Oct 312009
 

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had bought a Kindle book called The No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Hold’em.  It helped my game almost immediately.  Prior to reading the book, I had finished in the money in single-table Sit’n’Go tournaments but had never won one.  Within a day of reading the book, I won two.  I also started placing in the money in large multi-table tournaments.

Well, I just found out that the book’s author has a website – internetpokercoach.com.  You can buy the book there and have it delivered immediately in PDF format, or order a printed copy.  He also has a blog that he updates frequently, and which is well worth reading if you want to get better in online no-limit hold’em.  He occasionally talks about other games – Omaha, Stud, Razz – as well.

He also offers coaching lessons, where he railbirds (watches) the poker room or tournament in which you’re playing and gives advice over the phone.  Having a third party observe your play is a great way to become aware of leaks in your game which are costing you money.  I may take him up on this in the near future.  I played a 10 cent SB/25 cent BB ring game for several hours the other day and ended up only winning $6.  That’s better than losing your entire bankroll I suppose (which is what many players do), but I have a feeling I could be doing a lot better than a buck or two an hour at that level.

Anyway, if you play for money online, I highly recommend you read his blog and get his book.  My copy has more than paid for itself.

Sat update

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Oct 312009
 

Due to transportation issues I’m still in town.  The car wasn’t ready to go until 5:05 yesterday, and by then my mother was out of surgery and recovering well and I’d already talked to her on the phone.  I revised my plan to go out of town Sunday.  I was going to come back for Halloween tonight anyway and then leave again, so this way I’m making one trip rather than two.

Since I ended up in town Friday night after all, I walked down Main Street to Radio Center Flats, where my friends Lauren and Jesse had a Halloween party.  Here are a few pics.

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Okay, I hate to start this out on a bad note but I have to.  The guy in the middle of the pic above was just a complete and total douchebag.  I mean, look at him.  Spiked gelled hair, ridiculous beard, stupid-ass shirt, and an LED belt buckle that read, “WANNA RIDE?”  This guy made me wish I’d just skipped the party and gone to Calhoun’s instead.

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Statler and Waldorf.  You can’t have a Halloween party without a couple of dirty old men showing up and gawking at all the hot girls in skimpy costumes.

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Crowd shot of the party

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The Facebook Fairy and the… uh… oh there are so many jokes to be made here that it’s impossible to pick just one.

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The Nuh-Uh Girl never strayed far from the food buffet.  Here’s a pic of her and Esther pigging out.

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Me with hostess Lauren, and a cameo appearance by Kermit the Frog.

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I wasn’t the only one who dressed up as a Downtown business.  Here’s the Happy Mexican.

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Someone spilled a beer by the front door.  Good thing we had the ShamWow guy there to clean it up.

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Later in the evening, the ShamWow guy was exhausted from all that selling and cleaning and beating his girlfriend.

Lauren and Jesse:  THANK YOU for an awesome Halloween party.  It was just what I needed to take my mind off the situation in Little Rock and yesterday’s car problems.  Food was delicious, decorations were spooky… you truly went all out to create a great party.

Attn Erin:  You really need to find reasons to wear short shorts more often.  Just sayin’.

Lauren and Jesse had a mystery beer tub.  In past years I’ve had great luck with the Saucer’s mystery beer tub on Halloween, pulling out one $10 beer after another.  Not the case last night.  I got a Miller Lite, another Miller Lite, and then a Smirnoff Ice grape.  After that I gave up and went to the PBR keg, which is what I should have done in the first place.  It’s hard to do much better than PBR.

Now it’s time to plan for tonight.  Nearly every bar Downtown is having a Halloween party.  Of course, the Saucer will be a sure stop on my route, and the Silly Goose too.  Then I’ll have a decision to make.  There’s a private party in South Main which will probably be the best of all the Halloween parties… but it’s almost a mile walk home and the same people I partied with last night.  Meanwhile, a block from my front door there’s this:

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Dunno… I’m about 50/50 on remaining in the core vs. heading south.  I’ll see which way the wind blows tonight.

If you have kids, don’t forget that you can take them trick-or-treating to Bardog Tavern tonight.  They’ll be handing out candy outside the bar.  Better yet, leave the damn kids at home and go to Bardog and drink you some PBR.

The cops are going to be out in force tonight looking to pull people over for DUIs.  Be sure to have a designated driver or take a cab home.  One tidbit of inside info:  If the traffic light at Main and Union is flashing red, be sure to come to a FULL STOP, because there is almost certainly a cop with his headlights off laying in wait about a quarter block up Main.  Linden and Walnut is another intersection where they love to do this, for those of you coming from Midtown.

All right, time to hit Publish.  Since I didn’t expect to be in town this afternoon, I have nothing to do, and I already know the Fire Sale is crap (Shiner Bock) so I’m not heading to the bar.  Guess I’ll fire up PokerStars and see if I can make a little money to pay for my bar tabs tonight.

Oct 302009
 

Sitting here waiting on the car to get serviced so I can get on the road to Little Rock.  I hoped to be on the highway by 9:30 this morning… didn’t get up until 11 though.  Oops.

While I’m waiting, I’ll go ahead and post some pics from the Halloween party last night at Kooky Canuck.

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Canadian bacon

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He may not be James, but he sure is Brown.

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Scary pic of the Nuh-Uh Sister and the Nuh-Uh Girl

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The gang

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The Fruit of the Loom guy celebrates his costume contest win with a beer.

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The Nuh-Uh Girl and Nuh-Uh Sister dancing

There was also a witch dressed up as Pocahontas, but I didn’t get a pic of her.  After Kooky Canuck we stopped by the Saucer for a beer, then I headed to Bardog for to-go food.  Hot dog sliders topped with chili and cheese = yum.  I have to clean up all the chili I spilled on my carpet though.

In the news:  Don Scott, the chef at On the River Seafood, is profiled in Meet the Chef in the CA today.

Good deal on a netbook today on Woot.

All right, that’s it for now.  I’m definitely coming back for Saturday night’s parties, even though it means burning two extra tanks of gas, so there will be more pics.

Oct 292009
 

Two big events going on today. One is Creative Conversations, an event sponsored by Mpact Memphis at Memphis College of Art. The Creative Conversations are local gatherings of emerging leaders in communities across the country and are part of a grass roots movement to elevate the profile of the arts in America during National Arts and Humanities Month. Its purpose is to

a) inspire you with examples of those who are bringing creative ideas to fruition, whether its for a community enhancement project, entrepreneurial business or personal skill, and

b) give you an opportunity to brainstorm with community artists, entrepreneurs and leaders to spark or add fire to your own ideas.

Event Schedule
5:30 – 6:30 Cocktail networking hour
6:30 – 6:40 Welcome and introductions
6:40 – 7:00 Helen Johnson & Staff present CreateHere
7:00 – 7:15 Q&A
7:15 – 7:40 Christopher Reyes presents Live From Memphis
7:40 – 8:45 Small Group Brainstorming

The other big thing going on tonight is the annual Halloween party at Kooky Canuck. It starts at 9 PM, and there will be $2 34 oz. Super Cold Bud Light Draft, $4 Red Bull & Vodka, and $4 Jager bombs, and other drink specials. Special guest DJ Bobby Smith. 21 and over, no cover, $300 cash prize for best costume. Kooky Canuck always throws some of the best parties of the year, and this one is not to be missed.

Once again, posting schedule will be irregular this weekend through about Tuesday, as I have to be out of town part of the time for family-related medical stuff. I will be at the Kooky party tonight, though, and in fact will be able to push it a bit later into the night than usual.

I stayed home and played PokerStars on my new netbook last night… I’ve decided that the netbook needs a name. Never felt the need to name a computer before, but this tiny blue netbook needs one. Any suggestions? I’ll try to post some pics of it when I get a chance.

Oct 282009
 

I forgot to mention a couple of South of Beale news items in the last post:

First of all, if you’re going to the Grizzlies game tonight at the FedExForum, show your ticket for 20% off food items before or after the game.

Also, the debut of Ghost River’s new Black Magic beer will be at South of Beale Friday from 6-8 PM.  They will have Pint Night prices on all Ghost River beers all night Friday and Saturday, and Ghost River will be on hand to hand out prizes: t-shirts, glasses, etc.

In other news:  Mayor AC Wharton, who is an attorney with plenty of expertise in this area, said that the target letter the FBI recently sent King Willie is “serious.”  It usually signals the end of an investigation and puts the defendant on notice.  Wonder if that means we can expect an indictment soon?

Oct 282009
 

First of all, a very happy birthday to our friend Mikey aka Mikey the Camera Nazi, Mikey the Other Trivia Guy, etc. Mikey is the instigator of a lot of the shenanigans that happen Downtown, and the neighborhood wouldn’t (Edit: had “won’t” there before, giving the impression that he’s leaving, which he’s not, thanks for the catch ATM) be the same without him. He’s also a big part of the reason why several of Downtown’s career panhandlers/scammers are currently in jail. I’m sure he’ll be out celebrating tonight with his favorite beverage: BEER!

One administrative note before I get started: Due to family health issues, posts to this blog are going to be somewhat irregular between now and the first part of next week. I’m going to try not to miss a day posting but I can’t promise it. Please continue to send me info for the blog, but understand that I may not be able to post it in a timely fashion. I’m going to try as hard as possible to be in town Saturday night for Halloween, but will likely have to go right back out of town after that.

I’m the proud parent of an Acer Aspire netbook. It arrived from Woot.com yesterday. It’s tiny and it’s blue, my favorite color. 1 GB of RAM and 160 GB of hard drive space for $229. Not bad. I ordered a 9-cell battery on Amazon for $50, which will give the computer 7-8 hours of battery power. I’ll end up with a kick-ass netbook for under $300. I already installed the most important software (PokerStars) on it.

Which reminds me… I’ve finally found a use for stupid people. I hate standing in line behind them, I hate sitting next to them at the bar, I hate sharing the road with them when I drive… but I LOVE sitting at a poker table with them! After trivia last night, I was waiting for a seat at a table on PokerStars, observing the action. There was a total idiot shoving his stack of chips in on roughly 4 out of every 5 hands. I finally got a seat and got dealt pocket aces first hand, and the moron did it again… it doesn’t get any better than that. His Q-8 suited didn’t hold up, and I found myself up 40 big blinds for less than a minute’s work. I made sure to write his username down so I can search for him next time I play.

Congrats to the trivia team on a first-place win last night. We’re now up to $260 for our next party. Attn team members: Please get on the e-mail list and give your preferences for the date of the next party ASAP. We’re running out of time.

This morning I saw a site called Treehugger Deals which apparently finds good buys that are “green.” It recently talked about a store called Flora & Fauna which is selling nature-inspired fashion for 25% off. The reason I mention this is that one of the featured items on sale is a jellyfish tube top. Yay for nature’s inspiration, and yay for tube tops!

I also found a good article in which women discuss slutty Halloween costumes, and the psychology behind wearing them.

Memphis Farmers Market will have a harvest celebration on Sunday, November 8 from 4 to 7 PM. It will be at Hudson Hall in Central Station, and attendees will enjoy food from some of the city’s best chefs, an auction, live music, and most importantly, complimentary beer and wine. There will be food from Andrew Michael Kitchen, Amerigo, Big Ono Bakery, Cafe Society, Felicia Suzanne’s, Henny Penny Catering, Inn at Hunt Phelan, Interim, Majestic Grille, Mesquite Chop House, Restaurant Iris, Sole, Tsunami, and more. Music will be by performers who played MFM throughout the season. Auction items include a private cooking session by Ben Smith, a Whole Foods shopping spree, vacation retreats, and a family portrait session worth over $700. Go here to purchase tickets. $45 single/$80 couple but the prices go up when November gets here, so buy early. Discounts for MFM vendors and volunteers.

If you missed the last PR class for nonprofits and other civic and congregational groups, it’s being offered again Monday, November 9 at Hutchison’s Center for Excellence, 1740 Ridgeway. Learn to create news briefs, calendar items and public service announcements, pitch story ideas, and book guests on TV and radio shows. $49. To register call 901-507-2460.

The South Main Association will once again be grilling out at Trolley Tour on Friday, October 30. Free to SMA members, $5 for non-members. Boscos beer, and burgers. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

All right, that’s all the time I have for now… all I have to do is get through the afternoon at work, and then I can go home and start fishing on PokerStars again.

Oct 272009
 

I’ve decided it’s time to jump on the “Healthy Memphis” bandwagon. Here are 10 tips for Downtown Memphians to stay healthy and get in better shape.

1. Rather than walking to your favorite bar, jog. That way you’ll get there earlier, and may be able to squeeze an extra beer in before happy hour ends.

2. Drink at Kooky Canuck. They have 34 oz. beers rather than the typical 16 oz. beers. You will burn extra calories lifting the heavier glass.

3. Form a walking club. You and 9 of your friends agree to wear pedometers all week to track your steps. Everyone throws in $10 and at the end of the week, the person who has recorded the most steps gets a keg party.

4. Drink your beer quickly. The quicker you drink, the more trips you’ll have to make to the bathroom. Those steps from your bar stool to the bathroom = calories burned.

5. At Tigers and Grizzlies games, make frequent runs to the concession area for beer. All those trips up and down the stairs will burn calories.

6. Bud now makes a 55-calorie beer, and Miller makes a 64-calorie beer. Take advantage of these new offerings. Lift a 24-pack of one of these new ultra-light beers over your head several times to get a workout, before you put it down and pick up a 24-pack of PBR to take to the cash register.

7. By the way, walking to the register and carrying that PBR = more calories burned. Good job.

8. If you own a bike, find ways to make it more appealing, so you’ll want to ride more often. For example, you could install a cup holder on it so you can carry a beer with you as you ride.

9. There’s lots of walking involved in the annual Stumbling Santa pub crawl every December, so this is a good way to get a workout. Just make sure when shopping for a Santa suit that you get one with pockets deep enough to hold multiple cans of beer.

10. Dancing at one of Downtown’s many nightspots is great aerobic exercise. Just be sure to take breaks and drink plenty of beer in order to stay hydrated.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips. I plan to get quite a workout tonight, as I walk the three and a half blocks from my front door to the Saucer for trivia. I’ll also have to walk home later in the evening. That’s a total of seven blocks! Just doing my part to keep Memphis healthy.

Oct 272009
 

I’ve been asked to update the list of Halloween parties that are open to the public Downtown. Here’s the list – hope I’m not leaving anything off as I do this from memory.

Thursday, October 29

Kooky Canuck – they’ve been handing out tickets, so you may want to stop by beforehand and get one to make sure you get in. Attn trivia team: I have a few extras that I’ll bring tonight. I wonder if Satan will be there Thursday night. I’m not talking about a costume.

Friday, October 30

No public parties that I know of.

Saturday, October 31

Friends for Life “Under the Big Top” party at BRIDGES

Paula & Raiford’s Disco

Bardog Tavern

Silly Goose

Flying Saucer

Hard Rock Cafe

Republic Nightclub

Hollywood Disco

South of Beale

“Cougars & Kittens” party at Spindini

I may add a few more after the Memphis Flyer comes out tomorrow.

Note that Downtown is going to be super packed due to Halloween falling on a Saturday. Expect traffic and premium prices for parking. Best bet is to get down here as early as possible. Many of the places listed above are within a few blocks of each other, so it’s perfect for party-hopping.

Weather update: The Weather Channel is now predicting high 68, low 48, the first time in 5 years that we’ve had temperatures that are normal for Halloween. Also 0% chance of rain, which I like a lot.