Monday, January 25, 2010

It’s mid-winter in Chicago. After a brief snow melt (and nearly a month under snow cover), those white flakes are flying again. I missed the recent WPBT blogger convergence on The Mecca (aka Las Vegas), and I am jonesing - both for casino action and for warmth! The internet can’t much help with the warmth part, but it can help with the casino action. How about online casinos?

When it comes to gambling online, it “pays” to do your research - even if you’re playing for fun and not for money. Visiting a casino online and playing for free is a great way to branch out and learn new games. You can learn the rules in a no-risk environment before trying your luck in Las Vegas or at a casino online. It’s also a great way to practice and improve your skills in games you already know how to play. (Heaven knows I’m still “practicing” at no-limit hold’em!)

If you’re looking to research your online gaming options, check out the web site Online Casino Spotlight. There, you can find introductory lessons on a variety of games like video poker, hold’em, baccarat, and PAI GOW! (Crayola digestion is optional). Explore some new games and broaden your horizons.

You will also find recent online gambling news, with up to date and relevant information. For example, you can find information on a Help for Haiti poker tournament hosted by a UK online casino.

The site offers easy-to-follow navigation icons, categorized by the various casino games - poker, blackjack, roulette, slots, craps, and video poker. Explore these games, or use the global search box (with the magnifying glass icon) to search deeper. The Featured Online Casino area offers welcome bonuses for cash players, and the top 10 online casinos are listed with reviews, including features, contact information, languages supported, and currencies supported.

Scratch that gambling itch and check out a new online casino. You might even make some money, if online gambling is legal where you live.

Good luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Is it just me, or is Full Tilt disconnecting a lot lately?

Playing in an online league game at the moment. Feeling a bit more aggressive than usual, kind of like I want to tear a few peoples' heads off. Hmm. Not sure if this is good or bad for my game.

A couple of us 'round here are trying to get a little midweek home game going. Nothing crazy - just a casual game to scratch the itch, so to speak. I'm hoping that'll work out. I miss live cards.

In other news, since going organic, I've started attempting to cook... and with that, I've added another food blog to the universe (as if we needed more of those). You should check it out, because as I add recipes and tales of my adventures, there will most definitely be something there you can make fun of me over. I promise.

Epic Organic -

I've had pocket 8's three times tonight. There's so much snow on the ground outside that I have no desire to deal with snowmen indoors.

Break time! We're playing shorthanded so not much time to type. Wish me luck :) Laters!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

First off, Happy New Year! Here's to a happy, healthy, and productive 2010 to all!

With that out of the way, I suppose I should recap my resolutions for the year. None are really poker-related, as - while I still love the game - I am no longer maintaining a casino bankroll for live play, and that relegates the sport to hobby status in my grand scheme of things. Don't get me wrong - if I had the money, I'd be right back in it, as I absolutely love live poker. For now, though, the funds just aren't there, and any spare cash I've got is being sunk into my other major hobby, photography - with the hopes that I can turn that into a profitable venture in short time.

No, this year's resolutions center mostly around self-improvement, and while that tends to be the case every year, I feel I've got a better shot at success this year due to the fact that I made some big changes a month ago and am starting 2010 already on the right track. I "went organic" in late 2009, cutting out fast food and soda, and eating almost entirely organic and natural foods. (This happened after I watched the documentary movie, "Food, Inc." - Don't watch it unless you want to be shocked and appalled at the industrialized food business in the US and the scary food-like substances you're eating every day). Terrifying stuff, really.

So, my resolutions include continuing to eat organic, and learning to cook. I plan to explore some local farmer's markets in the spring, and vow to try at least 10 new foods this year. (I'm kind of a picky eater, traditionally). I've also taken up yoga, so another resolution is to continue that, expand my exercise habits, and lose weight. Third on the list, I'd like to come to a decision on going back to school, and possibly start down that road - likely for another masters degree, and likely in photography. Lastly, I'd like to save for and take at least one trip this year. There are 3 on my current list of possibilities: New Mexico in February, for a portraiture workshop; San Diego in August, for the annual world conference of my guild in Ultima Online; or, of course, Vegas.

2009 was a pretty good year in my world. There were a few bumps (some water damage at my house, a little cancer scare of the girl-parts variety, turbulence with one of my side-jobs that ultimately led to my departure, and some man issues), but there were a few high points too (an all-clear with the cancer scare, beating out a speeding ticket, a few nice little road trips, a trip to Vegas with CA April, and some potential good things to come at the day job). All in all, even the bumps in the road worked out for the best, or at least the best for now, and that's about all I can ask for.

I matched last January's performance at the Trojan Wars game again late in 2009, coming in 2 spots or so out of the money. That tends to be my MO there - go just deep enough to bubble. One of these times, it will be mine. Man I hate rebuys!

For what poker I did play, 2009 was actually a profitable year. I certainly can't retire on my winnings, but I was able to make enough to help with the bills at some crucial times. I played more poker in 2009 than I did in 2008, and I'd like to even play a little bit more in 2010. It keeps my brain ticking, and I feel like there could be a decent win out there for me this year :)

So, as I look back on 5 years of writing this blog (yes indeed, folks - hellaholdem was founded on Jan 2, 2005), I can say with certainty that poker has found a permanent place in my list of things to do. I haven't made it out to the WPBT Vegas tourneys in a few years (I could have this year, but instead decided to spend that money on a set of Alien Bees studio strobes, and set up a portrait studio in my house), but I think of you all often and have even started back up reading my doggone Google Reader feeds. (Sorry, slacked most of 2009 on that). We will meet again!

With that, I'm off to hit up a SnG on Full Tilt, and enjoy the last week of the holiday break before I have to go back to work.

Thanks for reading, and for your support these past 5 years! Here's to many more :)