They were all from the outlying areas and knew very little of Downtown Jax. We were awash in a sea of blue jeans and cowboy hats. Codsey was out of his element.

We parked on the street, made a mental note of the location, and began our trek to The Landing. How do I know that I have entered the twilight zone that is urban America? By the sign outside of a local daytime restaurant. It read something like "Make someone's day by committing random acts of kindness and senseless acts of love". Yes, "senseless" acts of love. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to read "selfless" cause I have no idea what a senseless act of love really is. I guess it's just loving someone like that guy out west who kidnapped that girl 18 years ago and fathered two of her children. Loving that guy wouldn't make much sense. I guess that is senseless love. I'm not for it.

M and I thought that sign was quite humorous, and we chuckled about it for some time. As we walked along the street we fell in behind a group of late teen or early twenty something good ole southern boys and girls. The boys all had the tight wranglers with the signature skoal rings on the back pockets. This made me wish I had a chew. None since Christmas though, and I'm still holding strong.

We also noticed one of the guys had a 6 inch long hunting knife hanging on his right hip, in a sheath. I thought it was odd that someone would want to bring a knife to a concert, but hey, it's the south and these guys were clearly country. I seriously wasn't concerned. Interestingly enough, neither was the security guard at the front door because she was feverishly checking the backpack of a guy with a little baby hanging on his chest. I guess it had to do with anti-terrorism, but I'm not sure. The guy with the knife waltzed on through.

The Landing was jam packed so we decided to try to get a table at one of the local restaurants. They all had outside tables and why not sit down and eat while drinking and listening to some live music? There was a Hooters, but we passed. There was a sushi place, but we passed. We decided on American Cafe. Plus, they were serving Margaritas for $4. I'm all-in.

We put out name on the list and after about an hour, and two margaritas later, we sat down on the deck. I'm not sure of the first two performers, but their music was decent. Like I said, I'm not that much into country music, so I watched the people. Most of the women wore jean mini-skirts and cowboy boots. The men wore t-shirts with various levels of half dressed cartoon women printed on the back and/or front of the shirt.

One of the more interesting shirts had a women with a bikini, the top barely covering her nipples, and the bottoms being thong in nature. It had a caption which read "It's Time to get the Real Lube". Seems it was an add for motor oil. Interesting.

After we ate our pizza we went downstairs to the floor. We managed to push our way through the crowd and we ended up getting positioned near the steps at the back of the stage where the performers came and went. Apparently, one of the performers wore an incredibly sexy pair of "New Religion" jeans. It seems he looked great in them, as his jeans, and his buttocks, were the hot topic in our twosome for the next 15 minutes. M was hammered. She was funny too.

I know why bands which play later in the show are actually considered to be better sounding than the early playing bands. It's because it takes the crowd a while to become numb enough from alcohol and drugs to not really care what the band sounds like. Once the crowd reaches the proper intoxication levels it is "party on!".

It was actually a very enjoyable evening. As the last performer was playing, some guy named Azor or something, and he was wrapping it up, we began to walk out. The crowd, while rowdy and raucous, was not out of control and there were no fights or disagreements that I could see. It was a very nice time. Azor was singing something about "not being me until Monday". Nice song, that one.

We walked back to our car, which seemed to take much longer than the walk to the concert. The ride home was uneventful except for M babbling on and on about "New Religion" jeans and butts, and how next week's concert was going to be even better. I have to get some new jeans.

Codsey out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Five things I am thankful for:

1. Sleeping in
2. Gourmet latte
3. My ability to back step quickly and avoid perilous spots
4. Freedom
5. School for the kids to go to each day

I don't know what came first. As I write I am trying to review the past three days and figure out exactly what it is I am doing right. I must be doing something correct because I am winning again. The answer may be that this renewed positive attitude has freed my mind allowing my decisions to be more correct, more often. That would be absolutely beautiful if it were definitely the case.

If a positive attitude can really and truly improve your performance, then I have found the secret to poker, and lovemaking. At the poker table I have been like some sort of sixth sensed monster, laying down hands at the right time and picking off bluffs as though the opponent has his hand face up. In the bedroom the results are still mixed, but I was able to keep her awake the last time, so that is an improvement.

I should add that I did hit a pretty big hand today after making a truly awful play. I had the A6 of clubs, and my opponent had raised the pot to $20 after I had limped in for $5. Another person called his raise, and I decided to add my $15 to the pot. I normally hate this play because he probably has me in a very bad spot, and this goes against all of my rules for playing tight. The flop came 5-6-7, with one club. Hmmmmmm. The interesting thing is that I have already made the decision in my mind what I am going to do. I checked, the raiser bet $35, the other caller folded, and I moved all-in. The raiser only had $60 left and he immediately called and flipped over his pocket aces. Ooops.

See, I was hoping he had Ace-King, or maybe even less, like King-queen. Who am I kidding? I was gambling, and based on his past play, I liked my chances. I was wrong, until another 6 came on the turn giving me trip sixes.

I looked at him and said "Man, I just put a horrible beat on you, and I'm almost embarrassed to turn over my cards."

But, not really, cause I wanted that cash in the middle. So, I roll over my A-6 and scoop the pot. My opponent was unhappy, to say the least. I've been in his shoes too many times to count, and nothing I said was going to ease his mind. Now I see why people draw for that miracle card ALL of the time. It is quite an adrenaline rush when it hits.

Otherwise, I played well today, and I am pleased.

So, did the new positive attitude come because of the sudden success at the tables? Or did the success follow the change in attitude? I still have the rubber band on my wrist, and I'm still mutilating my wrist each time I catch myself thinking in a negative way. Now though, I'm snapping my wrist BEFORE the bad thought occurs, like right when something bad happens. After wincing in pain (sometimes I make it hurt a lot), I then talk myself down from the ledge and get back to playing the next hand.

I have no clue if it is helping, but why risk it?

Poker reminds me of a girl I knew in high school. You know the one I'm referring to. Remember that girl that was really cute, and really cool, and everything about her was just perfect? You do, don't you. Do you also remember that she knew just how wonderful she was and would use that knowledge to get you to do her certain favors?

She'd hang out with you, smiling, laughing, and joking around. She'd flip her hair and tilt her head. She'd see you smiling at her and would give you that smile back. You'd see her out somewhere and she'd talk to you for a bit and then convince you to give her a ride to another guy's house. You remember, right? That's poker.

Right now poker is smiling at me, and I love her. I know that bitch will turn, though.

SNAP! Ow! That was a big one.

Why risk it?

Codsey out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Five things I am thankful for:

1. Getting my tooth repaired this morning
2. Spotting a friend of mine playing in the WSOP on ESPN (he busted The Grinder)
3. The weather turning cooler
4. Breaking 80 on the golf course this weekend
5. Seeing four old friends that I have not seen in quite a while.

Life is Good, people. It, most likely, beats the alternative. I'm betting that my good friend, Paco, is pissed today that his beloved Buffalo Bills got beat in horrendous fashion last night on MNF. They'll have to "circle the wagons". In the poker world that loss last night for the Bills would be referred to as a Bad Beat. It should have been almost impossible for the Pats to win that game. The Bills had to get very unlucky to lose. Something like the kick returner fumbling on his own 30 yard line or something like that would have to happen. Oh yeah, it did happen just like that. Ouch.

I did win my fantasy football game against my sister in law's weak team. Sorry Sheryl, but my team rocks. I still had to sweat Terrell Owens and Fred Jackson, but in the end they came up short, thereby securing my victory in week one. The Brown-eyed Skidmarks are 1-0 and not looking back.

Prostitution is illegal. Strip tease is looked down upon. Waitresses let you see 65% of their entire breasts for a dollar tip. It's a well spent dollar, in my humble opinion.

My good friend Dean read something somewhere which stated you should try to chip with your bottom hand while playing golf. That is to say you should only have that hand on the club. It would be the right hand for a right handed golfer. The theory is that you will feel, directly, any incorrect movement that the hand may make. I decided to try it out while putting. Thank you Dean for the tip because I putted so well on Sunday that I am actually looking forward to playing again soon.

I want to thank all of my friends who had noticed that I was feeling a bit down. Your words of encouragement were needed and accepted. Sometimes even the lucky ones like to feel a bit of self pity, and I needed to be shown the light. I appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness.

I wonder if the buy-in limits are ever going to go up here in Florida? If I have a vote, and I'm sure I do not, then I would vote for increasing the limits. Right now, as things stand, you can win $1000, and play with that money as long as you like, or at least until the casino closes. You cannot, however, win the grand one day, then go home, and bring the grand back with you and put it all on the table, at once, the next day. Does that make sense? I didn't think so.

It's almost time to hitch up my britches and play some poker. Wish me luck.

Codsey out.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I've been sitting here staring at a blank screen for about twenty minutes. I'm unable to find anything witty, cute, or even mildly amusing to write about. Instead, I can only ponder the events of the past week and the nothingness which still envelopes me.

Biloxi is a beautiful city. It is situated on the shores of the gulf of Mexico. I suppose it was at one time a sleepy fishing village before the casinos arrived. Once the casinos were built could a major hurricane be far behind? I think not.

Biloxi is being rebuilt. Slowly, but surely, new buildings and gambling halls are being constructed in the shadows of the carnage that is left following the the hurricane which nearly destroyed New Orleans. As you drive up and down state road 90, along the ocean, it becomes obvious that the south survives on grits and waffles as a Waffle House is located on each block.

My life revolves around the hotel room, the poker room, and the buffet of the Beau Rivage Casino. I did not once visit the gym, which is astounding I am told. I did not once visit the swimming pool, even though I had packed my swim suit. I did not once venture outside of the casino, except one night when I and two of my traveling companions visited a Hooter's Bar. The power had gone out in the casino and the poker room was closed. Hooters seemed like a good choice.

I played mostly cash games the past week. No-Limit Hold em is my game, and I think I must have no idea how to play. To Prevail Takes Apathy certainly does work, but I am too impatient. I have no discipline.

I took to wearing a rubber band on my wrist after I was reading a magazine article. The premise is to snap the rubber band really hard anytime that you realize you are having negative thoughts about anything. I think I may have to visit the doctor soon if my right wrist is infected, as I suspect it is, from the swelling and redness caused by repeated snapping of a rubber band against the exposed skin. My daughter says this action is one step away from cutting yourself. She is wise for her years.

It is odd that only a month ago I felt like I couldn't possibly lose at the poker table. I'm not sure how one's psyche can be changed and remolded into an aberration of it's former self, but change it can. I feel like a full fledged nut job. Constipation is a bitch.

Ex-Lax did not work. Soft Fruit is an old wives tale. The best way to fight the blockage is to never get blocked up in the first place. It is too late though.

Another magazine article that I recently read said that you should start each day by publicly announcing five things you are thankful for. It says it has something to do with getting your mind in a more positive place, which will then free you up to make good decisions. Sounds plausible, and honestly I could use something. So, here goes..

1. My Family
2. My Lifestyle
3. My Health
4. My New Found Marriage
5. My Improved Putting on the Golf Course.

There, that's five. It took me a while to think of those five things. Why is it so difficult to think of five things I am thankful for? I swear, something is wrong with me.

I played in a tournament while in Biloxi. There were 370 entrants, and they paid 36 spots. Well, actually they paid 37 spots because everyone decided to take $600 off the winners share of 27k and award it to 37th spot, or the bubble boy as he, or she, is affectionately known.

I finished 36th.

This is not too bad, really. I should be pleased that I was able to play solid, sound poker and wade my way through 90% of the participants. If you've never played in anything like this, and come that close to getting there, than I can't explain the disappointment I felt when I busted out in 36th place.

I wanted to die. I had my rubber band on, and I had been telling myself the entire day that I was going to win. "You're going to win", over and over I would repeat this to myself throughout the tournament. It began at noon, and I busted out at 12:30 AM. We had an hour for dinner at 6:30, and various ten minute breaks every couple of hours, but let me tell you, it was a struggle.

No one should have to do anything for twelve straight hours. It is inhumane. Even Micheal Vick's dogs only had to fight for a few minutes, at most. Ok, that probably wasn't a good analogy.

The cash games were brutal. At one pint I stopped looking at my hole cards. Yes, that's right. I played the hands out without looking at what I had. If I sensed weakness, and I thought the opportunity was right, then I raised. If I thought he had it, then I folded. I made money that day. Everything is Topsy turvey.

Have you ever met a multi-millionaire who brings a small mattress to the hotel so he doesn't have to get his own room? I have. It's all upside down and backwards.

Have you ever seen a man running out of a casino, with another man close behind yelling "stop him he stole my money!!", and the casino security doing nothing? I have. It's all whack.

For all of the freedom my job allows, and for all of the gorgeous hotels I get to visit, these are the days that make poker seem like a dirty word. These are the days that make me wish I had a normal job, with normal working hours, and a normal boss, and maybe a normal secretary with abnormally long legs.

If I had that normal job then I could be bitching about today being a Monday, and how I have the whole work week ahead of me. But that paycheck would be there on Friday, whether I did anything at work this week or not. That would be nice.

I could talk about the past weekend's football games, and tonight's football game, and whether Derek Jeter is the best baseball player in the game, and whether Obama's plan for health care is viable or not. I could discuss all of these things and still sit at my desk, in front of my computer, reading e-mails from friends concerned with the greenhouse effect and it's validity in todays socioeconomic world. That paycheck would still be there though, come Friday.

If I lived in that world, the normal world, then I could find many new things to be miserable about. It's quite possible that humans are meant to suffer, that it is our destiny, our purpose for life. Some would argue that our purpose is only to reproduce and ensure that our species prospers and lives on. But, maybe were are meant to suffer, and then die.

Like that old quote "Life's a bitch, and then you die". How prophetic of whomever wrote that one.

Yup, I'm miserable. If you see me, and you notice my wrist is red, please understand I am trying very hard to think positive thoughts. I don't wish to be morose. I don't wish to be negative. I sincerely want to upbeat and have fun at everything I do. It just doesn't seem to work. There is always someone, or something, which leads me to the dark place in my mind. Once there, deep in the pits of my thinking machine, it is like a vice. The dark place in my head does not like to let go. It grips me and pulls me ever deeper into the depths of despair, until I am sure there is no way out.

There is one thing that is generous and benevolent enough to allow me to see the light. Pocket Aces, you are my God. I bow to you and all of your glory. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil as you, pocket aces, are my companion. Amen.

Beware of stray lightning bolts. Codsey out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

9.4.09 It's Time to Open Up

Here I sit all broken hearted
Had to poo but only farted
Things need to change before I hate
That which I wish is to unconstipate

Some of those more experienced have said try soft fruits
All banana and papaya and still only toots
The pressure is building and I will not lie
If relief does not come soon I may wish to die

Ex-Lax is only just a short ride away
Relief will surely follow by the end of the day
If the medicine don't work and I don't get no poo
There is only one thing left that I could possibly do

Nose to the grindstone always seems to fit the bill
I'll grunt and I'll fight and succeed I will
For even this nothing existence can't make me hate
As I wrestle with how to unconstipate

Codsey out.
Ps. I have to pack for Biloxi. I hope I have access to the web out there. If so I will post as I go. The Gulf Coast Poker Championships are starting today and I am late. Gotta go.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

9.2.09 Very Liberal of Me

The dealer nudged me in the arm and told me "it's on you, brainchild". I suppose I deserve things as this due to my constantly needling of the dealers at my local card room. I have become friends with many of them and they do not hesitate to take the opportunity to give some of it back.

I looked at my hole cards and saw the AQ. This is a very good starting hand, depending on your position at the table. Since I was not paying attention to the game I took a quick second to glance around and see who had bet. No one else had decided to enter the hand. I was in the small blind and everybody else had folded around to me.

Normally, in such a situation, with such a powerful hand, I would raise the big blind forcing him to either fold or commit more chips into the dead pot. He would fold here nearly every time, unless he was a kook, at which time he would call and hopefully lose his full $100 in the hand.

I took a good look at my opponent in the big blind. He had longish, almost hippy-like hair. He was wearing thick rimmed glasses with very thick lenses. I took a quick glance around at everyone else. I showed my AQ and mucked the hand pushing my two dollar small blind towards the dealer for her to take it away as the rake for this particular hand. You see, in Florida, the casinos and the state gets theirs on EVERY SINGLE HAND whether we want to play or not.

My opponent, in the big blind, commented to me that it was "very liberal" of me to give up the play of the hand like I did. Now, I don't know about any of you, but where I grew up calling someone liberal is tantamount to having sex with their mother. It may be really funny and cool, but it is certainly frowned upon by most people.

I said "Liberal"?!?!

"Well, not liberal in a negative way" he said as he sheepishly smiled at me to gauge my reaction.

I smiled back to him and as the dealer started throwing the cards to the players for the play of the next hand I added "I would consider myself more of a Libertarian. I mean, If I had to choose a party I think I would most closely align myself with the Libertarian's".

There were a few of the players who raised their heads and gazed at me, almost like they knew that was not all I was going to say on the subject. I was not there to disappoint, so on I drolled.

I dryly added "I'm the kind of guy who wants the government out of my business unless they are paving a road or training the army to defend my home". It was rather quiet after that one. I stopped talking because the play of the hand was in progress. I had folded my cards so I sat back and watched as the young kid in seat 8 snapped off the older gentleman in seat 4 as the six of spades hit the river completing the kid's flush.

Nobody was saying much and as the next hand was being dealt out I stated "I suppose they can get rid of the sewage, and maybe pick up the trash also." No one said anything. I quickly added "The government, I'm talking about."

That got a few laughs as some of them remembered what I had just been babbling about. I never said poker players were the brightest group of guys. Maybe they were all enthralled with the game at hand and wanted nothing of my political nonsense. I get that reaction a lot.

We continued to play on and I actually made a few hands and was building a nice stack. The table was fairly passive, as noted by their lack of any opinions on apparently anything except this poker game. I still tried to get them to open up a little bit.

I piped in during the deal of one of the hands "I guess we have to have universal education as well. I mean, you can't really deny someone an education just because they come from a destitute family, can you"?


No one said a word.

Never the defeatist I trudged onward. "I suppose we need a Police Force and Fire Department too." Still nothing. The dealer kind of looked at me and smiled. This conversation was not going anywhere.

I laughed out loud because even I was realizing how much money "my government" was spending, and the number was going higher and higher as I tacked on public services for all. "Wow! I'm spending money like a drunken sailor. I suppose that's what happens. Government just keeps tacking things on to their annual budget and before you know it the country is broke, busted, and looking for Wally to secure them a loan"!

That got a round of laughter. One guy added "That'll save us!" Wally is one of the guys who plays notoriously loose and wild poker and in the past has been known to need to borrow a few dollars here and there. He is a staple of the poker room in Jacksonville, and nearly everyone knows who he is. Finally, a reaction of some sort from these guys who were about as bland as a saltine cracker.

We continued to play on, dealer after dealer, half hour after half hour. My chip stack continued to grow and I was feeling confident again. Everything was going smoothly. I was looking forward to 6 PM so I could head for the house and start dinner for my apparently lovely family. It always amazes me how good everything can seem while I am winning at poker.

I received my second card from the dealer and looked down to see AK off suit. This is a pretty good hand. the game had loosened up during the day and I was sure someone would raise. Judging by these guy's ranges for the cards some of them raise with I was planning to re-raise with my AK and either take down some dead money or play the hand against one opponent.

No one raised. Almost everyone simply called the five dollar big blind. I think seven of us took the flop.

There should have been alarm bells going off in my head at this development. When looked at from an outside point of view it is easy to see that if I flop any kind of a hand with my AK it was most likely going to be a one pair hand. Albeit, it would be the best one pair hand, with a very powerful kicker, but one pair hands just usually do not win pots with seven players. That's just the way it is. Everyone knows it and I am far too experienced to make such an amateur mistake.

Make it I did though as the flop came out A-6-3, rainbow, meaning three separate suits. Three people checked to me and as I went to bet an Asian fellow two seats to my left throws out some money. I looked at him rather crossly and continued my bet. "Let me bet this for you" I said as I slid twenty dollars into the pot.

People bet out of turn ALL of the TIME in this poker room. Sometimes they do it to gain an edge, and sometimes they are just clueless and oblivious to what is going on around them. Usually, they are overvaluing their hand and do not want other people to play. Looking back on the situation today, and noting what ultimately happened, I see now that I was overvaluing my OWN hand.

This hand was getting away from me, and I was not happy that this very good starting hand was potentially in for a big fall. The hippy to my left called the twenty, and then the Asian went all-in for ninety-five dollars.

Everyone folded and it was back on me. I discounted the hippy's hand and assumed he would fold. Now what does the Asian have? Well, I didn't really think about it. This is problem number two with my play if this hand.

Problem one was getting into trouble when no one else raised pre-flop and I was unable to narrow or "thin" the field. Problem two was not taking enough time to realize I was beat here and needed to lay this hand down.

I did not, however, and when I called, and the hippy folded, the Asian immediately said "two pair", and I wanted to puke in my cup of now cold coffee. I did not improve and I lost a pretty good sized pot. I played this hand just like a freaking liberal. I wanted to spread the wealth, I guess.

These are the mistakes I have been making of late. They are basic. See, I have basically two rules in this poker room. One, they will not fold, so do not bluff unless I am sure it will work. Two, if they bet big they probably have the goods unless I have recently seen them bluff in a past hand.

I did not see this guy bluff in a recent past hand. In fact, I did not see this Asian do anything out of the ordinary. I should have taken a minute and figured it all out. Actually, I shouldn't have even needed a minute. This scenario was obvious, or it should have been obvious, to even the least accomplished player.

I'm sick to my stomach today and there is no Public Option medicine to cure it. When I make a mistake at work I don't get written up, and I don't get reprimanded. Usually someone will be telling me how they would have done the same thing and I just got a bit unlucky to lose that one. Yeah, right, thanks buddy. Your telling me it wasn't a bad play is NOT going to make me play this way all of the time. Nice try.

No, when I make a mistake at work it usually costs me a couple of hundred right out of my paycheck. Maybe some of you can understand how strongly I feel about those who have a cushy jobs, with tenure, their only fear is possibly having to work past their scheduled 4 PM quitting time. Some of them mentally and emotionally take years off from work but continue to get pay raises and vacations. I'd like to see them bring that attitude to my job.

I'm not bitching about my chosen profession. I'm whining about people who whine about their chosen professions. Corporate America made me hate my life, so I quit and struck out on my own. It may turn out to be a stupid move, but it was MY move.

The government can kiss my ass. Amateur hour is over. It's time, today, to make some bonus money. No more write ups and reprimands for this employee. Besides, I have tenure.

The Libertarian in me loves it.

Codsey out.