Monday, October 05, 2009

A dome full of memories

The Twins play Detroit on Tuesday for the chance to take on the Yankees in the Divisional Playoffs. The game will be played at the Metrodome tomorrow afternoon in what hopefully is NOT the last time they play under the Teflon covered stadium. Yesterday got me thinking of the games I have seen the Twins play there. With the help of I was able to track down the box scores for every game I ever went to.

April 28th - 1988: My first game at the Dome was a class trip I went on when the defending World Series champion Twins took on the lowly Baltimore Orioles. I remember very little from the game itself except for the fact that my distant cousin Fred Lynn, who prior to Ichiro in 2001 was the first player to ever win ROY and MVP in the same year, was not in the starting lineup for the Orioles. The Twins ended up winning the game 4-2, prolonging the Orioles season beginning losing streak to a mind-boggling 21 games.

July 29th - 1990: My baseball team was in the Twin Cities for a tournament and we got to watch the Twins take on the Oakland A's. My dad chaperoned a group of us to the game. Jose Canseco and Felix Jose hit bombs in the game, but the Twins ended up taking the game in 6-5 extra innings. My dad got half-lost in downtown Minneapolis after the game, but we made it back to our hotel safely.

July 27th - 1991: In the middle of what would be the Twins second World Series winning team in 5 years the Twins took on the Milwaukee Brewers, which at the time was a heated battle between division rivals. This was the major league debut of Denny Neagle, who had a few decent years after being dealt from the Twins, but perhaps is better known for being caught with hookers, driving while drunk, and possibly being on steroids. The Twins ended up winning in exciting fashion when Dan Gladden hit a 3 run homer in the bottom of the 10th. I remember this well because Gladden's homer hit the foul netting down the left field line.

August 11th, 1992: My dad took me down to the Dome to see the Twins take on one of my baseball idols Nolan Ryan. Coincidentally, this was also opening day for the Mall of America in Bloomington, which actually sits on the ground where the old Met Stadium was. You can still stand at home plate while eating a cotton candy and taking in the goings-on of Snoopy's Knotts Berry Farm, or whatever the fuck it's called now. Inexplicably, my dad and I decided to go to the mall despite the fact that we both pretty much hate malls. I don't remember much from our time at the mall except one of the sporting goods stores was using live mannequins. Nolan pitched well, but the Twins ended up winning 3-2 behind John Smiley's complete game.

June 27th, 1998: My dad, brother, and I couldn't resist making the trek down to the Twin Cities to see Mark McSteriod play in the middle of his record-breaking-syringe-filled-with-juice-injected-into-his-ass season. The three of us went to some shitty bar near the Dome and ate pizza while my brother and I each pounded 3 Leine's like they were going out of style. The Twins took the loss 7-2 as McGwire launched an andro-aided bomb into the left field seats.

April 28th 2001: 13 years to the date of my first Metrodome experience was my last as the Twins took on the Baltimore Orioles again. The Twins took it on the chin 5-2 courtesy of the Orioles. Sluggers Brooke Fordyce (BAL) and Tom Prince (MIN) hit homer in this otherwise uneventful loss for the Twins. This was Tom Kelly's final season managing as he took a young Twins team back into the picture. The nucleus of this team would lead the Twins to AL Central Championships in 4 out of the next 5 seasons. Here's to the Twins winning their 5 Central crown tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

All Things

Fucking poker is sucking ass right now. I'm about to cash out my pissant bankroll and put it towards my credit card bills or the 30K in student loans I gotta pay back which gave me 12.5 years of college, a BS, MS, PHD and an STD or two, and a job that doesn't even pay 4oK. You might think I'm complaining, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I once read that many of us who go to grad school do so in order to prolong some romantic period of our lives where we make no money, when in fact we predominately come from wealthy families. That's a crock of shit, because myself, the people I've met, and the people that have become my lifelong friends furthered our education because they didn't see many attractive options after undergraduate studies, didn't want to start pumping out babies, and really had nothing else to do. No place else where we'd fit in. It's not like we were so fucking smart at 22 that our brains were aching to absorb 8 years of graduate school on 16K a year and 60 hour weeks. It's about lacking identity, in which case you seek to find it. I guess many of us have found it.


I made my 6th or 7th trip to vegas about a month ago. Shacked up with 3 friends in the MGM grand. Like the other trips, I managed to end up a loser, but had some fun. We started the trip off with brunch at the Venetian, followed by a tourney at Caesars Palace which saw me bubble out when my QQ all in was called by the only person with more chips than me. He had AK and flopped an A and I was done. I win that and I could pretty much coast to a nice payday. The rest of the day was occupied by playing cheap pai gow at the Trop and imbibing several 7 and 7s. The next morning we all cab it over to the Hard Rock where I win a couple hundred bucks in an hour playing 1/2 NL. The 1pm touney wasn't so kind to me, but weetarded guy (in our group) takes it down for a nice score.

We go back over to the Trop for some cheap Pai Gow and cheap craps. I lose a bit at pai gow, and then proceed to lose 100 bucks on my charter craps session, despite getting the hot hand while rolling and builing my buyin from 20 bucks to 120. The rush of going on a hot streak pretty much made up for the money I lost, but I can't say I'm all that crazy about the game.

We go back over to the MGM grand where I buyin for 100 bucks at a 1/2 NL table. I win a bit early and then pretty much sit there pounding beers and playing tight for 3 hours or so. I go on another small win streak and sit with 200 or so when I get pocket 10s in middle position. I raise to 10 and get 2 callers. Flop comes 10c 9c As and I start to salivate. One check to me, I bet 20, get min raised by the button, which was called by the old dude who checked and I called as well. The turn is the Ac. Old dude leads out for 60 bucks, I push knowing that someone has an A and both people call. Over 600 in the pot and the river comes a Kh. Fuck me...the button, who played the hand like a horses ass, had AK offsuit. Old dude had the flush and I get up and leave. I sit at the bar and down some more beers while pissing away more money on the shitty ass video poker at MGM.

After waking the next morning, we grab breakfast at NYNY at some cafe that has a giant topigraphical map of the US on the ceiling. We play a bit of craps there after bfast before it is time to me to hop on the 4 hour flight back to ATL.

Friday, May 08, 2009


This just in. Brett Favre sent a sperm sample to the Minnesota Vikings for analysis. Someone end this shit. Why can't he just go away gracefully?

Friday, April 24, 2009

The dirty, dirty.

It's been 7 months since we moved to Atlanta, but I still appreciate the fact that moving across country to a strange new city has been an adjustment. I think I spent the first several months going through the motions at work and at home. Brain dead...I felt like a zombie, and my mind and body started to (and still is) deceive me. The brain is the almighty organ, which I knew, but never appreciated in such a way. Alas, I don't wish to continue this morbid fascination with myself. Let's move onto what's been good about "The City Too Busy to Hate."

NHL hockey in my backyard. I only made it to 1 game this year, but having a NHL team where my live is great. Phillips Place is a nice arena and one of the great things is that there is a dedicated entrance to the arena for those arriving via MARTA. I'd like to make it to several games next year.

The MARTA! Especially, how convenient and cheap it is to take to the airport. At some stations you can park your car long term for only a few bucks a day. Beats the 10 bucks/day at the airport lots.

The possibilities I have doing research at Emory are essentially endless. I am only limited by my imagination and motivation.

My morning constitutional. We live close enough to school to walk. I trounce through the woods every morning on my way to work. I've seen several species of birds, deer, old men, dogs, and snakes. Just to name a few.

Milwaukee has, and forever will have, a special place in my heart in terms of the bar scene, but we've discovered some gems here in Atlanta. The Brick Store Pub has a beer list that will make your head spin and really good food to boot. MJQ is basically a garage from the outside that goes down underground into a maze of a dance club. I lost my hearing after spending a night there in February. The Porter Beer Bar in Little 5 Points has a great beer selection and hell of a brunch. The chicken sausage gravy is fucking heavenly. The Corner Pub in Decatur has some really good food and you can usually get a decent bottle of beer for 2 bucks. I'm sure there are many more that I am forgetting or haven't yet discovered.

Food in quick fashion. BBQ. Mellow Mushroom. Willy's. Everybody's Pizza. Atkins Park. Wings at Famous. Edo.

Last but not least, the halfwit who chased us into Publix one night whilst burping uncon-fucking-trollably. Fear and amusement are emotions that you don't often experience at the same time, but I was both afraid of this fucking dude and still laughing at him while he ran after us into the grocery store. He then stood near the checkout while we were shopping, but vanished by the time we checked out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2unica - Part 2: Poker is easy

The next day we woke up and had breakfast at the cafe in Sam's Town. I absolutely murdered a ham, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich that came with tater tots. Stomachs full, we signed up for the 11am tournament. There were about 35 runners with 2K guaranteed in the prize pool.

The first hour I manage to win a fair number of pots and double my chip stack in the first hour. At the first break, Johnny is still hanging in while the Shoeshiner went busto. Just before we move down to 2 tables, I managed to take out a player when my AJ outflops his AK. Players keep dropping pretty quickly during the 2nd hour. I manage to chip up when my J6 beat a short stacks 44 on a j65j4 board. We get down to the final 10 and the very first hand I call and all in from a short stack with A6 hearts vs 44. The flop comes KQJ of hearts and I take out another player and am 2nd in chips. 3 more players go busto and we began to discuss a chop. Everyone is pretty agreeable. Me and another big stack take 400 and the other 4 got 300.

Afterwards, I sit down at a 3/6 table to grind out the 5 hours for the room rate. The session is eerily similar to the previous days' as I go up early and manage to piddle most of it away and then some in the next several hours. We took a break in there and hit the buffet before going back to more 3/6. After getting my hours I head down to hit up the let it ride table again.

I go down early in my 2nd session but get hot and am up close to 200 bucks before I decide to hit the pai gow table. I didn't last long at pai gow, as it was boring as hell and the table was empty except for me. I wander around the casino for a bit before catching up with Johnny and heading up to bed.

All in all, it was by far my best gambling trip as I ended up about 1500 bucks or so. I was left with a pretty positive impression of Sam's Town in Tunica. The locals seemed very friendly as well, which in my experience contrasts with Vegas or Atlantic City locals.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucky Lucky

I took the Amtrak from Atlanta to Birmingham to meet a few friends on our way to Tunica, MS. The train ride was relaxing, but I think 4 hours at that pace is just about right. Anymore time on the train would have been a drag.

We took off for Tunica Saturday morning and arrived at Sam's Town about 1pm. After check-in we all took seats at a 3-6 hold'em game with seven other players, most of them were over 60. I started out hot and doubled my buy-in after a few hours, but managed to give all that back and more before quitting after 5 hours or so. We had an unspectacular dinner at one of the restuarants and I went to play some Let It Ride, while Johnny and The Shoeshiner watched. After a bit The Shoeshiner joined me. I lost most of my 100 buyin and went to the ATM to reload. I came back and bought in again. The dealer, whose nametag said 'Stocks', kept giving me shit about not playing the bonus bet. I told him it was a bad bet in the long run, and that it wouldn't be there if the house didn't make money on it. I got some dirty looks as everyone else at the table was playing the bonus bet.

Not long after explaining why I don't play the bonus bet, I decided to put my first one out there. That very hand I was dealt 2-4 of hearts which paid me 40-1 on my 5 dollar bonus. I get plenty of shit from the people at the table. The next hand, I shit you not, I get rolled up 10s. Trips paid 30-1 on the bonus, and the first card he flipped up was the case 10 paying me 50-1 on all five of my bets. Those 2 hands made me +1K for my session and I was in happy town. I took off for the bathroom a few minutes later and when I get back I learn that the guy immediately to my left was dealt rolled Qs. I'm pretty sure someone would have killed me if I was there for that hand. The Shoeshiner and I play for a good bit before Johnny meets us and we hit bed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I can has mental problems

Yep. The last few months have been a bit of a blur. My focus has been mostly sapped from me and I am experiencing various symptoms of fatigue and anxiety. I've started tossing back Ativan which seem to work ok, but lack the kick of a xanax. I'm still charging ahead in my work, and strangely enough, have been grinding out some profits on pokerstars lately. Shoot, I've even attained Silverstar status for the first time since I don't know when. I'm not sure how anxiety and lack of concentration translate into better decision making while playing 7 card stud, but that seems to be what happened. Luck was also on my side for a while with the SNGs. That seems to have turned as of late with bad beats leaving me out of the money in my last several SNGs. Hopefully, this is ample tuneup for my first trip to Tunica in a few weeks. Bedtime now.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sign of the Times - Vegas Part II

After lunch we headed back to the Planet Hollywood to kill some time before dinner. My girlfriend napped, while I took the time to get my PH players card and place a bet on the Packers (+4) over the Bears. It was an emotional bet, as I was hoping to see a Green Bay win meaning the Vikes clinching the NFC north. Despite it being and emotional wager, I figured the Pack would give them a tough game since it is a huge rivalry, plus I only bet 20 bucks.

After placing the bet, I again found myself playing video poker. I hit some good hands and cashed up about 50 bucks. I decided to try my luck at Pai Gow again, and lost my whole buy-in fairly quickly, but offset that loss with 4 or 5 budweisers. I was on a little bit of tilt because I hit up the ATM and dumped 60 bucks into a slot machine, polishing off another beer in the process. At this time, my girlfriend had texted me that she was shopping. I declined the invitation to join her, and kept on playing-dumping more money into the slot machine. Luckily, she made it back to the casino and we had a pre-dinner drink at the 'heart bar.' Our waitress had enormous tits and a pimp decked-out in red sat alone at a table nearby.

We caught a cab to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner. I had clam chowder and then salmon stuffed with spinach and brie. All around, everyone agreed the dinner was great. Over the course of dinner, I was sweating the football game. The Packers blew a lead, missed the winning FG, and the game went to overtime. We stuck around and had another drink at the bar and caught the end of the game. Bears kicked a FG in overtime-bittersweet, I won my bet, but the Pack didn't help the Vikes out.

We took a cab back to the PH and our driver complained that he had been working all day and we were only his 5th fare. I don't doubt it, Vegas seemed pretty much dead. The cabbie figured it was a combination of the time of the year/week and the crappy economy. We headed up to the room for a bit, and after my girlfriend decided to take it easy, I headed down to gamble a bit. I hit the casino floor and before I even knew it a dark-haired woman hopped out from a slot machine and asked me "are you looking to party?" I was kinda surprised by her approach and I politely declined. Over the course the next few hours, I saw a few other hooker/potential trick interactions. All obviously occurring right in plain view on the casino floor. In my previous trips to Vegas I have never seen hookers being so forward and out in the open. Maybe, it is a sign of the slow time of year and pisspoor economy. It affects everyone from the cabbies and hookers, all the way to the Billionaire's who got fucked over by Bernie Madoff.

I decided to play let it ride, a game that I had no experience playing in the casino. I played conservatively, but ended up hitting some huge hands as the next hour went on. I turned my 100 buyin into 350 or so and called it a night.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Hustle - Vegas part I

We arrived in Vegas about 1030pm local time after 3 hour flight which seemed more like 5 hours with the constant turbulence. I used my VIP card to bypass the slow-as-molasses rental car line and we were soon heading our way up Las Vegas Blvd. We valeted the car at Planet Hollywood and we were happy to see no line for check-in. I decided to attempt the '20 dollar trick' and see if we could get a room upgrade. The male clerk immediately pocketed the 20 bucks and set us up in a resort vista room. Predictably, the rooms at PH are themed after movies and our room theme was "The Long Kiss Goodnight" starring Samuel L Jackson and Geena Davis. The room was very nice with a King bed, 52" flat screen TV, his and hers vanity, large tub and separate shower and a view of the strip.

The whole process from getting off the plane to checking into the hotel was so efficient that I decided to go gamble for a bit. I sat down at one of the bars and played a bit of video poker ending up 40 bucks after hitting a straight flush. I cashed out and sat down at a pai gow table. I had a horrible time at this table. I didn't win a hand for about an hour, and after I won a few a few dealer rolled over everyone at the table and I left, losing most of my buyin.

My girlfriend and I got up in the morning and met her mom and sister at the Peppermill for breakfast/lunch. We decided to walk since it was such a nice day. As we were almost there, we were approached by a rough looking woman standing outside a CVS. She asked us if we had "3.75 for tampons." We were both so fucking flabergasted that we just kept on walking without saying anything. I think that woman needs a new hustle. We went inside the Peppermill and I absolutely destroyed an eggs benedict.