Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year everyone! 

May 2012 bring you so much love, happiness and success in whatever matters most to you!


Thursday, 15 December 2011

December Blues

Up here, December can be an awful month, the days get really short and the temperature starts to plummet.  Despite the forecast of a brutal winter up here, we appear to have been saved for the short term.  It is almost balmy here, some days getting above zero, but the sun goes down near 4:30pm.  It is easy to see why bears hibernate!

To avoid hibernation myself, I allowed my schedule to get packed full of activities, which has led to me not getting around to blogging in the last few weeks.  I signed up for an unlimited month of yoga just up the road, keep my joints from freezing up!  This probably saved me yesterday, we decided to hit up a community league and go curling for a couple hours.  My friend Jakz came up from the US on Monday, it seemed appropriate to immediately grace him with a cup of Tim Horton's coffee and a broom.  We had a blast, I will try to post some videos later into this post.  Worth a laugh for sure!  It was a bit nerve racking at first to start firing the stones into the house (ha...where can you do that??) while the league players watched on.  No bones were broken and even without helmets, there were no concussions.

 With regards to poker, I have another 12,099.54 VPPs to go to hit my last milestone bonus of 2011, then I will be focusing all my energy into tournament strategy and preparation for PCA.   It's hard to believe that in 3 weeks I will be packed up and headed to the airport!  Come join me!

Oh yes...Gibson won an 'elder pet' photo competition earlier in the month, getting him a bag of goodies.  I decided that this year, I would get his picture taken with 'Santa/Grinch' for the first time, seeing as they were fundraising for a good cause!  He was not impressed....





Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Preparedness is Key

Earlier this month, I was able to get away on a vacation.  My first real vacation in a long time, where I haven't had to concern myself with OT work and well I couldn't play online poker.  It has often seemed like I take time off to escape to the WSOP, or Vegas or make sure I drag my laptop along to get a few hands in.  So off I headed to the beautiful beaches of Florida for a bit of relaxation. 

I was thinking about making some videos detailing how I was going to prepare for the PCA Canada Cup final table, and while chatting about it, the idea came up to consider making a bit of a spoof, probably sometime after we saw Kevin Nealon in Ybor. 
Hans and Talon
 The video took a bit more work than I initially expected (don't they all), but it is hard to complain when you are in paradise!  I can't wait for the Bahamas, and hope that many of you can make it out also!

So with as much cheese as possible...allow me to present to you...PCA Canada Cup preparations! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Video Release Day: Poker, Slo-pitch & the "Fat Cat"


The day my slo-pitch team has been waiting for is here!

Earlier this year, I was presented with the opportunity to have my ‘story’ filmed and published for the poker world (and I suppose, anyone else who may randomly happen upon my video).  I was super excited and equally nervous at the thought of being interviewed and being recorded.  Some people are naturals when it comes to being in the public eye and expressing themselves, but I am not sure I belong in that group.  

So you can imagine, that my nerves weren’t settled too much as the crew set up their gear in my living room.  


Thankfully, the guys were wonderful, and kept me laughing.  The sound guy even wound up making a bit of a cameo...can you spot him?  A special thanks to Ryan, Greg and Mike for all their work!  It certainly wasn’t the nicest weekend to visit Edmonton.  This video will give you a glimpse into my life, from poker, to working as an Occupational Therapist, to after hours fun!

Here it is...the moment many have been waiting for....drum roll please!  


So after watching the video, I hope you have had a good laugh or two, even if it was at my expense.  I think it is important not to take yourself too seriously! 

Sunday, 30 October 2011

....Get Set....

The VPP race continues for me from now until the end of the year.  Last updated October 10th.  As I sign out for the night tonight, I have 166,628.08 VPPs....33,371.92 to go to get my next Milestone Cash Credit. 

Brag:  Will be great to get, just in time for the Bahamas baby!  :)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Canada Cup, Januar-eh Nine and Bonus Brags

Woke up early (10am) yesterday morning and got to a yoga class as quickly as I could.  I had been during the week but other than that, very neglectful.  Class ended at 1140, giving me just enough time to get home, showered and ready to start my tournaments.  I have really tried to focus more on cash games, but the weekend tournaments are such good value and hard to stay away from.  Quickly registered in the Women's Sunday, the Sunday Million, the Daily Bigs and some PCA/Canada Cup satellites.  Things did not go well.  It felt like I had a bounty on my head in each (of course in the Women's I did...), which is a good thing, but I was falling prey to two and three outers galore. 

The Canada Cup opened up....and I tried to leave everything else behind me.  As always, easier said than done, but a double up KK vs QQ put me in a better mood.  I will have to review my hand histories, but after that I didn't have many show downs that stick out in my memory.  Just tried to gather small amounts of chips whenever other players were leaving them lying around.  I especially got to make my move at the cash bubble, chipping up from 28k to almost 60k without a showdown, it was a great hour or so.  Once in the money, there was no question....final table was where I needed to be. 

The rest is history...

The incentives offered by PokerStars are awesome.  Hotel, flight, spending money in the Bahamas, not to mention....whoever ships this tournament gets to freeroll the 25k high roller tournament.  I get really excited just thinking about potential! I slept only for an hour or so last night, will have to get over that ASAP. 
So, now I have the "Januar-eh Nine" in my sights, and have some fun preparation work to do because I have every intention of showing this field how an Edmonton girl plays poker.  I will dust off a spot on my mantle for the trophy.  Stay tuned....I will show you how I train!

Then....as if I wasn't already pumped, Ryan shipped the last WSOP Circuit even in Hammond!  Now he has a big old ring to show off!

He was there today, in large part because our favorite....Eric was working at shipping the Main Event, unfortunately, it wasn't to be today, but 4th prize and a six figure score will be a decent consolation!

These guys have set the bar high...but I am so pumped and ready to crush my own final table....just a few more months...

Hopefully, I get some sleep tonight.  





Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tick Tock Tick Tock....

Every so often, PokerStars will run a tournament on a trial basis and a few weeks ago I found myself playing one of them to give it a try as the concept really appealed to me.  It was a $2 turbo that lasted only 30 minutes.  I have fun in tournaments that employ different strategies, whether it is the game type (split pot, 8 game, etc.), the structure (turbos, deep stack, etc.) or now the hard stop of a tournament.  In these timed tournaments, you could see many different styles of play coming together, including the player who was quickly gambling and trying to amass all the chips for the impending chop (these tournaments pay out according to the size of each players stack), the player who was taking their time for every decision (trying to hang on to min cash) and the player who was playing a bit more cautiously recognizing that building a table image had less value.  

In my opinion, one of the greatest drawbacks of tournaments can be the uncertainty of when it will end.  Grinding tournaments can be tough on your social life, it is hard to commit to a set time for anything, whether dinner, a movie, or a sporting event!  These Time Tourneys give you the fun of a big multi table tournament, without having to commit your whole evening to poker.  It is also nice to be able to get a good nights sleep before heading off to work in the morning!  Needless to say, I am happy that the trial of this style of tournament was a success and that Time Tourneys will now be in the regular schedule at PokerStars.  

Look for these tournaments in the lobby, they will run for a varied amount of time (from a minimum of 15 minutes to a maximum of 180 minutes) at which time the payouts are established based on stack size of the remaining players.  You can give this tournament a try, for as little as $1, they are most easily found by looking under the “Tourney” tab, they have a little stop watch icon, or you can use the Tourney Filter at the bottom to find them.  

If you can, make a deposit of $30 or more and use the code “TIME” until October 21rst and PokerStars will give you one ticket for a $5.50 Time Tourney Ticket that can be used until 23:59 EST on October 21rst.  

These tournaments are a perfect addition to the lineup, and will suit so many recreational players, or in general people who lead busy lives that want to play tournaments, but can’t commit 8 hours (or longer) to a session.  If you are allotted two hours to play some poker on a weekend....be sure to look at the newest addititon to the Saturday Line-Up, it’s a $22 Time Tourney (two hours total) that will fire up every Saturday starting at 13:00 EST.   The prize pool is a guaranteed $10,000 (check it out on the 22nd...for a DOUBLE guarantee)...so come get whatever piece your stack is worth after two hours!  

As always, if you have any questions get in touch with support@pokerstars.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Supernova Dinner - Edmonton style

Something happened last week.  I had heard of it happening before, just never had the opportunity to partake in the fun!

I opened my email in September and there it was, an email from a man named Rich, the VIP representative for PokerStars in western Canada.  He was coming into town in early October and wanted to know if I would like to join him and other Supernova players on PokerStars for an evening out....on PokerStars (of course).  

As a member of Team Online as well as Supernova, Rich allowed me to pick where we would eat.  This gave me some trouble, there are some great places to eat in Edmonton, but would what appealed to me be suitable for the other Supernova guests??  So I went with the safe choice of Ruth's Chris.  In Alberta, a steak house has to appeal to most!  

We arrived and were escorted down to a private meeting room, with vault type doors.  The table composition was interesting, the players who had been able to join us for the night were a multi table tournament player (with affinity for the turbos and hyper-turbos), a heads up sit and go player, a limit hold em player and myself.  

With a table like this, Rich had his work cut out for him, but he kept the conversation going and it was really interesting to hear how each player got their start in poker, WSOP adventures, plans for PCA, thoughts on Black Friday, 2+2 and other sites.  

Rich asked us each what we thought PokerStars could do to be a better site and what kinds of promotions attracted us.  It was nice to know that our opinions counted as he wrote down every suggestion/comment and even talked a bit about the ideas that came out of the dinner he hosted earlier that week in Calgary.  

I didn't take any pictures that night....protect the identities of these Superheroes, but I did catch a few screen names.  So in lieu of pictures, I figured I would attach some pictures of the foods we sampled.  Everything was really incredible!

Stuffed mushroom caps, onion rings....

Soups and salads...oh my!

Followed my entrees of steaks with decadent sides....

Who could then resist chocolate pieces of heaven?


If this isn't incentive enough for you to work towards Supernova....I am not sure what would be!

Oh yes....by the way Rich, thanks for letting me pick the bottle of wine, and for not cringing when the waitress said "Oh wow....you picked a really good bottle of wine", it was wonderful down to the last drop!



Monday, 10 October 2011

On your marks....

I was reviewing my VPPs for the year and trying to examine how quickly I am accumulating them.

I will make a push for 200,000 VPPs this year.  As of today at 11:40 MST (lol) I have 145,579.77 VPPs, so will have my work cut out for me....but there is a bonus of $2,600 at the VIP store waiting for me when I get there! 

:)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Team Online Freerolls!

For any friends or family that don't have PokerStars accounts, they are running a great promo at the moment.  If you sign up under me, you get a chance at a free tournament every month (the first Sunday at 10 am MST) where there is a bounty on my head and free money added to the prize pool by PokerStars. 

So come support me and my new adventures in Pokerland!


Saturday, 17 September 2011

World Championship of Online Poker...Events 30 & 31

Wednesday morning my alarm goes off (at 3:30am)....and like every other morning I somehow manage to hit snooze without actually regaining consciousness.  I am a proficient sleeper.  I eventually half waken to my boyfriend asking me what time it is.

4:45am

Shit.  I have been getting blinded out for 45 minutes.  Grab my laptop and open both eyes.  I was so excited for this event, the $265 NL Omaha H/L.  In the last year, I have really become fascinated with NL O8 (you can usually find me playing the $33 NLO8 at 5pm locally, or the $51 hyper turbos later in the evening).

The event did not go as planned, my stack was crippled when I shoved with two pair (no low on the board) vs a player I am familiar with, who had aces.  The river paired the board and it wasn't one of mine.  I busted shortly thereafter, not sure if I made the end of late registration. 

I was extremely disappointed. Not to mention feeling sorry for myself. 

I sulked upstairs and got ready to head to work.   As I was coming back down the stairs, I heard the PokerStars alerts ringing.  I forgot that I had played a ~500 fpp round 1 satellite (for the 8 game) and had advanced to round 2 where the buy in was 2400 fpps.

I love playing these fpp satellites both for the value and for the practice at each of the games, they are an inexpensive warm up and get you thinking about the game you are about to play. I also really like 8 game, my first exposure to it was a WSOP event in 2010.  In my first 2-7 TD hand, I made the nuts, and I was hooked. 

Winning the round 2 sent me into the $107+$9 satellite which then advanced me into Event 31.  (As it turns out, I registered for a 2k fpp satellite to the event, and won that also).    The $320 8 Game tournament was already well under way and I couldn't unregister....so I picked up my phone and sheepishly called work to see if they needed me to come in at all.  Thankfully my coworkers had everything managed and I got the green light to play on.

Thanks girls, it was well worth it! 


This certainly wasn't how I had imagined my day going, but it ended up working out in the end. While I would have loved to take down the bracelet, it felt very satisfying to make my first major final table as a member of Poker Stars Team Online. I hadn't quite realized how much extra pressure I had been putting on myself since I signed this deal.

Being an 8 game event meant that there was not a lack of interesting spots. I will review some hand histories from the tournament, either in video or text format sometime in the next few days.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

It's Almost WCOOP Time!!!

In the poker world, August is one of my least favorite months. It can often be a struggle for me to get back to the reality of a day job after the WSOP. This year, the WCOOP is on the horizon with the promise of 62 events and at least $30 million dollars in prize pool money. This makes my shift back to reality less of a burden.

I have always been a dreamer, and WCOOP certainly gives me room to imagine...so many players will have their lives changed over the course of a day (or two) in ways they may have only fantasized about. You don't even have to get out of your pajamas!

Read the rest of this post on the Poker Stars Blog

Monday, 8 August 2011

Summer Fun!

For August long weekend, we packed into my car and drove 10 hours to Peachland (just outside of Kelowna, BC).  It is by far one of the most beautiful places to visit and home to some of my best friends.  The weekend was perfect and relaxing, great food, boating, wine and sun. 

To end our water day on the Saturday (we had swam, surfed, wakeboarded, and enjoyed some sodas), we headed to a 'sweet jumping spot'.  Heights are definitely not something I enjoy, but I do love the water.  Fueled by liquid courage, peer pressure and perhaps some sun stroke, I joined my friends in the climb up the cliff - at least it will make a good video right?  The toughest thing about the climb was avoiding the cacti - they were vicious!


After that climb, there was no way I was walking back down....here's the video of the jump (rated M for language and heavy breathing).



The next day was the Red Spade Open on PokerStars, so got my laptop fired up, the hookah fired up and some wine.  A few others in the house jumped into the tournament also to see if they could get my bounty...would have been a great story but another random player got it that time. 



 Was a great weekend, can't imagine much better....I love summer.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A transition?

I got word today that my request to go part time at the hospital was approved....effective September 12th, I will be working less...well 20% less.  I am really excited!  Just in time for the WCOOP on PokerStars too...player of the series sounds good to me!  It means that I will hopefully have more time to travel and fulfill more of my 2011 goals.

With the signing of my contract, I have found myself to be insanely busy between poker, work and life.   I want to dedicate more time to working on and playing poker. 

Also....stay tuned for some sweet videos and pictures from my weekend in Peachland.  I'll slowly get the hang of this technology thing!

:)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Home Invasion.... (nm they were invited)

Along with having me join Team Online, PokerStars is having a mini video documentary made of me.  The filming took place this week, thankfully I was done with with post WSOP blues!  People who are regularly in front of the camera make it look so easy!  I wasn't nervous until I saw all the gear come out, then I became fidgety and anxious. 

The video will give you a peek in to my life, my work and most importantly my fun!  The highlight of my day (and when I felt most at east) was in the evening at my slo-pitch game.  They were able to interview my best friend and some of my teammates, about poker and life.  I think the crew will have their hands full editing the evening portion with my ball team.  We know how to party and usually can play ball fairly proficiently, but it looked mostly like a blooper reel until the cameras went away! 

Some of the team...
Either way....the video should give you a glimpse of what my life is like and the balance between working at poker and a 'real' job!

The crew was terrific (thanks Ryan, Mike and Greg) and now it is in their hands to polish up all my rough edges!

Here is a sample of some of their work...my teammate Nanonoko...somehow I think our videos will be a bit different, both for poker and leisure!



Stay tuned....this week is the photo shoot!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Video Blogging

Yikes....posted a video blog last night, first one ever.  A bit strange but hopefully will get better as time goes by!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

July 7, 2011....What a day!

 Cheese!
So...I had a secret.  It was a big one.  I am not great at keeping my secrets as my friends know.  But finally, it was announced that I was to be the newest member of Team Online at PokerStars. 

This is really a culmination of a dream I have been dreaming for a number of years, since I started playing online poker.   Then, at the beginning of 2011, I realized that I was coasting in poker, it has always been a game that I have been good at and at times have just played on auto pilot.   So, I focused and here we are.

I look forward to the opportunities and the challenges that I will face this year as a poker player and as a representative on PokerStars team.  I love meeting players, and am just back from WSOP, so on a total high.  I met Omaha/8b players that I only knew from online before, I met and re-met poker reporters, got to party at the 2+2 Pokercast party with the Pokercast guys and many 2+2 members, some that I had met before and others that were new faces.  Heading to the WSOP is always a highlight of my summer, like going back to a summer camp for adults!

As a member of Team Online, I want to show people (both existing and new players) that poker can be worked into an awesome and healthy lifestyle.  I have made the choice to work outside of poker since 2002, while this isn't for everyone, it has been the nuts for me.  Poker has given me many opportunities and benefits over the last nine years and I look forward to my 10th year in the game. 

Take care everyone and come find me at the tables!!!!

Links about the signing and my bio:
http://bit.ly/talonchick
http://bit.ly/rowsome

Monday, 27 June 2011

WSOP 2011 - round 2

I hate packing.

So I have found the time to write a quick note!  I am headed back to Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon.  On my slate is Event 51 $1500 plo8 and if that doesn't go well the ladies event (Event 53).  I plan to play as much cash as possible in between and potentially the 5k plo8 (Event 57).  I am stoked to find out that the Rio has yoga at the spa on weekends....so much nicer than going to find a center. 

I hope to go see the Price is Right game show and have time for some great dinners.  Then also the 2+2 pokercast party at the Wynn on July 7th.  I am sure this trip will fly by as they all do, hopefully I get to see my name in lights, and maybe....hear the Canadian anthem played just for me. 

Namaste. 

Friday, 24 June 2011

Time flies...

Today marks my 9th anniversary at my current job.  Officially, the longest time I have worked somewhere.  I get the luxury of truly meaning it when I tell you that I love my job.  Parts of it make me want to scream and shake people, but that happens in every day life too I guess!  Ultimately, nothing can replace the feeling I get when I help a patient or a family through a life changing event, whether it is a trauma, an illness or a loss. 

I have the best crew that I work with and it makes all the difference.  I have traveled with coworkers (to the Caribbean, taken some to Vegas, to NY and DC) and often spend time away from work with them, hell even my slo pitch team stems from the hospital.

Here's a cheezy little OT rap...had some fun checking out youtube for all the OT vs PT and OT vs nursing videos...but I already argued with one nurse today so I thought I would put something non offensive! :)


Despite all this, I feel a change is coming...it would be too easy to just coast along for the next 10 years.  I submitted a request to go part time for now, to see if with the extra time I can pursue a bit more poker travel or another adventure in Occupational Therapy...we'll see if that gets approved!! Fingers crossed!

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Trip Report - The Rest

I had better finish this epic blog before I head back to Vegas in less than two weeks!

In summary, the last 4 days of my trip included playing basketball at midnight at 24 hour fitness, manicure, pedicure, swimming, hot tubs, more gym time then finally out to dinner at Mesa and seeing Absinthe (outside Caesars) which was an excellent show until the end when I almost bailed down the ramp in my heels.  Can't win them all I guess!

I am looking forward to the next couple weeks more for so many reasons, will be into the PLO8 tournaments, the ladies event for the first time, catching up with more friends and enjoying some heat!!!!

Will most definitely be at the 2+2 party at the Wynn on the 7th....so get there! :)

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Trip Report - Day 3

Day 3 - Event day $1500 Limit Omaha 8/b - June 1, 2011
www.worldseriesofpoker.com/photostore check out Event 3 Table 47 if you wish. 

I drove over to the Rio, with the last few minutes of my rental car and hurriedly returned it as I was running a bit late.  Got to my table, and into seat 9,  in time to fire up the event.  While so many of my friends were tweeting about all the 'name pros' at their table, I was looking around and recognized nobody at mine.  The forecast for this tourney was that it was going to be juicy as the first 'real' tourney (after the casino employees and the $25k HU) and lots of players would be looking to get their WSOP experience started.  The numbers on the board seemed to be indicating the same thing, over 900 players. 
Unfortunately, the field didn't appear to be as soft as expected.
The softest spot at my table was in seat 2, a Venezuelan, who was super excited and at his first WSOP, after every hand he provided a step by step instruction manual as to why he played his hand as he did.  Needless to say, he was our first casualty in or around level 4.
A fun spot for me came at level 6 when I got into a short stack battle with someone even shorter, he held AAK7 and I held A24Q.  We got all in pre-flop and the hands were turned up.  I said to the  dealer, "How about a 3, 5, 8 flop" and that was exactly what I got.  I didn't want to ask to flop scoop him, but I did end up scooping that pot.  My chip stack was on a roller coaster until the dinner break, where I ended with around two big blinds (or 1100 chips). 
Dinner break we had some of the days earlier casualties go grab a big table at Buzios (amazing seafood restaurant at the Rio).  During dinner, one of the guys at our table handed me his cell phone and told me to talk to his friend, surprize for me when it turns out it was a radio poker show...
I was not late getting back to my chips after the dinner break, couldn't afford to be!  I believe I lasted about another 20 minutes, and then became one of the many level 7 bust outs. 

Overall, I was pretty disappointed, this was the first LO8 WSOP tournament in three years that I hadn't cashed in; however, this year surely had the best play I had seen.  I am most definitely looking forward to my next events!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Trip Report - as I remember it....

I was in Vegas for a week (May 30 - June 6) and cannot wait until my return.  The WSOP tends to be a bit of a blur to me at the best of times, so this trip, I made use of the handy pen and paper to make notes about my trip.  Hopefully whoever finds that paper can piece it all together and have a few good laughs. 

Day 1 - Worked all day then took off early in the afternoon to finish up packing and got chauffeured to the airport by my friend.  Whether it was the upcoming flight or the fact that I hadn't been to Vegas since last July, I was filled with excitement and nervousness.  Skip the boring wait at the airport, flight and wait for my bag and fast forward to check in at Caesars.  
Got loaded into my room and almost didn't leave because of the view: (excuse the blurry iPhone pic)

The room was pretty sweet also....they obviously missed my action over the year.  Not to waste any time, I headed over to the Rio to check out the action.  Not really all that much going on in the cash games, mostly talked to a few dealers who were talking about the Casino Employees event and how anyone could play in it (similar to the Ladies and Seniors Events).   Too bad really, I always liked the idea of having a tournament specific to those who are going to take care of us for the rest of the Series.



I headed to the back of the room looking for one of my online friends (who was originally going to pick me up from the airport) that I was going to meet for the first time.  It was great timing because he was just chopping the first WSOP payment of 2011, him and his buddy met in the heads up satellite to the 25k (event 2).  Good for a laugh anyway, as they had just driven 26 hours across country to get to there.  We met up with a couple more friends and had a few drinks to start off the WSOP, a fairly busy evening, seeing as I only got to LV at 8pm that night.  

Day 2 - Bit of a housekeeping day really, planned the rest of my trip, rented a car, got my cell phone topped up then went out to a house party near South Point.  We watched game 1 of the NBA finals (go Mavs for the record), played some Chinese poker (there's a first time for everything right?) and then went for a swim/hot tub.  The house was beautiful and definitely makes me dream of the 'good life', just in time to get geared up for June 1rst and my first event.  

Monday, 30 May 2011

NEGLECT

Gosh I have sure been neglecting the blog.  No time now either....off to Vegas in a few hours in pursuit of a bracelet....only one event planned for this week long stint, but that will do for now.

Will update trip when I return!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Delayed Gratification

I have been thinking a fair amount about delayed gratification of late.  It is a concept that my mum used to talk to my sister and me.  It mostly had to do with how we spent our allowance, and saving for items that we wanted. As much as I wanted to have Guess jeans or Nike pumps...I knew I would have to work for them and that may have meant giving up other things.  Even now, with regards to money, I save in some places (no cable, take the bus to work, cut coupons) so I can live extravagantly when I want to.  I told my dad once that "I don't like to shop, but I really like nice things"....it's probably a learned behavior of mine to not like to shop, otherwise my credit card bills could be disastrous!

The reason I have been thinking about this, is that with WSOP coming up in less than three weeks, I have been trying to finalize which tournaments I want to play and if I want to sell % of my action.  For the most part, I have always had all my own action but am usually willing to trade % with other players in the same tournament.  That is usually as far as I go to reduce variance and have some fun in the meantime.  I have never been backed, because I think that gives up equity for me and when I win a tournament I want to win it all.  I feamel confident enough in my abilities that I want to be the first person to put me in a tournament.  It is still tempting for some of the bigger tournaments. 

As a rule, I don't think long term backing agreements are good for poker.  I am not worried that these arrangements will wreck the game or cause the game to disappear, but I do think that the players who are backed will have a shorter livelihood in poker, largely due to the burden of makeup.  In my opinion, there is something so valuable about working and grinding your way up the limits.  You learn patience, bankroll management, the value of a dollar and how to grind out a living.  It is hard to keep things in perspective when you play 4 and 5 figure tournaments on a regular basis.  You stay strung along because you only ever one good day away from a big score. 

I guess ultimately it just depends on the individual as to what path they want to take, but if the focus can be on delayed gratification, the individual will be better off in the end. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

April Review...

May 1rst already....what a busy month. 

Yoga
I completed my 30 day challenge.  I did 30 classes in April,  had to double up a few times to make up for the days where work/life got in the way.  Overall, I am really happy I did it, but I know that without a doubt I need a break.  That being said, I signed up for a one month pass to another studio...maybe soon I will be doing handstands and wheels, but probably will just be content with being comfortable in a down dog. 

Poker
I already briefly touched on "Black Friday" but now have a better idea as to what the impact is on me.  As a person, I don't like that the US government is preventing the citizens from playing online, but as a poker player, I think it may have been better for me than originally anticipated.   While it is a bit tougher to get an omaha 8/b game going, it is definitely better when it finally comes together.  I have had better tournament results also, including finishing 101rst in the Sunday Million on PokerStars tonight.  Maybe it is variance, or maybe I underestimated the poker prowess of our neighbours to the South. 

I am really happy that PokerStars has been able to process cashouts for the US players, that will help and maybe even improve the flow of money during WSOP (less than a month away now...) because some players will have their whole roll in cash rather than keeping the majority of their cash online. 

SCOOP starts on the 8th of May.  I hope I get to play some of the events, but it isn't looking likely because with the absence of the US players, PokerStars decided to move the events 3 hours earlier.  In the past, I was able to catch some of the evening events after work if I wanted to, or take an afternoon away from work if the event warranted it.  It will be tough this year to take the time....will have a look this week to see what I want to do. 

Personally, "Black Friday" has impacted some of me and some of my relationships with American friends.  We don't have a normal banter about how our days have gone, or hands to talk about, or tournaments to review.  Some have dealt with the situation really well, and things are normal, but it is evident that others begrudge that I can still play where they used to. 

I just maintained my monthly quota to remain a Supernova on PokerStars this month...

Fun
April bring basketball playoffs for us every year, we sailed through the semis, with a couple games this month and are headed to the finals for our division this year, have a solid chance of shipping it too!  Needless to say.....


Mid-month, a group of friends went out to a rural community hall for the 2nd annual curling extravaganza, it was entirely too much fun.  An evening of curling (really everyone should try it) interspersed with a Ukrainian feast of pyrogies, cabbage rolls and skor cake....what else could you ask for?  The rum slush definitely helped to keep us warmer on the ice!
Yoga kept me flexible I guess....

Finally, this week, I went to Riverdance.  I never saw it on it's first run through after the boom of the Celtic Tiger in the early 2000s.  It was an awesome experience that I thoroughly loved, I do still wish I had seen it with a huge full cast.  For those of you who are wondering, I only cried a small amount at the beginning, something about Irish hard shoe dance makes me super emotional!  My favorite clips from Riverdance....I could watch them over and over!  Michael Flately is so haughty and arrogant, but I love it! 

I also read a couple books during April...I read Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren and Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  The latter was an incredible book that was told from the perspective of a well educated woman as she became increasingly affected by Alzheimer's Disease.  If you read it (and you should), I recommend you avoid reading on the train/bus or other public arenas, as there are some intense moments that really take your breath away (and may bring a tear to your eye).  It is what I consider a very human book, with situations that you can feel yourself in. 

My basement also flooded around Good Friday...thankfully I have people in my life (my mum and step-father) who are proficient at dealing with such emergencies.  I didn't have the time to put a diving board in my basement, it was dried up in no time! (Thanks)

All in all, it has been a crazy month, periodically I think about things I should blog and am sure that I have forgotten a number of things tonight....not to worry, I'll be back!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The second Black Friday of my life.

This is horrible in the moment. I don't like what has happened in the poker world in the last 26 hours.  Change freaks me out.  It always has.  My reactions to yesterdays indictment was shock, disbelief, denial, anger and so on.  It feels like so many of my friends have been laid off, and potentially more will lose 'normal' jobs based on the fall out.  I am concerned for what this will mean for the WSOP this summer...it's only 6 weeks away! 

I am fortunate that poker is not my livelihood and that I am Canadian (perhaps foremost), so I can hardly imagine the fear and devastation that some of my American friends are facing.  I hope that they can take a few days/weeks of vacation, essentially let cooler heads prevail and start reformulating a plan of attack.  Poker players are intelligent people and I have no doubt that we will recover. 

I had a bad week a while ago, was chatting to my friend about some of my issues and the comment he made was essentially that my concerns were all 'first world problems' and while I was angry at first to have to acknowledge that, it helped me keep things in perspective.  The FBI, DOJ, the indictments and all that surrounding this is just that....a first world problem.

I feel like I have more to write....but I have to go curling.  :)

Oh yes, this was the first "Black Friday"

I remember it all to well. 

Monday, 11 April 2011

Women's Tourney

I played my 2nd ever women only tournament yesterday, on PokerStars.  At the end of March, they starting running a weekly $55 NL hold em tournaments on Sunday and have just upped the guarantee from $5k to $10k.  It worked out fairly well for me and I finished 3rd out of 231 players and managed to pick up a team pro bounty too, from the ever controversial Mer Brit (peachymer).

http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/womens_sunday/2011/aamazon-wins-big-in-womens-sunday-for-ti-080290.html

Everybody has different views on women's tournaments, I always said you couldn't pay me to play in the ladies event in the WSOP.  I have friends that will tell you it is the softest field and others that will tell you it's the toughest.  I wouldn't mind hearing Shaun Deeb's perspective after he got dressed up in drag to enter the 2010 ladies event, I don't know where he finished....but it doesn't look like he cashed. 
I don't think ladies tournaments are easy.  I think in fact that they are significantly harder, especially for me.  Things I notice:

1) Women seem to play smaller pots preflop, I  feel like there is more limping in to see flops.

2) Once women limp in, they really want to see that flop and will call raises with a wider range of hands.

3) Women will call you down when they flop a pair, they also seem to check call even if they improve their hands on the turn/river....unless it is the nuts. 

4) If a woman raises or leads out on a river, you are surely beat.  If she three bets preflop, it is AK or a pocket pair and probably QQ +

5) If the woman is aware of all of the above...she probably becomes loose aggressive and plays more of a man style game, none of the previous 'lady' rules apply. This style of game applies to people like Vanessa Russo, Vanessa Selbst, and other more publicly successful women players. 

Without a doubt, I become territorial and hyper aggressive when I know I am playing another woman (as evidenced by the final table yesterday), I feel like I can push them over every hand.  I will fix this leak over the next few weeks...  Many men play women this way also, but that is for another blog.  Whether it is just being narcissistic or self centered, I like to be the exception to the rule, center of attention or the girl in the "man's world" (I estimate that about 10 - 15% of players are XX), and these ladies are limping in on my territory...literally and figuratively! 

Ultimately, I think it is great that sites are running these kind of tournaments, despite it being challenging to establish that all players are actually women.  I think if marketed well, these tournaments will bring a much higher flow of traffic as well as a sense of community among the ladies.  Maybe some satellites for the WSOP event...then I would play!  Also, I hope that PokerStars will consider a different game format instead of always no limit hold em (I am satisfied with any format of omaha 8/b), even bi-monthly or quarterly.  Women are versatile!!!

A closing note to the men....it is incredibly intimidating for a woman to join a poker game, or walk into a poker room.  My first year I would shake for the first hour or so at the table, and the players were mostly really kind to me.  Be nice to women in the game, live and online alike.  A week doesn't go by where I don't get berated in the chat box, thankfully I have been around long enough now that I see the online chat is a reflection of that players insecurity, not a measure of me.  I try to focus on the good comments...like today: 
ApesAreFun: whos the girl in your avatar talon?
talonchick: me
ApesAreFun: oh
ApesAreFun: you're pretty!
Plus, when they go to the board to fill your game, or fill the empty tournament seat at the WSOP, would you rather a sweaty, unshowered man or a lady who has probably put some effort into her appearance that day?

Namaste. 

(Also, I am 11 days [or 13 classes] into my 30 day yoga challenge, it has been incredible, but I am exhausted...have to push through the 'hump' and finish strong!)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

April - Spring is in the air

Ask anyone around Edmonton, life is about 30% better than it was this time a month ago.  As I mentioned before, the snow if finally melting (which makes my sprint for the bus in the morning a bit icy) and the temperature is finally hitting some flip flop weather.  Thank God.

I did commit to the 30 day yoga challenge at a local studio (www.infinitefusion.ca) and am so far (5 classes in) happy I have done it.  My hips are more flexible and my mind feels more focused.  To go along with this, I cut back my poker playing drastically, which has led to better sleep for the most part.  I haven't been playing all that well, or running all that well either if I want an excuse, so I hope that moving my focus to something else, for the short term, will help me long term in day to day life and of course with poker.  I am off to do a 2nd class in 30 minutes, need to get ahead if I am going to complete 30 classes in 30 days... have at least two basketball games this month, along with Riverdance tickets, a curling weekend away, Easter long weekend and who knows what else may pop up.

Oh yeah, did I hear someone picked UCONN to ship the NCAA tourney?  If I could figure out how to do it, I would post my bracket... It was a sad day for me yesterday though, I really like Brad Stevens; his coaching style, his demeanor and how well spoken he is, caught myself rooting for the 'underdogs'.  Nonetheless, I picked a champion this year, maybe next year I will actually place a sports bet....

Off to Fusion Flow...

Namaste.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

March Review


So March is in the books, the sun is finally shining here and the snow is starting to melt.  Although, our local attraction "Snow Dirt Mountain" may never melt...there are competitions to see who can guess the date it finally all dissipates.  It has been one hell of a winter for cold and snow (and might not be over, but I'll chance it), so I welcome the sun and saw a blade of green grass (it may have just frozen that way last year) today. 
Goal Update for March (this isn't going to be pretty)...
(1) I have attended 0 yoga classes in March.  No excuses.  I have; however, signed up for a 30 day yoga challenge at a studio that I can walk to.  Maybe I'll be doing handstands by April 30th.

(2) I finished reading the last of those Stieg Larsson books.  I read all four because of all the hype, and well, they won't be on my recommend list.  I am now about half way through Lisey's Story, a book that is sending me on a mental trip for sure, http://www.stephenking.com/library/novel/lisey_s_story.html. I always have loved Stephen King, read 'It' when I was 12 or 13, this one has become one of my favorites (so far) and I will finish it in April.  It will have taken me 4 years to read though, I found a boarding pass to Vegas in it from 2007. 

(3) Hmmmm....not so much.  See goal #1. 

(4) Did not track and have no idea.  This is embarrassing for me to write, maybe that will help me track for April?

(5) Got my new passport, went to San Jose for a weekend, got to meet a poker player that I had only met online before.  Always nice to meet new friends!  I also booked the first leg of my WSOP trip for the summer, staying at Caesars this year.  Still might drive down for the second leg...why are flights so expensive in the last year?

(6) I have an outline and a 'take home' message ready for the audience that I will present to.  It is going to be quite the challenge for me as I have never enjoyed speaking to a crowd.  I have a presentation geared up for Monday (to an audience of ~ 15 people) so that should give me a good warm up.  My goal for April might be to come up with a sassy title for my presentation. 

I will have to bring together some goals for April, the first being not to be fooled tomorrow before noon, but as with every year, I always get caught somehow. 

Also, go UCONN....I picked them to win the whole tourney in my bracket.  I wouldn't mind seeing Butler do it either, their coach (Brad Stevens) inspires me every time I see him or hear him interviewed.  The players obviously respond well to him and well he isn't tough to look at either. 

Happy Spring!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Birthday Time!

I am not a big fan of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labour Day, etc.  But, I do love birthdays.  There is something so refreshing about starting a new year that is just your own and doesn't have all the  hype and artificial  sentiment of January 1rst.

Anyway, today is my Mum's birthday.  I wish her all the best for the next year and much love, happiness and a fair does of excitement in the coming year! 

Slainte! XOXOXOXOXO

Sunday, 20 March 2011

March Madness!!!

I have had the busiest couple of weeks ever.  Haven't made much progress on my goals sadly.  I finished reading one book and started on another, went on a trip to San Jose, have made a few dollars but not yet to my goal.  I did book the first leg of my WSOP adventure for the summer so am looking forward to that!

I have 11 days to get through another book, attend ten yoga classes, make some money and start work on my presentation....it's going to be interesting!!!

I plan to blog about cognitive dissonance but every time I start, I don't feel like I clearly say what I want to....so it must wait! :)

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Single Serving Friends

I recently rewatched Fight Club and became reacquainted with the concept of single serving friends.  It was appropriate as I headed out this morning and met many of these SS friends.  People in airports/airplanes are interesting to me, I thought I would share some of my interactions today.

My first flight was uneventful and had me seated next to a non English speaking passenger who struggled to understand when the flight attendant wanted him to fasten his seatbelt.  Needless to say, I slept most of that segment.

The second segment of my flight, I was piggy in the middle between two entirely different characters.  On my right, was an older gentleman, in tailored jeans, a suit jacket.  He was very polite, didn't really have much to say until he found out I was Canadian and liked red wine.  We chatted, but to be honest, it was on the descent...and well, I couldn't hear him much as it felt like my ears may have been bleeding with the pressure changes.

My neighbour to the left was the last person onto the plane, and we were in the second to last row.  I knew immediately that he was going to be an interesting SS friend, as the flight attendant handed him 'stick on wings' which he applied to either sides of his backwards cap.  His excitement was contagious.  A self labeled idealist living outside Seattle, but originally from Chicago.  He looked like he was travelling with all he owned, had two tattered books he was reading with childhood pictures and a 'thinking of you' card as bookmarks, was travelling on a one way ticket and was one of the most delightful people I have ever met on a plane.  He shared with me one of his ideas to heal the world, it was a mandatory sleep night...his thought was that the world would be so much better if people slept more and were less stressed.  He mentioned that in this idealism of his, we could even go so far as to change the year....instead of it being 2011 AD, we could start all over as year 1 PS (post sleep).   I didn't catch his name, I don't think that it is important to know the names of all your SS friends.  I would rather just learn and laugh with (or at) the ones I meet.

This isn't quite the clip I was looking for but it will do:


Other gems that I overheard through my travels today included:
  • "Go! Go! Go! Gooooooooooo!!!!!" - the 3 year old who enjoyed the landing and didn't want it to stop,
  • "Can we do tea at 12,000 feet this morning?  I could sure use some high tea!",
  • "Baby....where are all the trees? Why don't they have trees" - whiny girl behind me who complained about the trip they were taking the whole way,
Last but not least, my personal favorite....
  • "I like travelling by boat better than flying, I find the air pressure bothers me less because you are mostly at sea level."
Hopefully, I will have some more fun single serving encounters this trip....I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Goal Update

Well it has been an interesting start to March, that is for certain. 

I booked a trip immediately upon receiving my passport (yeahhh stamps) and am headed away shortly.  Should be nice to get to some 15C weather....only a 35 - 40 degree jump from where Edmonton currently is.

I haven't attended a single yoga class yet...partly busy, partly lazy and partly didn't want to manually open my garage door last night during the power outage.  Yoga while on vacation is my favorite so I will surely fit in a class or two. 

I have read a chapter of my book.  It is hard for me to read on the train when there are so many neat people to watch.  Also, when I try to read before bed I am immediately comatose.  Hopefully I will get a bit further on my flights.

Pokering....well I need a 4k swing to hit my goal, am stuck approx $800 so far this month. Naturally, I thought I was going to be up about a million or so after the PokerStars Sunday Million.  Was going along okay, ended up a bit short in chips and lost QQ to 77 aipf for a min cash.  I will track my live sessions coming up to tally into this too.

I haven't started my presentation work yet.  I have; however, recruited someone to help me with the power point....so that is something!

The 5lb goal.  Who knows!!  It is Mardi Gras today, so there's not much point in worrying too much.  Also, we ate at Pampas on Friday night for a coworkers birthday....it was fantastic with great caipirinhas and company.  Oh yeah....and the meat.  Needless to say, I've been taking the stairs at work. 

Vegetarians may not wish to check out the food pictures from Friday.

But it was fantastic. 

Off to a wine and whiskey bar tomorrow to celebrate the birthdays of two of the best people I know.

Oh yes, and for lent....I think I will give up non-suited connectors as per the suggestion of one of my friends!

Namaste

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Elite Status

Some things change...and well, some things don't.

I was talking to the speed dating people during the week and they wanted me to know that they would like me to rebook for another turbo dating event as I had become an 'elite' member and qualified for a discounted rate.  You qualify for this status when a certain percentage of the guys check 'yes' after meeting you. 
Summary:
  • 67% (or 6/9) of the guys wanted my info
  • I checked 'yes' for 33% (or 3/9) of the guys
  • I had one match (both checked 'yes')....
This made me (and my best friend) laugh, because it is such an accurate portrayal of my dating life.  I nearly pegged the three guys that didn't want to meet me as the choices of who I wanted to meet.  I guess the saying that you can't always get what you want holds true!!

So, I am going to "run it twice" and am headed back to the tables with the same friend that I went with before.  It will be the university educated speed dating (yawn), so bring on the engineers and chemists!!  Hopefully, I will have a somewhat better read on the situation!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Happy New Month!

Wow...March....and it's freezing outside.  Every winter, I try to trick myself into thinking it's warmer by setting my car temperature gauge to Farenheit.  This morning it didn't matter because apparently -40F = -40C.  Oh well, incentive to take care of an indoor 'to do' list I suppose.

Two months into the year, I have started to achieve some of my goals but need to write down some new ones.  So in March, I want to (in no particular order):

(1) Attend 10 yoga classes along with my mini morning practices
(2) Read 2 books
(3) Lose 5 lbs
(4) Make $3000 pokering....will also have to track my sessions to ensure this one makes it
(5) Book a vacation/flight outside of Canada (pending the arrival of my passport)
(6) Complete the outline for my power point presentation (comparing sMMSE vs MoCA cognitive assessments)

Will update my progress throughout the month.

Monday, 28 February 2011

My little shrub

My sister needs a hug. 

She posted on Facebook this morning that her friend Jasmine died on the 24th.  I became reacquainted with Jasmine through Carly a couple years ago.  Jasmine was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in May 2005 and then got the devastating news in 2008 that she had metastatic spread to her brain.  Along with some of Jasmine's best friends, Carly decided to help fundraise to fulfill "Jasmine's wish", her wish was to marry her long time boyfriend Jeff, who had himself shown strength and love that is so admirable.  Carly started a "Save or Shave" challenge and put it out to friends and family that she would take donations to both sides, and her hair would either be saved or shaven.  This was clearly a no brainer to me, and I looked forward to shaving my sisters head at Christmas.  Somehow, the 'save' side prevailed and my Christmas was ruined.

Well, not really.  I got to spend some time working on photo shop...and wow do I need lessons.  But this was exhibit A that Carly with a shaved head wouldn't have been so horrible...

Carly ended up raising almost two thousand dollars to donate. 

A gala was held in May 2009, where her friends arranged a meal, a band and a silent auction.  Proceeds from which all benefited Jasmine and Jeff.  They were married in 2010, I believe.  Jasmine and Jeff are inspirational on so many levels, that goes without saying, and personally I am happy to have spent that time at the gala and getting to know their story.  Jasmine had the most beautiful smile and the gentlest nature.  Jasmine's life was cut short by an ugly disease, but her life was never about that.  To an outsider like me, her life was never about cancer, but more about the love of friends and family.  Equally inspirational to me is the way a community was able to come together, gather and rally around to make a dream come true.  

Jasmine, thank you so much for the gifts you have given us, by the way you lived your life.  We need reminders of what is important in life.  But thank you also for giving my sister, my shrub, the chance to shine and to show what an amazing person she is.  It reminds me why I love her so much.

Carly, you live in a different city, a different province...but you will always be my little blister.  I am sorry beyond words for the loss of Jasmine, but I hope that soon you will laugh again and smile at the memories of a life well lived.

XOOXOOXOO (a couple extra hugs for good measure)

RIP Jasmine Wallace (nee Styles) February 19, 1982 - February 24, 2011
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,  Love leaves a memory no one can steal"
- Irish Headstone

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Turbo Dating

I get told on a frequent basis that my dating life should be made into a movie.  Perhaps, a made for tv movie, but a flick nonetheless.  Some kind of dark comedy (ever seen "Very Bad Things" - 1998), where you know a situation is about to turn into a train wreck, but you can't look away and can't stop laughing.  I don't blame it all on the guys either.  My best friends pep talk to me before a first date always "Be nice" and "Try not to roll your eyes"....sometimes they throw in "Make sure you brush your hair."  Now I don't think I am mean, and I do care when I go on dates, I just don't get too nervous anymore.  I have done online dating, went to a matchmaker, had the usual awkward set ups to just come to determine that I am a bit of a serial dater. 

I also believe in "Schadenfreude"...if unfamiliar with the term...have a listen!
In December, I reconnected with a friend of mine from junior high school.  We got to talking about our dating lives and she said we should go speed dating, she had been before and well there's 'safety' in numbers.  So I bought a new dress, put on my 4" red pumps (it should be mentioned that it was "Tall Man" night...they were all allegedly over 6'), practiced my smile and away we went to meet the tall loves of our lives.  For the record...I was nervous.

The setup:  Posh (for Edmonton) martini bar downtown, tables numbered 1 - 10, the girls take a seat and get comfy, because every 8 minutes the hostess will hit an empty water glass with a fork and your date is over/just beginning.  During a date, you can look 3 feet to the left and see who is coming, or 3 feet to your right and remember who just left (or you could just look ahead of you and see your current date).  After the date in the 15 seconds it takes the gentleman to move to the right, you check off yes or no on your card.  At the end of the night, all the cards are handed in and if you both chose yes you get an email at the end of the night.

The failures: No drinks included.  Only one break to buy drinks.  Waitress is not allowed interrupt an 8 minute date to save you from dehydration.  Cheap wine sold by the glass for more than the bottle costs. 
More women than men, to be precise 14 women and 9 men....in a pre-registered event where you do not get a refund.  The hostess kicked my friend and I off our tables before the night even began to ensure that the men didn't get confused with where to go (even though each table had a number and it went around in a circle). I thought maybe spacing the men out would have been good...I could have used a break to update my twitter.
At the end of the night, everyone handed in their cards and left as though someone had pulled the fire alarm.  It was clearly a business event, not a social event.

The dates (in actual order):
1. An engineer who wore a bright yellow shirt.  That is all my note says, and all I really remember, except that he was pretty into my friend because I got to essentially sit in on the end of their date while I waited for the glass to be clanged. 

2. I knew this fella was about to be really special.  I heard him telling my friend beside me all about her horoscope and how he loved spiritualism and astrology....after this point I stopped listening in to her dates.  He arrives at my table, in his long sleeved white shirt (layered with a camouflage skin tight tshirt) and lets me know that he is in Edmonton at the moment because his brother is going through a divorce and that he would not like to talk about it.  Sure, no problem, I can handle that.  The discussion turns to what we do for fun, he tells me that he has started taking dance lessons...from youtube!!! When I asked what genre he was learning, he informed me that he is a 'pop rocker'.  Unfortunately, I must be a bit out of the dance scene, he scowled when I asked for an explanation and declined to demonstrate it for me just saying "it's like break dancing...but without as many head spins".  For what it's worth, it may be good to know that the age range of the night was 29 - 39.

3. "Rob" sat down....told me that "Rob" wasn't actually his name and that he would prefer if people he didn't know and internet sites did not have his true name.  This is probably because he invented yoga, at least by the way he talked about it anyway.

4. The most entertaining date of the night once you got past the leather vest and the cowboy hat.  Oh, and the fact that he was Korean.  He was engaging and asked some fun questions, but still a 'no'.  The smoothest line was probably "Oh by the way, did I tell you I direct short films...".  I was left a bit speechless to be honest.  Fortunately, the conversation moved forward to where he educated me on my heritage and that the Irish are descendants of Mediterranean Gods and some kind of fairies.  As I am so pale, he reckoned that I was pure blooded fairy....

5. This date was my most peculiar.  We talked for around 15 minutes (the one scheduled break was after our 8 minutes)  and I have no idea anything about him.  He was cute and well dressed.  Essentially we ended up having a sarcasm competition, talking generally about dating online, and here at the speed dating.  I am not sure where things went wrong to be honest, but he did not check 'yes', so alas, there will be no email contact.  For the record, my friend also thought he was into me, but she also thought he was at the last speed dating event, which he vehemently denied.  Who knows!?!

6. The awkward point of the night, I knew this guy, but didn't know from where.  As it turns out, we play in the same basketball league, and have been at many of the same league meetings (yawn).  A nice, if not a bit boring, guy, so I gave him a 'yes' because I am not in the habit of dating nice guys.  Apparently, he wasn't interested in playing some one on one.

7. This guy was appalled that I hadn't seen the movie Rocky (and was very pleased that he was the first 'yo Adrienne' of the night), also talked to me about Little House on the Prairie.  After we got through those pleasantries, I wowed him.  Using my best poker skills....I profiled him, well at least was able to guess what kind of car he drove in two guesses....got the make on the first guess though (Acura TL - S ftw).  We both checked 'yes' but I am pretty sure he just wants to know how I knew that. 

8. This guy was Borat (never saw that movie either....just know by the impressions my friends do) and it was the longest 8 minutes of my life.  I am almost certain the hostess reset the clock by accident.  He told me immediately that he came to Canada four years earlier from Uzbekistan, and now owns his own house and company and "oh yes, soon I put hot tub in my house, yes".  He asked me what I did for a job, when I told him I was an Occupational Therapist, he said "Oh okay, you are a nurse".  :)  He seemed like a very nice guy, but it is true...nice guys finish last and well, I had already checked 'yes' for one nice guy tonight. 

9.  Mercifully, my last date.  A geologist (who wouldn't tell me what his favorite rock was) who stared non blinking and intently at each of his dates for the full 8 minutes.  I was out of wine and well out of patience also by this time.

Moral of the Story: Hyper-turbo dating is awesome.  I had an amazing time and will go again.  More men need to attend!!  I am not sure that you can make a love connection there but at least you may come out with some stories!  Going with a friend was great, but a little weird to hear the same lines at each of our tables.  it also may not have been good, that during the break and then again at the end of the night, we chatted and laughed a ton.  It may have been perceived at laughing at the 9 dates we had just been on, but actually that was only a small part of the humour.   

To be continued.... I've heard that they run a 3 minute date night (where you get 20 matches or so)....might be a bit like flipping through a magazine, but what can I say, I'm an action junkie, I love my hyper turbos.   Maybe I will have better luck if I do roll my eyes and don't brush my hair!?!


P.S. For the record, I did not mention my cat. :)
P.P.S.  My friend checked 'no' for all of them...we will be back!   

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Be careful what you wish for?

So yesterday I was talking to one of my best friends about how nobody outside of my inner circle really challenges me.  I have a bit of a tigress attitude sometimes and I will fight for my point of view to the end.  I defend my friends, my team at work and even my patients frequently.  People know this about me and, especially at work, I tend to get my way.  Woe is me right? But I wish people would challenge my point of view more (at work and in life), because when you are challenged you are compelled to reflect and when you reflect you improve. 

"I love argument, I love debate.  I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that's not their job." - Margaret Thatcher

So as if on cue, I got in a discussion last night about a poker situation that I feel strongly about.  I was challenged to defend my opinion and told that my argument was "pure nonsense" and "empty".  While I still don't agree entirely with my debate buddy, I appreciate what he said and it gave me a different view of the topic.  I need to get into more of these situations in my estimation.  As we chatted, I found I became non verbal and struggled to convey exactly how I saw the situation.  I felt flustered and pissed off, but afterward felt exhilarated and intrigued.  Either way, after discussions on the same topic with numerous people, he is the first person in three years or so that has caused me to soften and change my feelings towards the topic.

Thanks.  I hope we have more discussions in the future even though it made me roar.  :) 

Monday, 21 February 2011

Catch of the day!

It was Family Day long weekend here this weekend.  A holiday that the province of Alberta started celebrating in 1990.  Apparently, it was made up to celebrate the pioneering ways of our ancestors and pay homage to home and family values.   In truth, I think they give us an extra day off to save our sanity.  Finally it is beginning to warm up, the days are getting longer and we can start looking forward to summer.  It was a balmy -1C today (30F ish), I almost dug my flip flops out of the closet....but not quite.

My sister came into town and my family went out to the lake this weekend.  I stayed in the city because of prior obligations and got to put in a good few hours at the tables.  It was nice to have a weekend to myself to further solidify my goals and plans for 2011.

Sunday afternoon, I got a photo text from my brother with a caption that said "Can you see what's down there?", this was the picture:




Can you make it out?

Well apparently, they were ice fishing and my sister put her camera on a chair while they set up the hut and along came the wind and tipped over the chair....and the Nikon (a few months old) went for a swim.  My sister seems to "run bad", the strangest things disappear or break around her, but thankfully she can laugh about it because at the end of the day it is just stuff.  The good news is, my brother fished out the camera (nice catch) and the memory card still works and now Nikon is sitting in a bag of rice, hopefully drying out.  If it doesn't work out...beware her kijiji ad "DSLR Nikon 3100 for sale! Only a few months old and recently washed, offers accepted!"

They didn't end up catching any fish this weekend, neither did I sadly.  After playing well on Friday and not quite getting my desired result, I sloppily got myself hooked on some others lines.  I was clearly the big fish at the table.

Maybe it's a good thing that I am back to work tomorrow...only have three days there this week and a course on Thursday, should be exciting!

Edit: February 28, 2011 - the camera appears to be working....in some capacity....there's hope!