Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Wishing my wife a wonderful birthday today

...the flowers have been ordered and gifts purchased. Her only outstanding gift is a possible date to the Dixie Chicks concert in July...tickets go on sale on June 10th. Without her I would not have the wonderful children and happy life that I am able to enjoy. She is my best friend and I can't imagine being with anyone else. Happy birthday Jen....I love you.


Back to the grind here at work...6 hours under my belt here at the cubicle and I've finally finished the expense reports for the past three weeks. I'm not sure who decided the new software was easier to use....must be for the accountants on the back end, cause it sure sucks for those of us submitting the information via the web tool.

Well...I made the big plunge today...had a message from the eye doctor that I visited back in November regarding my eye surgery...they're now offering 18 months 0% financing for the procedure. I have a date to get 20/20 vision on June 23. If I'm able to make the date, I'll be looking to make some extra cash to finance the surgery along with the car payment every month via the poker tables. Thank goodness for the fish and donkeys floating around, which will surely increase as we get closer to WSOP time. Doubt that I'll make the trip out there at this point, as my bankroll is still sitting at about $1K, and will grow even slower as I take bigger hits from it every month to take care of the eye surgery and car payments.

Speaking of poker....I've added the banner for the 2006 PokerStars Blogger Championship over on the right. Was a good tourney last year, so looking forward to a better finish this year.

Haven't played in poker since my last update...betweew the activities with the family over the weekend (check the Villa family page later tonight for updates) and readjusting to the home time zone (not to mention getting caught up on three weeks of Alais, CSI, Survivor and Lost), I've had little time for poker in the past few days. Things should open up this weekend and beyond to get back into a routine of playing and building the bankroll.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

What a wild ride

Well....for the three or four of you that have been wondering where I've been....here's an update.

When I last posted, I was sitting in a hotel room in London, just having spent three days in Estonia. The hotel in London was nice, but the internet connection was not that fantastic, so uploading more pics wasn't going to work. Did play some poker and was up a couple of hundred while in London. Spent Sunday wondering around the town, saw Big Ben, Buckingham, etc....also shopped at Herrod's (damn expensive).

Spent the next couple of days east of London (Bath) with no internet access.....ugh.

Then headed back to Germany for 3 days.....was actually the best part of the trip, as we spent three days in the same hotel...was nice to be able to unpack and get comfortable in a room for a change. Didn't get any opportunity for sightseeing, as we were out to dinner both nights with clients...good food, but no pics or such. As such, internet access was limited and I didn't play any poker while in Germany.

Flew back to Columbus on Friday (5/19)...spent Sat and Sun trying to readjust to the time difference before heading to California. Nothing exciting to note....had a couple of loosing sessions at the $5/10 tables...did manage to achieve Silver Star status on PS, so that was a bonus. Didn't do much in CA except eat some great food and conduct the business audits needed for the trip. Flew back home on Thursday night (arriving at Columbus at 12:45am Friday morning) and pretty much vegged all day Friday, helped Jen get the house ready for our first showing this morning.

Went down to the Bob Evans Farms in southern Ohio today....they had a craft and kids day going on, so the girls got to ride horses and do crafts for the day. All in all was fun for everyone. I took a nap when we got home with a splitting headache, which explains the update to the blog at 12:31 am on Sunday.

Just finished a 60 minute session on PS with a +$190 in the bankroll. I'm almost back to the pre-trip level on PS, so I'm happy about that...had made about $500 in the European trip, cashed that out and then promtly went in the hole (-$700) while in CA before coming back with a couple of winnning sessions to get most of it back into the bankroll (-$80). But overall, I'm still up about $700 for the month.

Will update with pics and such tomorrow....ttfn.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday in London

Sunset and clouds from over the English Channel last night as we flew into London from Germany.

So we're in London now...can't get over how expensive this place is...the pound is about 2-1 against the USD right now. So a 50 pound breakfast here at the hotel will be about $100 when the conversion takes place. The cab fair from the airport to the 'business recommended' hotel here in Londo was another $100. Welcome to London. Not to mention that we're in a very 'eclectic' hotel...would rather be in a Hilton or Marriott. This place caters to a younger, hipper crowd....definately not me.

We're headed out to see the sites here in a few minutes. Loren wants to do some shopping, but I think I'll wait until Germany in a couple of days to do much more than take pictures...so, here are some pics from yesterday in old town Tallinn, Estonia.

Olde Hanna resturant where we ate dinner.

Church in the middle of town...maybe Russian Orthadox? Looks cool regardless.

Cobblestone street through shopping district in Tallinn. We walked through a number of local shops...glassware, woven cloth, amber jewelry, etc.

More pics from London later on...enjoy.

Also...played some poker...or at least tried, as the wireless connection isn't fantastic here in the hotel (for a small fee of 15 pounds per day ($30usd). Anyway, lost a buy in last night before calling it a night on a couple of bad beats. Won back about $50 this morning while waiting to head out for the day around London. First time I've had sessions at the 6 handed tables with really long runs of bad cards....20-25 hands folded in a row, and not playing tight, just terrible cards. Was happy to make a bit of cash back after last night.

Time to sightsee....ttfn

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm an Uncle again...

Please help me welcome the newest member of the Villa family....my nephew Julian Louis Villa!!!!

More tomorrow from London!!!!!

Friday in Tallinn, Estonia

While all of you have enjoyed your morning coffee and started your day, I've already completed my vendor site assessment and travelled 2 hours back to Tallinn from Valjandi in southern Estonia. Visited a candle and match factory that was surprisingly automated for such a small rural town.

So...let me update you on the last couple of days...hit the Columbus airport at 1:30pm on Wednesday to get on a flight to Chicago, then spent about 2 hrs in Chicago waiting for my flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Boarded the flight around 6pm and headed across the pond...business class is a great way to fly (BTW)....especially when the company is picking up the tab. Had a nice meal of filet and shrimp along with a couple of gin and tonics, watched Better by the Dozen 2 (not a great movie, but passed the time). Crashed around 11pm est and was able to get about 3 hrs of sleep prior to waking about 2 hrs outside of Frankfurt. Cleaned up as best I could before landing in Germany.

Spent about an hour trying to locate Loren (from NJ offices of LimitedBrands) and we then made the Lufthansa Business Class lounge our home for 2 hours before heading to our gate and the flight to Tallinn, Estonia. Arrived here at about 4pm and waited for about an hour for Jan to arrive from Stockholm. Then met with our local driver and headed 2hrs south to Viljandi. Met with Harri (part owner of the manufacturer), who treated us to dinner at a local pub...very good food and some great local beer. Then back to the hotel and a deep sleep.

So..woke up this morning at 7am (midnight back home) and promptly turned off the alarm and fell back asleep until Loren called me from the lobby at 9am with Jan and Loren waiting for me in the lobby and the driver due any minutes....good thing I had showered the night before. Tossed on some clean clothes, packed everything and off we went across town to the plant.

So..that catches you up to now...sitting in the Radisson, listening to VH1 from Eurpoe (ugh) and getting caught up before heading out to dinner here about 7pm. Oh, and I'm killing a $5/10 table as well...up $214 as I type this....wheeee.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Weekend review

Quick update...

Pretty much worked around the house all weekend...we now have a sign in the front yard, at least for the next 90 days. Still looking for a new house though, so could get interesting if we get a great offer on the house.

Played a couple of quick sessions of $5/10 over the weekend...had my first loosing session on friday night, as I only played about 10 hands and was down $50 when I had to stop playing and take care of Alan and the girls...Made it back last night when I ran over a table and was up $270 at one point, before giving a bit of it away when my made hands were run down by flushes and gut shots on the river....still made about $170 for the evening, so recouped the short loss and made some cash.

Gotta run....time to pick Danielle up from school.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Finally Friday.....and Jessica

and so comes an end to my tribute to Jessica Alba this week....

Not much else to speak of...did some additional house hunting last night. Saw a real dump on 9+ acres that needed to be burned to the ground...a nice house that had been completly remodeled, but was small with 3 bedrooms on 5+ acres, and then revisited a couple of houses in Johnstown that we've been to before. There is also the possibility now of building this summer in Johnstown....all comes down to cash and timing.

Interviewing the second selling agent tonight. Hope she is more personable and open for discussion than the last one.

Alan has been keeping Jen and I up the last few nights as he's teething and really hates to be in his crib....so 1-2 hr crying fits at 2am don't make for well rested parents the next day...fortunately, Danielle and Ashley have slept through his fits.

No poker in the last couple of days....lack of sleep has kept me in bed later in the morning, and crashing earlier in the evenings, so no time to play. Hoping to get some playing in over the weekend, but will have to see how everything goes, as I have a ton of stuff to take care to get the house in order and get ready for my upcoming travels. Ugh.

I'm having trouble coming up with another topic, so I guess I'll get back to work and try and get out of here early today....


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hump day

Since I got such a nice response from the last pic of Jessica...I thought I would toss another one out there. This one is a bit more 'risque', but it sure brightens my Wednesday afternoon.

The shorthanded $5/10 tables are still proving a juicy hunting ground, as I've run seven straight positive sessions over the last 2 weeks....now, that's not alot of poker by most player's standards, but with Alan and the house getting on the market, I play when I can without upsetting the balance at home.

I'm not sure why the players on the shorthanded tables seem so much worse than I would expect...I mean, $5/10 isn't chicken feed, as pots can occassionally reach $120-$150 if things get crazy. While maniacs usually occupy one or two seats on a full table, they're occupying 3-4 seats at a short handed table. I do understand that you relax your starting hand requirments when playing shorthanded, but calling raises or re-raising with a single face card and then staying in the hand when you miss, just hoping that your K3os will be good is just suicide. I've watched so many terrible poker players loose their money at these tables it's almost scary....and then they start complaining to heaven and hell when their KK gets busted when no one at the respects their 15th consecutive pre-flop raise and snaps them with 89s when they catch an 8 on the flop and a 9 on the turn, calling the KK to the river before raising for the crying call.....not that 89s is a terrible hand to see play, but typically a NL player with KK would have raised enough to get the 89s to fold pre-flop...they just don't understand that limit doesn't play like NL and you have to take the good with the bad.

Anyway, I'm not complaining, as I currently have a lot of these players money sitting comfortably in my bankroll as I look to build it back to the levels prior to the January meltdown. I just struggle with the mentality of these players thinking that they know how to play the game.

Let's see...what else is going on...we're interviewing realtors to list our house....had the first one over last night. He was pretty honest about his opinion of the house....but we were hoping his market analysis would allow us to list the house for 5-8k more then he suggested. We're hoping for a 90 day sell on the house, so we have to be very competative with the pricing on the house. We'll see what the other realtor says on Friday and then go from there.

Oh, I may be heading overseas for the first time in the near future. I've been working to hammer out the details of a 10 day jaunt to the UK, Germany and Estonia starting next week if we can get the companies in Europe to fit into our schedule. Excited about the possibility of the trip, but it means I'll be in Europe over Mother's Day...I guess some really nice gifts for Jen will be in order for missing the day with her and the kids.

Not much else to speak of...time to get hammering away on the travel arrangements and various other projects that I have to accomplish before heading out next week.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Weekend review

While the weekend didn't go as well as I had planned, I have to admit it was one of the best weekends I've had in quite awhile....

Friday...relaxed at home with the family...boxed up some books in the basement preparing for the move. We're hoping to have a sign in the yard by the end of the week.

Saturday...Headed over to Bishop's place for the $200 tourney. I played pretty well through the first 4 blind levels...not getting too much of my stack involved with pots and picking up a few smaller ones with some solid hands. I make it past the first break and we consolidate down to two tables with 16 players left. The chip leader (Action) sits to my immediate left....not where I want him, as he tends to play a little loose but very aggressive....and it's paid off as he has busted about 5 players and is sitting with a mountain of chips. With blinds at $300-600, I'm in the SB and see Q2os....the table folds to me and I (foolishly) decide to look up the BB with a standard raise to $1500. Action peaks at his cards....explains that he is pretty sure he has me beat at this point and calls the bet. Not good for me....but the flop come Q-3-7 rainbow, giving me top pair. I ponder my move for a minute, as I believe I have the best hand at this point.....why???

- if Action had a small pair, he would have raised me out of the BB to protect it.
- if he has a big pair, he puts me all in pre-flop...he's not the type to try and milk a big hand in this position.

So I put him on Ax at this point since he just called my pre-flop raise...now I have hit my hand and toss in $3000 to see what he does. He double checks his hand and says he thinks I'm putting a move on him...which makes no sense in hindsight....I know he has a solid hand...why would I try and put a move on the chip leader at this point. I either have a hand, or I'm an idiot to risk my stack against the chip leader.

So he raises me to $6000. Now I have about $10000 left at this point and push it all in. He has to call at this point, although he looks unsure of himself at this point, as now his read isn't quite so positive....but being Action, he calls the bet.....and flips over AJos and he's drawing to 3 outs....which in typical Action luck, allows the A to fall on the river and bust me out of the tourney.

In hindsight, I did reinforce the idea of not messing with the big stack unless I reeeeeealllly have something. Was a bonehaed play to do anything with the Q2os and ended up costing me the seat at the tourney. I also should have pushed post-flop instead of a smallish bet and then pushing afterhis raise...he may have folded the AJos when he missed on the flop to the all in bet, which would have really been my only play at that point.

Lessons learned at the poker table.

Made it home in time to play in the Poker.com Blogger tourney. Played very well, taking the chip lead in the tourney at the halfway point and not looking back until we hit the final table. Ended up loosing a couple of hands trying to bust very small stacks along the way, but overall was in good shape at the final table. Ended up loosing about half my stack when my AKs was called down to the river by another large stack that called my pre-flop bet with J-10 and caught a 10 on the flop....he check called me on the flop and turn, with both of us checking on the river when I didn't improve and didn't want to risk anymore chips. His pair takes the pot and I'm down to about 15k in chips...putting my in 4th place out of 6 players. I take another hit about 3 hands later when my all-in on QQ gets cracked by a short stack with A4s when he calls my bet and catches an A on the turn to win the pot and double up....I'm in last place for a few hands, but double up and then am able to slide into 4th place and win $55 and the ticket to the Blogger finals on July 1. Looking forward to the shot at the big prizes they have up for grabs.

Sunday - was able to get some $5/10 action in on Sunday while Jen and the girls went to church. Ended up pocketing about $140 from the players and also proceeded to get at least one players chat privledges revoked. Won't go into any details, but the guys was a complete a$$ after getting rivered by a couple of players.....and this after he busted at least one other guy doing the same thing with a very marginal hand. He went on a tiraid that finally had me emailing CS on the site and complaining. They responded that he had been taken care of, so that was a positive for the day.

Finshed the weekend with a great dinner with Mike and Leah coming over. Was great to catch up with them, talk some Magic and poker, along with work issues, moving, etc. The girls loved having the company and Leah was gracious enough to run around in the yard with them for a bit. All in all a great weekend.

Back to another week at work now...I may be getting a trip to Europe here in the next week or so...will keep you all posted.