Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The next course was one that I expected not to like, but was very surprised. Suspeneded foie gras, pineapple, mango, and pecan tuile paired with bonny doon vineyard le vol des anges arroyo secco 2007. It wasn't the traditional foie gras preparation, at least the times that I've had it. It was as if the chef had dried out the foie gras and pineapple, then placed it on a pecan brittle. The sweet fruity notes of the wine paired nicely with the citrus of the pineapple and the heartiness of the foie gras and pecan flavors.
Our third course was "inside of an English Pea soup with lavender" which at first may bring up images of dark bitter tastes, but this was different in that, it took the essence of Pea soup and mixed it with the flowery flavor of lavender in a creamy texture. The wine pairing was Chateau d'esclans garrus cote de provence 2009, a rose which surprisingly had depth and a little bite to it, if I recall correctly. I really loved the intensity of the flavor profile in the soup. Everything was so well balanced.
The first "meat" course was duroc pork belly, stone ground grits, and pickled ramps paired with wehlener sonnenuhr riesling kabinett m.f. richter mosel-saar-ruwer 2007. Once again I was pleasantly suprised, not because I loved the pork belly and the paired Riesling, but how much I loved the grits along with it. The chef was able to take out the negative texture of grits and make each facet soothing yet substantial.
The only course that I had any mixed feelings about was the Scottish Salmon and that was because of the preparation, which by no means was wrong or bad or poorly cooked. The Chef seared the outside of the salmon which is not really to my liking, yet the fish itself was wonderful. My wife and I always love eating at TRU, not only for the world class food and wine, but the cheese course and deserts that they give. The experience of TRU is truly a culinary massage for the palate and soul.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Rake back may have saved me from depositing. It looks as though my online challenge is still alive. I received .37 from rakeback and if you add that to the .05 I had in my account, that makes .42 or a little over 10 BBs at .02-.04. I quickly got on to a short handed FR table and am now a little over 1 dollar (American).
Unfortunately, my online challenge is not going that well. After an initial heater, running my .59 up to 2.60 or so, I have seen nothing work out for me in the past 2 days as most pots are 4-7 handed, even when raised and that means big swings in variance. When you only have between 50-75 BBs are you miss 5-7 big pots, then you can see where the difficulty in building a BR may be. Oh well, like Mandy Patinkin said in the Princess Bride, "Vizzini told me to go back to the beginning..."
I played some hands on CAKE today. I am sticking to .02-.04 FR LHE for the time being and I have moved my BR up to $2.76 which brings me to 69 BBs at that level. I was planning on moving up to .05-.10 once I had 50 BBs ($5 BR), but I haven't seen much happening in FR or 6-max, so I may have to see what the traffic is like on some other sites, like the Merge network and some how transfer money over if I can.
The other option would be to consider playing some NLHE once I get enough buy-ins for the .02-.04 level which would be $80, which takes into account that I would be buying in with 100 BBs/table and use 20 buy-ins as my lowest threshold. To get $80 in my bankroll would take a while. I will have to wait and see at this point.
So...To give you (I don't know who the hell is reading this, but if you've gotten here in this page turner...) some background.
I started playing poker, like so many others, back in late 2004 when the real take off of the poker boom was in effect. The actual beginning for me was when I came across the reruns of the WSOP 2003 main event which showcased an online country bumpkin with last name that made advertising wizards jizz their pants. A friend of mine was throwing his annual Super Bowl party and there was to be beer, football, beer, lingerie bowl, beer, and then some beer with a poker tournament. I remember this vividly because it was the year that Tom Brady led the Patriots to the Super Bowl and Janet Jackson had a ninja star nipple slip. I, of course had no idea about the whole Janet Jackson thing until the next day because everyone wanted to chip in for the pay per view Lingerie bowl, that was as exciting as watching 2 turtles reenact the Karma Sutra. So, the game ends and we start playing Texas holdem. I haven't much of a clue how to play, let alone, applying any strategy. I think I was playing 8 out of every 10 hands which if you are familiar with poker at all, is a tuurrrible strategy. Needless to say, I was knocked out 1st and sat watching for the next 2 hours, bored as hell. I was never into gambling, mostly because I didn't understand it and I hated to lose money. This probably would have been the end to my poker exploits, but something very important happened the moment I busted. My friend who was throwing the Super Bowl shindig started to make fun of me, which if you knew him, would be no surprise. He enjoyed telling everyone else how bad I played and how he knocked me out of the tournament in last place.
My friend had a long history of tearing down the self-esteem of other people. Whenever this friend found out that you did not know something, had not seen something, or did an activity poorly, he would pounce on it, especially in public. Months before, he had introduced me to the X-box game, "Halo". There was an option to fight each other on different planets/rooms and he enjoyed killing my character in the most sadistic ways possible. After each deathblow, he would razz me about how bad I was at the game and explain how he was going to tell everyone else how terrible I had played. The final straw was when he and I were battling one another on a frozen planet with nothing, but rocket launchers and I had run out of ammo. I purposely moved my character next to his, so that if he shot me with a rocket, his character would be blown up as well. Of course, "my friend", failed to explain to me that one could press a button on the controller to swing your weapon at your opponent. He proceeded to break my character's skull, all the while laughing like a psychopath and he then went on to exclaim in childish delight,
"I beat you like a baby seal!", followed by more uncontrollable laughter.
At that moment, I decided that I was going to purchase this game, which meant buying an X-box as well, and practice it until I could defeat him with my eyes closed. It took me about a month, but like Darth Vader, I became the master. Once he realized that he could no longer beat me, he quit playing Halo altogether, like a complete pussy.
Fast forward back to the Super Bowl Party. Once again, I had been reminded of how much "my friend" enjoyed rubbing my nose in it. As soon after the party ended, I went to the closet "Borders" and found some books on poker. I didn't buy them, but I was making multiple trips a weak to read up on basic poker strategy, none of which I truly understood, so that I could be ready for the next time that my friends and I played poker.
Well, I will leave you with this little begining for the moment and collect my memories so that I can move on to the next chapter.
I am starting this blog as a result of the Black Friday shutdown of the Big 3 poker sites. Like all US players, I am not able to transfer funds or withdrawl my BR from online, so I basically have 2 major options.
1) Drive to a Brick & Mortar Casino on a regular basis
2) Try to deposit $$ online on another US friendly site.
Neither one of these options seem all that good to me as I am a stay at home father of 3 boys all under the age of 4 and I no longer want to jump through hoops to get $$ online which I may not be able to get back if the DOJ keeps pushing the issue of online poker being illegal (which it's not). So therefore, I plan on doing 2 things, which are...
1) Drive to a Brick & Mortar Casino that has poker whenever I get the chance
2) Sell some tickets on Cake poker and begin my own BR challenge similar to the famous 0 to $10,000 by Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. The only difference, is that I do not plan on having specific rules to play by, other than sticking to LHE at the moment so as to limit the degree of variance, or what I should say, losing a large % of my online BR in one hand. Bellatrix would rightfully argue the difference in variance between LHE and NLHE and how LHE, depending on what you're looking at, has more variance than NLHE. Anyways...I sold my 16 cake golden cards for .59 and then started playing FR LHE (under rolled, not only from the reccommended BBs to play at that stake, but for the table as well). In about 30 min I more than doubled my BR to $1.24. I plan on continuing to build up on FR LHE and may venture into some 6-max when and if I hit 300 BBs or close to that at my current stake of .02-.04.
Now going back to my B&M plan. A few days before "Black Friday", I planned on entering the Sunday Million tourney online for the sake of having the experience of playing in it. Most of the tourneys that I have played online, even deepstack ones, have been low/micro-stakes buy-ins and have not had the seriousness that I assumed would be in the Sunday Million (I could be way off on that as the nosebleed players who enter this look at $200 the way I look at a $2 180-man multi table SNG. Obviously by Friday, I was no longer able to enter the Sunday Million, so I went to my local casino and entered a $210 tournament. Each player received 6,000 chips with blinds @ 25-50 with 30 min levels. I was holding steady at 6,000ish chips, give or take for about 4 hours and began to fall closer to 4,000. Needless to say, I tripled up when I needed to and was able to finish in 4th place for a $1,500 profit. I plan on using that along with my frozen online BR (when and if I get back) to focus on 1-2 NLHE cash games at the casino whenever I get the chance. I am one session in for 3 hrs and I am up $75, or 37.5 BBs.
We'll see where I go from here, but I hope it's an interesting ride.
Thursday, June 16, 2011