The $600,000 car
October 2, 2021
Now I don't know how much you know about cars and poker news but that's not a Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Ascari, or Pagani. It's actually a car that's faster, rarer, and cheaper; and it was out front of my place last night courtesy of my buddy Reza's friend who is a big time auto broker.Online poker


That orange animal in the pics is a Gumpert Apollo. And all you need to know is despite the geeky name, it is one of the fastest cars in the world:

Motor Trend Celebrity Drive Article
September 27, 2021


























Uh, maybe I shouldn't have told them so much... online poker


Cool Runnings?
September 21, 2021
A few weeks ago I rolled into the Bicycle Club during the WPT main event to do a Poker Radio show. It wasn't long after the Olympics had wrapped up, where Usain Bolt had dominated the sprint events, so I dug up some Puma Jamaica gear I had scooped up from the outlet near the Commerce casino a long time ago and threw it on.

While taking my first lap through the tournament area to survey the scene I notice Daniel is decked out head to toe in - Jamaica gear - like we planned it junior high school BFF style or something. Online poker.

Too random to leave the Elph dormant, hence the photo and delayed excuse for a blog entry.
September 18, 2021
I should have known things would be bad on my DC trip after having missed the flight out with Joe and losing the $10k playing online poker. Just after landing at midnight, my normally get in your car and go Hertz reservation said "see agent" on the electronic board. Sigh. Tired and hungry, I wheeled my wares into their bungalow-slash-office and came across a man who was easily the least qualified employee ever to perform a function and be paid for it. He was amazing. All I kept picturing as people lined up behind me, and he pathetically struggled to make sense of modern computing was how sweet he would look on one of those office motivational posters with the caption: "Ineptitude." He took twenty minutes to hand me a key to a car, only to have it be to one with a DEAD BATTERY. Steaming, I returned to the office in search of a key to a functioning vehicle, and to his credit, the guy read me well enough to know that bumping me up a few car classes would probably be in the best interests of saving his own life. So there I was in a premium class...Ford Edge (yea).

The following morning Sebok and I drove to some friends of his' place to pre-game grub and hit the metro to get to the game as a group. Starving, I wasn't thrilled that in place of your standard barbecue fanfare I had a choice between bagels and cream cheese...and moose burger. That's right: moose burger. "Hmmm, do I go for the bread donut or the road kill?" Not keen on either I opted for bagel while Sebok got experimental.

We hit the metro for college park, and then a shuttle to the stadium. There were a good number of Cal fans there, as many of Berkeley's Poli-Sci majors end up in DC for work. We hoofed it to our seats, which as usual were road team nosebleed specials, and soon realized that sun block had definitely been overlooked in the game prep. It was scorching hot and humid, and with our seats half earth's distance to the sun, we were in for a baking, and so was our team.

Undefeated at the time, Cal decided to play their worst ball of the season, and got beat by a Maryland squad who had lost to Delaware and Middle Tennessee St. in their previous two outings. Sick. To go to all that trouble to watch tiny little people scramble around a tiny patch of grass while contracting melanoma was not fun. At least it wasn't a conference game right?

The following morning, somewhat crushed, Sebok and I drove up to Atlantic City (AC) from DC for our Poker Road Radio WPT Borgata stop. It's a pretty drive, but there are a lot of state troopers on east coast freeways, and they are all too happy to tag you for speeding so I had to avoid the lead-foot tendencies. If you haven't been to Atlantic City, you're really not missing much. Canned mushrooms, tranny whores, bad weather, and salty east coast attitudes are the highlights. That said, the Borgata is a beautiful hotel. It's like an east coast Bellagio, complete with Chihully glass installations (look it up, they're beautiful), and top notch restaurants, but stick to Vegas if you can.

I somehow managed to avoid gambling in the pit during the trip, opting instead to hang out with poker peeps at the hotel bars or club, Guido-watching. Now I know where all excess gold, chest hair, and gel ends up in this country - and the sickest part is people out there generally accept the look as cool! Don't try that in LA.

I did find time to play some poker one night though, and I regret that I did. Playing 100-200 limit hold 'em with $25 and $100 chips is so strange to me. In any California card room you would just buy all $25 chips, but in AC you have to buy your chips from the dealer rack so there really isn't any room for that. This means the dealer has to stop the game, count out all your money for the camera, cut out all the chips, and then get a floor person to verify the whole thing. You may as well sell me chips for a different game dealer because by the time you're done this one will be broken! The high limit games were usually short, and broke quickly, so of course I got stuck a few thousand and was left to get it back playing 40-80. It took me all night and most of the morning to do it but I fought back and passed out even on the session.

So if the people, poker TV, and weather pretty much suck why go to AC? Well, how else are you gonna meet the cast of The Sopranos?
The Perfect Storm: A $10,000 coach seat
September 12, 2021

I am currently sitting in a window seat at 35,000 feet in one of Southwest airline's flying peanut butter cups (tell me they don't look like huge metal Reese's) on my way to Baltimore for the Cal at Maryland football game with

Joe Sebok

. Trouble is, Sebok isn't sitting next to me. He isn't sitting across from me, in front of me, or behind me. In fact he isn't even on this plane. He left on the flight I had originally booked us on at 8:50am, bright and early like I was supposed to. And now I am sitting in the world's most expensive coach seat...

My story begins last night at around 8pm. I get done with voice overs for online Poker After Dark and call Joe to chat about tomorrow's trip during my drive home. We toss around the idea of scrapping our Southwest 1-stopper to Baltimore in the morning in favor of a Virgin America red eye direct to DC Dulles. We can reuse the Southwest funds on a future flight, the Virgin flight is only $125, nonstop, on a way nicer plane, and we get to have our Friday in LA before leaving at 10:30pm! But I got to make sure that our hotel will let us make a last minute change to our stay and check in Saturday morning early, and stay just one night, and make sure our rental car situation can be swapped up. So I tell him I'll make some calls and get back to him.

I call the hotel and ask if they are OK with the reservation change, and if we can check in at the ass crack of dawn. They say all good. Sweet. So I call Hertz and make sure I can change our car reservation for Baltimore to DC. They say all good. Sweet. Then I log on to Virgin America to book our flights before canceling the Southwest ones. I get through virtually the entire booking process before the pick your seat screen comes up and shows the only seats on the plane as not only being not together, but in the row in front of the emergency exit row - a.k.a. the no-recliners. WTF. On a red eye, you can expect the snoozers in front of you to get their lean on and wedge you in for sure. Not happenin'. Abort plan.

I call Sebok back and say let's stick to the original deal, call my concierge to arrange for a ride to the airport at 7:30am and proceed to somehow stay up 'til 4am doing little more than clearing out my Tivo and hopping on and off Full Tilt. I finally shut everything down, pack, and set my cell phone alarm to wake me up at 7am.

8:26am, phone rings (which is something I vaguely remember it doing several times already).

Ali: What is uuuuuuup?
Sebok: Nothin bro what's up with you?
Ali: Ohhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiit.
Sebok: Don't tell me...
Ali: Damn. I just woke up. Let me get online and see when the next flight out is.

I head to the computer and learn that the next available flight for me on Southwest is at 3:05 pm getting in at midnight. Weak sauce.

Ali: You want to wait for me at LAX and I will swap us both to the later flight?
Sebok: Nah, I'm already here knucklehead. They're boarding. Just put my name on the hotel reservation and I will get a cab from the airport.
Ali: You sure? You want to just wait for me at Baltimore?
Sebok: No.
Ali: OK bro. Sorry. Call you when I land or see you at the hotel.
Sebok: OK. Peace.
Ali: Peace.

I call the hotel, and add Sebok's name to the reservation. I call Southwest and push my flight to 3:05pm. Now my gears start turning. What if I check Virgin to see when their next flight gets into DC so I can maybe still make it there when Sebok does? As it turns out they had an 11:30am, which would get into DC at roughly the same time Sebok would get to Baltimore on the 1-stopper. And by the time he cabbed it to the hotel I'd be pullin the rental car into valet. Sweet. Wait. Now the sick power of rationalization and my idle mind got hold of me.

I was flying for free on Southwest and now I'm lookin at paying $500 for a Virgin coach seat, just to get in 5 hours earlier? Seems like a waste. I don't want to feel like oversleeping cost me $500 or like I'm buying back hours at $100 per. Hmmm, 1st class seats at $750... at least that way if I am gonna spend money I'm getting some real value on it, right? No, that's silly. Especially when there is an empty row in coach I can sit in. 3 coach seats = 1 first class seat right? Nah, then I'm still back to the $500 for no reason conundrum.

Cue brilliance.

I got it. I'll log onto Full Tilt and jump in a big game and rip it for a quick $700 so I don't feel bad, and then buy the 1st class seat. I've still got two and a half hours to get to the airport, which is half an hour away. Wait. That could go poorly. I've only realistically got about half an hour to play before I've got to leave. Wait, what happened to my cab at 7:30am? Oops. Well, I could play, and if I don't hit quick, I can just call a cab and play longer using my laptop and wireless card on the ride over. Wait, if I don't cab it, I gotta drive myself and park long term. Damn, more fiscal penalties for oversleeping. I've never played online while driving before. Probably not a good idea. Stop thinking you're gonna get stuck idiot. Positive thinking. The Secret. Wait, did I just think that? Poker news...

8:45am: Post big blind. $50-$100 6 max Hold Em.
8:57am: Leave game -$975
8:58am: Post big blind. $100-$200 6 max Hold Em.
9:15am: $-1800 on day.
9:16am: Post big blind. $100-$200 6 max Hold Em - 2nd table
9:45am: -$3800 on day. Objective quickly becoming pointless.
11:25am: -$7100 on day. VA flight 602 leaves LAX for DC without me on board. I could care less.
1:30pm: After being down as much as $14,000 I end the session stuck $10,000, grab my bags, and drive to the airport to make the 3:05 Southwest flight.

And that is where I am now: 35,000 feet in the air in a giant peanut butter cup, on the way to a pit stop in Nashville before getting into Baltimore at midnight, and driving 45 minutes into DC, in the world's most expensive coach seat. Ah, the life...
Headin to Santa Barbara today for @KimberlyLansing's wedding weekend! On behalf of the heartbroken, I might be the "speak now" guy.

3 months ago