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Friday, April 02, 2004

One cool trip 

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of one of my coolest vacations. And it will be easy to mark each year. Last year the wifey and I won an all-expenses paid trip to the Final Four in New Orleans.

You can go back and re-read that. Someone sent my moronically drunk ass to New Orleans to join a bunch of college kids in the second coming of Mardi Gras. And I had just gotten back from the real Mardi Gras a month earlier.

They (Penn Distributor's in Philly, thanks!) set us up with airfare, hotel in the French Quarter, spending cash, and a VIP suite in the Super Dome for the semis and final. The hotel they set us up in was pretty decent and a block down from the Hotel Monteleone which is where we usually crash during Mardi Gras. One block off of Bourbon St. and Canal.

The semis were on Saturday afternoon. Mrs. CantHang has family in the New Orleans area so she decided to give up her ticket to her uncle. (of course she was just down there for drinkin'. Anyone figure out why we get along?). The suite was incredible. Seating about 12 occupants. Oh yeah, the suite was owned by Budweiser. The drunk couple and Bud executives. I don't generally drink beer because of it's inherent inefficiencies. But free beer IS free beer. Plus I was to find out that they don't serve beer at college basketball games. I greatly enjoyed waving my beer at the poor Kansas fans forced to sit in front of us.

The Kansas-Marquette game might have been the most god-awful, boring, teeth-yanking experiences. But the beer helped. It was really wild watching a basketball game in a football stadium. I found the school chants of the Texas, Marquette, and Kansas fans to be rather drool. But, oh boy, those NY fans. They understand. You don't so much cheer for your team as you rag on the other team. Good clean fun had by all.

And they would really kick in on Monday during the final game. The Kansas fan section was directly beneath our suite and the Syracuse section was immediately to there left. Almost made a Philly boy cry. Almost. To add to the fray, our whole suite was pulling for Syracuse.

The whole experience was amazing. Definitely one of the best trips I've ever been on. The boozing activities from that weekend are still banned from my memory. I still had the standard Mardi Gras tolerance so everything after the game is still a little fuzzy.

So I could cross the Final Four of my list of sporting events to attend before I croak.

1. World Series game
2. Super Bowl
3. Stanley Cup Final
4. NBA Final
5. Final Four
6. World Cup Game
7. Chelsea-Arsenal match (at Stamford Bridge)
8. Master's (came real close 4 years ago)

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Looks like no poker for me this weekend. My sister is in town from Baltimore tonight, my pop's retirement party with the family on Saturday, Phillies exhibition game at the new stadium on Sunday. Hopefully I'll make it back in time for the Sunday night tournament.

Have a good weekend.

~

p.s. Look for an interesting post next week if I get the ok from the wifey (and don't get shot). Ask Pauly, Hank, and Iggy. They'll understand.

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Trouble in the household 

How can I ever trust my wife again? It's like I don't even know her anymore. I've moved down to the couch and counseling can't be that far away.

Where did this come from, completely out of the blue?

I was feeling kind of slow after a nice bar night Tuesday so we just went home after work. While she's making her new specialty for dinner, I flip through the channels and come across the Blues Brothers on VH1. One of my favorite movies. I kicked back with a smoke and enjoyed the show. Right in the middle of the Ray Charles scene, she yells in to ask what I'm watching.

When I tell her, she comes into the living room and stuns me by saying, "Oh, I've never seen this before."

Now I've let a lot of stuff slide in our relationship. I'll let her listen to Coldplay's new album "Songs to commit suicide to" and her weird addiction to those antique shows on PBS. I even let it slide when I found out she hadn't seen "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

But what she said next was the last straw. "But I did see Blues Brothers2000."


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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Hanging with the work crowd 

Last night was one of those good news/bad news moments. Good news, a nice lengthy bar visit in the making. Bad news, I was entertaining about 40 account managers from around the country. Hanging out with my direct teammates is cool but fringe co-workers can get a little dicey. Especially with my complete lack of control.

As a good host, the only thing I could do was distract everyone away from me. I grabbed the two coolest ones, AM's who already had rides planned back to their hotel, got a couple quick shots in the them, and they were off and running. Now I don't have to worry about being the drunk moron of the crowd. Things are looking up.

To make it a little more interesting, they hired an entertainment company to run a charity 'casino' night. Craps, roulette, and 3 black jack tables. It was a good chance for me to finally learn the betting in craps. I've seen some friends pull huge stacks and racks of chips just waiting for poker tables to open up.

Mrs. CantHang hosed me later in the night. While I'm playing fake craps, she apparently talked a blackjack dealer into dealing 8 handed Hold'em for giggles. And she never bothered to tell me until the table were being shut down. Big thanks to my girlie, now drive my drunk ass home.

~

We got home in enough time to 'sit' at the rail and watch Pauly play in the WPT Bellagio Super Satellite. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, he was already short stacked and hanging on. He survived a couple all-in's but eventually was taken down. 71 out of 322 and players started dropping like flies shortly after. A valiant effort considering he was under T1000 for most of the time I was watching and the average stack was around T3000. Better luck next time Pauly! Go get 'em.

~

While watching Pauly play, I witnessed one of the most pathetic chat displays by a player and a railbird against another player. I'm sure Pauly probably has the hand history and can speak more accurately. It started out with two big stacks. One big stack opened with KK and second big stack called with AQc. Sounds like a good call to me and it's practically a coin flip. Of course, the KK's get beaten with an Ace on the flop. No one likes getting the big pairs cracked and some even vent a little in chat. But the beaten player snapped and called the winner a cheat. Then the railbird kicked in. Beaten player's job was done and Mr. Rail took over. It seemed like every 30 seconds more filth was spewed in the winners direction and getting nastier as the game progressed. It even moved to the point of physical threats. I've never played in a high $$$ tournament but in my opinion, it was completely over the top and uncalled for.

Out of respect to Pauly (and the other players) being in the middle of the tournament, I refrained from making any comments during play. (OK, the wifey refrained me from making comments). Too me, it almost seemed the equivalent of a real person at the rail for a tournament and constantly shouting profanity at a player. There's no way it would be acceptable in a casino or cardroom and it shouldn't be accepted online.

By the way, the player getting all this abuse about being a cheater busted out not long after Pauly. Some cheater.

I took note of the Neanderthal's account name. I believe the best punishment for him now would be to remove him from his money. Fair and square. If anyone would like his account name for tagging, drop me a line. I think a bounty at some point would be appropriate.

(Note: after posting this, I read Pauly's post and he said the guy was cheating by letting his time expire. I'm still a novice so I don't completely understand. The comments by the rail still seemed too outrageous to let it fly)

~

That should be enough of a drunken hangover rant to get me through most of the day.

Thanks for reading.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Sign of the Apocalypse 

Say it aint so.

CORK CITY, Ireland - Anger, defiance, and, yes, resignation. Emotions were raw, as Irish smokers bid their final public farewell to a drink and a cigarette, together.


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Monday, March 29, 2004

Sunday night report 

Sunday looked to be a long day of poker so I did the first smart thing Saturday night. I stayed off the hootch. I cleared my mind by watching some dreadfully painful, thoughtless movie. The live Sunday afternoon tournament featured a bunch of good players from my past games. I felt the need to make a good showing.

Right off the bat, cards starting hitting me the head. And not the good way. Crap cards, fold. Crap cards, fold. Can the brother get a face card? Any face will do. I had three real starting hands in the first two hours and won two of them. I stole a couple pots here and there to stay ahead of the blinds. But by the time they broke up our table, I was down below my starting amount and never caught up. I was moved to a table with two huge stacks and I had to put all my chips in when the BB came to me. T5c against pocket tens. Have a good day and don't forget to pick up your gift bag before you leave.

During the tourny, everyone kept asking why Mrs. CantHang wasn't playing. She always played in my tournaments but never really made much of an impact. Where she was wiping up was the side games after people started dropping. Single table tournaments paying the top 2. Nobody listened to me when I told them. Right after I got knocked out of the big tournament, she's bought into a single and walked away the winner.

At this point I'm feeling no pain (on what I thought was free booze) and decided to sit down at a $20 single with 7 players. I sat down and started ramming / jamming right off the bat. Within the first orbit, I've knocked one guy out when my pocket Q's turned into a set on the flop. I played passive on the flop and turn letting him believe he was pushing me around. On the river I made a move for all his chips and his small two pair weren't close. That was the third all-in from me on the river in the first orbit forcing the other players to make a decision they weren't prepared to make that early. I knocked one player out and picked up some huge pots. It didn't hurt that each time I was holding nice hands. With a huge chip lead, I loosened up slightly and gambled on some pots in LP. That put me in a position to put a horrendous beat on Duncan that completely tilted him and he was gone shortly after that.

After knocking out my good friend Caucci, it was down to two players. I think I had slightly lower then a 6 to 1 chip lead and I almost considered making a deal. I was going to throw in $10 extra just to save me the hassle of beating him up. After a couple nothing hands, I really start to consider it. Then I looked down at AA and decided to finish it off right there. Min raise preflop and he called. Flop brought A-x-x and I checked to him. He made a big bet with about half his stack. I pushed him all-in and had him drawing dead when he flipped over A-9 against my set of aces.

Now here's a question. I can't tell if I'm playing too tight pre-buzz and the booze loosened me up into a good tight/aggressive player or I've been playing properly pre-buzz and got overly lucky with my cards post-buzz. Hmmmm, I believe this warrants further study. Where's my bottle?

-60 for the multi, +80 for the single. The wifey was +80 in her only single. Not a bad day for the CantHang household. Then the bartender gave me the tab for a day's worth of doubles. doh. Not too horrible and I wasn't caring.

Caucci stayed and got in another single but it was time for us to bail. It's was 7pm and time was drawing near for weekly Sunday night tourny on PlanetPoker.

~

I wasn't kidding in my chat on Planet during the tournament. Don't read Super System after drinking. Apparently it turns a tight/aggressive player (which was my game plan from the start) into a booze-injected crazy raise machine. I'm too embarrassed to even download my hand history from the tournament. I believe I played approximately 5 hands. I caught an AJc and two clubs on the flop for the nut flush draw. I made a good size bet, tpfelt raised, and I felt I had to go all-in and do some gambling. Nothing on the river and I was out against his pocket JJ.

The classic knockout was MeanGene taking out Pauly(A8) and RickBlaine(AQ) in the same hand with The Hammer. Pre-flop he even chatted that he had to stay in. When a 2 and 7 hit the flop, that should have been a good indicator. Crazy times.

I had a great time and thanks to Felicia for setting everything up. Unfortunately I don't think I'll make the next one due to prior Phillies commitments.

It looks like Iggy is getting ready to go on hiatus and make us search elsewhere for drunken poker rants. Good luck to Iggy and come back soon.

Good day all and thanks for reading.

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