Easter and the Ranch
April 28, 2022
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The flight into Orange County was good but seeing Cory after two weeks was goodest.  She lives in Long Beach with her parents, my Mom and brother live in San Dimas, but we stay at her friend Marsha's place in Irvine so I fly into Orange County.  Our parents come from pretty different backgrounds but both agree that pre-marital sex is a bad thing.  For the Bible tells me so.  Yeah well the Bible was written for a first century culture in Asia-Minor, and thirteen was a pretty normal age to get married at.  I don't understand why people force their judgments on other adults.  We're living our life the best we know how to and shouldn't be expected to be different people around our family.  As a consequence their interactions with us are significantly diminished and we all suffer from a weaker relationship between us and our parents.  

We're still making efforts though and headed up to Long Beach for a BBQ with her parents and some friends.  It was a good time but a bummer to have to leave early and drive a bunch of miles to somewhere we were welcome.  

The following morning we took our time getting going in the morning, enjoying a good breakfast and a couple cups of coffee.  The plan was to head South and spend time with the San Diego boys who exclusively make their living playing poker online.  They're some of the best in the world, playing high stakes and doing well enough that they just bought a mansion on top of the hill in Pacific Beach.  I love those guys and wish we could have spent more time hanging, but lunch on the beach and some chill out time would have to do because we were supposed to have dinner with some old friends from camp that night back in Monrovia.  

Dinner turned into game night.  We lost a game of Settlers and then team Deventzen won a come from behind victory in Cranium.  I like having friendships that stretch over many years.  We drove back to Chateau de Marsha, had a good sleep, another good breakfast in the morning, and then were headed to my extended family's gathering in El Toro.

They're the families of my Dad's first cousins on his Mom's side.  We've celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and often Easter with them for as long as I remember and they're all I have that resembles family beyond my nuclear unit.  I always wish I could spend more time with them.  It was great to hang, awesome to see Cory received well, and we chalked up another good day.

Monday was travel day and the start of our road trip to the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis.  We drove Cory's car to the Metro station, hopped on a train that took us through Compton to another train which we took to a free shuttle to LAX.  Took a Southwest flight to Denver, shuttle to my truck parked off site and packed with gear for a couple weeks on the road, and headed off toward Bear Basin Ranch.

I was driving South on 225 through the East side of Denver, cruising along at 55 MPH or so in the left lane, and I was just about to pass a truck in the right lane.  I was chatting with Court Harrington on the phone when the car in front of me slammed on it's brakes, started skidding, and turned left into the center divider.  I jammed the brake pedal and there was no way I was going to stop in time.  Quick peek over my right shoulder while mashing the gas pedal and turning into the right lane barely squeezed me between the stopped car in front of me and the truck moving fast in the right lane.  The traffic on the left was completely stopped for some reason and the right lane was still pretty wide open.  The car behind me didn't have that window though, and as I glanced over my left shoulder I watched this little white car slam into the back of the SUV that stopped in front of me highlighted by a very loud crunch.  Wow that was close.

We stopped for some Chick-fil-a in Colorado Springs and finished our drive to Westcliffe where we met Dave and Mike at Poag's.  It was good to see LaDonna the bar owner and some other of the people I got to know last summer, and laughter with the boys ensued as usual.  Back to the ranch, we were staying at Dave's place since the ranch is still very much in Winter mode, and after spending some time with Dave and Michelle we hit the sack.  

Up early Tuesday morning, thanks mostly to either Wesley or Bridger's pounding a Hot Wheel on the floor above our guest bedroom.  No problem I like being up early on the ranch.  Coffee, breakfast, chat, and discussion for the day's activities.  Ride now and hang out later during Wesley's nap time or fish now and ride later?  We checked the weather and it called for a crappy afternoon so we headed over to the ranch to catch some horses.  

The main herd was in North, Dave and Mike's horses, Cider and Molly, were in the main corral.  Four horses including my girl from last summer, Little Bit, were in East, and we spotted them munching on hay so they were our ponies.  Halters, brush, pads, saddles, and hackamores went in the bed of my truck.  Dave followed us over there to help if needed.  Cory and I caught Tinkerbell and Little Bit no problem and had them tied up by the time before Dave pulled up.  I caught a great picture of Wesley, totally spontaneous.

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Cory had not ridden since she was eight years old so I taught her everything and she picked it up great.  We went for a ride all over the ranch and called it quits shortly after noon when the cold winds were trying to blow us out of our mounts.  

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We headed in to town for some lunch and I wanted to run my bow to the archery shop.  My peep sight popped out and it takes some special tools to put it back in properly.  Plus I lost a bunch of arrows in the snow this winter and could use some new ones cut.  The shop is attached to the thrift store and said that it was closed.  We walked into the thrift store, I asked if the archery guys were around, and a dude who looked like he knew a thing or two about archery said it depends.  I explained the problem, brought in the bow for him to check it out, and he walked me back into his closed shop.  He put it on the press to see if enough tension could be released to work on the string, turns out he could, and he said he'll get it fixed up no problem.  We walked to Poag's for lunch since everything else was closed and he was done by the time we got back.  My sling was broke too so he sold me one for $8.95 plus tax.  What do I owe you?  $9.44.  Oh come on what about your time?  Don't worry about it.  Well, thanks man, have a couple beers on me.  I hand him a $10 bill.  He flings it at the gal at the register and says give him his change, we're square, and grins.  I shake his hand, thanks Doug.  I appreciate it!  

Back to Dave's place just before the snow showed up and we spent the rest of the day playing Settlers and watching hockey.  Dinner was elk steaks, mac and cheese, and grilled asparagus.  Sick game between Chicago and Vancouver, Burrows' goal in OT marked bedtime, and we hit the sack sad to leave in the morning but excited to go places we've never been

Peace and good luck,

Devo
Time to go Home
April 27, 2022
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Wednesday the Giants played the Rockies.  Day game mid week and I ain't got shit to do!  8 of us from Summit County drove down and met Paul Wasicka with four of his buddies.  We sat in the cheap seats.  I was decked out in Giants gear and am pretty sure to have enhanced the Rockies fans' experience.  It's just more fun having somebody you know to be competitive against especially when handing out a spanking at home.  We got beat 10-2 and I got druuuuunk because I wasn't driving.  We all had dinner in Idaho Springs and headed back up the hill.  They called it a night while I walked to the bar in the snow, and I'm pretty sure I drank until they wouldn't let me anymore.  

I woke up hurting the next day.  I wish I had a job to go to so I wouldn't drink so much.  I wish I knew what was going to be happening next week.  I wish it wasn't snowing so i could go fishing.  I wish it was tomorrow.  It didn't matter what I did because I couldn't change any of those things, spent the day relaxing, doing laundry, and packing for the upcoming road trip.

Friday I was driving down to Denver International then flying to Orange County to be with Cory and visit family for Easter.  The plan is to hang out there for the weekend, fly back to Denver on Monday, and then launch a road trip across the No-Coast.  I have a goal to see all 50 states by my 30th birthday which is coming up this July 24th and I have 12 left, three of them being Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee.  The Beale Street Music Festival is in Memphis the following weekend, so that seems like a good reason to drive across the middle of the country neh?  Plan is to spend a couple of nights on the ranch, then drive to Memphis camping our way there and camping at the music festival.  

I'm really excited to see Cory.  I've been forced on vacation and I want to spend it with my baby.  Very stoked for this trip.

Peace and good luck,

Devo
Shock, Denial, Depression, and Drinking
April 27, 2022
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It felt quite strange waking up Sunday morning and not being able to play poker online.  I didn't think about that long though because the idea is simply too depressing and overwhelming to fathom and brewed a pot of coffee instead.  That went into a mug with some Bailey's, I drove over to pick up Jenny, we got breakfast and a couple more coffees to go at the Blue Moon Bakery.  We were headed to Coors' Field to watch the Rockies play somebody.  Bought Bailey's at the liquor store open bright and early on a Sunday morning next door.  Drove down the hill, left the snow at the continental divide, and enjoyed the morning.  

No tailgating allowed in the main parking lot.  Fine we'll drink a beer inside the truck.  Walked to the ballpark, climbed stairs to our cheap seats in section 302, and rejoiced when the sun broke out from behind the clouds.  I booked a bet vs. Basebaldy on the Rockies vs Cubs.  We won it in the 8th, the game was exciting, and it felt good to be outside with good people.

I acquired Missy and Erin for the drive back, apparently the car they rode down in was too crowded.  We all met at Tommy Knocker's in Idaho Springs on the way back for dinner and then finished the drive up the hill.  Ended up at my place for a Rock Band party pre-karaoke.  Jonny's and karaoke was dead and we were tired, so we called it a night early.

Monday was my day to pull my head out of the sand and figure out what in the hell is going on.  I wish I would have just kept drinking.  I read things for a couple hours in the morning, listened to the PokerRoad show with Gary Wise and BJ Nemeth while I drove to Blackhawk to play live poker, and thought lots about what was next.  Turns out I was pretty miserable playing 30-60, even though the game is easily beatable for $100k/yr.  I couldn't help but get depressed though; things were so awesome last week and this week they got taken away by the gov.  Drove home before the blizzard showed up, stuck $750 after a horrendous last couple hours.  Very depressed.  Read the entire 52 page indictment that night which helped me a little bit.  I was glad to see that the codes violated making online poker illegal were the UIGEA and some New York State penal code.  Those have to hold for the money laundering to actually be money laundering.  The bank fraud is scary, but then the legitimacy of the UIGEA is called into question and the question of who's the victim comes up.  I was also pleased to see that Scott Tom was listed as owner/decision maker for only some of the time of the indictment, which spanned from November 06 to March 11.  

Tuesday I woke up motivated to erase the clutter scattered around my life.  There's definitely a correlation between how good I'm feeling and how cleaned up my living area is.  Unfortunately a messy house is more a product of a messy life than a reverse corollary for me.  I did like six loads of laundry, dishes, cleaned the place up, and still feel like shit.  Hoooray for PBR.  Jenny, Becky, and I went to Jonny's to watch the baseball game and ended up playing in the free poker tournament.  I lost my marbles a bit there and enjoyed doing so, having zero desire to go look for them.  We were all tired a bit early, I went home, and ended up playing .10-.20 HORSE with a bunch of high stakes regulars on UB.  We made a bunch of rules that were intended to get you to drink, but I'm pretty sure we were all just consistently drinking anyways.  That launched a Skype call where 6 of us just talked, and it felt really good to laugh and share thoughts with other people in a similar position.  It's been a bit lonely out here this weekend; I'm super grateful for the girls and their friendship, but they're new relationships and I'm needing the love of my fiancĂ©e and the camaraderie of my good friends in the industry a lot more than usual right now.  

Peace and good luck,

Devo
Black Friday
April 27, 2022
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I woke up Friday morning and did what I've done most mornings this winter, brew a pot of coffee and see what's cracking online.  I've been playing bigger mixed games for the past several months and was on the tail end of a good week, up about $8k.  About half an hour into a session that I was getting my ass handed to me I received an email notifying me that the domains had been seized.  I immediately quit all my tables and had to figure out what in the hell was going on.  

I'm in shock.  I feel betrayed by my government.  I feel like the victim of a natural disaster, my livelihood taken away in a flash, and angry because this wasn't an accident.  I'm scared, unsure about the future, and upset because it was my country that did this to me and all my friends.  We've literally been begging the feds for years to tax and regulate us and this is how they respond.  Instead of collecting over a billion dollars in tax revune, they've spent scarce tax dollars on legislating morality, turning businessmen into criminals, and taking away another freedom from the American People.  

I started drinking around 3pm and didn't stop til they made me at 2am.  Slept, woke up, and went to A-Basin to meet the girls for Erin and Christy's birthday.  The vibe at the beach is so fantastic and these girls are great people, it was a nice afternoon.  Unfortunately it snowed for the afternoon and we all got a bit cold.  

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I took off early after drinking one beer and not skiing to head over to Copper Mountain for a free Gin Blossoms show.  It was awesome, snow fell for most of the show, and the crowd around me was quite spectacular.  I uploaded some pics to twitter.  The drummer broke a stick and fired it off my chest in the front row.  I met him after the show, asked for him to sign it, he didn't have a pen, said lemme go get you a real one.  It's custom for him and super cool, it's been a good day.  

UB is still up and running.  Our money is safe, I've got over two big dimes on there, and I'm confident that it's still mine and I will be able to spend it on something other than UPAY4RHINOS' recreational outings.  

Peace and good luck,

Devo
HPT Golden Gates: The Blackhawk Adventure
April 16, 2022
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I made my way over to the Ameristar Friday afternoon.  The hour drive from Summit County to Blackhawk is a fantastic one, it was a beautiful day, bighorn sheep in Georgetown as usual, and I was feeling really good.  Checked in, was upgraded to the best suite, I shot a video blog in the joint, check it out.  Place was sick.  

When I tried to upload my video blog the Flip program was convinced that I had my 2nd monitor attached to the laptop, even though all the graphics settings claimed that I was running just my laptop monitor.  Amusingly tilting, I giggled and went down for my walk across the street to the Golden Gates.  

I was super stoked for this event.  I became professional in Colorado with much thanks going to two prop jobs in Cripple Creek.  This place holds a big piece of my heart and the field was going to be extremely soft, plus I've cashed zero times live this year so have some rungood stored up.  They were scheduled to start at 5pm, actually started at 5:40, and in the meantime I chatted with Floes, ChancesCards, and a couple other guys who made up the entire contingent of professionals in attendance.  We were talking about taxes and how much easier it would be for everybody if we talked about it more.   I said, "The IRS walking into the Series would be like INS walking into any restaurant in Southern California."  

We received 25k in chips and were scheduled to play 12 40 minute levels with a 15 minute break every four levels.  We started at 100-200 and were going to end at 4k-8k/1k.  Nice structure for a $1650.  I lost QQ<KK where I 3b pre, bet flop, bet turn, and value shoved the river.  I was happy when he called, not so much when he turned over his cards.  Then doubled AJ>AT, chipped up a bit, and then got 20k in with QQ and lost to AK in level 4, 300-600/100.  Nice and quick just how I like it.  

I was done before Cory arrived.  I found an open seat in a 30-60 game at the Ameristar somehow, won $250 in half an hour, and then quit to meet my fiance.  She got a ride up the hill from my future cousins in-law and I was prepared to show them a good time.  

After a killer dinner at the Timberline steakhouse inside the Ameristar we met up with the HPT crowd at the circle bar.  Jen, Todd, Fred, and some other characters were there having a good time and we joined.  After some drinks they wanted to play craps so we did and all who played won money.  Shortly after they picked up our drinks and our best roll of the night, a nice solid 30 minute roll by future cousin Mary, they decided to gas the minimum bet on us from $10 to $15.  Most places will let those who were on the table at $10 continue to play for the $10 minimum.  Not at the Ameristar, no grandfathering in here.  I threw a fit and it was a losing battle, we said screw you and quit.  We invited our entire half of the craps table upstairs and the game broke.  

Sometime around 4:30am I kicked everybody out.  Good times were had by all.   

The following day Cory and I had intended on going skiing, but a noon and groggy wake-up cancelled that plan quick.  We found the all day breakfast place at the Gilpin which was fantastic, then made our way down to the Riviera because we heard that they spread Pai-Gow.  I had the best gambling experience that I can recall.  Super friendly staff all around, prompt cocktails, no nit picking, and as a bonus the dealers made lots of mistakes.  Dealer errors cost them at least 8 units from us and turned our losing session into a winner.  

Headed back to the Ameristar, chilled out a bit enjoying our in room jacuzzi, and waited for the girls to arrive.  I invited the whole crew up for the weekend, they bailed on Friday night but were bringing eight tonight.  

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After a beer in the room we headed downstairs.  Dinner at the same place cause it was so awesome.  We didn't want to gamble at the Ameristar, partly due to limits and partly due to last night.  Found out the HPT guys + Darvin Moon were over at the Mardi Gras.  Made our way over there, thoroughly enjoyed the place.  Right up my alley.  Upstairs bar was awesome, they had a craps table there that we destroyed, and then we decided to continue down the street.  

Immediately after paying for a round of drinks at the Lady Luck next door we got kicked out for being too drunk.  The offenders?  Cory and Robyn, the most sober and completely un-drunk people in the party.  Mind you we ten expert drinkers approaching our 2nd bar after 1 beer in the room.  It was absurd, we all left, I'll never go back to the Lady Luck again.  We went to the Riviera, again had a great time, and left after last call to head back to the room.  

Jenny, Missy, and I wanted to go throw some more dice.  I've been on a craps heater this trip.  We walked across the street to the Lodge, I sevened out quick, and Missy started a roll.  She was doing well when she was pulled away from the table by a supervisor and a security guard.  They were kicking her out for being too drunk to gamble.  We were all drunk by this time, but causing zero trouble.  She was taking her time shooting, which is her baseline, she's an extremely dramatic shooter.  But the pit boss never said a word to her, and they kicked her out of the place mid roll.  

I blew up.  We all snap quit, took down all our bets, picked up our pass line bets, and cashed out.  I loved The Lodge back in the day, but I'll never be back there either.  The girls left to go play elsewhere and I went back upstairs to be with Cory.  It's fun having a ring on her finger and I'm proud to have put it there.  

We took our time waking up the following morning, declined an invitation to breakfast from the team, and had lunch in Idaho Springs on our way back home.  Spent the rest of the day being lazy and together, watching the snow fall in Summit County.  It was good.  Drove her to the airport, came home, and went to Jonny's for karaoke.  8 of us had a great time, I called it  a night and went home.  Played some 40-80 8 game, won $3800.

Following day was a powder day, 8 inches at Breck.  Made it up with Brandy the house-mate early afternoon.  We met Chance for a few runs and then were on our own.  Ended up doing a few runs down the North face of Peak 9, those sick steep double blacks, and the snow was perfect.  We found some clean lines and the condition was excellent, wish we found it earlier.  Chance talked me into Monday Funday, which ended up being not so much fun cause he had to drive down the hill and pick up his brother.  Still a great day.

Today Brandy and I were planning on going fishing but he woke up ill.  While pondering whether or not I was going to go fishing, pouring my coffee looking at slightly overcast skies, I found a fish online.  By the bottom of the first mug I was up a dime.  Nice.  Took care of some business, went to lunch, played a few sets on Rock Band 3, and then fired the evening session.  I played well and cashed five times in less than 15 tournies but ran poorly down the stretch.  Final table bubbled the UB $20k, AK<66.  14th in Maria Ho's $320 $50k, 12 paid, AJ<AQ and I was stoked to get it in.  KK<88 in another.  I ended up profiting somewhere between a nickel and a dime in the 2nd session.  Good day, but kinda like a good roll in craps where you win a little but had a very good shot at winning a lot.  Disappointed, but it seems pretty silly to complain about a great weekend and a $5k profit in 1.25 days of work.  

Peace and good luck,

Devo

BRYANDEVONSHIRE
Delerium.

3 months ago