Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catching up on Poker After Dark on the TiVo, and you know what that means... two days in a row of posts that, while maybe not poker related, at least had some poker going on during their creation. w00t for you! haha :) Firing up a SnG on FTP...

So I'm watching the Director's Cut of the "Nets vs Vets" week, and the players are all introducing themselves and whatnot. One thought I can't shake: these internet players are going on and on about how they've played just as many hands as Doyle has in his lifetime because they play 32 tables at a time. Yes, BUT... playing live has so many facets beyond the poker itself that these net players have NO experience with - and in a lot of cases, it shows and gives away a wealth of information. I'm just appalled that they can seriously feel justified in comparing themselves to the legends of poker. Hell, the one kid can't even figure out how to cut out his chips.

It's a new age, I guess.

I enjoy playing online - don't get me wrong. But I play online because I can't get to the casino as often as I'd like, or because I don't at this moment have an actual bankroll. The authentic poker experience, to me, occurs in the poker rooms of the world, and not on living room couches. I'm sure some of these zillion-multi-tablers would disagree.

How many computer monitors does it take to run 32 friggin tables simultaneously??

Is anybody watching HGTV's Design Star? I want Jennifer to win so bad!!! :)

Nothing doing in this SnG. I need some cards and soon, or else I will be making an early exit.

Did this guy just say, "Doyle is a tight player..." The net kids must define "tight" differently than I do.

Shocker, he went out first.

True multitasking: watching PAD while playing a SnG while giving myself a manicure.

Now up: the Poker After Dark heads-up challenge. I like this show, but I really miss High Stakes Poker.

At some point today, I actually have to get out of my PJ's and go to work...

Just got knocked out. I'm mildly irritated at the range of hands people will call an all-in re-raise with for 1/3 of their stack. K3 suited? Really?

Let's roll this one more time...

Ahhh, nice little double up on the first hand with the nut straight. 3rd pair bet it all the way and called my river all-in reraise. Okie dokie!

It's amazing how Chris Ferguson can look so friendly yet so menacing, all at the same time. I'd have a messy chair to deal with if I ever had to stare him down heads-up.

Yowza. Made my straight J9 with a 10-8-10-Q-4 board. Was up against 8-10. Ouch.

Still 2nd in chips but the chip lead felt much more comfortable.

Well, that did not go well. 10-10 and out, knocked out by a caller who chased me down with K-10 and hit a K on the river. A pair draw? Really?

Scoobies 3, Me 0

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yes, ladies and gents, it's a quickie sit n go, starring ME!

Got back from vacation in Boston a couple days ago. Love that city. I'd move there in a heartbeat if the winds of fate shifted so. We hit all of the usual tourist haunts - the Duck tours, Prudential Center, Newbury Street, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Marketplace, Cheers (both the real and replicas), the Boston Common and Public Garden with the swan boats and the Make Way for Ducklings statues, various cemeteries, Fenway Park, the Boston Garden, Hard Rock Cafe Boston, the New England Aquarium Whale Watching cruise, Harvard (including Mr. Bentley's Burgers - highly recommended). That's all I can remember! Oh, and we checked out Salem, which after 2 visits I now feel comfortable saying it's overrated and rather lame (this coming from a girl who used to dabble in some of the esoteric arts). Boston, though, is an awesome city. I've been there twice now and absolutely love it. The subway ("T") is clean and user-friendly, and the people are great. There's so much history there.

Nothing doing so far in the SnG. Folded orbit #1.

For the photography geeks amongst you - has anybody used Costco's private label brand ("Kirkland") Professional Glossy Inkjet Photo Paper (8.5x11")? It was rumored that originally, this paper was a private label of Ilford's Gallerie Smooth paper, but that was when the packaging indicated that it was Made in Switzerland, where Ilford produces paper. Now, it is Made in the USA, and I've read once in passing that it is made by Mitsubishi and is not as good. Others claim it's a re-branded Epson paper.

I'm curious, because it's extremely reasonably priced, and has the same weight specs as some good papers (69 lb, 255g, 10.4mil). I'd love to know the source, mostly for estimating its permanence and archival qualities with pigment based inks.

Bummer. Just folded 67c to an all in preflop raise for 6xbb out of position with no previous callers... he had AA and against one caller, I'd have turned the straight.

Redemption, with a twinge of sadness: I just knocked out the donkey of the table. At these $20 tables, I find that there are on average maybe 5 decently solid players, 1 or 2 really good players, and a couple scoobies. It's kind of sad to see the donkeys go. Makes the game just a little bit tougher.

The Experimental Techniques photography class that I'm taking ends tonight. Overall, I'm pleased with the work I created for this class. We did some interesting techniques - hand coloring, solarization and the Sabbatier effect, infrared photography, paper negatives, and Polaroid image and emulsion transfers. I particularly liked the emulsion transfers and the infrared stuff.

For infrared, we shot with Ilford SFX 200 red-sensitive film (not true infrared - more of a "special effects" film). I shot my first roll with a Red 25 filter, and while the result was interesting, it wasn't quite infrared. I've since picked up an R72 filter but haven't had a chance to shoot another roll of film with it yet - though I did shoot some digital with the Canon PowerShot G9 and the R72 filter, and it definitely appears infrared. I only had a monopod in Boston and not a tripod, so nothing really came out as crisp as I'd like. A tripod is a definite must with that R72 filter. My camera was able to meter through it, but even in sunlight, the exposure was 1 second.

Flopped an OESD. Fingers crossed. Great. On the turn, a guy pushed all in for 1900 with 400 in the pot, and another guy called for his 1500. Was an open ender with one card to come worth my tourney life, even though I had top pair 7's? There was a 4-card lower gutshot onboard. I figured one of the two had it. I folded. The caller had the lower straight, and I'd have rivered the higher straight.

I should stop folding, eh? If only I were psychic.

Woohoo, FedEx just brought me my tickets to Dave Matthews Band at Alpine Valley (near Milwaukee, Wisconsin) next weekend. Sweet!

I'm short stacked at 6xBB right now, 4th of 6 remaining in chips.

And now I'm out, AJ vs AA. Whoops. Or not - had a few chips left and just doubled up to 3xBB! Life support!

Doubled again! Back to 3rd in chips with 8xBB. LOL!

Chip and a chair, buddy... chip and a chair.

I've got about an hour and a half to kill before I leave for class (and for a tasty Subway sandwich). Storm clouds are gathering. I didn't expect rain in the forecast today, but the skies look menacing.

If you caught any of my tweets last week, you may have read about my Blackberry mishap. I've got the Pearl 8130, the 2nd generation Pearl. I've been loving it since December. In Salem, we got caught in the rain, and though I took the phone off of my hip as soon as it started pouring (and put it into a plastic bag with my camera gear), the phone's screen shorted out from liquid damage. Strangely, though, it did not even get wet enough to trip the liquid sensors inside the phone. Just my bad luck, I guess. I had insurance on it and Sprint replaced it with no problems, but as I dug around on the internet, I found many reports of similar damage. The repair guy at the Sprint store told me that he has even seen sweat from people carrying the phone in their pockets cause this damage on this model. It seems to be overly fragile. I'm not hard on my phones. I had my last Blackberry for 5 years, and retired it only because it was so friggin old. Spare a couple of dings on the corners, and the thing was a tank.

With the Pearl, I managed to scratch it on the very first day I had it, by bumping up against the side of my car. I mean, really? Since December, it has earned more dings in its plastic case than my original BB ever had, and the silver plate around the trackball has chipped and lost most of its silver. I only had a skin on it for protection, so I've learned my lesson. I ordered the OtterBox Defender case for my new Pearl. It's water resistant and much more durable.

By the way, I'm heads up in that SnG.

And... out! Ha! From the gutter to the penthouse, baby - or, just beneath the penthouse. Second place. That's a win to me!

And with that, I will go get ready to head to school...

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What if the iPhone "brick" tragedy extended to other parts of our lives? Brought to you by Revision3.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Go, Iggy! Cheers and good luck from Chitown!  

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Monday, July 07, 2008

On PageRank, nofollows, ads, and SEO - Falstaff said it best:

PageRank is based on the quality of incoming links. By putting a nofollow into the link, the site that is linked doesn't get the PageRank boost, but your site doesn't get considered a linkspammer and your PageRank doesn't get hurt. It seems like Google has decided that some of my advertisers are buying links to manipulate the system, and need to be punished for that. Since I'm providing the link without a nofollow, I'm getting punished as well, because I am part of manipulating the system.

I'll be keeping an eye on that post over at PokerStage. I'm curious to see fellow bloggers' responses.

I'm a bit disturbed that Google can effectively decide who is allowed to buy and sell ads on the internet via this "policy." It's a little too Big Brother for my taste.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Many, many, many poker bloggers are finding that they've been dogged by Google, with a drop in page rank and a disappearance from search results. If you search Google for hella holdem right now, you'll see that I too have fallen off the map.

It appears to be related to buying/selling links / banner ads / affiliate programs. On the page to request reconsideration by Google, they note:

In general, sites that directly profit from traffic (e.g. search engine optimizers, affiliate programs, etc.) may need to provide more evidence of good faith before a site will be reconsidered.

I'm not sure if it will do any good, but you can request reconsideration from Google.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th of July, everybody!

The fireworks were fan-friggin-tastic this year! As usual, we went to the New Lenox, IL display, and they never fail to put on a great show. It was a full half hour long, and not a bit of it was cheapo-filler-crap. I love their show.

I shot on a tripod with a cable release, and used ISO100 and f/11 for the entire show. Most of the time, I used a 2 or 3 second exposure. I made a few shots with a 6 second exposure, when they were firing off multiples in sequence, and those turned out pretty cool too.

Here are a few of my favorite blasts:





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Thursday, July 03, 2008

I've just dropped the following letter into the outgoing mail (postal mail, that is):

July 3, 2008
Customer Service
Hewlett-Packard Company
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185

To Whom This May Concern,

I am writing regarding a recent experience I had with your technical support representatives (Ticket #801330xxxx). On June 28, 2008, I purchased the HP Photosmart Pro B8850 printer and several packages of Advanced HP photo paper. I ordered these items online via The items were delivered in June 30, 2008.

I unpacked the printer and began setup. When I plugged the printer into the wall outlet, the printer received no power. After troubleshooting via telephone with one of your support representatives, it was determined that the AC power adapter was likely faulty. Your representative shipped a new AC adapter to me. It arrived on July 2, 2008.

The new AC adapter did not solve the problem. I called technical support again, and after troubleshooting, the representative determined that there was likely a problem with the printer itself. While I was disappointed, I understand that this happens. Hardware fails. It’s the way of the world, when it comes to computers.

What I was most disappointed in, though, was the solution offered by your representative. She offered to replace my brand new printer with a refurbished one. I explained that this printer was brand new out-of-the-box and was dead on arrival. I paid for a new printer. I expect replacement with a new printer. I could understand a refurbished replacement if I’d owned the printer for some time and it needed repair, but this printer was not used. The support representative agreed with me, but that she could not guarantee that the replacement would be new, and that she had no other options to offer me.

I find your policy of replacing brand new, defective items with used, refurbished ones to be completely unfair. I spent $549 on your product in good faith that it would work when I brought it home. When a brand new item is defective, I expect a brand new replacement - not just from HP, but from any company.

I am a photographer and a professor, and despite the advice of many of my colleagues to purchase an Epson (the reigning king in the professional photo printing arena), I decided to give HP a shot. The B8850 might be a fantastic printer. I did not get the opportunity to find out. Based on this experience, HP is not the kind of company I want to do business with.

As a result of my disappointment in your company’s policies, I have returned the HP printer and papers to Circuit City and instead purchased the Epson Stylus R1900 and Epson papers, and will recommend to my colleagues and students that they do the same.  



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