Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SEPT 14th -- NEW BLOG ENTRIES UP

Two new blog entries are up discussing my view of college sports getting compensated:

DO COLLEGE ATHLETES DESERVE TO GET COMPENSATED?

and my Week 3 College football picks:

FADE OF FOLLOW (COLLEGE) -- Week 3

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SEPT 7TH -- NEW BLOG ENTRY

New blog Entry up and ready for view under the "INSIDE THE HEAD OF BALT999" blog...Enjoy

I UNDERSTAND WHY SOME LOVE THEIR DOGS MORE THAN HUMANS!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

SEPT 3RD -- NEW BLOG ENTRY

New blog up in the "INSIDE THE HEAD OF BALT999" Blog....

BOOK REVIEW: ESPN: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN

Friday, September 2, 2011

SEP 2ND -- NEW BLOG ENTRY UP

New blog Entry up under the "JUST ANOTHER GUY' S VIEW OF THE SPORTS WORLD" blog:

 Matt Kemp MVP?? Clayton Kershaw CY YOUNG AWARD??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

SEP 1 -- NEW BLOG ENTRY UP

New blog entry is up under the "balt999 The Sensible Gambler" blog called "FADE OR FOLLOW WEEK 1", talking about my college football picks..

New blog Entry is up under the "ATLANTA SPORTS FAN" blog called "NATIONALS/BRAVES RECAP"

Enjoy...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

AUG 31 -- NEW BLOG UP

Check out my latest blog entry under the "JUST ANOTHER GUY'S VIEW ON THE SPORTS WORLD" called "The Funniest Man on Sports TV -- Kevin Millar"

Enjoy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BALT999s HEADQUARTERS

I consolidated all my blogs in an easy one-stop place...The Links are to the left...Check them out and experience THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BALT999!!

Thanks for reading...Feedback is encouraged!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CHANGES ARE COMING

For the past 3 days, I've been working on revising my blog to making it bigger and better than it's ever been. I'm very excited about the changes and hope you guys will enjoy it as much as I like writing it. Writing is a passion of mine since high school, and I hope the revisions to blog will enlighten, bring humor, and a new vision on how I see the world...

Hopefully, I'll roll out the new blog within the next week or so....

Monday, August 22, 2011

THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE SHAPE YOUR DESTINY

In Today's blog, I'm gonna talk about how important decisions make in your life....

I recently returned from my family vacation in Anaheim/San Diego, it was a blast. Saturday night, my family went to Old Town San Diego for dinner before a San Diego Padre game and came across a homeless man who was holding up a sign that read, "Help Me...Anything helps, God Bless". And i thought to myself, "What happened in this man's life that brought him to that point in his life where he's begging for money in front of a restaurant."

The Answer is "THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE!!" Every decision in your life sets off a chain reaction in your life that shapes your destiny. Some of them good, some of them bad, but most of them are subtle! Look at your life now and realize that moment of your life is because of the decisions you make...If you're a successful businessman or parents, the decision you make before got you there. Same goes for those who are unsuccessful like our homeless man.

If your rich, if your poor, if your happy, if your sad...remember the decisions you make shaped that destiny....


Thursday, August 11, 2011

HOW I CHOPPED THE CAESARS MEGA STACK -- PART II

Because my table was filled with weak-tight players who weren’t playing back at me when I was betting and raising, I continued my loose aggressive play. I was, by far, the most active player at the table…getting into a ton of pots. I figured someone would make a stand against me, but the resistance was minimal. At first break, I was sitting with 28,000. Nearly doubled my starting stack.

Then came the hand where I believed was the 1st turning point of the tournament…

IMPORTANT HAND #2 -- “My Pocket 9’s are good..I know it…I can feel it…JUST STICK YOUR CHIPS IN THERE, DAMMIT!!”

Blinds are 200-400...I opened raise under the gun (First to act) with Pocket 9’s to 1,000 from my 28,000 stack. I’m called in three places. First player has 14K, the Second player has 17K. The third player is the Big blind, who I consider the best player at the table. So it’s 4 handed to the flop, the pot is 4,200. The flop comes 7-6-5 with two hearts…Big blind checks, I have to bet in this spot. My read on the players is broadway cards, or a suited connector. The two players in the pot are very weak. I saw both make terrible calls against other players. So I’m positive I have the best hand. If I check..I risk it being checked out and an over card to my nines hit the board. So lead out for 2,700...The first players goes all in for 14,000..then the second guy also goes all in for 17,000...Big blind folds..now it’s up to me….I shoot from my seat, rubbing my head wondering “what the hell is going on??” My first instinct was folding. I mean, if one person goes all in and another goes all-in…you figure pocket 9’s is no good. Then I got to thinking, I believed the first player had a flush draw. Against the flush draw, I’m have about even money especially if he has two over cards to go with the draw…The second guy was a different story, he was a terrible player…who I’ve seen make big calls with middle pair…so I wasn’t too worried about him. At this point, about two minutes have passed, which seemed like an eternity. My wife, who was at the next table, came over to watch the action. I agonized about what to do…ultimately, it came down to going with your gut. In tournament poker, you can do all the math and odds, but sometimes you have to hold you breathe and go with your gut…SO I CALLED! The first guy turns over AK hearts for a flush draw..the second guy turns over 10 8 offsuit!!!! WHAT??? So I had to fade two cards…TURN a Jack…RIVER was an OFFSUIT 5!!! I rake a nice pot!!! Bringing my stack to around 60,000!!! YEAH!!! I pumped my fist, proud of making a sick call!! My confidence rose after that…

With 60,000, and my blind relatively low, I toned the aggression a little bit, because I have a tendency to blow off chips, when I get a big stack. I didn’t completely tighten up, but I wasn’t going to play subpar hands when I didn’t have to…Then this hand came up where sometimes players just hand you their chips…

IMPORTANT HAND #3 -- “JUST GIVE ME YOUR CHIPS ON A SILVER PLATTER”

The great no limit tournament players know how to manipulate their opponents to extract the most value from their monster hand.

Blinds are still at 200-400.…I now have 56,000 chips..I raise in early position with pocket Jacks to 1,100….In middle position, a tight straightforward player re-raises to 3,300 from a 35,000 chip stack. Everyone folds back to me…I thought about re-raising, but this player was pretty tight. I didn’t want to re-raise, then find out he’ll go all-in, then find myself pot-committed against a bigger pair to my Jacks…The best course of action was to call, then re-evauate on the flop. I call. Two to the flop, 7,200 in the pot. The flop comes Q J 9...Hooray, I flopped middle set in a coordinated board…I thought about betting the flop for value, but thought check raising all in was the best course of action. A raise from a tight, straightforward player usually indicates a very tight range…10’s or above, AK, AQ…possibly AJ. My thinking is this board probably hit 90 percent of his range and if I check to him, he’s gonna make a big bet to protect against his hand..hopefully enough to pot committ himself, when I check-raise all in. So I check..my opponent make a pot-sized bet of 7,000. I go with my plan and check-raise all in…my opponent insta-calls. I felt my heart sink as I was afraid he was going to turn over pocket Queens…Instead, he rolls over pocket 10’s for an opened ended straight draw…I was very surprised he would put his tournament life on the line, but maybe he was just sick of me running over the table and felt like gambling…Oh well, good for me….I faded the turn and river and raked another massive pot…my chip stack rose to 89,000!!!!

My confidence was sky high and felt a deep run coming. Our table broke a few minutes later and I racked my 89,000 to my new table. I was a little disappointed I was moving, because I felt like I could do anything I wanted…Oh well, the good thing about moving is it makes you that much closer to the final table…..

IN PART III, I’ll tell you about a hand where I was at the receiving end of a tilting player who self-destructed. Luckily, I was the recipient of all his chips!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

HOW I CHOPPED THE CAESARS MEGA STACK -- PART I

My road to chopping the Caesars Mega Stack Event $81, started innocently enough with a last minute decision. My wife was going to play, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend 12 hours playing poker. The event was on a Saturday, I was usually like to chill because it’s a day before I have to go back to work, but my wife was relentless about wanting me to play. Also, I had been reading a couple of new tournament books I purchased in the last two weeks, and I figured I’ll give it a try.

So I get to the Caesars Palace poker room and as usually it’s extremely cold. I’m not a big fan of the room because I feel so isolated. The tournament was five minutes in, so I grabbed my seat and immediately get dealt in…junk hand and toss it into the muck. While I’m getting myself situated, I’m thinking about my game plan. The general feeling about the field is it’s extremely soft. Lots of dead money spewing around. A million thoughts are racing through my head about what I’m going to do…My early tournament strategy was playing a lot of hands, play in position, and be extremely aggressive. As far as what opponents I want to attack. I have a 3 general rules I follow: 1) Play against players who fold their button, 2) Play against players who fold after limping, and 3) Play against players who fold on the flop too much. If you just follow those 3 rules, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition….

We start with 15,000 Chips and right away I put the petal to the metal and raise and bet a ton of hands. Luckily, my table is letting me run them over without much resistance. My the 2nd hour, I’m sitting with 21,000 chips… Then my first important comes up:

IMPORTANT HAND #1 -- “Just Go with the read, dammit. Who cares if you get knocked out??”

The blinds are 100-200...I’m sitting with 21,000K…Player in middle position open-raises for 600 out of a 19,000 stack. Other than myself, this player has been very aggressive preflop, and I wanted a chance to play against him in position to see how he’s react to the 3-bet (Re-raise) I re-raise from the button to 1,600 with KJ offsuit. Everyone folds to the original raiser who calls..
3,500 in the pot and two players. The flops 9 7 2 with two spades…He checks to me. I put him on a range of two big cards and possibly a small pair of 4’s or 5’s. I bet 1,750..he calls. Pot is now 7,000. Turn card brings another 9...Suddenly my opponent bets 1,900. The bet screams flush draw! It’s an informational bet known as a “blocking” bet. Basically, it’s to see where he stands. Also, my guess is he’s putting me on big card as well like AK or AQ, and hoping I didn’t connect with the flop. My options are to fold or raise…My opponent has around 16K, so I decide to go with my read and put him on a flush draw and raise to 5,000K…My opponent instant calls. He called so fast that I’m now 100% sure I was up against a flush draw…The river brings a Jack. Even though I was sure he couldn’t call a substantial bet if the flush didn’t come…the jack put my mind at ease..my opponent check. I went all in…he folds…

That hand gave me a ton confidence and would set the stage for the early turning point of the tournament. One, that I believed, made me realize I have a chance for a deep run…..

Thursday, August 4, 2011

IRONIC OR NOT??

Yesterday, I'm sitting in my garage and watch one of my neighbors going to work. He works for Cox Communication, a cable company that serves the western United States. Anyway, I noticed something on the side of his house...A SATELLITE DISH FROM DISH NETWORK!! I laughed and thought of the 90's Alanis Morrisette song, "Ironic" cause isn't it ironic??

So it got me thinking, would you take a job with a company if you don't purchase or believe in the company's products or mission? For example, I work as a poker dealer and I know of 1 or 2 dealers who don't even gamble! People take jobs because the money is good and bottom line is sometimes you have to do things to support your family no matter what you think of the job. I'm sure strippers didn't think about becoming strippers when they're younger, but the money is good.

So isn't it ironic that a person who grows up in a religious family becomes a stripper?
So isn't it ironic that a poker dealer hates gambling??
So isn't it ironic, don't ya think?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

RETURNING TO THE BLOG II

Once again, I'm going to revive my daily blog...things I'm going to talk about it is poker, life, gambling, my family, and my general thoughts about the world. I'll try to make it as interesting and compelling as possible....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Back to online tournaments

Played an online tournament last night...fundamentally, I know the nuances of a poker tournament, but since I don't play very often...it's a matter of getting rust out. My general tournament strategy taught to me by a local pro almost 8 years ago...."Play the opposite of the table dynamics" Basically is if your table is tight..loosed up..if the table is loose...tighten up....But be more aggressive as the blinds escalate...and of course...have luck on your side in key situations....Last night, I think I played very well, but lost when luck was not with me as my pocket Aces vs. 64suited lost on a KK6 board...oh well...

Tonight, I'm gonna give it another shot....hopefully, I'll play well and get lucky....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Fabulous Mirage Hotel and Casino!!

As a poker dealer, there are days when it's slow, slow enough to take an "EO" (Early Out, in our industry) and sit on the other side of the "box"...Today was one of those days...

I decided to play 3-6 Limit at The Mirage...Before the Vegas poker explosion in the mid 2000...The Mirage used to be the place to play....I remember when I first moved to Vegas...I use to play in that room nearly every week....with games like 3-6 Limit, 6-12 Limit, 10-20 Limit, and even a dabble at 20-40 Limit...As mention in the movie, "Rounders", the Mirage was the center of the poker universe...But today, it's a shell of it's former self....With the so many options to choose from, people took their business elsewhere..but part of it was the Mirage fault for not adjusting to today's player...The old management were set in their ways, unwilling to change...As a result, the Mirage suffered greatly to the point where it's always 3/4 Empty nearly everytime I go there..But The place still has a soft spot for me cause I scored my biggest tournament win ever in there...

Today, The Mirage Poker room is still a great room, just not as busy as it usually is...When I played, there were only 3 games at 2PM, which was unheard off back in the heydey when every table would be running all day long. The dealers are older, but run a very efficient game and that's what I like....I just wish it would go back to the good ole days, but alas..I don't think it's happening anytime soon...and that..in my opinion is a crying shame!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Returning to the Blog

I know it's been a few months since I updated my blog, but things have been hectic lately. Moved into a new house, trying to figure out a few things, but I'm ready to start updated my blog...

I will still continue to update everyone my weight lost progress. I'm still doing P90x, and I'm as hyped up now as I was a few months ago...In fact, I'm only 3 weeks away from completed my 3rd round of P90x....

Also, I'm going to start to give everyone my progress as I try and resume my poker dreams...at times, I've been fired up, but circumstances beyond my control has curtailed the process...but I've told myself..I gotta start playing more because it's what I really love doing....

So please enjoy the ride as I will not hold back anything...

Thanks...


Saturday, January 15, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 12, 13, and 14

THURSDAY...Got back to my normal schedule...got up at 6AM and completed LEGS AND BACK..My ankle felt a lot better and was able to go through the entire workout without any problems.

FRIDAY...Ended WEEK 2, with KENPO....Because I think KENPO is the least effective workout on the P90X system, I'm always self-aware of putting more effort into it...Sometimes, I don't feel it works me hard enough, but I do it anyway....

SATURDAY...REST DAY.....Pretty did nothing today, but watch College basketball and watch my Atlanta Falcons go down in flames..

So after TWO WEEKS of P90X...I'm feeling really good! The motivation is still there..although the weight loss kinda stalled in the last two days...IN fact I gained 2 LBS...not sure how or why as I haven't really eaten junk...It's a little discouraging, but I'm not going to let a little weight gain get to me....

WEEK 3 BEGINS TOMORROW....CHEST AND BACK
WEIGHT: 224LBS..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 11

My ankle was very tender this morning and swelled up a little, but it seemed to get better as the day went on..As a result, I completed YOGA without a hiccup! It was the first time, I ever did YOGA at night and felt stronger...Maybe cause I'm trying to build up energy in the morning...At night I felt so strong! Not sure if I'll continue this trend cause I rarely have 1 1/2 hr free time at night. The best part about the workout was my daughter did a little bit with me...Although she has a tough time doing the "Triangle Pose":)

Dinner was awesome...Salmon and Brussel Sprouts...Eating healthy is something I'm used to know....like working out...it becomes a addicting

TOMORROW: LEGS AND BACK (Hopefully, my ankle will feel better)
WEIGHT: 222LB..


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 10

Interesting day....

I did SHOULDERS and ARMS today...I increased my workload and my weights and struggled slightly, but was able to complete eat sets...My form may have wavered a little, so maybe I should lighten the load...I'm just trying to push myself...sometimes I have to set aside my ego and just get through each rep while maintaining proper form..I'll keep that in mind when I do this workout next week.

When I got home from work...I was getting the mail and somehow my left ankle rolled...This isn't the first time it's happened to me...From time to time...I can be walking around and all of a sudden my ankle roll for no reason...When I was in the Air Force, it seemed like I did it once a month...So, right now, my left ankle feel sore and tender...Hopefully, this won't last long and I can continue with my workout...Tomorrow is YOGA DAY....hoping my ankle will feel better...

TOMORROW: YOGA
WEIGHT: 223LB

Monday, January 10, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 9

Despite still feeling a little under the weather, I got through Pylometrics. Getting up early in the morning has been the toughest part of these workouts. Once I get going and my blood flows, I have no problem getting through it...

TOMORROW: Shoulders and Arms
WEIGHT 224LBS

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 8

2nd week of P90x starts with Chest and Back exercises...I was able to increase my workload and did about 40% more than last week...but I paid the price...Over the weekend, I came up with a cold and a congested chest -- was coughing quite a bit all day. So I was pretty wiped out after the workout, so much so that I had to do the "Ab Ripper" DVD at night...I shouldn't put too much pressure on my body, if I'm feeling a little sick, but I don't feel right if I skip a workout...

Didn't eat much today...A bowl of tomato soup and a small salad for lunch and fish and veggies for dinner..I really didn't have much of an appetite.

WEIGHT: 224LBs


Saturday, January 8, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS -- DAY 6 & 7

DAY 6 -- I'm going to say this....the LEGS portion of P90x is a relatively easy workout for me...I'm not saying it's a piece of cake, but I didn't have to work too hard it...Through out my life, I'm always had strong legs...The hardest exercise on the LEGS program is "Wall Squats" Basically, you lean your back against the wall, then squat so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle and you have to stay there for 60 seconds...at around 30 seconds, your legs are burning!

DAY 7 -- The last exercise of the week is called KENPO....Kenpo is a form of martial arts originated in Japan. It's very similar to the TAE BO exercises that were popular in the 90's (Which by coincidence is a program I did to great results as well)...Personally, it's touted as a cardio exercise, but I just don't see it...I'm not saying it doesn't work, but I just feel it doesn't push my body enough...the exercises are relatively easy and non impactful. But it's all part of the p90x program and I'm implied to do it all..

My body is slowly getting used to eating right...Had a small salad and tuna for lunch this morning and been snacking on String cheese (Low fat) and fruit...Although last night I had to have sushi, but it's healthy so I don't feel bad....

Saturday is a rest day for me...the soreness has gone away except my glutes.....I'm going to enjoy my day off and be ready for WEEK 2 of P90X


WEIGHT: 225LB
WEEK 1: LOST 3 LBS

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS - DAY 5

The most challenging day of P90x is definitely the YOGA day! Because YOGA takes one hour and thirty minutes to complete, I have to wake up at 5AM...so I can do half of it, then I got to stop to take my stepdaughter to her bus stop, come back and picked up where I left off..so in actuality it's an hour and forty minute workout...

Yoga looks deceptively easy, but I'm here to tell you it's one of the most difficult thing to do. YOGA will twist your body in ways its not used to, but I toughen it out each time no matter if my body is yelling at me not to complete it!! I mean...c'mon, how many "Downward Dogs" can I possibly do??

Tonight we have Stuffed Green Bell Peppers with Turkey Meat...can't tell the difference in taste with ground beef..it's a definite meal that will continue to be in the rotations of meals

Weighed myself this morning and lost two pounds...that's 3 pounds in 4 days..YEAH!!

TOMORROW: LEGS AND BACK

MY WEIGHT: 225LBS

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS - DAY 4

I'm sore!! There's no if ands or buts about it....I'm doing my best to ease back into the workout regiment, but at the same time, I don't want to half-ass it...Today, I worked on Shoulders and Arms....For Shoulder exercises I worked with 25Lb weights, Biceps I went back and forth with 20LBs and 25 LBs...for the Triceps, I used 15 lbs...I cut the reps to 8-12 cause I didn't want to overdo it...The initial week is about easing back into it...I think I'm doing a great job...but damn, I'm sore!!

Good news thought I lost 1Lb...and despite my soreness, I do have a lot more energy and vitality so I guess I'm doing something right...Another thing is I'm peeing ALOT!! I MEAN ALOT!! About once an hour...So I know my body is processing everything...

Wednesday is the DREADED YOGA day!! It's a tough not because of Yoga itself, but just the fact that's SO LONG..almost an hr and a half...

WEIGHT: 227LB..

Monday, January 3, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS - DAY 3

It snowed in Vegas (Well, some people said it was sleet, but who cares..it looked like snow to me)...Today it was Pylometrics, which is basically jump training exercises....I was able to get through the workout, but was blown up towards the end and had to lower the intensity. It's about building up my stamina to the point where I'll get through the entire workout without heavy huffing and puffing.

The worst thing about not working out for 2 months, then getting back into it full speed is your body becomes sore as it adjusts to the new routine..Usually after a week, the soreness goes away, but right now it's a pain in the ass..What make matters worst is I've work 10.5 hrs the past two days, so it's been tough getting through the day...but I'm willing to have a little pain now to achieve the ultimate pleasure..

Today, I hate before work and eating a protein bar along with a banana really help me get me through the long days...

DAY 3: 228 LBS
NEXT EXERCISE: Shoulders and Arms..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MY PURSUIT TO 175 LBS - DAY 2

Today was the official beginning of my pursuit...Woke up around 7AM and did the Chest and Back portion of P90x...Although I still feel strong despite not working out in 2 months, I decided not to overdue the workout...AS a result I only did 200 push ups and 70 Pulls Up total...As my body gets more adjusted to working out..I'll increase my workload...Mentally, it felt good to get back into the rhythm of working out..it's something I really need in my life

For breakfast, I had eggs white omelette with mushroom, green onions, and Cheese. I also had Cottage Cheese which seems to go perfectly with the omelette...For my snack I had a protein bar and a banana...and took a multi-vitamin, which seems to get me through the day, as I had to work 10 hrs and didn't get a break for 6 hrs....so I didn't get a lunch, which is not a habit I want to develop. I did have a Clif bar that got me through the final 4 hrs of my shift, but by the time I was done I was starving....For dinner I had Rosemary Chicken, Red Potatoes, and Garlic roasted Brussel Sprouts...It really hit the spot....The only bad thing about the day was I had the dinner around 9:30PM....

MONDAY is Plyometrics...I'm looking forward to jumping around like a madman :)

DAY 2: 228LB


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 -- My PURSUIT TO 175 LBS...

One of the best things that happened to me in 2010, was I managed to somehow lose 40 Lbs...through the P90x Program...it was tough, difficult, and felt very good about what I accomplished...I did the entire P90x program twice...The first time...I followed the program word for word...ate only what was listed in the guide...The second time, I did the exercise, but didn't follow the diet plan, and as a result..I didn't lose that much weight (although I gained muscle)...I took a long break after the 2nd 90 days...and gained 8 lbs back....now I'm ready to restart the program....

I'm going to use this blog as a printout of my journey.....and see where I am one year from now...it's going to be fun...Hopefully, I'll be able to get to my destination of 175 Lbs sooner than later...

Hope you guys enjoy it...

DAY 1: 228 LBs...