Monday, November 14, 2005


Hallelujah - I'm back online.

For anyone interested in the solution to my network dilemma... I wish I could tell you. I know what fixed the problem, but couldn't tell you what the problem was. I went to my mom's house yesterday for her birthday (Happy B-day, Mom!), and used her computer to do some more research. She, too, has Comcast, but lives about a half hour away from me, so is not on the same cable trunk as I am. I found a new entry on Comcast's "network health" page that indicated weekend maintenance that may cause disruption of service, with an affected area of "nationwide." (Thanks, guys - that's helpful). Hmmm. Then, on a completely unrelated note, I decided to do a speed test on my mom's connection. I set her up a few months ago, so her equipment is all brand new. She was getting a solid 8000 kbps downstream! D'oh! I thought my connection was fast at 3500, but a few students of mine told me of much higher speeds, and it made me curious. Well... what could this possibly be?

I decided to go on Comcast's site again and look up their list of "approved" modems. I'd read on their forums that some people had to trade in their old modems for new ones in order to receive last summer's speed upgrade. My Toshiba modem (which is 4 years old) was listed as approved, but not for new installs. It recommended NOT purchasing it new, but if it was already on the network, it could stay. That made me think that it should be just fine. But, I'm a speed hog, and my mom's Linksys cable modem was listed as approved with no special notations. I decided to take the $50 gift card to Office Depot that was burning a hole in my pocket and go get a new cable modem.

I bought the same Linksys one my mom has, and went home and hooked it up. After spending a good hour on the phone with Comcast's tech support trying to give them the new MAC addresses (of my new cable modem, and of my old router, which they should have already had), I got the new cable modem working. That too was a fiasco, and I ended up having to connect my laptop directly to the cable modem to get it working on the phone with the guy (Comcast doesn't support home networks unless you buy everything from them), so they had the MAC of my laptop registered as the live machine. Thank goodness for MAC address cloning. Once I got off the phone with the cable guy and set that up on my router, I was good to go.

Network, up! Speed, blazing!

So what was wrong with my old modem? My theory is that since my old modem was so old and only supported the DOCSIS specification version 1.0 (whereas this new modem supports 1.0, 1.1, and 2.0), the upgrade that people were talking about on Comcast's forums must have made obsolete my cable modem. I don't think it was dying, because the connectivity problems fell right in line with this "maintenance" upgrade on Comcast's end. Too bad that Comcast doesn't communicate very well with its customers, and when they do, they fail to give any useful information. I may never know what the problem actually was.

Anyhoooooo...... isn't this a poker blog? Sorry - I'm just so geeked out at the fact that I can actually get online, and that my speeds are just sick that I had to share. And maybe my story will help someone else someday who suffers the same problem.... bah. Comcast. If they weren't so damn fast I'd go someplace else.

So. Poker this weekend.

Friday night, Ray hosted an impromptu game at the Forest. 7 people gathered for a little NL hold'em tournament action, including Randy and I, Armando and Kathie (of the JackHammer games), Ed (of the Diamond games), Ray, and his friend Mike. I decided on that fine evening to have a few drinks, and coincidentally forgot to bring my note pad, so I have neither notes nor a good recollection of the night's events. To all attendees - feel free to post comments on the events of the evening!

If I recall properly, it came down to Kathie and Ed, and I believe Kathie won the thing. Good times, good times. Black Cherry Smirnoff Twisters are soooo yummy. Randy and I were knocked out early, and Randy went home when he was out since he had to work early on Saturday morning. I stayed and dealt. Mike graciously dealt from the time he was knocked out to when I was knocked out, and Ed was so kind as to deal until Mike went out. By process of elimination, I should be able to come up with some sort of placement here:

1. Kathie
2. Ed
3. Ray
4. Me
5. Armando ?
6. Mike ?
7. Randy ?

Something like that. Sorry guys - bad memory here :)

Saturday night, I went up to Trump, and ended up just missing Donkey Puncher. Next time, man! I ended up being seated at a new $3/6 game, intent on capitalizing on some of my mistakes of recent past. Unfortunately, the cards were not cooperating with me, and I did a lot of folding. I had 3 big hands:

  • QQ got cracked by AJ. Not a bad beat really, but my opponent was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I raised preflop from early position with my queens and had a few callers, including the guy to my right. The flop came J-x-x rainbow. First to act to my right bet out, and I raised. The other players folded, and he called with his TPTK. The turn came another Jack, and the guy goes, "Are you going to raise me again?" as he bet out. I said, "Nope, because you just sucked out on me." I called his turn and river bets, and sure enough, he had trip Jacks. That's fine... but then he goes, "I had you before the flop!" (all proud of himself). I said, "How did you have me before the flop? I had pocket Queens." He said, "Oh, you're right - I meant, I had you on the flop!" I said, "How did you have me on the flop? A pair of Queens beats a pair of Jacks." He said, "Oh, yeah, I meant, I had you on the turn." OK guy.... whatever... Televised poker has done absolutely nothing to teach today's players any damn etiquette.
  • Pocket 7's hit a set on the flop and won me a decent pot.
  • At one point, I was down to my last $20 in chips. Just then, my friend Jose comes up to the table to deal. I said to the table (most of whom I'd been playing with for 5 hours or so at this point), "Look, my good luck charm is here!" I looked at my cards as I spoke, and saw AK. I continued my sentence with, "Jose is here, I have to raise." With that, the few guys to my left were amused, thinking I was just raising for the hell of it. There were 2 callers. The flop came A-K-x. Sweet. I bet out, hoping each of them had a piece of that board. Two callers. Turm: K. I bet. Call, call. The river was a blank, and I reluctantly got two callers on that street too. Wheeeee! $60 pot for me.
After the AK hand, though, my cards went back to being dead, and it took all I had to stay even at that point (which was - $40 on the night). I was on the list for a single-table sit-n-go, but it was nearing midnight, and I'd been on the list since 9:30pm. I'd been at Trump since 5pm, so I was getting tired and didn't see any change of luck coming for me at 3/6. Just when I was ready to give up, they called a SnG, and I decided to play it. It was well after midnight by the time it started, and luckily I'd snagged a deli sandwich a little while earlier to quiet the beast inside my tummy.

I finished 3rd in the SnG, so cashed for $100 (buy in is $68 total, including the registration fee and dealer tip add-on). I was not at all happy with how I played, though the two guys who finished 1st and 2nd were very complimentary of my play when all was said and done. I let the guy to my left run me over, and eventually started folding all of my small blinds to him just to avoid having to play heads up with him. He raised constantly, and with any two cards (he called the crap hands "hamsters" instead of "monsters," which cracked me the hell up). He was a cool guy - I just didn't have cards good enough to stand up to him, and with as few chips as we have to start out with, I wasn't willing to risk them on getting lucky.

I slowly leaked away chips early on, raising in late position when it was folded to me and then folding to huge re-raises (which also made me feel pretty damn weak). I had 3 hands where I raised preflop (AK, and AJ twice), got callers, and hit nothing on the flop. My continuation bets either got me a 4th community card or prompted a big re-raise, and in neither case could I call. It got to the point where I had to go into all-in-or-nothing mode, and did a whole lot of nothing for a couple rounds.

When it got down to 4, the CEO to my left and the investment banker across from me (both cool guys) were the chip leaders, and the guy on the other side of the table had me slightly outchipped. I paid a big blind and was put against a raise that would have put me all in, but with 8-4 offsuit I decided to fold, even though that left me with only 2 big blinds in my stack. I said, "I'll try for one more hand..." It ended up being a wise decision, because on the next hand, the other small stack at the table went all in and lost, allowing me to limp into the money with 500 in chips (and blinds at 100/200). Woohoo!

My first hand in the money was K9s, and I pushed all in. My king high held up, and I doubled up. The next hand, I had 88. I pushed all in and was called by the CEO, who said, "I think I have 2 live cards - I have to call." Turns out he had 8-6, and I had him totally dominated. Before you get ready for my big comeback story though, I'll tell you now - get the idea out of your head.

The flop came 3 spades, which matched the spades in his hand while matching neither of the 8's in my hand. Just like that, I was out.

I was happy though to make the money, despite feeling that I played a very weak game. Ironically, one of the guys said to me after the game, "Good game - you're not afraid to bet into anybody, are ya?" Well... no... why would I be?? I just hated that most of my bets and raises went nowhere. Randy made a good point though, trying to make me feel better. He said that you have to do more than make good bets and raises - you also have to be able to make laydowns when you know you're beat. He said I made good laydowns, recognizing when I was beat. I guess so. The thing is, it's hard to know when it's a good laydown, and when it's someone just running over you because they can. Considering what the players were saying after the game to me, I guess I'll take them as good laydowns.

So... that was my weekend. A little poker, a lot of internet trouble, and some happy birthday wishes to my mom. :)


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